Rooted in meditations on contemporary neuroscience, Brain Fever takes as its subject the mysteries of the human mind--the nature of dreams and memories, the possibly illusory nature of linear time, the complexity of conveying love to a child. In one poem, "A Bowl of Spaghetti," she cites a comparison that researchers draw between unraveling "the millions of miles of wires in the human] brain" and "untangling a bowl of spaghetti," and thus she untangles a memory of her own: "I have an old photo: Rei in her high chair intently / picking out each strand to mash in her mouth. // Was she two? Was that sailor dress from mother? / Did I cook that sauce from scratch? If so, there was a carrot in the pot."
Equally inspired by Sei Shonagon's tenth-century Pillow Book and the latest findings of cognitive research, Brain Fever is a thrilling blend of the timely and the timeless.