Thursday, 14 November 2013

Binary by Chris Wallace-Crabbe


WHY does a cauliflower so much resemble a brain? All those pale curved protuberances and hillocks tease the mind into activity . . .  at this point I randomly remember the complicated architecture of a particularly gothic dream. But brains and cauliflowers, ah yes, is this the same kind of parallelism as that which holds between pine cones and pagodas? There we go again, seeking order or duplicity in the stubborn universe. We ask ourselves whether the resemblance between a rose and a cabbage is like that between a clipped hedge and a high tin loaf, coming up with no answer at all. The brain and the cauliflower continue to rise up on their cortices, bubbly fruits that they are. Moon goes around earth goes around sun, et cetera, analogues active everywhere. Echo redeems Narcissus, shadow is touching reflection. We ask ourselves what it all signifies. Somewhere, in shadow, aged sages debate such questions on a lawn all day, over their wine and bananas.

The Oxford Book of Comic Verse, ed. by John Gross (London, New York: Oxford UP, 1994), 438.

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