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






The Big Maybe

for Chris


I could blame it all on the painters

some unexplained lights & the characteristics

of angels. Girls since time immemorial

supported your unveiled method,

saints and strangers all the way.


It’s Saturday   night at the World

And Everyone’s gone to the moon.


From the duties of the day

& the door of a room

nothing sticks like a shadow

the true confessions of a water hyacinth.


Prairie dresses in the atrium of a mall.


Check her eyes.

Little boats or swans

as they’re called

overtake a balcony famous

for its love triangle.

Where they’ll never alight

or say I agree with you

about what they call music.


Her car

& morning preparations as well

as the town’s. The intimate tea. . .

just what it says. And blah

and blah.  A vestibule

where you want everything to be

& autumn is on location.


The good news is that

there is no bad news, her image stayed.

As it happens, once in a

Kentucky blue moon, I write

a letter, but my life

should be mine again.


The best intentions, those beautiful

stanzas wherein

Thomas Hart Benton’s circular prose

& some late Victorina attitude

appear on a canvas of the heartland.


Her faith a foretaste of the rondelle


where “paths meander like playing cats”

a neighborly day in the beauty wood:

a sampler. Much of what we think is true

never happened. Her story, told in trance,

resembles more the Bessie Smith

Companion than a celestial handbook

peppered with vigils & the recalcitrant

horsehead nebula


“I don’t see you anymore

in the morning.”


Our picturesque language

a country silence.


Born with an innate sense

of how long things take

yet what remains?

A rose for rent,

Lillian Gish in a rocking chair

with a shotgun.


It was always my intention to live with her

while what remains a blur was what I really needed

along with riverboats, the Belle of Louisville

most notable among them

no apologies for the scenery irrespective of this sky

& unparalleled green resonating something

doors & windows sequentially relevant

like the state flower & crop formations


In the land of hi-fi

I was trying to live

on my toes, the host

of equals, even as we

bless their hearts.

It was Frank Sinatra’s

birthday again, the September

of whatever comes

between the acts

like that actor not destined

for fortune

might walk straight into Hell

with both eyes open,

but even the Devil can’t

fool a dog.


In the rose corner

of the world the most

heavenly of their songs

“Love is here” flame-colored

taffeta, she says,

“I only made up the roses.”

I saw her in the rear view

mirror, arms folded,

bereft of recorded lullabies.

The rain an excuse

for sobriety, she sees in

me every unfinished scene

& so, too, the touched-up sky.


“From one birthfield to another”

what else but the Book of Love

& the book of Laughter & Forgetting?

I took it with appropriate reverence

through lumps of sugar & affected voices.

Unwilling to relinquish her hold

on consciousness, she surpasses me in all

my gadabout endeavors. More her than

her when a

tree comes between us, “to be loved

as I am loved”

& otherwise, integral to the blue.


(An Evening                     “no

with Leonard Cohen)      cameras”


If there were anywhere but desert

when he attained the level of the trinity

& came out of his ecstasies

“thank you for the things you’ve sent

I’ve examined them carefully.”


The poet in New York

recounts the arches of Elvira

levitations at the height of the choir

& the death of a lady’s man

sung to trace a distinction

between an elaborate observation

& the future.


The state of the sky

what I’ll miss the most

but not necessarily those million others.

Could I have dreamed him up?

So this is where people come to die

if they have enough money.

That perfect couple Laurel & Hardy,

their reverberations a tone poem

filling the pag left for centuries.

Our table by the quarry.

A camouflage for the jewel

when your dress is reflected in your blush

taking the waters.

“I won’t even know you’re there.”


“I read your book in the woods.”
Hypothetical, fraudulent, legendary

flowers to the gills in a perfect ate

of preservation without embalming.

“I saw Brian, Jimi,” the United States

had everything except a female saint.

I was trying to find a book to love

but I couldn’t. How the pennies

would be spent & aligned with no

dearth of trees. Covet his fortune.


The legibility of these recitals

a voice contrary to stolen goods.

“Wild Horses,” a variant,

the familiar sense already   vanishing.


Redeem myself in increments.

Stardate––July 21st. Not just a

lowdown on what’s happening

to the sky. When time winds up

say, “He’s my wheel in the middle

of the wheel.”  Any heavy footstep

within a mile radius of home.


Only debris where the ceilings “aren’t”

& remove whatever is readily removable

though strips of forest vibrate along the fine point

no match for the birds

of prevailing millinery fashion on

Kate Chopin’s beach.

Flower infused or lost

emanating the inner colors of the church.


And get out of Dodge.

Roadside angels likevintage trees

one does not see so much as harbor.

Where was your guardian angel, Keith?

It all teeters on the verge of sense,

however exalted.

Nighthawks composed of one voice:

“a mystery woman encrypts

the winning numbers.”


The backyard is mostly industrial

Nuevo Laredo on the American side

a tiny gift for “no reason”

& these tendencies to look up toward the sky

a comfort mask for one whose name

is associated in most people’s minds

with flowers. Knee-high to her

imagination & be entertained by

the irregularities of my heart.

This blouse, this enabler, the one

red rose that I mean.


From the duties of the day

& the door of a room:

a tan & sandy silence.

What you have is a room

in the sea, the offspring

of Julia on the grand scale.

A thorn between rosy construction.

And the graph of a sunset

we call “inured with beauty.”


But back to the fact

of a door.

As I would say:

case by case.


In this case, the door

is best served by a catalyst

registering nothing;

Under sign of a neon cross

the vernacular’s flowering decay.


White room of a sacred trust or snow

but that was another Colorado

of frostbite & motherloade. Devotions

at the altar of a crystal blue persuasion?

I wish. Put it to the test.

On your dashboard, an autumn configuration

to appease the downtown gods.

A symbolic cake & cabin

to warrant true believing.

Not yet late November.


Our Town


Directional debut of the little

black dress promotes the fog &

its horns. The echo of an echo.

And the big picture: something

you waited for all through

the war. This is what I see:

innumerable cups of coffee, duets,

the predominantly red

New York Movie.



[Originally published in NHS 1994, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs94/index.html#15.]