The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Page 2 of 45

“After Eliza,” a short story by Tom Gartner

Eliza said once that she couldn’t imagine not being in love with me.  Seems her imagination was faulty, though, because now, not only is she not in love with me any more, she doesn’t return my calls, my emails, my letters.  I’m not sure what would happen if we ran into each other by accident. I’m guessing she’d force a smile, stop for a minute and talk, then frown and say she was late for something.  But I’ve been wrong about her so many times. It’s possible she’d just purse her lips, tighten her shoulders, look away from me, and keep on walking.

When she said that, we were in her apartment, a shabby little cave in the Sunset District of San Francisco.  This was a year ago, six months before we broke up. November. We’d just gotten back from a camping trip to Yosemite, and she was sick.  She’d gotten laid off. She had student loans the size of Everest. The apartment was freezing, with only a time bomb of a space heater to warm it up.  Mice had chewed holes in everything chewable and left miniature turds all over. Her books, her clothes, her papers, her CDs were scattered around like fallen leaves.  She hated the apartment, was desperately ashamed of it. But we were snuggled in her bed under two quilts, our clothes still damp from Yosemite snow, completely lost in each other.  Her skin was hot with fever, and she couldn’t stop coughing. She wanted to make love.

And she said that.  She couldn’t imagine not being in love with me.  I guess at the time I was the only thing going right in her life.  As for my life—maybe she wasn’t the only thing going right, but she was the only one that mattered. Continue reading

Book Review: Any Man by Amber Tamblyn

Review by E. Kirshe

Reading a book like Any Man is a test of endurance. It’s harsh in many of the right ways, the subject matter hard to swallow, the descriptions rough and raw, and has characters real enough to be heartbreaking. There is no denying Amber Tamblyn’s skill and creativity- the book is experimentally formatted using prose, poetry, tweets, and negative space to tell the story. The moral, however, is one I keep feeling I’ve missed the point of.

 

Any Man is told from the point of view of the male survivors of a vicious female serial rapist.

 

Broken down, it’s a well done story. The points Tamblyn makes about American sensationalist culture, our treatment of  rape survivors, overall rape culture and even our notions of who can be a victim are all solid. Continue reading

“La Bestia,” a short story by Teresa Tellekamp

“Mexicans have it easy. They just have to cross the northern border. We Central Americans have to cross Mexico.”

Florencio chuckles and lifts his left nub, his casualty from riding La Bestia, the freight train that runs across the southern border into Mexico and toward the U.S. Mexican border.

Florencio is Guatemalan. He has two young sons that accompanied him on the journey to Mexico. Robín is fourteen. Everyone calls him Leonito, the little lion. As a baby he used to growl in his sleep like a wildcat. Davíd is twelve. He is a head taller than his older brother, and wears a faded blue New York Mets hat every day over his mess of black curls. The boys are asleep between their father’s legs, propped up against each other for extra support to keep from rolling over the sides of La Bestia as it makes sharp, winding turns through the trees.

“¡La rama, la rama, la rama!” Continue reading

“Endings,” an essay by Pamela S. Carter

Sometimes I see scenes from my life like a long, disjointed movie on which the credits should have rolled hours ago. But it just keeps going, at least for now. Still, my lifetime, like the life cycles of the ash trees in my backyard, is finite. My trees, although a year or two younger than I am, are at the end of their life cycles, according to an arborist who came out to determine why they looked so poorly this fall. He recommends cutting them down and replacing them with young catalpa trees, but I am torn. It will take years for the new trees to provide the shade the old ones do now, and I don’t want to leave my son John, who will inherit this house, with the cost and worry of taking down the ash trees. The trees are living beings but not sentient, as far as I know, so I assume they have no sense of their impending end of days.

Damn those trees. Until this fall I always took them—and their shade—for granted. I even planted a garden of shade-loving plants beneath the shelter created by the giant canopy of the tree on the north side of the house. But then I believed Paul, my third husband and the love of my life, would live forever. He certainly seemed invincible. In his sixties he had low blood pressure, even lower cholesterol, and the sex drive of a teenager. He shoveled snow, raked leaves, kept the yard weeded, and built every stick of furniture in our house—right up till he developed a pain in his right upper abdominal cavity in the spring of 2014. He went to the doctor in July, spent the summer months undergoing tests, was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in late October, and died in the predawn darkness of November 7, 2014. It happened too fast for me to comprehend. Continue reading

Poetry by Annie Blake

She is a Meat-Eating Carousel

children love riding them      i am part of the game too

but i’m trying to be a bit more civil      

i have a megalodon jaw      but i only ever touch potato      

we are devices that rotate      like the hands of a clock

its face only as wide as earth      i wonder if i will live long enough     

to survive Continue reading

Book Review: “The Hatch” by Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher’s The Hatch contemplates the mystery of human consciousness through a series of narrative poems constructed in a gradually developing, non-linear collection of verse and prose pieces overflowing with morbidity, misdirection and disconcertion. Not for the faint of heart, The Hatch immerses its reader in an expansive environment resultant of Fletcher’s painstaking efforts to ensure that every detail has the power to incite apprehension and morbid curiosity.

An aspect of the collection that really shines out is the world built within its pages. Every poem Fletcher includes adds to the conceptualization of a realm outside of geography, time or physical law. He achieves this effect through the introduction of temporary characters and lore such as in his poem “Isaiah”, and the manufacturing of a linguistic flow that takes the reader through a chronologically warped series of sensory imagery like in “Saturn Day” or “The Vegetable Staticks”. Continue reading

“Sisters,” a short story by Susan Eve Haar

Galveston, 1942

 

“Four fours,” Zoe says softly, her voice insinuating that she’s lying. This is one of the problems with playing liar’s poker with Zoe; she always sounds like she’s making things up. She even looks like an actress, leaning on her elbow in her pink gingham halter and culottes, her eyes shrouded in sunglasses although the sun is setting.

Annie sighs. It’s still hot, and the humidity is so dense that the oleanders’ leaves are beaded with moisture. Annie holds her dollar bill hard against her chest. She knows the numbers and letters on the bill without looking. Zoe could be trying to peek, even though she has her head turned casually.

“Four fours. Are you asleep?”

Annie snores in response.

“Little red pig,” Zoe says, slapping at her. Zoe is probably faking. Or maybe she has two fours and assumes Annie has two. Annie does have two fours, and Zoe could know. Even without cheating. Continue reading

Poetry by Dean Baltesson

Affairs Of Snow

The snow lies

in tarnished piles

of moonlight

pushed aside from

sidewalk and step

 

you prepared this exit

light drowning from your window

leaving me to wander

the poor brick

of the neighbourhood

 

for all this uprooted winter

had I not been captive

to mysterious seductions

I might still walk lightly

on pure snow.

Continue reading

BookCon 2018 Recap

Left to right: Marie Lu, Nicola Yoon, Nic Stone, Kiersten White, M.J. Franklin

Sad you missed BookCon? Here are some more highlights! Check out more of our coverage here.

Fierce and Fabulous

“#1 asking for permission and #2 apologizing for taking up space. I’m not apologizing for taking up space anymore. My main fear for writing the two girls in this book is that I would make them too soft. I don’t want them to apologize for taking up space, I don’t want to subconsciously write female characters who are shy, who are soft, just because I’ve been taught that’s what women are supposed to be.” Nic Stone

Continue reading

Prose to Panel: How the Writing Pros at Marvel Create a Comic

BookCon 2018

Left to Right: Lorraine Cink, Charles Soule, Brandon T. Snider, Rainbow Rowell

On Sunday at Book Con Marvel Writers Rainbow Rowell (Runaways), Charles Soule (Daredevil, Hunt for Wolverine) and Brandon T. Snider (Grow Up, Ant-Man!) joined in conversation with moderator and author Lorraine Cink (Powers of a Girl) to discuss their work and creative processes.

Rainbow Rowell is author of notable YA books like Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. As a fangirl herself, she says making the switch from novels to comics was easy:

“It’s been a real delight for me. I’m a longtime comics reader, if you’ve read my books you know that comics often show up in my books because it’s been an important part of my reading life and Runways was my all time favorite Marvel comic.” Continue reading

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