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.