The poem starts in media res—that is, right in the middle of the action. The speaker, as promised by the title, is in the act of "eating" poetry. While this is really a metaphor for the act of reading poetry, the poem treats this consumption quite literally—as if poetry were a kind of delicious, juicy meal. The speaker eats poems so voraciously, in fact, that their ink "runs from the corners of [his] mouth"—like the juice of berry, or maybe even blood.
Already, then, the poem feels strange, surreal, and darkly comic. The reader knows that people don't literally eat poetry, but presenting it in such a way paints reading poetry as something pleasurable, decadent, and sensuous. It also implies that poetry is a kind of nourishment, sustaining the imagination in the way that food sustains the body. In fact, the speaker insists that nothing else compares to the joy he feels when gobbling up poems.
This first stanza, like all the others, has three lines (making it a tercet). These are all strongly end-stopped as well, the confident periods at the end of each like implying that the speaker is in no hurry: he wants to savor every bite. Though he eats the poems furiously, nothing can pull him away from doing so—he is in a state of ecstasy and intense concentration.
The speaker's sensuous language itself serves as a kind of testament to poetry's powers. Note the rich consonance and alliteration in the first line, for example:
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
Try saying this line out loud—it's quite satisfying to the ear, and intentionally so!
Strand's characteristically off-beat humor runs throughout the poem, but there's also a serious purpose behind the eating metaphor. By centering the poem itself around something distinctly poetic—something that is clearly not true in a literal sense—the poem asks the reader to engage in the same imaginative work that the speaker so clearly relishes.