Today several Washington poets will marshal their words and march bravely into the performance arena. At 5:30 p.m., Charles Plymell and Eric Baizer will join the spirit of Wallace Stevens in "An Evening of Animated Poetry" at Hardart (1407 15th St. NW). Emily Kane will direct Brian Hemmingsen, Mary Levey and Steven Provizer in Stevens' "Bowl, Cat and Broomstick," a short play, and the only one the distinguished poet wrote.

Plymell, a National Book Award winner for "Last of the Moccasins," apparently decided "Why not be another poet that's writing a play?" He's come up with a skit called "The Beatniks" featuring Patti Chambers (winner of Source Theatre's Best Actress award last year), Sam Foxworthy and Jim Reed as Neal Cassady; Reed, a local poet who sometimes works as a bartender and produces very occasional concerts, seems well suited to the part.

According to Kane, Plymell's play will dramatize a certain prologue to a "Moccasins" episode, which the author will then read. Although the plays are set two centuries apart, "both focus on whether or not one can identify a work of art by the personality of the artist, whether there's an equation between finished art and a personal portrait of the artist." Baizer, a musician and satirist, may beg the question with his burlesque readings.