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No One's Future
(for Hugo Gernsback)

by Richard Behrens

monocled eyeball staring

at radio waves crossing

the manhattan skyline

dreamed a treasure trove

of gadgets and inventions

with goodly trowel in hand

trailing wires across new york

nightline, television images

echoing in the aether;

gathered into his fold

the lost children of literature

the Scientifiction crew

with their youthful experience

and blueprints of futuristic

homes where machinery and

robots clanked and clonked

and mad scientists conquered

the world from space yachts



captain, my captain

the ship was launched

for a quarter an issue

and across the desperate

land the thirst of the young

with their radio hobbies and

balsa wood plane kits

looked towards the skies

trying to imagine the

jet packs of buck rogers

collapsing galactic distance

and the fantastic machinery

of jules verne gliding through

clouds, soundless star

ships from the future



o hugo the rat as lovecraft

dubbed you:



steer your ship well through

the clouds of New York

for that is the gateway to

the new land, a pulp land,

about to consume the

American forests

and give birth to a new

dream



pay your authors well

those princely worldsmiths

fulfill the bill of printers

let the distributors have

their due



or there will be mutiny

and the good ship

Amazing will be

scuttled against the

busted clouds of

receivership



Hugo, don't you see

a century of your dream

lies ahead, vast armies

of worlds and vessels

with names that speak of

stardust: bradbury,

heinlein, asimov --

the golden scribes of

fabulist dream factories



they will leave you behind

in the warps of time

with your monocle and

your radio and your

gadgets from



no one's

future



but your own




Poem copyright 2001 by Richard Behrens behrens@pipeline.com

Illustration copyright 2001 by Matt Morrow mz9000@tconl.com


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