An Eastern Kentucky Boy's Death Is Shining Hard And Bright In His Chest

by Zack Kouns

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

      $3 USD  or more




"An Eastern Kentucky Boy's Death" is about a child dying to the world of men, dying to himself, dying to the misery of daily life and through the miracle of death being brought forth into a kind of coalescence with something beyond himself. All music and text were written, composed, performed and produced by Zack Kouns


released November 8, 2012

Zack Kouns: Voice, Birdsong, Alto and Tenor Sax, Banjo, Violin, Double Drone Flute, Sitar, Harmonium, Drums, Guitar, Bass, Clarinet, Trumpet, Piano, Synthesizer, Electronics, Cello, Melodica, Duduk, Accordion, Processed Field Recordings



all rights reserved
Track Name: Lost and Lonesome Heart
Lost and lonesome heart
Is it your weight that I bear
But it's been so long
Since I even noticed you there
Do you remember that dog
I found in the street?
Do you remember the smell
Because of the heat?
That bloated old dog
Lying dead in the street
No one had the heart to clean him up
He was too symbolic, to bittersweet
I just had to turn away
July afternoon before the rain
I didn't treasure my sorrow
I hadn't learned to bear my pain
Sky quiet and dark
Clouds gather from the west
You could still see my death
Shining hard and bright in my chest
Track Name: Church By The Middle School
Christ doesn't look divine in this painting
He looks sad to be disfigured by His humanity
Abandoning Himself in the garden
Crying His bitter tears all alone
Surely then He must have known
That existence is a sour, unexplainable miraculous mystery
Now He's hanging from a pole
In a church by the middle school
And they'll tear Him down
And feed him to the dogs
Track Name: Boy Who Has Leukemia
Pressed against the fevered white lips of the boy who has leukemia
behind the curtain on a stage
Just like you who doesn't have the body of an adult female
You watching me disappear in and out, always away from myself
Retiring to the silence that I crave
I needed to connect more deeply to love
So I had to renounce our hearts
But, it was right for you to desire and be desired

I examine my libido
I locate its cruel and distinct defects
My defects are poetry
My defects have always been poetry
Track Name: Illinois
When we were driving through Illinois
You were putting your makeup on in the rear view mirror
You said "I can't believe we're so far away from home"

Driving you to the hospital
You just had an overdose
Calling your mother on the phone
Tell her that her little girl is slipping away
Track Name: Brother, Lead Me Home
My older brother was shot to death in a bar when I was 14 years old. Later that year I had a dream that we were passing on a staircase. In my hands I held a heavy, oval shaped obelisk. I felt so weary, I longed to drop it.

"Brother your fear and your pain are such a heavy weight; why do you keep intact something that you should shatter with your own hands?"

I said: "Remember when I got lost when me and you and daddy were hunting? I called and called and called for you, but even then my voice was soft and distant. You found me in a patch of ferns, holes in my shirt from wandering through the briars and coughing up blood. You led me home through the forest at night.

Brother, lead me home Brother lead me home
Track Name: Been A Hard Winter Home
Been a hard winter home
Grass is hard with the frost
I'm driving to find
Something that I've lost
You don't have much traction
on a road slick with snow
You just close your eyes
and learn to let go
You can hold it so tight
Muscles tense in your hand
You can pray to God
to help you understand
You can plan for today
You can dream of tomorrow
But, I'm going to a place
Where there's no sickness of sorrow
Track Name: Someone Broke Into My Uncle's House
Somebody broke into my uncle's house, dragged his wife by her hair and tied her hands behind her back. She was praying and begging for him to spare her life. He put the barrel of the gun in my uncle's mouth. He asked "where's the fucking safe," he kept asking "where's the fucking safe." My uncle told him "We don't have a safe, man. All our money's in the bank. Now, just get on out of here; I didn't see nobody's face." He put his gun against my aunt's head. He blew her brains out. He shot my uncle in my chest, then he fled into the night. You learn real young and you learn real fast that human life isn't worth much to human beings.
Track Name: I Saw the Light From Heaven Shining All Around
I found a wounded wren
Held it quivering in my hand
I knew we were the same
God gave me to understand

Chorus: I saw the light from heaven
Shining all around
I saw the light come shining
I saw the light come down

Hunted by the police
Crippled with his sins
Where his hand ends
Is where my hand begins

The man that killed my uncle
Desperate and alone
The crimes that he commited
I call those crimes my own

Car near the interstate
Dawn sky so harshly bright
If you can bear to look up
You'll see a bird in flight
Track Name: I'd Rather Be Down Some Dark Holler
The dogs are all barking. Wonder who's coming up the driveway? I go into mom's room, but she's asleep. She doesn't know who's coming for me, she doesn't understand my dread. She hasn't seen me coughing up blood, she hasn't noticed that I'm short of breath. She's got her own weight to bear. When I seem down, she'll run her hands through my hair and tell me she understands. She doesn't know me. She only knows the person that life made me. I was laying in my bedroom one night and I saw the Angel of Death. She spoke in every language at once, but I understood what she said.
Track Name: Hard And Bright In My Chest
God passed the cup to Jesus Christ
Thus, he knew his time was nigh
In the same silence and stillness of night
I knew I was going to die

Walking through the dark and lonesome forest
I crushed the baby blue tears under my feet
And I sensed that although they were broken
They were still perfectly complete

I hid my wound like an ugly secret
Buried it so deep within my chest
Until it bloomed and everyone saw it
Shining hard and bright in my chest