Wednesday 30th June, 2010






Rod McKuen at the
Hollywood Autograph Show







A Thought for Today

Without some "think time" we relinquish our quest for knowledge to others and are forced to accept their opinions as our own.


This One Does It For Me!

No single letter this week but over the past month or so I've received a lot of mail asking which song or poem has been Rod's most successful over the years.

It's a tough one to answer because different songs, in particular, have been popular in different parts of the world at different times and I thought the best way of tackling such questions was to remind readers of the poll we conducted here back in 2004.

The results provided a list of Top Ten favorite poems and songs as voted for by you, the readers of this web site.

Here's a reminder of the results and from my perspective the only real surprise was "If You Go Away" ranking so low down the list of songs.

All-Time Rod McKuen Favorites

The following are the results of a poll conducted among readers of this web site during March, 2004.


1. Goodbye
2. A Cat Named Sloopy
3. Stanyan Street
4. I Always Knew
5. The Art Of Catching Trains
6. Pushing The Clouds Away
7. Another Monday, Two Months Later
8. Age Is Better
9. My Friend The Sea
10. One (from Listen to the Warm)


1. I'll Catch The Sun
2. Bend Down And Touch Me
3. The World I Used To Know
4. Jean
5. Seasons In The Sun
6. The Ivy That Clings To The Wall
7. Love's Been Good To Me
8. If You Go Away
9. I'm Not Afraid
10. I Think Of You

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Catch Rod McKuen live!

Click on the links below for details of concerts and appearances.



notable birthdays Florence Ballard o Glenda Farrell o Nancy Dussault o Rupert Graves o Susan Hayward o Lena Horne o David Horowitz o Cynthia Karpa o Martin Landau o Tony Musante o Buddy Rich o Ron Swoboda o Mike Tyson o June Valli o Dave Van Ronk
Rod's random thoughts Every time we say hello to some new encounter we are on our way toward goodbye. -from Lonesome Cities

If love hasn't given you wings, do not expect to fly.

To be FOR something doesn’t necessarily mean to be AGAINST its opposite.


Angels hover in the alcoves of the stone cathedral
disguised as choirs of children. Old women,
black shoes and stockings graduating to black dresses
and the midnight hood send time backward in a bounce.

Long silences well meant to stretch a conversation
sever it instead as we go back to rooms and lofts
long corridors of nothingness, great bushels full of
nowhere, armloads of emptiness.

Has reason lost its spokes and hub? Believing
fantasy to be the only highway into life I arise and go
into the street attempting to erase reality whatever
its disguise. Like the nag who knows the curve
of every track I am soon back at the starting gate
or heading for the barn.

I set out all my candles and leave them burning
in the wind. Not content to fire a bridge or two
I dynamite the dams and drain the rivers. I waste
not time by buying time, I squander it by always
reaching far beyond my grasp. I have insured myself
against memory and being remembered.

Some of us who know that we are fragments
do not even wish to be the whole. only part of
something larger, satellites to something.

If promises were guarantees I would by now
have given half my life away and owned a half
I will not know.

The sense of solitude is that it makes no sense.
It is not condition or religion but so of itself
to be beyond description. It is as pure as
unadulterated green and clean as seas unsighted.

I am on the cusp of something. And who of us
is not? Tension drags like drops of silver in the air.
It is everywhere. Some will surrender long before
the liberating troops arrive without the truth
as armor they will wither, others may get halfway
down the block before dementia or boredom
traps them in an alleyway.

A few of us will stay on till the end and be
rewarded with whatever endings are. Here for
the long haul, I am not impatient, only weary
of an afternoon when progress has not taken up
and carried on its shoulder the flag of pride.

-from "Rusting in the Rain," 2004


If you have a favorite McKuen song, poem or story you'd like to share, or a question you need answered, drop me a line (you'll find the address on our Contact Page) and I'll feature your request right here one Wednesday soon.

-Ken, Johannesburg, South Africa, June 30

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Webmaster: Ken Blackie • Birthday Research by Wade Alexander • Poems from the collection of Jay Hagan •
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