Wednesday, December 6, 2006

"Listening to the Candle"

nothing in those weeks added up

yet the very aimlessness

preconditioning my mind…

of sensory deprivation

as a paid volunteer

in the McGill experiment

for the US Air Force

(two CIA reps at the meeting)

my ears sore from their earphones’

amniotic hum my eyes

under two bulging halves of ping pong balls

arms covered to the tips with cardboard tubes

those familiar hallucination

I was the first to report

as for example the string

of cut-out paper men

emerging from a manhole

in the side of a snow-white hill

distinctly two-dimensional
Poem by Peter Dale Scott (a former human subject in one of the infamous sensory deprivation experiments at McGill University during the 1950s).

From a good capsule summary of torture in America by Alfred McCoy, and the role of US and Canadian psychologists in pioneering the cruel methods currently employed in US gulags.

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