H e a r t   S o n s   &   H e a r t   D a u g h t e r s   of   A l l e n   G i n s b e r g

N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 4 :   A r c h i v e s   E d i t i o n






I Give Up My Place In The World To Come


I give up my place in the world to come.

You go instead, it’s yours. Let me remain

here, alongside cancer children in orange

wigs. With children in the ground, cruel

bullets like pressed flowers in their smiling

faces. Don’t wait for me. Don’t wait up.

It’s so beautiful––women & men, torn from each

other’s side. Whole cities & nations unravel

below. The light beyond, like omniscience

in the novel, not something of any worth.

Give me the everpresent exodus, the exodus,

the fire-in-the-tree-that-does-not-burn

exodus of people living in the impeccable

alley of centuries. Give me huge drowning

floods & bitterest cold. I give up my place.

Leave me in this gruesome factory to glow

& hiss & rot. Dress me in the silent clothes

of terrorized forests. Burn me in a firestorm

of poor houses crushed beneath the homeless

blue stones of war. Persecute me for my

starving wall of violets. Lock me up with

the unreformed and the penitent in the braided

garlic jails of birth. Just cross out my name

when the saints last call. Send the one who

bleeds to death with apples falling on the

dark street. Order those dragged by snipers

across the road of the sky, dragged by

needles & explosions, dragged by oceans

first. Until devoured like others in the

ovens of oblivion, I give you my place to

prepare your reward of springtimes to come,

of wheatfields, of romance & sudden murder.



31 January 1994



[Originally published in NHS 1994, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs94/index.html#34.]