The last conversation at the ever longer ever echoier cortile dinner table concerns the locus, function, and etymology of the esophagus, which, as Seth confirms after a run to the library across the way, means "into" + "devouring." (Devouring, a carnal act, as opposed to the more potentially acculturated "eating.") In the talk piece floating about in my brain for weeks and weeks David Antin, explaining that a hiccup is an anomalous little esophageal spasm, imagines the effects on perception and poetics of a such a spasm as well as the "doctrinal effects" of a hiccuping pope. It turns out that the hiccup can also be a tic-like contraction of the diaphragm—but while the latter is an interruption of respiration, the short-circuit on which Antin chooses to focus constitutes a displacement of the speaking function by a digestive one. Which ineluctably recalls Deleuze and Guattari's contention in "What is a Minor Literature?," from their book on Kafka, that "Rich or poor, each language always implies a deterritorialization of the mouth, the tongue, and the teeth." So that the hiccup amplifies the inherent disjunction between eating and speaking.

[Along the way, I learn, the Latin singult refers to catching one's breath while sobbing—bringing more weight to these terminating lines from Documento by Amelia Rosselli: "upon contact with my reign of sudden / dosages of doubt / my sense of continuity hiccup by hiccup."]

"[W]riting goes further in transforming words into things capable of competing with food." At its best.