I like this…

“Pursuit” by Stephen Dobyns

Each thing I do I rush through so I can do
something else. In such a way do the days pass –
a blend of stock car racing and the never
ending building of a gothic cathedral.
Through the windows of my speeding car, I see
all that I love falling away: books unread,
jokes untold, landscapes unvisited. And why?
What treasure do I expect in my future?
Rather it is the confusion of childhood
loping behind me, the chaos in the mind,
the failure chipping away at each success.
Glancing over my shoulder I see its shape
and so move forward, as someone in the woods
at night might hear the sound of approaching feet
and stop to listen, then, instead of silence
he hears some creature trying to be silent.
What else can he do but run? Rushing blindly
down the path, stumbling, struck in the face by sticks;
the other ever closer, yet not really
hurrying or out of breath, teasing its kill.

I’m re-reading Insomnia by Stephen King right now, and he used a quote from this poem.

2 thoughts on “I like this…”

  1. I think Insomnia may be the one I couldn’t get interested in long enough to read; I generally like King but some of his stories just don’t work for me.

    Anyway, one of the things I’ve always liked about him is that he’s got to be one of the most effect users of other people’s quotes to add an extra dimension of depth to his own work.

  2. I had problems when I first read it, as well. I admit it’s not one of my favourites. I think I relate to it now because my own insomnia is in a getting-worse period. There was a line that I really liked in it, something about how insomnia really does kill people, only rather than writing “insomnia” on the death certificate, the doctor writes “suicide”.

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