Synchronized Chaos June 2021: Observer and Observed

Welcome to June 2021’s issue of Synchronized Chaos. We extend care to the regions of the world where Covid still rages and hope for the world to become safe and healthy.

This month, our writers and artists are seeing and being seen, observing and being observed.

Nondescript person in the shade observing a dolphin underwater in an aquarium.
Image from Paul Brennan

One of Robert Thomas’ pieces presents a narrator in a cafe who eavesdrops on others’ conversations, only to find someone else commenting on him at the end. Thomas’ other piece is a character sketch of someone who presents himself in very different ways based on the setting.

Z.I. Mahmud contributes the first installment of his thesis on Charles Dickens. He explores the symbolism and images of life, death and disease in Dickens’ work and makes a comparison to today’s fear of disease.

Zara Miller, author of young adult historical novel I Am Cecilia, also analyzes literature, pointing out that one-dimensional, less complex characters worked in Shakespeare’s plays because everyone has some people who only seem to play one role in their lives. Although we are all full three-dimensional human beings, we don’t fully experience the inner life of everyone around us, and Shakespeare’s work reflects that.

Meg Freer presents a travelogue from the Republic of Georgia where she visits sites from the country’s Stalinist past.

Christopher Bernard writes a more fanciful kind of travel story, and this month brings us the moment when the little boy traveler realizes that he’s going somewhere unexpected.

Group of silhouetted people of varying ages and heights watching a sunset through trees over a lake.
Paul Brennan

Abigail George observes her own past, reflecting further on a past relationship. J.J. Campbell also writes of the many times and ways romantic attachment can miss its mark. Jerry Durick’s poetic speakers also self-reflect, thinking on how they’re aging, running out of space, and never quite living up to their dreams.

Chimezie Ihekuna spotlights a screenplay version of his reflective memoir Experiences, sharing his early life in Nigeria with a facial deformity. Another piece of his praises the editor of this magazine 🙂

Jack Galmitz contributes some vignettes concerning how we relate to our world, how major events filter their way down to our consciousness.

Charlie Robert’s poetic speakers are immersed within one singular moment, unconscious of being observed. John Culp writes of the ecstasy of losing himself in the moment, dissolving his past and present into love and creativity.

Christine Tabaka writes of our search for our place: within our families, within our social groups, to each other and to ourselves. We want others to fully ‘see’ us and include us.

White swan on a pond, sitting on clear water and staring at ice.
Lubos Houska

J.D. Nelson’s pieces play with form and style while Mark Young speculates on the evolution of word meanings and poetic structures.

Mahbub ponders the fragility of life and the beauty of nature amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hongri Yuan and translator Yuanbing Zhang voyage again to a mystical kingdom of order and beauty in the sky while Andrew Cyril MacDonald reflects on passing eras of our lives and of human history.

Mickey Corrigan shines a glaring light on Jeffrey Epstein and others who abuse their money and powerful positions. Sheila Henry calls for the world’s police forces to show empathy for the communities they patrol and the people they arrest.

Fay Pappas, attorney and former editor of Brushing, the literary magazine of Rollins College (Winter Park, FL), reviews Michael Robinson’s latest poetry collection From Chains to Freedom, which examines the Black male experience in the urban U.S.

Please enjoy this issue.