A friend alerted me to this wonderful poem on the brain by Pier Giorgio Di Cicco (1949-) “Brain Litany: Or, Overlooking the Existential Factor”, poet laureate of Toronto and Augustinian priest:
*” … and when we think of coconuts and pigs, there are no coconuts or pigs in the brain.” — Gregory Bateson
[ ... ]
Where are the pigs Where are the coconuts
The brain is a compendium of holographic mechanisms
Help me find the coconuts Help me find the pigs
The brain is a neuro-physiological metaphor
The brain is an illusionist’s exercise in Euclidean geometry
The brain is a vibrational amplifier for ambient field quanta
Find me the goddamned coconuts the pigs
The brain is a cybernetic miracle with a three-ring triune brain circus at its centre [ ... ]
Read the rest here. It is simply the best sendup I have ever heard of materialist neuroscience.
So rarely does a poet actually take on the nonsense rigorously, as opposed to simply sneaking away into some romantic or nihilist haze. – Denyse O’Leary
PS: If you find the pigs, lose them again, will you, and keep the coconuts for your trouble. – d.