Guest Editor Mick Parsons
Featuring Jose Zarate & Matthew Vetter
Guest Editor Mick Parsons, featuring Matthew Vetter & Jose Zarate
There are a few things in life that give me real pleasure: spending time with my wife, going to the track, watching the Bengals win. Another opportunity, even more rare than a Bengals victory, is when I can help introduce new or unheard of writers to a wider audience. Such is the case with Matt Vetter and Jose Zarate.
When I first met Matthew Vetter, I was impressed with the depth and voice in his poetry. His dedication to the word is profound, and it has been a pleasure to see that time and experience have fermented and taken shape in his new work. He draws from everyday life and from the internal and external landscapes that make up a poet’s world – and, in the process, draws us all into a world in which even the smallest detail becomes earth shaking.
Jose Zarate’s work is rooted in an unrelenting, unforgiving desert that’s (also) home to poisonous scorpions, carnivorous wild pigs, and a largely unacknowledged border war. The one act play, The Smugglers, is about one aspect of this border war, and gives us a clear picture of who is doing the fighting, who is probably winning, and who always loses. Jose’s ear for dialogue and his eye for drama that is too real to really be called drama make him one of those writers, like Matt, that I expect to hear and read more of in the future.
From the living room,
light from one lamp.
Vincent is reading
the poem over and over.
Aching to pulverize his father’s bones,
Vincent once, in his twenties,
began to dig up the grave.
When Vincent’s eyes close,
he is eight and his hands are tied
to the back of a kitchen chair.
His father’s gin face
in his face calling him trash
like his mother, saying that he’s
only good as a practice drum.
The sticks beat to a rhythm
that the band will no longer
let his father play...."
|Site Feature Scot Kaplan brings three essays, Art and Donuts, When We Make Art, and an ongoing work, What is Art plus a gallery short films documenting performances and situational works alongside an ongoing gallery of visual arts works with expositions on their creation and outcomes.
Guest Editor Ralph
LaCharity : Privileged
Paul A. Toth
all comes down to the ring of bone.
Where ring is what a bell does. "
Two things about bars (dives): Mirrors, & smoking. I
like 'em, taverns (gin mills) that is, or, as Mick calls
'em, toilets (saloons). Yeah---sitting in a toilet, smoking
a cigarette, eavesdropping withal, at
once covert and sidelong, staring at myself in a mirror...
what could be better? Diving horizontally in a fundamental
drift, you bet.
Tell me ...
have assembled a smorgasbord of the possible. That’s
what a feature is. What this feature is. Ancient
articulated as minutiae beloved on the sly. Even
dust motes are collages, and we all know collages
2007 was the year the public smoking
ban began to be enforced in the toilets of Ohio.
Another wake-up call? The better among my pub crawling
are all scofflaws.
As of this date mirrors are still OK.
Somewhere, nightly, the poets are still singing...
A. Toth is a Flint, Michigan native now living on Sanibel Island,
Florida. Paul’s previous works includes critically acclaimed
novels “Fizz” and “Fishnet”,and short
story works including “The Pop Lady Comes on Wednesday” which
earned him an honorable mention for the work, and a slot in the “17th
Edition of the Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror”. His
audio work, which often combines story and music, has been widely
published, and he produces tracks for Mad Hatters' Review.
Two films, "Fizz" and "Knotted", have been
based on his stories. The latter was a semi-finalist on Triggerstreet
and was also a IFilm Plus Selection. Paul’s essays on music,
sexuality, psychology, literature and art have appeared in a
number of journals including salon.com. Currently Paul acts as
fiction editor for storySouth.
Briggs is a Seattle, Washington native. Previous to the publication
of his first book by Black Heron Press, Matt was a reservist who
served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
In 1999, a collection of linked stories called "The Remains of River Names" was
published Black Heron Press. In 2002, he published "Misplaced Alice" with
String Town Press who would also publish "The Moss Gatherers" in 2005.
September of 2005 seen Matt's first publication on semantikon, his piece "A
Fifth of July", part of our American Canons edition. His first novel, "Shoot
the Buffalo", was published by Clear Cut Press in the same year, a work
selected for a American Book Award in 2006. In Spring of 2008, Final State will
publish Matt’s new short story collection, "The End is the Beginning" In
Fall 2008, they will also publish "The Strong Man: Confessions of a Bacon
Smuggler". Featured here, exclusive excerpts from both forthcoming books,
plus, an unabridged version of Matt's essay "Pacific Highway South: Best
American Strip City" along with audio of Matt reading from his short story
Nick Barrows came for the
hills of the Westside of Cincinnati, Ohio were he began his first days of memory
behind the bar of his father's Tavern down by the River Ohio. His works have
appeared in Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, & Light Industrial
Safety, (1997) Trained Monkey Press (Broadside #22), and he is
the former music editor for The Citizen (1998-2002). In 2000, Nick teamed
up with the Cincinnati based band, 4 Track All-Stars, where he can be
heard on their self-titled debut (on tracks Ghosty Moe, Bebop 2.0), and of late,
he can be seen from time to time out with local hip-hop band DaMuttss, doing
F. Keith Wahle
Keith Wahle is a Cincinnati, Ohio native. Wahle’s poems have appeared in
a diverse array of literary journals including “The Paris Review”, “Ellipsis” and
the “Cornfield Review”; this feature represents the first collection
of Wahle’s writings and performances presented in the web medium. Off the
page, Wahle worked in the mid 1990's to help develop the now annual Cincinnati “Performance
and Time Arts Series”, Wahle is also a three time Ohio Arts Council Fellow,
first, in 1984, in 1990 and again in 2003. On stage, Wahle is known for his memorable
collaborations with dancers Judith Mikita, Cheryl Wallace, any many others, to
bring physical form to his incisive use of vernacular. Seven books of poetry
in all, Wahle's last three books, “A Choice of Killers” (1998), “Farewell
to Happytown” (2004) and "The Invitations" (2006), feature photographs
by Brad Austin Smith and Amberlyn Nelson. Feature
includes work from "A Choice of Killers", "Farewell to Happytown" and
includes video performance of "Secrets", and an exclusive "Secrets" broadside
excerpts and audio clips from two forthcoming works---"A Field
Guide to Otherkin" on Otherkin and Therianthropy,
and "Kink Magic: Sex Magic Beyond Vanilla" (with Taylor Ellwood)
on sex magic. Review includes e-book, "The Liturgy of Lupa" about
her experiences, practice and life writing and living as a modern pagan.
from The Poem "Radio":
through the mail slot,
preaching slang as reverb
and busting a logic that rings
inside the shopping malls.
Shout out go to the Westside!
Behold, a new slide trombone
that will eat away at your
and never miss the whacking
of a bad mannered boy.
We pull on bar stool
and sigh the long wind day,
never resting on nest eggs
as long as that tune hits the feet.
The bong grows dirty
and the nails become gray;
now you wished you’d
stayed awake in biology.."
secret of how you smuggled sixteen thousand heavily
across the Mexican border into Texas.
Your secret of where you hire pack elephants in Cleveland,
and of what their mysterious cargo will be.
The secret of your continuous pajamas,
your frostbite secret, your exploding handkerchief secret.
No one will find out from me what is behind
the enormous painting of Charles Dickens on your dinning room
Nor will I tell the secret of how much you paid for the
teeth you carry everywhere,
or the secret of the bright pink locomotive in your garden..."
Field Guide to Otherkin: Personal
Mythology, Imagination and Metaphor
the advent of science as the primary tool for explaining
the whys and hows of the physical world, mythology became
mere stories, removed from the 'real' world by the veil
of the five senses in ordinary consciousness. Once we
found out that the sun was a huge burning ball of gas
millions of miles away, we supposedly no longer needed
the myths of Apollo, Amaterasu, and other solar deities
to explain anything beyond ancient cultural storytelling.
The moon, as well, was no longer a huntress, or a rabbit,
or an incestuous lover with his sister's fingerprints
on his back..."
9 Works from Richmond VA writer T.M. Weygand
Guest Editor: Nathan Singer with works from
Aaron Kerley, Paul Toth, Yvette Williams
1 new Short story and Two Essays
from "Our Father Who Art In Richmond"
hard to be reasonable
In the rain
In the dark
In the middle of November
When one no call no show can make you
feel six years old again
I know my daddy loves me
It’s a mantra
He doesn’t get a song like Jesus
But I suppose they’re out there holding hands
Dad and God
Ever present and never there
Putting my back against a wall
Over and over..."
einer rob tyner | The mo-town thro-down | Dope and fucking in the
The factory machine music | Steel presses blues in e ..." ---Aaron
Kerley "Guber einer roy tyner"
Marty saw when he entered Brooklyn Doughnut that Friday morning broke
his heart. His hands fell to his side. He did not "let them fall"
or "relax them" or "unfold them" or "drop
them at his sides." The arms fell of their own accord and
would have kept falling and bounced off the floor...Paul
Toth "CC: All, Clowns"
+ Music and poetry from Yvette Williams
businessmen...approached the archaic gods...such as Christianity and
Islam...made a deal with the gods. ...old men would use the drugs,
along with TV...to program even more people into becoming non-thinking
defined humans, in return...(those old business men and bankers) could
keep control over the masses and more importantly keep control of
the thinking...and talk about profit. One hundred and ten percent!”
---From Cut-Up Commodity, cut up fiction
Guest Editor: Mark Flanigan
Blue Collar Dispatches
Expedition Notes Complete
NYC2123, Jay Bolotin and Staggering Statistics
were tripping in the backseat
of a car heading for Chicago,
under a secret, blue blanket
because we were already obligated
Trip by Stephen Foster
member of the execution committee stared at me in disbelief. As
I dashed around the room seeking an escape route, the baffled beholders
gazed at me, gazed at each other, gazed at the doctor who performed
this execution, stunned about what they were witnessing.."
The Waning Hours Of Headless Sensation
by Tony Neal
was a time
the stars that were your eyes led us on,
casting certain light like in childhood stories.
We could be sure of it,
Faith was strong,
omniscient. Undefeated. The
forecast of the generals was optimistic.)
nightfall forty days ago, we are stumbling blind.
Bourbon and prayers are no help against the coming winter.
saints no longer listen.)
Expedition Notes by Mick Parsons
annual review of written word off the page and into the world.
+ Comic creators of future bleak sci-fi comic, NYC2123,
Chad and Paco Allen, featuring interview, broadside poster + issue
no. 1 of NYC2123 in PDF format for you to read and share.
+ Exclusive new clip from Jay Bolotin's woodcut
film, "The Jackleg Testament", featuring the vocal talents
of Nigel Robson and Karin Bergquist.
+ Audio feature: Staggering Statistics interview
with two web exclusive MP3's from their forthcoming album "All
this and more..."
7 new Poems
Script: A Night for Magic
7 New Works
your words are whispers
and my breath
filling the space
i feel mute
and your lips
when you pronounce
a shadow begins to fall
i think the sun is rising
so i cry
don't want the whispers to stop
we're only allowed to do this in the dark
by Angela Marsh
the early 1990's, a surge of 1960's cultural nostalgia reared its
ugly head. It could be said that the choice to lionize the success,
the unresolved agenda of 60's idealism, could not have found a better
companion soundtrack than the music of the The Doors. When the media
rushed to name "Generation X", it done so with the all too
comfortable mythology of a broken poet. They chose the life and times
of Doors front man, Jim Morrison.
What remains are the words. As Morrison said "Word got me the
wound and will make me well, if you believe." A Night for Magic,
composed by playwright and actor Anthony Barnett, brings a performance
piece constructed from interviews, performances, lyrics and the poetry
of Jim Morrison and in his own words.
---From semantikon intro to Anthony Barnett's
Lincoln in bubblegum
stuck to the Dairy Queen wall
Honest Abe falls, there must be another
mount my penny on the Dairy Queen wall
with a big wad of my favorite cherry-flavored
ordered my usual
in line for drive-up now,
I count forty-nine Lincoln's in a half-foot square
are the pennies that don’t make dollars
---Adhere, by Jeff Crouch
Artist Manuscript V.A.B. 13833
Former Feature Update
New Works from .03-04 features
A number of possible Articulation
4 . A number of possible assassins
7. A number of possible axioms
18. A number of possible Bindings
30. A number of possible cigarettes
40. A number of possible drawings
50. A number of possible dualisms
51. A number of possible dystopias
53. A number of possible erasures
58. A number of possible exploits
67. A number of possible facts
76. A number of possible fractals
98. A number of possible Howls...
13833 Variations of Apathetic Brilliance by
a better unified peace movement coalesces, aims feet toward a march
on Washington DC in late Sept, we sense something is moving, Barely
one year into a new administration. Stop. New administration? Sorry.
Must be that “traditional” administration ---semantikon
offers up 9 works documenting the current political environment.
---FEATURING WORKS FROM:
Matt Briggs, Lindsay Caron, Mark Flanigan, William Levy,Nico Vassilakis, Max
Skeans, Cybil Weigel, + The Constitution of the
United States of America
is pleased to bring news of our former features from the 2003-2004
season. Inside, get news, links, updates on all your favorite writers
from our first year not to mention exclusive excerpts from their
novels, plays, performance pieces and current projects including
exclusive new works from the likes of Aralee Strange, Willie Smith
Singer. Bess Rose Miller and T.M. Weygand.
News of Her / News of the War
La Tasha N. Nevada Diggs
they fell, Twin Towers that lit twin fuses . . .
Fascinatin’ Fascism, heretofore creeping, insinnuative and sly,
on occasion Kleig lit — Now up on its Hind Legs, duplicitously
and blithering braggishly while the Bill of Rights burns,
that’s Fuse #1 . . .
Ruleth ! With all that well-hidden 3rd World weaponry
of mustered pay-back backed up squarely ’gainst levied Major
Applications of Amerishan Milit’ry Get-Down you Betcha ! Fuse
#2 . .
FUSING the ORDER Consorting with
thru the Bars of Oakley & Norwood
by Ralph LaCharity
licked her upper lip and looked down at the placid water. Then she
turned and looked at me. Our eyes locked for an instant, then Chantal
looked down again. "Do you know what they should be selling
here?" she asked.
Brilliant! A million-dollar idea. Inflatable Golems in all sizes.
It could be bigger than Mickey Mouse," I said enthusiastically.
Laughing uncontrollably at the idea I almost fell off the bridge,
just at the spot where the legendary St. John of Nepomuk was thrown
into the water in this city of heretics..."
Tennis with Kafka by William Levy
showcase the worst of
by noon the
forest details your scorch
I taste the battery from
alone, I chase the hum of helicopters. make a melody from the evoke
I sing blue lakes’ din
leave me a rock with some seed. leave me a drop or more.
my name is why
I am here in pink carpenters and
while rain purees the soot
I pelican from
couch to window
Cassette by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs
Lackluster World, Charlie Chaplin, Staci Podiak
7 Poems and 1 Short Story
Stacy Sims: 3 e-stories
+ forthcoming book excerpt
annual review of written word off the page and into the world.
+ LackLuster World creator Eric Adams with excerpts
from two issues in PDF plus Interview!
+ Charlie Chaplin 1917: Chaplin in in his ascent
from 1920 film festival.
+ Audio feature: Singer Songwriter Staci Podiak
brings three new tracks.
government emails suggest that the sun is actually holed up in a
large hay barn outside Ashland, Kentucky,self barricaded with semi-automatic
along with 625 concubines and their daughters.
All the snipers are in place. Negotiators are bored, hungry, and
needing to fuck their underling’s wives.
Navy Seals in space suits are prepared to haul the carcass back
and staple gun it to the sky. They understand instinctively
that no one will know the difference.
We watch the 24 hour news channel
in case they interrupt regularly scheduled executions
to report the imminent return..."
by Mick Parsons, 1 of 7 new works
crap coffee to remains of Starbucks Venti, double shot, skim milk
latte. Check voice mail. Seven messages. Hang up. Decide to deal
with that later.
hot guy from weekend party. Two “Brad Barnett’s”
in Cincinnati. One is accountant the other dead in 1974. As seem
to remember guy from party is in advertising or something like that,
think maybe his name was “Brad Bartlett” – hard
to know as was over served Old Fashioned’s. What the hell
is in Old Fashioned anyhow?
“Old Fashioned” cocktail. Hmm. Interesting. 2 oz. Whiskey
or Bourbon, Splash of Simple Syrup, Bitters & Soda. Fill rocks
glass with ice. Add simple syrup, bitters, liquor & soda, Garnish
with an orange slice and cherry..."
Productivity, 1 of 4 works by
5 New works + 7 Minute Poems
6 Works of Poetry
a necessary Art
after one no longer fears
being let go of
is a strength
that cannot be manufactured
is a strength
no one, not even I,
you must learn.
is forged through
it is a strength
stronger than yours
Art of Letting Go by Mark Flanigan,
1 of 6 new works
beams on frozen white schoolyard
an ocean with its own light, the dreams of grass long surrendered
to the future
driven to press their tongues on the transparent underside
ululating a cacophonous blues celebration I feel in several body
whiter than the moon can know, flailing like a bucket on a string,
driven through the buckets bottom to a lineless moist horizon
that prays against gravity, prays against evaporative sun-flash:
how some clouds are misers, some clouds simply incontinent,
no place to put a name, no structure to navigate with more than
mass and memories—
sometimes the more I let go, the more room I have for repetition--
Say the Year begins with Ice by Dan Raphael
1 of 6 new works
no one must've told you/ you're supposed to/ bear the weight/ write
the poems/ cook/ do the dishes/ clean the house/ read to the baby/
play with the baby/ clean up the baby/ clean up after the baby/
scrub the baby's sticky handprints off the wall/ scold the baby
when he does it/ if you do it later/ he won't understand why/ remember
that/ you must remember this/ be omnipresent/ you can't take your
eyes off of him for one minute
your man/ you can't take your eyes off of him for one minute/ no
one must've told you/ you have to stroke him/ ego/ dick/ whatever
the moment calls for/ cremate your losses/ place their ashes in
the urn/ which was once your heart/ or release them/ disperse them
over the wind/ of your children's laughter/ these may be your only
choices/ get used to isolation/ be strong/ there is nobility in
strength/ this should comfort you/ strength in isolation
by Krista Franklin 1 of
6 new works
Willie Smith: Exclusive E-Book Submachingun Conciousness
Nathan Singer: Prayer for Dawn
excerpt + 3 Poems and Audio
Bess Rose Miller
Selections from "From Kentucky Roots"
It’s one of those nights I’m drinking alone in my basement
studio; snapping polaroids of my hemorrhoids, bending over backwards
to allow time all the time in the world to kill itself.
For the moment I’ve convinced
the functionaries I’m disabled – unfit to work. Even
the therapist has become at my hard head so pissed he last week
told me to beat it; leave him alone; go home; subsist off my check.
I’m faking it. I’m a spy.
Insane Welfare recipient my cover. In reality, I’m hip-deep
in top secret doo-doo. If I told you, you’d hafta put down
this book and steal something else. Suffice it to say it has everything
to do with those behind the lines reading between the lines.
I miss the days of bulb release. Today you gotta
set the timer. Get X amount of secs to get into position. Oh, you
can program the secs. Once you create a password, override the default,
study the tutorial in what to update – but who’s got
Willie Smith's novella,
an exclusive semantikon
was tired of being the only freak around
so I went to where the other freaks are
but we didn’t have anything to talk about
Some tried to dance but fell down and hurt themselves
some of us smoked opium and got nosebleeds.
I was tired of being the only young person around
so I went to where the other young people are
There was techno and keg stands and Rolling Rock
and some girl got gang-raped
while she puked out a window
and told me I’m too fat.
was tired of being the only artist around
so I went to where the other artists are
We questioned each other’s integrity
then begged for work at
Hallmark and Dreamworks and Elektra
I offered to sleep my way to the top
but was respectfully declined.
Rant found in the novel, A Prayer
for Dawn by Nathan Singer
say Great-grandma Fannie
had hair so red
that if you broke a strand
she would bleed to death.
But a black and white photo
shows mostly shades of gray.
They say she helped
fight a fire--
a bucket brigade--
to save a neighbor's home
and her seven months pregnant
with her fourteenth child.
They say she was missed
after the fire died down;
they searched for her
and finally found her
face down in the creek
they'd carried water from
a tin bucket lying by her side
while the stream flowed
over and around her
and fanned out her long, red hair..."
Visions, by Bess Rose Miller found in
7 works from 3 Crossley Chapbooks
7 works from 3 Crossley Chapbooks
3 works and 2 cut-up poems
Agree they would all probably sleep
with him again.
The Drunk Girls
Don’t know why their parents married
when they don’t sleep in the same
& don’t even speak to each
other at a decibel lower than a shriek.
The Drunk Girls
Share their stories of free abortions
by faceless doctors in nameless clinics
The Drunk Girls
Confide their friendship in one another,
clink their beers in hearty cheers
The Drunk Girls
Swear off boys, admitting their fingers
are their best friends
The Drunk Girls
Dig the fact that they can talk about
The Drunk Girls
Console each other in their insecurities,
Hardly believing that she thinks she
has big thighs
The Drunk Girls
sexy in a city discuss Sex in the City,
and all admit that they hated to watch
by Michael Crossley, 1 0f 7 works
my experience, it was the lucky kids who got into trouble only to
be grounded or lose their allowance for a week. These possibilities,
of course, implied that they went places to be grounded from and received
an allowance that could be suspended. I knew neither of these luxuries.
My parents must have graduated from the Butcher Holler Gestapo of
Child Rearing & Endangerment. While Mom could do some damage with
a hairbrush and Dad resigned himself to a belt or bare hand on occasion,
their very favorite ever-ready arsenal was as close as our backyard
elm. ...When the chores weren’t completed, when I “talked
back,” when I persisted in shutting my bedroom door despite
their wishes, the offended parent went for the living room corner
where three or four switches leaned at the ready...
As a result of my diet choices, I’m sometimes labeled a hippie,
even though I was in a high chair, not in the Haight Ashbury Summer
of Love. And, sometimes I’m grouped with the supposedly eco-mad
“tree huggers.” Of course, it’s a label. It’s
shallow and trite and meant to be offensive. Yet, I have to say the
truth is, it does warm my heart with a certain satisfaction to see
a tree, any tree, all of its limbs intact."
Tree Hugger by Patrick Sebastian, 1 of 3 works from his chapbook "Growing
up Jimmy: Tales ofBible Belt Survival on the yellow Brick Road"
moundless grimey tribe
our speech simple minded
our history unwrit
our lives expendable
here’s to them
who better remember the pendulum swings both ways
all our days numbered on a big clock tick tocking every
one by one."
Dr. Pain's Main Street Ramble Bone
say you hanging out on Gabriel’s Corner
say you waiting for the horn to blow
say you waiting for the bus to come
say you wait a long time
and your mind is fried
and your feet hurt
and it’s early
and you’re late
and you got another 12 hour day to do in 8
on no sleep because a beat to shit chevrolet
parked down on the street won’t won’t won’t
start every morning at day break
Dr. Pain's Main Street Remedy