Ode to the Sublime by Monica Vitti

Anne Carson

I want everything.
Everything is a naked thought that strikes.

A foghorn sounding through fog makes the fog seem to be everything.
Quail eggs eaten from the hand in fog make everything aphrodisiac.

My husband shrugs when I say so, my husband shrugs at everything.
The lakes where his factory has poisoned everything are as beautiful as Brueghel.

I keep my shop, in order that I may sell everything there, empty but I leave the light on.
Everything might spill.

Do you know that in the deepest part of the sea everything goes transparent? asks my
husband’s friend Corrado and I say Do you know how afraid I am?

Everything requires attention, I never relax my neck even when kissing Corrado.
Kant says ‘everything’ exists only in our mind, attended by a motion of pleasure and

pain that throws itself back and forth in me when I lay on Corrado’s bed fighting with
everything with Corrado watching from across the room then he came to the bed and

mounted me and this made no difference except now I had to fight everything through
Corrado, which I did ‘undaunted’ (so Kant) on his freezing bed in its midnight glare.

What will you take? I ask Corrado who is leaving for Patagonia and when he says 2 or 3
valises I say If I had to go away I would take with me everything I see.

To this Corrado says nothing which is not I think the opposite of everything.
Doesn’t seem right is what my husband would say, he says this about everything –

especially since I came out of the clinic, a clinic for people who want everything,
everything I see everything I taste everything I touch everyday even the ashtrays and at

the clinic I had only one question What shall I do with my eyes?