Beyond the Boardwalk

By Rod McKuen
ISBN 13: 978-0-9103-9801-8

Publication Year: 1976

Tags: Poetry, Beat Poets, Lamentations

Rating: ★★★☆☆

My paperback copy of this book has McKuen’s autograph, from 1976, displayed in prominent Magic Marker (and dated) on the front cover. My friend, who was working for the now-defunct Waldenbooks chain, got the book and autograph for me when the poet toured; Russ knew that I’d been a fan since I first discovered McKuen’s work in 1968 (I was 10 at the time). I only recently re-discovered it – I had preserved it so carefully that it was lost in some of my older boxes.

This is the first of McKuen’s works (to my knowledge) to comment on his then-newfound fame in the Introduction. He observes, “If I sell five copies of a book, [critics] are unanimous in their praise. If I sell ten, I can expect one dissent. If the number grows to ten thousand, my reviewers will always be ‘mixed.’ At ten million, I have detractors of every persuasion, most notably those reviewers who read the statistics not the books. …I say again, the poem is me. I lived, or am living it. I accept no advice on how it could or should be lived.” (p.11 of this edition) Continue reading “Beyond the Boardwalk”