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






"24 American Pewter with Burroughs II" by Robert Rauschenberg (1981).



American Pewter with Burroughs II:  Green is a Man / To Fill is a Boy


Robert Rauschenberg riffs on two lines by William S. Burroughs



The green man leafy head in hands comes back again & again:

I remember Billy, the son, scapegoat, burdened with the life he found:


cirrhotic, bleeding out his esophagus, finally in hepatic coma,

swimming up” to his eyes from within to observe bleak cartoon


figures going through motions in the room beyond—saved only

because when others bardo-prayed he’d go to the light, his father


drove them away—“Dammit, he’s in a fucking coma and he might listen!”

Billy—who in the end “bid all trees & true persons the clearest of futures.”




Greek warriors lean together, flowing beards lovely curling hair, fierce eyes

Intent on the battle to come, another battle.  Sappho lamented such beauty


one sees in faces like these, marching to war, full of high phrases, valorous

tongues, arms bristling with arms, killers with the faces of angels—Sappho,


who cried out to Anactoria that her footstep, the light in her eyes set her

heart thrumming more strongly than all armed killers others might sing.




The ironworker spread-eagled high above the city, his billed cap cocked

Like a statement atop his head, walks skyward, free, beyond earthbound


Spirits trapped in the squalor of watches & traffic, appointments, brief

cases loaded with the flotsam of routine—imagine him now, naked


to the world, human form at last  a swinger in heights above,  godlike,

filled as a boy is filled to be a man, to green as an earth in season.



[Originally published in NHS 2012, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs12/.]