I have been hungry many times
and a particular time that I
think of now
I was in New York city,
the night was beginning
and I was standing before the
plate glass window of a
and in that window
upon a plater
was a roasted pig,
with an apple in his mouth.
poor damned pig.
poor damned me.
beyond the pig
inside there
were the people
sitting at tables while
talking, eating, drinking.
I was not one of those people.
I felt a kinship with the pig.
we had gotten caught in the wrong
I imagined myself in the window,
eyeless, roasted, the apple in my
that would bring a crowd.
“Hey, not much rump on him!”
“His arms are too thin!”
“I can see his ribs!”

I walked away from the window.
I walked toward my room.
I still had a room.
as I walked toward my room
I began to conjecture:
could I eat some paper?
some newspaper?
maybe I could catch a rat?
a raw rat.
peel off the fur,
take out the intestines.
take out the eyes.
forgo the head, the tail.

no, I’d die of
some horrible rat disease!

I walked along.
I was so hungry that everything
looked eatable:
people, fireplugs, asphalt,
wrist watches…
my belt, my shirt.

I entered the building and
walked up the stairway to my

I sat in a chair.
I didn’t turn on the light.
I sat there and wondered if I
were crazy
because I wasn’t doing anything
to help myself.

the hunger stopped then
and I just sat there.
then I heard it:
two people in the next room
I could hear the bedsprings
and the moans.

I got up, walked out of the
room and back into the
but I walked a different
direction this time,
I walked away from the pig
in the window.
but I thought about the pig
and I decided that I’d die
rather than eat that

it began to rain.
I opened my mouth and let in the
drops…soup from the sky…

“Hey, look at that guy!”
I heard somebody say.

stupid sons of bitches, I thought,
those stupid sons of

I closed my mouth and kept

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript