Christopher Bernard reviews Sasha Waltz and Guests’ performance of Korper at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall



Sasha Waltz & Guests: Körper

Sasha Waltz & Guests: Körper



Sasha Waltz & Guests

Zellerbach Hall

Berkeley, California


As part of their much-welcome “Women’s Work” series, Cal Performances recently brought Sasha Waltz & Guests’ provocative dance “Körper” to Berkeley. “Women’s Work,” the latest instalment (titled with definite tongue in cheek) in the “Berkeley RADICAL” series, brings a much-needed corrective to what has too often been a male-dominated world.

As an unapologetic straight white Eurocentric male myself (to put my cards smartly on the table), I applaud, and cheer, the impulse behind this. The modern world has been over-driven by testosterone since the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution and the autocratic isms that have followed, beginning not least with capitalism, and has left us careening toward an Armageddon of our own making. More than ever before, the world needs a woman’s touch – the deep generosity of woman’s concern for the vulnerable, for others besides themselves; an essentialism that I suspect not even the most deep-dyed feminist will deny, at least privately. What bothers me about feminism, however, is that it too often has bought into the masculinist, and hubristic, assumptions of liberalism, voluntarism, individualism, modernity and the Enlightenment project, and by doing so merely has strengthened the chains that bind us all. Some feminists do not seem to realize that their liberation – and our salvation – requires that we overcome, and replace, modernity itself. Otherwise it will not be merely our souls that are lost.

Continue reading

Annual Nature Writing Contest sponsored by author Rui Carvalho

We are very happy to announce that the literary contest ‘Nature’ is about to start. This year’s theme is “The Nature of the Universe”,
with Earth’s terrestrial nature remaining central to the theme.

All are welcome to enter by submitting a piece of writing on the theme of nature and the natural world. This can be a poem, a short essay, or a short story. American author Janine Canan, who has a long and established reputation writing on these themes, will serve as judge, and Portuguese author Rui Carvalho sponsors the contest and prizes.

Further details and deadlines can be found at:

Christopher Bernard reviews Mark Morris Dance Troupe’s Pepperland



Mark Morris Dance Group

Zellerbach Hall

Berkeley, California

A review by Christopher Bernard

Mark Morris Dance Group performing Pepperland. (Credit: Mat Hayward.)

Eat your heart out, atheists: there is a god, and his name is Mark Morris.

To prove his divinity once again (though what god needs to prove his divinity? I should say: to display it to us hapless mortals), he brought his company of angels, fallen and otherwise, to Berkeley over the last weekend in September to ravish mere humanity with an hour-long dance based on one of the most inspired and exuberant and original and humane of all albums of popular music—the Beatles’ seminal (for once, the word is apt) contribution to what few virtues we have left in our world today: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

It is almost embarrassing to salute so fulsomely a work of such wit, humor, graciousness, humanity, and eternal youthfulness. It stands uneasily on its pedestal, threatening at any moment to throw itself onto a 60’s dancefloor and show the rest of us how it is actually done.
Continue reading

Synchronized Chaos October 2018: Aerial Perspective

Welcome to October 2018’s issue of Synchronized Chaos! This month’s theme is Aerial Perspective.

It’s a time for reflecting on your life’s journey. This month’s contributors look at life from a distance: processing trauma after the fact, considering entire scenes and landscapes, heading off into flights of fancy, and expressing ideas poetically through metaphorical language.

Mahbub’s poetic speakers, whether thinking while awake at night or while hiking in the woods, have enough mental distance to consider their lives and situations.

Logan Lane celebrates a fun Halloween tradition that began with Linus in the Peanuts comic strip: going to a pumpkin patch and waiting for the Great Pumpkin. Her piece is a genuine, sincere tribute to tradition. In Joan Beebe’s poem, her tears mingle with the dew. She’s part of nature, part of a natural scene that actually brings her great joy.

In her monthly Book Periscope column, Elizabeth Hughes reviews novels and memoirs that dramatize suffering and survival via self knowledge, self respect, heroism, crime-solving or whatever else it takes to triumph. She reviews Crissa Constantine’s Love and Accept Yourself Now, Marshall Ginevan’s The Wrong Side of Honor, Ellen Payne’s Finding Joy, Rob Watson’s Friends List, and Astra Ferro’s Stepping Stones on the Spiritual Path.

Eddie Awusi’s piece shows his social critique of our deceit and caprice by praising naïve people who don’t get caught up in that behavior.

Chimezie Ihekuna’s poetry highlights how living a life of love and truth is a choice, something we must do, but are also empowered to do. Leticia Bradford’s poems also demonstrate the choice to stand in one’s truth, by speaking up for social justice in a nationwide march.

Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozabal contributes flights of fancy inspired by nature, and JD DeHart’s work reflects similar themes of imagination, as modern life is rendered through broader, often ecological, metaphors.

Ahmad Al-Khatat’s poems convey his love and grief through images from the natural, physical world. We see a mix of personal sorrow and more abstract grief about the human condition. In a similar vein, Michael Robinson describes a thunderstorm that mirrors his grief and guilt and then the subsequent calm, his journey to peace.

Ann Christine Tabaka offers up poems of transformation. Feelings of anxiety and powerlessness turn bedside clocks into mockers, heatwaves create mirages, artists turn chalk and ink into visual scenes.

Some writers reflect on their inner feelings and wishes from enough distance to be able to understand themselves and others in the big picture.

In James Diaz’ love poems, his speakers want to understand and heal their partner’s pain and past grief, blame, and loss. They extend this compassion regardless of whether they’re currently together with that person or whether the relationship has ended.

Abigail George memorializes her complex relationship with her emotionally abusive mother, whom she admired on some levels, and her eating disorder.

Chimezie Ihekuna’s latest installment of his drama The Success Story gets to the point in his protagonist’s life when perseverance pays off. J.J. Campbell’s poems this time around concern aspiration, rather than despair. His speakers are looking for greatness and love, seriously and humorously.

Eliza Segiet contributes poems of war, referencing the Holocaust and concentration camps. Segiet alludes to things rather than describing them directly, addressing the daily indignities of oppression in fresh ways: ‘numbers are born’ rather than human beings, inmates lose the ‘ability to lie by choice’ as they must conceal some matters to survive.

Ian Copestick gives us poems of struggle, writing of addiction and pawnshops and his amusement with books that describe an easier, more refined life. He, like Mahbub, reflects on his existence after consideration, although he’s in the midst of the struggle. His work illustrates how poverty is not always composed of moments of desperate action, but also long periods of waiting and contemplation when one is unable to afford to move forward in one’s life.

Thank you for joining in the Synchronized Chaos journey by reading our publication and leaving comments for our contributors. Hopefully this issue will cause you to contemplate and ponder, then pontificate in our direction, about the major themes in your life and our world.


Poetry from Ann Christine Tabaka



Touch not

the inner recesses of my heart.


They are forbidden to you,

shut and sealed forever.


My black atman backlit by life.

A dark spirit consuming all.


A silhouette of what used to be.

An unfillable hollowness.


Barren promises, once made,

now shattered and broken.


I shall not let anyone know me,

for I am death. My touch is final.


Odious deeds follow in my wake.

Darkness enfolds all who reach out to me.


Remember always, when you look back,

wondering who I was, and who I have become


You did this to me.

Continue reading

Poetry from Mahbub

Suddenly At Noon



I was lying at noon

Suddenly a sound of cock’s calling voice reached my ear

At the same time a bird, after that a crow and dove

One by one serially raised their voice enough to disturb my sleep

My heart swelled and I felt like love

I went to the past years when I wandered here and there

Like the stars in the sky

And enjoyed the noon in silence with the voices now I here

Then I was outside home, now in the room

Love both too much

Life speaks sometimes for regenerating life with so many

To lead in this charming soothing heavenly harmless world

A source of reaching the perfection of love.



A Realm of life



There is nothing to sob

Nothing to fob

Extremely cold freezing outside inside

People watching missing

Staring at the moon

The stars, the sisters

The heavens, the earthly bodies

Slings to the back door

Here they fight, hide

Cooking and making the roof

The sky is green, the sky is dark

The sky is red, the sky is white

O signal light,

Don’t you see the frantic, catastrophic

Victimized, water-muddy life?




A Moonlit Night



When I am bare of soft touch and speech

Eyes shed

Mind waves

Darkness surrounded

Over my head

A full moon rises in the sky

Feeling too much

You debarred me from your breast

Bathed in the soft light

With the fragrance of the night-blooming jasmine, tube rose

My eyes glares at the queen of the night

Reflects the beauty and scent I enjoyed

My adoration, my love

O my world, you gave me a lot I get and lose 

How charming the moonlit night!



Speechless Time


I’m walking in this road so many years

So many years watching the trees, the bushes, the flowers

The sky over my head enlightens

As is in my heart always

I am a man, a learner also reading and writing

Looking at the old and new faces for so many years

So many years I go closing this mouth

I advance; I proceed to have the light

I remorse I am to come back

Without saying any word

In this way time finishes

Man comes, man goes, and man passes away

The sky shines always for the new

See the objects, observe the subjects

Roll on and move on always

They sing in my heart

They cry in my heart

They talk to me every now and then.



Rolling in One


I owe to the parts of my body

I owe to the parts of yours

We meet together, get together, laugh together, cry together

Hang together and what not?

I am in you, you are in me

Always you to me, I to you

Joint by joint, die in ecstasy

Devour me dear; to be in tight more and more, a feeling, softly moving

The whole taste is in my mouth

Like a basket rolling round in one.





You made this hiking for me

I went out with my utensils

You know I love the world you dream

You made a field book to reach the goal

This is my compass to fix the direction

Then I take my steps and follow the signs

You draw on the turning point

You are so caring like the silent breeze by the river or lake

You are so soft feeling I never forget

I love to see the birds

I love to eat the grass

I love to run with brass

I love to make my woven

I love to lie in the camp

I love to cook my own

When I reach the goal

I decode the hidden number

You open my door

And find out my own place to live.


Chapainawabganj, Bangladesh



Poem from Eddie Awusi

Island Of The Simpletons 
I came upon an island of the simpletons,
who knew nothing of the whims, caprices
and hobnobs of the civilized world
Neither are they governed by idiosyncrasies of laws
nor by the vain office of a ludicrous crown
they ply their daily affairs with kids gloves
hardly upsetting the status quo
Having tasted the obnoxious ways of modern society
the indecency of  deceits and self righteousness
I marvelled at their simplicity