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





Memories of Paris


We were riding a boat down the Seine looking at the unforgettable architecture

            of homeless-encamped tents

when news of the 650,000th Iraqi death was announced over

            the amplified radio.

The French-accented announcer promised this would be the last time

that figure would ever be mentioned in English.

We ran into the Louvre as fast as we could & sat cross-legged in a corner.

Were we planning to meditate or paint, Vivian, I can't remember?

One of Mona Lisa's guards found us behind a bulletproof pink canvas

            and dragged us into the medieval exhibit

where an iron statue was already built for our fired Defense chief.

The eyes carved into the hall of tombs were videotaping us

As we opened our subway maps to plan a route to a more modern

temporary hiding place.







With 4th anniversary of Iraq War approaching,

Bush has asked new Democratic Congress for

$100 billion in emergency funds "with no strings

attached"–doesn't he have a single science advisor

who can tell him current quantum theories say

all matter in universe is made of tiny strings? In Sunday's

New York Times, I read an article about young women

who are among fastest guitarists in today's rock

& roll. Is Bush asking Congress to keep these guitarists

off stage? Do families of 600,000 Iraqi war dead use steel

or nylon strings to tie up the loose newspapers of

their lives? With doctors and nurses fleeing across

borders, what color thread remains on the looted shelves

to stitch Iraq's endlessly flowing hospital wounds?

The Times said that these new rock guitarists

are called shredders but that seems more appropriate

to the fashion designers of these new wars. How many

strings would it would take for the Democratic Party

to weave itself a stronger spine? After Scooter

Libby conviction, the attorney general scandal, Katrina's

exposed wounds, mice chewing up vet hospital floors,

will the president finally be forced to pull his own strings?

There are loose threads everywhere on my living

room carpet; is there a mainstream presidential

candidate who will accept this futuristic donation?

Enough of this war funding! No more feeding

Bush's addictions with Afghan poppy & mid-east oil!

These censored yet still dire pseudo-government heat

stroke reports contain more than enough scary adjective

strings to let us know we're approaching a real tipping point

problem! Quantum physicists say the vibrational pitch

of subatomic strings helps determine the shape of

objects. Hey, you guitarists & bass players, can you change

the pitch emanating from Bush's war phone? Patti Smith was

inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame–I'll second her

NY Times op-ed & say I, too, have no interest in files of

celebrity, but better to be remembered for playing the strings

of protest than igniting the flames of cities burning.

Congress, grab those strings! The people are ahead of you,

but we need your help.





Why I Did Civil Disobedience at Wall Street

with the War Resisters League


With over a half million Iraqi civilians killed as result this catastrophic war &

occupation, four million others forced to flee their homes, it doesn't seem right America whoops or wails daily about consumer overconfidence second-home-sales bull-markets business-as-usual.

When I got to Wall Street holding my aching back from previous day's march, I wasn't

sure whether I was well enough to join in, but an electric impulse at base of

spine seemed to surge me forward & urge me to sit.

A recent poll showed most Americans believe under 10,000 Iraqis have been killed–

            which home planet's TV reality shows are those purple patriots watching?

I was holding an anti-Halliburton sign and thinking of new chants, "the people are hollerin', no more deaths, no more dollars"–maybe it was the off-rhyme giving me extra spinal energy?

While America's soldiers come back homeless & wounded, Halliburton execs make

            millions & move their castles to Dubai–will someone please introduce a bill

outlawing private contractors making more money than the troops?

In his essay on civil disobedience, Thoreau said "Let your life be a counter-friction

            to stop the machine!"

Everyone knows the Democrats were elected to Congress to stop the war, but it seems

            like most of them are still wandering lost in the basement halls.

I love MoveOn.org, but their calls for peace vigils only mentioned honoring

            dead American troops & not Iraqis buried under depleted uranium-covered

            earth, and I felt a stronger nonviolent statement ought to be made.

Continued U.S. occupation serves as recruitment tool for extremists and as blood-boiling

pot for hundreds of thousands families that've lost loved ones since 3/19/03–

            and all suspect rightfully Bush wants oil rights & permanent military bases!

In the police van heading to the holding cells, there was a great spirit of comraderie

            among activists meeting for first time in plastic handcuffs, coming from a

            dozen different traditions to the same stock-exchange street-corner sit-down


In near-secret nooks and crannies of the Internet, one reads reports of Iraqi children

born with leukemia birth defects from uranium weapons U.S. won't admit is a

            problem. What will it take to bring this emergency health & war crimes issue

into mainstream light?

Under current levels of chaos & destruction, seven hours in police vans and holding cells

seemed like a small form of existential penance an American could pay on the

4th anniversary of the war.