“The Time of False Dawns”




The Time of False Dawns*


Sifting through your life

to find the fulcrum,

seeking any space

that’s anechoic,

absent of reverberated

unfortunate undertones,

all your recessive genes

laid out in blots of

running ink


Cease broadcast for war coverage,

never knowing how the famed serial

ended because your limelight,

the only way to remember you by,

is replaced with a deadly missile glow


Give it a green light, make it go

if it’s a saving grace, a guarantee,

a methodical way to leave fingerprints

for us to follow


Each new avenue, smudged and incomplete,

vapor trails and dead ends, esoteric threads,

and decades of indecipherable half-truths


None of this is you, jagged pages,

annotated quotes — other voices

said what you couldn’t and better,

but we always read the commentary

in your caffeine-jonesed lilt


Infected papercuts left battle scars

for the declared coup on your birth sign,

useless charts pinpointing labyrinthine

tunnels to escape through


A blown hole in the sky, break in the TV snow,

ascent of fog


A shining revelation

stumbled upon by the curse of curiosity


We’re going to have to cremate

this collected spilling of

your life’s blood


We’re going

to have to forget this evidence

of peace talks within your pedagogy


It won’t look good on the dust jacket,

but we’ll keep that blurred photo

to emphasize the power of residual effects


*Title from ‘Infinite Jest’ by David Foster Wallace


August, 2019


** Note: Forgive my lack of new longer poems. I’ve been extremely ill, but thankfully I can still manage some micropoems over on my Twitter. I just need to write no matter how badly I’m feeling. Even if it’s just a few sentences in my journal. I usually feel this badly during the summer months but this time around my kidneys have decided to make me miserable during my favorite colder seasons. Such is life. Believe me, I’m glad the summer wasn’t as awful on me physically. Of course, mentally, I’ve been a mess all year but I don’t believe I’m alone in that. I’m hanging in here. Reading a lot. Sleeping even more. The body demands rest.

This poem is one of my favorites. I wrote a few inspired poems after reading ‘Infinite Jest’ & this one has been on my mind lately. I hope you enjoy & that you’re all doing the best you can. ❤


Published by Jennifer Patino

Poet.