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Synchronized Chaos June 2017: Connect The Dots

Welcome to June’s issue of Synchronized Chaos Magazine.

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This issue illustrates that to a point we can choose how to interpret the world around us. As with a children’s connect-the-dots picture, the facts of life may to some extent be established, but we have some say over the connections and conclusions we draw from them.

Poet Vijay Nair draws once more upon classical Greek mythology, with a homage to the story of Pygmalion and Galatea, where a man creates and falls in love with a statue of an idealized female figure. In the same way, we all create and embrace our own ideals, as we come up with our own concepts of what is beautiful and important to focus on in life.

Some of this month’s writers are sincere in their appreciation for the world. Joan Beebe’s poetry celebrates birds in flight, stars in the nighttime sky, and the world after sunset, with a wish for humans to act with care towards each other in light of so much natural beauty. Mimi Mathis honors veterans from World War II in a piece inspired by oral history interviews she conducted.

Their genuine words contrast with the cynicism inherent in Michael Marrotti’s short story lampooning an over-the-top writers’ workshop and J.J. Campbell’s more serious poetry that provides small snapshots of people with broken lives.

Mahbub’s poetry selections this month remind us of life’s impermanence. We aren’t going to be here forever, and neither are our loved ones, so we may as well choose to make the most of the time that we do have.

Elizabeth Hughes, in her monthly Book Periscope review column, shows us the writing of a woman who has done that. Darrah Perez, an author and performance artist from the Wind River Native reservation in Wyoming, has given us three collections of poetry and prose that describe her journey through life as she overcame addiction and other obstacles to be able to impart wisdom to others.

Elizabeth Hughes also reviews Joe Klingler’s new suspense novel Tune Up, about the young female San Francisco police detective Kandy and her older Inuit partner Qiqig’s work on a homicide that intersects with the story of Mylin, a talented violinist. Crime solving inevitably involves ‘connecting the dots.’

J.D. DeHart offers up thoughts in the form of little vignettes reminiscent of paintings, slices of life from unusual angles. We see calm strength through a gorilla keeper’s eyes, opened minds as a family comes to full understanding of their mother’s life and stature, self-critique as a person realizes that archetypes of people in distress speak more to his own need to rescue than to those others, pity for those whose human foibles are recorded electronically for posterity – and children, once grown, who take control and begin creating their own stories, shaping their own mythologies independent of the fairy tales of previous generations.

We hope that this issue helps empower you to develop and act upon a worldview that energizes and inspires you.

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Poetry from Mimi Lou Martin

A Tribute to World War II Veterans

and To All of Those Who Know

By Mimi Lou Martin

There are those who know

Listen to them and look into their eyes

They understand true courage, duty, and the pain of sacrifice  

Wrapped in innocence they journeyed into darkness, not knowing if it would take their life

They put service before self so future generations wouldn’t have to take the same perilous path   

Years may dim memories but not their valor and the deeds they did for you and me  

Listen to them, look into their eyes, they all know the price paid for being free

There are those who asked not that their life be saved, but that they may be calm to complete their assigned duties and save others that day   

There are those who know what hunger and starvation looks like and how it feels to move lifeless soldiers out of the way     

Look into the eyes of those who know how the green grass turned blood red 

And then tell others who don’t know   

Tell them to look at the stars and stripes and listen to those who know  

Then give thanks and say thank you to all of those who know

Poetry from Vijay Nair

 

01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mannequin

Truly unfair,

Calling her a mannequin

Eyes are useless

When mind is blind

Absolutely no desire to fit in

Marionette, better than animate

Tangible her zest was in a daze

 

Caged in the display,

Where she was in a cloister

Clothed her a stola with Limbus

Cloaked her cosmos with clobber

Closeted motion still an attraction

 

Fuelled by drama led to

Attend the performance

Can’t stop watching since

Enraptured me her charms

Evoked memories in

 

 

She my Aphrodite

Deity of  beauty,

Goddess of  love,

Cult of pleasure,

Nubile of procreation,

Love is composed of a single soul

Inhabiting in both of us

 

My life a ceaseless search of love

Marvelled at her, saw luscious

Manifested myth, towards lust

My emotion on the crest

My most beloved in trust

Mainspring of my psyche

She a best, no expiry date

 

©-Vijay P Nair-2017

Poetry from JD DeHart

 

Welcome to the Cottage
First Published at Bluepepper
or should I say, welcome back?
These are the wooden slatted floors
where you first learned
about the predilection of old ladies
in the woods to be villains, to have
ovens, to possess poison apples,
to woo children away from breadcrumb
trails; the same spot where you
learned about the flash and dash
of princes, how often beautiful maidens
fall asleep and must be rescued,
the tender-hearted fair ladies whose
ruddy cheeks decorated so many
late night reads before bed,
and I couldn’t help but notice you
striking a match, preparing to burn down
the cottage, and build your own version
of the world’s story now you are grown.
Beheaded Sheep Figure
First published at Red River Review
The budding voices have died away
Leaving the empty room with confetti
Spread on the rarely clean floor
Small tokens of their presence
In the middle of the room, beneath a table
A plastic sheep, the head chewed off
An abandoned Old Testament sacrifice.
Gorilla Keeper
He is master of the dark shape
with the round gray stomach,
and the tendency to charge.
He is like one of them, with large
knuckles.
When he speaks, there is the peace
of trees and shade.
The calm of working with great
creatures of strength.
 
Girl with a Munch Face 
She is the screamer who I imagine
standing at the open mouth of a bridge,
figure trying to leave the rest of the world
and all she knows behind her, the sign post
of familiarity dimming in the distance
I imagine the smell of family life
and common voices fading quickly
She is the elongated face and I wish I could
offer a rescue, not because she needs it
but because I need to rescue someone; simply
put, it is my sensitivity, the desire to hold up
a leaking world that is probably more
in a position to help me instead.
Full Height 
She used to sit in the corner
rocking in her old-style chair,
an antique they brought in so
she could play her domestic role,
pretending to know how to knit
the results were knotted
chunks of twigs and twine
they, in turn, pretended they might
one day attempt to wear
while she cradled herself
back and forth, the family thought,
My, how tiny
but then she began to flail
her arms one day and burst
the chair into splinters
and revealed her true height.
A Study of the Tantrum 
of course, now we record
them using the variegated
lenses we carry on our person
but I remember a time
when a being could thrash
and shout and the only
evidence was the casual
eyewitness or security cam
I even recall a time when,
to my ultimate Chagrin, I myself
engaged in a small tantrum
and thankfully there was no one
to hold it up like hieroglyphs
on our digital cave wall.

Elizabeth Hughes’ Book Periscope

 

It Never Happened by Darrah J. Perez

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It Never Happened is the first volume of three memoirs consisting of poetry and the story of Darrah J. Perez. How she became spiritual and how that has led her to a better place in her life. I liked both the poetry and her story. I really believe that others can use the wisdom from what she has learned through her mistakes in her earlier life. I really enjoyed reading the first volume and am looking forward to starting volume two. It Never Happened is very deep and thought-provoking. It will keep the reader interested and will want to continue reading all three volumes. I highly recommend It  Never Happened.

It Always Happens by Darrah J. Perez

ItAlwaysHappensDarrahPerezcover
It Always Happens is the second book in the trilogy of poems and stories by Ms. Darrah J. Perez. In the second volume, she shares more of her story of addiction and overcoming the addiction and abuse she has been through. She enlightens us with her wisdom from the Creator than has led her through this journey of sharing her knowledge and wisdom. Her poetry is very deep and will touch your inner soul. My favorite poems are “Karma Has a Message”, “It’s Never Goodbye”, and “A Saddened Heart”. Ms. Perez writes with the wisdom of someone who has been there and shares that wisdom with her readers. I believe we can all take something and learn something from these books of her life. I highly recommend reading them and look forward to reading the last book of the trilogy.
It’s Forever Happening by Darrah J. Perez
It’s Forever Happening is the third and final book of poems and stories of Ms. Darrah J. Perez’ life. This is the perfect ending to the trilogy. It wraps up the first two and comes to its final conclusion. My favorite poems were, “Life Has A Wavelength’, “My Heart Beats for You,” “Any Which Way the Wind Blows,” “Fighting To Survive,” “Home of the Greats”, and “A Dear Angel’s Time.”  Although all of Ms. Perez poetry will touch the reader in some way, these were the ones I particularly liked the best. In this final book she has some excellent advice in the stories. Each one will touch the heart of different readers in many different ways. Thank you Ms. Perez for sharing your deeply inspiring stories and excellent poetry with us. I highly recommend all three of the volumes.
tuneupcover
Another best seller by Joe Klingler! Tune Up is a new Qigiq and Kandy thriller. Qigiq and Kandy were introduced in Klingler’s earlier novel Mash Up. Qigiq (Ki-jeek) is a detective rom Alaska on loan to the SFPD. They are caught up investigating a suspicious hit and run on an older woman in Chinatown. They need to find out who did it and why someone would target the older woman. This leads them to a much more complex world of crime with twists and turns that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat until the last page. Mr. Klingler’s writing is very smooth and filled with excitement in every page. The reader will want more after reading Tune Up. I look forward to reading the following books in the series when they come out. I very highly recommend Tune Up by Joe Klingler. This is a book that will not disappoint.

Fiction from Michael Marrotti

Sonia and I pulled up to the shabby duplex around 9:00 pm. The location was on a narrow road with no sidewalks in the working class suburb of Castle Shannon, also known as Andy Warhol’s old neighborhood. We parked in the driveway, making sure to lock up her Ford Escape.

   I immediately took notice of the “Black Lives Matter” sign posted conveniently in front of the window. Already I was shaking my head in dismay. Here’s another example of words instead of action.

   We held hands as we climbed up the stairs. Sonia had on a black dress, no panties. I however looked like a gang member, with my black shorts, wife beater, blue bandana and formidable tattoos all over my upper body.

   I had Sonia do the knocking. Some so-called poet answered the door who looked awfully familiar. This sexually oppressed bastard was drooling at first sight. The perfection of my girlfriend’s body is in fact, a work of art. He was quick to let us in, then came the interrogation.

   “Hey, I’m Ken. So who are you guys, who invited you?”

Continue reading

Poetry from Mahbub

 

I Am Who I Am

 

So many flowers are in bloom

So many people are passing by

I am a flower watching you all

Though some of you watch me

Some go away without care

I am a candle giving light

Burning myself to spread white

There are many cactuses in my garden

Entwined with thorns

But its green colour attracts us all

We become enchanted

From Bangladeshi bush

I am blowing in the wind

You look or not

I am on my side

You can see me crazy

You can find me

Wandering from door to door

Of  home and office.

Continue reading

Poetry from Joan Beebe

A Free Spirit
I watch the birds flying free in the sky
And I think to myself I want to fly with them.
They are free to wander wherever they might
And their freedom stirs a longing in me —
To join them in their journey and they know the way
Where there is beauty and safety for them to enjoy.
As I keep watching those birds in their flight,
My longing increases and my spirit joins them in
Their canopy of song filling the air with their joy.

Continue reading

Poetry from J.J. Campbell

a hot dirty blonde
 
i’m not
a social
creature
 
my butterfly
has to be
forced into
such things
 
i remember
when i worked
at the airport,
in the factory
 
and this woman,
a hot dirty blonde 
told me to meet
her at the bar
and she’d buy
me a beer
 
i didn’t know
that was code
for she was
going to make
out with everyone
at the bar except
for me
 
because i was
busy drinking
a beer
 
lesson learned

Continue reading

Call for Poetry Submissions – International Anthology on ‘Universal Oneness’

 

Spreading the word about  an international anthology being developed with the theme of ‘Universal Oneness.’

 

 Magnum Opus

A Poetry Anthology on Universal Oneness

Submission Deadline: 31 Dec 2018 (Midnight) 

Publication Expected: 2019 

Publisher: Authorspress, New Delhi, India 

Editor: Dr. Vivekanand Jha

 

Theme

Poetry is a universal form of language hobnobbing with other souls and minds. It is means to understand our feelings and to find our place in the universe. Poetry is a divine antidote to our inner upheaval and is a medium of peace in itself. The goal of anthology is to display the greatest contemporary poems wrapped up in one book. The title is self-explanatory and will showcase the greatest single poem of the poet being featured i.e. your poem that has been best appreciated or adjudged by the readers, reviewers, critics, social media or journals etc.  It is also self-revealing that one cannot submit more than one poem and each poet will be evenly and equally represented. It is also evident that such poem would mostly be previously published. If you think that your unpublished or freshly composed poem can be your magnum opus you can submit it as well. It is in those aforementioned senses we use the term ‘Universal Oneness’ in the subtitle.

http://vivekanandjha.com/magnumopus.php

Synchronized Chaos Previews Haters Roast: The Shady Tour

 

HatersRoast_Indianapolis_NOW“If you don’t have anything nice to say, just keep quiet.”

Many of us grew up with that kind of advice from our parents.

But, if as an adult, you fantasize about breaking that rule, you might enjoy Haters Roast: The Shady Tour.

Put on by the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the show, which will take place Tuesday May 9th at 8pm at the Old National Centre in Indianapolis, allows you to watch the power and humor of insults and social criticism in action.

Queens Latrice Royale. Kim Chi, Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Jinkx Monsoon, Ginger Minj, Phi Phi O’Hara, Alaska, and Bob the Drag Queen dish it out on stage, throwing shade on politics, modern romance and social media.

It’s also frequently said that if you’re going to toss out zingers, you should at least be able to take what you give out. So, not to worry – the queens here will poke fun at themselves and each other just as much as they do at the rest of our crazy world.

Come enjoy the show! Tickets start at $20 and are available here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/Haters-Roast-The-Shady-Tour-tickets/artist/2331866

Next week we’ll publish Michelle Rhiannon Cox’s review of the show.

 

 

Synchronized Chaos May 2017: Close Encounters

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Synchronized Chaos’ May theme is Close Encounters. While we won’t find any alien life in our issue, we do see many pieces that look into the different ways that we respond when we interact with others. Or into the clash or blend of cultures, ideas, art forms, landscapes or words.

Joan Beebe gives us a pleasant ode to music, showing us the joy of encountering and playing the piano after a long absence from the instrument. And she reflects on inner peace she found despite a scary medical experience.

Kahlil Crawford presents a juxtaposition of photographic art and words, combining poetry and images of old and iconic music albums.

Vijay Nair celebrates the on-screen magnificence of a film star and the craft of playing characters and creating a celebrity personality as a form of performance art in itself.

J.D. DeHart presents an essay on interpreting poetry by finding things in the text we understand and can relate to, rather than imposing a meaning from the outside. He discusses avenues by which we can begin to understand poems.

Cristina Deptula explains the reasons behind and mechanisms for producing ‘vegan cheese’ (cheese where the proteins come from yeast rather than animal milk) as a crowd funded citizen science project at a laboratory open to the public. The researchers’ goals are to make food science and genetic research accessible to more people.

Sometimes we encounter other beings and the initial response is mutual confusion, fear, or offense. In Elizabeth Hughes’ Book Periscope column, both Ana in Fifty Shades of Grey and Melanie in Small Persons with Wings meet and interact with people very much unlike themselves to their mutual annoyance. It takes years and many later interactions for them to understand each other.

When it comes to encounters with authority figures, that kind of understanding can come through trust in the legitimate guidance of those one respects.

Tamara Rasmussen celebrates dynamic, unpredictable and creative goddesses, whose actions may seem destructive in the short term but ultimately bring balance.

Mahbub demonstrates submission to authority: to his father while he was a boy, then later on to his boss, using language and concepts many rarely hear outside of perhaps a religious context.

Yet, his respect and obedience is selective, not slavish. In another piece he decries the powerlessness of ordinary people, with a speaker who compares himself and others to soccer balls kicked around by the uncaring who see life as a sport with the goal of enriching themselves.

Dave Douglas’ poem also reflects the choice to submit to authority, divine authority in this case. His speaker allows himself to have his entire identity re-made so that he can have a life of relationship with and service to God rather than the selfishness and pride that has alienated him.

Other pieces explore the ramifications of encounters among social groups, and of people trying to live within society.

J.K. Durick presents poems of complication. Elderly bodies which cannot do everything that people would like, airport security regulations that get in the way of people having a good time for free, penalties for nonviolent wrongdoing that everyone considers good and only fair until they experience them themselves.

Christopher Bernard reviews the theater show Overnight at Oakland’s Flight Deck, a modern Jack and the Beanstalk tale relevant to our concerns over gentrification, urban development and technological progress.

Donal Mahoney’s piece relates his experience as a social services caseworker, when he failed to acknowledge the social realities his unemployed African-American client faced. Here he was the authority, well-meaning but limited in his understanding, and humored by those he served because he was part of the system that delivered needed services.

Randle Pink further elaborates on the very real effects of social barriers and informal prejudices. He discusses the struggles of transgender people to be accepted and treated with respect, and the phenomenon of imposter syndrome, where members of minority groups internalize the prejudice against them and feel like ‘imposters’ undeserving of the accomplishments they earn. He also points to the problematic nature of respectability politics, where minorities enforce classism and other prejudices of the mainstream society in their own communities in an effort to get some of their members accepted.

Sometimes the ‘others’ we encounter are other versions of ourselves.

Mike Zone gives us a time travel story where the hero encounters a past version of himself while attempting to eliminate the man involved with his wife. Even with the guidance of his ‘old friend,’ he cannot find a potential future universe where he lives happily with his wife without a rival, so he kills himself to resolve the philosophical dilemma.

J.J. Campbell’s poetry illustrates different dimensions of solitude: silence, anxiety, loss, loneliness and grief, and thoughts and memories of one’s personal and cultural past.

Mark Murphy gives us poetics of isolation and alienation. Why and how do we keep loving when our feelings aren’t returned, when we have to wait endlessly for someone, when we’re lost in the miniscule traffic jams below the cathedrals of life? Maybe we do just because of who we are, because we are creatures who love and relate to others and try to connect with the larger whole because that is what keeps us going, from feeling completely insignificant.

Laurie Byro’s lush pieces, drenched in the color of vast Southwestern landscapes, evoke vague feelings of awe, dread and inevitability. Her speakers embrace their wildness, their elemental, amoral, natural and enduring, self-preserving sides, whether as humans or other creatures.

Michael Robinson’s speaker finds himself haunted by his past, overcome by memories of a past rape as he tries to get close to his lover. His later pieces illustrate loss of privacy in a mental institution and ultimately ends on a note of gentle affection.

Allison Grayhurst gives us a long sequence of poems accompanied by audio recordings where an ancient and brutal king dies during violent betrayal, then gets reborn to a new awareness of himself, then to humble stewardship and appreciation of a creek, then eventually to love and marriage as a regular person.

His transformation reflects the learning and growth that we hope creative writing of all sorts can inspire. With that in mind, we invite you to read and thoughtfully consider this issue.

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