The Origin of the Ear

This entry is part 5 of 22 in the series Alternate Histories


Once upon a time, the ear was a flower that bloomed every day & by night bore dream-fruit. Helix & antihelix fused & swelled like the fat lip of an orchid. Deep in the ovule, a complex apparatus of drum & cocclea translated sounds into fertile seeds. Words had wings, & notes would fly from a saxophone like golden bees.

What happened? Why are we stuck now with these passive receptacles, this garbage in & garbage out? I blame the first tongue that found a way to get around not being forked. Once language knew how to feed on the ready sugar of lies, who needed nectar? Ears are for hearing, we said. Which is why nobody listens anymore except for the truly deaf.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


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