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 .

Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Poems for Thursday

1. The Wound Testifies

It is true that I am the beggar heroine of my own life.  It is true that I have
wounds that glitter in the sun like silver dollars baked into my skin.  It is true
that I have a mouthful of black butterflies at sundown.  But pain is.  Lies are.  
If you love and open the wound your heart is someone will pour black oil into it--  

You will fold like a white silk scarf in the meaningless light of laggard afternoon.  You will
want to die, but then if you can stand it a few seconds longer, you will rise up, sit in the dusk where the clouds and retreating sun make a bonfire scrim behind the trees. 

Have you seen the way they reach and search, with the black branches against
magenta and orange light, the beggar heroine ascending from her despair like a blackbird,
in a few minutes of delight.


I have wept and I have raged: is this not true of us, we who feel too keenly, so that we are pierced by the merest whisper. I would like to have stones in my breast, not flesh, not the pale weak flesh so readily seared by innuendos.  I would like not to rise up like a 

Matriarch owl, my wings beating over you who live by wounding and cowardice. For lo, I am utterly sick of being a wound, sick to death of death and the smell of death and rain and the promise of rain only to have the sick sun beat down and parch the earth.  I would love to be a clock, inanimate yet ticking away the time.  Or a bomb that did some good, if 

There were such a bomb, like safely moving a collapsed house off a child even if it cost me my life.  Or someone on fire with self-belief, who has not collected all of her tears like sapphires in a velvet box or hour on hour, blunders on even though the shadows feel like white loving arms and the water waits in wanton green allure. 

2. Big Top

Take it from the top.  You’re walking like a crab in a body cast and you ask your mother for a glass of milk and she tells you to go to hell.  The cast does not stop the hot rejection speartip from entering the flesh and embedding itself.

Rejection lays eggs in the skin and these hatch wormlings with tiny tines for feet.  On occasion if your guard is down these crawl from your eyes and out your tongue.  Now all can see that you are infested. 

Others pull worm eggs from their own skulls and pitch them at you with their tongues when you are in firing range.  Sometimes, a direct hit and then the burrowing into the soft white flesh that is you.  Your dreams.  Your cover for hurt—that you laugh and swing your hair and 

Move on to the next thing that looks like a safehouse where people cry like mallards with their eyes shot out—come on in.  But check your brain at the door. You think that sounds dangerous.  But you sit down and for a time there is love in the air like a peppermint smoke from smoldering soy candles that winds around everyone and little hearts float from 

Their mouths.  Everyone takes out laptops and begins to like like like each other with little thumb icons.What a world you think, driving away down the long tongue of the road, the curling grasshopper tongue that loves to strike. You expected it would be a safe world but the days rock on so aimlessly, barges of day veering and listing in the harbor and people 

And their dreams falling overboard. Finally you rent a bunker and keep the business of caring about anyone at a minimum.  You’re so broken, and no new body cast, no nurses or doctors to drill in and replace the snapped pins of the swollen leg or revive the tired heart.  No water, no heat, no power.


copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011

1 comment:

Steve Isaak said...

You already know I love your work. This is no exception.