February 26, 2014 by Jan Herman
Charley Plymell’s long, seemingly endless strings of emails are fascinating to read. He has known so many Beat writers and artists and has popped up in so many places with them that I can’t help thinking of him — half in wonder and half in disbelief — as the Zelig of the Beat Generation. Unlike Zelig, however, he has actual evidence to support his many, many tales. There he is in snowy Cherry Valley, for example, displaying a painting by William Burroughs that Burroughs once gave him and his wife Pam. “We sold it over phone … 3 grand,” he noted, and attached the photo. And there he is, in another attachment from another email, on a poster to promote a recent appearance in Brooklyn with Gerard Malanga. Of course, if you call Charley a Beat poet, he’ll tell you he is no such thing and you may be subject to a lengthy rant about various Beat luminaries who failed to live up to his ideals.