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






On Broadway


Once more on my journey down Broadway from 107th Street

I make my usual stop in La Embajada Restaurant for that

First shot of coffee that transports me

To Mother’s kitchen in Ponce

The sounds of little Javier’s rooster

Just out back saluting the sun

85-year-old Doña Monce across the yard calling

Looking for mother’s good morning


As I make my way down Broadway

Small hardware stores and delis

Open for business bristle with shoppers

Spanish streams from radios

Streams from hundreds of mouths

Hurrying down the streets

People go about their sacred routines


Down Broadway

In the Silver Moon Bakery

A young French man

Kneads slabs of dough

Transforming them

Into warm inviting loaves


An olive-skinned Dominican girl

Arranges the window

Of Rona’s Dress Shop

As she might arrange

Her living room for guests


Behind the Famous Deli counter

Indian men smile revealing

Impeccably white teeth

Shimmering beyond their bronze skin

How beautiful they are


As I make my way down Broadway

I remember the winter it snowed 36 inches

Remember the man who chose to ski

Down the frozen avenue

En route to his first meal of the day

How I marveled at the sight of New York

Frozen in its morning and knew  

I’d never see it this way again


I pass Lincoln Center on my way down Broadway

See Chagall’s masterpieces wave to me

From the Metropolitan Opera House

See Dante Alighieri standing

Amid tree canopies in the sun

See Arnando’s Afro-Cuban band

Playing in the plaza

And dancers swirling round

The gushing fountain

And the wealthy filling

Balconies overhead

Raising their champagne glasses

Surveying the savage dancers below


Across the street I peek

At Lincoln Plaza’s marquee

Read titles of Australian

Italian and Japanese films

Stop myself from going into

The ice cream parlor next door

Where small oval tables made of metal

Are garnished with international ice cream eaters


Miniature art for sale line city sidewalks

A fortuneteller calls out for customers

From her corner there

A book dealer peddles his cherished works here

As crammed buses pull up

To squeeze one more person in for the ride


Going down Broadway

I pass Trump Towers’ mammoth

Silver globe perched in the clouds

Notice teetering cranes stories above

Another skyscraper going up

And below subway nomads surge out

From within their cave at 59th street


I arrive at the mouth

Of Central Park

Where bikers



Lovers coalesce


In an experiment begun long ago

There at the fountain’s feet I sit

There I rest and gaze in awe

Once more on my journey down Broadway






[Originally published in NHS 2013, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/_special_edition_nhs_2013/.]