fiddle sticks

the fool’s game is the one we play
on fiddle sticks, pausing to brush
away anything that can be handled
“tomorrow”; it is
to be wholly unconcerned with
your mode of transport, to misuse its utilities
for sheer pleasure, and then to be aghast when
the engine fails;

it is to see the cracked
bow of the bridge
and draw your cart over it,

an old poem, from a time when I wasn’t necessarily taking care of myself. it’s not true that the body is merely transport for the mind. unfinished, circa 2015. 

6 Book Recs (2016 Edition)

1.     The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons – Sam Kean

18774002(science) – I can scarcely begin to tell you how much admiration I have for Sam Kean. Reading about science is likely to be one of the least favorite pastimes of a great many people; indeed, there was even a time early in my own life when I found the idea incredibly dreadful. I only wish that I’d had the works of Sam Kean to change that perspective, as I might have started my foray into the world of science much sooner. Kean is a master story-teller, able to incorporate drama, comedy, and tidbits ranging from the curious to the bizarre into subjects that, when taught in an undergraduate class, often seem impossibly dry. Imagine my delight when I found that he’d written a book about my own field of study: neuroscience. From ancient neurosurgeries and to current theories about cognition, Kean deftly handles each topic. His own curiosity is easily communicated and quite contagious: not only is The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons entertaining, it is highly informative. I read this over the summer before I matriculated into graduate school, and it served as a great refresher for my fall neuropsychology class. I even impressed my professor with a few stories borrowed from Kean’s book.

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thoughts on the inauguration

Watching footage of the inauguration has magnified one of the central themes of this election: fear. It exists on both sides of the equation: people support Trump because they are afraid, and people oppose him because they are afraid. In both cases, fear has been born out of a sense of powerlessness. And what do people who feel powerless do? The only thing they think they can: protest.

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walking library


In downtown Iowa City, there is a “walking library”– metal designs laid into the concrete, most of them containing quotes. This is one of my favorites:

“I have noticed before that there is a category of acquaintanceship that is not friendship or business or romance, but speculation, fascination.”  – Jane Smiley Continue reading