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       FLIGHTS FROM THE PAST
JULY 31, 1998

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rod toasts the audience at The Riverton Rendezvous, July 2001. Photograph courtesy Jay Hagan.

A Thought for Today

Only the seed the old tree drops to start another cycle is of importance.

 

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

HIGHWAY ONE

I gave an old man with some packages a lift. Though his thumb had not been extended he seemed grateful. We rode together near an hour without exchanging words. On reflection I would have welcomed conversation though I made no attempt to initiate a dialogue and didn't feel uncomfortable without one. Finally he spoke and said "I get off here". I stopped, he got off and neither of us waved. It seemed an altogether civilized exchange. Will I forget to talk, except to birds? An altogether enticing thought to a cat man.

- from a journal. Previously unpublished.

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

Concert & Appearance Details

notable birthdays Hank Bauer o Bill Berry o Helena Blavatsky o Dean Cain o Geraldine Chaplin o Jim Corr o Norman Del Mar o Susan Flannery o Milton Friedman o Evonne Goolagong o Curt Gowdy o S.S. Kresge o Irv Kupcinet o Sherry Lansing o Gary Lewis o George Liberace o Maximilian II o Don Murray o France Nuyen o Peter Rosegger o J.K. Rowling o Wesley Snipes o Barry Van Dyke o Whitney Young, Jr.
Rod's random thoughts Bend a little and you straighten better.

Security is based on service.

You earn love by learning love.

THE DAY AFTER THE FORTY-EIGHTH

Another table with wooden legs.
I walk from one room to another.
She walks away toward the city.
I am still alone. In a holding pattern.
One tenant in the now-built building
has greened his balcony with Astro-turf.
The moon is not up. And not coming.
Yesterday balloons arrived. In seven colors.
The elevator opened. It was empty.
I'm told she is not coming back.
The telephone. Dennis at this hour?
The Pepsi-Cola sign lights up.
The city lights up with it.
The building now obstructs the view.
I've started writing again.

The cats are scrambling to get out.
The heat's turned off. It must be spring.
The landlord economizes. I think of moving.
They're tearing down the walls upstairs.
The cats are scratching to come in again
I must have missed the equinox
She's back. She speaks to me. I speak back.

We both say nothing. Words are vacant.
I am no longer obsessed or worry over
what goes on in the new building.
Maybe I will take an elevator ride.
Dennis calls and says
Write something nice about the rain.
My brother leaves for Costa Rica.
I write something nice about the rain.

I play again with crystal blocks.
Is that the moon? It is.
She asks if I will loan her money.
The noise upstairs is like a dozen drummers.
Someone jumped or fell from the roof
last night or early in the morning.
Icarus has blundered once again.
Dennis calls. I tell him no.
I am making a list of all my lists.
I wrote her a check in blood red ink.
Some birds I had not seen before appear.
I am not partial to the month of May.
Outside another balcony is greened.
Dennis calls. I answer, maybe.

The girl is back. She brought a rose.
God climbs the stairs for exercise.
An anthill menaces the master bedroom.
Astronauts buried my book on the moon.
The cats are chasing their own tails.
The telephone rings and rings and rings.
I am not writing. The words fail.
Nicki claws at the last balloon.
The girl keeps waving the birds away.
The L in the Pepsi-Cola sign is out.
My brother's plane has been delayed.
I'm told it's only another revolution.
Finally the last balloon explodes.
Dennis is standing outside in the hall.
A table with wooden legs. Nothing changes.

 - from "The Beautiful Strangers", 1981

1970, 1981, 1986, 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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