Category Archives: Poetry

A Continual Interest In the Sun and Sea

continualinterestinthesunandsea

“I was a gull once
way back then
way back when
and if I hadn’t
much to do now
I’d be that again.”

-Keith Gunderson from “A Continual Interest in the Sun and Sea”

Looking around at all the neat stuff today that goes
unappreciated, while the most uninteresting and uninspiring
works get hailed as genius and trumpeted from every orifice of society….I often seek out obscure older books, records and films curious as to what classics may have unjustly went largely unnoticed in another time.

While at Bard’s Books with Ace one day, a book caught my eye called “A Continual Interest in the Sun and Sea” by Keith Gunderson, 1971. It’s a collection of untitled poems(the author hints it is really just one long poem) which as you might ascertain from the title, all relate to the experience of the sea in some way. They aren’t all about being on a boat in the ocean of course. Some relate to romantic beach adventures, the cheap amusement park atmosphere on the Santa Monica Pier, taking baths, gazing out at the stars, or merely the sea as somewhat abstract idea.

The author manages to capture the ambiance of the sea perfectly. I read this book in the bathtub in Phoenix, summer 2011… but I might as well have been sailing out of Marina Del Rey in 1965. If you have the slightest bit of imagination at your disposal, and harbor an escapist’s longing for the wonders of the sea, this book can really take you there.

25 cent photos while you wait.

I’m pleased to say also, that the author, Keith Gunderson is still alive and well teaching philosophy at the University of Minnesota, and more importantly still writing. His bio on the back of the book says that he taught philosophy at UCLA from 1964-67. With his young family he spent a good deal of time exploring the oceanic environs of southern California, picnicking by Zuma Beach or wandering around the Santa Monica Pier absorbing its circus variety of sights and sounds. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! He also apparently wrote a follow up called “Inland Missing the Sea” which appeared together with it in a later version.

[Edit: Since this review was published in 2011, Keith Gunderson passed away in 2013 at the age of 78. RIP]

http://philosophy.umn.edu/people/FacultyProfile.php?UID=gunde002


Brandon Adamson is the author of “Beatnik Fascism

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The Beginning of the End of All That is Good

The Beginning of the End of All That is Good
By Brandon Adamson

When I was a child,
things in life would be good for a long while,
and then it would end(my goodness!)
As a young teenager,
things would end just as they were getting good,
or so my feeble mind wagered at the time.
In my young adulthood,
things tended to end as I thought
they were about to begin to get good.
Amidst the present tensions,
good things seem to end even before they begin
leaving little time to wonder
what might have been.
In the future then,
all things will begin to end.

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Looking Beyond Redemption

Beyond Redemption by Brandon Adamson

“The Longest Road is the Road to Redemption”, read the
caption of a car advertisement that caught my eye
as I was flipping through the pages of an airline magazine
while flying high at one of the low points in my life.
It really runs true.
Often times the road to redemption, with time and experience,
gets longer, lonelier, and more difficult to navigate
than it ever was in the beginning.
Like the cell of a little white lie that divides and multiplies,
the path back off the beaten,
leads to ever more and more complicated math.
While in the process of attempting to redeem yourself, you end up
creating seemingly even more reasons to redeem, as you make the next
mistakes in trying to redeem yourself for past mistakes, and must then
redeem yourself for failure to redeem yourself for failing to redeem
yourself
for trying and failing miserably in the first place!
Make no mistake, it’s
like a mechanic who breaks something while trying to fix
something that he broke while trying to fix something
and so on, the road goes on and on,
until it’s just a bridge too far and you feel like giving up
enough to make you dizzy, enough to make a man off and jump.
When you’re beyond redemption,
it seems the only redemption is beyond.
From a first kiss to a lost cause,
you find yourself trapped,
caught in your own private episode of the twilight zone.
The story of redemption is the story that always works,
but hardly ever does.
The road to my own redemption
for failures and past mistakes
is indeed a long one, so wish for me safety in this unpleasant journey.
The veracity of a tenacity,
an ability to stubbornly persist and foolishly proceed
in the face of futility, but really,
absolving myself of all the guilt of the self absorbing,
amidst the broken bits of machinery
behold, an eye still gleaming,
perhaps the only redeeming quality(if any).

From my 2008 Book, SideQuests


Brandon Adamson is the author of “Beatnik Fascism

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Cockpit of Despair

Flight From The Senses by Brandon Adamson

Putting on the invisible disguise
in an effort to evade untimely demise
it’s off to navigate the maze of the skies
without a wingman, minus a stewardess,
and the crash lessons of the last
as the only guide,
such is the flight experience on the airline of the times.
turbulence from the moment you lift off the ground
from the up up uppity ups to the dipstick dippity downs-
could someone please turn this plane around?
and head back toward those now distant,
familiar sounds,
but you fear that they no longer exist.
Consulting once again the trusty oracle,
peering into your past, going back even one minute!
always reveals an inexperienced pilot..
talking to yourself on the captain’s radio
from the cockpit of despair “away we go!”
with the empty air of being alone,
the fare you pay to fly on your own.

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Remade in Their Image

Remakes for the most part are a disappointing phenomenon. Why do
people feel the need to remake classics, and redo masterpieces, thus
leaving our culture’s sacred artistic ruins in ruin. Some are simply eager
to cash in on regurgitating old ideas, as the tried and true is a proven
moneymaker, and as the antithesis of artistic integrity and fond
memories, the market hates uncertainty. Others favor remakes as an
homage to the original work, but this is merely empty and ironically,
usually the end result tends instead to be rather insulting, missing
everything, including the meaning that may have made the original
groundbreaking, or interesting, something instrumental if not
monumental in leading to its succeeding. Support for remakes also
derives from people who claim that something, whether it be a video
game, a movie, a song, needs “updating” for the new generation, so that
they may appreciate it, believing the current crop of flat screen tweens
would not have the attention span, the patience or the capacity to accept
it in it’s current antiquated state. In other words, it should be remade in
their image; fast pace, action packed, with concepts easily “graspable”,
more controversial, superficial, and basically something that’s able to
hold the attention of your average undereducated, uninterested text
messaging teenager.

Under the guise of remaking, people are in effect rewriting, even
obscuring history, as the new “appreciators” most often are not even
made aware, and may in fact never discover that a prior(superior)
version exists. Many of the things that are being remade for today’s
society are in fact things which some of us nostalgically hold near and
dear as an illustration of everything that’s wrong with (and as a form of
escapism from) today’s society. Instead of teaching people how to
appreciate old things, how to increase their attention span, and how to
grasp the concept an original masterpiece was trying to convey, they
would rather make it more “accessible” to accommodate those who
could not appreciate it, would be unable to grasp it etc, thus discarding
much of the underlying theme which they thought made it such a great
idea to remake in the first place! It’s like if someone said the Mona Lisa
should be redone, because it is too plain and young people would find it
boring or unattractive to look at. But would this be anything other than a
sad irony, a missing of the boat? Should something simply be remade
to accommodate the ignorant masses, or should people be forced to
learn to appreciate it if they are to deserve to?

Tomorrow, will people remake the remade films of today, in their own
image? so that they will be interesting to themselves?
Or wouldn’t we prefer for them to understand us, the lessons we learned,
who we really were, what we believed, what we said, what we really
meant, in our own carefully chosen words?

From my 2008 Book, SideQuests

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Of Mice and Manticores

It’s always a struggle to get to the core
of what’s eating at the heart of the manticore
Who are we?
Why are we here and what does it mean?
another day, another dream.
That’s merely the difference
between the mice and the manticores
those who are, or
at least from afar appear as worker bees,
who don’t think to know,
don’t look and just don’t care to see.
Like the martians chronicled,
their secret of life is just to be.
Then there are,
the ones who differ
meaning those who prefer
to defer to dreams,
the manticores who would be queen
part men, part lions,
alert and aware
they must beware of the three blind mice
looking for the cat.
potentially, exponentially,
they are increasing everywhere.
In the future, as in the past,
like the spirit of the pioneers,
have such creatures all but disappeared?

This poem originally was written in 2005
and appeared in my 2008 Book, SideQuests

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