Somewhere in that Process Lies the Evolution of the Mind – Jen Rouse

But wait, you are mostly still morons—shouting into the void

like jellyfish first firing their flickering orbs, developing

a sincere and combative sting, those

700 million year ago.


Let me give you the reason for build

For nervous system                                     For brain


= something mattered/matters/will matter


Some of you live in the murky depths of receptive.

and others in the aquatic chemistry of action.


Between think and do, this arc,

this in between.  Call it a maze,

call it a network of currents running hell bent,

call it the slow sardonic wit

you wait for when you’ve gotten

lost in your own ways of forgetting

I exist.  You only hear the words when

they collect themselves in brilliant displays,

drawn to the desire to show themselves

to like selves, determined.  Yes, you become

determined.  You are certain you are

vibrant and worthy.  You begin to

learn the language of react.


I am the constant reminder

that something has to matter,

that you will never quite walk

on water.  Without me.


Jen RouseJen Rouse’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Poet Lore, Up the Staircase, the CDC Poetry Project, Sliver of Stone, and elsewhere. Rouse’s chapbook, Acid and Tender, was published in 2016 by Headmistress Press. Find her at and on Twitter @jrouse.

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