two poems – andrea jackson

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Curtain

A sharp toenail cuts across the sky,
slashes the dream
like a starched curtain.

On the other side eyes glint.
The curtain falls apart like a torn skirt
to reveal you,
crouched, hands trembling.

Why do you look so green?
Who has left us here to rot?
Can’t you see your great love
has brought us nothing?

 

When the Story Came Out

I stand on the beach and let the wind
pass through my body.
Stars trickle through the atmosphere.
I’ve lost whatever it was
that opened me to fantasies.
There were lovely times
with dolphins and moths,
always something new.
The soft-spoken garage attendant,
the spaniel with its head cocked,
and all the time a green haze
wrapped around our city,
magnifying sounds so they echoed wetly
in the empty street. It was on such a night,
maybe on that very night,
that the garage attendant
strangled the spaniel,
and when the story came out
we all wondered why.
An innocent and friendly dog.
Life is a given; it’s death we must explain.

 

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Andrea Jackson’s poetry and fiction have appeared most recently in Triggerfish Critical Review, Star 82 (*82) Review, Gyroscope Review, Eyedrum Periodically, Heron Tree, The Tishman Review, and The Apple Valley Review.  She has received 2 Pushcart nominations and one nomination for the Best of the Net Anthology, has an MFA from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and recently published Who Am I and Where Is Home? An American Woman in 1931 Palestine, described by Small Press Bookwatch as “an absolutely fascinating, deftly crafted read from cover to cover…an extraordinary, candid, engaging, account of an inherently interesting woman in an inherently interesting time.”

 

Photo: Ricardo Gomez Angel

two poems – jessie janeshek

jessie janeshek

True Values

How to crack down      transgress empty space
………corn, so much storage or the flood plain
how to worship this quiet, this time.
………Something comes out of the comfort of trains
when you put all your poison into one place
……….and run to the river.

I wish it were colder                I wish musk hunker-downer
………for this tartan couch
red phone on the wall             transitional
……….for this special sequence.

Everyone says                she needs a retreat mostly just to touch
………mostly just to come in                 call it a den
so she fucks the taxidermist                    sterile as a dead dad
……………each extinct chicken                        stuffed, an achievement
when he gets tired enough                  he’ll rip his feeding tubes out
say this is my house                              but there’s a dumbwaiter
……………………….and my skin will hang off my skull.

Here’s where we put the eyes
………here’s where we put the cellophane    we make into the lake.
My sweater is jacquard        with your phone number
……….dive-bombing beetles            in the witch tense.
……………….The door is a guard
……….strappy shoes and someday        I’ll let the ghosts come to me
strappy shoes and someday             I’ll remember it gladly
……….no screens on the windows
and on the flood plain           how many trains
……….the language of flowers or the more profane language of stones.

 

Take Me Naked If It Makes Me Real Again

No frigate like a book unread and not the energy
…………..to open a bottle of pills. Everything’s triggering
lifting my hair for the vestige               of old-timey stardom
……………off with safety scissors            I chop my own bangs.

Heat makes waking hell and I dwell on eyesockets
………and every morning pay the pine trees.
……………………………….It all comes down to money and bloodstains.
A needle and a pearled shawl         took the children away.
……………….Drink the vodka. Fill the bottle with water.
.……We mythologize and he says the witch hunt
is most interesting          and the difference between
………us and the animals    is they can’t look for meaning.

………………………………..Little songs come fast and I find the letter
by not looking back     or it’s somewhere else
……….and it poisons my shade
……….or I empty out the pantry to rid myself of him
self-sabotage in heart-shaped sunglasses
……..or a more intimate god.

Take me naked. I just told the truth.
……….The brass heart in the bedroom turned my past over.
I got through bad moments                black bows
………changed my name.           I solved my own crime
with a made-up boyfriend        and a fake cock
………or I solved the crime            during my period
wearing your cast-offs
……………………….or I solved the crime as I heard a bell ring
……………………….and the truth is
……………………….your carnage            is general knowledge.

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Note: “No frigate like a book” is a phrase from poem #1286 by Emily Dickinson.

Jessie Janeshek’s third full-length book of poems MADCAP is forthcoming from Stalking Horse Press in 2019. Her first two books are 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, forthcoming), and Channel U (Grey Book Press, forthcoming). Read more at jessiejaneshek.net.  

Photo: ål nik