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John Fenlon Hogan 





Positive Incapability 





In order to achieve the sublime, one must approach it

from The Non-Threatening Angle as one would a horse.

One must assign it a silly name and fill its ears with idle

chatter overheard in the men’s locker room. To identify

The Non-Threatening Angle, take the Tangent of loneliness,

which is to say the sublime is not a group activity.

Somewhere someone will say the sublime is a jelly donut

but this is not the case. A jelly donut is an ersatz golden

calf nuzzling the grass, masquerading in the abstract

particulars that America has come to appreciate like

the unreality of Reality TV.

A cheap and dirty way to achieve

the sublime is to imagine the different possibilities of

what Christ scrawled in the sand. A few more rules

and regulations--don’t drink the baton’s glittery liquid.

Don’t chew gum before sleep. Don’t say you didn’t ask for this.

Or something Ashberyian before it was Ashberyian:

Living is a meatloaf sandwich. A cheap and dirty way

to undermine all of that is to imagine the world’s first

game of Tic-Tac-Toe played to stalemate.

   One may

confuse the sublime for drunkenness, but there is nothing

more anti-sublimatic than a sublimous hangover.

In fact, one hangover says to a future hangover:

Is the universe expanding or are we just shrinking?


Only a God as magnanimous as ours would allow

  its creation to doubt its existence.









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