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 .

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Poem for No Good Reason...

Ballad of a World Traveler

I took a train out of liar’s country to get perspective
I wanted a clear view
To see the entire landscape this time
Of the topography of love.

I saw the glint of hibiscus-strewn cliffs
In the distance, and inferences
Of life in motion—perhaps Polynesian girls
Surface diving in a lagoon.
Shangri la then but this gave way
To the desert and I said I thought so

Las Vegas towered on the horizon
Along the interstate and I swerved along
My wings low to the asphalt.  Any moment now
I should see it, its false front a casino
A tourist attraction, gambling joint and indigenous
Bone exhibit all in one

These in fact are the limed down artifacts
Of our first chapter—you see how cleanly the wind
Has picked the skull clean.  These are the eye sockets
Where we thought 20/20 vision would serve us
And the cranium, we put to use

Lying to each other’s faces
About the range war that gave way
To the season of arrow-bearing corpses we
Called a worthy expedition
The felling of the buffalo and the retributive
Arrival of the Pawnee, who took our horses,

Leaving us on our own, scarecrows in the desert
Of desire, prone, spent, without water.
I sucked the venom from a rattler’s contorted body
And it didn’t do a thing for me

I tried to bring you down to drain your blood
And build a fire by striking a rock against your teeth
But it rained and rained and washed away our tears
Into an arroyo that widened to a river

So that our narrative merged with the other
Stories of the lost, the refugees of the desert sanitarium,
The sunken ship in the shoals
Off Christmas Island

And we stood at the Golden Gate bridge looking up
At the cartwheeling gamblers
Who had run out of bouillon & time to turn it all around
Plummeting into the bay with their hair on fire.

Hear me:  I gave everything to you, everything
And you wrapped me in baling wire
And tossed me on top of the rotting animals
In the death cart.

At the last minute I paid off the renderer
Stole a car, dyed my hair
And got away to this island
Cloaking myself in night
Having run and run from you
Taking shots of poison with salt & lemon,
Soothing myself with ambush scenarios,
Cursing myself
For letting you amputate my will.

copyright Jenne' Andrews 2011

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