Two Poems

Patrick Blagrave

Final Report: Remote Control of Behavior with Rewarding Electrical Stimulation of the Brain (1 July 1962 - 30 Sept 1965) 1 “The specific aim of the research program was to examine the feasibility of controlling the behavior of a dog, in an open field, by means of remotely triggered electrical stimulation of the brain.” in a field, distance silences the city to a low tone the nearby highway your voice newly clear “With the appropriate electrode placement, there is a clear tendency for the animal to repeat any movement which is immediately followed by stimulation–the well known reinforcement or reward effect.” I move not knowing why I want a field of you what we want hardly ever a decision on the roof of my mouth: electricity “If the experimenter wishes to change the direction of movement at a particular point in the field, stimulation is withheld when the dog reaches that point.” what used to be a path cut open remains a memory of a path & at its end: the highway’s billboard, a fixed ladder up “It is clear from the data presented that the experimenter has excellent control over the behavior of the unrestricted dogs.” turning over grass, past lightning bugs, a dog off its leash bounds happily after something unseen the ball never left its master’s hand “Control of the behavior is positive and can be maintained over relatively long periods of time.” elsewhere: a racket interrupts a tennis ball in painted squares, a subway terminal buzzing, a long line for the Flower Show Figure 2. A sequence or photographs showing the control of open field behavior with a dog. [Images and graphs] 3 “Response to the tone in an experiment designed to investigate competition between food reward and brain stimulation, with the latter serving to control free-field behavior.” an itch a tongue can’t scratch something from the mouth speaks it tells me only forward / not toward what the men made me empty it is difficult running without running toward not empty not empty never comes running toward what forward running toward myself: empty A R T I C H O K E 1 considering the purpose the influence an act of attempted descent can an individual be made a hypothetical problem? involuntarily we were ready when called upon 2 PROBLEM SUBJECT: approximately 35 years old, well educated, proficient in English and formerly in XXXXXXX employ the personal project attempted or performed or simulated only was no problem in relation to the overall project proposed SUBJECT would be taken by the *** Government and thereby “disposed of” and at some later date at a cocktail party of no significance at one involuntary uncontrolled social meeting an individual since terminated one formerly an individual limited to a trigger 3 CONCLUSIONS “No” final authority “No” Headquarters above “No” strictly limited SUBJECT under “No” limitations of physical control “No” appropriate conditions “No” group would undertake the problem “No” insignificant individual “No” answer to the hypothetical question can an individual of ****** descent be made to perform an act of attempted assassination, involuntarily, under ARTICHOKE?

Patrick Blagrave is a poet and editor from Philadelphia. His first book, Profit | Prophet, is available from Recenter Press. Some other writing can be found in Peace, Land, and Bread, SORTES, Bedfellows, and 68to05. Prolit Magazine, which he founded in 2019, publishes writing and art about money, work, and class.

Consider supporting Protean Magazine on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!