Jessie Janeshek

HORROR IS THE SINUS                    LEADING AWAY FROM THE ABSCESS


How do you react                    make art                           with lamé
                        with the knowledge that the bad flapper
                        snaps her neck at the end          with the new year and shiny balloons?


We’ve always had deer ears and luck
                          pink pills             prescriptions delivered.


We had faces then                   a horror addition
             Val Lewton told the suits
                         our message is death.


You can’t help politics
you can’t worry about it                she says as writes the bad candidate’s name
              in soap on the window.


Once I mixed nostalgia                        with my neuroses.
            I had a face then                      wore scarves and volcano-red lips
            too lazy to bring                       my ancestral fears to fruition


and what could be more paralyzing
                           in times of victory red
than standing in the yard                        frozen in a white cloak
              watching the spider vein          feeding the cyst?

 

Notes:   “We Had Faces Then” is the name of a Pinterest board; “We had faces!” is a line spoken by the character Norma Desmond in the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard. This poem owes a lot to the You Must Remember This podcast on Val Lewton, (YMRT #3, "Happy 110th Birthday, Val Lewton”), written by Karina Longworth.


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