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, February 28, 2011

For Bookstains Challenge: American Gothic

You can find the wondrous Bookstains blog challenge here.  Thanks for the fun.   Please also check out my feature on the poet we have come to know and love as Fireblossom at Loquaciously Yours.  xxj

 "American Gothic"

You search those sere faces
for any quiet declaration
of mutual hunger

Just as holding the porcelain tea cup
on your knee in its quivering saucer
at Aunt Bessie's just so, Mother watching,

You wondered
about the rosy risen Venus she had surely been
having once conceived strapping sons
now pouring oolong
in tremulous decorum

So it is with American Gothic
Miles, or Jared.
He stands over-composed, in solemnity
as if he slept in his suit
and had never cracked a joke
in all his days

And she, Naomi,  or Mary+
had babies via
spontaneous combustion

A pop of the tractor's exhaust pipe
and presto
an infant in a christening dress
in the drawing room hand-hewn oak cradle
and everyone singing, old pipe organ
belching resurrected dust
shall we gather at the river.

Now or later.
One day in the country
an old man I knew went running
down the road talking to his hands
shaking them
as if they were bound with cobwebs

At his back
his small, plain clapboard house
the lawn freshly barbered.

Then I saw the coroner's van
pull in and I conjectured
that she who lived behind the curtains
unwrapping store-bought cinnamon rolls
every morning

Had settled into the good sleep
under the quilt she and the other
Lutheran women made one spring
in the hen-house coffee-scented
ambience of farm wives

But did those hands of the archetypal
rural patriarch
that grip the trident of his pitchfork
in that painting that scares us all
about the Puritan strain
we bear within us

Ever please her
ever tend, placate
or wipe away a tear of hers.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Lynda Roberts said...

Jenne it's fabulous! You've really created a backdrop and an inside story to this painting - fleshed out the characters behind those painted stony faces! I thnk you for it - and I'm putting it on NOW! Thanks so much for participating - very appreciated :-)

jen revved said...

My pleasure, Lynda-- really enjoyed it and thanks for putting it up at Bookstains! xxxj