15th & 16th January, 2005
Rod in ďThe Best is Yet to ComeĒ 11/6/04
Photo by Shira Greenburg ©2004 by Broadway.com. Used by Permission
A Thought for Today
When everything else fails you can always
fall back on hope.
A FLIGHT FROM6THE
NOVEMBER 13, 1998
MOMENT TO MOMENT: A HISTORY
Yesterday I answered a letter from Joanna, a young woman in New York,
who observed that I write a great many poems having to do with love.
Sometimes Iíve used romance as a canvas for an entire book. It usually
involves the device of a diary to make the individual poems come
together as a story line; And Autumn Came & Listen To The Warm were both
I do, in fact, keep a diary and a daybook, trying to jot down something
in it every day. At one point it got so personal that the first
instruction in my will now provides that upon my demise certain diaries
are to be destroyed. Secrets are secrets and I prize myself on keeping
them. Without being around to sort out the fact from fiction it doesnít
seem fair to involve others in my ramblings that might feel compromised
or ill at ease. When and how does poetry move between fact and fiction?
I donít believe any poet could tell you that. . . . this one certainly
Moment To Moment was first published by Cheval Books in 1972. In the
main it was the diary of an episode in my life that took place in
Holland. The following year a slightly revised version appeared in
England through W.H. Allen, omitting seven poems under the heading
"Sketches of Friends".
I was never completely happy with either of the first two editions of
"Moment To Moment" so later on I added several prose sections to the
Amsterdam part of the book, dropped 18 poems that had appeared in both
earlier editions under the headings "Pieces of Glass" and "Coming of
Age". And, I added 19 completely new poems based on experiences in
Mexico, entitled "A House By The Sea." This final version of the book
was published in September 1974 by Simon & Schuster in the United
States. One poem that managed to survive all three editions appears
under the title "Another Monday: Two Months Later" but is better known
as "Now I Have The Time."
What follows is a winter passage from a longer prose section entitled
Hotel De LíEurope. Two poems, "Saturday Noon" and "Saturday Night" close
out todayís flight plan.
-First published RM 11/13/98
I wake up. Wondering, not knowing where I am. What time is it? Where am
I? Geographically, Holland. In my thoughts and in my head I am no place.
Nowhere that I have been before. I am away, that much is so. Nothing is
familiar. But it has been this way for some days now.
I pass by mirrors and walk with my reflection, go out in the cold Dutch
night and see my breath before me, buy things and pay for them with
money from the bottom part of my jeans, elicit smiles and sometimes get
them back, write my name and see it on the page in front of me, throw
popcorn to those few brave birds who still brave winter. People not
known to me recognize me and so, I am.
I participate, act out, think. All these things are tangibles, done,
seen by me. I am alive. I function.
If I sleep the wrong way and wake up knotted, I feel the pain. I drink
too much and the headache every other morning is real. It takes the same
time going as it always did. I caught my finger in the door a week ago
and the swelling hasnít yet gone down. Though it almost never rings, I
answer the telephone and hear myself speak. Proof that Iím alive. I
react, I have reactions.
But I am not here; as sure as I am not in Boston or driving through
Detroit with Jack. I cannot discern how long Iíve been away or if Iím
still in transport. I might be on the edge of dying or living. Clearly I
am on the edge.
- from "Moment To Moment, 1975
on the Stanyan House logo to buy Rod McKuen books, CD's and lots more
Click on the heart logo to
subscribe to the Rod McKuen mailing list
Catch Rod McKuen live!
Click on the links below for details of
concerts and appearances.