Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

"Jezebel, Jealous of Television"

(engaging with the film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?)

February 28, 2011 Jessie Janeshek grew up in West Virginia and earned a B.A. from Bethany College, an M.F.A. from Emerson College, and a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Her first collection of poems, Invisible Mink was published by Iris Press in 2010. She co-edited Outscape: Writings on Fences and Frontiers (KWG Press, 2008), a literary anthology connecting readers to the inner and outer landscapes of East Tennessee and beyond. She teaches writing at the University of Tennessee, works as a freelance editor, and promotes her belief in the power of poetry as community outreach by co-directing a variety of volunteer workshops. On February 28 at 7 p.m., she will read from Invisible Mink in the Mary Greer room of the Hodges Library at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Jezebel, Jealous of Television

(engaging with the film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?)

She says she’s my necessary fiction
thinks I watch too much
need to shift off the grey beach
haphazardly-parked ’41 Lincoln
happy platinum woman
spinning with ice cream.

Spring’s coming in with her fever
vomito. Clock’s lost an hour
hot molasses tastes like cotton.
Jane made body races
in the wheelchair routine
two nights pre-beach.

This movie’s what we inhabit.
Sisters know too much about one another
but at least no one’s Gloria Swanson.
Though I miss Victor Buono
I’m pushing through
fresh coat of lipstick, Victory Red

method acting. Even when angry
Jezebel’ll praise me. Grey’s the only word
I spell pretentiously. No colour
no flavour, I’m not big on labour.
This poem will never
be a sestina. Leisure’s

my inspiration, Blanche
tied to her pulley
teeth popping out when she dies.
Jane’s babied by lamplight
quietly scanning
her scrapbooks and I understand.

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