Boiled Eggs and Actor Network Theory

A poem by Baron Wormser

What a person desires in life
   is a properly boiled egg.
This isn’t as easy as it seems.
There must be gas and a stove,
   the gas requires pipelines, mastodon drills,
   banks that dispense the lozenge of capital.
There must be a pot, the product of mines
   and furnaces and factories,
   of dim early mornings and night-owl shifts,
   of women in kerchiefs and men with
   sweat-soaked hair.
Then water, the stuff of clouds and skies
   and God knows what causes it to happen.
There seems always too much or too little
   of it and more pipelines, meters, pumping
   stations, towers, tanks.
And salt–a miracle of the first order,
   the ace in any argument for God.
   Only God could have imagined from
   nothingness the pang of salt.
Political peace too. It should be quiet
   when one eats an egg. No political hoodlums
   knocking down doors, no lieutenants who are
   ticked off at their scheming girlfriends and
   take it out on you, no dictators
   posing as tribunes.
It should be quiet, so quiet you can hear
   the chicken, a creature usually mocked as a type
   of fool, a cluck chained to the chore of her body.
Listen, she is there, pecking at a bit of grain
   that came from nowhere. 

from When (1997)