If I had half a brain…
I’d be able to find my glasses.
“Ah.. Yes, here they are.”

   I am saying this out loud 

     through gritted teeth 

       that hold my glasses.

Now, mind you, I said, “half a brain.” 
There has been a myth that we  

   only use ten percent of our brains.
Some people still believe that myth

   the way they believe that Mr. Rogers 

      was a Green Beret,
          or a Navy Seal,
            or a Mine-Searching Dolphin.

They say Mr. Rogers wore his   
  long-sleeved cardigan
    to cover his tattoos.

Tom Hanks debunks
    this myth of Mr. Rogers.


What was I talking about?…

Right.  Half-a-brain.

Many scientists have debunked the

   ten percent brain myth, including        

     neurologist Barry Gordon at the
      Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
 
Hmm… Johns Hopkins…
You know, for a long time 

   I thought it was possessive
      with an apostrophe:
          Johns Hopkins.

Like, “Hopkins” was a malady
    or a specialized field of study,
        one that John was especially
          passionate about.

I assure you
    this is really what I thought.
And I know this kind of thing is not   
    funny to anybody in 

       higher education,
        or medicine,
          and I’m sure as all get-out that
            it’s not funny to anybody
              in Baltimore.

They’ve heard it all before and
    they roll their eyes,
      and they hate Johns Hopkins being
        made fun of. (Just as the great
          philanthropist and abolitionist
            himself hated being made
              fun of during his childhood
                for having a plural first name.)


So… Um…

Oh, yeah…

But say it’s true, 

    that ten-percent-brain thing.
Then if somebody’s only using
    “half-a-brain”
      that would be
          only five percent.

Maybe that’s it!
Maybe ninety-five percent of some
  brains are too busy pondering
      their own existence.
Brains like that are into themselves…
    and want to stay into themselves. 

One with such a brain only wants to be around 

   other brains just like it. 

Those brains aren’t really doing any work…

   ninety-five percent of the time. 

A brain housed in a human 

   such as that

       is hard to reach.

For such a brain
  the ten percent theory makes sense. 

(Or even my own — ahem — newly minted      five percent theory.)

(( DOUBLE parentheses:  Hmm… When I felt     compelled to boast, I felt the need to clear my throat. 

And I shined my nails on my shirt. 

Why does conceit require such shiny fingernails?))

A brain is as close to us as can be.
It can be no closer.
But it is caged and elusive,
    hidden forever from the eyes
        it, itself, controls.

Maybe our job is to lift those eyes. 

(And allow our fingernails their natural matte finish.)
Maybe we should lift our eyes 

   to other eyes powered by
      other brains.

(Serious Scientific-y public speaking voice — lots of reverb):
I propose we search for these
    new brains,
      housed in heads
          that our own observant brains
            might ascertain are from
                other lands!

Or just other neighborhoods.

Or just… other.

That’s a one hundred percent brain.

©Andy Offutt Irwin

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