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Jenne' Andrews is an American poet. She has three published chapbooks including the recent Blackbirds Dance in the Empire of Love, Finishing Line Press 2013.

A full-length collection, Reunion, Lynx House Press, was published in 1983; after a long hiatus to raise Golden Retrievers in Colorado, recent work has appeared in The Passionate Transitory, Belletrist Coterie, The Adirondack Review and Vox Populi, a journal of culture, politics and poetry published and edited by the august Michael Simms.

A bilingual collection of "Italiana," Bocca, Voce, Delirio, with translations by Lorenzo Luciani, will be released by Finishing Line at the end of 2016 and her latest collection, And Now, the Road, a finalist for the Autumn House prize in 2014, will be released by Salmon Poetry Ltd, Ireland, a highly regarded international house, Jessie Lendennie, Publisher, circa 2017.

Andrews holds the MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Colorado State University, is a literary fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, and was full-time Poet in Residence for the St. Paul Schools from '74-78. She lived in St. Paul from 1971-78 during the first wave of the Twin Cities literary renaissance, and spent the summer of 1973 in Reggio Calabria, Italy.

The poet lives in northern Colorado's Poudre River Valley with her husband, fiction writer Jack Brooks; the couple has recently imported two British Golden Retrievers and expects a litter in June-- see the Ardorgold website for details. Contact: jenneandrews2010@gmail.com .

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Poem in Draft for One Shot Wednesday and Beyond.

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Dusty Kiss
For Doug
(and many thanks to Maureen for the chord struck in me in an image in her new poem wherein a rattlesnake “sings to a slip of moon”….)

Look in the ash can you said
When I came home and I did
And there were the great jaws
And the unfurling body
Of a real matriarch
One of those who slithers to the ridge
On moonlit nights and sends the coyotes
Streaming home like shadows
Fleeing break of day

You had nailed her with a shovel
In your underwear and boots
When she was working up
Her black mambo tail at the dogs
And I was impressed.

Another time we woke to a phone call
And we saw a snake of fire down in the valley,
A scarlet ribbon
Sidewinding toward us—and then
Although it was Thanksgiving Day
We had Armageddon on our hands
And in our eyes; the winds rose
Flames danced on the ridge
Deer running before them
And the horses reared and burst their gates;
We put them all together
while we hosed down the hay.

Some rode away from the fire
And we stuffed an old stallion
into a one-horse trailer
And my pregnant mare Majesty
Shivered for a day in her iron stall
At Boulder County Fairgrounds
But didn’t slip the tiny foal
Nose to legs in her stretched out belly.

This was how it was in those days,
That quick courtship year between us
When I ate sawdust in the stinging wind
And pulled the road apples in every stall
Into a neat pile
And the colts danced and knocked me down
And I swore, often cried
And got back up

And I rode sweet Majesty to the mountain top
Where a hang glider came and terrorized her
So that she bucked in place and I bailed
And she ran downhill but then
When I rounded the bend on jello legs
There she was, looking at me.

The jaws of the snake:  an omen.
The wind prying the roof off the trailer
A warning.
Thee, beloved, slithering
toward me in the sheets
The sheets on fire and cooling
The heart inclined to Pikes Peak
Crackling on the blue infinity
that deepened
Waking too much within
So that we had to look away

Yesterday I found your words
That some loves come back
Like a rattlesnake regrowing a head
Or not.
Ours didn’t—not that way--
Despite the many fires
We built together
And the rattler stayed dead

But under the moon’s spell
The high heavens whitened
By the Milky Way
The pounding hail of a renegade storm
That got Majesty to stream colostrum
And “slip her pearl”
Your title for that chapter

I let go; you
Write the story now
And I’ll sing on like I did
As a girl in my Gene Autry hat
Humming “Don’t Fence Me In”
Riding that stick horse of mine
Across the pampas grass

The drunk rattlers you didn’t want
To wake
Passed out at the fireplace
Years before we got sky high
On the ranch called that
And surrendered to a dusty kiss
Your phrase,
And the dark foal with the white star’s name.





Draft
Copyright 2010
Jenne’ Andrews
All rights reserved

6 comments:

Maureen said...

What a wonderful story-poem this is, great use of the snake, and the images - "black mambo tail", the old stallion "stuffed" into the trailer, "sawdust in the stinging wind", "The heart inclined to Pikes Peak" (made me smile), "love comes back/ Like a rattler", "high heavens whitened / By the Milky Way"; the stick horse being ridden across the pampas grass, "drunk rattlers" - are vivid. I hope Doug appreciates it.

Brian Miller said...

this is a gorgeous story...all the little intricacies you wove...and the snake becoming the metaphor...nice one shot.

Claudia said...

wow! what imagery and fantastic use of words and metaphor..
Although it was Thanksgiving Day
We had Armageddon on our hands...just wow!

dustus said...

Awesome writing, Jenne. What strikes me most is the recurring snakes through what seems the entirety of a relationship. The way you weave that in suggest to me ever-present evil. Even when not discussed, they loom in mind, which to me makes the happy parts at the end all the more poignant. Always enjoy stopping by. cheers!

hedgewitch said...

What a novel of a poem, condensing a life into living images and symbols. Pure gold, impossible not to read and take to heart. I'm hummin my own version of the Autrey tune, (the Hag's 'Ramblin Fever,') as I take your story along with me down the road.

Valerie said...

A lot of excellent images in here. This could probably be trimmed a bit to give more weight to the best parts, since you have a wealth of stuff going on, but it's a great draft.