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 .

Monday, October 26, 2015

New Poem for Magpie Tales.....

photo by Daniel Murtagh

Pasodoble, 1979

Unlike other moments of transport
I remember that day exactly.
After the drought between us
he had flown in; so much time
had passed, I could not still
my leaping heart.

I had taken over my parents’ house
after my father’s death.
I had inhabited their room
sifting through mother’s jewelry
for some time,
drinking the cold white wine
of summer,

erasing the bad years,
the disarray of cigarette-burned
furniture and floors,
all the chaos two drowning people
leave behind
when death comes,  circumspect
as the mail carrier—

Suddenly Father was gone and Mother
wouldn’t speak;
she was face down on her bed
in the Golden West,
where broken people are deposited
like a check to a teller
to be fed and dressed
and wheeled in to the lounge,
parked under a donated
clock with slow hands.

That day my lover
stood in the doorway,
his brown eyes dancing;
he was my height, not tall,
with a dazzling smile
that made you think
of Caribbean beach fires…
His English was lyrical,
assonant with  Spanish.

I wore a new peach peignoir,
my hair down. 
When he stepped toward me
there was no stopping it—the wet
deep kisses, his hands deftly
sliding the gown from my shoulders
until it pooled on the floor
like a wilted orchid
someone had forgotten
to place in a vase of cut glass
that could refract its pale luster.  

Then, kisses and whisperings,
 the beautiful clench
of mutuality, how we had taught
each other the horizontal
I, pulling him into me
with those deepest muscles,
he, surging, his fingers
massaging the hot opalescent
pearl-slick node there, 
with its long sensate petals,

So that I pulsed, and pulled him
down into the hungry fathoms
of my womanhood--
clenched, and burned;
my heart fracturing
at the beauty and glory of it.

We two lay awash and weeping
in that stillness
of absence and summer;
He said he was in love with me,
and I said I wanted to carry
his child.

Years later I sent a letter
in Spanish in care of a church
listing his name among its congregants
telling him I regretted my hurts,
had forgotten nothing between us.
Of course that good fellow the pastor
passed it on to his wife
who sent a curt greeting to me
and said she had given it to him;
that he had read it, lifting one eyebrow,
saying nothing.

How I wanted to open the floodgates,
Somehow revive the past.
Not long after she wrote again,
saying that he had died,
heart giving out at eighty-three,
refusing oxygen.

I wondered what had happened
to me in multiple
collisions with other men
over the years, a hardening
of the heart that had given him
so much lyrical tenderness. 

When the news came
I lay down on my rumpled bed;
in afternoon light; our old rapture
poured over me;
his semblance kissed the small
of my back;
I whispered, “Gracias a la vida
che mi ha dado tanto; *
my grey hair spread around me,
a field without flowers.

*Gracias a la vida che mi ha dado tanto = Thank you life, for giving me so much."


Bekkie Sanchez said...

That was so lovely! I am "that age" where my gray hair spreads out around me. It's a real mind fuck.

Tess Kincaid said...

Delicious write...and oh! that last line. Always fun to see you at Magpie, Jenne...

brudberg said...

You had me close to tears reading this.. what a story of passion and loss, really a piece of art.

Kutamun said...

Oh but it seems as though the flowers are most certainly within

The Blog of Bee said...

I have just been blown away. Such a story in so few words.