Robert Miltner



apple jampacked in a pocket     conjoined twins sharing a bicycle helmet fist clenching cortex & ganglia & cerebellum     synapse & ignition of spark & idea     nerves billioned & bundled into a single fiber cable     time capsule of memory & sensation, sundial & lunar eclipse      satchel & given-the-slip, locket & loss     occipital circling of notions & visions, designs & conclusions theory of the peanut dreaming of salt, the walnut yearning for the nutcracker     frenetic fancy, idleness-lack, consciousness both rococo & loco      ceramic apple bowl filled with hodgepodge & singsong & eggnoggin     not a nest for whit or nit but wit's overstuffed backpack     east-west hemispheres bathing in a north-south map of a bathtub     the heart's estranged distant cousin     oyster & pearl asleep in a shell









Germination for this poem: in my workshop—with Molly Fuller, Shannon Young, and Brian Young—we were taking turns trying to write in each other's styles. When I began my draft of an imitation of Brian's poems, I mis-typed his name as Brain, so I wrote brain ode for my friend whose playful use of language I admire.