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
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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