The Dark Man

“The Dark Man” is an early poem written by Stephen King when he was in college.

The poem follows an unnamed ‘dark man’ who rides the rails observing everything around him. The poem takes a sinister turn when the narrator confesses to rape.

I have stridden the fuming way of sun-hammered tracks and
smashed cinders;
I have ridden rails
and bumed sterno in the
gantry silence of hob jungles: I am a dark man.
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 –
and over it all a savage sickle moon that bummed my eyes with bones of light.
I have slept in glaring swamps where musk-reek rose

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Fall 1969

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