Picture the Mind
By Myra Sklarew
It’s not a pretty sight—Vesalius’s folded surface
of the brain. Or da Vinci’s ventricles, spinal cord
trailing down like a braided afterthought.
Or each hemisphere bed down in its cubicle,
parted by the corpus callosum, crossing guard
for traffic back and forth. Now Descartes comes
on stage, appoints the pineal gland—trusty messenger
between matter and mind. Hard to say when beauty
slipped into this equation. Axon and dendrite.
Molecules dancing across synaptic space.
Receptors hungry for their messages.
Cascade of ions in their chrysalis of light.
Myra Sklarew worked in the 50s at Yale Medical School under Karl Pribram studying frontal lobe function and delayed response memory of Rhesus monkeys. A collection of poetry, Harmless, was published in 2010, and a study of trauma and memory is forthcoming.