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Plague Poems Mark LANEGAN 
& Wesley EISOLD 

Plague Poems (Heartworm Press) is a collection of 23 poems written by LANEGAN and EISOLD between February and March 2020; a number of works from the book—selected by the authors themselves—can be found below.


One jagged piece  
of dog’s chewing bone
hidden in the blue green grass

Cut my knee all the way down
to expose a piece of my own skeleton

The sun has gone and turned to ice
the hive has died down
to a colony of one

And compelled to sit through the screaming tedium
of yet one more pointless mass
my mind forcing mouth to keep itself shut

As silent as this dusty tomb
this circus wants me buried in

But not before I’m home from sea
have paid my dues
and once again
have learned my lesson

To love is to be harpooned
to love is to be eviscerated
to love is to lose your mind and heart
to love is to search in vain for heaven

            Mark LANEGAN


Airplanes are heavier than they used to be
when once they were a vehicle from
a hangover to a next
to scream a little about love
and a lot about death
now they are Christ like
in their way of denouncing
you to any one
with a prayer to be saved
and a song still unsung

I cry in the beauty
parallel with the sun
imagining all I have
in you at home
why go anywhere any more?
I don’t know!
It’s just this strange pull to survive
by going high for my lows

            Wesley EISOLD


Some chemicals have been mixed and bleed the naked
springtime trees

I stand beneath a radiated rain of dead and fallen gods

The animals run
the birds in panic
fly for shelter
where will the children play
in this last dark hotel lobby

I sit up at the bar
a waitress sweet as Mexican candy
I haven’t even got the heart
to tell these people what is coming

and cherries overgrown

and choke cherries overgrown

The chemicals have been mixed and bleed the naked
springtime trees

I stand beneath the radiated reign of some ancient and
sadistic gods

            Mark LANEGAN


When you tire of the damage
and the car crash of your heart
I will be there like a roadside mechanic
who can repair anything
except themselves

            Wesley Eisold


Cronos in the first class car of a European train
drinking sweet, sweet pink champagne
and blue-hairs drink their tea

Fields of beautiful young lovers
mowed down like swathes of of summer hay
the devil as a two horned goat
with cobra in his overcoat
has me overcome by the unending ache
to sleep until I don’t wake up

Cronos in a private room in the sleeping car
running parallel to the Italian shore
all the people here I used to love
visit in my restless, somnambulistic
and exhausted nighttime hours
and ask me where was I?
Where was I
when they most needed me?
And remind me that my memories

Are just another night of smoking cigarettes
and staring at the shadows of
a moving landscape
out of a window quietly weeping

            Mark LANEGAN


In Manchester
the year 2001
someone bought me a
New Order shirt for
putting a hairball
off of the street
in my mouth

Yet only you have left
a bad taste
in my mouth

            Wesley EISOLD


The pocketful of cigarette butts
the piss bottle
the tarp
and spoon

A wake
of dusky black vultures
feed on the carcass of someone’s
beloved pet chihuahua
flap their wings and hiss
no need to get bent out of shape, bad boys

These dinosaurs are like convicts guarding their spread
as though I’d eat from that bowl of shit you call food,

            Mark LANEGAN


Burning death incense
in the Nepalese censer you gifted me
from the home you shared with H/er
and there is no sky any more

Today is the day your bodies will sleep
in the ground like the bed
from the land you share with H/er
and there is no why any more

Living together
loving Forever
united at last

            Wesley EISOLD

Mark LANEGAN is the author of I Am The Wolf: Lyrics and Writings (Hachette Books, 2017) and Sing Backwards and Weep: A Memoir (White Rabbit, 2020); Wesley EISOLD is the author of Deathbeds and Thieves Of Youth. Both LANEGAN and EISOLD have released countless albums in various projects.


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Partner to a press called Tenement, Hotel is a publications series 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. 

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