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, January 31, 2011

New Poem, for One Stop and Random Acts of Poetry....


In all these years I’ve never thought to stop
To weep at that doorstep
Of the house I wiped clean of its past
Folding it all up like a bleached pillowcase

I couldn’t get the corners to touch
The linen drawer was damp and buckled

And then I was an orphan
Fleeing smoldering ruins
Of a home alcohol and mania 
Had set on fire.

I hadn’t thought to tramp the hill
Where I put her ashes and ask her
Why she folded on motherhood
Like a poorly fitting sheet so worn
And desecrated
It had to be burned

I had only planted a rosebush there
And said the Rubayat in tearing wind
And weaned myself away
Into the arms of other self-anointed 
Lost as foundling owls


I don’t claim to be a foundling now
The rose died
And everybody says
That was coincidence
And we were all there at one time
Late sun kindling the knotty pine
Me at the piano, she in her chair nodding
While I played Brahms

A waltz that was like a baby aspirin
For a death-throe fever—
Nothing chemical
Or that humans love to do
Could make her rise and dance

He in the kitchen, catching his breath
Over the dishwasher, trailing the oxygen cord
Like a blue vein over the sleeping
Wounded predator
Beneath the house’s smoking floor

Where there was smoke
Later came fire:
Whatever that was
Would wake at night and cry
A gut-shot cry
I tried to obliterate
With Latin verbs—
Lying in the dark conjugating
Essere—to be, to be
To be


I hadn’t thought of this
But I wouldn’t be able
To go on duty
To the dream gone awry
We called a family--
I myself have something
That shouldn’t have come to pass
A leg swollen and curved
Like a beast’s
I drag it through the world
I don’t blame it on them—I, drunk
Rode a skittish horse

Or her back was wet
And I fell, as I freefell
Through those years never
Seeing I needed a will
And an inner mother
I could forge in time
From the clay buried
In the fault-lines
Of my own half-fledged heart


Who wants to weep- anyway
Weeping makes you blind
All that water blurring street signs
You skid through a right of way
Too late
And then someone in the past’s Camino
Broadsides you
And you are thrown into the ditch
Where your frost-hung breath
Essere essere you whisper
Mater pater
Pater noster.

Random Acts of Poetry, High Calling
One Stop Poetry

copyright Jenne' R.  Andrews 2011
All Rights Deserved....


Maureen said...

I know few who can write lines like "Late sun kindling the knotty pine", "A waltz that was like a baby aspirin/For a death-throe fever", "the oxygen cord/Like a blue vein", and "I needed a will/And an inner mother / I could forge in time/From the clay buried/ In the fault-lines/ Of
my own half-fledged heart." Then to come to that incredible "Who wants to weep anyway/Weeping makes you blind"!

I'm pleased you took up the challenge.

jen revved said...

Thanks, sweet Maureen. Long busy day, yes? Cold here...heading North.xxxxj

Padmavani Karkera said...

Dear Jenne

How incredibly rich your poems are. There are so many clever beautiful sentences here...all of what Maureen mentioned. Breath taking.


L.L. Barkat said...

"Essere essere you whisper
Mater pater
Pater noster."

like a final breath. this was exactly it.

Anonymous said...

This is an incredible poem, so many lines--too many to list!--struck such deep chords. Bravo!!

hedgewitch said...

So painful to look back under the ill-fitting sheets and see the bloodstains and the mess of a life one never asked for but got anyway--still, 'who wants to weep' A fine exploration of the dark we carry with us from the past--and the lines Maureen quoted are all the ones that shine for me, too, along with '..lost as foundling owls.."

Anonymous said...

Mm, a very rich and vibrant piece, both witty and carefully constructed. As Maureen pointed out, your own unique voice and craft comes through in the construction - the ending compositions are simply things most never think of for elaboration. Good analysis, and a very strong ending note, for life, and for the work alike...

Essere essere you whisper
Mater pater
Pater noster."

Gave me a shudder.

Alegria Imperial said...

I could quote each line and that wouldn't say much of what I wish to say about your poem--richly textured, drenched in half light the kind where lives turn into poetic forms, where gestures are no mere wave of hand but grandiose embraces that lead to ruin. I love it all, this poem. Thanks so much, Jen!

Ami Mattison said...

Seriously brilliant poetry, Jenne'! I'm counting this one among my faves of yours. Rich, dreadful, beautiful--everything that makes poetry...well, poetry. You slay me with "Lying in the dark conjugating essere--to be, to be." And then to come back to it in the end was another tiny death. Amazing!

dustus said...

Deep and layered with beautiful imagery and linguistic nuance.
"And I fell, as I freefell
Through those years never
Seeing I needed a will
And an inner mother"
Heart-wrenching, concise, and thought-provoking poetry.

jen revved said...

thank you for your overwhelming comments---each of you is very dear to me and I pray we continue to infuse our work with the light of our souls. love, Jenne'

David K Wheeler said...

I always love your attention to detail, your command of language, tangible and sincere. "I couldn’t get the corners to touch"--such a simple sorrow with deep reverberations.

jen revved said...

Thanks David-- thank you for your book-- I'll be reviewing it soon on my blog-- all best to you! xxxJenne'

Saadi said...

Wow, powerful and lyrical work.

Abby said...

'Who wants to weep- anyway
Weeping makes you blind
All that water blurring street signs
You skid through a right of way'

very powerful...and not just this, but this is what struck the deepest chord...thank you for pouring so much into this.

jen revved said...

Thanks, Abby! xxxj