Mark Hartenbach | The Sound of Music | Hcolom Press

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. — John Bennett Continue reading

John Bennett | The Birth of Road Rage | Hcolom Press

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. — John Bennett Continue reading

Maia Penfold | The Red Buddha | Hcolom Press

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. Continue reading