The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Category: Writing (page 1 of 43)

“Weekly,” by Jonathan Kravetz

Matt pushes open the rear door to the office and creeps across the floor in torn jeans and a flannel shirt.  He wipes his nose on his sleeve and peers through the square hole separating the front office from editorial.  He clenches his teeth against the bitter air, but can’t discern any sounds except the light tapping of a keyboard and the radiator clicking.  Then a woman’s voice and then another buzzes like a radio going in and out of tune.  Leaning closer, he attempts to translate the sounds into language, but can only make out hard k’s and soft s’s.  One of them is Jean, his editor, and the other is Mary Ellen, the 25-year old receptionist.  His girlfriend.  Maybe they’re talking about the weather or the details for an important delivery, but Mary Ellen’s face, when he saw her a moment earlier through the front glass window, had the look of someone sharing important secrets.  A chair scrapes against wood and Matt abruptly steps backwards, careens over Jean’s desk, and crashes into her chair, spilling it on its side.  He rushes to his own desk and turns on his computer.  It’s just coming to life when he feels a tap on his shoulder.

“When’d you get in?”  Jean comes around to the front of his desk.

“A few minutes ago.” Continue reading

“The Inheritance” by Christine Fair

Sitting across the rotting planks of a water-worn picnic table at a lake dive in Rome City, Indiana, Chris glowered at Bob and strained not to hear him. She studied his ruddy face with his pale, hooded, sky-blue eyes. His face was unmistakably and disappointingly redolent of her own. In anger, her mom would shake her head slowly and deliberately while growling in revulsion, “You look just like him.” She usually managed to render “just” a two-syllable word to make her point. Chris hated this actuality and longed to resemble her mother who always lingered just beyond her reach. But his widow’s peak, unruly hair and godawful teeth were all lamentably hers too. Maintaining her own teeth was a Sisyphean task. They’d crack or break. Dr. Hill would patch them up. They’d break again and Dr. Hill, again, would do the needful. Bob simply let his rot. In fact he seemed proud of these gaping holes as they were yet another signifier of his indifference to the consequences of his decisions.

She wished she could be tender or something like that. But, “This putrid son of a bitch” rolled around in her head like her moist sneakers in the dryer after an early run in the dew-kissed grass of spring. She tried to appear indifferent as he plowed along in his flat, nasal Midwestern voice which also—irritatingly—sounded like a more masculine version of her own hilljack voice.  Episodically her ears grabbed onto his words and she could feel that familiar anger rearing up on its hind legs, begging for permission to lunge at him, sink its teeth into his crepe-skinned neck and suck out whatever life lingered in that wankstain’s body. She forced herself to intermittently grunt or nod, feigning interested disinterest. The task helped to keep his venomous words at bay. 

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Poetry by Simon Perchik

*

What you open leans against wood

that is not a door you can muffle

put your arm around the only sound

 

when you knock on this kitchen table

whose corners were broken off

straight down, still lit, letting you in

 

circle her mouth not yet the room

left over and listen for the smoke

around the hush from small fires.

 

*

Just died and its rain

is already snow, comforts

the obituary page

 

with moonlight pieces

slowly circling down

as that star-shaped lullaby

 

small stones still look for 

–it’s this morning’s

though over your head the deaths

 

are hidden in silence

begging for water

that doesn’t break apart

 

the way each sky

is hollowed out for another 

–you make a sea

 

for these dead, each name

a boat, sails, the spray

midair and out loud. 

 

*

This tree abandoned at last

flows past as ravines and riverbeds

and can’t fall any more 

 

–it’s used to dirt and those initials

you carried along inch by inch

not in some stone letting you stop

 

for water –you were buried

in the afternoon, late so the light

could close the lid with leftover kisses

 

become an ocean, still burning

and between each wave the glint

from a clear silence you took for yes.

 

*

To survive you disguise each log

as the aromatic sun the mornings

can’t resist –even when naked

 

you hide some kindling close by

let it give birth in the smoke

that leaves with nothing, becomes

 

the emptiness though your eyes

never look up or warm –a fire

is feeling its way to your mouth

 

with lullabies and the small stone

falling asleep on the stove 

–you feed it wood as if your lips

 

still smell from milk and salt 

–an ancient, gentle art now lost

somewhere in those nightmares

 

set off by an empty dress

and along your forehead the light

begins to melt, wants to stay, keep going.

 

*

Even these weeds panic

circle around your fingertips

as if the stream they fasten on

 

knows only one direction –the dead

still fold their arms, dare you

to raise your hand, ask for salt

 

clear the ground before the no! no!

stops and in the silence makes room

for flowers and your mouth

 

sweetened by the warm breath

it still remembers as sunlight

struggling and the pull up! pull up!

 

Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, Forge, Poetry, Osiris, The New Yorker and elsewhere. His most recent collection is The Gibson Poems published by Cholla Needles, 2019. For more information including free e-books and his essay “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com

To view one of his interviews please follow this linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSK774rtfx8

“Diet Coke,” an essay by Maya Landers

My mom is hard to miss. She’s recognizable by her handmade skirts and Birkenstocks, by her playlists that range from Sinead O’Connor to Maroon 5. I can find her at night by the glow of Candy Crush on her phone screen. In grocery stores I track her by her sneeze: explosive, cathartic, followed by a “Whew! Thank you!” to all the people who offer a “bless you.” 

 

When I was seven, I went to a birthday party at Inflatable Wonderland in the mall. After diving into the ball pit and getting lost in the maze, I realized suddenly I didn’t know where I was. Right as I started to panic, I saw a half-drunk diet Coke at the top of a staircase. I relaxed. It was a sign: your mom is here! 

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“Conjuring” by Danielle Hanson

Eyes like ripening fruit, an image

Enters, plunges into heart and is gone.

Gather the emptiness in your arms

Until they overflow.  Trap the voices

In resin, melt it so they flutter away

Out of order—aimless moths.

Conjuring is the spitting out of words.

These are only words.  Let them in.

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Poetry by Elizabeth L. Bruno

LEAVING THE LIGHTS ON

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“The Days Are Long” by Katie Borders

Has anyone actually died of boredom playing trains with their toddler? Marty pushed Thomas around the track, followed by too many cars. He took a tight turn and the last five cars slipped from the grooves, flopping limply to the side. Being a master engineer, Marty was no stranger to this, and calmly filed the trains back where they belonged. Continue reading

Poetry by John Grey

Mound by Sarah Walko

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“The Pa-hay-Okee” by J L Higgs

Photo by Brian Michael Barbeito

Photo by Brian Michael Barbeito

The wooden dock’s planks groaned beneath the blazing Florida sun.  Neal adjusted his sunglasses. He watched as a snowy egret took a step with one of its long twig-thin black legs.  It paused, then stretched its swan-like neck and body with the precision of a ballet dancer. Neal tucked a pinch of tobacco between his lower lip and gum.  As he folded his sun-freckled arms, the bird took a few quick steps, then lumbered skyward. Continue reading

“You Sleep Against My Bones” by Jonathan Douglas Dowdle

"Now Is the Hour" by Sarah Walko

“Now Is the Hour” by Sarah Walko

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