Channel U/Cold Feet

       Talk about a hex                         the snow of old TV
                    the blue make-believe train
       fire in the house             and in the sink the glass bottles
                    a vampire woman disrupting suburbia
                    a vampire woman disrupting suburbia
       wearing scarabs in a witch’s hat
                    all throughout the 70s.

       Talk about a vamp                         forcing men on fainting couches
                     so afraid they pee
       or talk about a blonde vamp       in her white brocade coat
              and her flame
       how she’ll hide her gun in the art-deco doctor’s office
                     don a jockey costume                 run around the bed.

       Say stay calm through the tremors
                    as two ghosts, a young couple
       appear in front of the dresser.
                                                           Talk about complexity
                    how there’s no time to get it
                          how we’ve held onto silence
       since you’re not dead yet
                    how we root through the old house
       for signs of your body
                    lipsticks, a mirrored tray
       blouses in closets           the Victorian dress
                    we meant to Halloween in
       before it got too small.
                                              Talk about the man-sized
       blow-up liquor bottle                 how we’d prefer something
                    where the gun is more prominent
       a blanket and candles                  on the blood-stained basement couch
                    as we watch and listen.


Channel U/Sisters of the Apparition

It’s so hard to get started
             sex is part of the pain
purple under my eyes                  making movies in New Jersey
             before gardenias and gauze went to Hollywood.

             I give up on you
your cynicism circle-jerk dry and naked and maybe I’m part Lydia
             the hitchhiking ghost dressed as a harlequin
and maybe I’m part saint’s day
             and you lied about the saint’s day
the artificial childhood of therapy
             how the snow choking the sheik was just cornflakes.

             Say what you want about laughter
our fucking ricocheted between flying saucers
             and time-emitting mausoleums

say you breathed ambition
             and now get the fraud
             to tell you a fortune.

Remember I thought you were dead
             and you brought me a rose?
We tied a balloon to the rotting deer’s leg.

The Cleopatra costume has a silver collar
             you’ll fill in our skeleton
             with lies about the trinity
and you’ll be right when you say
             I take it too personally.


Jessie Janeshek’s second collection is The Shaky Phase (Stalking Horse Press, 2017). A chapbook from Shirt Pocket Press (Auto-Harlow has just been released, and one from Reality Beach is forthcoming. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and an M.F.A. from Emerson College. Web