gerda penfold | meeting for the first time

Gerda Penfold | Illustration by Charles Bukowski

Gerda Penfold | Illustration by Charles Bukowski


the zen master
high in the heirarchy
of Vietnamese buddhism
bowed briefly in his brown robes
i inclined my head in return

we walked into his garden
and he laughed again a chunk
of that
enormous laugh we laughed together
until i realized only
the two of us
were laughing in
the roomful of people
and i suddenly stopped
and so did he
and we
merely smiled

now walking in the garden
laughing he waves his hand
toward the red blades of gladioli
over the green grass

this he says is a fine place
for buddha to meditate

don’t you think he asks
that this is a fine place for
buddha to meditate?

From: SIX POETS, Vagabond Press 1979

John Bennett | Six Poets | Vagabound Press 1979

A Vagabond Publication, 605 E. 5th Ave., Ellensburg, WA 98926. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 78-65142 | ISBN: 0-912824-21-2 (c) 1979 John Bennett. Cover design by Cindy Bennett. Drawings by Charles Bukowski. Second edition.



“There are some writers whose work is difficult to comment upon without overstating their concerns or ideas. John Thomas is one of these writers.” So begins Paul Vangelisti’s introduction to Epopoeia and the Decay of Satire, Red Hill Press’ superb collection of Thomas’ poetry and short prose. Many of Thomas’ poems in Six Poets first appeared in the Red Hill Press collection, and rather than paraphrase Vangelisti or attempt my own summation of Thomas’ work, I’ll let the poems speak for themselves and strongly recommend that the reader purchase a copy of Epopoeia. It is available for $3.50 from Red Hill Press, 6 San Gabriel Dr., Fairfax, California 94930.


I started out writing poetry thinking it was important, and that being a poet was holy…I started out thinking writing groups were necessary, and reciting in public, exciting…! met a lot of people who were poets and not very holy, and people who were not poets and were not holy, either…I no longer need to go places, and reading scares the hell out of me, so I no longer do it. I have long periods of not writing poems. Sometimes I live poems/Sometimes I watch others live them.” BOOKS: It Isn’t Everything, Aldine Society of California; Slices, co-authored w/James Mechem, Grande Ronde Press; Three Drums for the Lady, Second Coming Press; If You Are Creative I Will Vanish, Zetetic Press; The Habit of Wishing, co-authored w/Rosemary Cappello & Joan Smith, Goldermood Press.


“Born April 22, 1940, and lived for eighteen years in South-Central Illinois. Attended the University of Illinois and the University of Arizona. Now teaching at City College in Pasadena.” BOOKS: The Father Poems, Sumac Press; 12 PHOTOGRAPHS OF YELLOWSTONE, Red Hill Press; My Summer Vacation, VCP Press; Meat, Mag Press; Men Under Fire, Duck Down Press; etc.


is–to be sure-widely published. Over 20 books, over 10 anthologies, and countless magazine publications. She’s prolific, and when she is good, she is very good.


Red Mountain, Agatha Christie & Love has been translated into German as Unter der Haut is available from the Maro Verlag, Bismarck Strasse 7 1/2, 8900 Augsburg, Germany. BOOKS IN ENGLISH: Red Mountain, Agatha Christie $ Love, Invitation to a Dying, An End to Pinball, and A Post Card from Europe, all from Vagabond Press; Broken Hips and Rusty Scooters, Lion’s Breath Press; due soon from Black Rabbit Press, Van Gogh’s Flowers.


is German born Canadian raised, and presently lives in San Francisco. Her book Done With Mirrors is available from Vagabond Press. She’s worked as art critic, Kelly Girl and captain’s mate. Like the other poets in this book, her talent remains largely and disturbingly unrecognized.

John Bennett | Six Poets | Vagabound Press 1979

Please Note: If you are interested in buying Six Poets, please contact John Bennett under his email adress: or please visit the Hcolom Press web page by clicking here…

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