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 .

Sunday, September 30, 2012

New Poem: A Tarnished Dream of Silver, for The Mag, Dverse, and Beyond....

Many thanks to Tess Kincaid for the Sunday photo up at The Mag...  

It Must Be Time for Lunch Now, Francesca Woodman, 1979

A  Tarnished Dream of Silver

After the great crash of ‘79, after they both
had died,  I took all thirteen pieces of the family sterling
to the pawn shop. 

A Judas daughter doesn’t need monogrammed
silverware lying around
while she settles matters for parents gone to dust.

Once that glint was gone, all the Victorian utensils
handed down from Great-grandmother Coddington,
the fluted serving spoons, the sterling shell-shaped
jelly dishes, the house sighed, and closed its eyes.

Then I found in her old portfolio a painting of her beloved
place settings, an unstretched canvas of spoons touching
forks, and I remembered her swearing in the corner

of the dining room in Albuquerque over her easel,
knocking back one scotch on the rocks then another,

while her toddler daughter stumbled in circles
in the immense and dark living room,
a lump hard as ore in her throat.

I didn’t want a mother who was a spoon in its cups.
I saw silver singing to me from the dish water
and then her face appeared,
and I pulled the plug.


I remember George building a blast furnace
a small one, on his canyon land
and raiding industrial dumpsters for anything
he could glean the silver from
and take to the pawn shop.

I remember when they hacked up our peace
of mind,  like a murder of ravens
clacking epithets:
it always got their attention
to be on the wrong side of a sterling-handled
carving knife.

And how could I forget throwing
the silver-plated tea set down the stairs
when she punched him in the face,
until he was a concave clock
with broken hands?


The silver halo of the angels I dream of
is their astounding millinery.  And the night gaudy
with the platinum puncture points of the stars.

I prefer the silver linings I see in the piled cumuli
over the Never Summer Range, I prefer that name
for mountains.

I prefer the silver side of a dream even when
that dream has gone to ruin like apples
tawdry with rot in the heavy-hearted grass. 

If you put me on trial and I took the stand,
I would still say it was necessary
to take away her silver spoons,
cash her in like Hopi pawn, keeping
the turquoise, smelting her down.

Jenne' R. Andrews, copyright 2012/


Heaven said...

Exquisite writing Jenne ~

I am in awe of the silverware and dreams weaving in your words ~

Linda said...

So many memories in silverware, some needing to be forgotten and others needing to be heard. I love the expressions, the hopes and regrets in your family remembrances, here Jenne. This is so creative and expressive. Thanks so much for sharing.♥

Catfish Tales said...

Lovely piece of writing. An epic poem - a life carved from substance other than silver.

Daydreamertoo said...

Pheeew...this is written by and through the eyes of having lived it. Very deep, painful and we could read it as full of sadness yet, it isn't because it ended on a high of hope and putting the past where it belongs.
We cannot get to where we are without first coming from the places we've been, can we?
Heartfelt to me.

Maureen said...

Wonderfully told story, Jenne. That last stanza in the first section is a stand-out.

Laurie Kolp said...

Powerful... I especially like the second to last stanza.

Anonymous said...

That is such an evocative piece Jenne, really powerful and some outstanding imagery.

Brian Miller said...

fascinating jenne....the image in the dishwaater was rather haunting...so full of emotion....particularly the first stanza...

Other Mary said...

The silver threads through these lines like a sparkling stream through dark woods. This is layered and complex and skillfully written.

Anna Montgomery said...

This felt like familiar and familial territory and I resonated much with the emotional and physical landscape (I spent some early years in Taos and a teen year in Albuquerque, where my brother still lives). That last stanza was a potent full stop on your achingly beautiful journey. I think only art gives us these tools to smelt something worthwhile from these experiences. You use the conceit to great effect, magnificent.

Claudia said...

the scene that touched me most was the one with the dishwater when her face appeared and you pulled the plug...tight emotional write jenne

Tess Kincaid said...

The pain...the emotion...all here...I know the feeling...you go Judas daughter!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful intense poem - so much silver in so many permutations - a kind of quicksilver in all of this too as you transmute it into wonderful poetry. k.

ayala said...

Tight emotional poem. Powerful...you pulled me in and I could not stop feeling the pain so raw. A great write, thank you.

Kim Nelson said...

Powerful, Jenne! Form and flow augment your precise word choices. This piece, without contrivance or manipulation, fills the reader with emotion and wonder. Images emerge that are ripe and true. You did yourself well, here.

gautami tripathy said...

You did good in this post!

Loved it!

lure of the impure

Carrie Burtt said...

Wow....an intense write....beautifully told!

Sheila said...

whew! strong imagery and intense memories. My kind of reading.