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 21, 2011

Poem for One Shot Wednesday

Song to My Unborn Child

“As the skull come forward
As the ghost ship
Of the cranium, floating
In its newborn ferocity, forces through,
We are in no doubt; the helm
Of death and the helm of life
Are the same, each craving light.”
    Tess Gallagher – Dear Ghosts

And I never knew the small ghost-ship
Of your skull or felt its hardening
High up, in the sanctuary of my ribs

I needed to be emptied of you
As palest sanguine water, or some 
Common effluvium, quickly
Before I could conjure your eyes
For there to be no remnant
Even, of what you might have been
To me and I to you

And although I was weeping
When the scalpels were prepared
on the blank blue sky of paper cloth
And the doctor shook his head
I gave the thumbs up

And as I faded, you were swept from me.

I woke, still and forlorn to myself
Like driftwood
A nurse peered around the corner
Like an owl
A glass of water in her hand

Are you awake?
No, I said.
I am the sea.

She checked the line of salt water
Into my veins
Have you made me a mermaid
I asked her
Am I in the deeps

And then I remembered
My pentothal dream
I was a dolphin, calving
In the gloom and depths of coral
You fighting your way from me

Both of us heaving ourselves
To the surface
Your mouth relentlessly searching
Nose bumping along my belly
Then you locking on
Lashing your tail in jubilation.

This is what I missed
When I told the rose I could not
Let it bloom

Tearing its dark red petals loose
One by one
Until the baby-skull of its hip
Radiated a hungry light
From the middle of the flower.

All Words Copyrighted to Jenne' Andrews 2011



Brian Miller said...

wow...you made me cry...great imagery and powerful stir of the emotions...

Anonymous said...

Fierce, unwavering, ultimately radiant. The return-to-sea metaphor for the emptying of the womb was really good. Did you know that Romans often topped grave-stones with cupidon, children riding dolphins? Something about that image gives the sense of eternal youth, the fluid liquid freedom the unborn child now sports in. And the speaker is mother to that, delivered too to that sea. Loved it. - Brendan

Alegria Imperial said...

Of this I'm convinced--only you can write a poem such as this. Only you can conjure images that swirl in the depths of seas, the firmaments invisible from the blue dot where man stares, agape.

I love how you decribe the woman as the sea, a dolphin "...calving in the gloom.." But most of all, I love that last stanza on the rose hip you likened to a 'baby-skull', in which is embedded the heart of the rose.

Wow!!! Thank you, Jen!

jen revved said...

thanks very much, each of you-- obviously a write that has taken eons to surface-- i'll look for the cupidon..thanks for that one, Brendan; Brian, thanks, Ali, mille gracias--xxj

hedgewitch said...

Incredible imagery. Just when one thinks that every ocean metaphor has been played out, a new one is birthed, very fittingly here in this poem of birth, oceanic loss and mourning...but some comfort perhaps that even the most fragrant rose has its thorn, and rose hips can be the bitterest fruit.

jen revved said...

thanks-- HW-- piece on Fireblossom will go up this weekend--xxxj

Cathy said...

Wow. This poem has me shivering, so sad, especially this: When I told the rose I could not/Let it bloom...