I first purchased Kennth Patchen, Selected Poems (New Directions Books, 1957) from City Lights Books on Nov. 21, 1976, when I was a young man living San Francisco. I still have the sales slip to prove it! Cost then: $2.25; $2.40, with tax.
As noted on the back cover of my old, but still holding up, paperback: “The late Kenneth Patchen was unique among contemporary poets for his direct and passionate concern with the most essential elements in the tragic, comic, blundering and at rare moments glorious world around us.”
Here is a sample poem:
We Go Out Together In the Staring Town
We go out together into the staring town
And buy cheese and bread and little jugs with
Everywhere is a tent where we put on our whirling
A great deal has been said of the handless serpents
Which war has set loose in the gay milk of our
But because you braid your hair and taste like
honey of heaven
We go together into town to buy wine and
A wide range of his books, including Collected Poems and one my favorite titles, The Journal of Albion Moonlight, are available through New Directions Books.