Is there anything Stephen King can’t do? The author of many books, short stories, and even graphic novels, has released an illustrated poem. The Dark Man is a poem he said was written back in college, and the artwork is inspired by a vision he had of a mysterious cowboy in boots and a denim jacket. What’s really interesting about this book is that it was copywrighted in 1969, but wasn’t published in 2013. I remember reading that King had the idea for Under the Dome many years before he actually sat down to write it. What else could be in that head of his that he has yet to write or have published?
The Dark Man in his characteristics and journey through the book remind me a lot of the Gunslinger, the main character of The Dark Tower series. The scenery is grim and the town he walks through is gloomy, dismal, and almost abandoned. The illustrations were done by Glen Chadbourne, who had worked with King before. The Dark Man is a shadowy character, moving through dark towns, hopping aboard trains and encountering hobos, and what remains of these towns after they are forgotten.
“I have ridden rails
and passed the smuggery
of desperate houses with counterfeit chimneys
and heard from the outside
the inside clink of cocktail ice
while closed doors broke the world”
It is a short read, yet worth picking up. In honor of national poetry month, I wanted to share this. I was surprised when I found it, and continue to be amazed by King’s creativity and imagination. If you’re a fan of his, and haven’t seen this book anywhere yet I encourage you to read it. If you’re not a King fan, and have never read any of his work, what are you waiting for – you won’t be disappointed!