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 .

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Poem for DVerse Poetics: The Emancipation Song of Eva Braun

The Emancipation Song
Of Eva Braun

Many old sayonaras
Glittering in the trees
Dusty little lamps
No one likes
Asleep in their bags

Stille Nacht, Gute Nacht.
Holidays bearing down
Like trucks in a queue
Trucks that can’t turn
Over the bridge
Over the river.

A traffic jam
Metaphor for the world
Metaphor for the self

Stopped.  Held back.  Not on


When I see certain names it comes and comes
You’re not enough will never be enough

Says the voice the denigrating voice
The screech owl dead mother voice

And I say to the voice I suffice
I matter, I reign within myself.

You have no business…
You have no right

I suffice
I was made I live  I exist
I am      not yours.

I am.  I am Love, on its boundary

It never knew the border 
not of wire
Never knew how not how not
To give itself so freely

That it landed in the wet, the wet
The heart a wet and oozing thing

Kicked to the curb.  I’m not I’m not
The dog you can kick to the curb

I hear the voice on the clinic steps
The hand on my arm you must accept
accept accept
Nein.  Non.  Nyet.  You do not define me I reserve
The right. I define me

And I will not will not let you do it
With your big black boots, meine liebling

Your antichrist santa uniform
And bag of hurts:

Your master’s of social work
Your med school ethos
Your betraying hands.

I will decide what fits
I will decide what to wear
And what to say
And to whom

And you may chatter at me
Like birds on a crumbling wall

Like black and howling birds
And scapegoat me and grind me to dust

And fill the big blue charts
With your ill-tempered notes
Cataloging all my faults

You may thieve my right
To make mistakes

But I will take it back

I’ll tear out the notes
The carefully cursive
Laborious lab notes on your case
I am not your case

Or your problem.
You are.  Your own
Problem.  Not for naught

Have I laid claim
To myself.  To celebrate
And sing of this Self

In this bow-legged and lost
And cut-short life

I claim myself
To sing.  I sing
To myself.
……  Silence rains in the Tyrol
And everyone gets wet.  Head for the hills
Heads up:

I will not will not will not let you
Break me

Or manhandle me
Or put your crass hands upon me
    Ever again and I will not

Let  you     in
To       trample upon and devastate

Me nor the child that was
And is, still

That was not   never
Should not have ever

Been ashamed to be herself

Her lovely glowing self
Like an ember on a hill

Like a moon in a pond
Uniquely glowing

Heap your insults
Upon me.  Scapegoat me
Crucify me

I know you, perpetrators
And self-anointed priests.  I know
What you are and you are not

You are not and never
Not for naught I say
what I need

You have to earn my trust
You have to respect this line
I draw with a plain little stick
A lipstick line on your
Old coupe’s isinglass

A line of light over the night’s dark earth


Bulletin.   Pronouncement.  Decree.

…. Today we said
We were leaving their country.
He said from his golden face
In glowing tones
The war is over.

But is it? Over?
Here?  Within?

Do not throw my sins
Into my face

Do not use my confidences
Against me
Or tell them to others.  Do not

Do it.  Enough is enough
Too much is not enough
For many of you

And you love to war and hate
And be right and terrify

Children in the night.  You are not
For godsake, not god, let it not
Be for naught

All of this:

Nor will I let you across the threshold
Into this house, this woman
Now handing you back your pretty
Ribbon-tied, cutting-tongued gifts


Now I take back the spoiled milk
Of my childhood
The rancid milk of maternal betrayal:

The shrieking in the night
The demonic mother bearing down
On me in my small bed

She who succored me
With her betrayals

Her mania
Her tremulous voice
Her shaking legs
When she heard the voices

She made up
So we would all
Rescue her, throw her
A life preserver out into the deep blue
Where she pretended to drown

I take myself back from her
And say you were no mother.
You were a liar.
You were as my child, meine Kinder.

I take back my body
From the old man’s hands
In the dark
And his tongue down my throat.

I take it back; I appropriate myself
I reel myself in like a weary silver marlin;
Still yourself: you belong to me

And I will love you
And I am all you need.


And it became so
Because the Word came first

The small chirping words
Of the pale little girl

From her high chair
From the antique potty chair

She learned her verse
She yielded in the night
They wrapped her in a cast
And carried her

And laid her on her back
Under the one-eyed moon
Under the sky
Like garbage
Like carrion

She heard the foxes on the  hill
She found a way to go
On bowed legs in plaster
From a chair to a bed

She found a way
To sing to herself
In the rank cast.


Now not no but yes
It comes now this yes

This need for yes
This end to no

And lack and need
And loss and being impaled

On the thorns of loneliness
In the dusty room
Where the lonely dogs shiver
At the end of their chains

And the stars weep
This is not the land of Nod
It is not the land of no

We have come now into the land
Of approbation, the liberated
And restrung volition

The violin of volition
The golden harp of yes

Yes  I am she I am One
Who sings

I am one who falters
Who errs
Who sins

Who self-forgives

Worthy is She

Daughter of the night.

I must see to it that the nos
Were not for naught

And that the word yes
Is like an uprising
A human inland tide

Written in blood all over
The desert

Written in a sapphire alphabet
All over the sky

The great writ of gratitude
The great barbaric inner

Yes, I am enough.
I matter, I  I I I am
That word,  Yes.

*Eva Braun was Hitler’s Mistress, becoming his wife several hours before they committed suicide together at Kehlstein Eyre in the Tyrol; she took cyanide and he pulled the trigger. 

“writ of gratitude” swiped from the poet Floyce Alexander.  


copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Claudia said...

was curious because you mentioned the german...so jumped over in rocket speed...haha
now you've chosen a difficult character with eva braun which most people would avoid..
rgd. your german words..only two small things..
Stille Nacht, Gute Nacht
mein Liebling
well done jenne..respect..

Brian Miller said...

wow. epic in scope and depth of emotion through out this...the battle to define herself was def intriguing and interesting to be juxtaposed against their cause...nice take on of her jenne

Mary said...

Strong writing. Everyone has to find their own way to matter. Sad though that she made this choice.

Timoteo said...

You could have made this twice as long as it was, and I still would have been riveted.

Beachanny said...

This was epic. Love the "stream of consciousness" and the way you approached her with a kind of odd rebellion with the repetitition of "not" and "naught" She apparently was desperate for some of that "yes". Really exceptional work here!

Anonymous said...

Well, you certainly picked a hard persona to empathize with, a call for self-possession for a woman so co-dependent she killed herself rather than live without him. A woman who experienced the finest things in life for years while others suffered, starved, were gassed, murdered, shot, dismembered, and more. Since this was her third and finally successful attempt to kill herself I can only imagine that she had an intense self-hatred.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is epic. So many great lines; The violin of volition, the golden harp of yes. The heart a wet and oozing thing kicked to the curb--I'm not a dog you can kick to the curb. The mother. I don't really know very much of Eva Braun, but you've captured a woman caught in crazy times both her own and the world's.


Mark Kerstetter said...

Eva Braun. That's bold. I wish I knew more about this woman. Surely you've read about her.

Was she really this defiant, this determined to define herself in the face of the most notorious dictator in modern times?

(and perhaps I'm not the only one who's had Plath on their mind?)

jen revved said...

Thanks, all-- I imagined that Eva Braun in truth was eager to emancipate herself from Hitler and only under his spell. Her biographers claim this-- in the end she gave in utterly-- I wanted her to break out of it to save herself and so much of this is projected persona and an unusual direction for me, for sure. xxxj

Sheila Moore said...

yes, unusual for you but a nice rallying call for all the Plaths, Brauns and such women, wouldn't you say? Like Gay, I too enjoyed the not and naughts and to see them transform in last part to affirmations, yesses, and I ams was a liberating emotional end to the journey through her psyche. Bravo, Jenne, bravo.

jen revved said...

Thanks, fellow wonderful poets. xxxj

Brendan said...

Eva's and interesting Other, perched on the poet's shoulder as a mask of self that is at enough distance to speak the truths that are so silencing up front. Her song perhaps the Furhrer's posioned and chained and buried conscience, a weird sister sacrificed to the Fatherland. Wrong goddess to screw with, I suppose, and Eva sings on with a bullet through her heart. Sing it from the Brocken. - Brendan