Jessie Janeshek

Madcap/Pink Palace

I would rather bury you        love to shut you up
                          I can’t help but blame you
                 lying, skipping scenes
seasick or pregnant               champagne suds on split screen
                          the same naked footage burying me.

Each month dies alone          and I don’t change my face
                  the carnival chit-chat    the Dixie cup dog
the adrenaline alternate take.

Each month dies alone or I die in my pink car
                the too-tight nude dress    after meeting the queen
I forgive transport                 pattern recognition
                the lie of rejection.

This is my early evening. Christ, I forgive everything
                limestone, bad spirits    coming in through the spine.
                   I sit on the phone    I straddle the Predicta TV
or I sleep so much       my life won’t matter
               in the crooner’s old house      I watch bad biopics
                   except for on Sunday.

Then I walk up this same hill
          in pearls and hear the same song
and I miss my headspace
                                       the red glow of the watertank
and what I want to do          is stand in the empty
                  husks and rot time
            or dance on the ice in a pasture
slip in the shape of a heart.

You think you’re the love of my life
                          or my lovelife
                 and sex appeal is milk
                          technicolor kitten lashes
              and winning all the pageants
and/or shitting out my fudge mud
              so I can win the pageants
and even the most vibrant past is governed
               by your current limitations
and afterwards a nurse named Rosie
               electrotakes your temperature
cracks your glitter just like that.

Madcap/Mary Jayne

Time me, purple hovel, turning brass under candles
              then cancel out               the noir dream of the railroad
and the dirty factory                                   and the basketball court
where we turned around        the noir dream where the man
               kept stroking my thigh and I liked
the blacktop duress.
               I can’t take your words                 red dots on my canopy
I want myself out of it                  can’t take your society
               once similarity                now smeary capsules
             garish and clownlike        now it will clear
no rain for nine days                     now I made the mistake
                 of starting the film with no Bette Davis.
             Now I wear hearts            on my shoes and eat pretzels
but I can’t not rush              to the stoppage/bleed berries
                          I can’t reconcile cleanliness with the toy knife
      stuck in the railroad tie.
                             I stay in the light     35 times long
get sucked in the treehole
               but they would not buy me a plastic snail
wherein to hide all my secrets      (in the dream he liked me
                          more than his wife since I ate)
so I hid the pig in the drawer
                  and buried myself in his sleeping bag
my canopy bed was too fat and frilly.
                  Now nothing won’t get me in trouble.
I lay out the lace cards           try to recite poetry.
             They promised me an extension
a place to keep all of this
                        besides my legs 
I had to pretend my cheap doll was another doll
               but it wasn’t too hard
               with her taffeta hairbow
and our new town clock driven in
               on the back of a semi
and only our bones to go on—


              Chest pains deflecting your God complex
                           to feel kind of awful
upstairs it’s lonesome      10 degrees hotter      I want to rot and not walk
             or it’s my rank heresy           my styrofoam deity
             or my typewriter heredity      or it’s your rotten
song of the south
                         or it’s me sticking
to the tan leather seats of the Dodge Eagle
autumnal and bronze-lipped next to the river
             eating my creamstick in my suicide tartan.

             I need to work above fragrance
pump swings or plastic            swimming pool bracelets
             your minutes expire    I straddle exhaustion
I need to get gas but my chestpains start
             I might die looking up from the mulch
under the sliding board              under the spinner.

             I am afraid of emotional investment
the night I fell off the pink banana seat bike
as those girls lost their heads        it felt like I broke my chest
       next to the baby pool.           I am not heady
              but I sit beside you on sparkly concrete
the water           too cold to swim in
              the ghost and you sashay
you essay your Tarot card lay
              say you predict        my poisonous blooms
my bleating blue dresses.

            I lie and say I grew up in the basement
spinning the hammer in the play doctor kit
            always nostalgic       reflexive in summer
I lie and say our puppets will stay green forever
            pickled in jars
after the stitches a butterfly bandage
            on my leaking scar. 



It was a question of me or a cargo of guns
             and one of the rumrunners made a goat face
and I polished my shoes
             like a pill’s coating           no patience, no motivation
and sang a song in a pink hat        wishing poison crossbone
             a ghost hole for the garbage

and I touch up my roots for six weeks of winter
            and I think my brain’s finite
10 men in suits pretending messiahs
            and I make a mad face when one gives me a necklace
                          and this is the feminine side 
and I guess I could climb a hill for a shaman
            or for black fever          and he’d ask what moon do you pray to
                            but who am I kidding?
I know my brain’s finite and it’s not too hard
            to ingest or invigorate      the soothe of hot water
and look there are doors on the rocks by the creek

            and all through the dream
you kept saying what I make has no meaning
            and plush days push longer so I do not eat
and I wear leopard shoes so it will stop raining
and I wear too-tight skirts         and I drag my feet

             and remember the cold spring he blew his head off
                               the euphoria of the image of kidskin
              a guitar built into the preacher’s fake leg
                            as the plastic wisemen
              stared from the window in the church basement?

Jessie Janeshek's third full-length book of poems MADCAP is forthcoming from Stalking Horse Press in 2019. Her first two books are The Shaky Phase (Stalking Horse Press, 2017) and Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010). Her chapbooks include Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish (Grey Book Press, 2016), Rah-Rah Nostalgia (dancing girl press, 2016), Supernoir (Grey Book Press, 2017), Auto-Harlow (Shirt Pocket Press, 2018), and Hardscape (Reality Beach, forthcoming). Read more at jessiejaneshek.net.
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