“Since pain is a totally subjective mental experience"
"we do not have direct access"
"to anyone or anything’s pain"
"but our own;"
"and even just the principles"
"by which we can infer"
"that others experience pain"
"and have a legitimate interest in not feeling pain"
"involve hard-core philosophy—"
"metaphysics, epistemology, value theory, ethics.”*
- From Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
David I've considered it and
I think she might laugh if she read
that a version of her
briny and spined
now resides in the depths of my mind,
She might laugh
at my comparison of her
to a hideous sea spider
but it’s because, as you say,
one can neither comprehend the pain
of an exquisitely tactile lobster in a *** of boiling water,
nor walk a mile in it's eight lilliputian shoes
So I am left to wonder
what it might mean or not mean to her
in her armoured yet acute exoskeleton
to have quit school and
be back to her fathers house
on Prince Edward Island.
and what I'd want to tell her is:
They might try to butter you up,
bridle your anger with blue rubber bands,
Use their wooden spoons
to nudge your thrashing, clinging arms
back into the ***,
but as we know,
lobsters can live to be over one hundred years old
and grow to be over twenty pounds in size
which is very large for an aquatic insect
and they are marine crustaceans of the family Homaridae,
characterized by five pairs of jointed legs,
the first pair terminating in large pincerish claws
I know she knows how to use them.
Which reminds me of something else you said:
"Everything I've ever let go of has claw marks on it."
A feeling I can understand
Though I'm no more lobster
Re-worked from a piece I wrote earlier this year
Quotes are from Consider The Lobster and Infinite Jest by DFW