Charles Plymell hung out with the original Beats back in the day.
His 2004 volume,
Some Mothers' Sons (Cherry Valley Editions, 2004;
ISBN 0-916156-93-1), includes the poem to Grant Hart
reprinted below. Allen Ginsberg's old "Committee on Poetry" farmhouse
in Cherry Valley NY, now abandoned, was the site of the 1998
Cherry Valley Arts Festival at which Grant performed and at which
this photo of Grant,
Charles Plymell and Ray Bremser was taken.
FOR GRANT HART
How would the old homestead ever know|
who would occupy its future centuries
Oh the maple farmer and his sleigh
Oh the band and his harmonium
a cord of wood, a wicker rocker
a wolf-lipped greybeard poet then
the punk rock balladeer singing to the poets
past the songs that make you think
St. Paul kid named after the 5 & dime
Faces sunshine under the old porch roof that
never falls, just leans, though many snows have
blown upon its brim like a dream of a do-rag.
Where possum and mouse and cat lived many lives
with uncounted ants through the centuries'
hut entities, pot-honored, warmed the inner flesh near
snuggled old house basking winsome burdened wine
blues space bartered etched smoke from woodstove fire.
Grant, Ray, Janine and I now look into the hills like
we came to the carnival of 'round ladle rat rotten huts as
the centuries fall down on us, but the porch roof stays
wetter than last year's Mallard orphans swimming in the pond.
Cats scratch and dogs bark, and ticks battle lids under naked eyes
of the moon's inner florist above yonder sorghum stenches
memories stick resplendent on the Burdock cockles velcro
and no schedules are made for road gigs met just in time
for the singing and playing and music's arms
raised to the tune of the brooding century's bottle of beer.
© 2004 Charles Plymell
Reprinted with permission
(Thanks to Charles Plymell, Elizabeth Plymell and
Cherry Valley Editions.)