Jessie Janeshek

Flaming June
(Blanche and Charlie)


               Yes. Pass the mayonnaise.

Charlie, I stroke my uterus orange.
Thirteen of you garden
kaleidoscopic outside

my beveled glass window.
This is a metaphor.
You are a snapdragon.

               Yes, marigold.

You never told me you wrote.

               I don’t write
               I make songs
               while I ride the tractor.

Sing some. I’ll hum.

               My love is a sprinkler hose
               my love is a peasant-boy pose
               frying eggs for my love

               and her husband’s in Boise
               let’s hope he blows
               his nose off in Ketchum…

Enough, prickly pear! I’ve got a tale.

Crunching shaved ice
in Aix-on-Provence
Theo pushing me
in my wicker wheelchair

I watched a redhead
dancing flamenco.

               I’m. Your. Teddybear.
               [Gyrates like Elvis.]

I’m wearing a half-slip
the colors of sunset
tiered like her dress.
Take off your clothes.

               Not yet, petunia.

Who are you kidding?
your dick is a cucumber.
The locusts are clacking

like castanets.

               Let’s move to Reno
               my Venus flytrap.

Sure. We’ll eat sand
with platinum flatware.
Newsflash, we need cash, babe. His cash.

               [In Paul McCartney’s “low” voice]
               You never give me your money
               you only give me your funny—

I’m dying in ivory under the lattice.
Pastels don’t flatter my skintone.

               Sitting in an English garden
               waiting for the sun…

God, to mouthwash my brain,
rinse the last thirty years!

               …and if the sun don’t come
               you’ll get a tan
               from standin’ in the English rain…

Charlie! My medicine, please.
But first, taste this tea.

[Unbeknownst to Charlie
Blanche has sweetened
the poppyseed brew

with lotus blossoms.
Once he collapses,
she drops asleep in the heat.]

Sorry, Wrong Number

Hello, hello?
Can you help me please?

I’m a cardiac neurotic.
My trouble’s erotic.

My daughter’s in the Poconos
drinking Merlot.

An admirer of Hemingway
my husband’s in Idaho.

I’ve no one to tell.


A bride, I was fire

afraid my nipples
would burn smoke holes

through my bodice’s
old-world embroidery,

zirconium strings
ringing my knees,

my life Lucia di Lammermoor.


Plan of attack? No plan.

No attack. The honeymoon
rose, set all that.

Legs closed, I took to my bed
faking seizures. The doctor said I couldn’t

sustain making love, please don’t
touch her


Every morning Charlie
crumbles my morphine
in orange juice

kneads my right shoulder
to pulp. The first time
he kissed my forehead

I turned my lips away.
Next day he sat me on top of him

porcelain doll on a stick
hula-girl Venus

rolling my hips.
He reads the mail

from my husband,
fish are biting and horses

do love a brook

sniffs the musk in my armpits

bites my breasts violet
sets me on the floor on all fours

bears down on me hissing
I hope your knees bleed bitch.

Jessie Janeshek is the co-editor of Outscape:Writings on Fences and Frontiers (KWG Press, 2008). She holds a Ph.D. in English (creative writing concentration) from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College, Boston. Her poetry and reviews appear in publications including Moria, Prairie Schooner, Washington Square, Passages North, Rougarou, and Review Americana. She promotes her belief in the power of creative writing as community outreach by co-directing a variety of volunteer workshops in the Knoxville area. She is a freelance editor and also works as a writing instructor at UT.

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Blogger Raymond Farr said...

These poems surprised me.
The language is striking.
A good read.

4:21 AM  

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