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 .

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Poem: Notes to the Mater Familias Posted for DVerse Poets OLN

Notes to the Mater Familias

I have waited all these years
for the thaw of the ice-encased
lavender fields of this heart

that first beat within you,
drank from your breath
and felt your aching for me,
it was said--

wanted myself to want
to forgive you the sins
of your commission, your amnesia
over what a mother
was, your flagrant
disarray and disintegration
right in front of me;

your angry red mouth
a wound spewing the fire
of insults upon your child,
daughter who took the image
of what a woman is
from you,

daughter reclusive
and afraid of everything
back in the adobe shadows,
crouching under the winter coats,
warming her hands at the Sunday school

Waiting and wanting to want
to forgive you your breaking in
to my soul, cutting open my diary,
taking my hands that were discovering me
off my body.

You in your Sunday cloche,
your sterling silver cross at the neck
so puritanical and monolithic
barring my egress to a destiny.


Didn’t you see that I didn’t belong
to you, but to the world?
No wonder I handed myself off
to boys then men, reeking of damage
like something from a blighted garden
too long in water,

climbing now out of the rubble
of the smoking years,
thankful for the fires of illness
that razed it all down

and looking back at the lavender
expanse of girlhood
dreaming of the Loire Valley,
of the Tyrrhenian coastline,
I remain known to myself

as someone who has cooled inside,
like a stone pitched from a volcano
a chip of fallen star,
something that dreams on
with others in the ruins

only time and voiceless bones
disintegrating to phosphor
can reincarnate to a living field.


Let me be clear.
The mother viper
has infected her young
with rage and fear
so that it spills out of them
like an armed garrison
from a Trojan horse.

I can only love on paper,
only when I sing,
only when alone,

like a molting canary
in a desiccated cedar.

I was never yours to terrorize,
to mother your second child,
to rule and dress,
and make turn in a gilded tutu
on a stage in
well-rounded obeisance,

to trot a patient horse
down a bleeding furrow
of afternoon,
you, frowning at me,
so immense,
the bomb you were ticking away,
occluding the horizon.

How you were risen from your lair
crazed and ranting
in your Oscar-worthy
charade of desperation,
until the roof fell in,
and forfeiting every dream
of what a family was,
we ran for our lives


copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2012


Brian Miller said...

wow. powerful piece...you build it well and the third stanza for me really finds traction and just takes off from there jenne...

i did not know where this year would get us, but i am glad you have been traveling the road with us jenne...you are a wonderful writer...

Anonymous said...

Powerful write J. and the closeness of the emotion hasn't overpowered the class of the write... The honesty of so much of it is alarming.... Thank you for this.

ayala said...

A powerful and moving write!

Semaphore said...

Your diction, your language, the way the words flow into each other - your poetry is always a revelation, expressive in its richness.

Anonymous said...

Yes, agree with others - the fragrance of lavender lasts a very long time (even after it's been stuck in a drawer.) I don't think you have been, but you're terrific. k. 79

flaubert said...

I agree this is a powerful write. Moving and somewhat heartbreaking.