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 27, 2011

Poem for One Shoot Sunday


I am the shy girl back in the stage shadows
merely one bareheaded
apple-breasted shepherdess in the chorus

And the town's golden boy, the mortician's son
the natural-born tenor takes center stage

As Lancelot.  I am not Guinevere
our head cheerleader transformed
to an engrailed Arthurian vision

But I should be. He sings to her
while she sits in green diaphanous lassitude

Pretending to eat a pear
He perjures himself,

Pledging to fall on his faux sword for her
at any hour.

I hear him say 
he'll bequeath the shield 

To her, when the curtain falls
And the set is broken down
on striking night.

He warbles on
and everyone applauds.
I seethe

And pray that a papier mache raven
flies down in Act II
and plucks out her eyes

Or better yet, pecks off her cherry
and gives it to a beggar.

One night, beggar myself I caught a ride home
from him in the family hearse-- something 
overcame me
and I bared my breast in the moonlight

And he turned me over his knee
a well-rehearsed budding patriarch
admonishing me with the flat of his hand.

Even then, I lay in my narrow bed 
a slip of moon trapped in the rose bush
at the window pane
Dreaming us together

I was galloping on the white filly
of my imagination

And he raced ahead of me
on his black warhorse
shedding his armor in the grove

Taking me as I thought
women were taken up
into the arms of their loves back then

In those bittersweet sleepless hours
that he had dared to spank me 
was the bad dream

In my reverie we were 
old hands at the joust
of carnal love

And then the dream turned
to an aqua scrim of light and water.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011
all rights reserved


hedgewitch said...

A refreshing revisiting of Arthurian legend, to say the least. A fine lyrical capture of the complex emotions of the young who feel so hard and know so little, and also so much we later forget. I like it very much that he is the undertaker's son.

Fireblossom said...

"He warbles on"

Love that, because it conveys the pretty shallowness of the mouthed words and the speaker himself. Interesting that you wished all manner of violence on her, while idealizing him. Par for the schooldays course, I suppose, but time will have its way with both of them. Bet on that.

jen revved said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jen revved said...

@Hedgewitch-- thanks so much. Yes, it has been a percolating colorful story for many moons-- was glad to have it spring for whatever reason from the mysterious photo prompt for today. xj

Steve Isaak said...

Wow-worthy work. Perfect on all counts.

Semaphore said...

I thought, wow, what an imaginative work - from the shepherdess jealousy to the seduction and spanking in the hearse - but this was real? Real or imagined, a well-wrought work, paced beautifully from start to finish.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Crush!! What a lovely interpretation of the picture. I wish I'd thought of that!

He sings to her
while she sits in green diaphanous lassitude

Pretending to eat a pear
He perjures himself,

Pledging to fall on his faux sword for her
at any hour...

This is masterful writing. I was happy to be caught up in this tale. Brilliant from start to finish.

Alegria Imperial said...

I wish I have wise and knowing words to add to the perfection that is your poem. But I can only say how 'tantalized' I am by the lines that flit in and out of the story and the dream. Thank you, Jen!

jen revved said...

Thanks so very much, each of you. May we write on and feel wonderful about our gifts. xxxj