The Calendar Is Front-Loaded

by Jessie Janeshek

The only place for a lonely woman
is kneeling in front of TV
frozen-faced violets     little girls losing fingers
the calendar lolling       the needle falling
last snowday this year or forever
switch to coping brainlessly w/ copper lipstick
a ruffled red blouse in the Midwest.

The cameo hangs low      chains interchangeable
not doing the best        for me or my hunger
I used to live for white wine and pills
chipped teeth in April
now I live for slivers, silent film fog
no need for plans         let the image wash over
intertitular prick                       he said I didn’t
digitize my mist.

Where will I hide         expensive jewelry
where will I sleep         a medieval box
a velvet claw murder    boarding house jitters?

I yearn for early aughts
shiny girls flashing       drinking each other’s sweat
tense backs      assless chaps
or I yearn for a ’30s mash-up of genres
the flapper hops off the train       meets the cowboy
they fuck in the firelight until rich friends show up
she says put away your Chicago atomizer
he takes her back at the end like a bandit.

JESSIE JANESHEK’S three 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), and Channel U (Grey Book Press, 2020). Read more at  

Photo: “tv | rots your brain” by Melissa Eleftherion Carr