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.