No Snake or Cure
summoned and summerdone getting your hope in
the bloodsuckers crushed between pages
these poems devoid of cicadas
the house on the lane filled with stained glass
and red-bearded frackers.
I tried to be nice, let you know
they were starting the witch-hunt
paisley bodysuits and soft teenage palms
black knee-socks I’m backing away--
When the California sun began to take my hair
I pulled it to platinum
planned nights alone days in the grey bedroom with pills.
He said he’s become
the corpse-flower concubine
the hopeless hanger-on
his home a long closet.
We got off the bus in workboots
swung around the tavern
missed the parade.
Food wasn’t worth it. Neither were lilies
but I wanted to cultivate something to stay
I wanted a girlfriend to give me pink streaks
and touch up my spooky black roots
but all that I do is wait in the linear
when it will dry up like my skin.
I sang my best songs latent and dazed
in a lace dress with drug money.
Cruel Summer Hairlock Noir
the acorn scent of piss
gets me sick of systems. He kept me in the basement
called me Ecto-Harlow brought me out for nighttime blonding
breedloving at the beach. Black roots were in style
and/or neutral armpits.
I like it better in the blue car
or handcuffed playing records and sucking off the paperboy
or menstruating on a Thursday
the toychest full of moodrings a blemish on my left knee
a purple choker thick with fringe.
Not enough bleach sun and untreated words still wet
but extra ambien and dirty boardwalk roller skates
and like we used to say at limbo
how low can you go?
How low can you go when this is too much content
cockles red giraffes a patriotic thong
not an ounce of fat and she looks like a swimmer
and you can’t revive comfort.
You fish. I cut duct tape keep breaking in my boots
I seal my friends and cape away
like the bad old days.
I thought I’d find solitude in a black and white plaid apron
among consenting adults in plastic suburbia
and dark slot machines. The recipe wanes
and I sleep, don’t burn leaves. The clouds are too big.
Fleas love for warm bodies. The clouds knock my teeth out.
I just want to be lipstick suede and surface
and maybe the birds use my bush for a nest
before I descend to the underground bunker.
Jessie Janeshek's second full-length book of poems, The Shaky Phase, is forthcoming from Stalking Horse Press. Her chapbooks are Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish (Grey Book Press), Rah-Rah Nostalgia (dancing girl press), Hardscape (Reality Beach, forthcoming), and Supernoir (Grey Book Press, forthcoming.) Invisible Mink (Iris Press) 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 at jessiejaneshek.net.