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
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.