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, April 11, 2011

Evensong Parts I and II


A face is streaked with lightning and then volcanic
with rage.  Whose face.  Whose hand
claws at the light-- someone drowns here.  Drowns

In sorrow over fallen robins and the orphans
of spring.  Someone's word breaks.  It is that person's
face, the face of a liar, a good deed doer, a Christian

And a scholar, a maypole and a martyr, a frivolity.  A stone
black with the guarded water.  A philistine, a shell
arms amputated, love of salt unrequited.

Clustered lemon-shaped lights over
the bridge the wide bridge the city built
to distract from its sins.  Dylan sings in China

And the bouquet of faces, in the generations
of obeisance.  A commune and a thousand-year
promise; sugarcane reprisal.  We choke on rice.

We divide the fish among the multitudes; eyeless
we wander in the hills.
I was forced to the roller coaster and made

For terror.  I could not cry out.  In the sacristy
I hovered over the Host.  I took God's body
into me and I retched.  I gave you my heart

And you bent it into a mirror.  You fractured
the mirror and your face splintered.  I rose
up over you a lascivious vindicator.   Die

I begged of you, before the Lippizans performed
their caprioles for the Emperor of the night.


I trusted you to feed the newborn kitten and you
did not.  I sped home over the bridge wanting
to atone  for the names I called you  for not caring

Enough about the kitten.  I see that I am
the kitten but what now.  The bright detonating
epithets cannot be retrieved; they melt into

The sediment of the river we are together, how it is
to burn and burn toward one another and then
the scything and cleaving between us that

No one understands.
So it is that I love and fear you, hate
and adore you and want for a time to give up--

Coming back to my solitude licking old wounds
that reopen by default.  Why would I not want
to hitchhike away with the dissipated trucker,

Anyone, stow myself away, melt down
and reconstitute myself as an unnamed element,
not of this world.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Dawn Potter said...

I like this move you've made recently toward longer, denser lines. I think they give you more room to complicate and intensify your diction and syntax. This not only plays to your strengths as a sentence-controller but also increases the possibilities for ambiguity and second-guessing, which, at least to my mind, are part of what makes a poem compelling.

jen revved said...

Thanks Dawn-- high praise. xj