The Purgatory Inn
(The Purgatory Inn Part two
A Poem by Coyote Poetry
I needed a night at the Purgatory Inn.)
The Purgatory Inn
On the wall of the Purgatory Inn behind the bar. A wooden picture with some true words. “Words with no actions are meaningless.”
Many people at the Purgatory Inn tonight. A chess board on every table and a large book shelf to the left of the bar, loaded with ancient and new books.. I was reading “When Gods laugh” by Jack London, waiting for a new friend and chess game. I got lucky tonight. The place was full and Mark Twain entered. He saw my empty seat and bottle of whiskey with an empty glass in front. Mark Twain asked could he join me. The seat was empty and the whiskey looked lonely, I told him. It would be my honor. He laughed at me and told me. There is no honor in all men. Some men don’t know what is right or wrong. I gave him my hand and he shook my hand and said. Honor to sit with a man who read good books and know the game of chess, knows good whiskey. In life, I had little time for the game. Too much to do. Here at the Purgatory Inn, the chess games never end. I have become an accomplished player. Be careful.
I poured him a shot of Jack Daniels and I gave him the whiskey. He drank it down and he handed the glass back and he told me to refill. I did. He took the bottle from me and he told me. I know a drunk when I see one. You are not a drunk. He led with his pawn. He asked me. Do you believe Jack London words are true? Do the Gods always win? I smiled and told him. I believe Jack London’s words are true. Men believe they are more powerful than Gods. They believe they can touch unknown places without consequences. They believe love is life. God like trickery.
Mark Twain pushed his chair back and he smiled. I like you, you see the truth. Life taught me. Nothing fall apart like the things we want. Greed leave you poor, woman are dangerous. You believe you have won and then you find out, you found fool’s gold. He brought his chair to the table and he poured a shot for me and him.
He raised the shot glass and he said. To woman, travel and good whiskey. To new friends with some wisdom and long chess games. His face became sad and he told me. Here at Purgatory Inn. A lot of us who believed in nothing. You have Virgil in the corner telling great story. Frank Lloyd Wright drawing new design in the corner and Andrew Carnegie waiting for another victim for a chess game. We enjoy the company of the new players and good conversation.
I lost the game. Mark Twain was an expert chess player. He promised a rematch one day when I was a permanent guess at the Purgatory Inn.
Purgatory Inn is open 24 hours and never a quiet or polite place. Want a good game of chess, good whiskey and conversation. Purgatory Inn doors are wide open for us who wanted the truth and we could not find it.