The New Defenestration by John Fenlon Hogan

When confronted with the vast expanse, all that primordial
doubting of the self, etc. I can’t help but feel the possibilities
like raffle tickets. A chance to win isn’t winning, though,

it isn’t even consolation, and the more I think the sadder I am
because thinking is whetting a knife. This is how I justify
my catalogs: attempts to back up and broaden a bit; a little hope

that the more I say, the more likely I’ll say something beautiful
as if beauty could be triangulated or ganged up on and beat down.
Really, I’m redundant as the lonely beacon at the outermost edge

of outer space attempting to kindle a relationship with oblivion: Look
at me, Look at me, Look at me I don’t know what— Along those lines,
I am conflicted with two theories of order. The first says each thing

has its place, and you do bestto keep your sock drawer tidy
because it reflects the interiorstate of your soul. The second argues
that since matter can be neither created nor destroyed, it doesn’t matter

where you store it anyway. I do my best to spit the difference, then
exit the flat with my soul entrenched in a pair of mismatched
socks. There are many ways to live, but in the conditional is not

one of them. Something I’ve learned after years spent in the middle
management ranks of Corporate America is that outspoken
criticism of leadership can generally be attributed to a limited

vantage point—a failure to align individual goals with larger,
more systemic values. Someday, I’ll have an audience with whatever
curates this place, be it the benevolence of my father’s father’s

father, a principle of efficiency, or some random albeit ambitious
collection of cells that enables absurd inventions like cheese
steak subs. When I do, I won’t say anything. I’ll sit there patiently

digging out the dirt from beneath my finger nails, telling
myself that I’m not so important, but not unimportant either.
Waiting for instruction on how to lick my necessary wounds.





John Fenlon Hogan‘s poems have appeared in Boston Review, Colorado Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. He works in commercial real estate and live in Virginia.

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