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.

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Turning Back the Clocks

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I look through the crystal face,
watch the hands circle
around, hands turning,

not creating time but only
simulating the irreversible movement
of past into future, quickly

past the present. I can, surely, grip
the stem between finger and thumb
and turn the ticking sticks

backward, 5-4-3-2-1, but nothing
in the past is ever recreated, nothing
damaged ever fixed, not entirely,

like the eroding beach beneath
my feet—no Golden Age to
return, no, never, no future bliss

of Kingdom Come, only this present
moment. And I don’t know what
to make of it, this experiment

of the now that resists observation
or interpretation, and is unmerciful
to any miscalculation.