18 August, 1998













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Rod in action at The Riverton Rendezvous, July 2001. 
Photograph courtesy Jay Hagan.

A Thought for Today

Nothing beats sunlight in judging a work of art.


Rod is on the road for a couple of weeks and will be back with you sometime during August.


In August of 1988 you wrote a very important message that was part humor and part morality lesson and you added one of my favorite McKuen poems from "The Beautiful Strangers," "They Find You".

I consider it one of the best.

Jay Kogen, Amsterdam Holland.


It's all right to be eccentric, but like dying unexpectedly or drinking a little too much, try to be odd or odd ball on your own time. For one thing it saves a lot of explanation later, for another your unusual behavior might be considered beyond unusual by another. How much nicer to be thought of as slightly eccentric than dismissed as certifiably crazy.

Never use naughty words when pretty words will do. Used in every conversation, shit is mere sensation, heavy, as opposed to do-do. Say fornicate instead of screw. The former has more syllables and can be stretched out to better effect. Besides it's hard to say fornicate without smiling.

The only think more useless than a telephone in an automobile is a telephone at home. Oh, the inhumanity . . .people can reach you, disturb you, invade your thoughts and offer you trips. Folks can become downright personal on the telephone. You might be bonding with your cat, the phone rings and somebody wants to talk about their dog.

Chat rooms are not all that chummy. Too many questions. If you say you're young they expect you to be [or hope you are] a sex fiend. If you admit to being a little more mature in life they assume you're too old to cut the mustard or ask if they can come and nurse you. And you know where that leads. Mind you, I'm developing some more rules but these should be enough for a Tuesday in mid-August and anyway I'm late. Beau has promised to navigate me to room where a certain German dominatrix is said to be amusing.

RM First published 18 August, 1998

Rod McKuen concert and appearance details can be obtained via the link below.

Concert & Appearance Details

notable birthdays Conrad Aiken o Loni Anderson o Neil Armstrong o Tom Drake o Patrick Ewing o Roman Gabriel o Vernon Gosdin o John Huston o Damita Jo o Kajol o Guy de Maupassant o Maureen McCormick o Dwight Michaels o Reginald Owen o John Saxon o Jonathon Silverman o Erika Slezak o Sammi Smith o Jeri Southern o Geraldine Stutz o Robert Taylor o Joan Weldon
Rod's random thoughts If you hear the music, join the singing.

Being a lover doesn't necessarily make one capable of loving.

The best way to climb a hill is to put one foot in front of the other and start up.


They find you in the darkest night
in all the central parks,
at every shopping center mall,
along each stitched-up lane
and bowed, leafytree cotillion,
in the school, pool, fool-around rooms,
and at the smelly deli,
where tired office workers
nightly order carrot salad
and chickens from a spit.
Inside, outside,
they find you.

As each river
never fails to meet its ocean
as water levels into water
and earth goes back to earth again
so too, people of like needs
find and find out about each other.
However long the wait.

Should you travel from yourself,
beginning your ascent/descent
                          toward eternity
before the final door is closed,
the last mile hiked,
like as not they'll find you.

Even those still unaware
that they've been lost
and those too occupied
to see the searcher coming
                   and look up
will not be left
somewhere between the dark
                       and sunlight.
They too will be uncovered
and found out.

So it is that life
takes care of us
if we will let it.
Be not afraid, they find you.

Always waiting is a risk.
Whole lifetimes,
even if they last but minutes,
are lost and not regained
while we depend on others
to be the foragers and pioneers.

All of us are prospectors
fossicking for love
                tunneling through
the terminals of time,
little more than evening vespers.
Perhaps we underestimate our worth
for there are strangers out there
strong and warm and beautiful
who look for us.

Do not wait.
Love is not so much
              a double street
as it is a multi-colored maze.

Hide-and-seek is a single game
as finders and the found
are the same sides of a single coin
tossed in the air and spinning.
There are no losers
when everyone is bent on winning.
And if you go out
looking for them
surely they will find you
sooner than expected.

-from "The Beautiful Strangers", 1981

1981, 1988, 1998, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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