Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Every generation needs a Rod McKuen

When I was a teen in the early '80s and seeking out books of poetry in mall bookstores after being introduced to Plath in sophomore English, what I found on the mall shelves were multiple copies of Rod McKuen:

At the time, I mocked him. I wanted INTELLECT. Hard, cold KNOWLEDGE.

Spent the next 30 years with "intellect" and "hard, cold knowledge."

Today, specifically, visited the Twitter feed of Kathryn Dennis, a 20-something young woman appearing in the Bravo reality show "Southern Charm" featuring residents of Charleston, South Carolina. She'd hooked up with a 50-something denizen of the town, Thomas Ravenel, and had not one but two children with him. (They're currently involved in a nasty custody battle, although, according to what I've seen on the show, they continue to sleep together every few months.)

I feel for both of them. The man has my exact birthday (I've always liked Leo men) and quotes lines from Jane Austen and "Gone With the Wind." I find him very attractive. The girl is outraged by the man's constant infidelities (even if just emotional), as she should be.

Anyway, the Bravo season of the show just ended, with the Reunion show on yesterday. Kathryn and Thomas were nasty to each other on air, so I went to Twitter to see if there was anything more current. Saw this on Dennis's feed:

Wow. Although I immediately recognized it as "modern-day school-o-McKuen," it also was moving to me. I'd never heard of "r.m. drake" but soon discovered that his philosophies are all over the Internet:

I've been so immersed in "adult" and "academia" for the past 30 years that I'd forgotten it was possible that someone would try to say, simply, what people were feeling deep inside. Sans phony intellectual surface word-tricks with historical references.

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