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 15, 2011

Taboo Poem for DVerse Poetics: The Swells

Ah, ye poets-- ye have opened Pandora's Box, launching truth or dare this way; check out the challenge at DVerse.   See also my posts on the Conrad Murray trial at Loquaciously Yours.  Book reviews coming up there as well.  xxj 

Update:  I must say that the surfeit of delights in the responses, i.e. all of the sex poems have gotten under my skin.  Please feel free to either read my lament below, or scroll down to the second poem I wrote for the challenge.  

The Swells

What will they think of me
If I say I have little hope for myself

Or for humankind?  That I endure each day
Like a boxer on the ropes
A diver whose ship has left without her

Rocking in a dead man's float
in the swells for how long.
Yes I see us all on the Cross
Sweating blood
Crucifying ourselves out of habit.
I see the chimeric golfers out on the green
And I think what do they know
Of poverty

Or of inner darkness, self-abandonment's
amputee angels
parachuting through eternity?

I am the habitué of a cloister I make
To seem like a home.  I used to live
In the whole world
To get up in the morning with a song
At the back of my throat

Go down to the old buildings
The fragrant coffee shop.

But it’s too hard now, my wings
Clipped, my body easing its way
Down the stone steps of gravity

And my heart with it.
Only song keeps me going, only
Glimpses of the trees leaning to the east
For the momentary light
And then to the west

And then trapping the moon
In their branches
Eating little bits of moonlight,
Little infusions of honey.

Like This, You Would

How I wanted you in those seas of time
How I longed for us to shed our reserve
And let the half-light make our bodies
Young again

For you to surprise me in the shadows
Kiss against my neck
Tease me awake with searching hands

And find the pulse between my legs
There where the blood beats
With lightest touch
Make me ache, wake me there

You’d feel me fill with blood
Come to life for you
If you slipped your fingertips
Into me, you would feel me clench
And swell to take you in

And if I said, longer, here
Like this you would
You would kindle me, unafraid
And unworried
Until no turning back

I could pull you into all my need
And you would surge, and touch,
Within and without
And speak my name
And tell me I’m taking  you
To heaven.

But I am reticent; you don’t yet know
That we could lie on our sides
Eyes to eyes,
Become incarnate hunger
That your hand, your cock
Your mouth, your voice
Would take us there together

In the ripened sacraments of the body
Faking it out of the question,
In all the rumpled seas of bliss.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews  2011


Anonymous said...

As always, so many beautiful lines and images here, and sharp juxtapositions, chimeric golfers after crucifixion, amputee angels, stone steps of gravity (I especially love that one), the bits of honey from the moon, the leaning of the trees to sun. Throat still has an awfully lot of song in it. K.

Beachanny said...

Always the poet, Jenne. I knew that yours would be a feast and so it is. I am living with the man and his scythe outside the door waiting for my friend of fifty years. We put up the pretenses of normalcy, watch the light, comment on the birds outside and the cat within. It's a slow sunset. I loved, so loved your last stanza.

Brian Miller said...

some nice textures here...particularly toward the end...but its felt more than anything...know it is a challenge personally but also with the state of our current world...the next 10 years will be very different from the last...its hard to think that far out but...things will be changing further all the more...

Heaven said...

This is a depressing and sad voice, despite the song at the end. These lines resonate with me:

"And I think what do they know
Of poverty

Or of inner darkness, self-abandonment's
amputee angels"

I say we all have these moments of despair and self-pity.

Anonymous said...

I also resonated with the lines Heaven chose, I once wrote a letter to my cousin that said I hate self-pity but I have some.

Sheila Moore said...

beautiful lines - I couldn't help but smile a bit when I saw that one of your labels said "more self-pity" not "self-pity" but "more." At least you're not in denial - that's a good first step ;) I don't mean to make light of it - I have had my many fair shares of this poison - it is a monstrous oppressor.

Mary said...

Your words may be filled with sadness, but your self honesty and bravery come through loud and clear! I admire that.

Fred said...

Jenne- both of the pieces are very good, each in their own ways. I love your piece for the prompt, some of the lines in here are just hands down wickedly wonderful- great job, thanks

Anonymous said...

Jenne your first poem, "The Swells," is magnificent. Of it's own right it is simply a beautiful, aesthetic piece of art..... it rolls from the tongue and its images are just divine. It is so sad to think that the issues you spell out there, sadness, and poverty, are seen as taboo but they are..... I really enjoyed this part:

amputee angels
parachuting through eternity

And your second poem? "Like this you would?" I just want you to know that I will be coming to your place for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.... And any available weekends in between..... and Thursdays. Fridays too..... Wow!

jen revved said...

thanks to each and ev'ry-- and John, were you free to fly away I'd love it; we would make our very own holidays..xxxj

Brendan said...

Yep, this is one of the worst writerly taboos, to write on without hope. Shakespeare could stare into the human abyss - so did Melville -- but it takes almost as much bravery as refuting God or Love. For what does the reader dive for, except a nugget of something to pay one's way through another day? Yet there's a saying that things get so much better when we give up hope. And poetry can arise from the rot. Fine job. - Brendan

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Excellent poems and the second brought back memories!

Anna :o]

Claudia said...

the trees leaning to the east for light, trapping the moon, bits of moonlight and infusions of honey..fine images all jenne...felt..