Poetry by Christopher Bernard

Bike Angel

I fly down the hill on my black bike.
I know what I love, I know what I like.
I conquer the slopes on my bike’s back
like a wild black angel, the way I like.

She’s a Raleigh ten-speed, phat and sleek,
titanium light and chrome with slick,
quick to the touch and smooth on the road,
hot and fast and rad and black.

We cut close capers, free and all,
skid on concrete and never fall,
we weave a spell as I ride tall.
The girls smile deeply, all the girls, all.

With her, I’m my own man, we weave and spin
between the traffic, and always win.
Trucks and us, we’re real close kin:
they win with big, we win with spin.

I know all the looks, I know all the moves
as I race my own shadow, the way it grooves
just ahead like a ghost, the way it proves
it’s always beyond me, like storming horse hooves.

I dream as I ride of Larissa and me,
She rode me and rode me like a demon of love.
Then one day . . . the silence went dead like the wind.
Bike and me are now steel heart in a chrome glove.

I learned how to fly the other night.
I put on my shades against the light,
and rode my angel so out of sight
I didn’t need love, I didn’t need light.

I’ve been riding for days now, for months, for years
it feels like; nobody sees me, the tears
in my eyes are like spirits, I remember the day
I left for a long ride – to forget, let’s say.

The sun in my eyes, the wind in my face,
the shadows beside me kept pace, kept pace,
till the turn at hill’s bottom and I came face to face
with a dark car. That was the end of my race.

I conquer the hill on my bike’s back
like a wild black angel, the way I like.
I know what I lost, I know what I like.
I fly down the hill on my black bike.

Christopher Bernard is a widely published writer, critic, playwright and poet, co-founder of the literary and arts magazine, Caveat Lector (www.caveat-lector.org), and author of the novel, A Spy in the Ruins. Contact Bernard at christopherwb@msn.com.

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Book Review: In the Palace of Creation, by Janine Canan

[Reviewed by Jaylan Salah]

Oh, what sweet torture.

This sentence sprang to my mind the moment I began reading Janine Canan’s inspirational poetry collection “In the Palace of Creation.” Why I felt that way will be explained in the paragraphs to come.

“In the Palace of Creation” contains selected poems by Janine from the years 1969-1999. It is divided into 8 sections. Section 7 contains poems translated from other poets’ works and the last section contains the conclusion to all the mystery and enquiry of the previous poems. The thing with good poetry is that it always leaves the door open. It never gives us direct answers or puts a full stop at the end of the sentence. It’s a spontaneous process of living the experience without expecting anything from it. That’s what I felt with Janine’s poetry.

In the beginning, you stand at the door of Canan’s “Abandoned Garden”. You are hesitant and afraid, unsure of what to expect. But as you go through the lines and immerse yourself in the exquisite beauty, you realize that you’re just a pilgrim, finding your Mecca at Janine’s feet. She is the Goddess, the Mother of All and we’re all praying females, drinking from the river of her individuality and strength. Throughout the whole book, you lose your materialism and turn into one of Canan’s birds. You’re the Eagle in “Two Eagles”, losing your shyness and flying away into the sky. You’re the woodpecker that drums upon the hemlock tower in “Forest Temple”. You will scream your lungs away as a peacock in “Stubborn Rose”.

Jaylan Salah is a freelance writer and Synchronized Chaos contributor from Alexandria, Egypt. You may reach Salah at vigilante171@yahoo.com.

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An excerpt from Tunnel Road: A novel by A. Paul Cartier

TUNNEL ROAD

by

A. Paul Cartier

1. The View

This was no time to agonize over the decision. H had to make it quickly, really soon, like NOW.

The car was stopped, along with many, many others on the 101, under the shadow of San Bruno Mountain. He had seen the brake lights ahead, blooming in the growing gloom. He started braking to slow, hoping no one plowed into him from behind. But suddenly his controlled braking sharpened as it became clear that this was a full stop ahead, not a creeping caterpillar of cars.

He knew that a storm was on its way, but this was something else. A quake, maybe? You didn’t necessarily feel a quake if you were in a fast-moving car. He’d missed feeling several that way. He turned on the radio. Static. Punching the presets, then the scan button. Lots of static, and distant, whispery voices, like announcers way off around the curve of the planet.

– Daddy, why are we stopped? I need to get home. I’m tired. I’m sweaty. Hungry! I got homework up the…

– Yeah, me too, Boo. But there’s a hangup somewhere ahead. Nobody’s moving. What is weird is that I can’t get anything on the radio. Can you check traffic on your phone? See what it is. We just passed an exit. If we can get off this thing here, maybe…

He looked back and around the car. Locked in, but still could probably get off the road. His freeway claustrophobia was starting to kick in.

– We’ll wait a few minutes first. These things often clear out after a few…

He drummed his fingers on the wheel. Not going anywhere soon; might as well as shut off the engine. He paused. Should check ahead to see if anything’s happening. People were starting to honk impatiently.

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A. Paul Cartier is an artist and writer based in San Francisco, CA. To see Cartier’s artwork and contact the artist, click here.

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Synchronized Chaos Magazine – June 2011: Mind Over Matter

Synchronized Chaos is pleased to present you with June’s issue Mind Over Matter, an acknowledgment of willpower and responsibility of one’s fate in the face of seemingly never-ending grumble and quarrel, and complicated obligations.

Featured in this issue are paintings with undeniably obscure emotional messages by Artists, Lorette C. Luzajic and Larry Azoth.

Lauren Gann and Krista Tate delve into difficult and painful family relationships in their creative non-fiction pieces.

Joanna Roberts confronts interracial dating in the South, in her essay, Cancer.

In January Was The Wound, returning Word-Master Simon J. Charlton shares a complex poem that he wrote in response to reading the works of poets such as Charles Henri Ford, David Gascoyne, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and more. We also welcome new international poetry contributors, Steven Fowler and Tatjana Debeljacki.

Reviews this month:

Also, check out Robbie Fraser’s interviews with up-and-coming writer Brent Vickers and author Brian Doyle. Doyle talks about his most recent novel, Mink River.

We thank those who contributed to this month’s issue and to our readers throughout the globe for their ongoing support. Don’t forget to check out the new Synchronized Chaos Fan Page on Facebook! Click here now!

Art by Lorette C. Luzajic

Lorette C. Luzajic is an artist and writer from Toronto, ON, Canada. Luzajic is the founder of Idea Fountain, a creative portal for freedom of expression. For more information, click here or email ideafountain@hotmail.com.

The artwork featured here is from a recent series that seeks to explore repression, oppression, and suppression.

Luzajic also just released a coffee table book entitled, “A Heartbreaking World of Staggering Glorious: the visual imagination of Lorette C. Luzajic.” The book showcases over 250 of Luzajic’s works. Click here to preview the book!

An interview with Brian Doyle, author of Mink River

[Article by Robbie Fraser]

Brian Doyle’s most recent novel, Mink River, manages to showcase the Northwest in the same way that Irish authors like James Joyce showcased their own country.  It’s not a claim one lightly makes, but it is a claim that the book nonetheless deserves.  While a multitude of genuinely unique characters paint a portrait of the fictional town of Neawanka in full, Doyle also manages to present a novel that is accessible to the reader in a way that writer’s like Joyce famously never did.  It is a highly entertaining story in its own right, and provides the readers with a page turning presentation of events amid Doyle’s unique brand of philosophy.  In this month’s issue, Doyle was kind enough to sit down with Synchronized Chaos and offer his thoughts on his novel, as well as give a little insight on his life as a writer

“In a small town on the Oregon coast there are love affairs and almost-love-affairs, mystery and hilarity, bears and tears, brawls and boats, a garrulous logger and a silent doctor, rain and pain, Irish immigrants and Salish stories, mud and laughter.  There’s a Department of Public Works that gives haircuts and counts insects, a policeman addicted to Puccini, a philosophizing crow, beer and berries.  An expedition is mounted, a crime committed, and there’s an unbelievably huge picnic on the football field.  Babies are born.  A car is cut in half with a saw.  A river confesses what it’s thinking…”

Oregon State University Press

Synchronized Chaos: How long has the general idea for Mink River been floating around in your mind?
Brian Doyle: Probably 25 years. I wrote a short story in the mid eighties, published it, thought I was done with the characters, but they kept chatting away in my head – I could actually hear and see them – very odd. They are not based on anyone – they were, for whatever reasons, real to me. I tried then for years to push and see what would happen, but I am an essayist, not a novelist, and I’d stop again and again. Finally I set about just writing one tiny story a day of the town and its people, and that was the key to it – then it ran loose, and after a couple of years of one hour a morning, quite early, it wanted finally to be a Book. A wonderful soaring puzzling pleasure to have lived with those characters for so long. I miss them, actually.

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Robbie Fraser is an associate editor for Synchronized Chaos Magazine. Fraser may be reached at robbiedfraser@gmail.com.

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Poetry by Tatjana Debeljacki (Croatian and English Translation)

Ne-brižljivim

Gubi se u sivilu samoće.
Uljez saznanja-šum iz uma.
Nejasna nit, strasna, surova, bdi.
Plod nije zavera.
Ludak, genije tišine!
Približi se neizrecivom.
Analiza razuma-ropstvo!
U šetnji, vidni stid!
Uzbudljiva autonomija,
Otvoreni vrata,prozori,
Promaja!
U magli stepenice
Vode ka nebu.
Paralizovana savest,
Pokretno ogledalo.
U množini protiv rečitih,
Dirigovanja, ponašanja,
I priznati krivicu.
Crta koja spaja,
Put u svemirski brod.
Mimoilzimo sa omalovažanjem.
Bronzana žena,
Bakarni čovek!!!

[English Translation]

To-uncaring

Lost in the grey loneliness.
Cognition intruder – rustling from the mind.
Unclear thread, passionate, cruel, is awaken.
The fruit is not conspiracy.
The lunatic, genius of silence!
Get closer to the unspoken.
The analysis of reason- slavery!
During walking, visible shame!
Exciting autonomy,
Opened door, the windows,
Draft!
In the mist the stairways
Leading to heaven.
Paralyzed conscience,
Portable mirror.
In the plural against the fluency,
Conducting, behavior,
And admit the guilt.
The line connecting,
The road to the spacecraft.
We walk on by in dishonor.
Bronze woman,
Brass man!!!

Tatjana Debeljacki is from Uzice, Serbia. Debeljacki has published 3 collections of poetry. Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/debeljacki Blog: http://debeljacki.mojblog.rs/

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