“Hands All Over” by Soundgarden


When I assemble a book, I study the albums with serious lyrical ambition. Something like, say, Exile on Main Street (or Exile in Guyville), or Graceland, or Middle Cyclone. But when I write a poem, I think about the rock anthem. Every great band has one: that song channeled from pure light and energy, so potent only a stadium and the bodies of ten thousand thrashing adolescents can contain it. For me, that song is “Hands All Over.” It’s a machine of sound, an orgasm of full-throated, rageful, God-laced bass. Anyone familiar with the dismally overproduced “Black Hole Sun” will be stunned hearing it, but this is how Soundgarden was before money and the late 90’s synthesized the rawness out of Cornell’s voice, like tucking in a kid’s shirt before church. The video, sadly, is corny as fuck. Whatever. Just turn your screen away and listen.

-Paisley Rekdal

prPaisley Rekdal’s most recent book of poems, Imaginary Vessels, is out November 2016 from Copper Canyon Press. Her newest book of nonfiction, The Broken Country, won the AWP Nonfiction Prize and will be published September 2017.

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Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

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