Jewish Star and Fure Escape,
Jewish Star and Fire Escape, Barbara Ruth
Artist’s Note: The original photo was taken at Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, in Santa Clara County, California.
[Image: a portrait orientation image. The background is a deep black, with tiny blue flecks in the upper third of the image. In the lower two-thirds of the image, the side of a building with a gable-style roof can be seen. The outline of the roof appears to be in neon red, orange, and white. From the roof and descending the side of the building is a neon fire escape, with the rails and rungs above the roof a bright blue and the rest of the length down the side of the building in neon white. A six-pointed Jewish star outlined in neon peach and white sits to the right of the fire escape later, and the star is sitting inside a circle border that’s neon, but off-white. A pair of lights hang over a door underneath the star, and a window outlined in white is visible in the lower left of the image. In the bottom center, part of a sign can be seen on which the word “DORMITORY” reads.]


Geese Headed in the Same Direction, Barbara Ruth
Geese Headed in the Same Direction, Barbara Ruth
[Image: a landscape orientation image. The background is mostly filled with shamrock and chartreuse coloured grass that almost looks neon. A light green path bisects the field from right to left across the upper third of the image. Four Canada geese stand in the midground of the image: they have long black necks with brown feathers, white bellies, and black webbed feet. They are spread almost equidistantly across the image’s field.]

Issue 10: Synchronicity

Issue 10. Cover Art: Barbara Ruth.
[Image: a portrait-orientation image with a black background. Up the left sides, the words “Barking Sycamores” in sans serif sand-colored font appear. In the bottom right corner, the words “Issue 10” appear in the same print style, in gold-coloured letters. Above “Issue 10” appears a photomanipulated image of a group of round black cacti on the ground: some are small, with one large specimen with long spines near the top center of the image. The ground beneath appears in various tones of gold, beige, and sand.]
It’s true that 2016 has been a painful year for many of us. We’ve seen the deaths of artists who have meant a lot to us, whose creative works have touched many –– Prince, David Bowie, Alan Ruckman, Anton Yelchin, and Gene Wilder, to name a few. Once again, we hear the clarion call of needed change as more Black people die at the hands of law enforcement, bigoted populists attempt to legislate queer and trans people of out existence, rape culture continues to abound, and fearful political forces rise that echo fascist and racist demagogues of the past. Meanwhile, neurodivergent and disabled people continue to fight for basic civil rights and against ideologies that deny our personhood, humanity, and rights to accessibility and self-determination. With all of this, it’s easy to wonder if anything in our world has meaning or connections. Does anything make sense? We’re not sure how to answer this question.
Solomon chose the theme, “Synchronicity,” which is loaded with potential connotations. Usually defined in dictionaries as events occurring near in time to each other but with no apparent casual relationship, we also thought of Jung’s suggestion that while these events may lack causality, they do not lack meaning when taken together. We’ve both been very keen on exploring time, time travel, and causality. Ian’s been especially thinking about these themes while working on his MFA thesis, a collection of poems tentative named Time Travel in a Closet. (Happily, he passed his defense this summer and graduated.) At the very least, both of us have concluded that imaginations and our sentient understanding are ways in which alternate events, options, and timelines can be explored. Connections can be discerned in many ways, some obvious and some more intuitive.
Illness and life events delayed the publication of this issue, but here we are. Once again, due to the sheer number of submissions we found it difficult to make our final selections. This issue welcomes some previous contributors as well as new voices in our ranks. Our cover features art by Barbara Ruth; this piece is called “Circles and Bubbles in the Key of Cactus.” We hope you enjoy reading it as it rolls out over the next few weeks.
N.I. Nicholson
V. Solomon Maday


Birds Speak of Mysteries, Barbara Ruth
Birds Speak of Mysteries, Barbara Ruth

[Image: two large freeway lamps, one in the foreground and the other in the background near the lower right corner of the image. Both are slender poles bearing a long, curved metal arm extending to the left. On each arm, several small birds sit. The lamps stand out against a bright purple sky, with light thistle tones near the top graduating into a deep electric purple at the bottom.]