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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, 

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

Rest And Rust (your metallic blues) In Peace


Copyright © Chris D. Aechtner | Year Posted 2017


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  1. Date: 3/4/2018 7:00:00 PM

    Your words have captivated my caged mind. Curiosity into this music that you have so wonderfully related to. When you have time point me in a direction to start listening if you would.
  1. Date: 12/15/2017 9:21:00 PM

    Very much enjoyed your creativity, Chris!
  1. Date: 9/11/2017 11:32:00 AM

    Amazing tribute. Of course, your work always inspires me.
  1. Date: 8/10/2017 4:51:00 PM

    Cool!.....Nice Poem
  1. Date: 8/10/2017 2:07:00 PM

    A great tribute and very creative Chris. Congratulations on having this poem featured. : )
  1. Date: 6/5/2017 12:24:00 PM

    Brilliantly penned. This one is a fave. xomo!
  1. Date: 5/27/2017 6:54:00 PM

    Beautifully done Chris.
  1. Date: 5/27/2017 8:43:00 AM

    this very urban and moving.
  1. Date: 5/27/2017 2:32:00 AM

    Fabulous write....
  1. 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...
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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!
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. 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 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! :)
  1. 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 ; )
  1. Date: 5/20/2017 8:09:00 AM

    More into Kurt than Chris personally, but like the way you've written this. Good stuff.
  1. 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.
  1. Date: 5/19/2017 11:48:00 PM

    You captured every emotion I was going through remembering Cornell. Thank you for this wonderful piece.
  1. 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
  1. Date: 5/19/2017 4:33:00 PM

    Congratulations, Chris, for POTD ~*
  1. 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. :-)))
  1. Date: 5/19/2017 11:48:00 AM

    Well written...Congrats on POTD