Lecturing in Japan
Stephen Hawking was asked
not to mention that the universe
had a beginning
(and so likely an end)
because it would affect
we all need a prehistory.
According to Freud,
we do nothing but repeat it.
Beginnings are special
because most of them are fake.
The new person you become
with that first sip of wine
was already there.✧ Anne Carson, “i wish i were two dogs then i could play with me”
The phenomenologist from Paris hates mosquitoes
and carries a small electronic device
that lures the female mosquito to her death
by simulating the amorous cry of the male. Then,
to block the whining sound, he has pink earplugs.
As he sits in conversation
with the phenomenologist from Sussex
a mosquito is observed to enter.
The Englishman leaps to his feet,
calling, “Let us use the mosquito machine!”
and smashes the insect to the wall
with the device. It is the first sign
of wide ontological differences
that will open in the Anglo-French dialectic
♦ Anne Carson, from “What Do We Have Here?”
in Plainwater: Essays and Poetry, (1995)