My Love for You
  is Undying

  Mark Kozelek

Though the dead are decomposing
though my flesh and hair are thinning 
though my eye sight is fading  
though the planet is decaying 
though the haters don’t stop hating  
though the Gulf Coast is flooding 
though the news is always troubling  
though the headlines are befuddling 
though our time is disintegrating   
though our days are dissipating 
though my friends they all keep moving  
though city keeps on changing 
though the roses are drying  
though the orchid petals are falling 
my love for you is undying 

my love for you is undying
my love for you is undying
my love for you is undying

Watchin’ a fight the other night
on Valencia street with you
at The Burger Joint  

A guy from Nebraska  
against a guy from Namibia

A woman was outside on the curb crying,  
two men were and consoling her by her side

Two men were consoling her by her side,
we walked out and asked if everyone was alright
they said “yeah we’re ok 
thank you for asking 
you two have a good night.”

I went and sang some songs at The Chapel
with some interesting other singers,
like Blag Daliia from The Dwarves
and that classy Bart Davenport.

When I finished singin’ my songs a girl approached me and said “Hey,” 
I said, “You look familiar, how do I know you?”
She said “You don’t know me, my name is Vivian
and I really enjoyed your singin’—”   
I said “Thank you” and I shook her hand.

She said “I’ve listened to your music
more than I’ve ever slept.”
I had no reply to that  

Then she nodded to her friend 
then I reached for your hand
and she smiled and she left

Though my hardwood floors are getting more creaky
though an unexpected cat’s meow can get me shaking
though I dehydrate quickly when I’m leaf raking
though I’m falling asleep less than I’m waking
though my guitar tuners are oxidizing  
though with age I’m prioritizing
my work load
lowered my socializing
what used to be nothin’ 
I’m realizing  
is now all gettin’ more tiring
Though Mayweather is retiring
though my old lamps need rewiring 
though my testosterone is expiring 
though movie directors are no longer calling

My ears were ringing so I went and met you
for dinner at The Big 4
and as we got up to walk out the door a woman said
“Hey, Mr., you dropped your wallet on the floor,” 
and my jacket hit a glass, 
it fell to the floor and it crashed.
Everybody looked at us all startled  
as if our names were Jaymes and Bartles.
I said “Hey, it’s a tight space,
so spare me the pity comin from your face-lifted faces.
This could have happened to each and
everyone one of you too.”

The waiter hurried over,
said “We’re gonna have to ask you to leave sir,”
I said “Hey, I was leaving anyhow
That’s the last time you’re ever gonna see a bad guy like this that’s for sure.” 

Thank you Antonio Montana 
from a prison in Havana 
From a boat across the Atlantic
to a mansion in Miami

Though these words may need refining,
though I much prefer reclining
backstage than out front autograph signing,
though I prefer infrequent flying,
though for perfection I’ve stopped trying,
my love for you is undying 

My love for you is undying

During our long summer staycation
we attended a relatives cremation.
Her bereaved husband sat there trembling
with his cane,
our hearts were broken.
Her picture was so youthful and beautiful,
everyone was mournful and tearful.
Then his grandchildren walked him to the car,
at the end of the lawn
flowers were waiting.
Though so many there were grieving
there was no doubt and no denying
of a love undying,
of an undying love.

Though some may find my specifying agonizing and trying
long winded and unsatisfying
others may find it hypnotizing
comforting and inspiring
relatable and consoling. 

I went to the bookstore the other day,
the counter girl there was scratching at her hand.
She said she thought that it was itchy
because all the cash that she’d been handling
I said “it could be that or, depending on where you’ve been,  
it also might be bedbugs”
and she looked at me with surprised
and star struck eyes
she asked “Are you like the real,
the actual
Mark Kozelek?”
I said “Yes I am that man”
and she said “Oh my god I’m a really, really big fan”
then she said “We should totally go to Panera?”
I replied, “there’s a Panera Bread in San Francisco?”
She said “No, there’s not a Panera Bread in San Francisco and even if there was I wouldn’t meet you there anyhow,”
then someone said “Actually, there is a Panera Bread in San Francisco
on Geary and Masonic”
and she said “Well anyhow, I was just kidding, anyhow”
and then there was an awkward silence.

At first I thought she was the nicest
then suddenly she seemed cold as Isis
and this didn’t sit well on my mid-life crisis
then her boss came over and threw a wet blanket on the good vibes

He said “Sir, can I please ask you,
are you planning to buy a book?”
and I said “Well, I was, but this store smells like an old barn full of old amish musty quilts,”
he said “that'll be enough of that language sir,”
and I said “ok i'm sorry but I came in here well intentioned
and that mean spirited counter girl of yours totally hurt my feelings.”
He asked what had she done that you found so demeaning?
I said “she engaged me and then for no reason at all
venomously stung me,”
he said “I think you might be over analyzing.
That you’re exaggerating or bold faced lying”
I said “I’m not dramatizing,
fictionalizing or even slightly modifying”
He said “I think your brain may need rewiring”
I said “I think the two of you are co-conspiring.”

Then they laughed and they looked
down at their phones
then I walked out the door and was on my way home
then as I walked along the road 
my mind hypothesizing
what could have went so wrong in this liberal vegan bookstore specializing in Charles Bukowski
but doesn’t carry
the new Mike Tyson biography?

Then a sort of happiness overcame me as I began realizing
that for connection I’ll never stop trying
even if it results in my eyes crying

When I stop caring
is when I’m dead inside

My heart was now reviving,
my lips were now smiling,  
then these words began compiling
and a melody started forming

Mark Kozelek is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and occasional actor, appearing in Cameron Crowe’s critically acclaimed Almost Famous, Vanilla Sky, Steve Martin’s Shopgirl,  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, in collaboration—and including live albums—Kozelek has released over fifty albums over the course of his twenty-five year career. 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 20th, 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 and, simultaneously, the release of the Mark Kozelek and Jimmy Lavalle collaboration, Perils from the Sea. Nights of Passed Over—a collection of Mark’s lyrics—has been published in Portugal, Spain and The United States.

My Love for you is Undying’ is excerpted from Kozelek’s most recent self-titled release Mark Kozelek (Caldo Verde, 2018); the album is available to stream in full here

A regular contributor to Hotel, Kozelek appears in Hotel #3, Hotel #4, and an excerpt from the collaborative Kozelek and Yeaton record ‘Yellow Kitchen’ (which appears in full in Hotel #4) was published on the Hotel archive in 2017; see here for ‘Daffodils.’ 



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Hotel is a magazine for new approaches to fiction, non fiction & poetry & features work from established & emerging talent. Hotel provides the space for experimental reflection on literature’s status as art & cultural mediator. The magazine is bi-annual, the online archive is updated periodically.

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