N  a  p a  l  m     H  e  a  l  t  h     S  p  a  :     R  e  p  o  r  t     2  0  0  7






Hugo Chavez


I don't think I'd like Hugo Chavez very much

if I met him in person, but I could find

Venezuela on a blank map, & my godfather,

Buddy, worked there for Cities Service

before he went to Tierra Del Fuego

& mysteriously fell into the ocean

& drowned along with his son in 1962

while fishing from some rocks.

I remember my broken-hearted parents

could not comfort each other & that's

when I knew their marriage was really finished.

So I walked round the corner, sat on the church steps

by myself & looked at the stars & wished

I could be in Atlantic City with my Nana,

who had raised her nephew Buddy like a son.

I don't think I'd like Hugo Chavez very much

but when he referred to George W. Bush

as "the Devil" in New York & said,

"It still smells of sulphur today,"

I was glad someone else noticed the stink.





Dreaming of Allen Ginsburg on William Burroughs' Birthday


A vaguely familiar location,

East Village, Hoboken, Soho.

He was on the other side of the street.

I thought, I must speak to him.

I knew he was dead.

"Allen, Allen Ginsburg," I called out,

as I walked toward him.

"How is heaven, or wherever you are?"

He was holding something, a gold medallion

or a religious medal, he looked young.

He didn't notice me.

He wandered down the street,

across an intersection.

I called louder, trying to get his attention.

"Allen Ginsberg, Oh Soul, Allen, wait."

He kept walking, in his own thoughts,

like he had someplace he needed to go.

He turned the corner out of sight.

"Allen, Allen, Allen." I shouted,

then stopped, feeling embarrassed,

there were other people on the street,

what would they think? This man

yelling at a ghost, or at empty space -

someone only I could see

named Allen. Maybe they couldn't see me.

I realized I didn't know where I was

& what I was doing there.





The Man I Met in Washington D.C.


I tried to see the President,

he's a friend of mine,

but I had no money for the fare,


that's why I was hanging out

in the Richmond, Virginia

bus station at four in the morning.


I don't want tap water with the candies,

if that's what they are, bring me

a cup of cold apple juice.


I circled scambled eggs & wheat toast

on the menu yesterday, why did I get

poached & white bread with butter?


The psychiatrist is scary,

I call him Dr. Thorazine.

The door locked itself when it closed.