John Fenlon Hogan 





Anti-Ode to Melancholy 





I guess I’ve resigned myself to the fact that you’ll always be


there in the foreground like the possibility of losing 




my wallet. Efficient markets clear, and as such I would like


to take myself to the bank on mean reversion, halve




the happiest I’ve ever been and call it my constant.


But I am not a market, and though X may represent




variable change I can account for, there is no equation.


It’s just me standing slightly stupefied on what’s beneath




my feet: asphalt, my love of it, the tax it levies on my knees.


I guess I’m saying take all the old themes but amplify them.




I can locate you in so many extremes: ending and unending;


a woman in New York barely scraping by; West Texas—




but what’s the use? I may as well commit patricide


and call it a day. To think of sadness in the abstract




and as a result enclave oneself in sadness undermines


abstraction. What I’m learning is that the old themes




no longer need their vehicles now that I see sadness


for what is: a beauty pageant, and we’re each of us




trying to walk home with Miss Bliss. At the moment


I feel my one talent is my ability to not bite the bait,




to let the next clue dangle untouched as if mocking


the universe’s attempt to lead me on. I won’t let it.




Not now. For now I’ll separate myself from the process,


however briefly, knowing full well I’ll wake tomorrow




ready and eager and once more able to participate.