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






Beautiful Blood


Bruce, a laid off machine operator, artist

living off his 401 K and sales of his vivid

surreal paintings (and sleeping on a cot behind the Gallery)

two days before Christmas hosted a salon for artists

w/ Rum and Coke.

The stranger with a firm handshake named Frank

contemplating one of Bruce’s works to maybe buy, joined in.  

It got louder as things do around a bottle, Frank bitter

railing about custody problems then, because this is America,

flashed a handgun and began firing.

    Bruce danced out of there—one shot put out the lamp

two more ricocheted off walls behind him

    ran to the tattoo parlor across the street

called 911 and the SWAT arrived

tear gas, shouts to surrender then BANG

and quiet.


    A few days later, in the Gallery

Bruce had a new piece on display

“Have you ever heard of yin and yang,” he said

“Something good comes of something bad and light

always conquers darkness...”

    His new piece had a strange rusty hued background

“I got rid of the cot and used brushes to clean up the mess

    —four canvasses worth—

all I could think of doing

    was creating art.”



[Originally published in NHS 2011, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs11/.]