At the Crossroads Inn

Late night in a strange town.
What kind of town don’t sell booze
at the corner store?
Can’t get my mind off the
cold tapping of a limb
on the dirty window

and wondering if we ever grow out
of this incessant application
of the same fucking solutions
to the same fucking problems,
never solving anything, never realizing
the solutions are part of the problem.

Maybe even The Problem. I don’t know.
What do I know? I’m no deep thinker.

Not putting up with it for four more nights—
tomorrow I’m calling in a request
to have that damn limb cut off.

The book in the drawer
says to come unto me,
all ye that labour and are heavy
laden. Been told that all my life,
and tried it for most of it.
That promised rest don’t never come.
Don’t never come.

Starting to reckon there’s no one out there,
no one able to give rest, anyway.

Yellow light from the roadside
glimmers through window grime.
It’s not a sign of anything.
Nothing’s a sign of anything.

Charles Erskine Scott Wood: from The Poet in the Desert

C. E. S. Wood_jpg
Where are you, Truth, where are you?
The Desert is pitiless.
I am frightened by its bigness and its indifference.
I am alone, an atom thrown out from Eternity,
Allotted to do my part.
I will do my part, and it shall be my own.
I refuse to be moulded in the common mould,
None different from another.
I refuse to step regularly according to custom;
To measure myself among the monotonous patterns laid out before me.
I will be myself and obey the voice within me
Which impetuously cries to be free;
To wander imperiously, destroying the paths,
The moulds and the patterns.
O Truth discover yourself unto me.

The End of a Legend: a True Story


(Image from Wikipedia. Not the real Gregory. Nor is it, evidently, the real Santa.)

Conversation with Gregory (age 6).

Him: I hear Santa’s bells at night.

Me: Really? You believe in Santa?

Him: Yeah. Don’t you?

Me: Uh . . . well, does it make any logical sense that there’s some fat bearded guy that visits every house in the world on Christmas Eve to bring presents, and that somehow he manages to bring nice presents to the rich kids and not-so-nice ones to the poor kids?

Him: Now that we talked about it, it doesn’t seem normal.

Me: So what do you think you’re hearing at night if it’s not Santa?

Him: I don’t know — crickets?