john bennett | sunrise – july 29, 2013

Nytasha, Pan and Francis

Nytasha, Pan and Francis

Sunrise (July 29, 2013)

I just ripped a sheet out of a yellow pad, crumpled it and tossed it. That’s a first. Usually I can have a swarm of conflicting feelings and thoughts going on simultaneously and compress them into a tight string of words, but today it’s not happening. Maybe it’s due to weeks of long hours working in the hot sun, or maybe it has to do with last weekend in Seattle with my sister and her husband, with my granddaughter and Pan and their son Francis, with nephews and nieces and their wives and husbands and beaus and my nephew’s baby Colin–a family bouillabaisse.

My granddaughter’s son, my great grandson, is a year old, and my nephew’s son is about seventeen months, but they’re from different generations. I’m 75 and seventeen years older than my sister, 74 years older than my great grandson, and my granddaughter is more like a daughter to me. Who the hell am I anyway, throwing frisbee in the park with people forty years younger than me? Carrying my great grandson on my shoulders down the trail to the ocean? Telling stories back at the house over pizza that are fifty years old and making them sound like they happened yesterday?

And then it’s late and I’m on the road again, back over the mountains into the lean focus my life has become, beyond happiness and grief, a fluid stripped-down focus beyond words that I put into words anyway.

Just a half hour ago I went thru the drive-up for a mocha and there’s a guy at the window, which is a mild disappointment–I like the warm spike I get from the high-spirited young baristas. He’s got a t-shirt on with Dutch on it, “Vergeet niet om kaas te eten” it says over a goofy drawing of a round of cheese, and I say, “That’s Dutch you’ve got there on your shirt dude.”

“You’re the first one to get it right,” he says. “One guy thought it was Russian.”

“Cheese,” I say. “It says don’t forget to eat cheese,” and he says, “Do you speak Dutch?”

“Not really,” I say. “More German.”

Next thing I know I’m having a conversation in German with a pimply-faced kid with thick glasses while waiting on a mocha in a cow-town in central Washington. And then I’m up on this hill tearing pages out of a yellow pad.

Listen, it’s all about the children. Children purify whatever they come into contact with. They’re our only hope for salvation, which is the premise for my novel Tire Grabbers, something that’s gone largely unnoticed except by a handful of high-school dropouts, artists, and other misfits.

That’s all I’m trying to do with these yellow pads. With these novels. With these words. Strip away pretense so that the child in all of us can surface, clap its hands with delight, and laugh like crazy at the rising sun.

click the Hcolom Press logo to visit the web page...HCOLOM PRESS is the heir to Vagabond Press, which began as a main player in the Mimeo Revolution of the Sixties and continued publishing right into the jaws of the new millennium. HCOLOM PRESS embodies the spirit of Vagabond Press, retooled for the times we live in.

Hcolom is Moloch spelled backwards. Moloch is an Old Testament deity to which children were sacrificed, a practice society still engages in with increased enthusiasm. Consumerism is the new Moloch, manifesting itself like cancer in war, politics, the arts and religion, in every nook and cranny of human endeavor, draining the intrinsic beauty out of life and mutilating the innocence and magic of childhood with its commercial meat hook. HCOLOM PRESS intends to publish books that by their nature repudiate this pernicious force–novels, poetry, children’s books and books that transcend genre.

Our launch book, in June of 2006, was John Bennett’s novel, Tire Grabbers, a fable of sorts, a reality book rooted in the fantasy of our times, the story of the coming of Moloch and the children who rise up in rebellion against it.

Books of kindred spirit will follow close on its heels. Go for it by clicking here… or hit the Hcolom logo above… or just hit any of the following covers…

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