John Bennett | Children of the Sun & Earth | Hcolom Press

In John Bennett’s novel, Children of the Sun & Earth an intelligent, steady-nerved young man and veteran named Tobias climbs the rungs of power in the cutthroat world of drug dealing and heavily armed Mexican cartels. By applying the right amount of respect and confidence in meetings with the heads of the Morales cartel, the Huichol Indian tribe, all the way to Pablo Escobar, Tobias sets himself up for the ultimate showdown between the DEA, a Vietnam Colonel named Wild Harry Witherspoon, the top drug lord in the world, and a team of highly-skilled Vietnam veterans. — strong>Adam Michael Luebke – Dear Dirty America Continue reading

John Bennett | Tire Grabbers | Hcolom Press

Tire Grabbers is the story of the coming of Moloch, a horrific force that mutates out of the Era of the Great Schism and – feeding on spiritual marrow – threatens Mankind’s extinction. And it is the story of the children who challenge Moloch, with their innocence and with an army of mind creatures that they eject into the outer world and call… John Bennett Continue reading

Linda King | Sweet & Dirty | Hcolom Press/Metropolis

Linda King showed up in the Vagabond Press mailbox, unsolicited, back in 1972, in Redwood City, California. I’d never heard of her before, but the poems she sent had fire and were free of pretension. I wrote asking if she might have enough material for a chapbook, and she sent the manuscript for Sweet & Dirty. It was only then that I realized she was connected to Bukowski. Vagabond published the book, to the delight of some and the disgust of others. Most of what we published tended to draw these extreme reactions. It was a short press run and was gone in a flash. True to its name, Vagabond was always on the move — Munich, D.C., New Orleans, San Francisco, etc., and in 1974, in Ellensburg, Washington, we brought out a second edition of Sweet & Dirty. It too was gone in a flash. It’s now 2013 with lots of water under the bridge. I hadn’t thought about Sweet & Dirty in a long time, and then Herr Klaus of Outlaw Poetry, a powerhouse literary web site operating out of France, contacted me with the request to bring out a third edition. I agreed, Linda agreed, and here it is. The poems in Sweet & Dirty still have their fire, and also, I realize now, their innocence. What goes around comes around. — John Bennett – Ellensburg, WA, August 10, 2013 Continue reading

Peter Halfar | Life’s Crowning Moment | Hcolom Press

I FIRST MET PETER HALFAR IN THE FALL of 1965 in Munich, Germany, where I began publishing Vagabond, a literary magazine. Maria Spaans, from the Netherlands, was art editor for the first two issues, and Peter followed in her footsteps. Five issues of Vagabond were published in Munich before I shifted the enterprise to New Orleans, and in that time Peter, Maria and I became close friends. Peter’s favorite word is unheimlich. It colors his art and his outlook, and in the sense he means it, unheimlich translates as a quirky, sometimes playful, sometimes foreboding surrealism. The unheimlich permeated the pages of the early issues of Vagabond. Peter, Maria and I went our separate ways after I left Munich, but we never fully lost contact, and when I returned to Europe for a visit in 1986, I saw them both. Maria was married and living in Paris, and Peter was still living in Munich. But he had become something of a world traveler since I last saw him, and it showed in his art, which was flourishing. And something new had been added. Shyly, on the last day of my visit, Peter pressed a thick folder into my hands. “Stories,” he said. “I have been writing stories. Unheimliche stories!” — John Bennett Continue reading

John Bennett | Black Messiah | A Tribute to Henry Miller | Hcolom Press

BLACK MESSIAH Fear, hydra-headed fear, which is rampant in all of us, is a hang-over from lower forms of life. We are straddling two worlds, the one from which we have emerged and the one towards which we are heading. That is the deepest meaning of the word human, that we are a link, a bridge, a promise. It is in us that the life process is being carried to fulfillment. We have a tremendous responsibility, and it is the gravity of that which awakens our fears. We know that if we do not move forward, if we do not realize our potential being, we shall relapse, sputter out and drag the world down with us. We carry Heaven and Hell within us; we are the cosmogonic builders. We have choice — and all creation is our range. — Henry Miller – Sexus (1945) Continue reading

John Bennett | Ragged Lion | A Tribute To Jack Micheline | Hcolom Press

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST (a few words on how Ragged Lion came about) On February 27, 1998, Jack Micheline, America’s quintessential street poet, died on a BART train in the San Francisco Bay Area. I got the word from Al Masarik before the obits hit the papers. “Another one bites the dust,” said Al. The Beats and kindred spirits are dying off like flies—Kerouac, Cassady, Henry Miller, Bob Kaufman, William Wantling, George Montgomery, Bukowski, Burroughs, Jesse Bernstein, Ginsberg, Micheline and—on November 3, 1998, a little more than eight months after Micheline’s death — Ray Bremser. Continue reading