SOME OF THE BEST
15 August. 1998

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

A Thought for Today

Luck lies in bed waiting for the postman to bring news of a legacy. Success is up at six A. M. and off to work.

 

Rod is on the road for a couple of weeks and will be back with you at the beginning of September.

Dear Rod,

Now that I'm a 'flight-plan-a-holic, I've been going back through the archives and looking at some of last year's work. Take a look at 8/15/98 and see if it's not worth reprinting. I like everything about it, but especially the poem and the essay. "People not known to me recognize me and so I am" is one of the most unusual takes on fame I have ever read.

Ginger Knowland

LATER ON

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 into the cold Dutch night and see my breath before me, buy things and pay for them with money from the bottom of my jeans. Elicit smiles and oftimes 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, and 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 hasn't yet gone down.

Though it almost never rings I answer the telephone and hear myself speak. Proof that I'm 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 I've been away or if I'm still in transport. I might be on the edge of dying or living. Clearly I am on the edge.

- From Moment To Moment, 1974 / First Flight Plan Publication 8/15/98

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

Concert & Appearance Details

notable birthdays Adam Arkin o Bernard Baruch o Coco Chanel o Connie Chung o Bill Clinton o Claude Dauphin o John Deacon o Malcolm Forbes o Peter Gallagher o Tipper Gore o Benjamin Harrison o Isaac Hayes o Billy J. Kramer o Alfred Lunt o Gerald McRaney o Colleen Moore o Diana Muldaur o Johnny Nash o Ogden Nash o Randi Oakes o Debra Paget o Matthew Perry o Gene Roddenberry o Willie Shoemaker o John Stamos o Jill St. John o LeAnn Womack o Orville Wright
Rod's random thoughts Leave your mark on something, preferably very gently.

Change today and you can make tomorrow work.

Perhaps the closer we stay to earth, the better chance we'll have of being what each of us needs in someone else.

MID AUGUST

August has been halved.
The warm part done
the cooling just now starting.
If Indian Summer is to be reality
it will congregate at noon
and disappear by five -
barring any miracle
or as yet a plan set out
                   but not disclosed.

I light the balcony
                      with candles
just before the sun takes leave
sit outside sweatered
in short pants
the phonograph pipes out
long, lean lines
           of nearly bare baroque.
Crickets count out counterpoint
as though rehearsed and listening.

It seems at times
as though each thing
                            that moves
                    upon the earth
or underneath the sky
is trying to communicate,
say something that needs saying.

For now the crickets
seem to dance to music
inaudible, but there.

These ancient dancers
                set the cats
competing for attention.
Distracted by the day’s end,
caught up in the night’s beginning
I ignore their coaxing
for a snuggle or a scratch,
a chase, a nuzzle or a rub
until they turn to one another
for games too intricate
for so-called human beings.

Quite right,
since something tells us
we are being left out
of something going on
or going, going, gone.

On this late summer evening
we should be about
the manufacture
                   of thoughts
or lack of same.

The cats are making
                abstract mischief
while I get up
to turn the record over.

- from "Watch For The Wind", 1983

 
1984, 1988, 1998, 1999 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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