The Journal of Andrew S Adams
05/11/2010 04:23 a.m.
and is gone again
The inevitable Return of the Great White Dope
08/11/2008 07:01 p.m.
So, i've been thinking.
I can't exactly determine what role poetry has in my life anymore. Sure, i've moved on to making hip-hop, and i absolutely love it (not least of all because it's about the only legitimate shot i have at turning writing into a feasible career)- but the vitality that i once possessed is not the same. I guess i've matured quite a bit and don't think that every little scribble i churn out is worth publishing- i suppose the greatest thing i've learned is how to edit myself.
My writing technique has changed completely as well- so much that what i write as hip-hop no longer seems like it's poetry to me. It used to be that i'd just throw a shit ton of imagery on a page hoping that something would stick; but behind it, there was at least some semblance of a theme or an underlying idea; the way i write now (mostly) is much more dependent upon the sound of words and how they flow together. In other words, i've transformed from focusing on both style and substance to more or less exclusively rely on style. As a result, most of what i write sounds pretty cool, but is essentially meaningless. Because of this, writing is not the same cathartic release it once was; instead, it's an intellectual exercise, more than anything. for example, the following is completely meaningless, but pretty indicative of what i've been writing like:
amass amino acids at casinos as we cash in
and we ask when we can pass em to our children with our passion
but distraction seems in fashion and we're lacking in the action
so we smash whatever faction that is acting as our stand in
i've got pages and pages of shit like this. what i tend to post on pathetic are the things that make sense on some level, and really, there's not much of that left any more. i'm pretty sure this is because i've sort of come into the view that every idea and emotion that could possibly be expressed in writing already has been, and by people who are far more talented than i am. so instead i just try to come up with the most complex turns of phrase i can possibly imagine.
so, i guess this is a roundabout way of getting to a query:
how do you personally view yourself as a writer? what things are important to you as you write a poem?
peace to all. i'm going to start posting rap lyrics more frequently here in my journal. i honestly don't believe that they belong in my library as poems, but i want to share them and try to make some progress with them nonetheless.
05/12/2008 07:12 a.m.
so, it's mothers day, or was. and it was the first one i've had without her. i remember last year, before we found out about the cancer, i told her i would treat her to a nice dinner some time. we kept putting it off, and putting it off; and then, when we found out about the cancer, it got lost in the back of the mind.
a few months later (about a month or so before she passed), we were just talking together, and she brings it up that i never took her out to dinner; she's not angry, but sad. At this exact moment, she turns to me and says that she'll probably never eat anything worth eating ever again. She starts to cry, and the look on my mother's face- tears running down her cheeks, what few hairs she had left on her head, the saddest eyes i've ever seen- was the most heartbreaking moment of my life. i think that it was the first time that either of us had really come to understand the position she was in.
it's strange. i never really cared too much about mothers day, because, well, id just rather show my mother how much i care every day. and so we never did anything special; but i think i've just reached the age where i would actually start getting into the spirit of it more; and, alas, my mother is not here anymore.
be good to your mothers. always. enjoy and cherish them while you still have the chance; let them know you love them.
i'm sorry if this is a downer.
just some thoughts.
I am currently Reflective
05/04/2008 04:24 p.m.
some time today, i should eclipse 100,000 reads in my library; sure, it's taken me oh, 6.5 years to get there (have i really been here THAT long?), but still. i feel kinda good about that.
anyway, hope all your lives are going well.
I am currently Random
i am overfull
10/31/2007 06:58 p.m.
with gratitude. this place is truly my family away from my family, truly. i can't begin to explain how much all of your comments, messages and kind gestures have meant to me; but truly, you're all amazing. thank you for the poem of the day again; and thank you for all your comments on my journals and poetry; i know that my choice of topic as of late has been rather narrow; i don't know what's going to happen from now forth in my writing, but thank you for tolerating and even helping cultivate this sudden burst of creativity.
i am touched by each and every one of you. thank you so much.
I am currently Stunned
10/27/2007 08:40 p.m.
My mother passed on this last thursday morning; i'm sorry that i haven't gotten around to sharing this with all of you here, but i have a favour to ask of all of you. i've written a piece that i'm going to read at her memorial service; a 'eulogy', if you will. since i trust this place more than i trust myself when it comes to matters of the written word, i would like to hear your thoughts/critiques of it. i realize it may be hard to do with such a personal piece, but if you have any ideas or insights or even just kind words, or anything to contribute about this, i humbly request that you let me know. i appreciate it.
My mother is someone who deserves only the most eloquent of words, and the most unique of thoughts.
My father called me a little bit after noon last thursday; i already knew what he was going to say before he said it; god has a way of letting you know these things before anyone else has a chance tell you. As i was making my way from my apartment back to my house, i took stock of everything around me; there was not a cloud in the sky, the wind was calm, and the sun shone like a beacon from god. Birds were singing joyously, and most everyone i encountered on that trip was smiling. At first, i couldn't fathom how such a beautiful day could be the backdrop to such a terrible thing; but The more i thought about it, i came to the realization that this day was my mother's soul sent out into the world; as if she had willed the weather of her last moments to be the embodiment of every good thing she'd ever done. I can not honestly ever remember a more beautiful day.
My mother and father raised three intelligent, talented children imbued with a distinct sense of knowing right from wrong; and while we sometimes got mixed up, she never loved us any less; only showed us the path to right ourselves once again. My mother was very careful, though, to never impose upon us her dreams, but one: that we find our own place in the world and be ourselves as completely as possible. I believe to that end, she succeeded. She may not have had the greatest job or lived in the greatest of places, but she and my father both worked tirelessly to give us every opportunity that they could; and for our part, we did everything we could to honor every gift they'd ever given us. The beauty of this day was her one parting gift to all of us at the end of a beautiful life. I went for a walk before going to see her; soaking in everything i could, knowing that she would much rather have that than a bunch of people standing around feeling bad for her.
When i finally made it home to see my mother and talk to her one last time, the words escaped me, just as they do now; there was nothing that i could say or do to make her feel any better, so i simply told her that i loved her- and while that one way conversation only had three words in total, it's all i needed, and all she needed.
I do not aim to mourn my mother's death here today; i think she would rather us enjoy the lives we all still have ahead of us. instead, i aim to celebrate her life- because she was not someone sadly resigned to her fate, no. Even in those last days, she exuded a kind of hope and beauty that can only come from a genuine love of everything that she'd ever done- and she wanted to make sure that we were prepared for life without her; even in all that pain and suffering she'd endured toward the end, she was as selfless as ever. So it came as a sort of relief to hear that she'd gone. She need not worry or suffer anymore, and neither do we; she is at peace. God watches her now with more capable hands than anyone in this world possesses. My father, my grandmother, my brothers and myself tried to give her every great comfort in those waning days; and while she was better cared for than any person i have ever seen, god's hands are steady as a rock.
About 20 minutes before my father called me, I woke up with a start, interrupting one of the most pleasant dreams i can ever recall; i was standing in a gigantic field with my mother, the sun was shining, and it was a perfect day. The Song "The Boxer" by Simon and Garfunkel floated through the air; the winds blew the grass all around us, but she just stood there, smiling so widely. though it was just a dream, it is an image that will stay with me forever. That particular song shades so many memories of my mother; when i was very young, we had a rust-bucket white plymouth station wagon; the only tape we had in the car was Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits, one of my mother's favourite records. I find it no coincidence that this particular song was playing; the key lyric in all of it goes "I am leaving, i am leaving, but the fighter still remains"- and in light of all that she ever fought for in our lives, it seemed almost too fitting a requiem. her spirit continues on, even after she's left. i was thankful for those last few moments that i got to spend with her; even if they were only a dream. it may seem cliche to say that she was a beautiful person who was taken from us too soon- but truly, that's exactly what she was, and so much more. i will miss her with all my heart; but her spirit lives on in the lives of any person she's ever touched, and will continue to live on forever more.
I''d like to leave you with a poem, now. I had been working on it for a couple months (starting right about when we got the diagnosis in july)- and finished it on wednesday evening; i have the feeling that god was telling me right then and there. But i'd like to share it with you.
a child folds paper to pass the time
as the wind casts
the rain into the walls;
the percussive tap fills him
with a wild abandon;
as the front door opens,
his father enters and
the paper escapes;
she is a fragile bit of
a paper crane
caught inside a hurricane
and the eye of the storm
is surely her salvation;
broken wings and all, she'll make it
and the sun will be shining as she
soars up, up, up
over the clouds of the storm
it's a clear day, and she looks down
upon a sea of raindrops, laughing;
her wings healed, her soul cleansed
her body freed from constraint.
Her love is boundless as the storms
start to clear, and down below
the child stares up in to an endless sky,
and faintly, he sees a figure pass
in front of the sun.
he folds another crane.
may peace be with her and all of you as well.
I am currently Reflective
I am listening to simon and garfunkelthe boxer
10/13/2007 05:30 p.m.
so, you might have heard. radiohead released a new album. but really, once you get past their marketing prowess and the complete shock over the mindblowingness of it all, what are you left with? is the music worth whatever you paid for it (for the record, i payed $11.72 for my copy)?
well, we are talking about radiohead here. so yes, the music is nothing if not better than most any other band working out there; but in terms of what radiohead has illustrated itself capable of doing, the music actually comes as somewhat of a disappointment, all things considered.
There is plenty of good to go around; '15 step' starts the album strong with shades of amnesiac to it; a skittery digitized 5/4 drum pattern leads in to yorke's patented vocals, singing "How come i end up where i started?"- it's interesting, because while the music is easily the most downright funky thing that radiohead have ever recorded, and suggest all sorts of new directions for the band, but what they proceed to do over the next nine tracks is well, take a look at where they've been over the last 15 years, and try to fashion it in to some sort of cohesive statement- what results is something surprising: it's kind of boring.
the fractured beauty that permuted through older tracks like 'pyramid song' and, well, most of 'kid a' seems to have been a starting point; but this sounds like it's been endlessly refined, smoothing off most of the rough edges and created a body of work that never fails to sound pretty, but isn't always that interesting. Too many slow-to-midtempo tracks grind the pace to a halt, and when they aim for a loose, unhinged rocker ("Bodysnatchers") the pieces are all there, but the band just can't make them stick together. amateurish is never a word i've used to describe radiohead, but "Bodysnatchers" might take that title. add to that the fact that it's the only real uptempo moment on the record, and you've got a great record to fall asleep to, but one that's short on all-the-way-through replay value.
The album has three standout tracks; a pittance for your average radiohead record; and, moreover, for the first time in their career, these songs sound better outside of the context of the album as opposed to being linked to the sounds around it. The aforementioned "15 Step" is a radiohead classic; "All I need" starts as a slow burn but slowly builds until the pianos crash in for the final minute of the song and blow you out of your seat. it's as intense a moment of music as you're likely to hear all year. Finally, closer "Videotape" Again aims for the haunting beauty of 'Pyramid Song", updated to a warmer setting with an interesting looping piano chord progression and sparse drumming that never quite lines up on the beat; a dizzying chorus of overdubbed thom yorke's cascades the song in ethereal beauty; 3/4 into the song some digital elements enter the picture, and it builds into one of the most perfect songs of their careers. It really does seem that this song is the perfect distillation of everything they were attempting to put on this record; the fact that it closes the record means that this is the feeling radiohead wanted to leave us with.
I know it may be bad taste to rip on something that a group of very talented artists decided to give to the masses for free; and don't get me wrong. I think what they're doing in terms of marketing is absolutely brilliant. It's interesting though; after four years, anticipation was fierce- giving us a chance to think about how long it's been since the last one might have raised expectations beyond what they could deliver on-the element of surprise and sheer novelty of it overshadows the music itself; and maybe radiohead wanted it that way. plus, seriously. who's going to diss on a world class band giving away their music for free? One would have hoped that without a label tethering them, though, that they would have really tried to push the envelope and entirely redefine music. Radiohead have this capacity; they've already done it twice in their career. instead, they've opted for their most straightforward disc since 'The Bends", and, sad as i am to say it, probably their weakest effort this side of pablo honey. I guess you can't expect a masterpiece every time out... (except for the fact that radiohead has given us 4- some might say 5- in a row).
i'm not worried though. No matter what they do, Radiohead have attained a beatles-like aura of unassailableness. They are the best and most important band of this generation, and nothing they can do will tarnish that; which means, most likely, that their next masterpiece can't be too far off. i'm already curious about the marketing campaign.
I am currently Reflective
I am listening to radioheadvideotape
same old thing, new context.
09/26/2007 07:05 a.m.
well hello there. it's been a while since i've written a journal entry here; strange, because i've actually been relatively active on the site as of late. so, go figure that one.
anyway, here's what's up in my life, and those peripheral to my life.
my mother was hospitalized last week with some sort of viral infection, or something (i'm not exactly sure WHAT it is, but still)- and she's being transfered to hospice care this week, and then, well. who knows.
through my writing here, most of you are actually more well informed than most of my friends; there's something very comforting about the infinite distance of space, and not being immediately surrounded by everyone nosing in your business. it's strange, i tend to think myself a fairly private person when it comes to dealing with my problems, but only in the real world; here, in a community where i know that there's support (and relationships i've mined over years of being here), but that support is not always in my face, it is very very comforting. I guess i'm just much better at writing down what i think than actually saying it (i am a horrible conversationalist- if i don't write down and edit what i'm saying before i say it, i rarely ever say anything illuminating. most of the things i say are completely benign.). conversation is limiting, because points can be left unarticulated; but in writing, i have infinite time to consider how to respond to everything.
and yet, in writing, i also run off on ridiculous tangents that never occur to me in conversation. (see above.)
so, essentially, my only methods of coping are writing and writing and writing.
and oh, what writing i've done.
i think this is the most creatively fertile i've ever been. i mean, sure, in high school i wrote 3 or 4 poems a day, but let's be frank. they are, for the most part, unequivocally shit. at this point though, i may not be as prolific as i once was but i'm sure consistently producing what i feel to be the best works i've ever done. and i've expanded my scope. in case you've missed my shameless self promotion like, everywhere on this site (and all over the net, for that matter), i've decided to try my hand at hip-hop. i resisted it for so long because i'd feared that i would never be taken seriously, but after seriously working at it, i feel like i've got something that i could actually show to people, so yeah. if you haven't heard it and would like to, check out myspace.com/blocksband . even if hip-hop isn't your thing, i'd still appreciate a listen. the worst that could happen is that you get a headache. best case scenario, i completely realign your long-standing perceptions of a horribly misunderstood genre, which by one means or another, leads to world peace.
i'm guessing your reaction will be somewhere in the middle. hopefully leaning towards the latter. in any case. i'm writing lyrics and beats and i'm starting to take some pride in it. i've never been overly confident in any endeavour i've ventured into. I can work up a storm of bravado, but until very recently there wasn't anything behind it. now there is a sense that i might have stumbled onto what i was meant for in this world. i hope so, because i've been without direction for a while now.
now the mind-numbing section of the entry where i complain about my non-existent love life:
my lovelife is non-existent. boo-hoo.
seriously though, last time i wrote i mentioned about a relationship crumbling and whatnot, and well, did it ever. conveniently though, right before that happened, we signed a lease on an apartment with two of our best friends; and guess who i ended up rooming with? and, guess who's addictions and vices have returned stronger than ever (this being someone who, to put it lightly, has massive issues with drug addiction and depression)?
so essentially, i've spent the last two months or so watching two of the people i care about more than anything in the world completely deteriorating.
i guess i should take solace in that all of my biggest problems are actually other people's problems, that i have nothing so significant going on in my own life that's terribly horrible. at the same time though, the people i love mean everything to me. and in that short of a span, i've lost one and am going to lose another any day now.
i'll let you know more later.
I am currently Troubled
I am listening to bright eyesi'm wide awake, it's morning
08/08/2007 07:04 a.m.
some thoughts, abruptly:
i'm feeling much better than when i wrote my last entry. it was a stressful couple of days, but i'm feeling better now.
i don't get it-i'm not bipolar, as i don't have manic episodes; but then again, i don't really fit the criteria for a straight depressive, either. i have panic attacks, but they're not consistent to the point where you could classify an anxiety disorder- i hate it when i get caught up like this. psychology was the only class that i ever really excelled in, and understood and liked- so whenever i go through something mentally abnormal, i start trying to self-diagnose, which is foolish, but cheaper than going to an actual psychologist.
all of this basically adds up to is a pile of disconnected dots.
which is more real, though: the rational process that i can go through when feeling normal that lets me eliminate all these disorders, or the intense feelings i actually have when things are going wrong? am i more able to say what is what when i am like a third person as opposed to the first person?
this is completely rambly, but i think it's kind of interesting.
i always find myself too interesting.
anyway, i've been feeling so much more creative lately, which is something positive to glean from all of this, regardless of what state i'm in.
on that note:
thank you, thank you, thank you ALL for sending one of my poems to the top of the ratings list. i know that it is extremely superficial, but my respect for the people in this community when it comes to literary matters is ridiculous. i've never had a poem reach that high before, nor will i likely ever again; but for this moment, i feel validated in dedicating part of my life to writing. it's not often that such a thing happens...
rambling again. but thank you. it means a lot to me.
also, thank you to all of you who have contacted me to see what's up and how things are going, especially kerilynn. it means a ton.
the new okkervil river record is amazing. i highly recommend it.
"and i knew then my last lines were gone
but stupidly i lingered on
all wise men know
when it's time to go,
and so i should to"
- John Allyn Smith Sails
what is it with songs about John Berryman? For those uninformed, he was a poet who jumped to his death from the washington avenue bridge here in minneapolis (if you've ever been here, it's the double decker one that's painted maroon and has the U of M logo on it)- but he must be like, the 'it' character now- because there's this song from this album, and then last year the hold steady had this song, 'stuck between stations' also about john berryman. now, stay with me while i connect these dots.
1.) i am a poet with personal tumult.
2.) a bridge just collapsed here.
3.) two songs about berryman, a poet with personal tumult
4.) that led him to jump off a bridge here.
i realize it's a loose as can be connection, but it is kind of interesting. i realize it means absolutely nothing. but still, just kind of intereting.
one last thing, i just got on to 'heroes'. that show is addictive. watch it, if you don't.
and that's all i gotta say. peace.
I am currently Thoughtfull
I am listening to Okkervil River- Our Life is Not a Movie Or Maybe
07/16/2007 07:18 a.m.
When Billy Corgan announced in 2005 that he had intentions of re-forming the seminal rock band of the nineties, it raised a few eyebrows that this announcement came on the same day that corgan's 'first' solo record, "TheFutureEmbrace" hit shelves. Approached with equal measures of hope and skepticism, many felt that this was a calculated stunt to boost his sales- It didn't even do that for Corgan, as his album dropped off the charts and the pumpkins beat went silent for a year and a half.
Then a funny thing happened, he actually recruited Jimmy Chamberlain and got to work on the album. James Iha And D'arcy Wretzky? MIA. Then word came that it would be called "Zeitgeist". Then that album artwork came out.
any remote expectations that this album might be good were quickly fleeting. the best that anyone could hope for was something shy of an embarrassment- It looked as if this was just going to be another one of Corgan's egocentric pet projects with a pumpkins sticker slapped on it.Could this new Pumpkins, consisting of only Corgan and chamberlain recapture any of the glory that made them the biggest american band of the 90's?
The first Six seconds of Zeitgeist answer that question with a resounding "Fuck Yes!" and a kick in the face to boot. Leading off with a dexterous drum intro courtesy of Chamberlain, "Doomsday Clock" re-introduces the concept of Hard rock that Corgan Reached for on "Machina: The Machines Of God"- but he actually hits his target this time. After the tepid reception Afforded to just about all of Corgan's Projects since '96 (Adore, Machina, Zwan, TheFutureEmbrace"), you can't blame corgan for feeling like he has something to prove. It gets the job done well enough- and Chamberlain, who has never on a pumpkins album been given the emphasis his talent deserves, finally gets his due and really gets to show off why he is, bar none, the best drummer working these days. "7 Shades Of Black" Continues to bring the rock; "Bleeding the Orchid" steps into mid-90s Soundgarden Territory, briefly, but the vocal harmonies all over the song make it interesting and beautiful; the guitar heroics start to shine here and they're highlighted over a lot of the rest of the record.
The first half of the album doesn't stray much from the guitars + guitars +guitars + guitars + chamberlain formula- and it's not much worse for the wear for it. With the first five tracks (even the Zwan-y "That's The Way" works out well), Zeitgeist really starts to look like it just might exceed every expectation that came along with the album. Unfortunately, the next seven tracks proceed to bring those hopes crashing down to earth faster than you can say 'Machina".
"Starz" is the first sign of trouble. aside from the horrible title, banal lyrics (okay, so no one ever listened to a pumpkins song for the lyrics), and lack of any real interesting melody, the way-too-high-in-the-mix vocals and the completely tank the song; only until the last 20 seconds of the song does a buzzing riff give the song anything interesting. by this time though, Corgan has thoroughly proven to everyone (except, perhaps, himself) that he can rock, and we're left looking for something different; and Then Comes "United States".
Every corgan project has at least one requisite overindulgent mess of of masturbatory guitar and multiple non-cohesive sections; this one actually fares better musically than any of them since 'X.Y.U.'- come to think of it, it sounds like a half-assed retread of that song; worst of all though, is Corgan's new political bent; when he sings about "Revolution", he sounds like he'd be more interested in just about ANYTHING else. The rest of the album doesn't get much better.
"Neverlost" doesn't ever take off (note to excessively pale rock stars from the midwest: Marimba doesn't belong on your album. ever.)- and the final two tracks find Corgan and Co. Exploring their Cure Fetishism; "For God and Country" (besides being horribly produced) is a song without a solid melody to stand on; "Pomp and Circumstances" Sounds like Billy tried to marry "Disintegration" with "Adore"- not a bad idea in concept- and completely and utterly fails to produce anything interesting from it.
The result is a record that splits the difference between Awesome and Awful. It's easily the weakest album in the pumpkins canon- but that was never in question. What was in question is if Corgan could remain remotely relevant over a decade after people really stopped caring about him; the answer? the Pumpkins are back. Sorta.
I am currently Bleh
I am listening to smashingpumpkins(Come On) Let's Go!
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