Click on the Stanyan logo to subscribe to the McKuen Mailing List

A Thought for Today

If you kill a friendship by thought or deed resolve not to die with your weapon in your hand.


Autumnís reach extends into the garden, but selectively Ė Hosta tips are browning and early tomato plants have lost the good fight and surrendered to the early frost. Spider snares stretch everywhere; the final silken traps laid out to grab a few more tasty snacks to fill the winter larder. Our Lady of the Legs, having covered all the bases with her web weaving, doesnít even lurk to see what hapless bug or bee sheís netted. Busy business enough checking out the snares ala Dr. Pepper at two and ten and four.

If the lengthy arms of fall have reached out to me I havenít noticed. These are busy times and much goes on while Iím at work. Even half a day off last Sunday to check out the fruit and veggies at the street market skewed and screwed my schedule. All that walking's good for the appetite particularly when the luxe awaiting is Eggs Benedict and heaps of hash-browns. But starting the week off late is still a bad beginning.

Monday was a headache figuratively and for real. The persistent throb Iíve had in my cranium hasnít gotten any better but trouping off to the doctor is comfort my clock cannot accommodate. It probably wasnít such a bright idea to push my quarterly physical ahead a week but it gave me a long, nearly uninterrupted day at the laptop while test pressings played in the background. The Christmas discs have finally gone to bed and now what remains is proofing jackets and booklets.

On to the preparation of New Ballads and The Beautiful Strangers for their digital bath and beautification. After 5 years at RCA these albums marked my transition to Warner Bros. and became my second and third platinum records for the label. Iím going back to the multi-tracks for mastering. The sound is excellent.

The combined albums contain 27 songs and Iíd like to add 2 additional tracks that were recorded for the albums but not included on the original LPís. Alas that would push the total time to nearly 80 minutes and even a 78-minute disc pushes the limit of what a commercial CDís can realistically hold so it probably wonít work.

Itís Saturday morning (just before 3:AM). I spent Friday afternoon at the first rehearsal for the Jerry Herman ďTap Your Troubles AwayĒ show next month. I had planned to come home last night and finish this diary for todayís Flight Plan but one thing led to another and when I got back I started the never ending but badly needed job of cleaning up my room . . .and, Iíve run out of time. So this ends up being a very little something for Saturday.

Sleep warm and join me tomorrow for Sundayís ĎSome of the Bestí

RM 10/13/2001 Previously unpublished.

Details of Rod's next appearance can be obtained by following the link below.

"Tap Your Troubles Away" - the music of Jerry Herman

notable birthdays Karen Akers o Lenny Bruce o Chris Carter o Lacy J. Dalton o Loraine Day o Art Garfunkel o Frank Gilroy o Cliff Gorman o Sammy Hagar o Herblock o Nancy Kerrigan o Lily Langtry o Yves Montand o Nana Mouskouri o Marie Osmond o Molly Pitcher o Kelly Preston o Jerry Rice o Irene Rich o Nipsey Russell o Paul Simon o Art Tatum o Margaret Thatcher o Pamela Tiffin o Burt Tillstrom o Robert Walker o Cornel Wilde o Demond Wilson

And a very special Happy Birthday to Anita Kerr.

Rod's random thoughts Sorrow is proof of life.

Donít compete. Youíre lesser than no man and none are better. All creatures, beings, people are unalike. How can you compete, win or lose a race, with someone other than yourself? Being you is hard enough, but someone other? Never.

To widen your life without deepening it is to weaken it.


I like my body lying next to yours.

My leg against your leg and over it
the muscle quivering to touch
the luxury of thighs that open onto thighs.
I like our sighs together and I like
my body lying next to yours at night
                       and every morning.

I wear you
coming next to you
as I would a clean cotton shirt
soft to the touch you are and tingling.
And everything you touch
is but a punctuation to yourself.

I love the loss of vagrancy inside your arms
your fingers swarming on my back
       like bees attacking single flower.
The light from out your eyelids coming.
The puzzled humming in my ear
as you nod yes not having heard
the question that I asked.
Your hair unmasked for what it is -
a tangled web of craziness
is like a whim not taken up.
So too your mouth is glowing, fair,
runs hot and cold and in no pattern.
I like our elbows, noses, knees
interrupting rhythms that should be truer.
Your breasts are skillful, genius each,
priceless in a bed world
whose currency is chance.

I love the ample of you
              and the lean
the part of you expecting flesh
and rising up to meet it.

The symmetry of you is what I love
               odd angles too
those energy-propelling sighs
and little cries from you.
The ivory underside of you
the tanned and glowing legs and arms.

I love the wind of you
as much as the unwinding.
The kindness of your inner ear
is more than I can bear to speak about.

All honey to the heart,
all pasture to the eyes
the size of you is one great breath
taken in, held, not expelled, not ever.
Ingenious are your ankles, calves, hips
Stepping-stones to that great wonder
                             on ahead.

What I love most in all the world
is my own body next to yours.
It is a vanity, a wonderful conceit.

-from ďSuspension Bridge,Ē 1984

© 1984, 1988, 1990, 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
Want to comment on today's Flight Plan?
Send e-mail to Rod McKuen or post a message at the Rod McKuen Message Center
home page   today's flight plan   flight plan archives   search this site   site map