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December 2007: 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.

The 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 names and abjectives; slipped semicolons and unfinished business. Who is Jim Dine and Maya Lin? Hart Crane and Rita Dove? Aralee Strange? Patrick Sebastian? Aaron Cowan? Alan Sauer and Kate Schmidt? Joseph Winterhalter? Jay Bolotin who can measure days with the grain of wood? F. Keith Wahle? Mark Flanigan? 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.

So 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 a record 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 works are 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, drinks 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 human. Krista told La Tasha N. Nevada Diggs about the site, La Tasha sent along macaronic verses, sweet morpheme honey. Mark knows Nathan Singer, who knows Paul A. Toth. Bess Rose Miller’s 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 wonders how people change, as does Lupa. T.M. Weygand, imagines unanswered prayers that never change waiting in the rain, while Mick Parsons excavates.and Angela 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.

Until…
Lance Oditt
Publisher
semantikon.com/Three Fools Press

   
 
   

 






semantikon home semantikon editorial feature literature feature visual art cinema lost and found feature columns semantikon electronic library learn about site features share your works with semantikon community need help? promote, donate, volunteer your privacy matters