Jessie Janeshek

I Open Up                 Like Your World in Leopard

Diamonds disappear and there are different ways
            to talk about darkness.
And the psychiatrist says                                  you’re feeling positive
            about the saints’ lives              about the dead babies
            under the rose pencil skirt                   your mysterious paunch
sex, sweat, and taxes                           about the will to collapse.

Think about sadness                            peekaboo tomb rules
                        long lapses at night
            how your revenge                    could not be artistic
            how your hand hurts               from touching yourself
                        from watching the jet-setting theme song
            and how the moon lapping      will not understand
            what it means to be beat up or cut up.

Why didn’t you say it was ugly
            erase all the photos                  the pathos of me, golden blonde?
I exist to make money                         temperature dropping
            an hour gone missing               fur stoles and candles
                            first day rain/favorite altar.

Children are ugly and I grew up serving
            so many masters                       faux-rococo in sticky canals.
            I became epic               tight-skirted                 animal magnetism
                        my own background hum the sad drugs.           

Call it the culture of martyrdom
            but I could spot every woman
                        steeling herself             haunting red houses
            as vintage porn melted.



                        Tell the saint’s calendar
Old Hollywood                                   bled bleach and ink
            back when we had standards and Saturdays.
Russell dark/Marilyn light
            diamonds hiding behind
the o of the Hollywood sign
            or the men trading coke under the Moulin Rouge windmill
on the Culver studio lot.

                                    Hills burning, I search for phrases
the challenge of childhood generations                        a raised swimming pool
                        in the center of western hegemony
                        in the hollowed-out rot of Palm Springs
that suppresses my synapses                             yet makes me cum.

                        Tell the saint’s calendar we need to return to nostalgia
slide the black velvet pyramid             over Montgomery Clift’s collapsed face
            wrap his bloody front teeth in the velvet
                           the hip new wave priest not showing us up
            Liz Taylor covered in pulp.

                                    We need to return to nostalgia
            the dark picnic shelter             his knuckles inside me
                        then gravel inside my knees
                        and how I infantilize               bleached public hair and blue filter
            wrap silver locks                      around my own finger
                        mail them to you         where narrative’s squishy
            on the road to the Country Club
                        where two girls lost their heads in the 60s           

sisters of never             too soft on the tongue
                        since you have to be hard not to haunt the lane
                                    in Harlowesque robes
                        haunt diamonds and science, say
                                         we’ll make you happy if not in this world
                                         at least in the next.

Jessie Janeshek's second full-length poetry collection is The Shaky Phase (Stalking Horse Press). Her chapbooks are Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish (Grey Book Press), Rah-Rah Nostalgia (dancing girl press), Supernoir (Grey Book Press), Hardscape (Reality Beach, forthcoming), and Auto-Harlow (Shirt Pocket Press, forthcoming). Invisible Mink (Iris Press) is her first full-length. 

JD Thornton