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 .

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Poem: Psalm for the Alienated

Join us this Friday for Friday Poetry Fest -- xj 

Psalm for the Alienated

All night the cocks crew, under a moon like day,
And I, in the cage of sleep, on a stranger's breast,
Shed tears, like a task not to be put away---
In the false light, false grief in my happy bed,
A labor of tears, set against joy's undoing.
I would not wake at your word, I had tears to say.
I clung to the bars of the dream and they were said,
And pain's derisive hand had given me rest
From the night giving off flames, and the dark renewing.

--Tears in Sleep,  Louise Bogan.

No palliative yet for the hurting place yes
The dark, deepened wound within
The insistent weeping that craves
Shadow’s discerning fingers

Each of us tapping out our Morse code
To one another tap tap tapping
And yet the wound of dark spreads
Over the land like sweet sargasso
And the cicadas wake
For their evening’s work

Accompaniment to solitude,
Lyric for the abandoned.
The one listening for the palpable
If only a kestrel’s plunder cry.

When did this alienation start
She asks, that one
I paid in ripened wheat
To open the tight fist
of my heart 

I was in an orange grove
Over the sea
My hands among the laden boughs
And someone pushed me
Into the briny soil.

But so are we all
Set upon at times
And repudiated
Even by our own.

This—she said to me
Or a voice within me

And to these chimerical forms
Within forms I replied

I have tears to say:
Have you counted
The many deaths
Worldwide, at this hour
The stalemates and overdoses?
Have you seen the weeping roses
On the impromptu graves?

I wait here for the cicada song
For the golden flags of autumn
For the memory of a kiss
To burn like the kiss itself.

I wait for the ballast of this body
To fall away. 
I pray that the spirit soars free

In translucent updraft
With each spiral shedding skin on skin
Of self-forsaking folly
And failed intention.


Copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011 All Rights Reserved   jenneandrews2010@gmail.com 


Mark Kerstetter said...

I'm glad it's the cicadas I hear and not the tap tapping of all of our lonely morse codes: I think the deafening sound of the latter would kill me.

There's deep sorrow in this beautiful and poignant elegy.

Sheila Moore said...

the sadness here intertwined with the attempt to process the whys and whens of such pain is allusive yet powerful and to one who knows this type of pain, also very obvious....especially the last two stanzas. I pray that the spirit soars free, too.

Brian Miller said...

hey look who it is...nice to see you tonight jenne....you touch on much in this verse...have you counted...that stanza is really powerful...wonderful imagery...

Ann Grenier said...

A beautiful, haunting poem. Alienation is a deep wound...a perfect metaphor. Blame seems indicated by the cicadas and I think of the katydids in our woods. Our old world seems to be spinning out of control, wounding words and weapons everywhere. I always enjoy your insights, your words are an inspiration.

la fille said...

so dark and beautiful!

jen revved said...

Profound thanks to each of you...xxxxj

Anonymous said...

Accompaniment to solitude,
Lyric for the abandoned.
The one listening for the palpable
If only a kestrel’s plunder cry

You imbue an oft asked question with startlingly original metaphors into a potent and beautiful elegy. I didn't get here earlier because the link didn't work for me. I found your link in comments you left at expatinCAT's blog. So glad I found this, thank you.