April 1, 2017 orangeq2017

the hunger artist

sam sax


after franz kafka


this was found
written in his cage:
it’s no simple feat being
able to eat and never fill.

the bizarre quarry in my stomach
that knows no bottom. before  the town
would gather to watch as i swallowed alarm
clocks and sundials whole.   they would bring
me the most obscure objects from their homes just
to watch them disappear like a coin in a well. the rusted
wrenches, the stamp collections, their great aunt’s terrible
casserole. mouths agape, the children would slip their homework
through my cage to watch equations solve themselves in my throat.

my craft, since butchered at fast food restaurants, on every screen that feeds
greedy eyes. all i ever wanted was to live like a gutter.   no one comes around
and no one cares how the garbage disposal turns. no one wanted to watch me shrink
before mirrors like a starving child. it is only when they stopped feeding me that i grew
invisible and huge.  it was their neglect that filled me  like a miserable balloon.   years later,
when i was forgotten,    they unleashed a dog in my cage.    the town gathered around to watch
it feed on me and pace in artless circles.  and i scream and i scream quiet as a foghorn breathing in.

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