The Furious Gazelle

Literary as hell.

Tag: writing (page 1 of 32)

“The Found” by Boris Kokotov

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Halloween Contest Winner: Various Ways of Looking at Halloween by Nancy Slavin

“Stay with us, stay with us,” the swarm of ghouls yelled at me just after dawn on Halloween morning. 

Witches had snatched my three-hour-old baby, taking her so I could not see her. Her cries from being torn away from my breast tore through me, but the ghouls told my husband, who now held our newborn child, to get the hell out of the room. 

The doctor who’d cut me open just a few hours before to birth our baby, now pressed with the heels of both hands on my newly stapled belly, which was bleeding out. A gush of blood, blood pressure dropping to thirty over forty. When the numbers match up, the body is dead. 

The rest of the goblins, I remember, discussed a machine, some machine they wanted to arrive to help me survive. The nurse was a minute away, they said. The drug she would give me would cause bloating, and they had to give me someone else’s blood. “I’m just tired,” I complained. I did not know I was dying. When she arrived, she wore a Nurse Ratchet costume, with a tight white tunic, bright white leggings and a small blue-and-white striped paper hat bobby-pinned in her coiffed blond hair.

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Halloween Finalist: Poetry by Christina McDermott

Elegy and Praise Hymn 

If ever I dream

of the crooked trees 

with green around the trunks,

dripping water from their twigs,

 

believe me, 

I’ve found the spot 

for my burial. 

 

It’s quiet in October 

on the narrow street 

in the suburbs

 

with leaves resting under 

10-year-old cars.

 

I go running at four,

and travel through dusk air

down these empty streets

lined with swollen branches 

of arthritic trees –  

 

dry as they wait for the moon.

Dry and there is water in my breath only.

Dry so the leaves crunch

as my feet hit pavement 

 

until I reach the dead 

end by the woods

where the sun is dimmed, and

the trees hold water.

 

October Holy – 

darkness surrounding orange – lit 

windows of houses 

and thickets of woods with secrets 

about otherworlds 

absurd and beautiful.

 


Christina McDermott is a writer and linguist who enjoys exploring the connection between speech sounds and the rhythm of poetry. Her work has appeared in Levee Magazine and October Hill Press. She also runs a poetry blog: https://pocketmappoetryblog.wordpress.com/

Halloween Finalist: “Hallowe’en, 1933” by Tylor James

Gordo, Alabama, USA. 

October 31st, 1933.

Charlie Wannemaker and Eddie Brackett spent the afternoon making the exemplary scarecrow. First they’d dragged the ragged old scarecrow off its stake down on ol’ Henderson’s corn field. They folded its straw-filled limbs up nice and tight and toted him in a red wagon all the way to Charlie’s barn. Henderson’s scarecrow was okay, but it wouldn’t do for the great stunt they had in mind for the night. Not without a touch of restoration.

“If we’re gonna do it, we’re gonna do it right,” Charlie instructed. Continue reading

“Cheers” by Stella Santamaria

up to no good.
how long? how long
will you put up
put out

shoulder blades
heavy sunburnt
gold nugget eyes

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“because you can’t go everywhere without your water” by Glenn Ingersoll

Everything happens a little more each day.
I’ve had a good time; even my fear has been a twinkling light.
The best place to be is right in the way.
I am sewing my flesh into the costume.

There, in your bed, a warm body bends.
We all like each other in a surprisingly realistic fashion.
A little bit further along to the mass grave and the Tilt-a-Whirl.
Outside, metal bangs against claw.

What a dull needle!
Reach for meaning, step on the sleeping.
Nauseous, a practical girl lay down beside the memorial fountain.
Your date with fate reveals a mutual attraction.

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“Johnson, We Have a Problem,” by Ellen Powell

Penis! 

 

Did I get your attention? 

 

As a writer whose fiction sometimes includes (gasp!) sex, I have a problem with the male genitalia. It’s not that I don’t like the penis – I’m a big fan. It’s because there is just no good way to say its name. Every word, whether scientific or euphemistic, either changes the mood, or kills it altogether. So I tend to write around the problem, by describing the act without naming all the players. 

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“3:07 a.m.”, a poem by Kurt Luchs

Silence so deep you can hear

that moth combing its antennae.

The trees are asleep on their feet, oblivious.

A single leaf yawns, turns over.

At the hint of a breeze the grass

pulls the bedclothes tighter.

I should mention how the moonlight

looks but I can barely keep my eyes open

so instead I’ll say what it sounds like:

like a dining room in a

long-foreclosed mansion where the finest

china has just been laid out on

the finest tablecloth by the

ghost of the late butler

who nodded off while looking

for the spoons.

The secret joy of the hour

is that anything could happen

and nothing ever does.

 


Kurt Luchs has poems published or forthcoming in Into the Void, Triggerfish Critical Review, Right Hand Pointing, Roanoke Review, Grey Sparrow JournalAntiphonEmrys Journal, and The Sun Magazine, among others, and won the 2017 Bermuda Triangle Poetry Prize. He founded the literary humor site TheBigJewel.com, and has written humor for the New Yorker, the Onion and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, as well as writing comedy for television (Politically Incorrect and the Late Late Show) and radio (American Comedy Network). Sagging Meniscus Press recently published his humor collection, It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’s Really Funny), which has been nominated for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. His poetry chapbook, One of These Things Is Not Like the Other, is forthcoming. More of his work, both humor and poetry, can be found at kurtluchs.com.

This poem was first published in Fjords Review.

2019 Spring Writing Contest Finalist: Butcher by Courtney LeBlanc

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Poetry by Darren C. Demaree

POEM FOR KATIE, QUEEN OF OHIO #88

Speak to the cicada.

They have the violent

 

sounds we need

to coal the ridges

 

of Ohio, to set the fires

& watch the state run

 

away from complacency.

The rich will cover

 

their ears, Katie.

The rich will drop

 

their guard.  Take all

that you can.

 

 

 

POEM FOR KATIE, QUEEN OF OHIO #89

I have great hopes

that you will have

 

your mother’s dark

hair.  If you can be her

 

continuing, if you can

be her without

 

all of that goodness

you might just take

 

the unpretty state

of things here

 

& thrive amidst

your revolution.

 

POEM FOR KATIE, QUEEN OF OHIO #90

Dear young lady,

if anybody else

 

addresses you

in this way,

 

you should probably

take their property

 

first, then give

their lilies to the sky,

 

& then burn your name

in their field.

 

Fuck any minimizing

of your ecstatic.

 


Darren C. Demaree is the author of ten poetry collections, most recently “Lady, You Shot Me”, which was published by 8th House Publishing.  He is the recipient of a 2018 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Louis Bogan Award from Trio House Press, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal.  He is the Managing Editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and Ovenbird Poetry.  He is currently living in Columbus, Ohio with his wife and children.
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