Jessie Janeshek – 2 poems


Channel U

Starlet theosophy                                       and water on the knee
              and the dead deer rotting buzz
and the blue vinyl case                             where I keep the gun
               the blood yarn and the dolls
and there was that time                            when I was triangled
               by moony-pale men                                   so I drew their skulls
and x-ed through their skulls                  on the driveway in chalk
               and I longed for an identity                     or the documentation of illness
or I just longed for money                        the green stretch between
               sparkly amphetamines                             two shots in my stomach

             or I smelled like chlorine in the dream
or I got my period                      was scared of the tampon
              I plucked the daffodils               the man and his dog
chasing me through the rock garden naked
              or I wanted to transgress
but they’d already carved          my face in the piano
              left out my name.

Who knew I’d become a machine
the barefoot girl running          out of the sleepover
after the pick-up          who could crave a witness
             a witch and a bitch      in the same movie
only think of one thing?
Bikini tour it’s a bore               to spend rainy days
            ricocheting in the basement      between fashion photographers
dressed like a mermaid           reading the moldy encyclopedias
            the man on the cover                   stitched like Frankenstein
so I suck cigarette butts           shatter the lion-shaped bank
            sink in the sleeping bag               in front of the closet
like it’s quicksand                     touching myself
            before I have to worry                 about the size of my arms
the photos of arrows                or my amours
            a beach picnic strange.
Through the keyhole I see science
                                                and your body in cold blood equidistant.


Channel U Do-Over/Death Melodrama

We must believe in nostalgia                                         the bedroom beyond
               not pink but leopard                            the bedroom always a gun
or two women enjoying           a censored picnic.
            I’m so scared I’ll lose it                a red-headed backstab
against my instinct.
                        I’m scared to believe in the zones so much better
                        if you wear Harlow white on the cross.

You were so careless               with beakers of plague
            crystals hanging from ceilings with porcelain legs
whatever dress you would wear to the goth club.
                        I kept asking how               do I rot all these days
                                     the lone blonde in space
                                     the lone blonde in spade-splash?
Your rubber hands                               tear at my hair
             and I’d brave the traffic for bleach
and I’d brave the night for your preservation
             the miscarriage so quick it was cinematic
a premonition in a man’s movie
             the letters, the eyelashes swimming in front of me
the smell of pet              riversick and my vanity—

I sit in the café. I cannot believe in the nostalgia
            but I send the past       a fetish, a trill
                         or I sit on the driveway
            chalk the men’s skulls             pour gas and light
or I try to walk to the river      in a green Grecian dress
                        but the town smells like fish
            or I try to drive home in the lightning
in a black Dodge Eagle. I’m told the car’s
              the safest place in a storm       but the bridge splits
so I burn the rubble                 stuffing my face
            with creamsticks and circumstance
a little ghost mother                in fur, cat-eye glasses.

                        I lie that my mother     herself is a doll
            stab you in the gut.
                                       You’ve ascended past me
                        and my mother herself             is disturbed by the sweat
                                       the lack of lungs          the hair and the sex.
                                                Sometimes I wonder
                                                why your eyes fill the peephole
                                                but during the storm
                                                I stay away from TVs.



Jessie Janeshek’s second full-length book of poems is The Shaky Phase (Stalking Horse Press, 2017). Her chapbooks are Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish (Grey Book Press, 2016), Rah-Rah Nostalgia (dancing girl press, 2016), Hardscape (Reality Beach, forthcoming), Supernoir (Grey Book Press, forthcoming), and Auto-Harlow (Shirt Pocket Press, forthcoming). Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010) is her first full-length collection. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and an M.F.A. from Emerson College. You can read more of her poetry at


About gobbet

gobbet is a literary magazine dedicated to publishing the very best experimental poetry and prose. Intellectual perversity and explorations of dark themes are positively encouraged. We are only interested in work that is progressively experimental. We want to see risks, and we want to see them pay. No previously published work. Prose should not be longer than 1000 words. There are always exceptions. Send 3-5 poems. Include a short bio. Send submissions to Work will be published every 5-10 days. We also intend to publish anthologies of selected work published in gobbet. We will do our best to reply promptly. Most submissions will receive a decision within a month.
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