“Stomach Rumbling During Confession of Love”
This interests me: When I am confessing my love to a fresh new woman, almost always, or rather often, my stomach starts to rumble or I get a stuffy nose. When this happens, I consider it a good omen. It means that everything is going to go well. When the rumbling begins, it’s important to cough on time. It seems best not to sigh, because then the rumbling will reach her ears. A stuffy nose also often results in characteristic noises. This is probably the consequences of nervous excitement. Why the nervous excitement? The sex act, or something like it, is an event. An event is something new, and to us otherworldly. It is of two worlds. Entering the event, it’s as if we are entering infinity. But then we quickly exit it, running. We therefore experience the event as life. And its ending as death. After it ends, everything is back in order, there’s no life and no death either. That means the nervous excitement before the event, and the resulting rumbling in the stomach or stuffy nose, happen in anticipation of promised life. Yet there’s another, specific aspect to it. Yes, the thing is that here you also have another participant, the woman. There are two of you. Otherwise, apart from this episode, you’re always alone. Actually, you’re alone here, too, but it seems at that moment, rather, before that moment, there are two of you. It seems that with a woman you won’t die, that in her there is eternal life.
—by Alexander Vvedensky, included in one of the first of two books in our new poetry series, NYRB Poets, Alexander Vvedensky: An Invitation for Me to Think, selected and translated by Eugene Ostashevsky, with additional translations by Matvei Yankelevich (Matvei translated “Stomach Rumbling”).
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