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, April 24, 2011

A Poem for One Shoot Sunday...

I've actually written three poems for One Shot-- most recent first.  xj

Laudamus te, glorificamus te.

I put the Eucharistic wafer, the soporific
Under my tongue.
I mouthed the Credo of the Bach Mass in B Minor
And I focused on the crucifix on my wall.

I filled with light and transcended myself. I floated
Out of the wheelchair as a sound wave, a Sanctus
Traveling bed to bed, my lips against their lips.

Pauline sat under the clock asking the time
I rubbed her thin shoulders in their cashmere sweater.
Rose wept for her engagement ring
And I held her in my arms.

Julia pined in a high and indecipherable voice.
Kay read at the window at the end of the hall
At the end of the line, in her Scottish woolen skirt.
We shared Brie and crackers, and laughed.

I painted dolls and placed them
In the laps of the lost and forlorn.  I sang
O Holy Night to a demented soprano
Who smiled at me at the end,
“Beautiful,” she whispered.

One day I ambulated the hallway
Dragging my healing leg and Julia 
held up the sign for the wet floor:
"Cuidado: Piso Mojado."  
The hours trailed their damp filaments 
over us like golden rain

And the coiffed and broken migrated 
to dinner and succor,
Opening their mouths for the aides
Like unfledged sparrows.

I was home again.  Among my lost parents.
They were all there in triplicate, my mother
In bed talking about her Indian jewelry.
My father watching a football game.
They were mine.  Mine own angels
In the cloister of forgetfulness.

We loved each other in the profane night--  
I held Irene to my breast, her wig 
on the bed-stand.
I sang to JoAnn, my uncertainties 
melting away as she flapped her arms
In the death-throe,
A swan primed for flight.



For Kay Elliot and the other angels of Golden Peaks Nursing Home

The old woman has forgotten to be ashamed.  She watches Lawrence Welk
again and again, joyfully incontinent.  She greets all in her Sunday best each day of the week, in her Queen Elizabeth purple hat, her clean diaper. 

It is not a bad thing to be old, bent, and to forget.  Forgetting is freedom from the past, with its divorces and its chihuahuas killed at the corner, the child who overdosed on heroin.  The aged are beautiful in the way of platinum and polished family silver.  Our heirlooms and their loquacity.  They prattle at night;  their secrets spill out like white moths from their mouths.  With their sighs and gestures they relive the making of cupcakes, the planting of roses.

A wheelchair universe, often wordless, with its roamings and dreamings and rollings away from the disdained.  A demented old woman has manifold imaginary orgasms and the aid speaks softly to her to quell her cries.  But she is beloved.  When she dies she is surrounded by her kind, those beleaguered sisters who only hear her when they are asleep, her breath-caught humming of worn folksongs. 

On a Rocky Mountain high she lifts off, crossing the moon’s harbor, ship of bones in a wedding gown, making her way.

To read about photographer Greg Laychek please visit One Stop Poetry.  

Another Poem:

To Be Read

It is so utterly hopeless, as the stars are hopelessly
glorious in their uncountable numbers, the relentless unfurling
of light across heaven. Hopeless in the way of a marriage
withering by candlelight.  As in litanies of the barrio and the surfeit
of weeping before a crucifix draped in black crepe.

Hopeless to stutter into black space and be heard or forgiven. 
It is a crucifixion a death sentence, a rune and a conundrum:
this compulsion to discern. To need to devolve from the evolving,
anything astute, memorable.  What folly.  It is useless to put yourself
out into the void with the others dancing to the same tango.  To strike
gold you need an orchestra, the best violinists of Germany.  To be heard

And considered and your pages turned, you must be a book, but books
cannot make themselves; they need our help, the butterfly kingdoms
of dialect, the wine-laden epithets that come back to haunt.  The black 
bark smelted to paper.  A campfire of light-filled tongues, a night
inhabited by only you.  Only you so that you may shine out over all 
the seas and the seas weep  at the beauty of your words.


Copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Fireblossom said...

Oh you REBEL! That prompt sucked, if I may put it in my customary delicate fashion. Still, I worked with it (twice!) because in the end I guess I am just another sheep baa-ing my way down the prescribed path. ;-)

But your piece...it gathers strength and ignites in the final paragraph, Love the bark, love the tongues, love it all.

hedgewitch said...

All three of these are way beyond just solid, and each covers a different facet of this thing called age, or that other thing called woman. I think I like your middle piece best, for the Queen Elizabeth hat and mordant chihuahuas, but 'To Be Read' is by far the most poem.

Brian Miller said...

hot jen...loved your piece and it build to an wonderful crescendo in the end...the first one that is...excellent

dustus said...

"Resurrection" is an inspired piece—the one I liked the most of three great ones. There is a fire within and between the lines. A complex conflagration of imagery expressed eloquently... I hope you know that I think you write beautifully, and I'm glad you consider me a friend (as mentioned on your sidebar alongside poets whom I admire and respect). Write on.

moondustwriter said...

since I was 18 I have had a love for the elderly no matter how forgotten or frail - this spoke to my heart

and too be read ... Gold

Thanks Jenne

Chris said...

Powerful pieces today, Jenne. Potency floods the lines of each story - though I must say I enjoyed the prose piece "To Be Read" most of all. Favorite line: "And considered and your pages turned, you must be a book, but books
cannot make themselves"...so true. Thank you for your kind words on my own work as well today - I'm honored that in spite of some of your reservations toward the prompt-based creations/inspirations of the day that you enjoyed mine.

I will admit I'm not entirely certain as to what happened between you and Dustus today, but I hope that one day's unfortunate drama doesn't turn you away from One Shoot or One Stop in the future! It's always a pleasure having you, especially when you bring such lovely works as this to the community's eye.

Hope the weekend is treating you well.

jen revved said...

Thanks very much to each of you for your kind words-- things are fine, worked out-- not to worry. May we all thrive, have our dreams come true and be glad of our community-- Happy Easter Monday, now. xxxj

Jingle Poetry said...

timeless words.

Jingle Poetry said...

check out poetry potluck today at JP, first time participants are welcome to submite random poems. hope to see you in when you are ready, bless your day.