1, 086, 471 Spaces
From a house pressed into a hill that
rises above the Ohio River, you look down on Cincinnati
like a carpet from Mark Flanigan’s
porch. The last I was down, we sat out on the newly finished
terrace, drank beers, an in pauses---took in the clear
summer night sky, stared out at the radio towers you
could almost reach if they would just hold still---Blink.
Blink. Blink. When semantikon was forged, Mark lived
down at The Iris, 3rd floor. This view of the city read
like a slide show between windows with curtains and those
without. Usually good music was playing and we didn’t
have to guess the station, sometimes a poetry reading
in the courtyard, rumored; woman who would practice sign
fingering herself on the fire escape and in the mornings
after, the shape of her back smeared against the humid
brick wall, the only memory of a goods night’s
sleep. No alarms.
great thing about Ohio, is that if you want to do something,
you got nothing but time and space to do it with. The ground
logic if you don’t turn on grammar check, is that
it is easy to see those little squiggly lines beneath seemingly
mispelled words, extras spaces, two words words twice, place
and abjectives; slipped semicolons and unfinished business.
Who is Jim
Dine and Maya
Crane and Rita
Sauer and Kate Schmidt? Joseph
Bolotin who can measure
days with the grain of wood? F.
Keith Wahle? Mark
Who is Lance Odditt? How do you spell semantikon? Who can
you trace a memory against when literature travels like a
rumor? When paintings from “exotic” locales are
shipped in, the subsequent flash flood of ink leaving some
imaginary high water mark near where rent is cheap? It’s
never good to end a paragraph on a question, and neither,
a quote. Joseph Winterhalter has said “…our
vanguard is our disappearance.” Out of context.
Always, out of context.
how is it that semantikon came to call is a community based
arts journal? We keep what has always been ours; Ohio.
Time, unlimited space, pioneers and real hospitality. I
met Patrick at
store, he’s not David Sedaris.
He told me about Krista
Franklin, she’s not Nikki Giovanni.
Mark, didn’t take bukowski, Studs Turkle and Alan Ginsberg
to arrive in exile,
he took the bus. And I was with him when he went to New York
too, to be sure, you can mail your drugs
ahead, or buy them at a quick mart. Aaron Cowan, put down
his work, and picked it up again. The rich layers of his
not patina. Aralee Strange called out the administration
on the Iraq
war before it even started, clear to us now,
she meant every damn word of it. Matt Briggs went to the
first Iraq war,
a Fifth of July, had
a plan to smuggle in breakfast. Ralph
LaCharity saw the towers fall too, maybe a bar in Norwood,
he knows Willie
Smith would have us believe he is an ugly
Krista told La Tasha N. Nevada Diggs about the site, La Tasha
sent along macaronic verses, sweet
morpheme honey. Mark knows
Singer, who knows Paul
A. Toth. Bess
Great-grandmother died, she reads Yeats, wonders about
magic. So does Taylor
Ellwood, who assures, the gods die, while Jeff
Crouch keeps track of which ones, in Texas. Stacy Sims
how people change, as does Lupa.
T.M. Weygand, imagines
prayers that never change waiting in the rain, while
Mick Parsons excavates.and
Marsh finds relics. Semantikon takes from the spaces
between the raindrops, sends
fresh silt into the long tide of the
Ohio River and across the sea while Tim, Geert, David, Max,
Carrie and Jonathan draw
new maps. The coloring
book by Fritz, the score by John,
Staci, and Edgar. One person at a time, 1,086, 471 spaces.
Next month in our series of editorials about semantikon at
year five, do it yourself. Until, enjoy a web exclusive excerpt
from Paul A. Toth’s new novel “Fugue” along
side a new collection of poems “Hitler: Five Impossible
Possible Love Stories”. This month also marks the first
part of our long awaited review of Dayton, Ohio Appalachian
outrider Dave Sparks the breadth of which will bring paintings,
sculpture, music and photographs. This month also see the launch
of the new semantikon webcast to found, of all places, cool
Beta project, anywhere.fm.
One final note on sacred numbers and radio; this month semantikon
finally catches up with it’s “Year of the Blog
Self” to launch the official semantikon blog: Hypergraphia.
The blog, laid out in Tom’s Mandango Theme, will
feature new items each day from one of the following categories:
audio, DIY publishing, edition notes, features, found website
and arts projects, three fools press. Probably a few uncategorized
opinion posts. Steer your browser carefully, this one is easy
to misspell too.