Room: A Word Problem by Stephen Hastings-King


Posit a room from remembering. Arrange windows around its perimeter, a perimeter that is open, is continuously self-correcting.

Position a table. A glass with rings of red wine, cutlery and a plate. An architecture of couscous and partially chewed red meat. A salad dressed with indifference.

Make a place to sit. The setting is not yours.


On the wall a silent film grand piano is intermittently burning. Each time you watch, head cocked.

Construct a trapezoid; A the fire B the knife C a shadow that is modulating a room of remembering. D something. Over there. Somewhere.


The wave of a hand the cuff of a shirt and the ways space and duration fold into themselves.

Return to This Week’s Flash


Filed under Stephen Hastings-King

7 responses to “Room: A Word Problem by Stephen Hastings-King

  1. For some reason this reminds me of performance art. :)

  2. Al McDermid

    I personally find ‘surreal’ difficult to achieve in writing, but I sure enjoy reading it. Great stuff.

  3. stephen

    thanks for the readings & comments.

    i after i sent the piece along, i started wondering if using “you” was a register break in the word problem format. i can’t remember if algebra problems actually address a specific you, taking a break from bossing around the you in general.

  4. Al McDermid

    Word problems are already evil, but having one address you directly is down right sinister.

  5. guy

    Steve, yes, they do do that. Sometimes the description is 3rd person but the final bit of the problem is in the 2nd person imperative. I think geometry is where you find the most 2nd person imperative.

  6. Pingback: Wk #11 – Red Meat « 52|250 A Year of Flash

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s