N  a  p a  l  m     H  e  a  l  t  h     S  p  a  :     R  e  p  o  r  t     2  0  1  2






The War Is Over


I meet my friend, my old professor, and we head over

to Zuccotti Park, lots of cops and metal fences on the way

there, and then the drums in sync, and dancing and signs –

scrawled on a piece of green cardboard, “Compassion

is the radicalism of our time,” set up against some

empty pizza boxes, and another sign, photo of grave

stones below the heading “No Corporations Buried

Here” and below the graves “Arlington Cemetery,”

and then I see a young man and young woman cuddling

in a sleeping bag in the middle of it all, trying to rest.


We two old lefties head off to catch our trains back home,

and it’s then I remember that heady day when, out of nowhere

someone starts chanting “The War Is Over,” 1968 in Washington

Square Park, and thousands of us pick up the chant, and then

we start marching up Fifth Avenue and shouting “The War Is

Over, The War Is Over,” Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso

somehow having ended up at the front of the march, and I see

two old timers beside us on the sidewalk as we pass them by,

as we march by, and they’re shaking hands and laughing, telling

one another “Hey, the war is over,” and patting the other

on the back in their glee, and in the street we all are headed

uptown, tens of thousands of us now, and the police have just

arranged themselves alongside of us and they’re letting it all

happen, and when we get to 42nd Street, Allen taking half

of us west to the Hudson River, Gregory the other half

to the UN and the East River, and we all knew what happened.


I wait for the hundred thousand of us to start marching from

that downtown little park, heading north, cheering and protesting,

and in DC and in all of our cites, and I’ll be there, since now’s the time.



October 2011, New York City