Charles Plymell, June 1968


Charles and Pam Plymell, 1966


In Paris the black and red

flags fly from the Sorbonne.

In Paris workers and students unite,

presentiment of world revolution-

and communists also bourgeois pigs.


General de Gaulle tells the people

that the "shit-in-the-beds" would get 'em--

cut out and left them

in a political vacuum

until they burned their own cars

and cried for a leader.

His experience and southern C.R.S.

superior to the

sling-shots of cerebral students.


Charges begin at two a.m.

The delicate shops intact

by noon the stones

are in place in the street

the cars hauled off,

gas in the air, the Frenchman has his lunch.

If you want to miss the revolt

go to bed early and wake up at noon.

Outside the Coupole the sweet

bums are kissing à la Genet.

The active ones anyway . . .

not those grown formless

huddled against the wall,

skin draped, as if

pinched from a rotten peach.


And in the Coupole the very rich,

and very young, and very beautiful

boys and girls caught slumming

talk all night of how they wreck

their cars and how many speeding


tickets they have, and properly

surrounded by puffs of fame

they leave that act the same.


AD Winans and Robert Kennedy, 1966 - Photo AD Winans


A newspaper reads "BYE, BYE, BOBBY"

and all about gun-crazed America.

Late that night the cafe is cleared

with police and tear gas outside.

Standing with Mary & Claude

I take a napkin,

wrap it around my face

and camp, "Can you imagine

an American

in this situation without a gun?"


And then one evening before the

delicate French moon trailed

above the balconies of filigree

dripping pools of silver and sky through

black shadowed trees

Pam walked on bricks

of childhood streets.


The next day we lit a candle for Kennedy

in Notre Dame in front

of a statue with a serpent at its feet.






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