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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How The Mind Works

How the Mind Works

1) The quantity of nerve cells in the brain is in direct relation to need.

The sea nettle jellyfish spends

little on the purchase of nerve cells for his brain.

He is bell shaped and bold beauty

lace of tentacles


to passive prey.

2) To hunt active prey you need more nerve cells.

Consider the flatworm,

following sunlight, humidity,

the warmth of leaves.

His brain weighs data

which trigger the oozing of juice

onto a hapless earthworm,

who is dissolved and consumed.

3) Social animals have larger brains.

Two weeks before death

a honeybee is set free

from currying combs, setting wax.

Now a forager

he fluffs food from purple coneflowers

reads the sundial

times the flower

for nectar signals

and takes note

in a flower diary.

Returns at the precise moment

the petals open for penetration.

4) Survival depends on our ability to learn.

My last boyfriend painted large canvasses.

He’d come to bed smelling

of linseed oil

and turpentine.

Once he’d aroused me,

he’d return to his paints.

In the henna of daybreak

I’d consider my naked form,

full moon breasts, burnt sienna hair

thick with the wet oil of color.

One day

I noticed the hair in a painting

was red, yellow, cerulean,

the eyes chartreuse, with teacup breasts,

not like mine.

5) To kill a scorpion you crack its husk. Once you figure this out, you’ve mastered the technique for life.

(Originally Published in the Cafe Review)

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