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  • the brain as seascape
  • Katie Prince

consider the jellyfish, soft body of light. a word, spunthousands of times around. gelatinous midwater,

how we glow in the dark.spin, form, spout—tornado, tsunami, taste test of the sea.

the shark spun out onto the land, terrorized the populace.laying prone, dying, drowning in air, where is the water to breathe?

but the scarred stone of it. those jawsand teeth, frightened, they gleam.

how aren't we all that desperate for breath.

they say you find yourself at sea. lose touch of landand exist as self in an endless blue abyss.

learn to rock. to be the rock. to be the one solid thingamid the wave and air. so they say.

I am less and less convinced these daysthat the things they say are true, that they mean

anything at all. the rings of nothing—neurons flashing—to be transparent! these human roadways of blood and viscera.

how much light you contain. how it radiates, phosphorescent man.

I have lost the train—thought running into the building,off the track and into traffic, like the story on the news

a few months ago. and the man walks by from the 1980s.and a girl reads a math textbook, eating cherry tomatoes and blueberries.

I am only exactly here, in this small human ocean, no spout, no swirling besharked terror.

the tsunami will only be a few feet high when it reaches Seattle,but the earthquake will devastate us. [End Page 33]

you will most certainly survive, they say.

but survival's the hard part.last night a jump. a bouncing, brutal fall into grace.

here the brain shifts tracks again. here the brain floats aimlessly, like the jelly.neuron flash of light. so little of this has a point, or wants one.

yesterday I read poems in silence and the dogs ran around my sequoia,full of an uncontainable joy. and then, and then. the selves crawled in

through the window, wild-eyed with hope.I screamed. how I run from myself.

I am deafened by the ocean of noise.

a jelly. floating. wanting and not seeking the breath of sunlight.the fresh sudden moment. here it happens again—

the brain's seascape dried to desert, the jellyfish hurledinto the air in a blast. atomic, mushrooming, ballooned

in flight. if it could shriek, if it could fear— would deafen the lot of you. if it survives

it will become a new god. but survival'sthe hard part, so they say. look around you. this beach

has never held anything but shells, bones, rocks, and teeth. [End Page 34]



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