Thoughts after the death of chris cornell

Seattle, a deepseated sorrow in its rusted bones, spirit of the Suquamish haircut, whores and loggers and seamen miners mills skid row underground.

(A logger a seaman an indian a whore lost their parts to the Puget Sound from the spume doth rise Seattle)

I was in a mall when I overheard on the radio that Cobain had killed himself.

My friend and I ran out, could it be true? We were boys and it broke our hearts.

Layne Staley weighed heavy on my spirit big voice small frame wasting away pale emaciated hunk of junk. (O Demri I join thee)

I had a dream about him as a ghost once when I delivered papers in Seattle

(In the nothing dark dooms of the AMs, dark and cold and salt spume air)

I myself a ghostwalker, a nothing, a wasted mess of a man who’d lost his way.

I almost didn’t make the sorrow of those hours.

 Jared my young friend who delivered papers as well wasn’t at the Georgetown warehouse one 3am. He’d shot himself in the head with a pistol I never knew why, I threw a rolled up PI off the pier into the Sound for him and I cried.

Chris Cornell just died in Detroit. If it couldn’t be Seattle, a ghost of a rusted bolt of a rock and roll city is fitting. (We walked there once to St Andrews to hear Rufus Wainwright, the city an apocalypse of empty streets and boarded windows.)

As a boy, I heard him as the voice of Gabriel, Of Gideon, of David.

He is now silent but for Valhalla.


Years past: On Capitol Hill, a phone call from my mother in law informing me in a broken tone that my wife’s younger brother had died in a car wreck in Tennessee.

(O so far away hotter than hell and humid bloodstained highway)

I was on the sidewalk on Broadway, outside of work, I dry heaved and people passing me asked if I was ok, someone put their hand on my back kindly. O Seattle.

All these deaths, the Mike Starrs and even Scott Weilands and John Baker Saunders overseen by the patron saint himself, Andy Wood.

On earth, there is a darkness that overtakes us like the rain off the Pacific.

The grunge of the flannel and dirty denim long hair and a beard hunkered on a downtown stoop against the crashing sea of suits.

The junk, the jangle, the cry of the city and spirits of the sea.

And yet, there is a ring of mountains there is the sound of the sea.

Yes, there is no better Elysium than when the sun shines in Seattle ringed by the mountains and lapped by the sea.