g r a v e l
A L I T E R A R Y J O U R N A L
A Day at the
March 20, 2011
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.
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.
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,
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.