Pier Giorgio Di Cicco (1949-)
Brain Litany: Or, Overlooking the Existential Factor
*"Can it be that any man has the skill to fabricate himself?" -- St. Augustine
1The brain is a network of connections of cells
2It is not a connection of cells
3It is a connection of information
4It is a connection of blue vases
5with red flowers in them
6It is not a connection of vases
7It is a connection of living memories
*" ... and when we think of coconuts and pigs, there are no coconuts or pigs in the brain." -- Gregory Bateson
8Where are they
9Where are the coconuts
10Where are the pigs
11The brain is a network of behavioral potentialities
12The Brain is the mind
13The brain is the central integrative role in human performance
14Where are the pigs
15Where are the coconuts
16The brain is a compendium of holographic mechanisms
17Help me find the coconuts Help me find the pigs
18The brain is a neuro-physiological metaphor
19The brain is an illusionist's exercise in Euclidean geometry
20The brain is a vibrational amplifier for ambient field quanta
21Find me the goddamned coconuts the pigs
22The brain is a cybernetic miracle with a three-ring
23triune brain circus at its centre
24The brain is an enchanted loom where millions of flashing
25shuttles weave a dissolving pattern
26I know I saw the coconuts
27I know I saw the pigs
28The brain is an evolutionary archaeological site
29Show me those pigs one more time
30The brain is a dance among three interconnected biological computers
31I saw the pigs
32I saw the coconuts
33The brain is a bicameral structure for playing
35I know you have the coconuts
36The brain is a reality structurer with lacrimal glands
37The brain is an international casino for quantum indeterminancy
41When we think of brains, there are no brains in the brain.
44The brain is a psycho-biological tar pit Give me
45the bloody coconuts in an emotional jungle you bastard
46or the brain is a macro-evolutional myth for the maintenance of
47I'll bash the brain is an omnidirectional time machine
48clogged with death consciousness
49I could cry
50Show me those pigs
51Show me those coconuts
52THE ABRIDGED CARTESIAN VERSION
53I think, therefore I am.
54When we think of the "I," there is no one in the brain.
55Where am I?
56Where am I? etc.
] "Whence could such a creature come but from thee, O Lord? Is any man skillful enough to have fashioned himself? Or is there any other source from which being and life could flow into us, save this, that thou, O Lord, hast made us -- thou with whom being and life are one, since thou thyself art supreme being and supreme life both together" (Confessions, trans. Albert C. Outler : Book I, chap. 6. URL: www.ccel.org/a/augustine/confessions/confessions_enchiridion.txt).
] Bateson's Mind and Nature (Glasgow: Fontana, 1978).
23] The three-part brain: R-complex (reptilian core, including the thalamus and basal ganglia), limbic system (mammalian), and neocortex (primates).
33] bicameral: the brain has right and left hemispheres, connected by the corpus collosum.
36] lacrimal: tear-making.
53] René Descartes' Discourse on Method (1637) has one certain axiom in a world of doubt: "Cogito; Ergo sum."
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Copyright Pier Giorgio Di Cicco 2001
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, Living in Paradise: New and Selected Poems
(Toronto: Manfield Press, 2001): 98-99.
First publication date:
Publication date note: Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, Virgin Science: Hunting Holistic Paradigms (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1986): 103-05.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2003
Recent editing: 1:2003/8/10
Other poems by Pier Giorgio Di Cicco