“So Much for the Sound of a Starboard Warp Whistle” – Poetry by Jessie Janeshek

Peacock and Crocodile - Maria Primachenko, 1937
Peacock and Crocodile – Maria Primachenko, 1937

No poet has contributed more pieces to our weird little zine than Jessie Janeshek, and we’re ecstatic to have five of her marvelous, mystical poems in our Summer 2016 issue. One of those poems, “So Much for the Sound of a Starboard Warp Whistle,” is below, and you can read the rest by purchasing FLAPPERHOUSE X in print or digital (PDF) editions. (And if you’re in the NYC-area on August 3rd, you can come hear Jessie perform at FLAPPERHOUSE Reading #9 at Brooklyn’s Pacific Standard!)

{ X }

I NEED THE PURENESS                                          that’s hard on the kidneys
              a blue faux leather jacket                                         your unused breasts.

              I need white paper                                          five years of service
shuffling the room                       in Ouija board shoes

              striped socks thinking of you              the dead cat on the mattress
a peacock for sickness           its noose on my ankle.

                                                     You said we were headed       for doom or the door
the saint’s wheel an orange brain                                  too much in one basket.

                                I’m not learning the rain
                                one black knot in our aspect

but let’s plan a murder                                                                          for when you get stuck
              hearing that sex                                                       or the light clears your head.

                                Depression is lazy                                I hate all the babies
              morality plays                       in a foreign language.

                                      I let the door crack                    for a merman-shaped angel
                            a sweetheart-grip gun.

                                                                         I build asylum
                                with thick wooden blocks                      one finger in

                   my seizing crotch.                         My eye sockets jingle
                                              a sunshine          a gingham-skirt suicide

                    so much our monster                   ascends metaphor
                                                                your red and white candle
                                                                                   removing its jinx.

{ X }

jessie janeshek headshotJESSIE  JANESHEK’s chapbooks are Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish (Grey Book Press), Rah-Rah Nostalgia (dancing girl press, 2016), and Hardscape (Reality Beach, forthcoming, 2017). Her full-length collection of poems is Invisible Mink (Iris Press, 2010). An Assistant Professor of English and the Director of Writing at Bethany College, 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). You can read more of her poetry at jessiejaneshek.net.

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