A few weeks back, our discussion in the POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM had mentioned the poetry of Rod McKuen. Another man of many talents, McKuen has several poetry collections to his credit as well as record albums of his song stylings. Rod fancied himself a singer. You may have heard his gravelly voiced rendition of the song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (Duet with Petula Clarke) at Christmas time. But his poetry did seem to reach a higher level.
There was a level of angst to his work, drawn from his life experiences and failed relationships. He always found a way to channel any bitterness into his worded works.
AN EXCERPT FROM "LISTEN TO THE WARM" by Rod McKuen It’s nice sometimes to open up the heart a little and let some hurt come in. It proves you’re still alive. If nothing else it says to you - clear as a high hill air, uncomfortable as diving through cold water - I’m here. However wretchedly I feel, I feel. I’m not sure why we cannot shake the old loves from our minds. It must be that we build on memory and make them more then what they were. And is the manufacture just a safe device for closing up the wall? I do remember. The only fuzzy circumstance is sometimes where and how. Why, I know. It happens just because we need to want and to be wanted, too, when love is here or gone to lie down in the darkness and listen to the warm.