John Bennett

Link to home pageLink to current issueLink to back issuesLink to information about the magazineLink to submission guidelinesSend email to

Odysseus Marking Time on the High Seas

I won't be going back to Ithaca. I won't be going to Los Angeles or Berlin. I won't even be going to Seattle. I'm marking time on the high seas.

I don't need their land-locked imaginations. I don't need to sign up for their look-alike contests or join their networks and cluster fucks. I don't need their approval, kickback, welcoming committees, rewards, awards or scaly recognition. But I'll take their Social Security, because it isn't their Social Security. It's my Social Security. I worked my ass off and they skimmed 15% off the top and syphoned the lion's share into armaments and special-interest schemes and now they tell me I'm looking for a free lunch.

Fuck them. Give me Lenny Bruce, Henry Miller, Bohumil Hrabal and Celine, not the Canadian bimbo with the vocal chords, I'm talking Celine. Give me Bukowski, hell, give me Leonard Cohen who can slip it to you like a vibrating dildo, caviar packed with razor blades. Give me Pol Pot, Chairman Mao, give me anything but Mark Zuckerberg, the Koch Brothers, the Tea Party and all those other motherfuckers who execute and imprison for profit and at the same time pump out America's dumbed-down entertainment. Give me all the vets missing arms and legs and sleeping under bridges, give me a gang-banger from L.A. covered in tats, give me Pope Francis saying God loves gays and let's divvy up the dinero equally.

No, I won't be going back to Ithaca. Or any place else they've infected.

Which is everywhere.

John Bennett was for many years the driving force behind Vagabond Press which operated on the run from Munich to DC to New Orleans to San Francisco and beyond.  He’s published four novels, two novellas, five short story collections and numerous books of poetry, essays and shards, a poem/story hybrid of his own invention.

He keeps slamming out the words, if anything with more ferocity than ever. As Henry Miller said so eloquently around half a century ago, “You may as well have your say, they’re going to shit on you anyway.”