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






Letter to My Expatriate Friends


You left us without a forwarding address, 

dropped your bad relatives from a horrible past,

turned your back on us


We were guilty as charged:

perpetuating the empire

and its machine


You saved yourself just in time,

escaped the rat race—

our insane urge to dominate others

our excesses of willful ignorance

our endless worship of material goods 

and material gods


This was not a personal matter

you left your home

and all the things that related to your past

determined to change

your environment,

your friends,

your perception of yourself


I knew your adventurous nature

one year you were a lumber jack in Alaska,

one year you biked through the Rockies

for many years living abroad

and mastering foreign languages and cultures


Last time we communicated you talked about joining

an obscure Buddhist sect, making lots of money, 

and writing a novel


Now you are gone

and I thought we will be friends forever

perhaps you saw us as dead—

in our souls

belligerent to each other

as compared to the calculated and cultured behavior of the Europeans or Asians


We are raw and unaware

of our endless greed 

our insatiable thirst for war

our addiction to constant soap opera

our petty-mindedness

phobias of many shades and colors


Perhaps you have found your peace

the smooth rhythm of your life

people that are not mischievous and back-handed


Will you ever come back and enlighten us––

tell us that hope or no hope 

we live our small lies

the same way people do everywhere?


Come back and tell us,

“I told you so!”

And point to our diminished democracy

our peaceful demonstrators sequestered and kept miles away 

from their “President”

in the boxed up areas of a paved parking lot in Denver’s DNC convention

or arrested and battered in Minnesota near RNC’s

our politicians for hire by the lobbyists for corporations

our elections stolen or decided by judges rather then by the votes of the people

our disregard for the environment and for each other

our dependence on foreign oil that is tainted with blood

our backing of dictators abroad

our staggering one trillion dollar military budget

our hundreds of military bases all over the world

our prison system for profit—

nearly three million people in jails

mostly from the poor and undocumented immigrants

the demise of our cities

where the corporations were born

to build their vast empires

and then abandoned them 

in search of cheaper labor & lower production cost––

under the guise of compatibility in the global market.

our corporate media bent on spreading propaganda and lies

our self-delusion—dreams of self-grandeur


This is how we became dispensable to you

easy to let go and leave behind

you saw how we were 

oblivious to our own self-destruction

the big corporations running roughshod over us

and our politicians either already in their pockets

or incapable of stopping them

our financial institutions holding people slaves with usury

our homes, cars, furniture, and our future

owned by the banks

our teachers, policemen and fire-fighters and nurses

at their mercy

the constant lies of our false prophets

with microphones made of gold


Of course I don’t blame you

you saved yourself

while we await our own ruination



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