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 .

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Poem: Infidel Light

Infidel Light

Waking the truth pours in
With ghosts of light and aching:.
I cannot walk.  I have trapped myself
Here, on the latitude and longitude
Of half-being.

I tried to join in and I could not
Trust.  I experienced mistakes
As betrayals.

Perhaps it’s only that I had opened myself
Too readily

So that in each case I was a gut-shot
Doe limping back into lucent sumac
To fold herself into the chaff.


I pitch myself at the ghosts of morning,
Bloodied and railing spirits
With the residual force of my will
And my body.
They scatter, become shadows
Whose mission it is to wait

Re-strategize; how then
Shall we move the heart and mind
Of the sleeper

She who clings to an impenetrable
Dream of freedom:
Riding a grey mare once more
Over emerald fields.


The harrows of light
Rake themselves over me
Where I lie transfixed
with fear.

I think, this is the day
Of the lemmings in the supermarket
Pushing their carts full of love
Up and down the aisles.

They buy more and more
And each bauble has a name
Scrawled on it
And each is attached
To the gift-giver
By filaments of obligation.

If I proffer this to you
Will you absolve me
Of my imperfections?

Will you forgive me
The black eye I gave you
In the night?

Why not join them,
Include yourself
In this community of the fallen
With their babble of rebuking tongues?


There are many such as I
Maimed in life’s border war

And in the hills of disgracefulness
Where mortars burst on terrain
That has never been ours.

Children hide and emerge
Belonging to no one.
They scramble through the refuse
At night, starving.

I am reporting from the front line
Unarmed.  My account
May not be reliable.
It is my narrative
And our narratives diverge.

It is a matter of perception
As to what victory looks like.
But come with me out of the reach
Of the infidel light;
Forgive me my litanies
of folly and darkness.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011  All Rights Reserved


Maureen said...

May you enjoy a good Thanksgiving, Jenne.

I'm hoping for sun tomorrow.

joanna said...

i love how the momentum builds in each successive verse, how it goes from something very personal to very dark universalities-- the hard truths that are the responsibilities of poets to bring to light. powerful. brava.

Anonymous said...

the end is very powerful