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






Al-sh’ir Al-hur (Free Verse) Iraq


You know, I can’t think of a single verse.

I mean, I wish I could.

–– GWB (interview with Cal Thomas, February 2005)


Free yourself from “declarations of virtuous intent by world leaders” (Chomsky)

Initiate el-oghniya el-shababeya (youth song) King Farouk Generation X

(Ironing Man) tackle the war in Iraq all with zero voice zero looks

(Bloodied Girl) weep your parents killed American soldiers

fired-on automobile despite warning shots, Tal Afar

There was a moment in our lives


And say to the believing women and men

(All men and women are believing)


emotion draws around itself all the various

counteridentity oppositional claims

disputed comments language of incitement & division

Notice contradictory calls for compassion for the victims

Liberty––a more general or universal sense of compassion

“They are not free not blue and Saudi crepe”


Hear the vacant empty Basra flowers of cholera & shrapnel

Cosmopolitan Jacket Walmart this end of the graveyard

Larks sing clear sweet voice 18 hours without power

You didn’t mind being different because Babylon perceived it was connected

with creativity Rimbaud Baathist haiku recycled paperbacks

said George “I was consciously trying to make a record

that would make a certain type of person

not feel alone I wasn’t targeting the whole world

I wasn’t trying to make a hit record”


Slimming for the beach

At night, the refrigerator chilled air cold water

that pale yellow light across the darkened kitchen

Afternoon mosque wake

the door a woman of punctuation our reinforced towers

Three from Sunni Al-Anbarhad killed

by their families after coming out of Abu Ghraib pregnant


Intelligence officers keep videotapes to blackmail the female

detainees the nudity technique returned to their home town

committed suicide notebooks thesis CDs and computer honor crimes

Outsiders have not grasped the depth and extent of the suffering

are as beautiful as Sulaymania

city of Mahmoudiya her sister a nurse

in local hospital mostly women visit

their inked finger tips cut off by the. . .

who were angry at their taking part in the voting


Many lost confidence in media returning corpses of the enemy

burning vehicles and broken bodies

you began to wonder why meter is important

the poets captured backstreets of Fallujah

tattooing (daqq) magical tattooing practiced secretly


A sofa cushion thrown in the Tigris

Chadors hitched up XXX hotel room films

by men dressed as US servicemen


A woman gave birth to a baby girl

We named her “Elections”



15 February 2005



[Originally published in NHS 2005, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs05/jim_cohn.html.]