the poetry that matters

Jessie Janeshek

Jessie Janeshek's first book of poems is Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010). An Assistant Professor of English at Bethany College in Bethany, WV, USA, she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and an M.F.A. from Emerson College. She co-edited the literary anthology Outscape: Writings on Fences and Frontiers (KWG Press, 2008). Her recent poems appear in Otoliths, gobbet, and Counterexample Poetics.


Leave Her to Heave—


                        Arietta, I left her

Sprinkling horseback

            Arsenic tracings

    Necessitating locked vigor

Breast-pedaled             flat-roofed

            Orange ashes jimmying

    Bald sandscapes of Taos

Each feather slashed off

    Her fishnet               macaw-topped

Slick bathsalts             

            Her lost combination

    Fetishized                bloodglassed

            Better than nothing



For Leonora, Through Keyholes


Can you see things again
in that smooth London light
increase double decker?

If you, Leonora, thresholded to Naples
sucked nipples through muse, bride of Christ…

                                                            Cenci, doll-pregnant
                                                                bangs rugs cerulean
                                                            arranges wolf-worries
                                                            around the round table

                                                            cat radiate
                                                                                              nursery floorboard

                                                            mind a clean trap

Might I remind you
  you need not look back

amalgamate cardomania

    the vein-shade where Guido

nipped off three fingers

                                                                        bitty glue pictures
                                                            the “C” as in Cenci drop-capped.



Note: Leonora (Elizabeth Taylor) and Cenci (Mia Farrow) are characters from the 1968 film Secret Ceremony.

Ripper Arietta


            Wide-eyed bruised girl

beneath this yeasty moon

                        shaped like a rabbit

you have every magic              idiosyncratic

                        the marcelled bird of paradise

            pricking your throat.


                                                        Earrings padlocked

she straddled                      your bed


preened ars poetica

            it’s all bread and circus

unmarried                                a thumb gone

                                    capless from here

            the bone-spackled water goat

skimming your chinny-chin

            cranking your one leg

            up like the big top.



Jezebel á Cheval

Gritty gas seeping                    Casabianca
    What should you do
When you meet your stride
    Change pace like a racehorse
Afraid to fall bright?

Burn docks the best place
Cone-nose kurtosis
      You’re not one                  stop rooting
            You’ve lost
That red river
Feeling and predator’s body



Sic Gloria Transit


Tell me what’s real

            hot tonsils out there

string music in here


            My priest says              don’t burn her

      brew her in juice

uvular spaniels                         Alida Valli



Father scraped off her face once

                        grafted pearl bruises

                                braided trapeze



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                                                                                                 December 2, 2012