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






Blues for Frank


Young Man Blues


Leaning over the guitar, eyes intent

on skeletal fingers, strings leaping

with young man fire & long nights

burning those notes in the blue room


of dreams, to get past the half moon over

the broken city, the lost loves, to sing

thru to boom boom dawn running from

home & somehow find the tune that


salves the soul & sings free of the many

chains that break us all—taking the dark dream

within, living with it, not denying it,

when the sky is crying  & there’s only


a pigfoot & a bottle of beer & a shaking

money maker to find some way to work

thru it, transcend it, burnish our hearts

with the suffering none can escape.



The gift taken


When the M.S. took his fingers & silenced his guitar,

he sang among blue-gummed skeletones of providence—

he sang & would not be still.


Lost to his great gift, he was still able to pluck out

Camptown Races” on a banjo, that a young girl

might find a song.


In later years, even as his body curled against him

& left him abed, his angel Fran kept him that he might

sing & sigh with a friend.



Joining the chorus


Here's to Doehler-Jarvis workers coming home from the long shifts,

to Sicilian beauty and elegance silent presence in every gesture,


here’s to Woody Guthrie, to Bobby Dylan, to Spider John Koerner

and Robert Johnson, to Mississippi John Hurt and Doc Watson, to


Son House and Hank Williams, to Bert Jansch and John Renbourn,

to the 10,000 anonymous pickers & singers still in the blue dream,


to Grandma Josie whose recipes Sue learned by watching—

no measurements—to his many loves and his fierce friends,


years of running wild with a harp and a bottle of Southern Comfort,

yakking until 3 a.m., passing out and yakking again, with no


particular place to go and no end in mind—his old National Steel

& Martin guitars weathered classics silent, still now forever—now he’s


free in the rent party rag wang-dang-doodle where all careless

loves now rest,  no police dog blues, hellhounds sighing beneath


the table with hambones and the wild women singing like Bessie

in every kitchen—let the freight train rolling thunder midnight


special wail down those tracks, trumpets blasting out every window,

free now in the blue chorus of wailing angels, free picking free


when the last deal’s gone down and where indeed we shall not be

moved, not be moved, not be moved, hang it on the wall, brother.



for Frank Salamone (1947-2012)



Mayday, 2012



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