Neuroandum #3

 

Click here to read the legend for the diagram of the synapse above

 

For Juliet’s sake, for her sake, rise and stand;
Why should you fall into so deep an O?

Romeo & Juliet 3.3.90-1

The gift of gap is little understood.
Commonly people ridicule science
That corroborates life’s dependence on clefts.

But try to get through a day without filling
Or emptying holes — do a few of these
You’ll soon be in sorry shape … and stink;

A few more and you’ll also likely die.
Your pride may not like it but you’re nothing
Without the cavities that wound your body.

Of these the synapse is the most enlightening
(Coming in second is Juliet’s O
Although Nurse Capulet would disagree);

The synapse is the gap that measures “is,”
The “copula” we call it, the verb “to be,”
Which gives meaning to mammals copulating,

Though, like most animals, we hardly care
When the rut is upon us and estrus constant
In our female hominid, “for better or worse” —

Why should you fall into so deep an O?
Indeed. The poet asks the salient question
For which even the synapse has no answer

Other than instinct utterly mindless.
But the brain, enormous in size and energy,
Can imagine a life beyond the rut. Listen.

In that 200-micron(μm) gift of gap
Connections multiply into trillions —
Pay attention, please: trillions, as in stars.

Earth-evolved chemicals flow across the gaps
Transmitting charges over those trillions,
The charges of life that fire into mind,

Where they precipitate the being of thought
And, so, the thought of being, which is freedom,
Born in the instant the brain knows its mind

And ineradicable in our species
Regardless of color, culture, or sex —
Abolish freedom, abolish it all.

The brain proposes the mind to itself
To negotiate the gaps nature cleaves
In tissues that burn to cleave together

In a body of parts that must be apart
To be a part of the animal that imparts
The play of love that tyranny hates

Since in its language, also full of holes,
It exposes the plague on all our houses —
Why should we fail in so deep an O?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s