The panic had spread. They phoned me up. They told me of some bubbling madness, about how "ITS" eyes slid shut. "Impossible!" I cried, "Even inside the bullet proof tank of a closet made of dark?!?!" "Yes," they replied. I asked, "Did you tell it not to dream of things like Tennis in the Sea, or Sphinxes weird from trapdoor realities?" "Yes," they muttered, "and nothing works." So I put the phone down. Now there's little left to tell you, so if you'll excuse me, I'm giving into my fear like we all do.
17 thoughts on “Think Tank”
not a very good moral…if i had given into my fear, you would have yelled at me. perhaps you should think a little more optimistically.
How can you not dream of Sphinxes weird from trapdoor realities? Or Spinkses for that matter?
I know I can’t help doing so.
I like the tank tracks. I think everything would be better with tank tracks on them.
Dragon – Personally, I can’t quit dreaming of Sphinxes and trapdoors. The poem actually isn’t written from my standpoint.
Now that I think about it, this reminds me a little of this short story I read recently “Harold Wilson at the Cosmic Cocktail Party“. It’s an old story by sci-fi standards (1970) and the premise isn’t exactly the same, but it’s similar enough.
dick – When I was young I used to put tank tracks on every vehicle I drew. I don’t do that anymore. Probably a sign that The Man has beaten me down.
loki – Glad to hear it’s not from you’re perspective. Wait though…. that can only mean that YOU are the brain inside the jar!
I think we all know how it is. Heck, all these years and I’m still having the same old dream about catching tigres in red weather.
Mike Gray, I wanna give you an environmental update and sell you a Sierra Club calendar … now open up your door!
Being a door to door salesman is brutal. I don’t care if they’ve got you selling spatulas, religion, or clean air.
If that’s what they’ve got you doing then I suspect the next time I see you you’ll be a shriveled husk of a man.
Dragon – The Brain isn’t “me” (as in Mike Gray), but I defiantly do identify much more with the Brain in a Jar than the phone-men and women. The Brain in the Jar is more meant to be someone who has been at place where people aren’t welcoming to new ideas. Admittedly, this makes the standpoint of the poem somewhat difficult to work out – particularly for the reader. However (he [I] says adlibbing), that was intentional.
I wanted there to be a chance that the poem’s “I” might be confused with an authorial point of view even though it wasn’t. My reason for doing this was because I view both sides of the poem as problematic. Although I do identify more with the Brain in the Jar, because those nasty phone-men and women are always saying no – the Brain’s motives aren’t entirely good. He’s a disembodied floating B-Movie Brain after all (inspired by the movie The Brain from Planet Arous (1957), directed by Nathan Juran, and by a conversation I had with my friend Russ who runs Tactical Syntax). He is therefore not a man or woman in a jar, but a monster in a jar. There is the insinuation that Brain in the Jar lets the panic spread and potentially even feels empowered by becoming a sort of Dracula of the mountain. Hence, the Brain becomes a monstrosity, his/hers/its humanity perverted.
Somewhere I think this justifies the confusion of the “I’s” point of view, because I wanted the poem to be both a warning for both sides. The imagination is simultaneously a wonderful thing, and a dangerous thing.
Additionally, although I do allude to Reading’s favorite son, Wallace Stevens, and Anecdote of the Jar, the poem really isn’t meant to be a rethinking of his. Steven’s concern is about how the imagination orders reality; not how it can be viewed as dangerous or become dangerous.
And finally as for knocking on doors – I decided that I’m done with selling the message. It was pretty awful. In addition to recieving a healthy dose of hate from every person whose door I knocked on, worrying about rabid dogs and getting locked up for indecidecent exposure because I had to piss in the somebody’s private woods at hour five just wasn’t worth it. So, I’m back on the dole. But hey – I’ll have time once again to be the starving artist, posting the live-long day & night away on Protozoic.
“It Ain’t” Who?…
It Ain’t Mike Gray knock’n at your door no more!
Good call with saying “no” to selling the message. It isn’t worth the danger of getting shot, bit by a dog, or developing a UTI. No worries, something good will come out of all of this… or so say the stars.
Thanks man. Just as long as those stars aren’t ushered in by Jonathan Donahue of Mercury Rev, I think your right.
On the brain as a monster, empowered by the spreading panic:
I just didn’t see this insinuation from what you wrote. Especially given the picture I got the impression of a bored/tired brain finally giving in to it’s need for some form of reverie.
As for the knocking-on-doors bit:
Thank goodness you’re out of that. Your body, mind and soul will thank for this choice in the long run.
At some point I have to post my brief experience as a door-to-door art salesman. I think I might have told Loki about it already, but not sure.
Well – really, any interpretation of the poem is fine with me 🙂
And no, you didn’t tell about door to dooring. Do post.
Comments are closed.