The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Month: December 2014

Five people you won’t believe were in Dr Who!!

By Philip J Kaplan


Five people you won’t believe were in DR Who.

1) Tim Witherspoon, DAY OF THE DALEK.

Tim Witherspoon is known as “plumber to the stars.”  He is known for snaking Robert Deniro’s backyard drain, replacing two of Snooki’s sinks, and fixing Mel Gibson’s leaking toilet.  As a favor to Tina Fey, Tim appeared in DAY OF THE DALEK.  Seen here with Russel Crowe.




Sheila O’Lancey made her debut in the sit-com, FOOT BLISTERS (1987) where she stole the show as the Foreign Customer.  She’s had other memorable roles playing the Shocked customer in TWISTED ANKLE (1987), the Alarmed Customer in BUNIONS (1987), and the Dismayed Customer in LEG CRAMPS (1987).  She appeared in the classic Dr. Who episode, NIGHTMARE IN SILVER, seen here to the right of Jennifer Lawrence.

Nightmare in Silver


Before Amet became a singing sensation in Belorussia, he appeared in the recently rediscovered episode THE WEB OF FEAR (1968).  Even today Amet cannot leave the concert stage without reprising his Dr. Who, catch phrase, “Yrgggghhhh.” In this picture you can see Amet in the middle, between Elvis Presley and Groucho Marx.



John appeared in 6000 episodes of the famed Scottish TV show, HUNTERS LODGE.  John played The Talisman, who would read the liver of each slain animal and proclaim the God’s verdict.  Swammer successfully predicted the collapse of the Spanish economy, that Kale would be the next food trend, and that Anthony Weiner’s career would end over sexting.  Sadly, he died in 2012, in a freak submarine/balloon accident.  Swammer is seen here behind Joan Rivers.


5) 75 Tottingham Road.  DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE

75 appeared in all 9 of the Harry Potter Movies, 7 James Bond films, and was also the scene of the Tottingham Road Killing (1975).  At age 214 Tot, as 75 Tottingham Road is affectionately known, is going stronger than ever.  In this picture, inside Tot we can see Beyonce, Vice President Joe Biden, and Taylor Swift on both the first and second floor.


You won’t believe these facts about President Dwight David Eisenhower


1) Eisenhower invented the phrase, “That’s what she said.”
2) The Lunar eclipse of August 12th, 1956 was cancelled because of an order from then President Eisenhower.
3) Eisenhower is the only President who is visible from space.

4) When filled with helium, Eisenhower expanded to three times his normal size and crushed houses.
5) Upon retirement Eisenhower lived in a hollowed out Spaghetti Squash, in Humbagumba, West Carolina.  His wife Mamie lived in Southeast Carolina, in a house with 300 doors.


Five things you didn’t know about the movie CASABLANCA unless you watched it.

1) The main character is named Rick.

2) Sam’s musical instrument is the piano

3) The film was set in World War II and filmed during World War II.  Incredibly, they did not yet know who would win the war.

4) Ilsa does not carry a cellphone.

5) If you look carefully you will see a cameo by famed movie actor Humphrey Bogart.

Philip J Kaplan
( is a playwright living in Brooklyn.  His full length comedy THE CUPCAKE CONSPIRACY (written with C.J. Ehrlich) will premiere this January at Rover Dramawerks

“A Brief History of the Marriage Vow” by Glen Armstrong

A Brief History of the Marriage Vow

The idea is to get the bride and groom to float toward each other, defying the layers of clothing they have rented. The idea is to obscure the idea with ritual, organ music and flowers, deifying the silence that, though brief, truly heralds their commitment. In this smallest of pauses before the ceremony, they have no idea. No lips. No history. No one breathes as a man trained in all things uncertain guides the trembling couple toward new uses for their mouths.


Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He also edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters.


Things That Make Us Furious: Lying to Children

By the Furious Gazelle editors


It’s that time of the year again, when adults tell children that reindeer are mythical animals, but that Santa is real.

Back in the day, other kids delighted in telling me that I wouldn’t get a visit from Santa because I’m a Jew. I delighted in telling them that they wouldn’t either because he’s imaginary, how do you still believe in him you’re 7? It did not go over well. Can you blame me? My fellow seven year olds were spouting lies to my face. And believing in Santa for too long makes you look dumb– I was being helpful.

In retrospect, it wasn’t those kids’ fault. It was their parents’.

I know what you’re saying: lying to children can be fun, and hilarious. They are so easily confused by the world. Friends, I agree. Just the other day I told a toddler that I would give him a piece of candy, and instead I punched him on the nose. And we had a great laugh about it.

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“You Descend Like Rain” and “At the Observatory” from Love Poems by Charles Bane

This post concludes the Furious Gazelle’s serialization of Charles Bane’s new book of poetry, Love Poems. You can find the rest of Love Poems here.

You Descend Like Rain

You descend like rain
on fleece and I am
a second hand circling
nights around your
face. Bowed in sleep
you form in clusters
past the window ledge
and burrowing deeper in
the sheets set fires.

At the Observatory

At the observatory, I can
watch all the water mills
of galaxies. I deny every
injury in me and long to see
not backward but to forward
cliffs. I think the consequence
of you is written into the structures
we cannot know but by candles
in our room. Do you unfurl for
me? No, rather it is starry in your
eyes naturally and I want you
to order all the murdering
unstained from paper histories.
I deny sacredness
not born of your womb,
your hair the thousand
gestures of lovingness that
fall in gravity.

Charles Bane, Jr. is the American author of The Chapbook (Curbside Splendor, 2011) and Love Poems (Kelsay Books, 2014). His work was described by the Huffington Post as “not only standing on the shoulders of giants, but shrinking them.” A writing contributor for The Gutenberg Project, he is a current nominee as Poet Laureate of Florida.

Q&A With Megan O’Russell

The Furious Gazelle spoke with author Megan O’Russell about her recent novel, The Tethering, and her upcoming short story in Athena’s Daughter’s II, and what makes her furious.


Q: The Tethering is your first novel. Where did the inspiration to write it come from, and what was the process of writing it like?

The TetheringThe process for writing The Tethering was a little strange and not something I would necessarily repeat. The idea for The Tethering came from a little boy waiting in a window for a girl to come back. I don’t really remember why that image came to me, but I needed to find out more about the boy. I wrote a scene and then another scene, and after a lot of revisions and changes, The Tethering was born. In projects since The Tethering, I’ve kept much closer track of what I’ve written so I don’t rewrite the same information ten times. I’m still finding the process that works best for me.


Q: Your upcoming short story in Athena’s Daughter’s II is based on the world of the Tethering. What were some of the challenges you faced creating a new story in the same world? Do you have plans to return to the Tethering world again?

My story in Athena’s Daughters 2, “At the Corner of the Garden Wall,” actually takes place during The Tethering. And if you read both stories, it is easy to see where the two line up. Claire, the girl featured in “At the Corner of the Garden Wall,” is a secondary character in The Tethering, but I have been told many times that everyone wants to know more about her. This story is Claire’s chance to have an adventure all her own. The biggest challenge was deciding what parts of the world of The Tethering were really necessary for the short story. If I had tried to explain everything about how magic works in “At the Corner of the Garden Wall,” I wouldn’t have had room for the actual story. I also had to refrain from getting too in depth with the setting. I know who lives where in the house, but the readers don’t need that information. So it all had to be cut.

And as for returning to The Tethering, book two in the four part series, The Siren’s Realm, will be available for preorder in February, so I am very much still in the world of The Tethering.

Q: How do you approach world building? When you started writing The Tethering, how much of the world did you plan out before you started writing?

I knew what I wanted. I wanted wizards to mix with our world. I didn’t want them to be separated from us. I wanted readers to believe that the sewer grate at the end of the street might be exploding because of magic. Figuring out the how and the why of it all was one of my greatest joys in writing the series.

Q: Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote? What was it about and when did you write it?

I wrote a middle grade fantasy novel when I was in high school. I’m an actor by trade, and I wrote the story backstage during King Lear. I think writing and acting really go hand in hand. They are both wonderful forms of storytelling. And I am so grateful to have the opportunity to follow both passions.

Q: What are some of the books that you read growing up? How do you think they influenced your later writing, if they did?

I was such an avid reader my parents had to use both of their library cards so I could have enough books to only go to the library once a week. One of my favorite authors was Madeline L’Engle. I think from her writing I not only took away a sense of wonder, but also the desire to let my characters be who they need to be, even if I have to write another story for them to have that opportunity.

Q: What makes you furious about the lack of female science-fiction and fantasy authors published? How do you think we can increase representation of women in sci-fi and fantasy?

When I was looking for a home for The Tethering, the publisher I worked with briefly before Silence in the Library didn’t understand that the story was about more than romance. All they could see was the boy and the girl. The magic meant nothing to them. I was lucky enough to have a supportive editor who didn’t try to make me cut all the fantasy elements from The Tethering, but it was still rough. Because I am a woman, and there was love in my book, all it was to them was a romance. Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean all I can write is teenage angst. And just because a boy loves a girl doesn’t mean there isn’t more to the story.

I am so grateful I found Silence in the Library and a true home for The Tethering. I am also thrilled to be a part of a project that strives to give more women a voice in fantasy and science-fiction. I think the best thing we can do to increase representation of women in sci-fi and fantasy is to support more projects like Athena’s Daughters 2. The only way for women to find their voice is to be given the chance to speak.


Megan O’Russell is thrilled to be publishing At the Corner of the Garden Wall with Silence in the Library. At the Corner of the Garden Wall is a part of The Tethering series, book one of which is currently available from SitL. And if you read The Tethering closely, you’ll find the night on which the adventure in the garden happens. Originally from New York, Megan is a professional actress who spends her time traveling the country for different shows. When not on stage or writing, Megan spends time with her beloved ukulele and her wonderful husband. To follow Megan’s writing adventures, you can visit her website at

Add The Tethering to your Goodreads list at

Athena’s Daughters II is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter.

Follow Megan O’Russell on Facebook at or on Twitter @MeganORussell

The Wake-Up Call by Roy Proctor

Click here to read The Wake-Up Call, a ten-minute play by Roy Proctor.

© Roy Proctor 2014

Roy Proctor, a native of Thomasville, N.C.,  has completed three full-length plays and 36 short plays since he turned to playwriting 2 ½ years ago after a 30-year career as the staff theater and art critic on the two daily newspapers in Richmond, Va. His plays have been presented in Cambridge, England; Cardiff, Wales; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Richmond; New Orleans, La.; and points in between. Short plays from his 12-play cycle of adaptations of Chekhov short stories were presented this summer in Richmond, Raleigh, N.C., and Edinboro, Pa. He lives in Richmond and is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

            Unlike Proctor’s other plays, “The Wake-Up Call” draws directly on his experience as a theater critic. “Phone calls to critics from irate, sometimes drunken, often verbally abusive actors in the wee hours are not uncommon,” Proctor says. “I usually put up with them to the extent that I respected the talent of the caller. I have a profound respect for actors as a group. They make financial and other sacrifices for the public good that I, as a journalist with a steady paycheck and other job security, would never have been willing to make.”

            Proctor can be reached at to discuss rights for production of “The Wake-Up Call.”  

“Undying Light” from Love Poems by Charles Bane

The Furious Gazelle is continuing to serialize Charles Bane’s new book of poetry, Love Poems. You can find more of his poetry here.

Undying Light

Undying light, undying
words that carry into
times to come the
power of undying such as
we, who loved and
fell. Spilling like
wine from the largest
skins, or clouds holding
seas. Beloved, all the
surface wears away the
stones of fear that stand
in the way of running
streams and the cupped
hands of explorers drink
cold and thirsty when
they kneel. Only mystics
see, but the air is charged
and forked and I have always
known what is written in
me is you, again and
again, repeatedly.

Charles Bane, Jr. is the American author of The Chapbook (Curbside Splendor, 2011) and Love Poems (Kelsay Books, 2014). His work was described by the Huffington Post as “not only standing on the shoulders of giants, but shrinking them.” A writing contributor for The Gutenberg Project, he is a current nominee as Poet Laureate of Florida.

Poetry by Caitlin Johnson

Elizabeth R.

A redhead. A queen. A woman.

Yes, she is me, and no:

no one’s woman, someone’s queen, sometime redhead.


Every day a society to conquer, a territory to annex.

Gold in my eyes, on my fingers, in my coffers.


Storm Season

Summer nights so hot even the rain

can’t cool us down, & steam radiates

from the asphalt, like the fog

we get in winter, yet more sinister

somehow, billowing the way it does.

All we want is bare feet, but we

can’t risk burning our toes. I don’t know

how the toads survive it, their tiny

bumpy bodies absorbing what the sun

left behind before the clouds rolled in.

Thunder keeps rumbling.


Susannah, I’m Sorry

I couldn’t be your mother.

The specter of you follows me

through unexpected doorways,

like when I look at the man I wanted

as your father & am tempted to say,

“Go ahead. Knock me up.”

But I promise it’s better for you

that you’ll never be born

or incubated

or even conceived.

You see, Susannah, I wouldn’t be able

to love you, because I would be too afraid

a mysterious impulse would float

into my brain, begging me to make a ghost

out of your tiny, breakable, pale-skinned body.

At best, I’d have to abandon you,

leaving you to be raised by anyone

other than me.

At worst–well, let’s just say

you and I would be buried together.

Susannah, it’s not your fault.

I want you & your sister Dominique.

I do. But what I don’t want

is the haunted look I’ll see in my own eyes

in the mirror, the face of a woman

who still feels like a girl & is just selfish

enough to contemplate disappearing

so I can go live the life I planned,

& then I’ll be an apparition of the mother

you deserve: wandering the roads at night,

asking to be spirited away

to escape your midnight howls.


Caitlin Johnson holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Lesley University. Her work has appeared in Boston Poetry Magazine, Clare Literary Journal, Eternal Haunted Summer, Fortunates, Momoware, Pembroke Magazine, Vagina: The Zine, and What the Fiction, among other outlets, and is forthcoming in Baseline Literary Arts Journal and Stoneboat Literary Journal. She can be found online at


STRUCK by Scott Tobin

© Scott Tobin 2014

Cast of Characters

SYLVIA                        40’s, a suburban mom

JESSICA                      20’s, a graphic designer


The middle of the road in Lower East Side, NY, early morning


(LIGHTS UP. JESSICA is lying in the middle of the road, unconscious and wearing her rollerblades. SYLVIA is standing above Jessica, frantic. The grill from her car is a few feet behind them.)


Oh my God, I’m sorry, I am so sorry. Please wake up, please. Please! HELP! HELP HERE! SOMEONE PLEASE! Oh Miss. Please Miss, don’t do this to me. I can’t believe this. Listen, this wasn’t entirely my fault. You were going way too fast. And where’s your helmet? That’s not my fault at all. I tried stopping short but my heel got caught on the gas pedal. But you’re just as responsible for getting hit by my car as I am. Miss, come on, don’t do this to me. I don’t want this on my conscience. I didn’t start the day off planning on manslaughter. Mike’s going to kill me. The cops are going to take my license away. Ha. I’m worried about my license? What about jail? And what about the guilt? Huh? What about that? Living with all the guilt. It took me four years to get over crushing that squirrel. And how is little Bradford going to handle this. His mommy is now a murderer. The other kids are going to make his life a living hell. They’ll taunt him. I can hear it now. “Bradford’s Mom’s a Murderer, Bradford’s Mom’s a Murderer!” He hates me enough as it is for that Barney backpack. Jesus, I’ll have to move. The suburbs is no place for a female murderer. I’ll have to move to the city. Don’t do this to me. Wake up, dammit. Wake–yourself—up!

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