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






Mystery Town


            an official letter arrived in the mail ordering me to report to Mystery Town where

I had been summoned to perform urgent yet unspecified business & since I had been

raised from birth to believe that obedience is a virtue, I caught the train to Mystery Town

the same day I received the letter. . .when I reached my destination & got off the train, I

was surprised to find that an agent of the authorities who summoned me was waiting

there to meet me since I had not sent a message to acknowledge my receipt of the letter &

to say when I would be coming, so the presence of the agent seemed to indicate that the

authorities had developed some method of keeping me under surveillance. . .the agent

was able to recognize me immediately as soon as he saw me because the letter had

informed me that when I was in Mystery Town engaged upon the duties I was required to

execute, I would be expected to adhere to a strictly formal dress code at all times & I had

travelled in the black suit, white shirt & black tie that the authorities had designated as

appropriate garb in the letter they had sent to me. . .

            the agent brought me to a desk giving me a calculator, an endless list of numbers

& instructions that dictated when I would add, subtract, multiply & divide, instructions

that I followed to the letter since I had been trained to be an obedient boy, so I spent my

time performing the necessary calculations even though the rising & falling results of my

labor signified nothing I had been taught to understand. . .I remained in uniform for

weeks never even loosening my tie or opening my collar since the dress code I had been

given indicated that my appearance must always remain impeccable & all concessions to

my own comfort were strictly forbidden & I continued to immerse myself in the

meaningless task that had been assigned to me embracing it as the tedious fate I would

experience so long as the authorities believed that task should be performed. . .gradually,

however, I found myself questioning the virtue of obedience I had been cultivated to

devote myself to since I grew weary of producing mystery numbers to profit the mystery

authorities of Mystery Town, so the day came when I abandoned my desk, stripped

myself free of the required uniform & painted my naked flesh in rainbow colors prepared

to lead the revolution that would break the tyranny established by the mystery authorities

who inhabited Mystery Town. . .



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