Nothing Up Ahead by J. B. Hogan


Tell us what you thought about the November issue.

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Post November 19, 2009, 08:17:11 PM

Nothing Up Ahead by J. B. Hogan

This is a note on the end of life looming, but it's fairly devoid of age. So it also can apply to someone who wipes out too fast.

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Post November 24, 2009, 12:42:36 PM

Indeed, a bleak poem, for a couple of reasons.

First the title can be interpreted at least two ways:
it applies to the life of the individual in the poem. The person has nothing more to look forward to in life: there are no more dreams or hopes or loves to come so there is "nothing up ahead." But the title can also be applied to the poet's or the person in the poem's view on what comes after death.

The second reason is that the individual in the poem is alone in death. This is something we do all have to face individually, but the individual in the poem apparently doesn't even have loved ones around for support since love is "now cold, dead cold."

Yes, a bleak view. The poem makes one wonder if this is an individual case or if life's bitter irony is that this is the fate we all will eventually face, the realization that we will all make when we are at death's door. At least, that is, if we are fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to have the time in death to contemplate such things. Of course, anyone with religious beliefs that address an afterlife will probably have a slightly different experience. And Americans also seem to have a generally bleak view of death that is not necessarily shared around the world.

Good poem J.B. It makes the reader think.


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Post November 24, 2009, 01:08:21 PM

DEAD END ONE WAY

If the author is not suicidal or totally depressed then it's a surrender at old age.

And yet Picasso kept at it, Matisse the same, to name two. I'd be willing to bet, my old business partner will die with the mouse clutched tightly in his cold dead hands.

Maybe the poem reflects the lack of life and creativity that comes with the "glued to TV" and lives through the circus that is presented as a diversion, set. And waking up, looking at the, Road Closed, barriers to the future recognizes his/her decay, and temporary hire status on this planet.

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Post November 24, 2009, 04:37:57 PM

Cure for dying alone!

davidsonhero wrote:
The second reason is that the individual in the poem is alone in death. This is something we do all have to face individually...

Hero


Death parties!!

(Cue Mark's Announcer voice)
Are you facing dealth alone, individually? No more! We can link you to others who are also dying within the week, so you can blast out that last week's worth of life all in one evening!

Agenda:
Talk to InLaws
Ride Bronco
Pufferfish for lunch
Drive home on a disposable motorcycle over an icy bridge.
Relax with a fifth of '151
Do your income taxes complete with AMT.
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Post December 01, 2009, 03:34:09 PM

just checking

Has anyone checked with the author today to be sure they're still of this world? Might be an idea to just have the town Marshall to mosey over that direction a few times a week.
It might end up like the suicide blonde - dyed by her own hand.
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Post December 03, 2009, 04:11:27 PM

Nothing Up Ahead by JB Hogan

Bleak?

Worried about the author?

What's with you folks? I hope I'm half as upbeat when my time comes.

Hell, I wish I felt that good, now!

Great poem, it gets the little brain cells firing.

Enjoyed it.

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
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Post December 03, 2009, 09:12:35 PM

Suicidal? Not when he's placing so many poems!

Check the last page or so of the Administrivia:Aphelion authors plug their work topic. I don't think we have to worry about Mr. Hogan -- he's too busy writing, submitting, and getting stuff accepted to have time to be depressed.

:lol:
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London (1876-1916)

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Post December 03, 2009, 09:31:00 PM

No suicide here, gang

Robert, Bill, Tao, Hero, Rick, et. al.,

I am fine and not contemplating the end. I have been getting a kick out of the comments in the forum and was trying to work up a gag to kid everyone. Like: I had the rope around my neck but my feet slipped off the chair and all I did was sprain my ankle; or I took a bunch of what I thought were pills and they turned out to be M&Ms and all I got was a sugar high. That kind of silly thing.

I actually don't even know when I wrote the first version of this poem. I did have a bummed out phase back in the mid-80s and wrote some really dark poems then, but this is mostly an observational poem having seen a number of my older relatives go through the natural process of aging and passing on. It probably seems like a bleak poem because there's no idea of a better place (like an afterlife) - just the end. I see it as a realistic poem, that's all.

Thanks for all the comments and concern.

J. B.
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Post December 04, 2009, 08:35:33 AM

Atheist

As an atheist, it is a bit of a pickle to go to a funeral and everyone else is saying "She's in a better place" and they look at me and I got nothin'. I can say, "Well, she's peaceful" (no blood being pumped through the veins, no digestion occuring), but beyond that, what is there to say about death. Now, you can say something about other people's reaction to the deceased's death - but as far as the dead guy - yeah, they're dead.
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Post December 04, 2009, 11:12:37 AM

Re: Atheist

bottomdweller wrote:As an atheist, it is a bit of a pickle to go to a funeral . . . .- yeah, they're dead.


Same pickle, different answers.

"At least (he/she) is at peace, now."

"(He/She) is with (passed loved-one of your choice.)" Technically true, even if there is no afterlife.

"The pain and sickness is over, now" (Depending on circumstances.)

"Death is necessary, so we don't compete with our own offspring for limited resources." (To be used with mourners who have actually read. . .a book.)

"(He/She)'ll be missed." (Almost always safe.)

"So. . .what's the family going to do with that big, flat-screen TV (he/she) bought last year?"



You see, there are always things to say, if you pick your words wisely.


Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
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Post December 04, 2009, 11:43:34 AM

what to say

2nd law of thermodynamics and the conservation of energy?
(See Harry Morowitz).

related to the above,

You could always say something in that vein, in the manner, say of the Dick's eulogy for one of the teaching staff in 3rd Rock From the Sun.

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Post December 04, 2009, 12:11:27 PM

Humorous Stories

Bill_Wolfe wrote:
bottomdweller wrote:As an atheist, it is a bit of a pickle to go to a funeral . . . .- yeah, they're dead.


Same pickle, different answers.

..."Death is necessary, so we don't compete with our own offspring for limited resources." (To be used with mourners who have actually read. . .a book.)...

..."So. . .what's the family going to do with that big, flat-screen TV (he/she) bought last year?"


Bill Wolfe


If you should decide to write a humorous story, would you let me know. I'd like to be the first to read it!

Mark
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Post December 04, 2009, 01:12:23 PM

Re: Humorous Stories

Mark Edgemon wrote:If you should decide to write a humorous story, would you let me know. I'd like to be the first to read it!

Mark


Problem is, Mark. . .most folks don't think I'm that funny. . .until they see my face, of course.

Lots of folks want to know where I got the monkey mask.

Bill
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
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Post December 04, 2009, 01:29:39 PM

Death

I don't know how to do the quote thing, BUT I love that part about: "Death is necessary so we don't compete with our own offspring for limited resources".
My relatives may not have read a book all the way through - BUT - they do know how to kill and disembowel a deer. Last Thanksgiving they had that VHS going downstairs for all the children to watch. I guess there would be no reason to compete with their offspring - just take the little tykes along to see the whole grissly project up close and personal ... she said while eating steak from Tumbleweed.
I double-dare myself to use that quote at the next funeral I go to...if it's not mine, of course - in which case I wouldn't be saying a lot - unless they're right and I'm screaming in pain while burning in a firey hell - going off topic!

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Post December 04, 2009, 07:25:31 PM

Re:...gang

I was actually thinking of a mini theory I had where everyone gets some 400 million lumens of brainpower per life. Those guys whose excitement consists of seeing Mrs. Crumpalla's tulips live to be 98. A lot of near-prodigies live ultra-powered lives, then fry out at age 43.

jbhogan22 wrote:Robert, Bill, Tao, Hero, Rick, et. al.,

I am fine and not contemplating the end. I have been getting a kick out of the comments in the forum and was trying to work up a gag to kid everyone. Like: I had the rope around my neck but my feet slipped off the chair and all I did was sprain my ankle; or I took a bunch of what I thought were pills and they turned out to be M&Ms and all I got was a sugar high. That kind of silly thing.

I actually don't even know when I wrote the first version of this poem. I did have a bummed out phase back in the mid-80s and wrote some really dark poems then, but this is mostly an observational poem having seen a number of my older relatives go through the natural process of aging and passing on. It probably seems like a bleak poem because there's no idea of a better place (like an afterlife) - just the end. I see it as a realistic poem, that's all.

Thanks for all the comments and concern.

J. B.

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