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 .

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Poem for One Shot Wednesday....


Now we know why the old women
are lighting candles in the dark alcove
of the church, kindling a wavering city
of light, white candle burning next to white

Tess Gallagher,  Dear Ghosts

I go to the confessional of midnight
To tell the priest in the moon
That ghosts eat my bones
From within.
He sits on a small stool, vested
In filigrees of starlight

He is half-eclipsed
To inspire my confidence.  He says
If it makes you more comfortable
Sing your sins
Roll down the windows 
And call out, into the dark

I comply then: I have garroted 
My mother
I have put my foot on my father’s neck
I have turned my own brother 
Out of the house
With an empty suitcase, no money

The priest is intrigued, 
Gathers me into his hands
And lifts me up, into the damp 
Midnight air, blowing upon me 
To cool my fever
You have a beautiful voice, he says

Tell me more. 
Tonight I tell you once more
That ghosts eat my bones
So that I became a ghost
From within, a form 
Navigating the world

By hurting others.  Pray for me
If you must but I atone
By enduring, when I might flee
Like the shadows of day
A loneliness so absolute
That it could devour
Even a midnight priest 
In his white wings--

But tell me of you, I say
Biding my time, a catch 
In my breath
When I see that I am high up
In the arms of the moonlight
Aloft, in a clandestine nave 
Of rain-heavy clouds.


Copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011
All rights reserved.  



Brian Miller said...

some great vivid imagery in the confessional...and then to end up so high above nestled int he arms of the moon...i like...

hedgewitch said...

Complex and shadowy, with all kinds of ghosts, a wind of danger and quite a bit of haunting imagery.

Alegria Imperial said...

I love it, Jenne! If I write a word here, the magic might vanish. The poem, too, is my reality, one we share obviously and that's why I love it--it speaks to me, I could feel her breath, smell it even and the priest? His wings grip me as he leads me--her--in a "clandestine nave". Thank you so much!

dustus said...

Surreal and haunting, a great write befitting your style of presenting vivid imagery through novel description.

Fireblossom said...

Ay yi yi, Dr. Phil would go cross-eyed and pass out. This is one disturbing character. And yet, you have made her compelling and the final image is arresting.

The priest's reaction to her confession is surreal. Intrigued? This is one calm dude. I have a lot of thoughts about him praising her singing voice, but I think I'll just say: that was masterful.

Anonymous said...

Poetry IS prayer, among other things, taprooted in our yearning for the divine. Such longing necessarily means that our sins have to be burned away. So the confessional is critical to getting on to what's in the next room of the dream. I love it that the priest is in the moon here -- identifying the mediator as the poem itself -- but that even poetry may not be able evade the hellfire in every heart. Atonement and amends happens in a life better lived and loved, but it may begin here, in the harrows of the language, the words soaked in blood. You're an amazing poet. Keep up the awful row toward your g/God. - Brendan

Kim Nelson said...

This is engrossing! Each stanza drove me to the next. Fabulous word choices and phrasing.

Pete Marshall said...

you put a lot into this...a very engrosing, captivating read..cheers pete

Helen said...

Overwhelming on so many levels ... if only we could sing our sins.

Semaphore said...

Reading this, I had the impression of a verse collage, building up layers until it breathes like a work by Chagall. Wonderful!