Over the Stage of Kansas A Lifetime of Charles Plymell’s Inspired Poetry

The overwhelming number of comics, little magazines, books, posters, and all sorts of poetry and radical literature that Charles Plymell has printed during the last half-century — including the first issue of my San Francisco EARTHQUAKE in 1967 — is too many to count.

All that time he was writing inspired poetry and prose of his own and having it published by a flock of small presses: Apocalypse Rose (Auerhahn Press); Neon Poems (Atom Mind Publications); The Last of the Mocassins (City Lights Books; and Mother Road Publications); The Trashing of America (Kulchur Foundation); Reefer Madness in the Age of Apostasy (Butcher Shop Press); Hand on the Doorknob (Water Row Books); In Memory of My Father (Cherry Valley Editions); Song for Neal Cassady and Bennies From Heaven (12 Gauge Press); Eat Not Thy Mind (Eye Books Ecstatic Peace Library); Animal Light and Planet Chernobyl (Engstler Verlag); Tent Shaker Vortex Voice (Bottle of Smoke Press); Benzedrine Highway (Kick Books); Incognito Ergo Sum (Ragged Lion Press); and, you gotta believe it, too many more to list.

Now in old age — he turns 89 today — having poured his thoughts into emails by the thousands (a choice selection of which was published last year, entitled Keyboard Intercourse) — Plymell is getting significantly renewed attention for his poetry with the release of Over the Stage of Kansas: New & Selected Poems 1966-2023, by Bottle of Smoke Press (edited and with a foreword by Gerard Malanga). To celebrate the book, Plymell will give a reading on May 18 in Hudson, New York. It’s bound to be a grand occasion.

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