Three Poems | by Jessie Janeshek

Blind Date / Channel U / Suburban Amnesia

I was behind myself
                                                no spooky action all summer
the dead becoming a friend                         almost a mother
              Today I learned more about enemies
                                         in the fall heaving bracelets and heavier breasts

in the dream kiss the little girl                 behind the satin-lined bureau
              to work up an appetite
in the dream pointy hats and why it went sour
              we grew up awry                           to be cheating wives

I never thought him an old man
              huffing on my pink and white  bike in the fire
the brass band counting down the great generation
               skin tags and flags

We don’t call today        money        electric         the leak in the dream
              and you won’t follow me to the big house
                            see what I mean?
since what can I shape
              your skinny body                        in a crochet bikini
              bandaids on nipples     and no spooky action
begging to stay               inside all summer
             make up a fake sister      the diary
on its front the little girl            with the cauliflower ear

The wall watch says             my, your hair’s getting long
                            or the songs of the strangler
               hold sex over your head
you walk across Hollywood      pill and a half
             and maybe I can kill her             all in one day
and maybe she goes     to majorette practice
             white-tipped baton        and maybe her hands
are already breaking
                                          a dreamy child, ripply, pimply, alone
                                          a die-in-your-sleep

It’s the trying to keep up with                 the witch at the door
             the cursing of vinegar
It’s the stretching of summer made me less afraid
             a night book/a day book
jewel thieves and butlers and cellophane graves

               It’s like I have two lives
count 3 / count 4 / run past the door
               the dead mother in lines
It’s like don’t be too shy
             about your twisty ring                    about your happy omen
It’s like wait for the man with a hook for a hand




Channel U / Urgency Signal / Woke Up Like This

Ask me about blind dates                   my fingerprint book
              heavy talkie cameras     a felt beauty mark
colorization           deliberate focus
             too many prescriptions               bobbing for apples at the costume party
an old man’s cold finger inside me.

A cat’s tail is part of its spine
             and it’s the contrast between
wrapping myself in the faux-fur robe
              in the hot closet
still lit by an amber                                   antler candelabra
and trying to fit in
in white angora                             that matches my bones and my hair.

              I wanted to sit on his knee
in a green velvet gown and learn about poetry
              and ask how the glamorous spider
caught the glittery fly in the hot closet
               dried blood tennis bracelet
poisoned all the strangers since it’s betrayal
               (you’ve got to be kidding)
when you ignore my transmissions
              my time-wave transitions.

Ask to count time                         or to count brassy ghosts
             crystal balls in the lilacs
burying glasses superimposed
                                                        I list all the movies too many
                                                        I lift all the hungers your moons
to wean time I wear a new face.

What do you want from me really
             what frequencies when it’s betrayal
when you ignore my sensitivities
             when the time you eat me keeps changing?

You say the problem arises
             when you choose to have a conviction
the red Peter Pan collar            matches my wave-ache
                         crystal-controlled in my kidneys.

I just don’t feel good
I want it to be over
                                                       We’ve read the records
                                                        The medics did everything
                                                                                    to oscillate

but I wanted to die
so I died with fire and ice lips.




Channel U / Ghost Dive

Say it’s ok. Open to hello
              a red-headed Harlow                      throwing stones on the water
where the rain doesn’t stop         and color is hunger
              and lightning is cunning                 so stay in the pool
or the rain doesn’t come             and time’s fucking with me
              a vampiress sitting         in her wicker chair
her purple hangnail           cushion and carrion
              her itch inside              suburban, unheimlich
and it’s been too long          rainbow sticker club bracelets
              hematite as we shake    animals off the shelves
pretending pink scarves             toothaches and stardoms
                            bar and grille private eyes

                            and I dream we’re all waiting
for bloody movies         our number one heart attacks
             and I lean against          my first boyfriend wearing
                           a torch-song print bow
and it’s all so alive        green sunsets, cheap necklaces
              play-doh      uncooked bread in a bag
and I was pastel            with new purple stretch marks
                            the blue plaid bikini
and I saw her bush       when she climbed up the pool side
              smelled the chlorine on her breath
and the first time I masturbated
              I thought of rolling                      the raft between her legs
like a cock        and I thought of us sweating
               as we played house to pretend she was pregnant

                             and the first time I masturbated
I thought it was god’s clit sliding under my fingers
             and I spent all night in my daybook
trying to keep up with the songs at the door
              thinking I could die cheaply
like Marilyn Monroe
               crystal gazer holding the powder-pink phone.




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), Supernoir (Grey Book Press, 2017), Hardscape (Reality Beach, 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 She rarely tweets @BlondeBitters.

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