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








But may I, when again I have the city's crush 

and tangled noise-skein and furor 

of its traffic wrapped around me, alone, 

may I above that thick confusion 

recall sky and the gentle mountain rim 

on which the far off plodding herd curved homeward.


––Rainer Maria Rilke

from "The Spanish Trilogy"




I wade through days of light 

like movable night 

enter them 

with a carnival of rich 

carnal klaxons 

blaring what I think 

unable to uncover 

clues about who is moving 

in these tight pants and sunglasses 

who steps on New York City sidewalks' 

hundred billion club-footed bacteria ––


Deafening din of the "world" 

declares our separateness 

walking down a gritty street 

in downtown summer city stew 

mass tepid squalor 

compartmentalizing my 

contemptuously stupid boring advertising job.   


At 5:58 again 

no matter what the song 

clockradio curdles spirit 

sours mind, kills dreaming 

slays the composer writing aubades 

in lazy morning afterglow.   


On the dawn-chilled depot platform 

I resist the deep despot echo of ghost freedom deposed 

barely making it through the commute, a simple refuge 

sinking deeper into my vinyl seat 

on this loco- 

motive with no ulterior  

centrifugal express identity crisis –– 

journalizing these petty bourgeois inconveniences 

at each of the many station stops 

on this transforming track ––   


Temporary comfort of rattling sleep tames no fear 

desires sublimate under fluttering lids 

and you can't hear the difference 

between the voices of spirit or of ego –– 

inner talk blares as towns pass quickly 

smudge of sage and tobacco resolves the blur 

sated, grateful and impatient ––   


Phantoms xylophone march abductions in childhood's nightmare 

paper skeletons grab yr neck and armpits, you pull the covers up close 

aliens in the elevator shift yr lymph nodes through shallow throat –– 

Dad speedballs with a diabetic whose wife throws his leg prosthesis 

out the 19th Fl. window 

while mom gets high to Leon Russell in the kitchen with her hairdresser –– 

Indian doctors whisper like chipmunks in a sterile forest 

of disinfected linoleum, crackling their foil and bubblewraps 

pop out a superdrug which makes things worse on purpose.


Remembering these dreams feels like moving chest-out through a swarm of bees;

violently thrashing at your artful, evasive enemy 

who analyzes you with surgical apparition –– 


Leftover dung and litter grains hang out of the cat's butt 

you kiss her anyway, 

crumple up a page, drain the juice glass –– 

On 16th St. bright morning work walk 

city keels over its incendiary bed 

repeats like greasy eggs on a stale roll 

I am point at the moon –– 

May my spirit be like rock


The "Temp" life is a freelance shaft 

by wealthy bosses who ruminate on the art of suppression 

and ram it up your ass 

so there is no problem as long as you have 

no problem with that

otherwise, you will french-kiss iron storm grating, 


tear flesh on razor spikes of office chair floor mats,

travel with an attache of grief and heartburn, a stained tie, ink spotted pocket 

get bloody carpet burns connecting ethernet transceivers under a hundred desks

pavement gravel embedded in shoulder and knee, tangled in a mass of localtalk 

red rose petals sprinkled on your forehead, shower drips on frontal bone 

ÜÜ they will wrestle the cellular phone from your cold, rigid fist 

and you will have no big idea whatsoever ––     





Sitting meditation; not sitting 

what's the difference? 

Lotus fold of knee or

mind rasp, inhalation –– filter of

auric mouth 

taking and giving pains and pleasures 

folded like origami on mirror 

pulsing tingle  between scrolled eyes and thighs ––   


All the time  

I wondered who you were 

because I had no idea who I was 

it was over before we knew 

it was over just when we got 

a glimmer 

or because of that ––   


Crescent moon 

in crisp October twilight 

cuts through blurred vision 

embracing the current dilemma, 

surrender completely to falling leaves, burning in piles, 

unsharp smokescreen above orange sunset at century's horizon.   


Autumn brings death 

as a call to practice 

mindful awareness, 

stir static life into sweetness, 

what we cling to like newborns 

ripped away impersonally from the breast 

like leaves from its tree by the solvent wind.   


Beauty continually ripens. 

It seems like roses but blushes deeper. 

It just seems and traffics in the illusory. 

Place the hidden market between us 

and we always move toward that boundary. 

Create the hungry mouth on yourself 

and it sucks only a brief moment of forgetting 

like phantom nipple rising and falling with breath. 

You root for the ghost and she 

suckles you in dreamtime rebirth.   


Autumn renews 

a call to satisfy every wish 

a sleeping song

to last the winter long 

a warmth to counter 

bright coldness we deny most painfully –– 

deep reminder of stellar origin 

siren who calls you singing from the 

blackness between stars. 

I stare out the window at 

blur of yellow trees in 

bright sun glare –– 

My thoughts rush ahead 

to spring out of body 

on the 7:52 ––   


There is no hour and seventeen minutes wasted 

each trip defines what your made of 

alone or in public 

another bead is pulled along the string. 

Must careful rosary the Samaya 

and not transgress it 

this pious vow of comet entrails 

drives its repetitive emptiness home 

curls like incense into rams horns 

crushes them with huge epochal tires, great red cushions 

beneath blinding afterimage red-shifts –– 

icy star pizza scraped off the 

cold dark roadway acclimates quickly 

halting convection, her specular black lace teddy 

dresses the breasts of the Milky Way ––   


Mala beads tap out an invisible code 

to name my aspiration, invisible man shielded from 

who mustn't see me, night as I am 

often marvelous yet reaching closer into fear like 

abundant mackerels on my spleen 

nibbling away self-esteem –– 

A fair day follows a suffering one 

as I fall asleep in the warm satin 

Indian-summer breeze.     





Gaia mother, our survival all but forgotten 

betrayed daily with a kiss and a chemical 

driven away with your car and your testicles ––   


Forget other lives, your almond eyes, 

persimmon juice running down your chin ––

Carthaginian goddess worshipper sins 

gasping with spotted fever and a curse on his breath 

innocent youth who lay on blankets of rabbit fur 

listening to Simon & Garfunkle's Bookends, watching 

a votive flicker behind colored crushed glass, crackling hempseed 

through dirty windows over Murray Hill rooftops.


Deep memories come forward with faces hardly recognized 

masks you wore light up in sequence, a museum 

running through bush in Rio De Janeiro 

in 1683 on the tribal stump fasting 

from wild rice and boar –– 

Castle Duino crashing surf, night life in Prague 

distant sound of Rodin's chisel against stone ––   


Sad, hobbling cripple struggling 

across 11th Ave. to reach the bus stop and the bus doesn't stop ––

head bowed in ghostly shadows of florescent shelter ––   


Crow pecking carrion on frosted Palisades 

family members die mile after mile, you walk down that lonesome road 

toss through sleepless nights worrying ––   


Every night of new love includes the danger 

of eighteen years of hard work commuting from a vapid suburbia 

to raise a child that will betray your image and make their own way 

maybe make you proud, maybe not, President, rapist, doctor or killer 

surely watch you die one day and take over your world ––   


Illness takes root in slums and dark alleyways of cities 

from Atlantic to Pacific 

while you tune your electric guitar 

and fumble through the Pentatonic 

in your comfy condo with two TVs and a full pantry ––   


Blind woman in front of the Helen Keller Center 

who hailed a taxi, lost the U-ring on the harness of her seeing-eye dog 

and bent at the waist, arms outstretched, called out "Sasha!, Sasha come! 

Come Sasha!, Sasha!!" 

Even the Pakistani cabbie called out with her while the black lab 

was smelling the curb three feet away ––   


That lame old man who walked past you signing Reiki 

transformed at the Union Square farmer's market –– 

his cane caught your pants leg 

came out from under him and fell –– 

for a moment he realized he didn't need it –– 

You acquire his limp and count your blessings ––


You forget you bless others in mysterious ways and 

bless yourselves, being instruments of teachings moving through life 

auspiciously with blinders ––   




simple fearless embrace of wind 

maskless riding endless roads, strong as you stride

past the aisle of parked cars toward the depot platform ––   




when the teacher fails you can only turn to Nature 

not your little 'self' –– 

night steeps a rich supple mead,

your damp, slippery costume witchy leather cape ripples 

you carry armfuls of indian corn, wear the brick bandanna of city ––  




you were not made to lose track of yourself on these tracks 

lose face in the face of a sea of blank stares, lose right action 

right livelihood, the Paramitas, lose the one you love to painful cigarettes

through a salesman's mask, psychic carpet mines in your office zone 

war theatre of corporate Amerika strategized void of nature:

'no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body 

no mind, no appearance, no end of appearance, no old age and death 

no IRA, no Keogh, no quarterly bonus, no dental, no pension 

no end of old age and death, no suffering, no origin of suffering 

no cessation of suffering ––

you were not meant to suffer this way 

not made mean, not made to suffer but to be reminded ––





Vanguards of meditation's temporary silence 

shout primordial raw closure of millennium 

come back to simple easy breathing. 

They took the long way home but got there 

and lived for impermanence. 

Cradling zen, I sit quietly and remember them ––


Pioneers hoisting sails to course new destinies 

arrive in promised lands great guns blazing their grainy, immigrant film. 

They took the Ellis Isle short stick and struck a staff to part the celluloid sea 

standing by the West Side Hwy to capture newly homeless men 

sitting one leg, one bottle up on the cement dividers, tilted fedoras backgrounded 

by a misty Hudson sunset.   


Brooklyn Padmasambhava on his lotus-throne barstool, swirling skullcup  

of ambrosia on tap –– 

casting thunderbolts across pure-land skies to magnetize wandering mind –– 

Mahakala's consort in tight lame, singing in her anguished pleasure, one leg 

across his thighs 

in leopard skins and pumps, eyes and fangs gleaming. 

Exotic dancer devours our mutual neurosis, our transgressions are bounced at the door ––


Teach crash course in physics by direct chemical injection of crossword theorem solved

juice to draconian brain stem, cloned mind of Elohim re-heralds new age 

a mega-bio-ragtime-raga, music which generates 

surreal freeform holograms, atomized fragrant oils and pulse of 

tuned endorphin pleasure as you recline in your vibrating nuclear Barcalounger 

of 21st century quantum schismroom chomping ginseng bonbons ––   


How safe with a wife and kids and condo and reliable sales job 

and how dead, lost to one or another unreasonable reasonableness 

falling out at night with a bag of Fiddle-Faddle in front of Dynasty to fantasize 

about lives that seemed even more unreasonable though richly abundant 

lives that moved from scene to scene, tortuous pain, sex, revenge, elation 

without ever waking up from their programmed dream ––   


Open rivers of faces rushing in waves of spiked, slicked, curled, flowing 

freshly washed hair dancing through Beltane –– how open morning yogurt and granola

greenness of green, redness of red, smell of coffee from street carts on 5th Ave. –– 

open grip on my attache, open destiny with a face veil hiding its beauty –– 

early astral AM dream reveals: 

< moving too fast on a motorized skateboard down a steep and curving hill 

comedian Adam Sandler dressed in a young girl's Sunday church outfit 

standing on the high dive in an Olympic swim meet, a giant crayola crayon-mobile 

like the deep mine drilling rigs from Total Recall, rides through the grassy field 

in one huge sexual insinuation >     





In other homes, other ringing clocktower bells peal, other skylines hold you 

Fearless Dharma Bridge is approached and crossed with Radiant Intellect –– 

Crisis and suffering keeps you crossing avenues, keeps you dancing, groomed to truth

favorite watch telling time in mantra, not hours.   


Your child with limbs intact, conscious compassionate demeanor of sweetness 

polished mirror 

until the day you die and become one for her –– being mirrored, remembered,  

grateful for life 

beyond the limits of sense, free in the moment, at home where nothing's happening ––


Sing precious incarnation with any voice that suits you, imprint the cloudy fabric  

of this blue sky 

realm with your unique design –– no talon to tear it open at the heart, or get you past 

the Eagle's 

devouring eye, tortoise rising with its head through a ring, serpent's devouring surge 

to ourobouros ––   


Your lover leaves and then returns, ripples on the mountain lake converge and spread

who you really are becomes a taste in your mouth like an ancient fruit you cannot name 

a garden you cannot tend, beliefs you can't defend, feelings you won't recall until

you turn that corner 

and she's there, bright eyes swirling with mischievous light ––   


Leave yourself behind in the time it takes 

to evaporate deep releasing signal breaths 

integrate everything suppressed 

to your senses dilate and forgiving 

in a flash of instant remembering 

with no big deal, out of nowhere 

an old friend phones and then 

the touch on an elbow from a Lakota wiseman 

sends up smoke signals 

he observes the environment through hawk eyes –– 

The hawk teaches its lesson of the "Old Way" to 

a field mouse by devouring it, releasing its spirit to the wind ––   


Nothing is lost in that warrior's love 

no memories distract his victorious beak from the kill. 

No track squeal distorts the absolute 

knowing where you are truly going.   


I wade through days of light like movable night 

push through nights of pain 

like a wind-whipped nightflame into the lamp's mantle 

like a sun ray lifting the faces of new spring flowers 

on the other side of the hill.



 [Originally published in NHS 1998, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs98/hirsch.html.]