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I left the house to check out an open mic night
though I was feeling very sick and my skin was a lighter shade of white
there was a young guy standing up on stage
with a menacing pose and wearing black shades
he was singing to playback and wearing a black shirt with a silver
skull logo thingy
he sang of flying around with paper wings and his grappling with Christianity

I tapped him on the shoulder and said hey I liked your set
but he just shrugged at me and I thought oh yeah I get it
the rest were artists mostly playing covers
but toward the end a woman got up and read a very vicious poem
that she had sent to an ex and she read it from her phone
it was venomous and intense and she didn't miss a beat
and after its final hard punctuated diss the whole place erupted with
applause and stood up from their seats

my nagging cough was getting worse so I had to go
but I loved all the music and the support that everyone showed
for each and every artist whether they were playing Coldplay covers
or original pieces on Seagull acoustic guitars or Casio pianos

as I left and I walked through the cafe
I noticed colorful portraits
I noticed colorful portraits on display
all for sale
Bowie and Prince and Beyonce
bright purples and blues and greens and golds
but the one that stood out was Mike Tyson
no wonder I would have bought that one too
nothing beats Mike's smile and his warrior face tattoo

came home and the lights were out in my upstairs bedroom
I had to run an extension cord from downstairs to get a bedside lamp goin'
the cough kept me up all night
and my handyman came over in the morning and he solved the problem
by hittin' a little switch on the wall he called it “a test button”
and then he told me about his sister who had passed before Christmas
due to an overdose on morphine while being hospitalized for an amputation
then he dropped me off downtown so I could get somethin' to eat and then I
walked back home through the graveyard
up hill and more and more and uphill
and by the time I got home, my cough was so bad that tears were coming out
of my eyes and I had the chills
I layed down in the back bedroom
like a KO’d fighter in a fetal position
knocked down by a hard body blow like what Roy Jones did to Virgil Hill
the room is white and cool
my girfriend will be here tomorrow it's sardines and ramen tonight
I can't wait to hear the sound of her car pullin' up the drive

it's nighttime and this cough
is killing me
I've been awake for 3 nights and every time I cough its like a Frazier hook
shakin' me
cars cars cars cars cars cars go swishing down the highway
dog dogs dogs dogs dogs dogs whoof whoof whoof whoof in the yards
the night is black black black black black black black
now its 5 a.m. and I'm coughin' like a chain smoker
asthma attack
I'm close to sleep and I feel a dream comin'
I see myself in the dream
the back of someone's head hit my forehead
there are two eyes right above my eyes
and blood is pouring from those eyes right into my eyes
I force myself to wake and not let that nightmare happen

it's 5:30 a.m. and the black night is a slightly lighter shade of black
sparrows are chirppin' and I'm on high alert
I just want to sleep I just want to fall asleep
but I can't
the cough is so painful and it keeps shaking me

I've not had a cough this bad since the winter of '93
when Katy and i spent the winter in Mendocino County
that house had a very similar vibe to this one
a wood burning stove
an awkwardly laid out old Victorian

and back then i was readin' a Hank Williams book
now I'm reading A Game of Ghosts
but I still have that old Hank Williams paperback
in my room to remind me of our time together
man how the times have changed
I now sleep next to Caroline but I'll remember you forever

now Caroline's back she brought bags of groceries and is making me chicken soup
the yard guy texts me hey amigo, i'm outside and I go out and pay him
small talk small talk small talk small talk small talk small talk small
talk small talk
small talk small talk
cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough small talk cough cough cough
cough cough cough
small talk

it's a new day now
weeks have passed
- a photo of daffodils -
ah, this is a nice surprise
this comforts me
she sent a photo of daffodils and said they came and went fast
I told her about mine and how lucky I felt to be able to see them this
year rising up
we lost track for a bit
her and I
I was in the dumps for many days and nights
and I know she was too
and that she was crying
because I was told about a message she left on someone's phone
I tried to patch things up by sending over a photo of orange California poppies
those are her favorite
but our waves at the time were still choppy
she sent a black and white of a train in Navarre
but I acted like I didn't care and I didn't respond

the hurt still lingers, but slightly less each day
I lost part of her to an illness along the way
but with each night that passes
I'm trying to make sense of it
to make peace with it
and to find a way to cope

it's Saturday morning
late April
the view is serene and holding on to bad feelings
feels inappropriate in its glory

the water is light blue at the bottom
and military tan on top
there's a light breeze in the air as I poke my head out the window

today I feel myself healing
encompassed by this beautiful view of the green hills and the water 
and looking at a photo you sent

a bouquet of daffodils

Mark Kozelek is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and occasional actor, appearing in Cameron Crowe’s critically acclaimed Almost Famous, Vanilla Sky, and as himself in Paolo Sorrentino's Youth. Initially a continuation of the now-defunct Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon is now Kozelek's primary recording moniker, named after the Korean lightweight boxer "Sung-Kil-Moon." Either as Sun Kil Moon, under his own name, or in collaboration, Kozelek has released over twenty records over the course of his twenty-year career as a solo artist. Select recent releases include the collaborative albums Mark Kozelek with Ben Boye and Jim White, 30 Seconds To The Decline Of Planet Earth with Jesu, & Yellow Kitchen with Sean Yeaton. Select solo efforts include Common as Light and Love are Red Valleys of Blood, Kozelek's latest record as Sun Kil Moon (recorded with drummer Steve Shelley), and Mark Kozelek Sings Favorites - a covers record featuring guest singers Mimi Parker, Minnie Driver, Mike Patton, Will Oldham, and Rachel Goswell - including favourite songs of Mark's friends and loved ones. In January 2016, Mark's collaboration with Justin Broadrick entitled Jesu/Sun Kil Moon was released via Caldo Verde and Rough Trade to positive reviews. Universal Themes - the 7th full length Sun Kil Moon album - was released in 2015. Benji, a sixth full length record by Sun Kil Moon, was released February 11th, 2014 and features guest musicians Steve Shelley, Will Oldham and Owen Ashworth. On August 20 of 2013, Caldo Verde released Mark Kozelek & Desertshore, the third record from Mark Kozelek and Phil Carney's side project, Desertshore. 2013 also saw the release of Like Rats, featuring an eclectic mix of covers ranging from Sonny & Cher to Bad Brains. At the same time, Mark also released two live albums and the Mark Kozelek and Jimmy Lavalle collaboration, Perils from the Sea. A hardback edition of Nights of Passed Over - a collection of Mark's lyrics - was originally published in a limited edition in Portugal in 2002. The book is now out of print.

Daffodils is excerpted from Mark Kozelek’s collaborative record, produced with Sean Yeaton of Parquet Courts, ‘Yellow Kitchen’ (Caldo Verde, 2017). 
The work can be heard in full here.

The unabridged lyrics from Kozelek’s Yellow Kitchen will appear in Hotel #4