The Ghost in the Shape of an Unnamed Flower
When Eduard Hitzig wired a living brain
and found a shock here raised an arm, there
a finger, he made a map and planted the flags
of native German into the strange new world.
If you are wondering what place does what,
come. Sit. The region that raises your hand
is the chair where the scientist is busy
shocking your brain. And his brain is shocked
in turn by the guy in the chair in his head,
the seeker you cannot see. No one does.
If you are like me, you are always in
the way. The old gods of the wind have little
on those of the blind heart beating in panic.
The anthropologist living with the natives
can empathize. He knows what it is like
to study the behavior of a tribe with some
anthropologist in it. What is a point
of view, asks the cortex. Where does it start.
And why does a shock in the pre-frontal
portion do nothing. Or nothing we observe.
Only a flash on a scan that could be someone
stranded in the dark. It could be Eduard,
now that we know him a little better,
and he knows us. It could be his research
agenda among the nocturnal flowers
where he snaps off his flashlight and lies down
weary with the scent. And though he cannot
see them, they see him, and like the grave
he crawled from, he opens his mouth a bit
wider the deeper he breathes. And breathe he must
as the red leaves breathe. And then sleep.
And the flames in thousands come tumbling in.