Break This Rusty Cage: Tribute To Chris Cornell

Chris D. Aechtner Avatar Chris D. Aechtner - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled Break This Rusty Cage: Tribute To Chris Cornell which was written by poet Chris D. Aechtner. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

Read Poems by Chris D. Aechtner

Best Chris D. Aechtner Poems

+ Follow Poet

The poem is below...


Break This Rusty Cage: Tribute To Chris Cornell

You hard-wired me awake,
pointed your Badmotorfinger at a softened lock—
I mind-cut through rusted steel

and ran 

unlike motors that run on crucifix pitch
and exhumations of dinosaur bones

Seattle was the garden of sound:
a down-tuned spark 
for a daydream nation
trying to outshine the blisters
of forests that burned at both ends

Anthems for an alienated youth
who no longer saw God 
in the preacher's cataracts,
didn't nibble on dangled, plastic fruit,
and melted full metal jackets
into foggy distortion pedals
 
We outlived Kurt, whose blue still remains 
in bleached mud beneath evergreens
 
And after it all (in all), 
you crept back into the rusty cage
you'd warned us about in four octaves

I'm gonna walk the river down to muddy waters
where its rust begins to stain the shore—
follow its reflections like a pack of wolves

and run


May 18th, 2017
_____


"When the forest burns along the road
Like God's eyes in my headlights
When the dogs are looking for their bones
And it's raining ice picks on your steel shore

I'm gonna break I'm gonna break my—
I'm gonna break my rusty cage and run"  

—Chris Cornell 

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, 
BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC
_____




Chris Cornell, July 20th, 1964 - May 17th, 2017

Rest And Rust (your metallic blues) In Peace


+/-


Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

Post Comments

Please Login to post a comment
Date: 9/11/2017 11:32:00 AM
Amazing tribute. Of course, your work always inspires me.
Login to Reply
Date: 8/10/2017 4:51:00 PM
Cool!.....Nice Poem
Login to Reply
Date: 8/10/2017 2:07:00 PM
A great tribute and very creative Chris. Congratulations on having this poem featured. : )
Login to Reply
Date: 6/5/2017 12:24:00 PM
Brilliantly penned. This one is a fave. xomo!
Login to Reply
Date: 5/27/2017 6:54:00 PM
Beautifully done Chris.
Login to Reply
Date: 5/27/2017 8:43:00 AM
this very urban and moving.
Login to Reply
Date: 5/27/2017 2:32:00 AM
Fabulous write....
Login to Reply
Date: 5/26/2017 8:14:00 AM
Great references and a lovely dedication to the rock god who is Chris Cornell. Also someone needs to stop chopping onions...
Login to Reply
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/26/2017 6:14:00 PM
Thanks for reading, Fatima. Onions are a healthy cleanser.
Date: 5/24/2017 7:52:00 AM
Yes, so full of images it has the feel of a sad song with more thoughts that live on like his songs always will like Stevie Ray will never die. Never simple - always creative, your words do him proud.
Login to Reply
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/25/2017 1:45:00 PM
Thanks, Craig. You've been encouraging over the years (even when we fought/fight :D).
Date: 5/23/2017 9:56:00 AM
Great tribute to Chris Cornell, loved soundgarden, man those 4 octaves were amazing, he was ranked 8 or 9 on all time best rock singers, I would rank him higher possibly 4 or 5. Congrats on POTD.
Login to Reply
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/23/2017 12:30:00 PM
Thanks for reading, and for this cool comment.
Date: 5/22/2017 1:20:00 PM
geee. my replies aren't going through? I keep re-typing them, urrgh... sorry. Thanks for replying with what you have -- no need to reply to all of them, pls just chalk it up to questions posted out there ;) I agree with you how music is intrinsic. I'm just on weird question mode. I do vaguely recall reading something about that on music, esp to how earlier tribes created their music. beautiful origins!
Login to Reply
Date: 5/22/2017 12:58:00 PM
errr. getting that error when I hit reply-- sorry for bombarding your poem but it's just frustrating why it won't post (maybe methinks Soup is still me to quit it)... one last--will just paste it here.... I wanted to add --babble on is more like it- Sorry my mind's all over the place, this has just been on my mind before & reading your tribute, which has its personal tones to it, made those thoughts resurface...btw my favorite part here is the last stanza, makes me also think of bloodstones
Login to Reply
k. Avatar
kabuteng P.iNk k.
Date: 5/22/2017 1:26:00 PM
I always learn something new from you, thanks for that info... it is really interesting and amazing how different chemical compositions can result in different colors. The parallelism that you mention is really cool, thank you for sharing!
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/22/2017 1:04:00 PM
Bloodstones, eh. Interesting. Depending on what type and composition of Jasper, the bloodstone can parallel the red/rust (bark) and green of a Douglas Fir and other evergreens that are so symbolic of the Pacific Northwest (as well as some of the river systems that have murky, green water, and rusty-red shorelines along certain stretches).
k. Avatar
kabuteng P.iNk k.
Date: 5/22/2017 1:00:00 PM
*is telling, not is still-- wow didn't know there was a closet Bisaya in me
Date: 5/22/2017 12:39:00 PM
I am not familiar with him either (goes to show the extent of my music scene knowledge) For a wee, wee second there, I read Kurt (thought of Kurt Russel, oops!!) --saw evergreen and figured you were talking about Kurt Cobain, shucks, sorry about that :( but even if I'm not, what struck me here is of how a musician, an artist, for that matter, can have such an impact on your life. It's pieces like this that jar me with the reality (& beauty) of just how powerful words, music can be. cont'd
Login to Reply
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/22/2017 1:00:00 PM
First, thanks for reading. You pose a lot of questions that could seemingly take forever to discuss lol. The first music that was made, paralleled and reflected the heartbeat and other sounds of nature. Music is simultaneously connected to a primordial part of us, and a higher consciousness.
k. Avatar
kabuteng P.iNk k.
Date: 5/22/2017 12:47:00 PM
oh shucks, I keep getting that system error 500...perhaps too lengthy replies....what I mean is, there are times when I'm just kinda awestruck by the dynamics of it all; makes me pause when I think of it-- when someone sings somebody else's songs, reads their music & actually makes a difference in their lives. Makes me wonder what they (musician, etc) are thinking/feeling. I mean, do they even realize the impact they are making in individual lives? feels massive, and I wonder at times if it could be too much pressure on them, or if they even think that at all?
Date: 5/20/2017 9:28:00 PM
had to ask my daughter who Cornell was...she caught me up pronto! a great write with nostalgic and yet futuristic overtones of dread...it would be nice to run free as the wolves but bleached mud and rust stained shores aren't very inviting; esp. liked those motors running on crucifix pitch and dinosaurs, outshining those blistered forests burning at both ends..and..etc, etc, etc, I'll just say wow! :)
Login to Reply
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/22/2017 12:54:00 PM
lol! I'm sure that you're the opposite of a dunce. Again, I simply wanted to explain my intentions for the ending (which came about because I interpreted your comment in a certain way). I could've simply not said anything about it lol.
tekai Avatar
taai tekai
Date: 5/21/2017 7:08:00 PM
almost?!! you've highlighted me as the complete dunce! unacceptable in the domain of illusive metaphors! lol!! thanks a lot :) this reader appreciates the partial explanation :)
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/21/2017 5:58:00 PM
I should almost apologize for taking the liberty in using your comment as a window with which to explain a few of the allusions and metaphors in this poem. Ha! But, I only explained the most obvious ones (for me). I don't like to give away everything; I believe that it can ruin the experience for the reader. ---- Indie scene: a localized, independent music-oriented community of bands, their influences, and their audiences. These local scenes can play a key role in music history, and often lead to the development of influential genres in the mainstream music industry.
tekai Avatar
taai tekai
Date: 5/21/2017 5:41:00 PM
I'm getting quite an education here :) :) did not know about that deal with rust and basically an ignoramus when it comes to all of those bands except I've heard of Black Sabbath and Neil Young... now I'm curious what is meant by 'indie' scene...cars comes to mind ...
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/21/2017 4:15:00 PM
Oh. My rambling had to do with my interpretation of this part in your comment: "...it would be nice to run free as the wolves but bleached mud and rust stained shores aren't very inviting". See, it's always about perception and interpretation. Since I've already rambled (lol), I'll add that "rust" is something that was coined in the 70's by bands like Black Sabbath, and other musicians such as Neil Young; it became deeply embedded in the Pacific Northwest indie scene (with bands like Green River, Melvins, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, Soundgarden, etc—even before Nirvana produced "Nevermind" and the band became more mainstream). It's one of those codes that can become elusive if one attempts to define it too closely. "Breaking the rusty cage" can imply the obvious, and it can also mean, "always stay true to yourself". "Rust" on its own can imply different things, especially when one considers that iron is in our blood :D
tekai Avatar
taai tekai
Date: 5/21/2017 3:44:00 PM
thanks for the explanation...not too familiar with Cobain either except I couldn't help hearing about him on the news etc. some years ago ..no, I did not feel your ending was bleak - it was like a breaking free from all that bleakness you described so well :)
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/21/2017 2:41:00 PM
cont'd -- Creative writing is (obviously) always open for interpretation. The last stanza isn't intended to be bleak or uninviting. Actually, its true intent is hopeful. From top to bottom, the piece has keywords that can make sense for people from my generation, especially for people who, such as myself, grew up in the Pacific Northwest during the 70's, 80's, and early 90's; I used many allusions from that area, scene, and time period. I had someone from my generation read this piece off-site, and the poem's message was understood in its intended way. Even though I realized that a lot of Soupers might not directly relate to, or catch the keywords/codes of something that they weren't a part of, I posted it regardless, since I figured that people could interpret it however they did/wanted to (including bleak), and possibly relate to it in their own way. That said, I wanted to explain that the ending isn't intended as being bleak or uninviting.
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/21/2017 2:38:00 PM
I'm glad that you enjoyed those parts :D ---- "[...] bleached mud beneath evergreens", is allusion and social commentary that involves an area of Puget Sound, and lyrics written by Kurt Cobain. Depending on perspective, that time period can definitely be interpreted as having been bleak.
Date: 5/20/2017 10:26:00 AM
This is beautiful Chris. The way you write is today's poetry you see in books and it shines with its own brilliant light! 7 ; )
Login to Reply
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/21/2017 2:36:00 PM
Thanks for your encouraging words, Connie :D
Date: 5/20/2017 8:09:00 AM
More into Kurt than Chris personally, but like the way you've written this. Good stuff.
Login to Reply
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/21/2017 2:35:00 PM
I loved Kurt. Actually, I still do. He was an integral part, and that's why he was included. But, overall, this one is for Chris. Thanks for reading.
Date: 5/20/2017 2:59:00 AM
Rest and rust. Love that. I only start to listen to this music because of his death. Disadvantages of being young. Wonderful tribute.
Login to Reply
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/21/2017 2:34:00 PM
Thanks, Darren. Yeah, it happened before you were born. Hey, there are many advantages to being young :D
Date: 5/19/2017 11:48:00 PM
You captured every emotion I was going through remembering Cornell. Thank you for this wonderful piece.
Login to Reply
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/21/2017 2:33:00 PM
And, thank you for this comment; these types of comments are some of the best ones for me to receive.
Date: 5/19/2017 5:08:00 PM
So good. Very deep and I can h hear it. Amazing job. Poem of the day was well earned
Login to Reply
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/21/2017 2:31:00 PM
Thanks for the encouraging words.
Date: 5/19/2017 4:33:00 PM
Congratulations, Chris, for POTD ~*
Login to Reply
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/21/2017 2:30:00 PM
Thanks for reading.
Date: 5/19/2017 12:16:00 PM
Powerful hurt in these words. Losing a brother and a shepherd can wring out auto-poesy. POTD indeed, but more for the author. :-)))
Login to Reply
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/21/2017 2:29:00 PM
Right on, write on. It's nice to see you drop by.
Date: 5/19/2017 11:48:00 AM
Well written...Congrats on POTD
Login to Reply
Aechtner Avatar
Chris D. Aechtner
Date: 5/21/2017 2:28:00 PM
Thanks for spending the time.