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 .

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Poem in Draft: I Am Speaking of This

Please also scroll down to read the preceding poem which in a sense, companions this one.  xj 

I Am Speaking of This

Here, hands full of sand, letting it sift through
in the wind, I look in and say take this, this is
what I have saved, take this, hurry. And if I listen
now? Listen, I was not saying anything.

Jorie Graham, Nothing.

Here, heart full of night, letting it billow long
And long.
Missa Brevis, low, burnishing all the rooms
Until they are a landscape of brocade.
Mouth full of warm cider, drinking
The soft light
From a veiled lamp.  The gilded
Dog sleeps; her breath catches when
She dreams of racing the ice flats.

Now I want to go to the mares
Rigid in the cold, out on the stiff grasses
To house them in warmth.

I am speaking of this,
A deep late dark, its silences, that the male choir
Sings in the duomo nave so that the sound is long
And full and you can’t hear anyone breathing
How is it, then, that love
Goes even through the dark out to something
That endures the onslaught shards of cold.


Someone is singing a laudate dominum. I know
His voice, someone I once knew, loved
For the purity of that sound he could make
That pierced the soul, so that the soul then knew
How God feels, how it feels to touch
Mystery’s face.

One is awake while the beloveds slumber
Like a sentinel waiting for the death of night
The young men singing, a sound so light
It is smoke
Can you hear their mortal tenderness
Unearthly, heralding

Even as we board the trains
Of night to pierce it, our own fleshly absence
The weeping soul, the gathering
Plumes of ardor, the awe that such a thing
Exists, that we tremble:
To think of being loved by something

Coming unto us, magnum mysterium
Like the rain, the clarity
Of first light, waking for a split second
Innocent of Self, of distinguishing
Oneself from everything:

As if we the broken, the lost,
The profaned, having nothing
Left to say, have arrived
At night’s station to disembark
With nothing left, but to stay
Our hands against one another
In something like belief.

Copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Maureen said...

Beautiful, lyrical, imagistic, you at your trademark best. Especially strong and standing out are those last three stanzas. That image of boarding "the trains / Of night" of "thinking of being loved by something // Coming unto us", and then the final "hands against one another / In something like belief": gorgeous.

Mama Zen said...

What an exquisite piece!

Brian Miller said...

nice...really like the second part to this ...there is a nice depth of feeling to it from the recognizable voice on...felt that part...beautifully rendered jenne...

Anonymous said...

Really lovely. At first the parts seem disparate but, of course, they all fit together. I think I especially liked this stanza:

One is awake while the beloveds slumber
Like a sentinel waiting for the death of night
Like the young men singing, a sound so light
It is smoke
Can you hear their mortal tenderness
Unearthly, heralding

So interesting to think of the death of night, when night itself is usually the death, and, the sound so light it is smoke-- I think of the smoke of incense here. K.

Victoria said...

This is rich in so many ways. I savor the stanzas about the young men singing and the compelling care for the mares out in the cold. I can see how our Catholic backgrounds have added texture and understanding to our way of seeing things...not to mention fodder for an array of emotions. :0>

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Rich story with strong images