N  a  p  a  l  m      H  e  a  l  t  h      S  p  a         R  e  p  o  r  t     2  0  0  2



on the moonlit road


the old man

            wandered alone,

                        his distended belly,


                        sagging manbreasts

            & phallus hanging out

for the flashing headlights


passing, the drunks

            making their way

                        home after a long


                        night of sweat &


now at this vision,


            the pale wanderer

                        grinning in red socks

                                    in the gathering fog.



In Silence


hour after hour

            they waited in the ER,

expecting the onrush


of wounded & maimed––

            yet there were only

                        firefighters with


smoke inhalation,

            cuts & bruises, hour after

hour, the minutes


            ticking away, the dust not

even settled, filling

            the winter garden palm


court where no

            wounded walked nor

rescuers bore the maimed,


            only the silence &

the realization at last

            that none would come


thru the open door,

            beyond the shrieks & sighs

& the endless roar.



Blinding snow freeway rush hour


makin’ a buck––damn fool in black pickup giant flag hanging off

            his rear races thru like it’s a sunny day in July an’ there ain’t

                        no tomorrow––cars fishtailing in his wake,


semis bearing down, flying over bridge no time to check the river––

            surely the whitelined oaks gotta be something to see––

                        strange time to be working, always been my


pass out on the couch or bop to the Duke flippin’ burgers or singing

            in the shower––big slowdown now, lotta red lights ahead.

                        a good time, home alone, 3 hours, dozing, waking


prep to coming for readings, poetry impresario in a bowler hat,

            how gather young poets’ manuscripts for xerox?

                        lotta work there––wonder if Antler’ll let me


take 3 stanzas from Skyscraper Apocalypse, if I can afford Paria

            Canyon photo in color on cover?  should I give these kids

                        Kerouac, Ginso now?  off the freeway, skidding


thru lights to park––cellphones now going off in class,

            we sit & contemplate snowfall over the city, lights winking

                        in towers beyond this window, even snakelike


traffic muted on choked roads beyond, thousands stopped dead

            with tired limbs, empty stomachs, loved ones visible only

                        in memory, fingers rapping on wheel for home.