Monday, May 18, 2009


It’s an addiction
I admit
To what…well, that’s a harder question

As Skinner boxes go, it would seem
Immensely inefficient
Random reinforcement
Few and far between
Occasional touches, sporadic runs of competence
A transitory flush of pride

Clearly I need only minor treats to fuel
This stubborn dedication
This (more than) slight imbalance
   - adrenaline
   - ambition
   - a little bit of pain
Enough frustration to make me hunger for another chance

This sport, this hobby, pastime, entertainment (!)
Pushes all my buttons
Taps my fundamental traits
Conviction that perfection can be reached, the only cost
Relentless dedication
A minor loosening of sanity
Nothing too extreme

Deep down, I’m wired to believe
That me, this I
Is able to succeed at anything I try
Despite the massive evidence that contradicts
And so I come back time and time again
Impelled by evolutionary forces to return
And face my limitations

Deep down, I secretly suspect that if
A miracle occurred and
Grace and speed, precision, clever strategy
Descended on my blade, settled in my limbs, that if
I suddenly swept all before me
Small, fierce, clever, brave
This laser focus on my goal would blur, diffuse
And I would be released
Cage sprung, trial ended
Experiment complete

Failing that, about all I can hope for is
A balance of more treats than shocks in this research
On training of the soul
Excuse me while I push this lever one more time…

1 comment:

  1. Ole! It is worth striving for, that miracle, even if it never happens. For, I suspect, the miracle is actually the fact that we have hope to try, and one day we will see that that was what made it all worth it.

    Good poem!