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.