The Human Mind… (Poem)

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Neall Calvert 10 months ago.

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  • #6923 Reply

    This was a poem written as a response to a prompt from a writers group in Nanaimo earlier this month. I haven’t written in a while, so it’s a bit rough. I don’t expect to submit it anywhere, but I thought I would share, to start this forum off.

    Thanks for reading! Any responses are welcomed, critical or complimentary.

    Prompt & title:
    “The Human Mind is the Scariest thing of All”

    Bubbled protein, electric current,
    pathways cobbled between your ears

    That voice whispering behind your ears

    I am what you are, I am important

    Philosophy deals with impermanence
    of self, fragile egos, and the basis of emotion
    philosophy was created by that soft
    network, that crocheted blanket
    an indecipherable pattern
    repeating I am you.

    This is a parasitic horror film, we are
    hosts to these selves–fingers commanded
    by that grey emporer in that bone castle,
    a god among muscles, steel grey folds,
    ripples of


  • #6943 Reply

    Neall Calvert

    Jumbled. Would benefit from a single train of thought running through it, beginning to end, connecting the parts.

    • #6944 Reply

      Good point! I agree that each section seems too distant from the others. Which section do you think is the least weak? I will make an editing attempt. I wasn’t a fan of the prompt, but I think working with a challenge is good practice.

  • #6951 Reply

    Jill Talbot

    Hmmm I don’t think it’s too disconnected. I would take out some parts though. Not because they don’t fit but because they’re less alive.

    That said, lately I’ve been wondering how useful feedback is. On more than one occasion I’ve won an award for a piece of writing that someone told me needed to be changed. Or an editor will often ask me to get rid of everything I added post-feedback. I think that’s often because people confuse wanting to know more about something with an error that not enough was revealed. But that’s for fiction so less appropriate here.

    I wonder what would happen if you took the poem apart–printed it then cut it up–and rearranged it? What if being jumbled was the point? As our brains often are! Mine sure is… This might also make it less of a philosophical poem in the academic way. Or what if it was clear that there were two voices?

    Those are my jumbled up and probably useless thoughts.

    Another thought: why not have a forum for feedback that requires a login? I will not post anything I’m working on that doesn’t require a login because then I can’t publish it. And if something doesn’t have a chance of ever being published, I don’t really want to share it!

  • #6957 Reply

    Thanks, Jill!

    Your thoughts are pretty spot on, I like your idea of mixing it up. Also, good point about the sharing problem–hm. We actually just made the forum so you didn’t have to login to make it easier to ask questions and share ideas… maybe I can make just this forum locked? I’ll look into it. Thanks for bringing it up, Jill!

  • #7100 Reply

    Neall Calvert

    Sorry for not responding earlier; I did not get notice of a reply. . . . Here is a treatment of your poem that, to me, carries a hint of a line of thought. Thanks for the opportunity to look at it:

    OF ALL

    Bubbled protein, electric currents
    cobbling pathways between the ears;
    that voice whispering: I am
    what you are; I am important

    Philosophy was created by that soft
    network, that crocheted blanket,
    that voice repeating: I am you—
    the parasitic horror film too.

    Fingers commanded
    by a grey emperor in a bone castle
    —a god among muscles—
    type the rippling, echoing question:

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