Laura Lagomarsino: A Clothesline of Words, Ideas, and Pictures

I love words, to paint them, to write them, they flow to me as stories and visions and layers.  Images live with me this way as well.  The visual aspect is first, and stronger.  Words somehow intertwine themselves therein, within, like a frame somehow, or a clothesline, supporting what I’ve already seen.  These things, images, words live in different “me’s” ~ the waking ones, the wide awake one, the sleeping dreaming one, the daydreaming me watching images dance in the sun.  And one thing leads to another, and this is how I live.  One creative thought, one story, one image after another making their way from their starting place to their ending place.  And the space in between the beginning and the end is where they hang on the clothesline, patiently, until it is their time.  The clothesline of life, of my mind, of my imagination.

Tiny San Francisco studio apartments are very conducive to this incubating clothesline.  Because there is no choice, there is no space.  The drifting to sleep space is the same as the waking to morning space which is the same as the birthing of project space….dreams waft into waking thoughts which find themselves in cuttings and shapes and patterns, papers, drawings, smiles, sun, naps, more thoughts, more doodles.  All the while the clothesline remains, the current project absorbing all around it, the studio scattered with remnants, twigs, pieces parts, scraps, each piece on the clothesline embracing its cousins, the next potentialities, befriending them, watching them fondly as one of them realizes form, the others waiting gently while they drift and dream and waft and sleep and watch.

And the clothesline is built upon chance.  And chance is enhanced by repetition of subtleties, of nuances, of moments, of giggles of recognition as seemingly unrelated events and characters refer to one another in a nod of coincidence.  This is what creativity means to me, being totally open to these things.  Something shows itself to me by chance, it finds its way to the clothesline by a series of wonderments.  Wonderments know when they need to be born, and they tell me so.  Like walking along a crowded street, all the passersby coming and going, conversations blending into traffic sounds, smells, colors, combining to form an overall feeling of the day ~~ ah, but one image, one person, one thought, an idea sticks, stays, you tear it out of a magazine, or you scribble it down on a napkin ~ it stays — Clothesline.  
Laura Lagomarsino can be reached through her website,
More to read, including a link to one of Laura’s original stories, behind this link:

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Narmin Kamal: Animals, plants and women

Animal and woman. How would you kill a bear? An animal that is much stronger than man falls down when a bullet is put through its head. The bleeding wound leaves red stains on its white fur, and without understanding anything a bear closes its eyes. They take it to the cold dark shop located in A. Street and plunge the knife in the back of its head to peel off the skin. In a month Zeyneb, a woman from our neighborhood, wears this skin. She minces down the stairs, gets in her car and drives off to see her friends. They talk about her new fur coat. The woman boasts that it’s natural leather because she would never wear anything artificial. That same evening her friends make calls to contract the murder of an hare and a seal. Zeyneb’s bag is seal leather. It is the skin of a seal mother brutally killed with a metal rod last year in the North. Her baby seals have already forgotten her.

Zeyneb thinks she is beautiful and elegant. She often checks the size of her waist to be sure that her elegance and grace are not in danger. This woman makes fine facial expressions and tries to speak with a tender voice.  When Zeyneb hears doleful songs she becomes sad. Sometimes when watching a movie she cannot hold back her tears. While crying she puts her head on the shoulder of a man, who never says “no” to any of her wishes.

If you were told nice fairy tales in your childhood, you would know that Zeyneb is the bear of an artificial and coarse society. There is no bear which wears a coat made of human skin and there is no seal which carries a bag made of the skin of Zeyneb. She is the woman that peels off the skins of hares, pandas, crocodiles, and wraps herself in them. She is proud of this like a savage in a primitive tribe.

In Western countries demand for this kind of fur and leather is gradually decreasing. Famous actresses are proud to own coats and bags made of artificial leather. However, other women, like Zeyneb organize culinary contests on TV and award a fur coat to the winner. Behind the prize are heartache, suffering and death. The winner of this skin of fox, tiger or hare, leaps up and cries out with joy: “Wowww!”

In a couple of years Zeyneb lies in a dark corner of a hospital ward located in A. Street. She has an abortion because she expecting a girl for the third time. The name of the second girl is Qiztamam (Girl Over). The possibility to give such widely spread Azerbaijani names as Qıztamam and Qızyetə, Qızbəs or Bəsti (Enough) did not help this woman, she was again expecting a girl. Zeyneb’s heart aches, she cries and moans. Rude nurses say to her: “Do not groan like a bear.”

Plant and woman

Dr. Narmin Kamal is a scholar, writer, and researcher from Azerbajan. She may be reached through her Facebook profile or through comments to the website where she originally posted this article:




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Narmin Kamal: Boys Gathering Violets


My birthday was the day my father started to grow a beard. According to the rules of the village a man must let his beard grow for one week or 40 days when a close relative dies. This time nobody died but God granted my father a daughter, instead of a son… In every phase of my life I came up against constraints that prevented me from feeling like a human being. In third grade I realized that as a girl I must conceal myself. There was graffiti on the school walls: Rza + L = Love and Mammed + A = Love. In declarations of love boys wrote their names while keeping the names of the girls they admired a secret. This was done to protect the girl’s name and not to injure the boy’s pride. Our literature teacher, Nazim, used to say to us, “Do not irritate the eye like a nettle, Be a violet and let somebody find you.”

At university I studied philosophy but thought of becoming a reporter. In my first years as a student I dreamt of writing from hot spots around the world. This is when I began writing my first articles and submitting them to a newspaper. As soon as one story was published I would have another one ready. This brought me into the world of mass media. The majority of journalists working in our newspaper were men. At first I wrote on social issues but later switched to politics. My wild dream of becoming a war zone reporter was closer and clearer than before.

At 18-19 I was already used to participating in press conferences. Once, my colleague and I went to the Parliament building to gather information for an article. From far away, we saw a young girl who I knew fearlessly conducted economic and political investigations for a daily paper. I look at her and said, “She looks so small, fragile and shy but her articles are so good and daring. I think she is a nice person.” To which my colleague replied, “If a girl writes for a newspaper, how she can be ‘nice’?”

Men of all backgrounds and regardless of their level of education talked about women in a sexist way. In discussing world famous women authors they focused on their private lives and external beauty but not their work. It did not matter what I did, my gender was always a barrier. Despite this I continued to write short articles for my newspaper. They would get published with my photo at the top. From time to time I managed to contribute to other periodicals as well.

As my career began to progress I met my first love. This was an Azerbaijani man with whom we worked together at the paper. We felt a connection while reading the same book – The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. Our topics of conversation ranged from European history to movies to philosophy. It seemed I found an island of Europe in Azerbaijan. And this is why I loved him.

This was a time when I was surrounded by intelligent people who worked in high places as editors-in-chief and politicians. According to many of them, the best woman was the one least talked about by the public. The social withdrawal of a woman was considered attractive. An active woman, who worked, wrote for newspapers, engaged in discussion with other men, was not marriageable. She was like a beautiful but oil-stained blouse. These people believed that women should think of marriage to a man as an award. A woman should be happy to be picked out like a Christmas tree from among other trees for her appearance. She should be happy because someone CHOSE her in marriage.

I remained indifferent to these comments because my beloved was not at all like them. I was supposed to live my life differently. And the one day, he said to me, “I don’t want you writing these short articles for the newspaper.” I asked him “Why?” and my open-minded man responded like this, “In Azerbaijan people use newspapers in the toilet. I don’t want someone to wipe his bottom with a photo of my lady from the paper. Moreover, I don’t want other men to talk about my woman. I also have pride and dignity, please understand this.”

I could not understand him and continued my work. Eventually we broke up and in a couple of years he married another girl, a school teacher. She lived her life without paying much attention to events taking place around her or the news in society. The children surrounding her at school did not threaten his dignity or manhood.

Dr. Narmin Kamal is a researcher, scholar, and writer from Azerbajan. You may reach her on Facebook or through commenting where this essay was originally posted, at this forum on women and society:

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Narmin Kamal: Beauty – 250 Volt


Read the original essay, and comments it received, here:

I am attending an academic conference. There is a huge mirror on the right side of the hall. Several PhD candidates are sitting there – three girls and many boys. Boys are feverishly discussing an issue of the legal regulation of property management in foreign countries. One of the girls turns around and looks at her image in the mirror. She wants to check her appearance before addressing the audience. The other girl reaches into her bag, presses on a perfume flask in it and wipes around her ear with a finger. Minutes pass.

The discussion between the lawyers becomes even more intense; they seek to figure out which country’s laws regulate the division of property for an Azerbaijani national married to a foreign national in case of a divorce. The lady who has just perfumed herself scans her image in the mirror out of the corner of her eye and starts expressing her opinion while looking into the boys’ faces. Sometimes they apologize for interrupting her and make remarks on a different legal question. She avails herself of the pause brought by such an interruption and throws another glance at herself in the mirror…

I am watching TV now. In the TV show, men and women compete for an expensive prize. While men are heavily involved in proving somebody is right or wrong, women often turn to the studio screen to check how they look in front of the audience.

A 19-years old girl whom I know well admits: “Oh, every time when I walk with my fiancé in the streets and he talks about his expectations of family life, my eyes jump from one shop window to another in search of sales offers where I would come back later to do shopping. He gets angry and asks where my attention wanders when we are having such a serious talk. He cannot understand that I need new clothes for our next rendezvous and another new dress for the one after that…»

I am approaching a book stand with many shelves entitled «Women’s World» in a bookstore in some European country. Female writers have produced tons of books on ways to look pretty! “A Secret of Success” is one of the titles I come across today.

I could cite dozens of examples similar to the above, for more examples will provide a better illustration of women’s struggle for the sake of beauty. When they don’t look nice, women avoid appointments, become gloomy, lose their love for life and self-confidence…

An attractive appearance is many women’s number one concern that keeps them under constant pressure and interferes with other important spheres of life such as science, philosophy, and law. When a man ponders over philosophical details of the meaning of «logos», a woman wonders what people see when they look at her face and body.

As if their never-ending search for beauty and charm is the devil’s trap.

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Jamie Banes: Urban Areas’ Three-Dimensional Energy






Artist Statement


My attraction to the energy of urban areas inspires a playful, 
excited examination of the frenzied systems around me. 
 Highly active environments such as ports, stations, airfields, 
or sub-street infrastructures feel like childhood experiments 
with Tinkertoys and Lego bricks, 
or voyages into Richard Scarry's seemingly chaotic worlds.  
I’ve been exploring my awareness of these arrangements 
and my position within them, making 
associations with anatomy and physicality, and allowing 
myself the opportunity to revisit a youthful mindset 
that seems more and more fleeting.

Spain’s Visual Jazz Film Festival seeks participants!


For our readers: the poet, filmmaker, and novelist Faracy Grouse, whom we’ve published various times in Synchronized Chaos, is launching the Visual Jazz Film Festival, which will take place in Spain later this summer.  

Here’s how the festival will operate:  

All films must be conceived, shot and edited between sunrise and sunset on the day of the festival.
No money can be spent on the production.
Any music or sound effects used must be original and created within the allotted time.
All stories must be original.
No scripted dialogue allowed, however silent and non spoken films are permitted.
Completed films can be between 30 seconds and 1 hour.
All films must include some variation of the three items/concepts/words the organizers will announce three minutes before sunrise the day people shoot the films.
Films will be shown between sunset and sunrise that night, at a yet-to-be-determined venue.
If this might interest you, please contact Faracy Grouse at

Hinchas de Poesia seeks written submissions of Pan-American writing for their fall 2010 issue



Hinchas de Poesia—an online digital codex dedicated to modern Pan-American writing—is now soliciting submissions for its Fall 2010 issue. Hinchas seeks to publish innovative, experimental work of a devastating caliber, regardless of format, medium, or language. Please send us work that you are unsure about, using language that belies the contours of a nameless gloss. Submissions will heretofore be regarded as poetry, fiction, poetry in translation, non-fiction, and photography and painting.

To date, Hinchas de Poesia has generated substantial interest with over 7,500 visitors interacting with our website, at an average of at least 55 visitors per month. Our online issues are released quarterly and Hinchas Press, an imprint dedicated to publishing chapbooks, has seen its roster of releases grow from the initial four titles at the time of our inception to our current stable of seven titles with four more forthcoming, including Compound Memorandum, an illustrated short story of an American reporter that takes a job in Baghdad and misappropriates funds for an Iraqi secretary named after mirages, as well as Odas a Futbolistas, an anthology of soccer poems dedicated to the heroes of the beautiful game.

Our reading period for our fall issue will run from June 15th, 2010 until July 31, 2010. Multiple submissions are permitted but please do inform us if your work has been accepted elsewhere.

To submit electronically email your text as an attachment in .doc or .pdf format to: <hinchasdpoesia(at)> (replace (at) with @).To submit images electronically, please follow these requirements: 2400pixels wide (high res) at 72 dpi. To ensure compatibility, please only attach images as .jpegs. Attachments should be no larger than 24 MBs. If you are sending multiple images that exceed this capacity, then please send images separately.

A few more calls for artistic submissions, various media and topics requested

The 2011 Wearable Art Awards invites artists and designers to submit application packages for original garments to be included in the event’s performances and exhibition. $5,000 CDN in prize money will be awarded. Presented by the Port Moody Arts Centre Society, the Wearable Art Awards encourage artists of all mediums to submit evocative, imaginative and thought provoking creations for the human body. Please see our web site for call for entry details at:
A thematic exhibition based on the portrayal and interpretation of the human head to be held at the Limner Gallery, November 4-27, 2010. Open for entry to all artists working in any media. $2600 in publication awards. For prospectus send SASE (or online or email) to: SlowArt Productions, 123 Warren St, Hudson NY 12534 OR OR
The purpose of this contest is to show and/or write about your experience with an imaginary Jesus, how you came to know that he wasn’t the real thing, and how your life has changed now that you have a better understanding of who Jesus is. Create an 8.5 x 11 drawing (or even a painting or sketch or a printed computer illustration) that illustrates your experience with an imaginary Jesus. OR Create a video clip between 3 to 5 minutes long that depicts your experience with an imaginary Jesus. Grand prize includes a FREE Amazon Kindle, Apple IPod products, and a free trip to Portland, Oregon to meet Matt Mikalatos, an amazing new author who is being compared to C.S. Lewis and Kurt Vonnegut. (All prizes are real, not imaginary. We promise). For more information and to enter the contest:
THE ONE THING I LEARNED FROM CANCER: Lived Experience Stories from Survivors and Eye Witnesses of the big C… Open call for poetry, writing, rants, words, line drawings, notes, jpegs of found objects, artifacts of process or other imagery that tells the story about the one thing and the big C and your lived experience. Selected works will be memorialized in a book. Entry fee. Contact: OR

Further varied and sundry calls for art submissions


August 6 – 26, 2010. Open to all artists who can drop off or ship accepted work. JPG submissions only. All media except film, video & installation. Juror: Rene de Guzman, Senior Curator, Oakland Museum of California. Awards: 1st – $500, 2nd – $250, 3rd – $100. For more information and online entry form: Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, California OR 650-321-3891 OR OR
The I-Park Foundation (, a not-for-profit international arts community in E. Haddam, CT (USA), is seeking proposals from the following disciplines that re-imagine our cultural and personal relationship to death, memory and memorialization: Music/Sound Sculpture, Visual Arts/Environmental Sculpture, Theater/Choreography/Performance Art, Landscape/Garden Design, Architecture, Landscape Architecture. Those invited to execute their physical, performance or music/sound sculpture pieces for the Thanatopolis Exhibition in October 2010 will receive a creative fee of $2,000 plus a budget for travel, materials, incidental expenses. “Paper projects” will receive a creative fee of $700. No application fee. Overview: OR OR
This call is open to all subjects and styles of photography that include a low tech means of image making or printing. This includes, but is not limited to; toy, Holga and Diana cameras, Pinhole, Wet Plate Collodian, Photograms, Callotypes, Cyanotypes, Polaroid and other traditional darkroom processes. Over $1500 in cash and awards. Entry fee. Questions: 970-224-1010 OR
What does “black and white” mean to contemporary photographers in the digital age? When Robert Frank made this observation, black-and-white film and silver prints were photography’s most commonly used materials. Nearly a half century later they are approaching “alternative media” status. Or are they? Are the implications and meanings of black and white still central to photography’s unique nature as a visual medium? Submissions to this juried exhibition are limited only by your imagination and your photographic eye. Cash prizes. Entry fee. Submitting Your Entries:

More international calls for submissions

A thematic exhibition open to all interpretations of the concept, Strange Figurations. Open to all forms of new and unusual figurative styles from the realist to the surreal and visionary. Open to all media. 72″ maximum dimension. The exhibition will be held at the Limner Gallery, September 1 – 25, 2010. National magazine publication awards. For prospectus send SASE to (or online or email): SlowArt Productions, 123 Warren St, Hudson NY 12534 OR OR
Eleventh Annual WILL’S CREEK SURVEY (Sept. 11 – Oct. 9, 2010). Best of Show 2-D $1250, Best of Show 3-D $1250, Awards $5,500+. Juror: Eric C. Shiner – Milton Fine Curator of Art at The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. Two jpegs entries on CD, $25. Contact or download entry form: Allegany Arts Council, 52 Baltimore St, Cumberland MD 21502 OR 301-777-2787 OR OR
Artists are invited to submit material for selection so as to be included in “Featured Artists” Vol. II. “Featured Artists” is a series of art books, which offers artists a new and effective way of introducing their work to a considerable international audience of art professionals. It is a daring attempt to feature several contemporary artists in an overview, a book which will be a resource for galleries, museums, artists, art collectors and dealers who constantly seek for new talents and trends in the art community. Every nomination is based entirely on the merit of the work submitted for selection. Selected artists will have to pay an editorial fee. “Featured Artists” distribution is made internationally through large book wholesalers and e-shops, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders and more. The book is also distributed to over 1200 top galleries, museums, curators, art consultants in the U.S and in Europe. More info: OR

Two calls for art submissions, San Jose’s Kaleid Gallery and San Francisco’s Altered Barbie show

Two Buck Tuesdays @ KALEID Gallery in San Jose

TWO BUCK Tuesdays is an inspired event hosted by a crew of very dedicated artists at KALEID Gallery on the Third Tuesday of the month. Artists and audience alike are invited to attend, contribute and share in this unique event all free of charge.

The TBT Crew organizes artistic, creative speakers, live demos, performances and live music jammed into 3 hours for a hyper shot of inspiration that you’ll carry with you all month long til the next one!…
We want to invite you to participate by submitting your art for this great event. It’s an opportunity to get your work and your name out there to new fans that appreciate the work and the amazing affordable price. All TBT art is 4″ x 6″ or smaller, we suggest 6-8 pieces, all your contact info should be on the back, works are priced at $2 and you keep all the proceeds.

You can drop off your work anytime at KALEID Gallery Tuesday thru Friday, Noon – 7pm or Saturday Noon – 5pm before the next scheduled TWO BUCK Tuesday event (3rd Tuesday of every month.)

Email us with any questions at


The 8th Annual San Francisco Altered Barbie Exhibition, 2010
Romancing the Barbie

A CALL TO ARTISTS: This year San Francisco, Barbie and Ken are re-doing it, re-using it, and re-inventing it all over again!  A Date with Barbie!
Sign up and Payment is done through the web site, click HERE.  You can sign up now!

Categories include: 3-dimensional Barbie’s, Mixed media, Photographs, Paintings, Performance-art, Print making, Film & Video, Spoken word, Fashion, Panels, Quilts, New Media. All submissions must interpret, comment on, or criticize what Barbie or Ken mean to you.
Dolls that are acceptable are: Barbie and Barbie like dolls, Christie, Courtney, Gillian, Kayla, Midge, Ken and Ken like dolls, Raquelle,Skipper, Tia, etc. Works not including an “Altered” Doll will not be considered for this show.

Altered Barbie registration Deadline: July 31st, 2010 Please remit all information to the web site.  All Artists will be informed of their entry to the show by August 7th, 2010.
Entry fee….

ALSO- there’s a call for curators on the site…


Call for Artwork for a San Jose Sempervirens Fund charitable benefit


Call for Artists in all mediums to donate a piece to be auctioned at Take Back Your Forest Benefit. The benefit will be Friday July 9th at 8pm, Theatre on San Pedro Square, San Jose, California. All proceeds will go to Sempervirens Fund. It is a fund to save the Redwoods. For more info please visit this site:
If you want to donate your art please contact Kimy Martinez at Thank you!