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






And If I Didn’t Do It, Well, You Know, I Tried

(for Chris Bell, of Big Star)


I arrived in Memphis

and in a couple of minutes

this guy from out of nowhere

looking like a guy who did a lot of

worrying and who later turned out to be

a wild-eyed prophet with swamped-out

madness blaring from the speakers in his studio

brought about an early exit from me,

each thinking the other ridiculous—

it’s the only moment I’ve ever really

touched genius, and that its touch was

too cold for me, but afterwards became

a major obsession, developing a taste for

troubled love, late night

confessions and


razored apart and taped together,

spinning out of control the

imploding beauty he became.



[Originally published in NHS 2005, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs05/randy_roark.html.]