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

Posted for One Shoot Sunday

To see the photo prompt for today's One Shoot Sunday meme, visit One Stop Poetry here.


I find Ophelia wandering in Liverpool
I spring her from the custody

Of the nervous gendarmes.
Have you gone mad again, I ask

In the forlorn way of all mothers.
Before she began panhandling

She was mistaken for a statue in the park
Hair fallen over her eyes

Her pale body encased in frost.
Can’t you see I’m in drag

She asks, posing for someone
With three fags in her mouth—

We need to return you
To the sea

For the rites of salt, I say,
Throwing a red cloak over her back.

We run to the night train together
HerJohn steps from the shadows

And plunges a syringe into her thigh.
She wilts like a white crocus

Against me and the train bears us away
And we dream together

On the cold split vinyl seat
I see Napoli from the window

The train stops, doors flying open
And she ascends from my arms

As if a fever had lifted from me
First a pale and withered angel

And then in the oval of light
Light itself.

Daughter gone now, train rolling on
Through the countries of the night

To home and its many ruins
A spent bouquet in my hand.


When I saw the photo choice for today, out of all of Fee’s lovely examples, I was somewhat furious.  I thought, why has Adam chosen such a disturbing, somewhat meaningless--to me-- image, as in, why on earth waste the film to take a photo of this shyster.  But then, as is the way of all poets, I had an idea.


copyright Jenne' R. Andrews
March 2011


Brian Miller said...

stark imagery...gave me rather a shiver...not sure i want to go home now...

Theodore Daniel Richards said...

Having two daughters, both who unfortunately take after me (at least in their youth); both who like to come to the edge and look. One 30 and living in Vegas; one still at home -- both make me nervous -- this poem stuck...but this line, this line brings it all back home:

We need to return you/To the sea/For the rites of salt, I say,

This line is a gem Jen. I've only heard Dylan Thomas or James Joyce use language like this before. It gives so much to allude to.

Anonymous said...

Well, you sure came up with an adequate idea (I skipped this image altogether). Ophelia has no mother in "Hamlet," though if she did, she might have been solaced from mad suicide. She's thus Persephone here, with Demeter doing her damned best to wrest her back from Hell. "The rite of salt," hell yes, that's the ticket for this ailing mental amputee -- but love of Opium the rude physic here, and in the end there's nothing to do but let this young girl fade into Oblivion and go back to the hell of "home and its many ruins / A spent bouquet in my hand." Five unlit cigarettes as kudos for a fine, fine job. - Brendan

dustus said...

Love the surreal fever induced ascension, as well as the lines...

"And plunges a syringe into her thigh.
She wilts like a white crocus"

Wow. So clear to imagine the chemical wilting. It does however seem cruel to me to place Ophelia in water, even if it is in Liverpool. Very witty. Excellent poetry, as always.

Alegria Imperial said...

Because Ophelia is a constant image for me--her madness fascinates me no end--I latched on to your first few lines and followed through with yes, her non-existent mother. The unreal weaving in and out of the real world reinforces the images passing in and out of a train window, the poet's and the reader's mind. I love how you end it, Jenne..."First a pale and withered angel/And then the oval of light/Light itself..." Kudos!!!

signed...bkm said...

The best take I have read all day on this prompt..excellent in every way...I have a daughter also that at one time played with this edge...happy that she is still riding on the train....Wonderful...bkm

Fireblossom said...

Rue is a potent poison.

I'm with Adam, taking Ophelia to the shore seems like tempting fate.

Semaphore said...

This is brilliant. At once I saw you evoking not just the target picture, but also the gloriuous, infamous pre-Raphaelite painting of Ophelia - you would know, of course, of the unsavoury background of the models for these portraits, which is perfectly in line with your theme. I have absolutely fallen in love with your work, all of it.

jen revved said...

Thanks to each of you for such wonderful comments. I value each of you and each of these so very much. Love, Jenne'