L’homme Neuronal

Of all of nature, with its myriad of animals, it is the mammalian brain that has proven most adaptive. It adapts during the postnatal period, and continues to adapt, learning from new experiences. In the 60’s, a series of studies demonstrated that rats, when placed in different, more complex environments, grew thicker brains and new synapses. This study showed that the once popular belief that learning and memory are additive processes involved in the formation of new synaptic connections and the strengthening of existing connections… Continue reading

A Nervous System

We have seen that normal development of the brain depends on interaction between genetic inheritance and environmental experience. The genome provides a general structure of the nervous system. Nervous system activity and sensory stimulation refine the mode of operation. This ‘fine-tuning’ doesn’t mean the addition of new components or connections. It is achieved by elimination. Continue reading

Fragments

Imagine what would happen
if you could change the world
And somehow you could resurrect,
a memory, a girl;
It’s been ten years, yet still, the fears,
they make my stomach curl;
Seventeen into the sea,
no cards to play, she folds;
Empty to me sans she–the world
In the end I lost a friend
It never could recur;
I’d give my pen, I’d give my pad,
I’d give my cash and my left hand,
for one more glimpse of her. Continue reading

The Geometry of Thought

It is not directly possible to know the exact circumstances, or selection pressures, that favored the development of the human brain. Consideration of its structural evolution, and comparative research, on human and nonhumans (other members of the primate order) have provided insights into the early ‘drafts’ of the modern mind. It is believed that, during the evolution of our mind, the nervous system changed in a number of manners, four to be precise. The arrangement of organs first became centralized in architecture, being the next step of evolution from a loose connection of nerve cells, as in jellyfish, to a spinal column and complex brain with impressive swellings at the hindbrain and forebrain. Centralized architecture led to hierarchy amongst structure and it appears that newer ‘drafts’ of the brain overtook the earlier additions and in effect became the Operator, the master of the domain of evaluating sensations… Continue reading

Children of the Mind

In mammals, there are three major components of the mind with two new structures, or subroutines. Neocerebellum, added to the cerebellum, looks like a growth at the base of the brain. The neocortex, therefore, is a product of the forebrain. Most mammals, though they have a neocortex, the additions are not large as relative to the brain stem. In the primate order, of which we are a part, they are larger; in humans, the neocortex is so large that the brain stem is hidden by a complicated mass of gray, neural matter. This remarkable increase of neocerebellar activity and neocortical tissue, gives humans the highest ratio of brain to body of all of nature’s children… Continue reading

What is Called Thinking?

In mammals, there are three major components of the mind with two new structures, or subroutines. Neocerebellum, added to the cerebellum, looks like a growth at the base of the brain. The neocortex, therefore, is a product of the forebrain. Most mammals, though they have a neocortex, the additions are not large as relative to the brain stem. In the primate order, of which we are a part, they are larger; in humans, the neocortex is so large that the brain stem is hidden by a complicated mass of gray, neural matter. This remarkable increase of neocerebellar activity and neocortical tissue, gives humans the highest ratio of brain to body of all of nature’s children… Continue reading

The Structure of Living Systems

A zygote is a diploid cell that fuses haploid gametes into a fertilized ovum. The question for our purpose is how the fertilized egg develops from a single cell into a living organism. As castles are made of brick and stone, organisms are constructed by cells. The animal can be unicellular (one cell) or multicellular (many cells.) In addition to the two types of cells, there are two types of organisms. There are the ancient prokaryotes and the (relatively) new eukaryotic organisms. I’d like to take a moment to note the differences between the two fundamental cells of living systems. I’ll start where nature started–with the prokaryotes… Continue reading

The Poetic Sensibility

When writing about writing and how it is done and understood, I must acknowledge the bitter truth: there is no way to teach the poetic sensibility and practice will not cultivate it. The poetic sensibility is either present in you, or evolves as you come of age. No matter how much you study or emulate the techniques and practices I’m trying to illustrate (and attempting to demonstrate,) without the eye—without the sensibility—technical precision means nothing… Continue reading

Marco Polio! The Word Virus

Note. This intended to be experimental, expressionist, and is done in the vein of self-parody and irony. This is a rambling mess included for the sole purpose of extending the concept of the eukaryotic idea. DAVID HUME WAS A POPULAR SCOTTISH philosopher and naturalist. He didn’t live long enough to become acquainted with Darwin’s On the Origin of Species or Mendel’s theory of dominant and recessive genes, but he was very keen on science, nature over myth, and proof over faith. Conceding a less deterministic, pre-programmed ideal of humanity and the cosmos, he believed the abdication of free-will was a means of obfuscation, a way to defer responsibility for one’s actions… Continue reading

(c) Brandon K. Nobles – Necromancy

1
Ghosts in our poetry and prose
Are much like us –
And did not know
Where they came from
Where they’d go;
The Dream Machine – a factory
the Glass Castle – Memory
has scattered lanterns through this web
through which we commune with the dead;
that treasure chest –
that hallowed vault
The Grave of Yesterday is lost
To history – the Greatest Liar
is Gasoline;
and Time the fire.

That is the madness of our lives
To know that all will fall in time;
when this we know so much must go –
We lost our Paradise,
we know:
Green leaves are lovely,
yet the change
that transformation in the rain
Draws us in; it lets us know:
the scene is over;
though the show
Goes on –
as it must go.

Life though priceless has a cost;
as everyone must pay for all:
And strange it is to think
some may –
have such a dreadful debt to pay;
What’s true for one
is true for all;
Leaves are most lovely
as they fall.
For all we know there is no show
there is a closed door
nothing more;
although we somehow know:
We are performers in rehearsal
Desperate for a role.

The past expires in the fire
no King but Entropy,
and this Conductor in its Bluster
made Despair a crime;
And in our pain
to stave off change
we built an altar for our shame.
And the embers we remember,
Valentines, Thanksgiving dinner;
Snow-angels, snowmen,
that December.

What we think and what we dream,
is more than idol worshiping:
it pushes us and focuses
the lens through which we see;
Those golden moments once thought stolen,
with a pen may breathe;
And this lens so much depends
On what we wish to see;
and windowpanes that we have stained,
Have framed this fantasy.

As for this storm in which we’re born –
are pearls by blind watchmakers formed;
And this mirage must give us pause
to let us know that though we go;
through narrow bars immortal stars
Burst into life
each time we write;
This pen – this magic wand –
with proper spells may defy hell
this is a real seance.

We all know hope
If truth be told
Is our desire in a robe;
Yet to deny this lullaby
Is yet more painful still;
For our Fair queen
In love with grief
Denies love not to feel;
There is a reason hope is treason –
And faith must take the hill.

An overflowing wishing well
is proof enough that this is hell;
And in this scene grief is made King
the Queen forsakes the throne.
It may be brief;
it may be tragic,
There is magic in this madness:
a canvas picks up those left stranded –
And this voodoo – Necromancy:
gives rise to what is everlasting.
From the grave onto the page,
from ashes to the canvas –
With every line we defy time.
We are the Necromancers.

An opera, painting, or poem
Is life in a more lasting form;
With life being one brief season
Snow on the desert’s face –
Is the reason there is meaning
in a most cold quiet place;
This calls on us who have the touch,
To create and then replace –
What is fleeting with a beacon
That someone may trace –
Through tangled strings of history
back to that seat of grace.

All those moments
once thought stolen,
are safe within the maze;
Ariadne in her reverie,
gave all the keys away.
And in that second – resurrection!
Dawn is a reborn day:
The King of grief has been impeached:
The Queen delights in May.

(c) Brandon K. Nobles – The Glass Umbrella

I

We are the footprints by the Sea.
The waters come,
and waters leave.
Miss Sea, you see,
your children taken;
Children of the Sea forsaken.

See me see Miss Galilee.
Bring back what she took from me;
bring back what you swallowed whole.
The yawning, old,
and wide mouthed urn,
lolled on, but never turned,
her deaf ear,
to me,
to hear,
my confused shouts at her.

Without a word at all to say,
she waves at the night and day.
She rolls about within a dream,
the carousel goes by overhead;
to it she turns her mirrored head.
She simply looks to it, and all,
and we, like leaves,
around her fall.

The beach we leave our footprints on,
The waters come,
and then they’re gone.
We are but footprints by the Sea;
The waves come in,
and then we leave.
Miss Sea, you see,
your children taken.
Children of the Sea forsaken.

Ancient sea, Miss Galilee,
can you see yourself in me?
As I see myself in you,
glowing white, and tinged with blue.
Can’t you see what you have done?
The lolling sea saw none.

II

“I see,” I said, and that was that;
standing at the shore of black.
I hear my own words echo back.
In those waters,
I saw me;
another reflection in the sea.

This was after ten years passed:
I returned, sat in the grass,
thinking of all who walked that shore.
Never did I see her face,
a glass umbrella had replaced,
the girl whom I adored.
My love would walk the shore no more.

But nothing else, and nothing more;
no more of who I once adored.
No more to God could I implore,
or to the umbrella in her stead.
The face of the mourning sun turned
red;
the glass umbrella, from the sea,
rolled ashore and laughed at me.
Then I knew,
and saw it all,
inside the glass umbrella fall.
I saw myself again, alone,
forever by the Sea to roam.

On that day I watched her play,
with birds about the shore.
I heard her laugh and nothing more,
as the Sea,
came and took my love from me.
Buzzards circled overhead,
like nature’s garbage men.
I heard them call,
and heard her laugh,
and felt the kiss of Caiaphas.

III

A finch had washed up in her place,
from the well amid the waste—
who floundered by the Sea,
and then flew on.
The bird fluttered for a moment,
and was gone.

As beautiful as the Sea might be,
her own face she cannot see.
In my dreams, she comes to me,
and sees her picture on the wall.
By my family, and me,
a portrait of Miss Galilee.

As wondrous as she looks, at night,
shimmering with the silver light,
she looks sadder in the dawn.
When the sun shines in her face,
when daylight takes the nighttime’s place—
she yawns again, and sighs.
Children of the Sea walk home.
Deaf, Miss Galilee rolls on.

Earlier in my life, I went,
found a home which I could rent.
I called my child to say:
“Come see me, come see the sea;
we’ll have some lunch,
then get ice cream.
You have to come;
you have to see,
the face of lady Galilee.”

IV

A while we stood,
where lolled the waves,
under a sky where seagulls played;
for her, my world, for once, to see,
the lovely face of Galilee.
From the waters, walked ashore,
played a while,
bonne nuit, amore.
She splashed about the waves, my
child,
and then she splashed no more.

I remember she flew in.
We had some sandwiches, and then,
hand in hand walked with a grin.
She laughed the day away.
She wore a blue dress, made of lace,
and had a smile upon her face.
At night she walks my dreams this
way—
for when she splashed,
that faithful day—
the Sea took her away.
The waters took my living dream,
and left me here to stay.

The Sea looked into me, you see,
and saw what she could take from me;
my dreams could not just let it be.
And when it looked, at me, it saw,
the same thing when it looks at all.
How could she tell me what she sees?
The way she sees us all go ’round,
she often speaks without a sound.
She sees us dance,
and hears us call,
all at once,
but not at all.
The glass umbrella falls.

We are the footprints by the Sea;
the waters come,
and waters leave.
Miss Sea, you see,
your children taken;
Children of the Sea forsaken.

Alone

Alone, 1997

Indeed I’m mad, for I have seen,
not with my eyes, but in my dreams—
running alone under the sky,
with heaven above me flying by.

For who alone would scream in pain,
when he alone will scream in vain?
He alone in darkness sings,
denied those heavenly angel wings.

Along we walk in forests cold.
We laugh, we sing, and we grow old.

Until we find ourselves again,
where death and darkness we befriend.
Till peace we find in wayward song,
alone we’ll walk the road so long.

Alone as we walk it—on and on.

Until some day in falling rain,
alone at last without the pain.
Until we rest our worried heads,
warm and at home, alone in bed

Divisions

Divisions, 1996

In soft brown sand, by the beach,
out of which a hand did reach;
after all the winds of life had blown,
to me who walked the dusty shore,
another from the sea was thrown.

They all will fail, though, like the sun,
forever turning, forever dumb;
forever one plus two plus one.

One plus two perhaps, and three,
divide and add up destiny.
Until it’s simple—
one plus two,
with no more left for man to do.

Like the planets, rising stars,
set along with great God Mars.
They pass by; in time, are lost;
another zero for the cause.

Their voices trail off like a birds,
obscured by sounds which mourn;
the birds come back to sing, to laugh,
to sing and laugh while it still lasts.