the persistence of thumbs

[EXPERIMENT: close your left eye / hold your left arm straight out in front of you, thumb up /
hold your right arm alongside it, also thumb up / staring at your left thumb, slowly move the right thumb to the right / until it disappears / this is your blind spot
]

when the thumb disappears you don’t see a blank
but a continuation of the high street bank
or the gunky green glass of the goldfish tank
or the motorcycle jacket belonging to Frank
or whatever damned thing that happens to be there
when you suddenly stick both thumbs in the air

you see – the spot where the optic nerve plugs in the retina
lacks sufficient photoreceptor
so you’d always have a patch that was blank
if your brain didn’t step in and clone more bank
(or motorcycle jacket, or gunky tank
depending which way you’re facing
and the thumb-sized hole that needs replacing)

I suppose you’d really have to say
for something that sits in the dark all day
the brain does a lot of heavy lifting
the supersensory sorting and sifting
of an infinite mass of incoming data
from Alan Partridge to Alligator
busily roughing out life’s variation
in one long thumbs up hallucination

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