Staring at Paintings, Hungry

dust II

Hemingway wrote
that he’d go to the Luxembourg, hungry,
and stare at the paintings
and this was a great way to see art.

 The protagonist in Knut Hamsun’s
novel, Hunger,
empty-bellied and delirious,
bites hard into his finger, rending flesh,
to see, I imagine, how far he’d gone.
Kafka’s “Hunger Artist” desperately performing sideshow feats
of living, of being,
and Paul Auster in his flat in Paris
translating French symbolist poetry
with a stomach groaning soliloquies.
Saroyan, in his room in New York, freezing, hair absurdly standing on end,
trying to write a story, to be a writer.
These are some tales of hunger and low strong fires
that make for compelling drama
when you, yourself, juggling
the pits and seeds,
dream of paintings
far-removed from an ordinary appetite.

About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.
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