Abiquiu, New Mexico
I return to Leopoldo Garcia’s home gallery
where, this damp morning-glory morning,
he wears overalls and one tennis shoe.
Yesterday his litany of augurs, acrylic and clay
flowed like red nectar. Hummingbird
in his studio, I bring a gift of poems.
Leopoldo paints with a hole in his heart
pierced by a priest darker than a cassock.
He grieves for the children gone forever,
mica tears grafted on flat masks, tiny
eyes, round mouths. Nearby his studio
a weathered red and white figure…
I see him during the day. His back to the street, on the edge of the curb, he’s positioned as far from the building as he can be while still under the scaffolding. On sunny days the wooden planks shield him from the heat. When it rains he moves inward, far enough to protect himself from getting drenched, but not so far as to disturb passersby. There are two battered shopping carts beside him, each filled to the brim with obscure items wrapped in plastic bags. He’s dressed in black, layered according to the dictates of weather. Often I see him comfortably seated in a chair. Sometimes he’s reading a book. At mealtimes, he unfolds a small table, places plates and utensils, and eats. He doesn’t look at me when I walk by, doesn’t solicit, doesn’t confront. Quiet and organized he protects his dual-purpose turf: the day station with a semblance of a home and the sleeping corner. It’s not exactly a corner, but a narrow patch of cement that hugs the building’s outer wall. Come evening, he moves his possessions to that space and goes to sleep. I’ve never seen him change from one domain to the other, but by the time I’m returning from a show or an evening out with friends, he’s there stretched out in his coveted spot, with four other men in black like him forming a row of desolate humans in makeshift beds.…
Our summer was as the city’s. Beautiful and provisional. The river looked beautiful and seemed to glow in the Sun’s light. I followed the river’s flow with my eyes until I couldn’t any longer, losing it to the horizon. It looked as if it eventually met with the Sun at the horizon. The bridge loomed up ahead, tucked under a seemingly cloudless blue blanket. The sky’s eye appeared to look at us like a concerned parent, watching us as we made our way towards the steps that would ascend us to the bridge.
“How’s it look?” She spoke almost excitedly. “Beautiful.”
“Are you what?”
“Beautiful.” She now stopped and looked at me. She looked gorgeous even though she was veiled with a hat and sunglasses. I could feel her eyes staring deeply into mine through the lenses. I looked away from her. I hadn’t the need to look to answer honestly.…
Cristina Deptula is the executive editor of Synchronized Chaos Magazine. A former science and technology journalist, she enjoys discovering how people think and how the universe works. When not writing or editing, she loves to hike, read novels, and sip coffee.
Please describe your website and your duties as editor/writer.
Synchronized Chaos Magazine accepts submissions of writing and visual art of all genres from around the world. We then determine the theme for each month based on what we have received, tying all the submissions together into some sort of cohesive theme. While this has on occasion required some creativity, it has also brought our team together as we brainstorm and encouraged the contributors to come back to the site and read everyone else’s work.
Tell us about your career.
Synchronized Chaos Magazine came out of my work as a journalist. I have always possessed a deep curiosity about the world and reporting harnessed that curiosity into the service of the written word. Launching a magazine open to worldwide submissions seemed a way to continue my research into the zeitgeist of the times, finding out and chronicling how and what people were thinking and doing. Over time I’ve built a network of authors and launched a public relations team to help writers gain exposure, which I suppose is a way that this nonprofit project led into some income for myself and others.…
12/21/16 @ 11:28 a.m.
I walk my dog
Through liquid air
Pelt my forehead
As I make my rounds
Of the parking lot
The winter solstice
Less than a day old Only yesterday
The morning sky
Not quite fulfilling
The sky Of the year
With a tinge of white
At the border At the horizon
Like an artist’s canvass
Not quite ready