The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Month: June 2014

Microfiction by Jane Eaton Hamilton

The Trick

 





This is what happened when your wife left you after 20 years:  I hate you, I
wish you were dead, I kept waiting for you to die, I wish I had never
married you, I really really don’t like you, I’m not sorry in case you think
I should be, I don’t care about your arm, So what? Come back here I said.
Maybe you should go to Emerg, She’s only a friend for god’s sake, Don’t you
think we should shake it up a little bit around here, have a modern
marriage? You’re even beautiful angry.  Other people are smarter than you
are; other people have educations and good jobs and good incomes.  I’m so
sorry, let me massage it.  Really, I am so glad to be with you. So so lucky,
You have many talents, You make me laugh, You’re so wise, Thank you, thank
you, thank you for loving me, I’m so sorry, I can’t believe I flew off the
handle again, I’m sorry I scared you, You ought to despise me, I love you, I
love you, I adore you, I love your mouth, I love you, I love you, I love how
smart you are, I love you, I love you, I love your children, I love you, I’m
so incredibly lucky to have found you, Oh god, fuck me, Please kiss me, You
have no idea how much I’d like to get to know you better, Hey you.

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Poetry by Marissa Mireles

Elusive Fool in Child’s Pose

 

Sore thumb in the midst
the proverbial elephant which
cannot find a place to sit
its girth has nothing left to do but stand
in the corner, swishing its bushy tail
annoyance. Waiting for someone
to acknowledge its existence.
the gory thumb pulsates, it’s tiny
capillaries burst blood clot galaxies
leaving their mark
stardust on the palm and index.
When the saw and hot iron come
To amputate I will be delighted
And I do not want reconstructive
surgery I think festering wounds
are rather romantic, keeps it more
truthful in the visceral rot.

 

Dancing with the Devil

 

She sings, singed tongue to cheek
Salacious lungs engulfed in flame retardant
She thinks, if I step here / he there I can out master

Those movements which mislead to tempt

But the devil does not care if you step on his toes
They are harnessed with steel, colder – still smoldering
Like a thousand knives at the pyre.
The trickster delights in capturing light, his evil

 

The lens of a camera, rod and cone shadows

The devil do not change, only you.

 

Debauchery with Love for sale

 

Eviscerate Good Taste,
Cut out the heavy tongue,
In it’s budding place,
Sow in Modesty (a sort-of castrated) Honesty
For all those who take indecorous needle and thread
Into their own sloppy hand, and separate with the Hastiness
of a Man well bred though not quite read on such carnal

Banal realities
Casually,

as if piece by piece,

he begins severing out

the Parts of Her
which had previously sculpted His
Private Ideologies, a premeditated design,
An epicurean blue print for all

lowly Desires.

 

Fixed is the serpent’s divinity

 

Creative until death
Refined Mongrels
Defined by their primitive nature
Are inclined to subversive coercion
Lucrative tongue to cheek speech
Coitus

 

Gravity Inverse Time

 

tick tock said the hour to the minute
hurry before the wormhole comes
i will not be rushed! said the minute to the hour
the second giggled, the minute always took its time.

 

Something has broken

 

some thing has broke inside of me
the tinkering is a rattle
the pitter patter is droll
the tear has found its own origin
devoid of the synapse or frontal lobe

I am not sure where the Soul has gone
there was no sad letter left
Empty kitchen counter
of my subconscious has said as much

Perhaps it got milk and got lost
How unfortunate it is to have loved.

 

Resurgence

 

birthed upside down, breaking down barriers
just for a fresh breath
the umbilical cord of love strangles,
leaving the right brain holding its oxygen
like a water jug, from river to mouth.
 
 
 

999119_213096488854160_153390063_nMarissa Mireles, also known as Sans Serif, is a filmmaker, writer, and political activist residing in the US. Marissa has been writing since she was very young, deriving much of her talent from the constant downpour in her childhood town Lakewood, Washington which thrust her into creativity. She has self published two books of poetry & prose and is now working on a feature script, a novel, and a translation of Jules Barbey’s “The Old Mistress”. Marissa is an actor as well and has been on CBS, MTV, Univision, Telemundo, A&E to name a few. Marissa has also modeled and is featured in la band Dream Panther’s music video “Chutes and the Ladder”. Currently she is preparing for travel to Haiti to shoot a short film about children living as Restavek. You can find out more about her on her websites.

tostaywith.wordpress.com
sugarthenovel.blogspot.com
melodiesforthedeaf.blogspot.com
endsceneprod.blogspot.com
poetryforthemute.blogspot.com

Gypsy Courtyard by William K Hugel

DSC00533

You called it a Gypsy courtyard.

The only Gypsy you had ever met said don’t call us Roma, only people who feel sorry for us call us that. Gypsies are free people who live how they want. Then laughing she said: Roma is a word for guilty white people. Then, no longer smiling: White people feel guilty because they think everyone wants to be like them.

Though you still didn’t know what a Gypsy was. Not really. Though you had some idea of course. You had had your pocket picked in Prague. You still remember the face, brown skin dark eyes (but in America lots of people have brown skin and dark eyes, so how were you, an American, to know the difference?). You had smiled at him after you’d all bumped with the starting of the train. Only checked for your wallet later, after they’d all gotten off.

But you still remember the face. A sudden grimace and pain had met your smile after you had all bumped. This wasn’t so strange; everyone in Prague met you with a grimace and some pain you didn’t understand.

You already thought you liked Hungarians better. Not so many grimaces, not the unfathomable pain. An old woman had set herself up grandly at the other end of your courtyard here. And then you too, following her example, at the other end. Hers was far grander. A recliner and a rainbow umbrella. You saw her on your first day holding a young woman’s hand, leaning close, you hoped she told fortunes. You wanted yours told, badly.

You’d left many times like that. Apropos of nothing, like a thief in the night. Just gone. But that last time it felt different. You thought for the first time you were perhaps sick, mentally ill.

So far a cat has been your best friend. He had said hello before, he always said hello, though stressfully, fretfully. Then he came through the bars in the window. You left some butter (you wished you’d had some tuna) on the sill and you went away. You didn’t want to pressure him. He licked the butter and left while you waited in the other room.

Then the old lady with the grand terrace with the recliner and the rainbow umbrella came to you at your own new small terrace.

It had been a glorious day, or two or three, at least two, you couldn’t remember, in Budapest. Some sort of spring cleaning. A license, you supposed (though you were too shy to ask anyone, someone you didn’t know) from the city to get rid of anything you didn’t want. Spring cleaning. It was mid April. And quite glorious, all this junk piled in the street. It reminded you of something you had read. Some tribe that took everything from their huts every spring and burned it all in a pile. Then started anew.

You respected the city (you had respected everything Hungarian before you’d even gotten there) for leaving the junk out, for at least two days or three, for whoever wanted to pick through and find something. A fine day for Gypsies! you thought with some amusement. People went about the city with cars pulling trailers, finding treasures. At first you were too shy. I don’t know the customs, you thought. Maybe only Gypsies are allowed to take stuff, and besides my little apartment off the Gypsy courtyard is fully furnished-overly furnished-and you didn’t know how long you’d be there.

Then you saw a broom. They had given you a mop but not a broom. You needed one, it was true. And then you noticed that everyone was taking things, not just those with brown skin and dark eyes (though lots of people in America have brown skin and dark eyes, so how were you, an American, to know a Gypsy?) and this filled you with respect and warmth. Yes I may take something, you thought and you were elated, floating down the street with your broom, with its old bent half-gone bristles, that you knew would fall out the first time you used it.

That was the beginning. There were old chairs, some beautiful, but you didn’t need those. Then you thought of a terrace! You had admired the old lady’s, with its rainbow umbrella and reclining chair. And certainly you shouldn’t bring out the tourist apartment furniture, it might get rained on or stolen (people were always coming in and out of that courtyard) and it would be disrespectful even. So, yes! you found a soft old chair, though not a recliner, and looked for an umbrella, as the old woman certainly knew how to build a terrace in that Gypsy courtyard! And maybe just an old table… but you wondered…. There were people lingering, some digging (these ones you knew were Gypsies, almost for sure) near this pile with the old table. Other Gypsies nearby had things gathered to them. Perhaps they rightfully owned all of it!? Everything in the street may be rightfully theirs! You were always one to respect proprieties….

But you were almost sure, nearly sure, that there was a distinction. People lingering near piles or digging as opposed to people with things gathered to themselves. There was a distinction, you were almost sure of it. So you took a chance, and nervously took hold of a table, by the leg, and waited a moment. You weren’t just going to run off with it. It was a small dirty table, just right for a little terrace, opposite the old woman with the grand terrace. You walked away slowly, whistling, waiting to be followed, chased, you rehearsed in your head an apology. “Bow-cha-shon mey. Shoy-nosh.” Would someone still want to fight with you? Even with an apology, said correctly in the native tongue? Well, if they didn’t take a polite apology that wasn’t your fault, you could fight, you supposed….

But that didn’t happen. And then you were sitting at your little terrace, quite a comfortable little chair it was and the old woman approached you. You hoped she would tell your fortune.

She didn’t speak English, and you used your Hungarian phrases. You were proud of how quickly you had learned them. “Shoy-nosh. Beh-say-lick chak ed-ya kiss mad-ya-rool. Ah-meh-ree-kah-ee vod-yok.” But she kept talking Hungarian though you knew you had said it right. You wished you remembered how to say “I don’t understand,” it was in your notebook, you almost remembered. But maybe it didn’t matter. She would talk anyway.

She gave you Christian pamphlets. You wanted to think they were elaborate advertisements for her fortune telling. But they weren’t. You knew as soon as she gave them to you. She knew the word “God” in English. It’s true you were disappointed.

She went away and brought you some food. Then she opened her mouth to show you that she had no teeth. This, too, filled you with warmth and respect. Certainly you worried about your own teeth.

Of course you wondered if the food might be poisoned, so you looked at her eyes. No no innocent eyes. Of course you can’t know for sure, but you were hungry, (so she read my mind after all! you thought, and you thought this was funny, because you were always hungry) and you can’t go around insulting people who bring you food by not eating it. And you would know, you thought, if it was poisoned, you would just know, and if not, what really matters?

She went away. You said “Keh-sa-nom keh-sa-nom ser-voos” and really it was very tasty.

When you were done the cat came back, the one who had been your best friend. He was always flitting around, never peaceful and still. Though he always said hello, that was enough, though a bit stressfully it’s true. You wished he was a peaceful cat and would sit in your lap. That would be better for you both. He must be young, you thought, and you thought again about your age and your teeth.

And you wished you still had a piece left for him. And you thought about how you had up and left everything once again. Erased everything. But now it didn’t feel so bad. Maybe I’m not mentally ill, you thought. The old lady had said I was good. I had understood that much. And the cat had said it too.

 

William K Hugel dropped out of college seventeen years ago to dedicate himself to writing, drinking, dancing and all other forms of degradation that lead to good fiction. Among his proudest accomplishments are the play DEMONS, which recently had a reading at The Hive Theatre in NYC; his novella Napoleon: The Boy who Found a War, which was shortlisted for the Faulkner/Wisdom award as a novel-in- progress; and a collection of self-published, handmade original fairy tales, which he wrote after experiencing the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. The first of these, “Beautiful Wild Rose Girl” was awarded a Gold Medal by Children’s Literary Classics International Book Awards.

Website: www.williamhugel.com

Twitter: @wkhugel

Poetry by Harry Calhoun

Acrophobia

for Trina

 

by Harry Calhoun

 

 

I don’t mind airplanes. I probably wouldn’t mind outer space.

But real heights, above ground here on earth, scare

my knuckles white. Walking or driving over bridges. Even stepladders.

My palms sweat looking off the third floor or higher of any building.

 

I don’t mind God. I probably might end up in heaven or hell.

But the in between, here on earth, is spent driving, looking

hopeful up to God or fearful down from bridges when it’s better

to keep focused on the road. Heights above or below are so distractful.

 

I don’t fear love. Well, yes I do. There’s no higher place to be.

But with you, there is no other place to be. I look down from what

we’ve built and sometimes I fear, but I look up in your eyes and I know

I wouldn’t mind outer space. This is where I find heaven.

 

Meniscus

 

by Harry Calhoun

 

Crescent, the milky icicle breaking

the top of the glass, my hands shaking

a little as I toast you and what once was us.

 

Consent, in a royal jar placed high

on a sacred plate on the unreachable shelf

that overlooks what I thought to be you.

 

Meniscus, surface tension; someone moves

suddenly or simply waits for evaporation

and it spills over or disappears. But it’s never

 

an illusion. Worse, the cream of liquid  wing soaring

atop the full goblet of our dreams, clipped

by a sudden movement, slow erosion or

 

 

the horrible god of indifference.
 
 

The Microcosm of Coffee Grounds

 
by Harry Calhoun

 

I
 

The sound of brewing as sparkling as God waking

his children with bright bubbles. Dark brown magic

pouring into the pot, into the cup, into the soul,

lifting a world of kitchen, bedroom and office.

 

Hours later, the grounds are sludge slung

over eggshells into the garbage can, washed

like a dirty memory or spoor of shame spiraling

down the kitchen drain. A dirty job that somebody’s got to do.

 

II

 

I woke each day to sunshine, at least that’s what

a boy remembers, and the bright sunny collie tan and white

waiting out in the yard, and the aroma of my parents’ coffee,

and eggs on the table and running out to meet my collie.

 

Years pass. My daddy didn’t know any better, or worse yet

he did. He let my mama die. She was old and crazy. She fought

with the men who came to take her to the hospital. He called me

from far away as if there was something I could do. There wasn’t.

 

III

 

I’m on the beach in Key West with the minister and the woman

I’m marrying. We’re going to be happy for a long time. It’s a love

full of laughter and pet names and our first house together and friends

and another dog. I am so happy but the dog is aggressive and I got depressed.

 

She left, my fault, her fault, and booze I thought was the only friend

that would understand me, and when we met it slapped me down hard,

so hard I couldn’t walk, and I crawled out of the hospital and she let me

back in and damned if I didn’t do it again. Time to wake up.
 

IV

 

Wake up and smell the coffee. First I clean the grounds from the filter,

measure the coffee and the cool clear water. Nothing we can do

with the past but learn from it, remember the good and work

with the bad we can change. Get rid of the grounds, so to speak,

 

and work with new coffee. I think of my mom and dad, both passed

now, before the happy percolating breaks my thoughts. My wife smiles

as I carry our full-bodied chocolate brew into the bedroom, into another chance

to realize the enduring chill of what passes, the bright sweet caffeine jolt,

 

the absolute holiness of crafting each day with love

from the dregs of yesterday.
 
 

Of the Creeks, the Baying Dogs

 

by Harry Calhoun

 

I remember flyfishing with my father on foggy mornings

on Pennsylvania creeks. And today my black Labs

with much hound mixed in strut undomesticated

from my wooded backlot to claim the back deck

 

with wildness, yowling that if I would understand

I might become werewolf, and I wish in some part

I could. As I wish I could stake some misty claim

beyond my father’s death and angle again those foggy banks,

 

to become the wild and the dead and the deathless,

the ineffable and feral beloved eternal and mortal.

My lover my wife beside me wished eternal and hoped forever

the father my parent wished eternal and gone forever

 

communication, dog, human, lycanthrope, struggle,

this I howl and the moon rises, I do not know which

comes first, as I have only this my fierce love and this

strange and wild poetry that rises in my breast.

 

 

Harry Calhoun has had work published in hundreds of poetry journals and more than a dozen books and chapbooks over the past three decades. His career has included Pushcart nominations, two Sundress Best of the Net nominations and publications in AbbeyOrange Room Review, Flutter Poetry Journal, Faircloth Review, Thunder Sandwich, Lily and others. Book publications have included I knew Bukowski like you knew a rare leaf and The Black Dog and the Road. In 2011, Flutter Press published his chapbook The Insomnia Poems. 2012 was an exceedingly good year, with the publication of the limited-edition chapbook Maintenance and Deaththe chapbook of love poems,How Love Conquers the Worldand the collection of poems from the ‘80s and ’90s called Retro, Maintenance and Death has now gone to a second edition. The chapbook Failure is Unimportant came out on Flutter in 2013 and a full-length poetry book, Alarmed in Space and other poems, has been accepted by Unbound Content for release in early 2015. Harry lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife Trina and his dogs Hamlet and Harriet.

Microfiction by Kyle Hemmings

Dog Days

The terrorist with no name  declared that the world would end  in approximately 26 minutes.

The little girl with an incurable ill  faded into her mother’s garden flowers.  The mechanical doll, a hand-me-down  from parched-lip daughters, her mother’s  side, rose from the floor, disrobed

in the mirror, and said “You are beautiful!”  She climbed to the window and jumped.  The core within the core of the earth  stopped ticking. A piece of plastic  melted 94 million miles from the sun.

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Poetry by Elizabeth Copeland

 

Elizabeth w_ hatElizabeth Copeland is a writer, theatre artist and arts educator who lives in Northeastern New Brunswick, Canada. She writes long and short works of fiction, poetry, plays and impassioned letters to the editor. Her works have been published or are forthcoming in: Circa: The Journal of Historical Fiction, Forge Journal, Bread ‘n Molasses, The Lorelei Signal, So to Speak and Aquille Relle. Her novella, JAZZ, will be published by Quattro Books in the fall of 2014, and her novel, TRAEH GNUL, won the 2014 Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick Y.A. fiction prize. She lives near Miramichi Bay in a little house in the woods with her composer husband, Glenn.

The Sound that Fish Make and Other Poems by Joan Colby

GHAZAL


A snail can sleep three years in the sediment of a garden.
I awaken again and again for no reason, turn on a light.


The petunias have relinquished their hold on summer.
I walk in moonlight, surveying withered bloom.


From the shadowed pasture, a red fox barks
I see a glow of eyes like ghostly lanterns.
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End-Of-Course Evaluation by Kenneth Nichols

END-OF-COURSE EVALUATION

LEDFORD COLLEGE

ENGLISH 175

Instructor: Chase Andrews

Semester: Fall ’15 

Meeting Time: T/R 9.30 – 11.15 and many appointments

This questionnaire is a confidential way for you to evaluate your English 175 course and its instructor. Your comments will be reviewed by department administrators and the class instructor after student grades are turned in. Please provide a thoughtful response, as these comments assist in making decisions regarding tenure, pay raises and other important personnel matters.

  1. Please explain how this course helped (or did not help) you become a better writer.
    Mr. Andrews definitely expanded my horizons. For the first time, I really GOT The Great Gatsby. I’m a better writer because I’m more aware of the world around me, and not just because Mr. Andrews took my virginity on October 9th.
  2. Please comment on which of the major writing assignments provided the most valuable learning experience for you.

    I learned the most from filling out the medical questionnaire at Planned Parenthood. Until then, I never thought I could be a statistic. Writing the check taught me a lot, too; I forgot that my parents still get a copy of my bank statement.

  3. To what extent and in what ways were the texts and other materials used in the course appropriate, helpful, interesting and challenging?
    I hardly think his coded e-mails were appropriate. (He was SnarkleBear1996 because it sounds like a teenager’s e-mail address; something that couldn’t easily be connected to a 35-year-old professor. He addressed me as “Anne” and “Miss Shirley” because I’ve always loved the L.M. Montgomery novels.)

    Helpful – the cash he gave me for the procedure.

    Interesting – were the sob stories about his abusive ex-wife told by an unreliable narrator?

    Challenging – making love to the classic rock he blared so his neighbors wouldn’t hear us.

  4. Please describe how the course helped you to develop your critical thinking and analytical skills.

    The course has allowed me to pluck small, seemingly unconnected details from a work and to connect them in a logical manner. After the first few weeks of class, Mr. Andrews stopped calling on me. Analytically, it’s apparent that he didn’t want to drop any hints to the other students. He’d be terrible at poker; he has a terrible tell. When lying, he avoids eye contact and twiddles his right thumb and forefinger. I’ll bet he’s doing it right now as you read this to him in some meeting.

  5. Please comment on the extent to which the workload for the course was reasonable and appropriate.

    Mr. Andrews is insatiable and I suppose I would have appreciated it more if I had had more experience. “I’m still sore there” does not mean “Bug me until I grudgingly let you pound away.”

  6. How effective was the instructor?

     Honestly, now. I don’t want to give Mr. Andrews too much credit for effectiveness. After all, I was a healthy 19-year-old woman in her reproductive prime. It’s not that hard to slip the puck into that goal. But he does get creativity points for convincing me he was allergic to latex.

  7. How satisfied are you with the work you did for this course in terms of your commitment to the course, your contribution to the class, your own judgment of your written work, etc.?

     I guess I got what I wanted when I signed up for the class. I learned a lot about life. I learned that a woman must put up with a lot from a man. (A bedroom filled with creepy velvet paintings, shoulder hair (that’s a thing!?!?!) and what may have been an unfinished circumcision.) You can’t say I wasn’t dedicated.

  8. Please offer any comments or suggestions for improving this course.

     Mr. Andrews should advise future coeds that, while the odds are remote, the procedure carries the risk of cervical damage. (My first pregnancy was my last.)

    I should wrap this up. The suckup who volunteered to bring these to the English Department is getting impatient because I’ve been writing for so long. As a comment, I’d like to thank the college for these anonymous evaluations that go straight to the administrators.   I’m not coming out in public with any of this until I can be sure I have the school’s support. If you want to do something about it, you’ll figure out who I am.

Kenneth Nichols teaches writing at two colleges in Central New York. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from Ohio State.  (Go Bucks!)  His work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications including Main Street RagLunch TicketPrime NumberSkeptical Inquirer, the Tin House blog and PopMatters. Further, he reviews literary journals for NewPages and 1.5 sentences of his work for the Not For Tourists Guide to Queens was quoted in The New Yorker. You can visit him online at greatwriterssteal.com.

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