No return address on the soundstage
     mad world teenage party games. I feel safe
in this solid, my sorrow        letting the nightclub stay open
     a little bit longer. A tropical bird made of lights
     bluffs under the Hollywood sign.
I read of death half the night
     let me have my diary time.
.       Let me have my sadness            hot pink and khaki
blue eyes on the soda shoppe        tablet and time.
     Fame cycles through                    a little bit longer
hit me again        in orange boots and a kaftan
.       on the dried-up western set        I think I like it.

I don’t mind an experiment in feeling
.       playing the maid and the mistress at once
magnetic/dynamic                              not a cowgirl/just am
     but I try too hard                         queen of curl antics.
Soundtrack the scene where I can’t save the chimney sweep
     and Jesus hurls us through the jazz age.
Huddle round the Scopitone             like it’s your slaughter
.       Technicolor lips                           and my heart-blood tepid.
I’m not that fast-forward                   the doctor says tranquil
     past my dead-city cry
     past your knife in the ashtray
past this summer I shatter                  the dolls in my bedroom
     I cover my stuffed toys
     with lace blankets like ghosts.


Jessie Janeshek’s full-length collections are MADCAP (Stalking Horse Press, 2019), 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), Hardscape (Reality Beach, 2020), and Channel U (Grey Book Press, 2020). Read more at