Synchronized Chaos November 2016: Resilience in a Capricious Universe

Synchronized Chaos November 2016: Resilience in a Capricious Universe

Caspar David Friedrich's Wanderer above the Sea of Fog

Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer above the Sea of Fog

Welcome, family and friends, to November’s issue of Synchronized Chaos Magazine. Sending honor and respect to the departed for those who celebrate Day of the Dead or Samhain, and prayers for abundance for those marking American Thanksgiving.

This month we acknowledge the unpredictable nature of our lives, and our world, and honor our ability to survive within it by toughening up or adapting to change.

Vijay Nair’s poetry shows us how friendship is not always true, as people can betray us. We can gain strength and learn from all experiences, and some lessons are best learned in solitude.

M. Spear’s poems form wry critiques of the ways we ignore and exploit each other and express personal determination to move forward as an individual.

Poetry from Michael Marrotti deals with learning to manage others’ self-absorbed behavior by recognizing it and distancing oneself.

Jenny Santellano gives a visual portrayal of depression and mania as a mental prison, trapping the speaker within the bars of fluctuating energy and moods.

Suvojit Banerjee offers up colorful imagery of poverty, violence, nuclear war, and slum life. The radiance and liveliness of Banerjee’s work contrasts with the shortened, limited existences of the people he mentions, highlighting the tragedies he depicts.

A short story from Michael Robinson, also set within a poor and rough neighborhood, illustrates how men and boys can also experience sexual confusion, feelings of lost innocence, and body shame.

Mahbub celebrates natural life and growth and human love, as we see through his gentle metaphor how these qualities persist through periods of loneliness and struggle.

Lewis Mark Grimes reviews Stephen Nawotniak’s children’s book Mubu the Morph, which encourages patience and tolerance by showing an anthropomorphized creature trying various activities and roles. Grimes, an admirer of children’s literature, sees this concept as a metaphor for sentient life in general.

Art from Rui Carvalho also plays with the idea of childhood, with an intricate black and white rendition of a fairy with a child’s face. Childhood is full of rapid change and events outside of the young person’s control, but also the capacity to adapt to new circumstances.

A poem from Christopher Bernard brings Dr. Seuss-like political humor to the American election landscape.

An essay from Donal Mahoney points out that plants we consider useless can be crucial for preserving life, such as the monarch butterflies who lay their eggs on the milkweed of Maplewood, Missouri.

Poetry from Mark Schwartz, replete with intellectual and literary references, depicts the author’s active mental life while his body is confined in a nursing home recovering from an injury. He advocates a kinder society where we nurture and take care of everyone, no matter how useful, or not, they may seem to those in charge.

Elizabeth Hughes reviews Rita D’Orazio’s novel Legend of the Coco Palms Resort, a tale of ghosts, memory, romance and suspense set on a Hawaiian vacation lodge, in her monthly Book Periscope column.

Joan Beebe showcases the intricate majesty of a wooden clock her husband carved. Time reminds us of the sorrows of impermanence and mortality, but can also be marked in style.

A short story from JD DeHart renders of the Biblical story of Job in a country farm town, from the point of view of Satan, the innocent man’s tormenter and accuser. In DeHart’s piece, the Devil inflicts great suffering out of curiosity and gives up out of boredom, reflecting a capricious universe.

Writing, creating art and communicating can be a means of resilience, of understanding and making something out of random or challenging circumstances. We thank you for reading the words of our contributors and allowing their stories to last and be heard.


Poetry from Vijay Nair

Beware of friendship

Barking dogs all friends not
My bitten flesh his poisoned teeth
Iago my plague everywhere
France first massacred St. Bartholomew
Statecraft of duplicity scheming dark
Machiavellian my Italian downfall a fool
Othello slew Desdemona, naive my genius
Unallowed conscience fo’r mach four test

Tongue his, a boneless strong
To break enough a heart
Lawyer he of mistakes own
Jehovah he other mistakes judge
Hates, spending clock
Wise your correct him
Unless, learn to face own
Shadow see in others
Continue reading

Poetry from Jenny Santellano

Life Inside the Bars of Cognitive Madness

Squeeze in
squeeze out
I usher
the bad thoughts
from my natural
state of depression
past my current state
of delusion,
crushing fragments
of my black skull
along the way

I risk the release
of the aforementioned
in exchange
for a cush pillow
and a cozy blanket
of bullshit

I rise up higher
than a kitten
on crack
only to fall flat
on my phat ass
once again

the bottom
on the totem pole
of time

Short story from JD DeHart

Joe Bell, 2014
The swirling dark eddies of the stream must have been some form of invitation to the padding of the child’s feet. There was a rustle followed by a splash while the house with its dim lights slept. That is all I want to say about that, for some acts are not a matter of pride.
Once, I noticed a basket with two small white eggs, early vestiges of spring. Then I saw a dove sitting on those eggs the next day. A wind swept through and swiped mother and hatched fledglings off their surface, smashing them on the ground. Such is the way of the whirlwind sometimes; it is unexpected and seems to move by its own purpose. People often call me the bad guy, but I am not sure that is treating the narrative properly.
The child with padding feet belonged to Joe Bell, the premier attorney in the county. I should know, for I have been scoping this area out for centuries. Joe Bell put the upright in upright citizen and was the guest speaker for many prayerful occasions. Such meetings always make my skin crawl.

Continue reading

Poetry from Mark Schwartz


Off an alley in North Beach, I spent my boyhood aspirations.

Smoking weed in Kerouac Alley and drinking from pitchers of beer in Specs

spewing words onto a page.

Some of the words came true, others melted like candle wax over a bridal bouquet.

I got divorced from that son of a bitch

who kept me up all night

Tied to a bed in handcuffs.

I wrote it all down, the screams, noise, words. How do you write noise?

Like this.


And that’s that.


— Mark Schwartz and Joie Cook


By recluse in the affinity of the time

I come to reckon my finances

and all that is due to me

The kingdom come, thy will be done

As it is in heaven and earth


Be sure to forgive those who trespass you

But keep the debts


Remember the earth (maye, gaye)

and its replenishment


Come flowers, come children

Long live life.


Continue reading

Essay from Donal Mahoney

Monarch butterfly on milkweed flower (

Monarch butterfly on milkweed flower (

Butterfly and Milkweed in Maplewood, Missouri
A small city on the outskirts of St. Louis has ordered Alice Hezel to pull the swamp milkweed out of her yard because the city says it’s a weed and weeds aren’t allowed in Maplewood, Missouri.
Maplewood is a city in recovery thanks to an influx of nice restaurants, a microbrewery and an Apple computer store. But it’s not a town where the rich and famous live. Real folks live there.
The directive by the city may lead to pickets by the Monarch Butterfly as well as nature sympathizers because the swamp milkweed, along with other types of milkweed, is one of only a few places the Monarch will lay its eggs.
Some believe the Monarch is still an endangered species and that North America must do all it can to welcome these refugees from Mexico. They breed here in summer and then go home to hibernate in winter.
There are many beautiful large butterflies but few more beautiful than the Monarch. Its wings are a striking medley of orange, black and yellow, a welcome display of nature’s beauty in the United States and Canada. The people of North America would miss the Monarch if it disappeared.
Alice Hezel, the swamp milkweed gardener now going to court, is a warrior for conservation in Maplewood. More than a few citizens feel that the city should rescind its order and leave her and her swamp milkweed in peace. Taking her to court over a matter like this makes little sense but a date for the trial has been set.
We don’t want to deport the Monarch or have it go extinct on our soil. And we don’t want to build an invisible wall against the Monarch breeding by ridding our yards of swamp milkweed.
The Monarch doesn’t need a passport. It delights everyone fortunate enough to see one. Let’s save the Monarch so our descendants will have a chance some day to see its descendants.
Donal Mahoney
Donal Mahoney, a product of Chicago, lives in exile now in St. Louis, Missouri. His fiction and poetry have appeared in various publications, including The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Christian Science Monitor, The Chicago Tribune and  Commonweal.  Some of his online work can be found at


Elizabeth Hughes’ Book Periscope

The Legend of the Coco Palms Resort
Legend of the Coco Palms Resort is a suspense mystery that is most definitely a must have for the mystery lover and fans of Ms. Rita D’Orazio. I absolutely love this book! It will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page with its surprising twists and turns. Abby Parker works for Brickman and Brickman law firm in New York. She is sent to Kauai to obtain the land where The Coco Palms Resort sits. The resort was completely ruined by a hurricane and has stood emptied since. While there, she comes across Kanoa Kahala, whom she was dating and very much in love with in New York until his abrupt departure. As she is walking around the Coco Palms she looks up into a second story window and thinks she sees a woman looking down at her. What follows is a riveting story of romance, suspense and mystery that will keep you gripping the edge of your seat until the very last page. I know you will love this book as much as I do and will read it again and again. This is Rita D’Orazio at her best. You will NOT be disappointed.