Kevin Brown

And Our Instruments Aren’t Calibrated Correctly, Either Critics of neuroscience claim its resultsmean nothing due to serious problems:sample sizes too small; results that cannotbe replicated; flawed data sets. Soundslike love. A sample size of two too small,and no one can ever reproduce whatothers have done. Yet we keep generatingdata as if our lives depend on it. It’s the Little Things That Matter Nobody listens, you said. I don’t listen.You told me the way I made baked fishwas wrong—too much garlic, not enough oregano, needs to be cooked another thirtyseconds or so—that recipe from mygrandmother not worthwhile. You told mehow to treat my parents, sent my mother flowers for Mother’s Day withoutmy knowledge. She called to thank you.You said you felt like Ignaz Semmelweis, told obstetricians to wash their hands,nothing more, tried to lower new mothers’mortality rate from thirty percent to two. It took decades and Louis Pasteur’s theoriesfor doctors to listen. You called mea contrarian; I said I preferred to perform experiments, learn on my own. When thedirections said and you almost screamed,Left, I turned right, smiled and said,Let’s see what happens if I do this. Selective Association My mother was afraid of hair dryers,shaped like a gun, hurricane-like sounds,even their smell. She could tell if onehad been used within an hour of her arrival. Scientists say we inheritfears from our parents, but I fearedspaghetti. One long noodle hanginghalfway down my fifth grade throat made me afraid for years. I ate rotiniinstead. You laughed at my fearof sharks, but you did not see Jaws before you were ten; you were old enoughto see the metallic gleam in Bruce’seye, know him for what he was. We were treading water off the coastof South Carolina when I felt the coldaround me, knew I could not know what was beneath me, swam in fast.You followed. Your fear of abandonmentwas a cliché, but that did not stop you from leaving before I could.You slipped out the side doorof my life like a natural swimmer,as quietly as a shark, unseenand always moving, menacing. Kevin Brown is a Professor at Lee University. He has published two books of poetry--A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, Snake Nation Press) and Exit Lines (Plain View Press, 2009)--and two chapbooks: Abecedarium (Finishing Line Press, 2011) and Holy Days: Poems (winner of Split Oak Press Chapbook Contest, 2011). He also has a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again (Wipf and Stock, 2012), and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels (Kennesaw State University Press, 2012). He received his MFA from Murray State University.