Pearl Jam Days

After two shitty summers where my health was not cooperating, I finally have had a better one – not where I want to be, but better enough that I could participate in life.

The high point has been this last crazy beautiful week in Seattle, finally getting my chance to see Pearl Jam perform live in their and my hometown for The Home Shows!

It’s been a whirlwind of events this week, with the Wednesday night Home Show, the opera Thursday night, a day at Easy Street Friday, and the SubPop 30th Anniversary birthday party at Alki Beach featuring several of their rockstar label signees, including MUDHONEY — whom I never got a chance to see during the grunge heydays, just like Pearl Jam. I am making up for lost opportunity and time. I feel complete.

I also feel every aching bone and muscle in my body after being on my feet in crowds all week. I am not 14 years old anymore. My vestibular disorder has been challenged in this week of stimulation, so this next couple weeks is all about recovery, self care, and getting back on my vestibular rehab exercises which have been neglected in all the hoopla. I was determined not to let these special moments escape me, even if it meant paying for it.

I think come fall, I will have plenty of writing fuel, but for now I am living my summer like I should — in real life.

My favorite moment of the concert was when Eddie Vedder was gradually introducing band mates, he got to the story of how Randy Johnson’s favorite band was Soundgarden. The camera focused in on Matt Cameron’s face on the big screen and the crowd gave the most tender, passionate, and persistently lingering applause that wouldn’t end. He was visibly moved, and for the crowd, a very emotional moment. Longest applause of the night…we knew that moment was for Chris Cornell. Sometimes the most powerful tributes are the subtle ones.

It was all for a great cause as well, to help fight the homelessness crisis in Seattle. As the city’s boom continues to lead to greater prosperity, it has also created a greater divide between the haves and the have nots. Pearl Jam donated almost $12 MILLION to the cause through multiple efforts throughout the city. The whole city was abuzz with the marketing, and the tourists who traveled all over the world to experience PJ in the hometown.

In addition to the homelessness, we are also trying to fight the destruction of historic Seattle buildings that are its identity, and being torn down for more generic condo high rises to house the influx of Amazonian employees.

If you’ve been to Seattle, you know about the music venue The Showbox. It’s next on the chopping block. Seattle musicians are banding together to stop its demolition with a petition to the City Council to designate it as part of the Pike Place Historic District. The Showbox has been a part of Seattle’s music history for decades with the likes of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana, and so many many more having played there over the years. You can visit HistoricSeattle.org for more information.

Enjoy looking through the photos! I hope all of your summers are going well.

~ Em 8.13.18

img_5419.jpgimg_5391.jpg

Advertisements

Afloat

you died at the cusp of midnight
but no one knows for sure
the exact minute of departure
you carried your own sword

the sweat from life still dripping
down skin that kept you here
a shell around the broken
bones that never really healed

a voice that sang for the world
echoing truths in ancient air
singing intricate melodies
to words that carried fear

they carried love and anger
pain filled notes dance in black
dotted paper trails
lyrics of loss traced your tracks

giving your all to all, we followed
till your breath’s untimely end
yet we still follow to this day
since we haven’t found your end

woven like exotic tapestry
you weaved lives in decades’ time
as from restless times come beauty
painted true colors by your design

you died at the cusp of midnight
alone — so one would think,
yet souls of millions buoyed by you,
and your music won’t let us sink

afloat we travel onward
lightened by your light
never to be dimmed, nor
succumbed to endless night

~ Em C.

5.16.18

Mailman

Friday is the one year anniversary of Chris Cornell’s death. I have spent much of this year going through the grief of that loss, especially since I grew up here in Seattle during the grunge era — it is impossible to escape his essence here…he permeates every sea and mountainscape, every gray rainy day, sunny day, every bend in the road, he is the king of this city — his poetic lyrics and music are the soundtrack to my youth.

I have yet to decide how I’m going to mark the day. But, I will be sharing some of his amazing words and music in this next week. I encourage you to really read his lyrics, and listen to his bluesy soulful voice, all 4 octaves.  He simply has the best voice of his generation, and arguably all time. Rest in peace, Chris: “No one sings like you anymore.”

*

Hello don’t you know me
I’m the dirt beneath your feet
The most important fool you forgot to see
I’ve seen how you give it
Now I want you to receive
I’m sure that you would do the same for me

‘Cause I know I’m headed for the bottom
I know I’m headed for the bottom

I know I’m headed for the bottom
But I’m riding you all the way
Yeah, I’m riding you all the way
I’m riding, yeah

For all of your kisses turned to spit in my face
For all that reminds me which is my place
For all of the times when you made me disappear
This time I’m sure you will know that I’m here

‘Cause I know I’m headed for the bottom
I know I’m headed for the bottom
I know I’m headed for the bottom
But I’m riding you all the way
Yeah I’m riding you all the way
I’m riding you all the way
I’m riding you all the way
Riding, riding all the way

My place was beneath you but now I am above
And now I send you a message of love
A simple reminder of what you won’t see
A future so holy without me

I know I’m headed for the bottom
I know I’m headed for the bottom
I know I’m headed for the

But I’m riding you all the way
Yeah I’m riding you all the way
I’m riding you all the way

Oh I’m riding you, yes I’m riding you
Oh I’m riding you, yes I’m riding you
Oh I’m riding you all the way

~ Chris Cornell, “Mailman” on the album Superunknown by Soundgarden, 1994

 

Time Kept Time

time kept time, and kept us dancing
to jazz band rhythm section;
warm lights, sweat and searching hands
dip me over your lowered arm,

swooning, I fall
into swing

piano tickles my spine
in all my right places,

just like your eyes,
they glide across my pages
playing notes I’d long forgotten,

you tune me
until I sing

as liquid jazz voice melts my ice
in jaded blood frozen with loss;

remind me once more:
I’m the woman
you wanted
once upon a time…

want me again, harder
spin me again, faster

remind me to forget
the world, to become
our music

~ Em C.

4.3.18

 

 

The Times They Are A-Changin’

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call

Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

~ Bob Dylan

***

Just felt like playing this song on my harmonium today.  It has never lost its relevance as a rally cry.

This is dedicated to the badass Parkland kids who are taking care of business like the “adults” the politicians are supposed to be.

There are big things going on outside of WordPress that warrant energy and attention. And of course, as poets, we also have some civic role here to write and speak for the times. Sharing here with people who value that role is great.  I’ve been brewing on some resistance poems for a while.

However, there can be energy sucking distractions in the form of trolls and bullies in any social media arena, even WordPress. They thrive on creating drama and chaos, dragging other people into mayhem of their own delusion, imagination and creation.  Tune them out, focus on what really matters, devote love and energy to those who fill your spirit, live in the real world more than the digital, pay attention to what’s going on in the world, resist and participate, and never forget to sing once in a while.

These kids have been attacked, harassed, trolled, and bullied, even as they recover from one of the most traumatizing experiences a human can survive.  The cold, callous, sad people who have nothing better to do with their lives only find joy in other people’s misery, because they themselves are miserable.

These young adults, soon-to-be voters are examples of determination, resilience, fight, integrity, and hope.

Ignore the haters. Life is too short for that bullshit.

#marchforourlives

#neveragain
#enoughisenough
#endcyberbullying
#love
#onward

Spun

you spun
with a fire that blinded the sun
words flew like daggers glinting with hints of love
landing in soft tissue, piercing shrill notes
twisting three-hundred-sixty
degrees

you weaved
like a master of musical tapestry
take that minor and slip into a major key
dancing on ladders of scales, out of our reach
we gape-mouthed,
breathe

you teased
with low baritone growl seducing slow
take it up high with a silky string of flow
soul-shuddering soulful croon
there was no where to go, but
other worlds

far beyond,
we flew with you, never looking down
lighting our own lamp, into black expanse,
face-to-face in the dark we embraced
spoken in songs we counted on you
to sing

~ Emily C.

5.26.17

Help Save Seattle’s Pearl Jam and Soundgarden Music History!

black-dog-forge1_20170524222948703_8150863_ver1.0_640_360

During this week of mourning for Chris, more sad news has developed. Yesterday the news reported that the building that houses the basement where Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains all practiced as young bands in the ’90s is going to be put up for sale on the market.

It is under the Black Dog Forge ironworks company.  For decades fans have flocked from all over the world to visit the space.  It is still being used as a practice space for bands to this day. In a city that is on development steroids, it will no doubt be purchased and destroyed unless the Forge can come up with enough money to buy the building itself.

There is a Go Fund Me page where donations are being collected. Any amount is appreciated and even if they can’t reach the necessary target, the money will still go to a good cause in helping Black Dog Forge relocate.

I am going to try and find a way to share this link on some Pearl Jam fan pages in hopes that it will spread like wildfire.  I hope Eddie is aware, too, but not sure how to bring it to his attention.

If you feel you can donate anything, please do. And even just sharing the link would be a help because others may want to contribute.  You can share the Go Fund Me link, the news articles, and you can reblog this post here on WP to reach even more.

Thank you for your support with this, and for your understanding as I work through my time of sadness. I hope to be back to normal programming in the near future. Love, Em.

Save Seattle Music History!! ~ Go Fund Me fundraiser page

Help Save Grunge Landmark Black Dog Forge ~ a longstanding practice space for icons like Soundgarden and Pearl Jam  ~ The Stranger, Seattle

Black Dog Forge Building to be Sold ~ MyNorthwest.com

Long Live Rock ‘N Roll Campaign to Save Iconic Seattle Music Space ~ KIRO TV

20607242_1495565968.5256