Aphelion Issue 296, Volume 28
July 2024 --
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Some Questions

by J. B. Hogan

There are some questions:
like, if little sparks were jumping around
in the nothing how did they get there?
Little sense that, just the
same old chicken or the egg or
what the hell are eternity and
infinity anyway?

And why anything? Why not nothing?
Was it a 50-50 deal at some point?
And leave your gods out, please,
that always breaks down,
becomes a mere tribal point of order.

But then what is the point?
Is there a goal, is it going somewhere,
some place it's headed?
Or is it just accident, sheer luck,
total serendipity — no goal,
no point, no finish line?

And one more, awareness.
Does it just blink out with the chemicals;
that's it, back into black,
for all time? But how
can we know now and
not still know then?

Reason gets no traction when there's
no beginning, no end,
no going on, no going back,
just pure accident, coincident, a process
worked out over eons, an illusion in the end,
with a cold, indifferent, unending nothing —
insensate darkness stretching out for all time.

© 2023 J. B. Hogan

J. B. Hogan is a poet, fiction writer, and local historian. He has been published in a number of journals including the Blue Lake Review, Crack the Spine, Copperfield Review, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, Well Read Magazine, and Aphelion. His twelve books include Bar Harbor, Mexican Skies, Living Behind Time, Losing Cotton, The Apostate and, most recently, Forgotten Fayetteville and Washington County (local history). He lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Find more by J. B. Hogan in the Author Index.