Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Nov 2019 · 353
A Beautiful Thing
Jillian Jesser Nov 2019
I've never liked my name,
so I tell you to call me Josie.

The O, an arc over the roses of my childhood
the garden in the front yard
where I fell asleep listening to Ravi Shankars' sitar.
Slipping, dead to the world, among the night blooming jasmine.

A beautiful thing.

future uncertain,
the stone weight of your head, adrift in dream on my hip,
feels a comfort to my blues.

A beautiful thing.

Napoleon for his Josephine,
can feel
the breath that you leave heavy on my thigh.

A beautiful thing.
Sep 2019 · 494
a night in september
Jillian Jesser Sep 2019
in the meantime,
soft air pooling around me

the ghost of you
sleeping soundly on the porch

only waking to tell me
that we were meant to be an oak
how we were meant to peel
ourselves down to our cores
holding the part left
with closed hands

as the moon rises over the end of summer
the wind lulls you
and I am wanting
Jun 2019 · 114
Blue Again
Jillian Jesser Jun 2019
I have seen blue
the green blue of waves
an ocean of hope
I have seen blue

I have seen blue
in the eyes of a man
who woke up one morning
hopeful to start
I have seen blue

I have seen blue
the tear drops  from my own blind eye
wading toward an ocean of peace
I have seen blue

I have seen blue
a baby born cold
love only for his family
I have seen blue

I have seen blue
the man who saw
a flashing light
a weary spirit gone homeward
I have seen blue

I have seen Blue

I have seen blue.
Jun 2019 · 336
Jillian Jesser Jun 2019
Gravitating toward home
with its star stained skyline
a latch on every door
torn over coffee
the smell of peppermint
a tear here where tears have been
the hope of a stranger
helping to embolden
an empty cup
Jun 2019 · 158
Jillian Jesser Jun 2019
More than this
blank wall,
a good morning
a relationship that lasts.

Bored to the teeth
with excuses
with a cure
with a death hum

More than this,
keeping heads eye
keeping the night black
I slept for one dose

A pink pill
a blue
the end of a love
the darkness escaping for a moment
of light,
the only truth I knew
expanding and reviving
the only soul I know.

Jun 2019 · 367
June 6
Jillian Jesser Jun 2019
There are nights,
blue sky coming through the window
the last orange of the sun
no longer aglow
when I seek myself.

She is a daughter.
She is a son.
She is the weird and wary night coming in
                                                              ­        slowly.

like an idly turning spinnerette
she awakes.

There is a morning,
fog traipsing through the mountain
around the trees
and to my door
when I see myself.
Jun 2019 · 68
Jillian Jesser Jun 2019
Here I sit with music
It is not mine
but I own it
As I own my body,
my mind and my soul
I have been hoping for a night like this with
no distractions.
The sun hangs low in the sky, and I am in need but not wanting.
Jun 2019 · 153
Vampire King Part II
Jillian Jesser Jun 2019
I walked along further still
out my door
and up a hill
found a rose
though a web was there

And on my brow not a sweat bead
was clear
until I saw myself again

My eyes they were
a perilous red
and hair as raven as a monsters bed

Near a willow tree I heard a tune
a song to fill my heart with gloom
started low
ended high
summer is here
but winter is nigh.
Jun 2019 · 213
Vampire King Part I
Jillian Jesser Jun 2019
At night in the dark
where no one sees
a place for two
just you and me
a spider there
and there a bat
a creeper
a crawler
and here a gnat!

Well now you've seen a ghoulish thing!
Here in the mirror, "Is it I?", you think.

And here you stand aghast, agape!
A vampire king?
And I?
His mate?
May 2019 · 54
May 31
Jillian Jesser May 2019
She, with green eyes
on a wet night
walking home
told the man
she could see
yellow flowers
in the back seat

I saw an empty light
a pure golden flame
pouring through

now, an empty room

to nights

when an empty black wraith
in a hall
more ancient
a soul set to grey

over there

over there
a yellow flower
a car

her last moment
her only death

a planet
a prayer

Do you see them?

a yellow flower
May 2019 · 53
How You Tell a Man No
Jillian Jesser May 2019
when he can say yes all his life
get everything right
until he is white-haired
gold capped

until yelling a word
keeps his lights on at night

until the only thing
that keeps everyone alive
has killed him

I haven't met

I'm sure he knows

How to tell a man

Feb 2019 · 95
dream of summer
Jillian Jesser Feb 2019
In the summer
a great blue sky
no ants
a warm blanket
but no fleas

the house i live in

40 acres of nothing
to the left or right

no one in my head that is not me

with a man I love

and loving myself completely
as well

not old
not grey

wearing whatever I like


and going where I like to go
Feb 2019 · 105
Jillian Jesser Feb 2019
The 18th century
is here
30 million antichrists
and only one who
is not embarrassed

I am.
Feb 2019 · 62
february 23
Jillian Jesser Feb 2019
Three weeks
my face
threatened by science
ate calories that
belong to someone else
a toad
a wart
another green menace

in the 80's
thirty was young
they say it's even younger now
I'm 45

cool breezes
ancient poets
and a shirt that never fits
empty rooms
filled to the brim
with a long *****
19 days

the odyssey
pulls my left arm
my old brain
with nothing in it
sleeps naked
with my right
Dec 2018 · 162
december 12
Jillian Jesser Dec 2018
in the psych clinic's waiting room
a microcosm of
organisms react to their environment
eyes check a watch
a security guard yawns
a woman in black taps her feet
a man in a hat grumbles to himself
all searching for an answer to the thing
that seeps, silent, from their eyes at night

when my name is finally called  
I explain symptoms
to a man that doesn't look me in the eye
who asks,
can you laugh at the things that used to make you happy?

I think how those things have changed
and how I could turn to stone
sitting, unaffected, for a millennia

the last two days
the sunlight interrupted winter in California
bringing with it a brief pause
in a hectic electric winter
and leaving me waiting, impatiently, for spring
Oct 2018 · 862
Night Dive, 2016
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
Again, like before
a lost walk in a manic rain
and the cold back seat;
Black, purple,
and some, older,
green and pink
my legs and arms, bruised.

It took a drunken sunless summer,
only one week of copper leaves for the fall
and this desert,
a month of a metal door handle turning, turning
Until, with a gasp, the dead black of December.

Here in the new year, a fat feast for death to add to my years,
a night dive into stone.
Oct 2018 · 467
D.D. ;The Moon, My Moon
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
Why doesn't it come through the window, like it did?
The moon?
With it's white night thoughts?
Pouring in
Now, pouring out
Why don't you cry to me?
Now, I see the tears welling,
but, a steely-eyed anger holds them back.

I can tell you a thousand things.
Your hair, a black sky I look out on tonight
And where is it?
The moon?

I can tell you a thousand things.
You are my beautiful boy.
You are my beautiful boy.

Where is it?
The moon?
Oct 2018 · 269
the thought taker
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
I am the weird wan wandering thought taker,
whispering in your inner ear
I am the dark daunting dancer
who snatches your lost dream in the morning.

Here it is, in my palm,
Oct 2018 · 647
To Write 'Til Three
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
I perch here
idle hands,
administer the dregs
of my coffee, to
a flagging, dull head
agonizing over
every flimsy word
I might utter
to make my dull life

grasping at a flatlining pulse
a woody smile
     from the wreckage of my past.

          Look at this earnest celebration of chaos
                                                 that drives away oblivion.
Oct 2018 · 707
et moi, et moi, et moi
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
the boarded up windows of the hospital
they were making renovations
et moi, et moi, et moi
wanting to see the sky
the night before
a police officer with kind eyes
asking if everything was alright
in the back of an ambulance
having just swallowed the charcoal
et moi, et moi, et moi
nodding a yes
wanting to see the sky
it would be a year till I saw it
sitting in the passenger seat of your car,
Jacques Dutronc playing
et moi, et moi, et moi
wildly singing
only by chance
when the song changed
looking up to see
a yellow sun setting
Oct 2018 · 404
Valentine's Poem
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
Happy Valentine's Day
Everything hurts
the nightstand's a pallbearer
the dresser's a curse
the apples are browning
the skies have gone black
and monsters are creeping
at your very back!

the wind whispers boo
and the sun doesn't shine
the birds are all dead
and the hamsters all cry

Oh Dear Valentine!

Where will we go?
Where to be being,
When the moon's made of snow?

Oct 2018 · 261
Happy Valentine's Day
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
Happy Valentine's
the drapes have caught fire
the lovers have died
your friends are all liars

the moths eat your clothes
the spiders spin webs
the children put ropes
round your very neck

your heart's broken up
into small jagged pieces
two angry pit bulls
are off of their leashes!

oh, sweet valentine,
how will we fare?
where will we go?
when God isn't there?

Oct 2018 · 366
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
Lenore, not lost
but only sleeping
sainted, yes
and night comes reaping
radiant with demon's dreaming
tapping, tapping, like before.

Sure, the wind
has caught you from me
dances with you
rare Lenore.

Send this shadow
with it's rapping
send it
flying, from my door.
Oct 2018 · 1.7k
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
For I will consider a town called Riverside.
For its only river, the dry Santa Ana, it's shore peppered with the homeless, garbage, an old shoe, a cart stolen from the grocery.
For its downtown with dried gum spots all along the sidewalk, its dive bars with regulars pouring in at 3pm and pouring cheap beer into their gullets until morning.
For its overpriced theatre, a gentrified landmark, driving the sun-hot strays to the park.
For the park, and a lake, dotted with boats in the summer, driven by tired feet, hands hiding beer in gas station soda cups.
For the mountain, with the old ladies, counting every step, looking up to the cross and over the edge onto a thick brown smog.
For the steepled churches on every corner, waking us every Sunday to pray to a hotly scarce God.
For I will consider a town called Riverside.
poem prompt response
Oct 2018 · 46
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
swimming in the pond of your eye...from lily to lily...wet as a frog...snatching a fly from the air...Aha!...a laugh escapes your long lip....Aha!...if your sky....if...with it's yellow angels...weeps again....night is a black bird...flying...just at your neck....a vision in your mind's violet sky...Aha!
Oct 2018 · 665
Not a Woman
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
Not a woman,
on a dust dry morning
death put it's flag in me
bones crossed
a line, thin
you tread
as I sat up
in a ghost white sheet.
Not a woman,
moon-mad and haggard
full to the top with drugs
a lizard stuck in it's half-sloughed skin.
Not a woman,
on a dust dry morning.
Oct 2018 · 126
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
I carved out a smile for you
it was blue
but it's line curved up
toward my eyes
wrinkling my brow
a snake's tongue curled behind my teeth
waiting to dart at a moment's notice
and tell you how you turned
a butterfly
to a worm
Oct 2018 · 223
Roam, Rambling
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
Roam, rambling in the rain
starved for love.
Write a letter to your pain
detailing every ache,
and shred it in the moonlight.
Wander down your lover's neck
to the small of their back
and set up camp there
toasting marshmallows in their
Run wild, angrily screaming
scaring the bats of your past
out of their caves.
Listening to the part of you
that hasn't been loved.
Oct 2018 · 166
If I were
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
I wrote your name
in it, a cadence,
making my feet tap
and my throat hum.
If I were beside you,
I would lift my head
open my eyes
and see you in bed.
If I were beside you
I would go to sleep
with my toes touching yours
knowing that I'd see you
in the morning,
the sun lighting my face
as I sing the tune of your name
You would love me
If I were beside you.
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
Where is the feather light
pile of leaves to fall
        Instead, I find a brisk descent into
        a pitch dark night of the heart.
Here, there are only
Monday's and the 9-5, forever,
                                                     with the
                                         pitter patter
                                                  of someone else's fun
                                                                ­                 in the other room.
I tear at the red dirt, screaming,
to find new growth.
    but find only
I rattle my cage, and spit at the lock
singing a hymn
for an autumn
                          in black.
Oct 2018 · 229
early morning thoughts
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
I turn on the light in the kitchen, and three roaches scatter to the corners. Deb bought peppermint tea, but I can only have bitter black coffee tonight, to keep me from sleep. At 2:30am, I am the only one awake, and when I catch a glimpse of my tired moon face in the mirror above my desk, the years face me starkly. Have I done it even half right? Have I become the sun? I fear sleep because I fear death. Here it comes with it's pale grin, and am I resting? No, not until the light streams in through the curtains, and I collapse on my bed, a lone marionette without it's puppeteer.
Oct 2018 · 1.2k
I Take Ten
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
I take one to keep the blues away;
One so I don't peel my skin like a banana;
One so I can sleep without being chased by death;
One so I don't jump out of the car on the highway;
One so I don't run down the street naked talking about ethical consumption under capitalism;
One so I don't cry about the sad looking potato chip;
One to **** the pain in my heart;
One so I can focus on my school work;
One so I don't tell my teacher he looks like a bridge troll;
And one so I don't fall in love with you.
Oct 2018 · 239
Pleasant Canyon Dream
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
You are a grey guitar
a sandstorm
adding the grit to my teeth
a white pearl necklace
falling over a lady's bare chest
A lonely birthday
where no one calls but the deskman

I asked you
                  so I knew.

I turned you
from a cherry sweet Sunday
                                                 to this.
What have you done to my pleasant canyon dream?
I woke, and snoozed the alarm four times this morning.
Each time,
last night was still there
boring into me
a metal casket
                         creaking open and then
                  ­                            CRASH
                               ­                             closing shut.
Oct 2018 · 240
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
Wearing black without a reason,
I sit in a well-lit room at one in the morning.

A dark window facing me
with no moon peeking out from it's depths.

Two nights ago,
the rain drooled from a sleepy sky
and I was a sorrow on fire.

Now I am only fire.

The dogs escaped the yard,
biting a hole in the fence.

Here I am,
a dog with dull teeth.

I cling to a mad comfort.

Wearing black without a reason.
Oct 2018 · 364
awake in the night
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
the streetlight glows
on a black spider in the bush
a cigar, slowly burning
stone-faced, a blue angel appears
hand extended, palm up
a car alarm goes off
and the moon goes slanted
a naked pain works it's fingers into my chest-plate
Oct 2018 · 590
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
The sun sizzled on a hot pavement
the flies buzzed and landed on us
we swatted them away
we were the dead
we walked out into the day wanting
like children
and went into the night laughing
like men
I am haunted by the summer
my alligator skin goes out crawling
and my milk white eyes
pour over your devil red body
and I am suddenly a wasteland
from my shoulders to my soft core
I am the desert of you
won't you come with me
into autumn?
Oct 2018 · 341
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
With some help from my cigars, little dancers dressed in swirling black smoke, I'll keep the words from leaving my mouth. I'll say something about my day instead. It's okay, I'll just pretend. With the shadow from the sun visor covering my eyes as they well, I'll tell you about my lunch plans. Small talk, right? I can be good at this, with you. My ears, little zombies searching for a pulse, I'll ask you how your day went. I'll pounce on a laugh, I'll bite at a smile. This is all I have. It's okay, I'll just pretend.
Oct 2018 · 331
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
so I give you this gift
disrobed doll parts
with baggage
and you love it
it is your first broken toy
and you fix it up
breathe life into it's smile
until it's eyes no longer gleam
and you throw it to the dogs
on the patio in the night
and they love it
it's their first broken toy
Oct 2018 · 858
birds at the bus stop
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
As he puffed his American Spirit, a handsome Asian business man said good morning. To the low hum of cars streaming by, I sang back, "Have a nice day!" We passed, two birds on their way to summer. I hope we don't get the emphysema.
Oct 2018 · 59
Aunt Mickey
Jillian Jesser Oct 2018
When the aliens picked you up,
they said they'd take you on a trip.
Fly you around the galaxy,
and give you galactic tips.
Like, how to wash your car
without leaving water drips.
And, how to dance and laugh and sing,
be happy without drugs,
and overwhelm your children
with the stacking of coffee mugs!
But, when they take you up again,
by that blinding, grey-blue light,
tell them that you'd like to be
home the very next night!
'Cause if they take you
all the way
to planet Hullabaloo
and leave you at the spaceport
to wander to the loo,
you'll probably get yourself lost,
and find you're somewhere sniffing glue
and that's no way to spend the night
on planet Hullabaloo!
Next page