Category Archives: hcolom press

John Bennett | Betrayal’s Like That

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Betrayal’s Like That by John Bennett

A Vagabond Publication

(C) 2000 by John Bennett

SPANKING THE MONKEY

Her tongue down my throat
Her fingers wrapped around my
cock
One eye on the clock.
Spanking the monkey Until the time’s right To move on.
Seamless,
Without transition,
Love snuffed
With an assassin’s precision.
Where is my hitman
Who will mead retribution?
Where’s the ruby
To fill the setting
Where the
Diamond
Once was?

from: Betrayal’s Like That by John Bennett
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Mark Hartenbach | The Sound of Music

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Mark Hartenbach

The Sound Of Music

dedicated to the musicians & those who laid great records on me

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Two poets stand out in my mind as carrying a tradition that took root in the Sixties through subsequent decades and into the new millennium. Some call it Meat, some Confessional, but those labels are not big enough to cover this breed of poetry, and so I’ll leave it nameless. It’s a poetry that connects more with the Beats than the Sixties, but stripped of the baggage of ideology and formalized spiritual quest that saddles much of Beat poetry; its language is lean and sharp and drills into everyday life, surfacing with nuggets of uncut truth that melt away if you try to incorporate them into something “bigger”. The Mimeo Revolution was the vehicle that carried this poetry through the Sixties and early Seventies; after that, it was pretty much on its own. The poets I’m talking about are Albert Huffstickler, who died in February of 2002, and Mark Hartenbach, who carries on.

The Sound of Music is somewhat different from Mark’s previous books in that the poems intentionally revolve around a theme-music. Mark is a musician as well as a poet, and a lover of all sorts of music (jazz, blues, classical, country, folk, reggae, pop, etc.); his digs in a small blue-collar town on the Ohio River are cram-packed with stacks of vinyl, tapes and CDs, and one day he got it in his head to play a track off a CD and write down what the music conjured. One track led to another, days bled into weeks, and when the muse finally pulled out, Mark found himself with hundreds of poems, spawned by the music and the musicians he had been listening to and by the memories that the music brought to the surface-decades of memories, a long and hard lifetime’s worth. What’s in this book is a sampling of that marathon undertaking.

In some of these pieces the memories outweigh the music and the writing is pure poetry; in others the music gets the upper hand and the reader is treated to some savvy observations and a treasure chest of behind-the-scenes information; in all cases The Sound of Music is a good read, provided by the carrier of an invisible torch for a poetry and a way of perceiving life that teeters on the brink of extinction. – John Bennett, Ellensburg January 2007

Mark Hartenbach

listening to sun ra’s “secondstar to the right” while striking a match

i’ve pushed my way past clarity
i’m beyond my assumed capabilities
i’m floating over the numbered capacity
i’m a fugitive from the inevitable
wrapped in tin foil, covered with cardboard stars
i’m a sonic facsimile
i’m so obsolete that the world will have to come
all the way back around
before it begins to understand my way of thinking
i’m burning past the rate of amusement
i’m aping the masters with sarcasm
i’m crossing the authorities at every turn
i don’t have a death wish
i’m only venturing past the point of no return
i’m unaware of the precision of time
i’m passing the present with indifference
this is no formula for success
this isn’t a logical move
it’s a jolt of seratonin, dopamine & adrenaline
i’m not interested in any further definitions
i light a fuse & watch it burn
i can’t concern myself
with whether it might explode in my face
or enlighten my biology
if i was concerned
i certainly wouldn’t strike the match
in the first place

 

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John Bennett | Adam In The Year One | a film

Adam in the Year One

A surreal film about a traumatized Nam vet caught in the web of his hallucinations.

Writer/Director: John Bennett
Assistant Directors Cinematography: Dan Herron, Kim Secunda

Cast
Adam: Scott Hammond | Chilly: Carrie Rosevear | Father: Dana Cole | Mother: Joyce Nelson | Billy Smith: Don Brontsema | Hank: Michael Tomulty | Sower: David Simkins

Wardens: John Bennett, Oscar Cady, Bob Goedecke, Rod McMillon, John Utzinger

Production Team
Editing: Daniel Herron | Audio: Kim Secunda | Soundtrack: Scott Robinson | Casting: John Bennett

Production Assistans
Judith Lunden, Scott Mansfield, Phil Messenger

Thanks to the following persons, businesses and organizations for their generous help in making this production possible:

Technical Consultants
Albright Productions | Moore Video, Richmond, Va. | YCTV Staff, Yabima, Wa.

Locations
David & Ginny Archambeau | Jim Baird | Larry Charlton | Kittitas County Dept. of Public Works | Robert Lester | Palace Arts

Customs & Props
Steve Alder | The Brand Family | Coldwell Banker Reality | Laurie Birdsong Conner | Richard Denner | Fort Mac Army Surplus | Kittitas County Hospital | Robert Repetowski | Jena Scott | Diane Szukovathy

Facilities & equipment provided by YCTV | City of Yakima | ECTV Ellensburg

Secunda/Herron/Bennett Production
Copyright 1988 by John Bennett

ADAM IN YEAR ONE from John Bennett on Myspace.

[quickshop:Adam In The Year One | a film by John Bennett – DVD:price:28:shipping:0:shipping2:0:end]28 EURO incl. shipment cost world-wide (DVD)

click the Hcolom Press logo to visit the web page... click the banner on the right to go back to the HCOLOM Press overview…

Please Note:

 

If you’re interested in ordering Adam In The Year One and you live in the continental U.S., a cheaper way to do so would be to go directly to the Hcolom/Vagabond web site: http://hcolompress.com/Books.html

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Maia Penfold | Poems | The Red Buddha

The Red Buddha | Poems by Maia Penfold | click the cover if you are interested in buying this book...

Instructions To My Son

The day will come
Not for an expensive box
Dropped into a hole in the ground
Covered up with dirt


My choice is cremation
Fire and flame
Down to clean ash
Sharp bits of bone


In Colorado or Oregon
Climb a convenient mountain
To a seaward rushing stream
Put me in its mountain music
And let me go


To join with everything


Everywhere

 

from: The Red Buddha by Maia Penfold

NEW WORLDS

Maia Penfold | taken in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada by John Goldak

Maia Penfold | taken in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada by John Goldak

As a kid in Canada I was a voracious reader. When I learned I could take an armful of books home from the Prince Albert Public Library, I started out with a huge heavy illustrated volume of stories from the Bible and puzzled and puzzled over The Merchant and the Pearl of Great Price. The guy gave all his money and worldly goods in exchange for one lone pearl. What happened next? How, I wondered, did he get along with no money for food, for shoes? It seemed to me it was not a practical decision and would lead to a lot of trouble on an everyday basis.

Later I learned poetry is like that, it demands everything you’ve got. And if you’re really into it, it doesn’t leave you much for necessities. The practice of poetry tends to arouse emotions of pity and contempt in our fellow creatures. And yet like that merchant who was so wise and so foolish we are driven to do it.

My favorite book was not the Bible or Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare, it was the Ramayana, the dancing world of the Hindu epic, shimmering with brilliant color, shining with light, a drumming world, of gods and kings and elephants, a world of happiness, of evil, of turmoil, triumph, and painful tragedy. My favorite god was Hanuman the monkey who opens his chest to reveal his living heart, who rescues the beautiful woman from the cruel king who captured her, Hanuman who makes a bridge of monkeys across the great water, little Hanuman who makes miracles.

Poetry is also like Hanuman, it demands our true heart, it demands we open our hearts to the world as it is, it makes its bridge of words taking us to places we never expected.

I fell in love with Ramayana because it is bigger, more colorful, more musical than the world of the Bible which to me was a very black and white angry vindictive world without joy. I preferred the world of the brothers Grimm with its love and respect for animals but that seemed a small village world with many stupid people. I loved the glorious world of the Ramayana embracing as it did all infinity, I love its reverence for the animals, the way it was a world of both/and, in which the universe is made of dualities and complexities, not a simple-minded sour world of one and only. I was happy to have found a more beautiful world.

And so I read shelf after shelf of books in the children’s section and boldly approached the librarian who was a frightening person to me, announcing I had read everything in children’s. “Now can I read adult books?” “You can read anything you want.” Her ice-encrusted voice told me it was a matter of utter indifference to her whatever I read. And so I got into it all, plunging into pools of biography, splashing around in geology where time changed into new dimensions vast and infinite, I explored worlds of science with Lord Rutherford’s marvelous Chemical Discovery and Invention in the 20th Century. Lord Byron showed me poetry could be made of ordinary casual talk, he was good at sarcastic edges, his words could slash like a scimitar. “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, there is a rapture on the lonely shore…l love not man the less but nature more…”

I loved that library, books filled with ancient sorrows, with courage, with spirit. Made with the heart and mind and hand of man. I was quite drunk, totally intoxicated like Emily Dickinson, “I taste a liquor never brewed…”

And so eventually of course I had to one way or another try my own hand at it. I began as a reporter and a columnist writing reviews of art exhibitions. And then for years I devoted myself to painting until I got to a place where I could see I needed to make a huge leap into joining painting and sculpture. It was the next new place for me. And I just didn’t see how I could do it and at that point I decided to get back into writing which I had left off many years before.

It would be, I thought, at least five years before I would be able to write anything anyone would value. To my immense surprise within a year I found myself doing readings at which strangers, total strangers rushed up to hug me! A group of musicians with drums and guitars had the idea to accompany me improvising loud rock music as I read “You Think He’s Crazy.” Periodicals in Toronto, Ontario and Madison, Wisconsin published my work. Bukowski accepted my poems for his Laugh Literary and Man the Humping Guns. “When I finish reading a poem,” he wrote me, “I don’t want to feel silk on my hands, I don’t want to feel onionskin, I want to feel blood.” I was invited to take part in readings with Bukowski, Paul Vangelisti, and John Thomas. More often than not I was the only woman on stage, the token woman. It was an odd feeling, a difficult feeling.

In 1974 I sent John Bennett of Vagabond Press a poem, “If You Read Mans Christian Andersen.” He wrote back immediately telling me how on a high bank above the Yakima River where he’d gone to read his mail, the newspaper headlines were Richard Nixon, how he read my poem and Nixon was completely obliterated from his mind. Could I, he asked, send a book-length manuscript of poems?

And so Done With Mirrors was born, published with beautiful front and back silkscreen covers by the artist George Stillman who created a disarmingly simple and powerful image of transformation.

My alliance and friendship with Bennett continues to this day. As though he inhabits the vast panorama of the Mahabarata he does his pyrotechnic dance on the other side of the Cascades juggling and throwing knives, singing out words of fire, painting portraits of cowboys, lassoing the most beautiful women, walking his dog, describing the flight of birds and the inimitable gestures of five-year-old boys and still now that he’s actually white-haired (!) giving us the great gift of wonder, the full range of emotion, illuminating worlds.

Probably the most requested poem at readings has been “Shit.” The title seems to stun those who aren’t familiar with the poem and often at readings someone in the audience calls out “Whaaat?” or “Pardon?” like they can’t believe their ears. So I say “The title of this poem is ‘Shit.'” Whatever expectations people may have at that point are not met, instead I take the audience on a wildly wonderful rollercoaster ride and before I’ve read the last line there’s an eruption of the loudest most triumphantly spontaneous and unrestrained applause. Makes me feel like an alchemist transmuting dross into delight. – Maia Penfold

John Bennett & Maia Penfold | Ellensburg, Washington, 1981 | Photo by Cindy Krieble

John Bennett & Maia Penfold | Ellensburg, Washington, 1981 | Photo by Cindy Krieble

A FEW WORDS FROM THE EDITOR

Maia Penfold, known at the time as Gerda Penfold, drifted into my life in 1974 via an envelope packed with poems. I read those poems in one setting, published them and others in a chapbook titled Done with Mirrors, and from that point on, over the next turbulent thirty-six years, Maia has been a spiritual and creative running mate who remains fiercely independent and disinclined to compromise.

She is a force of nature, no less so at the age of 82 than when she was a young girl in Saskatchewan and a young woman in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and her poetry is charged with this force, an elixir of wonder and innocence, biting wit and easy sophistication, an intelligence that drills to the core. She may be the most overlooked poet of the second half of the 20th century, and it came to me (as these things tend to do) in a flash of inspiration that I needed to collect as many of her poems as I could locate and put them into book form—Maia’s life has been hard and nomadic, and many of her poems have been lost along the way. Not long after that I found myself on a ferry to Bainbridge Island off the coast of Washington where Maia then lived.

It was a magic couple of days. Maia has some health problems that keep her confined to bed or in a wheelchair, but I jump-started her old car and we tooled around the island, ate salmon in a fish house, drove along the ocean shore. We went through the poems with Maia lying regally in her bed stroking her cat Thomas Penfold and me next to the bed spinning around in the wheelchair, calling out for Chinese, the winter Olympics in the background on the TV with the volume down, taking turns reading the poems out loud, saying, “Yes, yes,” or “No, no,” shaping a book with deceptive ease like a couple of seasoned sorcerers.

Maia had it in her head to call the book Grand Canyon, but when I read the long poem “Across the Street” we laughed so hard we had tears in our eyes and our jaws and the backs of our head ached while Thomas Penfold looked from one to the other with mild disapproval and Maia said, picking up on an image in the poem: “Let’s call the book The Red Buddha.” That, young poets, is how it’s done in the real world.

And here it is in your hands, The Red Buddha, a book that is as close as it gets to the collected poems of Maia Penfold, a woman who has burned her way through life with passion, joy and awe. – John Bennett – May 21,2010

The Red Buddha | Poems by Maia Penfold | click the cover if you are interested in buying this book...

Below, an email from Maia Penfold’s son, Larry. In accordance with Maia’s wishes, expressed in a poem in her book The Red Buddha, Larry poured her ashes into a stream that raced seaward from 13,500 feet up in the Rockies. Photos below. Please click to enlarge.

If you’re interested in The Red Buddha (I think Maia Penfold is one of the most overlooked poets in the second half of 20th century American poetry), here’s an ordering link

John,

Thanks for sharing the note from Stefano, and of course thanks for continuing to support my mother’s work.

It is timely as today is the 2nd anniversary of the day I scattered her ashes. The first 3 pictures were taken at the spot high above tree line in the Rockies, 13,500′. The final picture is not far from home at 7,500′, looking up to the high place where her remains started the seaward journey she wanted.

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John Bennett | The Theory of Creation

The Theory of Creation by John Bennett | click the cover if you are interested in buying this book...

Cover drawing by John Harter | click the image to enlarge…

Forward / Credits

The Shards in “The Theory of Creation” were written over a span of time ranging from the mid 1990s until late in 2004. Some of them that sound as if they were written post 9/11 were actually written years earlier. Which goes to show that if you’ve got your finger on the pulse, you can hear the beating heart of the future. Which goes to show that Time is an illusion.

“The Theory of Creation” is part of a trilogy. The other two books in the collection are: “War All the Time” and “The Birth of Road Rage.” All three books are available from Vagabond Press (605 E. 5th Ave., Ellensburg, WA 98926) for the pittance of $9 each, $20 for all three, postage included in all cases. For those of you tied to institutions that will not order a book without an ISBN tattoo, you’re shit out of luck. Vagabond Press is kicking the ISBN habit.

Thanks to the following magazines, presses and/or web sites which made some of these Shards available to a limited public prior to this publication:
Butcher’s Block. Comrades. Edifice Wrecked. Pudding House, Rattle, Real Living, Los Poesv, Measured Steps. Open Wide. Unwound and WordWrights.

CONTENTS

Arriving in the Promised Land – Lonesome for Love – Busy Dying – Death of the Contrary – Driving Miss Daisy – A Relative Demise – Theirs Is a Frankenstein World – The Big Surprise, The Faint Surprise – Us & Our Language – The Business of Luck – I Know That Thru and Thru – Existence Is the Original Sin – Long Live the King – Miracles Living Up to a Mother’s Expectations – Tying a Windsor – Tell Them It’s Christmas – Plain Speak

 

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John Bennett | The Birth of Road Rage

The Birth of Road Rage by John Bennett | click the cover if you are interested in buying this book...

Cover art by Don Brontsema | click the image to enlarge…

Forward / Credits

The Shards in “The Birth of Road Rage” were written over a span of time ranging from the mid 1990s until late in 2004. Some of them that sound as if they were written post 9/11 were actually written years earlier. Which goes to show that if you’ve got your finger on the pulse, you can hear the beating heart of the future. Which goes to show that Time is an illusion.

“The Birth of Road Rage” is part of a trilogy. The other two books in the collection are: “The Theory of Creation” and “War All the Time.” All three books are available from Vagabond Press (605 E. 5th Ave., Ellensburg, WA 98926) for the pittance of $9 each, $20 for all three, postage included in all cases. For those of you tied to institutions that will not order a book without an ISBN tattoo, you’re shit out of luck. Vagabond Press is kicking the ISBN habit.

Thanks to the following magazines, presses and /or web sites which made some of these Shards available to a limited public prior to this publication:
Babel, Burnig Whisper, D-press, House Organ, Los Poesy, Lummox, Measured Steps, Open Wide, Physik Garden, Pudding House, Real Living, WordWrights.

 

CONTENTS

Confessions of a Man Insane Enuf to Talk to Himself – Who I Be – It’s a Cyrano de Bergerac World – He Could Have Been a Contender – If It’s the Last Thing I Ever Do – Life is a Boston Tea Party – New Things to Fonder – No One Loves a Kamikaze – Thank God for the Diving Bell – In a Frenzy of Celebration We Lock Out the Beast – I Know for a Fact – When True Awareness Dawns – Snake Skin – Hunker Down – Getting Ready for Work – Sky Pilot – Concertina-Wire Payback – Howard Hughes has Nine-lnch Nails – Fly & Buy – Fitting In – Shilling Gears Like a Truck Discovering the Child Within – Thwack! Thwack! – As Usual, As Always, Ad Infinitum – Looking – Point the Way – Monkey See, Monkey Do – Sweating the Small Shit – Run with the Hunted – Reaching an Audience – Tricks the Universe Plays – Frankenstein Mythology – Just an Average Joe – Getting to the Core of the Problem -Subpoenaed – The Boy in the Bubble – Chattanooga Choo-Choo – Tiny Tim & the Stompers – Processing the Dream – Happiness is Much Over-rated – Reality Lurks in the Shadows – Tantamount to Treason – Some Advice on Aging Gracefully – The Apocalypse, Plain & Simple -The Birth of Road Rage

 

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