The First Talkie

Long hair was always the prettiest.

            Select the star to supersede

            what was your zodiac sign

select me to say I’m home now

            home down in the woods in my pink and white dress

            w/ the blue bear sewn on it.

Long hair was always the utmost

            strange bangs above your Arkansas fever line.

Ethics were shaky. The styrofoam Christ’s head in the creek

            was a dream floating by.

You’ll say anything to anyone to protect yourself

            but I should try my hands at lyrics

I should try my hands at circumstance

            at fit-to-be-tied smelly stars between your legs.


Each day they push it down a little bit

            and on Red Boot Road they feed the cats antifreeze.

I drink the pink punch             comb flowers through my hair

            make a melody of your tragedy

hunt the deer legs in the graveyard.


I understand indecision. I understand wanting

            your decisions to be limited.

I understand not reading your mail

            but I’ll keep coming around

against long hair in the dust dream

            and I’ll want it longer

so comic the lightning              strikes miles away

            and I’ll feel guilt every time

at every last minute     a battleground summer of greens

            a snake he shot out of the tree.



Summer Sex Country Song

Hello nude nails to save me a day

            and head to the bedroom

head to the attic          incense and patterns

            no address labels          rotten potatoes.

We take a short ride    as the flowers keep breathing

            we swim inside the lodge fearing disease.


It’s a club I’m not a part of

It’s an under-the-pines plastic jewelry club-a-dub-dub

            at the end of our road              a sick cat and fox

            at the end of our road              an outdoor bookshelf

in a dream more afraid of the rain

in a dream I had to save the china statues

            kittens in topaz and chintz.


We found a doll in a blue dress on the lawn.

            We found an Alice doll wrapped in plastic.

You wanted to root through the showroom

            but how short was her dress?


The answer was in there in blood

            and rusty mechanical trapdoors

pink rabbits suffocating in baskets

            and this summer was always too much work

w/ the riverrock grass and the bloodsucker bugs.


I feel like a gate has been closed on me

            and I’d rather be bare and know more of you

and what was your dad doing in the garage

            and what was my dad doing in that tent

with the centipedes?


Time of the Season

 Long movie Sundays                high-top witch roller skates

            dark clouds around all of this

                        us chasing hoops          out of the madcap

            but I’m losing faith

                        and it will not rain.

We break into the house

            look for the gang

who stole my old car in the dream.

            I thought of genies, French kisses

other girls’ hot attic bedrooms

                        the paint-by-number unicorn suncatcher

the prom dress             the thistle        and painting her bedroom black

            how one girl kept polishing her dog’s claws in purple.


I left the keys in the car on the bridge

            and ran to the piano lesson

all the men who sole the car                wore black leather pants

and looked like the stepfather rapist.

The car rolled on the bridge backwards

            and we went to the drugstore  for shots, coke, and lays

rooster roulette, Swedish fish, I was afraid

            and I couldn’t imagine             any ghost or any girl

or any ghost girl           being important.

            It’s like a religious parable

how each day we sit at the counter

            drinking bayberry milkshakes, covertly masturbating

                        and wear matching bracelets.


Note: “Time of the Season” is the title of a 1968 song by The Zombies.




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), Auto-Harlow (Shirt Pocket Press, 2018), and Hardscape (Reality Beach, forthcoming). Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010) is her first full-length collection. Read more at