Tobin Fraley

 

A Day at the

SpringHill Suites

Marriott Hotel

Fresno, CA

March 20, 2011

 

Room 426

 

Resulting from the convergence of

time, opportunity, technology, and a rainy day.

 

All photographs taken with an iPhone 4

 

 

The perfect room, ideal in its comfort,

stocked with amenities,

clean, sterile, utilitarian.

Reminders of former occupants

are scrubbed clean, expunged

as if they never existed.

 

Tomorrow, I too may be erased.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lives of those I love

float past windows.

I wave to them as they drift by,

but they do not see me.

I’m not sure why, but I keep waving,

even knowing I am invisible.

 

Perhaps this is Hope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am drawn to conformity.

Following the lead of others

I find acceptance within

a dream of belonging.

The paradox reveals itself

when I find what I am seeking.

 

Attainment is a cruel deceiver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does this really work?

If I held a match to its serrated edge,

would I scream with delight

as water sprayed across the room?

Would I deny any wrong doing

as the police escort me out?

 

Wait, let’s try out the fire alarm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlet;

a venue for expressing rage,

a place for discounted goods,

or a connection to the grid.

Little plastic faces; female receptors,

waiting patiently for their males.

 

How do fundamentalists ever plug in?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wait for the telephone to ring

and when it does, disappointment.

I’m not sure who it is I want to call me.

Maybe it is Publisher’s Clearing House,

or perhaps death. Both would

alter as life I know it.

 

So what’s the difference?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I change form each day.

Different me’s emerge from the

twisted chrysalis of sleep,

to surprise myself and others

with morning alterations

that I can never predict.

 

How did I gain 4 pounds overnight?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reality is reflected in the eye of the beholder.

Each of us creates our own

oxymoron of malleable truth,

and since perspective

gives us our structure

we spout what makes sense for us.

 

On sale today: Truth, the Six Billion Pack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If only we could all have a bumper.

Something to keep harm at bay,

to guard against the pitfalls of existence,

watch our backs when we’re drunk,

and keep us from hitting

our heads against a door.

 

Life would be a little less painful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each day we are confronted

with the abstract, the unknown

challenging us to make sense

of what we do not understand.

When someone does decipher for us,

still we respond with a blank-faced, “Huh!”

 

Comprehension is overrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographs can be statements

that grapple with the existential

nature of a complex experience.

Printed light on an ephemeral surface

interpreted by experts who

marvel at the depth of the metaphor.

 

This is me and the bathroom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opposites attract,

or so goes the saying,

even if the opposites are within,

festering, where hypocrisy incubates,

like on the politician’s tongue.

and where agendas play hide and seek.

 

Come out, come out, wherever you are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The underworld prisoners quiver

at the prospect of release.

They see beyond their cells

into the body of humanity

and know that the definition of hell

has been turned upside down.

 

“Honey, turn the heat on please.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The world spins out of control

as we talk and talk and talk.

The spewing heads of ignorance

allow rational solutions

to drown in a sea of mediocrity

while countries shrivel into dust.

 

But I can always change the station.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pillow is patient.

It waits all day

just to be ignored all night.

It conforms to our desire

while getting punched and drooled on.

But that is what it does.

 

It does not ask to be more than what it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transient yet perpetually available

our shadows stalk us.

Created by the light we absorb,

they replicate the silhouettes

of who we are, without judgment,

without remorse.

 

Even the light bulb knows our secrets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I am lost I need direction.

I ask those who know more than I do

to help me understand

the subtleties of life and

to point out when I misread

the maps I carry with me.

 

Even Google gets it wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The complexity of geometry

rests against the cabinet.

Curves, lines, light tantalizing dark,

shadows playing with texture.

The extraordinary in the ordinary

pulled by unknowing hands.

 

A closed door is sometimes a gift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have melted into this room,

become a part of the décor,

the drapes and the bedspread.

I am content to remain here, watching

as the unaware reveal themselves,

in sorrow and joy and indifference.

 

Home at last.