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

 

Advertisements

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

Chris

*Update: Did some fine tuning on his face and added the light reflections in his hair this morning. It’s as finished as I know how to make it without any art training.

*****
Words have been hard to harness lately with the chaos in my life. But tonight, I attempted to draw again.

I don’t draw, though. I’m not trained and this may be only my third serious attempt in my life. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden…one of the most beautiful people to have lived.

Hope it passes.

Em

*I saw my vestibular therapist this week and finally have a set of exercises I have to to daily. Most acute symptoms have tapered but my brain still reacts to triggers and I have a long way to go. At least I’m trending the right way. Today was pretty good, relatively speaking. Miss you all and I will ease back as I can.

Finale

Standing on Emerald city’s edge
rainbow curtain above my head
taking long breaths in…
I lose my balance
I have forgotten my ground
my toes grip granite in vain

your voice my invisible net
saves me from inevitable death
— your voice, oh, that voice
heard now in the call of the gull
the whisper of a sail
echoing on the wings of wind
that tickles my skin deep to spirit

swaying, I flail
failing to trust in life, in love
but there you are again
catching me at sunset
rocking me still
singing me filled

there you are one more time
catching me in song
until the stars light the sky
like clockwork revealing
your diamond soul etched high

the night won’t say goodbye
even if you are only
as tangible as rolling tide
as graspable as fleeting air
as permanent as a passing cloud
flirting at the firmament

Saved by your song,
I’ll be here all night
to witness your flight
your last soundcheck
your final finale:
behind the rainbow
you bow

the city will applaud
in the wake of the bay

forever

~ Emily C.

6.30.17

 

*Friday’s sunset in Seattle. Photography by Sigma Sreedharan Photography.

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

Walk With Me

Walk with me
in the letting go
where wild dogs roam
and banshees howl

walk with me
until the moon finally sleeps
under the raging canopy
of a night
a life gone awry
awash in fiery regrets
we can’t possibly correct

now

walk with me
as we cry knowing you are gone
but our hands still grasp
holding on, holding on

walk with me while the song
says goodbye in your silent voice
that sung its final show
screamed its final note

a solo guitar strums in the wind
your eyes as dark as time
still see one last sun
my heart as good as gone

walk with me
in our letting go
letting go

let go

gone

~ Emily C.

5.25.17