Séance Says Thursday (or Killed by an Owl)
Jupiter in the side room sunset barbiturates
hard card to my mood ring and Thursday was always
my happiest day believing in cattails
the paper doll in the parking lot
in the hills what we hid
that I could grow up to be good
and now purple meat isn’t worth refrigeration
and now downtown fish on the Lady of the Lake
a small divide I can’t vanish
and I get the dropping out
but not the foam curlers diamonique at the courthouse.
Now I’m the money magnet on Melody Lane
second rate ash blonde boop-a-doop flapper
now all the ermine is on ice behind a stone wall
and your death rhythms are harder to take.
They beat me up and made me a new nose
but help I can’t put the thickest needle through you.
I sleep in my basement next to the dictophone
your play doctor’s case/flush out the toxins.
I don’t believe god but I buy little fates.
I might be made
of red satin or money I might be Angel Face
traversing the slag heap. This is my bad rap
but is it time to go yet? You apply tension
and I think you love me I put on the skirt
with a femme fatale label still look second rate.
I never slept on Fire Island. Now August double digits
not enough rope and too many movies
now lonely place a shattered rib focus
and sour apples the fake aviary
the Kleenex I shove under my lips.
You hit me with the plastic reflex hammer
turn the fake thermometer to fever
tap the plastic stethoscope your ovaries shrank like a stone
and I promise you a mod house 30 miles from everywhere
I sun bake naked in the rock garden
but then at 5 a.m. I hide my doll
don my black wrap long, warped horns
harness my black dog
and haunt all the yards.
Lady in the Lake Séance Loop
Maybe a green pen at the bootlegger club
and what’s the password? Maybe a gun
rustling through leaves impending storm
maybe a private dick yin to my pitchfork yang.
Did I recognize it yet? Braless, back
when I had time for eyemakeup sexy alerts
now I’m sleeping short since I know time is over
sore-throated with mildew efficiency.
You curse your feminine energy
I curse low-hanging branches corpse flowers in the Bronx
the summer-house shift.
I can’t satisfy time. I can’t stiffen you.
Neither of us should be trusted
in the log cabin playing the piano.
It’s all gut-wrenching and neither knows knots
and I want to be that rare bird looking at the camera
or in the mirror black-eyed
no cartoon porkchop swinging in survival after owl attacks.
I can’t satisfy time. I twist my hair up
it looks better in prose
and poke through glittery Xmas cards
wrapped in repetitive silk. I pour snow in the cracks.
Murders are always prettier with mistaken identities
velvet ribbons, hot pokers, and hymns
but I’m not equipped. I don’t own madcap
but I wish I did.
I’ll disguise myself as the landlady
in a plaid-vinyl apron long-nosed plastic mask.
You’re wounded. I feed you pre-code baby food
ring around and around your convictions.
You said you’d power through
and I said I’d pretend to be the dame on the fritz
who held the hot smoking pistol.
Jessie Janeshek’s third full-length book of poems MADCAP is forthcoming from Stalking Horse Press in 2019. Her six chapbooks include Channel U, forthcoming in 2019 from Grey Book Press. WEB.