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



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 If you think that your unpublished or freshly composed poem can be your magnum opus you can submit it as well.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.

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:

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



Synchronized Chaos May 2017: Close Encounters


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.

Lil Snott 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.


Poetry from Allison Grayhurst

New Wheel – The Passage of Arnik

(king of a small land)

Part 1

My skin was stone,

drenched in an accelerant and

lit on fire. And there I burned,

a flaming rock impassable by

every woman and man who

tried to cross my shore. My fire

was final, a never-dying-heat

guarding the dead cold core

beneath its frantic dance.

Murder was easy as was laughing,

glaring bold-faced at the sun,

but languishing in waters, still or stormy,

was never my game, only, swift, loveless striking,

blistering and charring, beating with a spike

any imagined challenge to my seat in the center.

  Continue reading

Essay from Randle Pink

America is a nation built on, among other things, the idea of not being a phony.


You’ll notice that whenever pundits and politicians refer to blue-collar, Middle-America-types (read: White People™) as “hardworking” on the teevee, the word “honest” almost always precedes it. America is a nation that, for good and for ill, sees itself as unflinchingly honest and forthright, and has plenty of powerful mythologies to back it up. One of our favorite stories Americans tell our children has to do with our first president coming clean about chopping down a tree after he lied about it, for Chrissake. Hell, Abe Lincoln stayed mealy-mouthed on the question of abolition until the Civil War was nearly concluded and the body count was well over half a million , and they called him “Honest,” too.


America’s notion of itself as a nation with integrity, combined with the myth of our exceptionalism, have again, for good and for ill, made us into the most powerful nation in the world. But these things have also made “honest” Americans believe themselves are the sole arbiters of global truth, based on a narrow set of Judeo-Christian (read: White People™) values that no more reflect who we are as a nation than some Evil Queen’s magic mirror when she says “tell me I’m pretty.”


Where that narrow set of Judeo-Christian values collides with the realities of human sexuality, chaos almost always ensues. Generally speaking, anyone who doesn’t look, act, think or fuck like Republican Jesus says “honest” Americans should is an apostate, an impostor, and probably looking to bugger your children and/or your spouse. Sadly, for the coalition behind of our nation’s most colorful acronym – LGBT – this usually spells big trouble when it comes to interacting with straight society, or as “honest” Americans like to put it: society. Discrimination, violence, and death are not just common: they’re baked into the value set itself.

Continue reading

Poetry from Joan Beebe

There is an old friend
Who silently waits for me.
I walk by with hardly a glance,
But silently and hopefully she waits.
I thought about my old friend and
How I have neglected her.
Right then I decided it is time for me
To share my friendship with all my love.
The piano bench is gleaming
And calls me to come.
My fingers start playing
And the sound refreshes my soul.
I had fallen asleep when
Something strange occurred.
It seems I was in surgery with
Masked people everywhere.
There were many instruments
Lying on carts and everything very sterile.
Large lights shining down upon me and
All kinds of machines and oxygen tanks.
I had such a fear of what was going to come next.
Suddenly a hand from behind me took my hand –
It was warm, tender and loving.
I experienced the most peaceful feeling coming over me.
It was a feeling that I cannot even explain.
Never before had such a feeling of perfect peace
Come to me.
Though I can’t explain it, my wish is that the whole
World will know that “peace that surpasses understanding”

Poetry from Mark Murphy


Who is the estranged brother, you or I?
Who seeks who out?
Who lives a life of asceticism?
Who is outcast in this society of denialism?

Which brother carries the chip on his shoulder,
as if it could never be lifted?
One time friends, comrades, confidents –
whatever happened to our united fight to the death?

You have struggled to care for your family.
I have no family to speak of.
Will we ever see eye to eye, in this life,
or does hopelessness fill your heart as much as mine?

Waiting for the One

for E.F.T

I am waiting for Epicurus.
She is also waiting for the one who will free her
from her nights alone –
her existential time bombs.

Wish that I had gone some little way to help
with my bag of extant tools,
though, I expect, she will find her own way
without me.

For ten years, I’ve struggled under her spell,
the tongue upon the lips, licking
ever so provocatively at me with my beard and sandaled feet
like some kind of ‘new age beatnik’.

I guess a lot changes in a decade between two people
trying to live (pleasurably) best they can,
avoiding pain
in favour of some golden rule.

She spies the world in a grain of sand
and my many contradictions
as only she can
without any air of gentle condemnation.

I do believe we could live without any other love
of man or woman,
except for our own blind spots,
after all, these are the only divinities we live by.

Unrequited Love

If I asked for your hand over night,
you would not grant me asylum
on your floor

from my own thoughts,
no more than you would kiss me,
or ask me to hold you.

Even though, I find myself at a crossroads,
unable to navigate the next stretch
of the race towards oblivion.

If I should die now, it would be like
nothing was ever achieved
as man or poet.

Since there is no one to champion
my work, I should die
without recognition or prayer.

Not a single solitary murmur is enough
to denote an ending,
yet end it must

like applause in the auditorium,
and the all-too-familiar foolish loving.

Window On Top of the World

From this window in the sky, there’s no telling
what we might learn – as we hear
the bell in St Mary’s clock tower strike 9 times over.

Above the turrets and runways, ladders and mazes
of Victorian roof top architecture,
we watch the clouds turning from red to grey

as if a great déjà-vu had taken control of our minds,
reminiscent of prophecy
written two decades ago, looking forward to death.

Do not worry, dear readers, we do not mean to die
just yet, though our death be necessary
as the passage of birds on the wing, or endless time.

Below us the thick hum of traffic tries our patience,
as if to say, ‘help your self only,
because helping others is the scourge of society.’

Now a moth has flown in through an open window,
bringing us back to a reality
where we shew the creature back into the night air.

Now only one creed speaks, despite all our efforts
at living kindly, and that is
you are not obliged to make sense, only to make love.

Being and Doing

What a to do over ‘to be,’ or, ‘to do.’
‘To be is to do,’ says Kant.
‘To do is to be,’ says Nietzsche.

To be sure, ‘We can not not be,’
any more than ‘We can not not do,’ –
both truths being told simultaneously.

You might find, then, there is nothing
much to do but ‘do-be-do-be-do.’
To be continued…