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 .

Friday, September 9, 2011

Autumn Poem for Fellow Trauma Survivors....Commemorating 9/11

Posting as well for DVerse Poetry Challenge on loss/healing..the first poem went up yesterday 9/10 and seemed appropos the challenge. The second is a draft to do with correlated violations:  rape and 9/11. xj 


The last time I walked
I played with a golden dog
carefully inching sideways
down to the slope to the creek,
unrolling the training lead
while she plunged in overjoyed,
her tail a semaphore in the rain of light

The last time I loved
was in the stillness of candlelight
and breathlessness
fingers brushing my nipples
unfastening silk strings
hands running down my thighs
I was strong and flexible in my joy
the taking into my body
of an errant golden boy
lost in the same ways
in the aftermath
holding his head against me.

The last time I took action on a dream
was to buy a white mare huge with foal
lugging redolent mash—
flaked corn, grain, molasses
down to the corral
where she stood in dangerous beauty,
waiting for me, eyes round and dark
with gratitude.

And the last time I yearned as deeply
as one may yearn
there was a seahorse floating
in the night of my womb
whose name I dared not speak,
A  tiny and uncommon thing
that slipped from me
a dream gone back to grass
a personhood absorbed by night
the kiss of a far existence
a fluttering away into thin air.

And the last time I made a record
of an uncommon life
is this time, of an index of illuminations
in a house gone to ruin
moths in the window sills, in the cool
silences of morning

Brought awake by the imperatives
of language, mind burning
in the crumbling house of a body,
launching myself in my walker
out through the bedroom door
turning down the sibilance of the radio

To hear the swell within
of, you could say
the lyrical nature of living on
in spite of a surgical failure
to weld my bones together:

In making myself try
to walk again however I could
the weight of daily life curved my leg
like a scythe,  until like anything
going from water to land
I became other than I had been,
a tilted person
one leg shorter than the other, a rudder
attached to a once comely woman.

I go out, throwing the walker
into the back of my car
to see the mare down the way
come to her feet
newborn paint filly sitting up
in amazed languor
emerald field populated
with similitude and otherness,
each mare with an undaunted foal,
dancing into life.

The great stallion Halim Shah

The Violable

The first taste of a man,
The salt seas of him
I was eighteen, creeping to the bedside
Of a near stranger, thinking
That if I pleased him
I would be cherished.

One abandonment, cursory
Gratitude not enough.  Down
the decades down the metal stairs
into winter on winter
Reckless and gunning 
for presence

Feeding the being I hated
to them, letting them
Pull at my breasts like stoats
Ache themselves into my body.

This was not the order of love
And not the living night
Parked in someone’s van at the edge
Of a reservoir, choking and degraded
Held by the hair.

I forgave that girl whose desperation
Led her into the underworld
Whose fallen lamb she became

But then came sufficient madness
For all and all time: Planes flying
where they should not
great clouds of smoke, shattered 
glass, melting girders
Bonfires from windows

"Jumpers," widow-cries
Orphanings, barrages of vindication
From automatic weapons
In a mutated sun’s swelter.

How then shall we re-order the world
As if a cedar chest of clean linen,
A white dress appliquéd with roses
would ever again
Mean anything

Or that the scar of terror
Adorned now by willow saplings
waterfalls, marble engravures
could convince a broken-winged bird
to take again to the air.

After Reading Poetry Commemorating 9/11

I am swimming out of a nightmare
Swimming through a sea of dust
Among others drenched in ash
Confounded and running

And the soul is tired
Of its own mission to fathom the meaning
Of the collapse into rubble
Of trust

How on earth death to the innocent
Means martyrdom:

--Islam, be ashamed and wear your shame
In blood.

Here in the autumn a decade later
The heavy turning boughs
The Dona Nobis Pacem

Of the Bach B Minor Mass
Takes a fettered heart
Into the clouds building
To the north
To be mothered
by immortal light—

Et lux perpetua.

Each who watched our brothers
and sisters freefall to the street
Who heard the cries of those on fire

Climbs now into late summer’s
Runnel of hope-making
Takes refuge in the requiems
Of the sundered day

Where we may anoint these wounds
Together, press closed
One another’s serrated flesh.

Jenne' Andrews 2011   jenneandrews2010@gmail.com


Mystic_Mom said...

You paint with such richness, such texture and you draw in the heart and mind...I love your words Jenne!

Anonymous said...

Jenne.... how do I even begin to explain the emotions that just heralded through me as I read this insanely intense poem? How does one choose a single stanza as a hallmark to the beauty and sheer umph that invades each of them? Let me start with the simplest: #2, I'm a man. I think my hand just touched Jupiter because it shot me pretty close to there. Or "to buy a white mare" who stood waiting in "dangerous beauty." She's the one, isn't she, who threw you last. Jenne there are no words, the emotions conveyed there are just so completely life stifling. "Moths in the windowsill," unable to do the things that once kept you busy in unwelcome work, now a forgotten pleasure. "... mind burning in the crumbling house of a body," "living on in spite of a surgical failure to weld my bones together," that rehabilitation would steal the years from you, and not only leave you older but less than what you think you once were. "...a rudder attached to a once comely woman." And yet you still are just an observer of the depths and beauty of life: "with similitude and otherness, each mare with an undaunted foal, dancing into life."

I don't know what to say to these things but this and please forgive me: I love you. I love your strength, I love your resolve, I love your memories, I love your passion, God I love your passion. I love your ability to take a handful of words and string them together in such a beautiful way as to make me love you. And I love your poetry. I never knew you before Jenne, barley do now, only through this forum, but I can't imagine in all my years that you, this incredibly young, beautiful poet, are anything less than you ever have been. Thank you for these wonderful, beautifully extraordinary moments spent devouring this most pleasant, tender part of you.

jen revved said...

John-- you have me in tears... for the second time today. Thank you for this; I can't tell you how much it means to me. I'm certain we'll have a rich and resonant association. Love, Jenne'.

Mark Kerstetter said...

John's right, this is gorgeous poetry. "Brought awake by the imperatives of poetry" - indeed, and the reader burns with you.

Sheila Moore said...

definitely a life changing memory you have written eloquently (as always) about. Thank you for sharing your pain with us.

Beth said...

Gorgeous with impact. Your imagery pulls the reader through the poem while the repetition adds force to "the last time"


Anonymous said...

A tilted person...

Such intense beauty! Such vivid imagery! I just don't have words! Beautiful doesn't begin to cover this and anything I say will just sound stilted or contrived. So I will remain in silence to go back and re-read this again!

ayala said...

This is gorgeous. I love it!

seasideauthor said...

luceat eis, I really liked this write. Thank you for sharing all of you memorial page here.

C Rose said...

Stunning poetry, your sensual and evocative imagery really pulled me in. ~ Rose