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 jessiejaneshek.net.