Rod McKuen

(Apr. 29, 1933 - Jan. 29, 2015)

Listen To The Warm

Random House New York 1967
For a long time
after she closed the door behind her
and her footsteps ceased echoing down the hall,
I lay on the bed listening to the Soba man
playing his sad horn outside the window.
It's like the same Tokyo spring
I knew a year ago.
Fewer strangers walk the dark streets now
and those who do have solitary ways.
They go along their private rivers
to their private beds
and I to mine-alone
never needing the comradeship of strangers more.

Coming Close to the Earth

Cheval Books Simon and Schuster New York 1978
I love you enough
to let you run

far too much
to let you

Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows

Stanyan Street & Other Sorrows

Random House New York 1967
Riding through the cities on the train
I saw dirty people at dirty windows
and bare children walking railroad ties
chalking messages on side walks.
Sometimes there were bicycles waiting at crossings
and oxcarts carrying who knows what
and fat mamasans resting in the shade
eating rich lunches.
At the noon hour
we threw them candy bars
and cigarettes
and felt happy and foolish about it.
Children waved
Gave us the finger
and got candy bars in return.
I can't helpt thinking that we Americans
leave behind a universal sign language
in lands we occupy or conquer
a phallic finger raised to all
these people think it means hello
Good God
what are alphabets for?