Skull Percent Off

Jessie Janeshek

How to rationalize, face-down, eye makeup and packing
 raw meat and eiderdown   slideback, the traintrack.

This was the dogeared philosophy   pushing contaminate
 inside where falseness began.

This was the witch wind   the finger-kinged zodiac dip.
 Many slid down the slide
 of the abandoned pavilion
 slipped off her negligee that way.

 Prince Gallitzin pedaled the organ
 let his hair out the diamond-shaped window.


You had the talent  bluesy, unlucky
the runs in your stocking
economic decline.

Papers soaked up pubic ink
closet calculations
the heavy girl gaze.


Let the clouds serve
 what sawdust does best  wide-eyed and pray.

Bend your head dead  above mutant truths
 a four-legged nativity.

Go ahead and indulge  in popping glass violets

as cutting your teeth
won’t fix what’s left of decay.

Jessie Janeshek's second full-length book of poems, The Shaky Phase, is forthcoming from Stalking Horse Press. Her chapbooks are Spanish Donkey/Pear of Anguish (Grey Book Press), Rah-Rah Nostalgia (dancing girl press) and Hardscape (Reality Beach, forthcoming). Invisible Mink (Iris Press) is her first full-length collection. 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).


  1. It’s so lucid. The rhythm and syntax are quite hip. I love it.

  2. Jack Darrow says

    She had me “skull percent”
    and kept it going through to the cut teeth. Nice work

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