Synchronized Chaos September 2021: Coming and Going

Public domain photo from Linnaea Mallette

Welcome, readers, to September’s issue of Synchronized Chaos Magazine. This month’s submissions invite us to consider our trajectories as individuals, social groups, or even as a species inhabiting the planet.

Some philosophers and social theorists see the development of civilization as a forward march towards greater moral and material progress. Others view how human societies develop over time in a less linear way. To them, societies take some steps forward and some backward, and sometimes make changes that are just changes, not advancements or declines. And others see societies as capable of simultaneously advancing in some areas yet declining in others.

This month’s contributors ponder where we are moving as individuals or as larger societies. Where have we come from, and where are we going?

Public domain image from Anna Langova

Lorraine Caputo writes of trains in Mexico, how they can bring reunion as well as separation. Robert Thomas provides cultural commentary and observations through the lens of two different restaurant dinners, and Sandeep Kumar Mishra writes thoughtful and poetic reflections on travel, exile, loss and the complex humanity of the third world and its residents. Kahlil Crawford outlines the cultural and ethnic history of the St. Paul/Minneapolis area. Ike Boat writes of a hardscrabble up-and-coming life as an artist in urban Accra, Ghana. Poet Mary Mackey interviews Sacramento (California)’s poet laureate Indigo Moor, whose recent collection Everybody’s Jonesing for Something explores the hope, dreams, death and injustice involved with the American Dream.

Mark Young and Charlie Robert intersperse bits of history into clever poems. Mark presents fresh mechanically generated pieces starting with ‘found writing’ in literary and non-literary texts, and Charlie Robert echoes American history with scat-like chant pieces.

Dr. Thomas Fink’s poetry considers what happens when we look at organic life and impose our ideas of what progress means, while Andrew C. MacDonald writes of rural life and the passage of time.

Public domain image from George Hodan

Some philosophers posit the existence of a ‘human nature’ that includes some psychological characteristics that stay relatively stable across cultures and throughout time. To them, people and societies face perennial questions and challenges. Several of our contributors speak to tensions that have been considered part of our nature.

Binod Dawadi encourages people to choose peace and tolerance over materialism, greed, prejudice and exclusion. Henry Bladon writes of the journey of death, physical death and soul-death through harming others. Christopher Bernard’s monthly installment of his story The Ghost Trolley presents through a childhood heroic adventure a conflict between those who seek a simple and humble life and those who wish to dominate and control others. Chimezie Ihekuna’s monthly screenplay preview showcases a drama about a corrupt business manager – and those under him who must choose justice or revenge. Z.I. Mahmud, in his monthly installment of his thesis on the works of Charles Dickens, illustrates how Dickens uses literary devices to advocate for humane values in David Copperfield.

Others among our contributors also speak to questions humans face and seemingly universal aspects of the human condition, but on a more personal and individual level.

Public domain image from Kevin Phillips

Hongri Yuan, in poems translated by Yuanbing Zhang, uses imagery to evoke our pursuit of transcendence amidst our difficult and mundane lives. Jack Galmitz speaks to how we see each other and how we might wish to be remembered. Mahbub rejoices in various forms of love as a comfort during personal or political tragedies. R.P. Verlaine sings of love lost, memory, and remonstrance. Mike Zone writes of a man who loses, or gives over, part of his humanity through love and imagination, and becomes something other than himself.

Michael Steffen’s speakers have to decide whether to step out of their comfort zones to learn and grow, while Mark Blickley presents a man who rethinks his behavior. J.J. Campbell’s short e.e. cummings-esque poetic pieces look at the dangerous and dull places our minds can go when left alone. Elizabeth Hughes reviews Vincent Hollow’s poetry collection Swan Songs of Cygnus in her monthly Book Periscope column, which draws on astronomy and cosmology as a metaphor for the emotional journey of love and grief.

Sushant Kumar celebrates the hard work and devotion of mothers. As he reminds us, we all have someone who birthed and who raised us, we all come from somewhere.

Poetry from Sushant Kumar

 Mother looks exhausted

 …..And she works
 Nowhere, some say
 Neither at any
 Administrative workplace
 Nor any I/NGOs
 No job; nothing, she does.
 Yet, she wakes up
 Always early in the morning
 Along with cock’s doodle -doo
 And, the whole day and late night
 And in sun, in rain,
 She accomplishes
 Something;
 Called, household chores
 
 Cause, She, a Mother,
 Who beholds a golden
 Future for her offspring
 She has no such thing
 As OFFICE TIME
 And, A Housewife,
 An identity all provide
 And exhausted,
 She always looks 
 Multiple times than any
 Office goer
 As her eyes awake like
 Owl over the night
 And hands unrest like
  A machine
 
 Cause, A golden future
 As she beholds
 For her offspring.
 Be conscious and
 Considerate
 And read and interpret
 Your mother’s eyes,
 You see
 Tears rolling down
 Yet, smile on face
 And exhausted
 Yet, loaded with affection
 As your achievement is
 Her satisfaction
 
 So, she cares
 Upbringing you
 The best way
 Because, as a golden future she
 Beholds
 For her offspring
 Though her work is not recorded
 In any administrative office
 
 Yet she is uncelebrated,
 Unsung hero
 Behind her offspring,  
 As a golden future always she
 Beholds
 For her offspring. 
Poet Sushant Kumar

Bio: Sushant Kumar B.K. is a Nepalese poet, educator and freelance writer who resides in Gulariya, Bardiya, Nepal. He has MA degrees in English Literature from Central Department of English, Tribhuwan University(TU) and Political Science from Kathmandu Central. At present, he has been pursuing his third master degree in Public Administration. He teaches at Janasewa Multiple Campus, Baidi, Bardiya. He is also the principal of Bageshwory Secondary Boarding School, Gulariya, Bardiya, Nepal. He writes poems in English and Nepali language.

He has attended writing workshop jointly organized by Fulbright Nepal and Dignity Initiatives, Kathmandu, Nepal. His poem “An Age of Paradox” has been published in An International Anthology, Pandemic Poetry 2020, and his poems are featured in The Kathmandu Post, The Himalayan Times, The Gorkha Times, My Republica, Indian Periodical(India), Grey Thoughts(USA), The Piker Press (USA), Borderless Journal(Singapore), Williwash WordPress (Nigeria), Sindh Courier(Pakistan) ,Seto Pati, Sahitya Post, Shabdasopan, Central Khabar and Firewordsdaily . He can be contacted at bksushant26@gmail.com.

Poetry from Charlie Robert

 There’s an Addict in the House
  
 There’s an Addict in the House and they’re
 Cracking Down all over town.
 We have programmed him to report at First Light but 
 Confidence is running low.
 Hey Man!
 Given the opportunity he will ruin our scene.
 Somewhere his ancestral home still stands.
 Let’s stash him there.
 In the place where the wind comes up from the Lake.
 Where Elders drive by and Mourners high-five.
 Where resolutions are covered in cellophane.
 Cold in a bowl.
 What will happen to him is anyone’s guess.
 Caesar felt the first knife and thought it was the last.
  
  
 The Funcle
  
 I like hanging with the Funcle.
 He knows the waitress from Woolworth’s and can
 Charm her at Will.
 On cue he gets cheese with his pie.
 Someday soon he will cup her breasts.
 His brothers are evil.
 The women they date are 
 Shiny and Pink.
 Someday soon they will win First Prize.
  
 I like hanging with the Funcle.
 Once we caught a pickerel the length of a gar.
 Its bony teeth bit phantom steel and we
 Smashed its Head on the State Line Bridge.
 His brothers are virtuous and
 Join the Choir.
 Their signs light up the dark.
 Who was it that told them The End Is Near?
  
 I like hanging with the Funcle.
 He’s writing a poem called Saxophone Heaven and
 Posting a Selfie when the Big Hand hits Twelve.
 His brothers have delusions of adequacy.
 Their history bleeds out whenever it can.
  
  
 Epiphany
  
 Razor Sharp.
 In their Clarence Darrow clothes.
 Guilty was their game.
 Turn and Fire on the Count of One.
 Did you do it?
 No.
 Are you certain?
 No.
 Darkness at dawn.
 The cell is as hot as the Devil’s Coat.
 Down the hall.
 Old Sparky.
 Licking his chops.
 Hissing. 
 Throbbing with Juice.
 Did you do it?
 Yes.
 Are you certain.
 Yes.
 I roll up my mattress.
 Wait for the tray.
 Eggs.
 In the shape of a noose.
 A turd on the edge of the plate.  
  
  
 Take That Commie Shrimp Dick
  
 Beans in the Bunker.
 Back on the Menu.
 Mambo Sweet Papi.
 Havana Cigar.
 We’re Deep Underground.
 We’ll never Be Found.
 Take That!
 Commie Shrimp Dick. 
 Both Bobby and Jack.
 Love Marilyn Monroe.
 It’s Time to Attack.
 Get On with The Show.
 Whose Rockets are Hard?
 Who’s Let Down their Guard?
 Take That!
 Commie Shrimp Dick.
 Back in the Bunker.
 Havana Cigar.
 Your Bomb was a Clunker.
 Didn’t even Make Par.
 There’s Lice in your Beard.
 Top Secret.
 We’re Cleared.
 Take That!
 Commie Shrimp Dick.  
  
  
 Check Please
  
 Front Door.
 It’s locked.
 It’s locked.
 I think.
 It’s locked.
 Knock Knock.
 We’re in 
 The Pink.
 The Lights.
 Bark Bark.
 They’re on.
 They’re off.
 They’re on. 
 King Kong. 
 The Lights.
 Ping Pong.
 The Stove.
 Dear Friend.
 We’re at 
 The End.
 It’s on.
 It’s off.
 Let’s check.
 Zoloft.
  
 Metal.
  
 Ticking.
  
 Heat.
  
 Cherry Red.
  
 They’ll find me in the morning.
  
 Gripped in pain they will wonder.

Charlie Robert is a writer and poet living in Silicon Valley. His work is Punchy. Stark. Peopled with characters heroically flawed. Addicts and Taoists. Heidis and Hitlers. Beasts. Caged and uncaged. He has been published in various Literary Journals / Small Press Anthologies including Milk and Cake Press, Iconoclast, NOMADartx, Rat’s Ass Review, The Rye Whiskey Review, Synchronized Chaos, Sacred Chickens, Orchards Poetry Journal, Pikers Press, and is forthcoming in others. Find him at: https://www.charlierobert.com/

Poetry from R.P. Verlaine

Departure's Price 
 
To feel what isn’t there 
is all I need this far
into a one-night adventure,
daylight now ends. 
 
Wanting her to tell me nothing,
except lies that would convince 
a clock to move forward 
to no return or a pause 
at the precise or 
rumored false step 
any love demands more 
than once... 
 
Around which we skirted,
skilled as puppets 
who can do little more 
than entertain 
even when the applause 
is neither obsequious 
or false. 
 
And now the price of 
departure, a tax 
wanton drinking and lust begets, 
awaits with receipt... 
 
As we linger in a paid for bed 
without the energy for lies,
I check messages 
that say nothing. 
 
While she watches,
showing no emotion,
a copy of me,
trying to figure out 
long after the last kiss 
how to get out of this 
with a grace we both lack. 
 
Knowing this was a mistake 
and the new day only 
a chance to make more.

 
 
K2

Driving to the airport, its nearly dawn
turbulent dark skies and dim tiny stars
my lone company- the radio's low.
Trying to make sense why so much has gone
awry or failed to transpire so far.
all faith submerged , lost to the undertow.
where life seizes you and then flings you down
until you’re prostrate on knees or the floor
someone shouting ten and you’re counted out.
I'm driving to a new start and new town.
It wasn't love K, you closed all the doors
I kept knocking still, with all of my doubts.
K, I see your face with its vague sad hope
its goodbye tears, it wasn't love but close


Beginnings

Do not ask me of others, let’s start fresh.
As if we were rare seedlings in the spring
sprouting promises with our sweetest thoughts
rooted deep beyond earthly wants of flesh.
Beyond true love’s lost dark imaginings
pale jealousies , tides of mistrust wrought.
Let ardor beckon, wondrously new
we’ll be its play things, puppets in a dance.
outside the present to postpone regret
by giving love each day its place, yet true
to ourselves, mocking fate’s uneven chance
diving to we know not, and come out blessed.
So let’s begin, without a sin or stain
after I ask you this-what is your name.



Her Blank Canvases 

Home dining alone or with one who cares 
she claims she’s happier since the divorce 
won’t marry again even in a dream. 
When asked if she still paints, I’m made aware 
passing fancies and hobbies run their course 
as does a lover lost in the midstream. 
Where I drowned in drink after she left me 
to go to Paris with a man she thought 
loved her and did till the money ran out. 
While I stayed servant to the tapestries 
of color and wild imaginings caught in a canvas awash in reckless doubt. 
When I say I still paint, there’s dead silence 
ah there’s much that dies without violence. 


Truncated Affair 

You can kiss 
each of 
my tattoos,
she said,
if you buy me one. 
 
I asked about
the scar on her cheek.
She was silent,
not wanting me 
near wounds,
healing or unhealed. 
 
We made love,
our confidence 
misplaced in 
a bed where  
excitement’s rush 
& its dichotomy 
to both discover and hide 
were the wrong guides 
to entwine us 
past the 
temporary. 
 
She was precious,
much as she denied it 
when sober, which
was rare. 
 
Each morning, 
pouring me coffee,
she'd do two lines,
check mgs,
leaves me 2 poems
someone else wrote  
a disquieting challenge 
I never clearly won 
or lost. 
 
When we traded kisses,
I'd win every time
it didn’t count. 
 
Real or imagined,
her smile is always enough 
to earn her tattoos. 
 
Trouble came 
in a script for a movie 
she began to think 
was us...
 
In real time 
arguments, complications,
violence, plot twists 
to an ending. 
 
Predictable,
even with all the  
rewrites. 
 
Her goodbye, 
open ended evil,
made truth out of the lies 
in the disconnected 
thoughts of her
I can't disconnect  
from now,
unable to sleep 
i'm no longer awake 
without some cost. 
 
Imagining only 
her ink stained body again 
leaving mine unmarked  
with its sweat 
almost clean enough 
for purgatory.

Short story from Mike Zone

Snow Crash

By Mike Zone

Months ago before all this began during the harsh winter storm that brought down frozen tears in well maintained suburban houses and somber smiles of a fierce yet humbled resilience which crumbled into a just as fierce breaking and an anxiety of a crippling nature behind the closed doors of the homestead. Barry Klatt sat by the window of in his reading chair dressed especially dashing in tweed green slacks with a brown sweater over a cream dress shirt, hoping a car would crash into a tree, that maybe there would be a lone survivor, preferably a pretty woman with an unblemished face with no recollection of who she was before the accident.

HE WOULD NURSE HER BACK TO HEALTH.

They would fall in love or at the most dismal grow to a romantic carnal affection.

There would be mutual moist kisses and permissive penetration of any God given orifice but first he had to dress to impress and make sure to take photographs to document what a gentlemen he was never to lay hand upon her until a sweet declaration of love.

What if the survivor, were a child?

If it was a female nearing puberty he could care for her like a daughter, raise her into womanhood and a share natural matrimony as she grew to age.

What if it were a male of any age?

Let them burn.

He’d even pour gasoline onto the car and produce a match if needed.

He preferred blondes.

Gentlemen preferred blondes. Ergo, he was a gentlemen.

He selected a book from his secondhand cornflower blue bookcase. A paperback of Japanese death poems though he considered by Charlotte Bronte, he didn’t want to hammer away at a completely implausible simulation. He was the scholarly type who just happened to be a man’s man of the heart with the soul of a poet but didn’t want to venture into type of terrain where he would start questioning himself again.

FIRE IN THE SKY.

A meteor shower was forecasted on the weather channel. He wished upon multiple falling stars. There was a minor tremor and crunching thud, heard moments ago.

Barry Klatt sat in his chair, reading the same poem after half a dozen times or so waiting for his bruised and bloody celestial angel.

Freshly shaved, pink completely shaved bullet shaped head and horn-rimmed glasses with a barely self-contained smile across his lips, slightly tasting the hair from his sandy goatee. Barry’s mind wandered into a sensation of uneasy serenity dwelling in a cave with a monk finding enlightenment envisioning cherry blossoms falling to the ground but only for a moment when a sudden knock at the door broke his trance.

He casually put his book down and cleared his throat as his hand clasped the knob of the door. He had to brace himself for what would follow, whoever it may be…

And just like that a Hollywood wet dream came true, like Hitchcock’s Vertigo or a Harryhausen spectacular like Earth vs. Flying Saucers…you know one of the good ones?

SHE stood at the door, trembling with a dazed incredulous look on her face. Eyes as wide as flying saucers, seemingly dizzy with a heavy case of vertigo, she gasped and fell into his arms.

A FRENCH BLONDE WITH PROMINENT CHEEK BONES. EYES ROUND AS ALMONDS.

Klatt could barely contain his raging boner as the heaving bosom beneath the open ski jacket pressed against his belly and golden locks with red droplets, smoke and scorched metal scented flooded his nostrils and invaded his optic nerves causing a nervous organic jolt throughout his body.

Was it electrical or was it something more otherworldly like ghostly tentacles not quite intangible stroking his atoms trying to rip him apart like amputee haunted by phantom limbs?

He desperately prayed, she did not remember who she was or where she had had after the great awakening. Should he just her place on the couch outstretched, prepare a meal and wait or was it capable of manifesting itself into a dire panic-stricken situation which would require duct tape over the mouth and the emergency shackles placed near the bed with silky pajamas down in basement?

Klatt didn’t think of himself as a monster, but some monsters had good ideas and he was acting with most noble intentions, so how could he even be considered a monster when he was merely following the path of a preordained divine love?

HE WOULD LAY HER ON THE COUCH.

If she woke up screaming?

How could she? He was about to make a big heaping bowl of mashed potatoes with chives. It would rest near her steaming and if screams were to be uttered and stuff so full of buttery carbs, she’d fall asleep full content and satisfied…after initial terror and despair from the unknown.

He removed the jacket and her trendy boots, setting her on the side with her facing him. Let her find something plain, soft and calming if she were to arise from her disoriented state, it may settle her mind allowing the brain to percolate a bit before going off the rails in an alarming fashion.

Also hanging above the couch was a gold print by Georgia O’Keefe, who could lose all rational composure when taking in the stunning visual of an all-encompassing desert flower?

            When things used to go awry with your grandfather Barry, I’d just close my eyes, tip my head back and picture flowers blooming… his mother would often say, staring off into a place where she seemed to believe space existed but all there was, was a wall painted cornflower blue.

Klatt couldn’t help but admire her classic hourglass shape and almost aged out classic movie star unintentionally seductively cascading hair as he looked over the island of his cramp checkerboard floored kitchen.

            “Is this love?” he wondered aloud, imagining a sense of tranquility in a blank slate mind alongside the impact of Cupid’s arrow as he grabbed the whisk along with his bone white mixing bowl transfixed by a sky seemingly littered with falling stars among the reign of thousands of snowflakes.

THEN IT HAPPENED…

As soon as Klatt jubilantly slammed a sack of red skin potatoes on the counter, flaming white heat crashed into blinding white snow and mesmerized by the sound of silence and what should have been blind light, Barry soon found himself out in his backyard, snow half way to his knees, not thinking about wet socks and the warped leather of loafers, trudging almost instinctively toward steaming snow melted crater, finding a shimmery silver sparkling albino octopi , weakening tentacles flailing about searching for even the dimmest hope of survival.

Klatt immediately took the creature and cradled it carefully in his arms, not dismayed but confused as to why he was taking such an action with self-inquiry. Did love really have the ability to bestow such courage?

Sometimes sentinels are sent to die… His heart seemed to sing the statement in mind through the rhythm of life sustaining thumping.

He washed the extraterrestrial cephalopod in the sink with tepid water. It was limp. He waited a few moments.

Would chunks of intergalactic octopi of a standard nature be welcome in these spuds he would mash for his lady love?

The stable butcher knife in his trembling hand didn’t answer his question as he drove the blade into the creature’s head and swiftly split it down the middle, as a milky liquid spewed forth running down his hand being absorbed into his pores as he drove his free hand into the octopi’s head crushing some sort of pulsating organ into its palm.

On the other hand, sentinels resting between the borders between entropy and infinity have a much better grasp on how the universe works and if there just happens to be a tear in the fabric of being in time and new worlds open, isn’t it time for a bit of trans-dimensional perusal and genetic acclimation for exploration? Moaned Klatt’s veins being cleaned out by piano wire.

Something starting breaking and snapping inside Klatt as his knees shattered and organs slide up his chest, a cold thrust rushing up an out of his mouth immediately being caught in a deluge of black celestial charged ink projected from the octopus in the sink, as it lay dying, yellow eyes wide open locking onto Klatt’s own ocular orbs.

The duo’s pupils dilating, filling the eyes eclipsing blues and yellows, liquifying and emulating the alien ink being spurted about the room, each one seeing and experiencing what the other had in each his respective world…

Klatt could taste the color of music emanating from stars long burnt out, a kaleidoscopic spectrum of swirls and rays containing white heat hazes normally perceived by three dimensional receiving creatures as universal dark void but nothing as it seems as the void is a reflection of infinite potential the source of universal chaos and genesis entropy. Tentacles suctioned to the energy of time and space, tearing it asunder to explore new worlds outside their own realms causing ever more variances subverting the nature of time and reality itself…could universes branch out and eventually stretch to a breaking point where all of us and everything could exist at once never really being full living beings but a mass entity of existence growing on a tree being devoured by these beauty sleek, silver lined creatures with yellow star shining eyes who could pick a random body, form it to its needs akin to terraforming and implant its consciousness within, so it live through an eternity?

Klatt saws worlds die and be born in intergalactic fire and rain, wondering if this is how he was meant to die without feeling self-satisfied individualized romantic love…

KROMM STARTED TO BREATHE THROUGH THE VARIOUS ORFICES OF KLATT….

The octopi was essentially what would be considered a point for his people. He slung himself into Barry Klatt’s mouth, gradually shoving himself inside.

 Words entered Klatt’s mind, at first booms as they faded away with what he felt was his existence.

            You yourself will never know how you were meant to live and die, Barry Klatt except for what befalls your Terran mind and body in these moments. Part of your mind shall survive as will your body but you as an entity shall not. I shall retain how little you’ve lived along with certain characteristics which gradually erode along with the memories your mind has recorded. I wish you well in a place you shall never journey to for the existence of a world outside life has alluded us for tens of thousands of epochs. Probability is an objective god of a neutral source and you shall find no mercy as trillions of creatures born to die in various natures have not.

 There was an explosion of ink, blood and human male organs splattered on the wall.

Something crawled toward the couch where a beautiful slightly bruised woman rustled around in her sleep. The creature that was not yet fully Kromm yet incompletely Barry Klatt gazed down at her as it stroked its newly sprouting sixth tentacle, eagerly awaiting the other two, secreting something between ink and saliva as it reached a tentacle to stroke majestically golden hair.

Would it eat her?

Love her?

Poetry from J.J. Campbell

Poet J.J. Campbell
scare yourself back into existence
 
angels laugh at the
ache in your heart
 
they taste the blood
in your fear
 
they help you tie the
rope around your neck
and find the sturdiest
tree in the town
 
it is your unwillingness
to step beyond these
mortal thoughts that
confuses everyone
 
why be tied to just what
they want you to know
 
expand your brain
into the darkest hole
you can find and scare
yourself back into
existence
 
give the world all
your secrets
 
break these chains
and never be afraid
of falling down
 
but never think anyone
will ever help you back
up
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
a frantic phone call to my mother
 
i remember taking my mother's
diaphragm into show and tell
one day and said i used it in
the sandbox in the backyard
to sift the sand
 
there was a frantic phone call to
my mother from a horrified teacher
 
my mother had no clue what
i had done
 
i figured i was getting an early
start at being a standup comedian
 
of course, it was the 80's and
we had no clue how to actually
encourage an active imagination
in a child back in those days
 
they were too busy trying to get
me to understand conformity
and division
 
i was already reading at a college
level and no one understood what
made my mind tick
 
none of them ever did until i got
to high school and found an english
teacher who knew immediately i
was way beyond anything he had
planned in his class
 
so, he told me to go write a book
of poems and show him what i was
working on
 

best teacher i ever had
----------------------------------------------------------------------
abandoned buildings
 
i sometimes find
myself drifting off
mid-conversation
these days
 
i'll hear an old
massive attack beat
in my head and start
thinking about doing
drugs in my youth
 
abandoned buildings
 
the cemeteries and
open fields where we
would count the stars
and give them better
names
 
and it's not that those
days were better or
more open or free
 
they just held a sense
of a better possibility
than these days
 
stuck in a digital world
of faceless souls and

juvenile criminals
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
the dotted line
 
engulfed in flames
 
trembling hands
and a dotted line
 
a little scotch used
to calm these nerves
 
now it takes more
than anyone should
comfortably drink
in public
 
it's not every day
you're signing away
the right to live
 
but you understand
this is the best for

everyone involved
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
the horizon looks bleak
 
i used to mark
the days on a
calendar with
a marker
 
now i do it
with blood
 
the horizon looks
bleak and then i
see a mirror
 
haven't shaved
in years
 
no reason to ever
love me screams
like a woman in
danger
 
i have prepared
for my death since
i was a child
 
the life goals i was
allowed to pursue
have all been
checked off
 
now i just need
a sunset
 
a trusty shotgun
 
and a little music

to send me home

J.J. Campbell (1976 – ?) is old enough to know where the bodies are buried. He’s been widely published over the years, most recently at The Rye Whiskey Review, The Beatnik Cowboy, Dumpster Fire Press, Misfit Magazine and Horror Sleaze Trash. You can find him most days on his mildly entertaining blog, evil delights. (https://evildelights.blogspot.com)

Essay from Ike Boat

Life In Greater Accra.

LIGA Series1 By Ike Boat

Photo of the city of Accra, Ghana, from Ike Boat

The LIGA Series describes real-life story of a creative artiste ‘Ike Boat’ and what have been his battles, challenges and struggles in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, West Africa. He conceived the idea to write this ‘Arti-Blog’ based on what he narrates as being a bane of joblessness, homelessness and sleeplessness in this part of Ghana, as he’s been a stranger to natives of the communities where he finds himself – Author : Dennis Mann

In this Series 1 of LIGA he writes about his decision to be in Accra and how life is treating him on daily basis and how he’s coping else facing such harsh conditions as realities, beside the issues of making a living.

LIGA 1

LIGA – Quite such an interesting similarity of the abbreviation or acronym, thus LIGA with regard to the Spanish football premier league dubbed La Liga or the German premier League Bundes-Liga. Well this real-life story as article-blog is not in any-way or means associated or connected with the Spanish soccer i.e.(sport) association, institution or organization in Spain. But on the contrary, it’s exact reflection of acronym used as title of this real-life personal story with regard to happenings to me in Greater Accra region as I made both bold and faith oriented move here a couple of months ago. Whether it’s step in a right direction or not, this really unfolds some aspects of daily life as a bitter-pill to swallow, beside pukes or problems and challenges in this capital city of Accra, Ghana. (West Africa).

Life In Greater Accra (LIGA) the capital of Ghana has generally not been easy with me at all even as I try to be positively busy every day. Unimaginably, I have been trying harder and harder from actual to virtual mediums or mean to ensure that the talents, skills and abilities become useful to individuals and companies I establish contact with but it like throwing punches in the air. However, there have been no positive results or responses. Countless number of employment applications to media companies and individual employers but all seem Cos-90 move. I presume of the reasons being rich achievements on Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume, so some companies or business owners think it difficult to agree on particular payment satisfaction. More-so, another application view or presumption is such that some human resource personnel or highly positioned staff members feel uncomfortably they’ll lose their role or position when accepted into the establishment based on multi-skills or talents I possess.  Obviously, there have been hectic and realistic times trying harder with heart of hope and faith to in relation to every-day perseverance in ensuring breakthrough success and progress in the Arts industry. To be precise, as far as the God-given talents, gifts and skills coupled with prospects and potentials of daily hustle and bustle are concerned in this cosmopolitan city of Ghana, West Africa. Factually, the struggles and sufferings have nothing to do with being lazy or act of laziness as a chap with positive dreams, realistic ambitions and holistic aspirations to make life bearable before departure from this earth. Of course, being in Accra has been a long time heart-yearn during my teen-aging years back in Takoradi, where I born and grew up.

         On 19th March,2021 I arrived in Accra from Kasoa precisely the perching residence at Estate Top and Blue Top Estate respectively, thus in house owned by the former International footballer in the personality of Mr.Owusu Afriyie currently based in Deutschland (Germany). The first move was primarily as a result of an invitation to feature as guest on Awake TV program dubbed Pillow Talk hosted by Lady Sherry Nyarko. Graciously, I had generous fund support from a noble figure outside of Ghana as a means of sponsorship for the transportation and accommodation. Indeed, it’s aided the fare and lodging at Mavis Hotel as I did several communications with the management and leadership in charge of this hospitality firm within Asylum Down suburb of Accra. Well, on the aftermath I engaged in thought-processing creative writing in terms of Blog and Vlog 233 Concept for online publication purposes.

         Of course, ups and downs of this LIGA also bring to bear realistic characters of some people being ungenerous in heart even if a person is on the verge of death due to certain harsh human conditions. A clear case study, of personally approaching a man who has stayed in Britain for years (expatriate) in times of dire need to eat and him turning me down with sheer ignorance even though everything show he’s able to provide as little as five (5) Cedis to buy food. It’s quite unconvincing and unbelievable his reason for refusing to show sense of generosity as I called on him at his residence in Asylum Down area of Accra. However, on one occasion I received a good surprise of fifty (50) banknote courtesy madam Harriet Quardey, the boss-lady, owner and prime operator of Mum’s Corner pub, where I have been MC a couple of times. Undoubtedly, it was one hunger day like a stranger who’s uninvited to her house and needed food to survive.  Well, one evening whilst walking on the newly tarred road I came across two (2) Cedis wrinkled banknote on the floor and mine oh, mine oh, it’s time of singing praises of hallelujah choruses unto God as I had nothing to eat the next morning.

         Lo, from one lodging place to another I have been dislodged and slept at unusual wrong areas suffering the night bites of wanton mosquitoes with uncomfortable restlessness leading to state of insomnia. For weeks, I have been sleeping at the wooden structure drinking bar of St. Sam Hotel here at Asylum Down in Accra. Factually, borrowing and owing as a promising artistic talent makes curious minds and conscious masses think differently about supposed star fellow in this infotainment age of technological advancement. Come to think of behind the scenes mock by some in secrecy!

Your guess is as good as mine, oh mine, oh mine – LIGA! There have been countless times of being at food selling joint without money to buy food and quite shamefully begging and pleading to get food and pay-back later. Oh, gosh, hmm – LIGA! The unpredictable times at kenkey and fried-fish with grind pepper selling joint, porridge with sugar and bread selling joint, fried-rice and chicken selling joint, just to mention but a few. Having said this, chef Peter Agombire and assistant Isaac Adobo have consistently contributed to aid my hunger condition as I continue to find lasting solution to such a bane of LIGA. Lest I forget, the one-on-one deep-life conversations with Madam Anna Cole coupled with her rollicking circular designed rice and stew with cooked egg offer at her family residence in Tabora, also remains unforgettable thus in relation to appreciation with grateful heart of gratitude in this LIGA Series.

         Reader, better-still I really don’t take for granted or refuse to express heart of gratitude the supportive manner and care of Mr.Harrison Nii Quaye the professional Real Estate agent (Realtor), who has bought food for me and given to me on several occasion, especially in my critical low moment of being so hard-up and broke, beside hungry in angry times like hum-ani i.e.(human-animal) figure on unfamiliar habitat. At times, escorting him to places such as Achimota, Osu, Labadi, Nima , James Town and other suburbs of Accra onboard a car he drives also has exposed and taught me lots of things about different areas with different arrays of life-style in relation to culture and livelihood as far as this LIGA is concerned. It also needful to mention as appreciable recognition of Mr. Earl Mantey, the Programs Manager of Happy 98.9 FM and Mr. Francis Cann (Dr.Cann) Presenter of Happy 98.9 FM as they have also contributed generously by way of buying food for me and giving token of money at certain point to aid the LIGA hardships. I’m so grateful as well for the media related interactions with them being staff of Global Media Alliance – GMA brand.

         In narrating LIGA, the sob-story of an Italian old-man who passed away at Mavis Hotel also brings about gracious nature of God’s gift of life to us in this part of Africa, Ghana to be precise. Well, one may wonder and ask why didn’t he kick the bucket at his homeland, Italy?  I remember, him dying on same room and bed that I accommodated my first week in Accra and I together with other three men carrying his lifeless body to a police car to the morgue/mortuary. It also reveals how and why as humans we need to thank God on daily basis. Pathetically, this man by first name Andrea in his fifties slept and didn’t wake-up again. And, it’s unknown to none of us at the hotel for days and by the time we realized his body on verge of decay in the room, thus same bed I slept on for days. Of course, together with Mr. Harrison Nii Quaye and Mr. Emmanuel Annan it’s to and fro at the Adabraka Police Station in Accra. Indeed, making realistic report of such death-case in this CoViD-19 times and brought about further investigations. Hmmm, it’s another solemn LIGA moment!

         Indeed, Life In Greater Accra (LIGA) without stating the following VIPs as worthwhile recognition of gratefulness towards their continuous Mo-Mo Support remains incomplete in this Series 1. Thus, notable acknowledgment of appreciation to Mr. Kenneth Anim, Mr. Dennis Agyeman and Mr. Agabus Asmah all have continually given to my state of uncertainties in coping with LIGA coupled with the Accommodation bane. Also, some distinguished International figures that have helped to cope financially with regard to LIGA includes: Mr. Andy Estrada #Dad & Mrs. Julie Estrada #Mom in USA, Madam Aja Pugh in USA, Minstrel Stella Addo in USA,Madam Dagmar Erb in Germany, Madam Lilian Aduka in Nigeria and Madam S.B Jabini in the Netherlands.

To Be Continued In LIGA Series 2 !

Real-Life Art-Blog Written By Ike Boat @ Asylum Down, Accra (Ghana).

Email Address: ikeboatofficial@gmail.com

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