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 .

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Poem - Season of Otters

la belle dame sans merci - Fechier

Season of Otters

To the Memory of  Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto*

The sins of the moment: turning back inward and falling
and stumbling back the way you came.  Stop.  Morning
again.  Wind in the air conditioner, conditioning the wind.
Black coffee waiting to be made black and good. Anger 
I thought to excise, pulling the plum-pit of the dark
from my own chest.  Writing I need to let go of the past
and then looking at a review of someone's book 
At the luminous cover and the title that pained me.  Recollections
of Basoalto, not.  Not Basoalto nor his alias.  Not the remembered.  
Diss the reviewer hate the messenger but name your poems
With your own name or the name of a cloud or a barrio owl
or pull from a story of the deeps;  name them reminiscence
of darkening feet under a sheet--mention your own hands
or your hair, ruminations of un belle dame sans merci, 
The cut-out tongue of the belle of revolution
or your long dark hair catching fire when young.  
Failed love is a one-winged sparrow, a mortal kite caught
in the power lines. The wave of anguish rises and I cannot
because I have iron filings in my mouth.  They whisper left out
Alone left out alone,  be ashamed. Perhaps you were shameful
but who isn’t? It was a Christian reviewer, and to put love
out into the world they will excuse even the sins
of the plagiarist.  You love hard, your hands
in their cooking dance.  I will not I tell the wave,
The dark black coffee waters laving the shores
and shoals of heaven. Heaven is surely freedom from the past—
past lives, past stones thrown and coat hangers and owls
hitting the windshield. Falling out of your crib.  Out of the cradle
and into the deeps, the otter mother swimming with the pup
in her mouth I am the mother otter with the downy pup of the self
in my mouth.
Redemption lies then in our otterness. Don't let go of me
but let us shake off the trawlers; let us dive together.
with the surging school of dolphins arcing up. The wind sometimes
cuts, like a serrated blade that loves a good tendon. Sometimes
I am the profane wind and I speak vinegar.  I am the matriarch
otter in rough seas, the mocking bird, a memoir of shadows, hourglass salt
distilled from the cooling and ghostly heart. 

April 15, 2011

*Pablo Neruda

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011

1 comment:

Semaphore said...

From the first name, 'Neftali', I knew at once who you were speaking about - one of my touchstone poets - and I knew I was in for something exhilirating. No disappointment here, as you channel Neruda's love of language, the languourousness of words, the seemingly-clashing metaphors that turn into wondrous dreamscapes.