Jeanette in Her Mother’s House #3

Jeanette in Her Mother's House #3 by Daniela Rossell
Jeanette in Her Mother’s House #3 by Daniela Rossell

Jeanette in Her Mother’s House #3

by Ashley Naftule

Nothing grows in her
pleasure garden-
save for her boredom-
which blows through
the living room,
shaking the branches
of the painted trees
with her sighs.

She reclines on the floor,
her feet curled up
near a leopard
purring under the fainting couch.
Her hands,
soft as a devil’s promise,
rest on polished wood
sourced directly from
the lumberyards of Eden.

Her dress,
spun from black widow’s silk,
wears her.

She sighs and waits
for a vodka martini
that will never come.
Because somewhere
in the wallpaper
her manservant is being
swallowed up by a serpent,
and her maid
is being dragged into the bushes
by slavers
offering better job prospects.

That poem was published in the chapbook “Poetry and Prose for the Phoenix Art Museum” (which is still in print! get yours here!) put out this year by Four Chambers Press. Four Chambers (collaborating with the Phoenix Art Museum) put out a call for work inspired by pieces of art on display in the museum, and then hosted a walking/reading tour of the museum where each of the poets read their work in front of the art that inspired them! It was a fun, one of a kind event and I was honored & delighted to be a part of it.

When it comes to independent literature in Phoenix, Four Chambers is really trying to do something innovative and different. They’ve hosted multidisciplinary events mixing spoken word with performance art and music, organized interesting cross-promotional events with local events, organized a set of public readings on the light-rail and published several excellent journals of work by local and national authors. Right now Four Chambers has a Kickstarter up for their upcoming projects, and if you have a few bones to spare, they are a very worthy, deserving cause to throw those bones at.

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