Fickle Fascinations

I like a lot of things.

Month: July, 2013


Yesterday, I began Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, highlighted by io9 as essential reading for any aspiring writer. (While this post is not intended as a glowing endorsement of this book, it may well read as such). On Writing begins with fuzzy remembrance by King of his early childhood; he admits, quite refreshingly, that his memories are vague at best. It is rather reassuring we do not all have photographic cognition of our youth.

Stephen King in his natural habitat.

Stephen King in his natural habitat.

One of the first anecdotes he recounts is that of his two-year old self carrying a cement breeze-block through his garage whilst imagining the adulation of a crowd towards he, the self-proclaimed strongest boy in the world:

“Their wondering faces told the story: never had they seen such an incredibly strong kid. ‘And he’s only two! someone muttered in disbelief.” (p. 4-5)

His fantasy is quickly crushed–along with his toes–when a wasp stings his ear, causing him to drop the block on his feet. This faintly amusing, painful sounding anecdote caused me to remember–with startling clarity–a similar moment from my own childhood, albeit without the footsore denouement.

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Least Concern

Treading the familiar walk down to the subterranean,

Threading through the coughs and splutters,

And the extended hands,

He falls into step behind a winged-rat which presumes a pursuit.


The most loathed of all the city’s denizens,

That ubiquitous urbane doo,

Unloved except by those lonely old men carrying

Their plastic bags of spare, stale Hovis.


Yet pity the unlucky many,

Whose toes are ripped away,

And hobble for the slim pickings;

The crumbs from a morning roll.


(Note: should one fly over your head,

Be thankful it’s not one of those gallus gulls).


Almost trampled into the mire, the bird quickens pace,

Weaving and careening,

Frantically trying to escape,

From the commuter’s clumping boot.


Finally, as if  recalling its one gift and singular talent,

It flails out its wings and takes to flight (of sorts),

And eludes the relentless, oblivious oblivion

Of the leathered menace.