Slightly Creepy Seventies Bad Poetry


Good news Dear Reaers!  I was milling around my favorite thrift store yesterday when I found this poetry book written by slighty-creepy-seventies poet extraordinaire, Rod McKuen — world renowned for his random-carriage-return, arbitrary-space-bar poetry!       

The Sound of Solitude by Rod McKuen
The Sound of Solitude by Rod McKuen. The inside jacket tells us it’s the most moving, private and essential collection he’s been willing to share  with his millions of readers (at only $9.95 per share)

I looked up the price of  The Sound of Solitude on Abe Books.  It’s worth a dollar.  And I got it for 50-cents! Ha ha!  Suckers! 

Okay, let’s get serious now and open to a poem at random from The Sound of Solitude by Rod McKuen: 

 After-Hours Acrobatics

I light one candle

With another’s flame

And getting up to leak

I look across at you

First of all, Rod, it is very dangerous to sleep with candles lit.  You really need to blow them out!  For heaven sakes, you’re going to burn the house down!  

Secondly, I’m a little concerned that you are leaking. I’m assuming you are referring to a shrapnel injury incurred while in the war, but at least you seem to be aware that leaking while lying down only makes things worse.  Okay, keep going Rod.

Still curled and sleeping

Coming back I start to pass

a mirror

I stop. Stand back and see me

naked in the candlelight

See? What did I tell you?  If you would have blown out those candles like you should have, you wouldn’t have that problem now would you?

Was I ever beautiful,

ever young or wise

deserving of your arms or other’s?

Tiny suggestion Rod,  Don’t you think saying: “deserving of your arms or, failing that, other’s would be kinder to whomever you are referring to? They might read this poem, you now.

Head-on is even harsh by candleglow

love handles bulge on either side.

 Just a thought . . . could it be that it’s your love handles that are leaking?  (I know a good Love-Handle specialist you might want to consult.)

Of what was once an unfilled frame that I hung hopes on,

never excess flesh

Oh I know what you mean! I always put excess flesh in dryer.

I look at you a second time

hoping I can dive beneath the covers

before you catch my silhouette

against the wall.

My pulse thumps loud enough

to blunt the metronome of cicada

calling to cicada,

OMG Rod!  How did you ever get yourself into such a poetic pickle?  See how complicated life gets when you don’t blow out the candles?

Now you’re going to have to call the exterminators to get rid of the cicada infestion.  I hope you’ve learned your lesson!  

(Oh and be sure to get that pulse thump checked out when you go see the Love-Handle specialist.)

Safe. I hit third base

and slide to home.

You only turn and grumble in your sleep

I do not go back to sleep

Well, maybe all you need is a few hours at the batting cages . . .

All life is spent erecting barricades

that none of us can get through

when love finally comes

And none of this would have even been an issue, Rod, if you would have just taken the time to blow out the candles.  I hate to say I told you so, but . . . well I wont’ say it, I wouldn’t want to upset you.  You might start leaking again.

Until next time . . . I love (handle specialist) you

8 thoughts on “Slightly Creepy Seventies Bad Poetry

      • Technically, that was really a senryu, a non-traditional form of haiku, but I didn’t know that until I read about haiku rules 5 minutes ago. I’ve been wrong all these years that I’ve been writing haikus (5 times, tops). I’ve always heard that with age comes wisdom, but I’m still waiting. Do we have to put in a wisdom request or something ?

        • Oh great! Yet another thing to try to remember to do! I’ve never heard of a. . . What was it again? (I’m on my phone and can’t see your comment while I’m writing this) just suffice it to say I’ve never heard of one of them either!

  1. Apart from the candles I think his main problem was to stop and look in the mirror. At some ungodly hour of the night we are far from looking our best and to be reminded of age and physical deterioration would be reason enough for his inability to sleep.

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