Monday, June 21, 2010

Charles Plymell : Eat Not Thy Mind Review by Paul Hawkins

Charles Plymell : Eat Not Thy Mind Review by Paul Hawkins

French translation by Jean-Marie Flémal in Bienvenue à Interzone

Eat Not Thy Mind is a piece of art. A collage by Claude Pelieu on the front cover and a foreward written by friend and bass spanker Mike Watt. This book comprises of 18 contemporary poems by the Outlaw Poet that is Charley Plymell. With love and care Glass Eye Books/Ecstatic Peace Library series editors Byron Coley and Thurston Moore have produced beautiful artifact. And that`s just the outside! Charley Plymell is rightly thought of as one of the best poets within the Amerikan literary underground. He has seen a lot since his birth on the Kansas high plains in 1935 and the early memories of the sound of the wind in the cab of an Reo Speedwagon truck. His father was a cowboy, his mother once a stunt car driver. He stormed out of Kansas with the likes of Bob Branaman, S. Clay Wilson, Michael McClure, Bruce Connor and the Wichita Punks speeding through the vortex, wailing and roaring north, south, east and west. Plymell and the Wichita Punks had road tested speed, dropped LSD, held mescaline rituals and experimented with art and other creative forms in the 1950`s. All trail blazers. He already had two volumes of poetry, Neon Poems and Apocalypse Rose out when in 1971 City Lights published his seminal novel, Last of The Moccasins. This novel grips, gleams and glistens with his hobohemian prose-style; spinning tales of his life in and around Wichita, his road trips to and from the West Coast along the Rt. 66 Benzedrine Highway and beyond, his crazy Hipster years and the boho life of his elder sister Betty. His words became sparks of energy, sparring partners to the mind. Eat Not Thy Mind`s lexeme glows incandescent in 21st century dark consciousness becoming the lubricant on which the freaky brain clouds part to reveal a head-on, vibrant and astute engagement with life. Charley`s words at once heady, seductive and intoxicatingly descriptive. His Hipster years melded into his psychedelic ones and he hit the handbrake in San Fransisco. Charley lived with Ginsberg and Neal Cassady, printed the first Zap Comix by Robert Crumb, wrote and wrote and wrote some more. Having burnt rubber and seen through the Beats Inc. Charley licked his wounds and wound up in Cherry Valley. He condemned the National Endowment for the Arts and his sharp and intelligent analysis appeared in the NY Times and other print outlets, spilling the beans on the NEA`s inbred favoritism. With his wife Pam they started Cherry Valley Editions publishing Herbert Huncke, William Burroughs, Roxie Powell, Claude Pelieu, Mary Beach to name but a few. Charley still and always will remain very firmly a poet. And what a poet. Always sensing where to cross the tracks from an early age, Charley`s Eat Not Thy Mind sends energy pulses soaring round the readers mind, birth pooling a new view on the present day madness, anutha zone of interrogation, a fresh windblast for the head and heart to get tanked up on and soar. Charley Plymell`s Eat Not Thy Mind is supreme.

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