Dorothy Parker's tribute to Edgar Guest comes to mind (""I'd rather flunk a Wassermann test/ Than read a poem by. . ."") but remember that America's latest popular poet of manly sentiments has produced six hardcover books of poetry in five years which have sold eight -- count 'em -- million copies. In this volume McKuen writes of childhood and mother, loss and war, cats and love (""I shove my life/ deep into yours"") and there is a long -- for McKuen -- poem about a mountain lion, both a real and invisible ""companion."" Occasionally McKuen stumbles on a workable line, but sure as those little green apples he'll run it into the ground.