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






Prologue–Suicide Bomber


I was a suicide bomber at seventeen

exploding in my parents’ living room

turning the Christmas tree into a guided missile

projecting lethal shards of bone and glass ornament

pine needle and tinsel


I was a suicide bomber at seventeen

taking my holy mission on the road

planning to detonate on Nixon’s front porch

but having to settle for a detention camp

with habeas corpus revoked


I was a teenage suicide bomber

rolling across the American Heartland


past Ohio refineries and Indiana chemical plants

past Illinois farms and fields

past Haymarket Square and Wounded Knee and Bloody Kansas

past OK City and Waco

all the way to Albuquerque

where I watched that city burn


I was a suicide bomber at seventeen

learning the arts of demolition from ex-paratroopers and disillusioned

Green Berets

practicing patiently on the rifle range

buying poisons from outlaw bikers

researching garroting of sentries in the

Anarchist Cookbook


I was a suicide bomber at seventeen

reaching San Francisco, finally

Mecca of Holy Haight Street

letting the anger roll off my brittle back

along with the hoped-for revolution

sitting cross-legged in Golden Gate Park

and sittin’ on the dock of the bay



[This work first appeared in Road Ghosts, theenk Books, 2011. Used by permission of the author. Originally published in NHS 2012, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs12/.]