I recently read a book review
of a book called “Brothers and Sisters:
The Allman Brothers Band and the Inside Story of the Album That Defined the ’70s.”
The book review concluded with a quotation from Gregg Allman:
“Success was being able to keep your brain inside your head.”

I pondered for a long time what Gregg might have meant by that.
Perhaps he was suggesting that we should try to keep our thought processes on an even keel,
within the realm of reality,
and not get carried away in flights of fantasy.
Or something like that.

And then it occurred to me:
He meant it literally!
Success is being able to keep your brain inside your head.
A successful day is a day
in which you do not crash your motorcycle into a truck and splatter your brain all over the roadway.
As indeed it is.

I am having such a day today.

About the Poem

As a long-time Allman Brothers fan, I was thrilled to see that a new book about the band has just been published. I started writing a poem about it but, as it developed, my poem became less about the Allman Brothers Band and more about my own tendency to over-analyze things, to search for deep esoteric or metaphysical explanations when a simple explanation will do. It is also about the importance of keeping our brains tucked away safely inside our heads where they belong.

About the Author

Pesach Rotem was born and raised in New York and now lives in Yodfat, Israel. He received his B.A. from Princeton University and his J.D. from St. John’s University. He is a member of the Voices Israel Group of Poets in English and the Israel Association of Writers in English.

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