“The Mad Cow Talks Back” by Jo Shapcott

I’m not mad. It just seems that way
because I stagger and get a bit irritable.
There are wonderful holes in my brain
through which ideas from outside can travel
at top speed and through which voices,
sometimes whole people, speak to me
about the universe. Most brains are too
compressed. You need this spongy
generosity to let the others in.

I love the staggers. Suddenly the surface
of the world is ice and I’m a magnificent
skater turning and spinning across whole hard
Pacifics and Atlantics. It’s risky when
you’re good, so of course the legs go before,
behind, and to the side of the body from time
to time, and then there’s the general embarrassing
collapse, but when that happens it’s glorious
because it’s always when you’re travelling
most furiously in your mind. My brain’s like
the hive: constant little murmurs from its cells
saying this is the way, this is the way to go.

Jo Shapcott

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3 thoughts on ““The Mad Cow Talks Back” by Jo Shapcott

  1. Not sure you’ll get the reference, but the first line reminded me of this: “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.” From Who Framed Roger Rabbit, one of my favorite movies of all time.

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