about mark flanigan
Cincinnati native Mark Flanigan has been writing and performing for over 14 years....Works from his collections Wrong-Way Poems For One-Way Streets, Not Necessarily God Stories and Next to Nothing have appeared in a variety of independent publications and, along with his performances, have garnered critical acclaim. He has also co-written a screenplay (“Midway,” with Brian Keizer), edited a literary publication (omnibscure) and worked to develop, produce and curate various gallery shows and performance readings -- notably, VOLK/c.s.p.i. and Intermedia Series readings at the Contemporary Arts Center and the Weston art gallery. Flanigan’s monthly column, “Exiled on Main Street,” appeared for over three years, first in x-ray, and upon his resignation there, at semantikon.com. Performances of his can be found on “the Volk/c.s.p.i. spoken word series CD (2001),” which he co-produced, and on the CD “One Night Only" (2002).   To learn more about his work, read his blog, review some of the works mentioned above, and listen to additional audio tracks:

For More Visit markflanigan.com
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mark flanigan exiled from archives

Jan. 2008: A Greater Force

Dec. 2007: And Sometimes It Just Happens
Nov. 2007: Sometimes It Just Doesn’t Happen
October 2007: The Dance
June 2007: Cake
May 2007: Special Edition "Light Travel" mark Flanigan and Steve Proctor
April 2007: Zero Hour
March 2007: Prelude to a Kiss-Off
Jan 2006: State Of The Disunion Address 
Nov 2006: Youngblood
Oct 2006: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
exiled on main street archives

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February 2008: The Salmon Dance

     Not even a month without drink or drugs had prepared me for this. The vapid mind, the vacant line, the empty page still facing me. Where did one go now? Was it a matter of waiting a bit longer? Or did I ever have something to contribute to the conversation?
     What happened to the easy, honest lines? Did they dissipate in time with the appearance of all these wrinkles around my eyes?
     Am I shadow of myself, or have I always been merely a shadow? And are such questions mine alone, or do they haunt my brethren, too?
     Either way, my Townes Van Zandt albums collect dust, for I am envious. My miscalculation: the need for genius to create pertinence. The voice laid bare without it only sounding thin.
     The more sober I become, the more I sit here lamenting that the first act is long over, that I slept through the second, and that the stage set for the dénouement was done shabbily.
     I cashed too many checks, the very same ones I had the illusion of having avoided so adroitly. The cost more than I could have ever imagined, just as I had predicted.
     It was in this spirit that I ventured out. After all, it had worked in the past.
     I arrived at the party empty-handed. I hadn’t been there ten minutes before the host announced that we had to hear this new song, The Salmon Song. As he cued it up, I watched as his wife gravely took the floor. She stood still until the first few bars played, wherein she started to loosen her body and move it like a fish in water. Soon, she was undulating with a joyful ease against the tide. Then the other women—my girlfriend among them—gravitated towards the makeshift dance floor and stood on the outskirts while effortlessly bobbing their heads to the beat. I watched as their breasts heaved and their hips swayed upstream without exerting any energy at all, by dint of their natural grace.
     I instantly recognized the scene for what it was: the physical manifestation of that which I had either lost or misplaced. Bobbing my own head, I went to the refrigerator and grabbed a beer. And once home, confronted yet again by this blank space, I realized sometimes one need only to shut the hell up.
     Which I did.... finally.