The Inn Of Wayfarers

from by Fiona Chamness

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O hear & take warning, but spare me your pity
It's a spit-ugly city in the dark of the morning
You stumbled 30 paces to my doorway of all places
Lookin' like a traveler king who'd fallen from his throne

You hated to be charming, but you needed warmth & whiskey
& you came to me & kissed me like I needed your disarming
But oh your bittersweet talkin', the way you tried to keep on walkin'
I said This is the Inn of Wayfarers - make yourself at home

You were folded like a promise, like I hadn't seen the best yet
Like your soul was something precious you were squeezing in your fist
We filled the days with joking, you would sing like you were choking
A lullaby for flinty evenings wearing down to rain

Then they said ghosts were singing through you, I said
Who needs that kind of glory, you said It makes a damn good story
So it might as well be true
You'd laugh like you were haunted, run away from what you wanted
& from the Inn of Wayfarers - who knew if I'd hear from you again

But I'm as much a child of the highway as you
I sing as much as I get sung to
& I couldn't sit & wait to see if you'd be passing through
I closed up the Inn of Wayfarers with my own wayfaring to do

I roamed through the country, grew strong as nails & leather
Glad & sorrowful together, like vinegar & honey
Til one day I heard you playin', all that bullshit you were sayin'
About the kid you'd left behind, a crying china doll

I said Hey there, Gypsy Davy, you're as cruel as you're unfair
Sure, I've been tearing out my hair & having thoughts of going crazy
But I'm no teller's tale, I'm not ended, not for sale
Don't make me sound like someone's jail, the Inn of Wayfarers
Was never that at all

You said I was cold & hungry babe & it showed you your own hunger
Is it really any wonder we both starve unless we're free
There's nothing beautiful about it, if it hurts then live without it
I'm King of the Amnesiacs & I don't need your blame

I thought my heart was breaking for the way you could forget me
Then all at once it hit me & my fingers started shaking
Your scorn is how you cower & my memory's my power
& you're as trapped as I am in the tales that make the game

I said It cracks me up to hear you, you're one stupid lucky bastard
That I love you when you're plastered, but I've no need to be near you
You'll never know what you were gambling, I've done my rambling
& I did it without forgetting your name


from Dispatches From the Well, released October 3, 2012



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Fiona Chamness Ann Arbor, Michigan

Fiona Chamness is a poet and songwriter from Ann Arbor, MI. She is coauthor, with Aimée Lê, of Feral Citizens, published in 2011 by Red Beard Press. She belongs to the poetry ensemble Ann Arbor Wordworks and two bands, Helicopter Parents and The Cutting Room Floor. She has performed poetry and music in Ann Arbor, Chicago, Oberlin, Hanover, Boston, St. Louis, Berkeley, and Sevilla, Spain. ... more

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