sporklet 10

Jessie Janeshek

House of Wax/Open It Back up

           We have scotch in common
ending up in a weepy             but we must be dead now.
           My name is two spiders         but I’m the same person, a playgirl.

I bought all the hairclips and didn’t use any
           I died all the orange    hangy-down deaths
I hoarded those hairclips                   I thought they looked 80s
           and it’s been a month since black rosary anything.


           Isn’t it nice to lean against a live pillow
to put on a jumpsuit               and be called a whore?
The makeups tutorials            a horror fantasia
           as you say we’re entering our sexual peak.


Bloodlet, I throw back            the bunny ear comfort
           pack it in before I switch on the Predicta TV
                      sad as the long-lashed deer
           and it’s too hot in here            but maybe I’m getting used to it
but I won’t get through to you before nighttime comes on.

House of Wax/Good Scotch for Pain

           open it back up           trounce the romance
I can’t take this darkness         snow but no ice cream
                      milkmaid-tight braids.
The cat ran away                   Lombard was an absurdist
           however there is no emergency
leaning over the crystal ball   beautifully lit
           no lesbian scenes cut.
                                          Lombard was a child once
and there was that time I was made to lose the spelling bee
           slipped in my black and blue checkered dress
cracked my head off the locker           and it was a rumor how to spell star
                      how to deal with the villain
at the slumber party    dressed like a showgirl
           how to deal with the villain     when you could not show your tits.


                      I told the girls I was in the sleeping bag
with Charlie but there was no emergency
           the cat’s ears soft and pink      over the coals
the taxidermist saved              800 chickens
           and winter’s the season           for taxidermy
blue hair and traitors               pink throats and pull it together
                      and it’s in bad taste
                      and it’s in bad therapy
           and I dream my nails drip
and I dream I string the big deer
           and you’re all terrible¬†¬†
                      and I dream I want you to die
and sometimes I give up         communing with darkness
                      and this works best if you don’t
           believe my experiment
                      except when we drink.

Madcap/Mari Lwyd

You’ll get in trouble                          you keep speaking your mind
           stuck in this house                 stuck in the dark
relief gets no sign.
          I don’t want to turn to the bottle but how can I not
                     I can’t hardly stand
silver trees and the faux leopard coats
           full moons and corpse hunts under the meteor
showers mean nothing.            We colorize     we codify
           domestic scenes so they’re cozy.


I won’t be happy until I embarrass
                      hide the baubles away            until I saturate
           and Christmas lights burn       for two days straight
after a murder.            His heart on the branch
           and me licking the spoon        in the tinny play kitchen.


What was time like      what a haunt/what a hole
           stuck in the horse costume
madcap, it’s a lie         as my body tries to adjust
           to the clean hair game            and the wasted foreboding
           and the lack of trust
sadness lighting the wicks     of all dead candles
           in my candle crown              and you’ll smell like fish
                                              if you let us burn
           all the clothes in your kitchen.


I try to focus              write down older numbers
           I try to take                my drugs and just go
                      I ask was it because of the vampires
No? You think you’re getting your way
                      all you’re doing is chasing the ghosts
           behind the wood panels.
I was going to be modern and honest
           I was going to stop being noir scum

but I’m drowning in wax and your demons won’t leave me alone.

Madcap/When She Gets Lit She Glows

I can’t stand the tell-all                      the rosary ghosts
                      Harlean holding the wreath.
           I wear a black leotard             look for an excuse
feel like I deserve        some vestige of sophistication.
                      You know how you feel
                          pink washing out
                     you know if your ear’s blowing up.


You know psychodrama                     shampoo, finger wave
           heat greeting you        empty hours in the empty house
                     twisting the ribbon       like pregnancy.
You know the girl story                     and even cat-eyeliner
           and lack of lace          a woman alone
bulky not delicate        the lack of turning in focus.
           I turn on my hip like the old paper Christmas tree
a blue ten-speed bike for each leg
           I lie like my story comes from the dead
a mechanical lamp that could knock us both out


and hey I have a name for the bare shelves at sunset
           I have a name for the beer you won’t drink
and how you won’t drive anywhere.
           I have a name for my bare self
                      like in the present        wherever you are
           with your greasy hair               you cover your ass like a bullet.


And I don’t want to walk         I just want to cry
           I’m bored by the world           the old TVs and mirror spirits.
                      I don’t feel like I’m worth it
                      and I’m so drunk I can’t even
           make my way to the bedroom
                      and I’m so drunk I don’t even
know my own face                 as we vacuum out babies

           we vacuum out graves.

Jessie Janeshek’s second full-length book of poetry 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. Read more at jessiejaneshek.net.