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 .

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Poem - Affliction

You could call this a third eye poem in the sense that to see has so many different meanings-- to discern, to comprehend....  I had posted a different poem for the Dverse challenge and then took it down--- what I see at the moment is the impasse between two people trying hard to avoid hurting each other, who fall short.  Imagery in poetry is generally intensely visual, driving for evocative imagery to convey emotion.  Perhaps I don't like at all what I see w/ my third eye, as several of you have indicated in the poems I read today.  xj


We sat together by the light of 
the lopsided candle.
It is true that I was the first to find fault
And true that it was something small

And that it still hangs over my shoulders
Like a shroud that one said something harsh
And the other followed and that the evening
Turned to ashes, ash in the mouth.  I desperately
Wished for the abrupt hard rain, a distraction

Rather than old anger’s tide washing up
Around our feet and legs, pulling us into
The abrading swells.
I shouldered blame
Like mud-caked jugs of dark water.
Don’t call me names, you said
Don’t be wounding and cold I replied

And there it was, the night severed
from its glittering possibilities
Rapport starved of oxygen,
The Goldens at the back of the house
Heads down and beseeching,
Coming to me in my tears.

Now, hours into an all night
Solitary soiree, jazz in the background
The inscrutable stars
Like pinpoint flowers on fire
On silken tethers
How desperately I yearn
To become invulnerable

To slip from the husk of my body
Into a safe, distilled Otherness
The crystalline amnesia
Of late summer grass.

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011   jenneandrews2010@gmail.com


Henry Clemmons said...

Guilt, vulnerability. Tough to see, tougher to deal with. You brought this out wonderfully. An excellent write. I enjoyed very much. And thank you for visiting my page.

Mark Kerstetter said...

One of the most awful feelings in the world:

"the night severed
from its glittering possibilities"

by the kind of impasse you've described so well. Yes, and seeing it as an impasse is so important. Sometimes one of the two has to be the one to take the approach of ; 'right or wrong, let's just pretend it didn't happen...'

California Ink in Motion said...

Powerful poem. You got me with:
Rather than old anger’s tide washing up
Around our feet and legs, pulling us into
The abrading swells.
I shouldered blame
Like mud-caked jugs of dark water.

Wow. Been there and understood every word you wrote.

Maureen said...

At the darkest, most hurtful moments, I think we all "yearn / To become invulnerable" but how can such a state be desirable? It is when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable that we also open ourselves to trusting and to loving and to giving and receiving. The wonderful thing about our hearts is how much they can take and still beat strong.

This is a beautifully written poem that exposes your vulnerability. If you did not feel so deeply, you could not have imagined the taste of words become ash or to have experienced the burden of blame "like mud-caked jugs of dark water." Those kinds of images don't come from someone unfeeling, invulnerable.

Victoria said...

Jenne, You choose such brilliant images to portray that unwinding of an event into a hurtful moment and the feelings of hopelessness that accompanies misunderstanding. I love what you did with the hard (cleansing) rain, and the Goldens. I'm assuming you mean dogs. My Golden (deceased for quite a while now) used to come to me when I was in tears in just such a way. Very touching poem and so easy to identify with it.

hedgewitch said...

A lot of clarity in the third eye tonight. The desire for invulnerability is birthed by fragility, well-visualized and explored here.

Sheila Moore said...

I know the feeling of wanting to slip from the husk. Rapport starved of oxygen sums up this altercation nicely.

oceangirl said...

beautiful wishful poem.

erin said...

ohhh, that last stanza especially. yes, we have all known it, haven't we?


jen revved said...

Many thanks to each of you for validating this write-- of course Maureen is right that without vulnerability there can be no love-- so deeply appreciate support for my work/words, glad of us, sorry for the times some of us have been crosswise and thanks, for impressing that we are all human and know this dilemma...xxxj

Brendan said...

Ennui the affliction here, for memory's granite shapes to become fluid somehow, alter their contours, heal a heart's wounds. But all we get is oblivion,

...a safe, distilled Otherness
The crystalline amnesia
Of late summer grass.

... Which is almost -- though not nearly -- enough. Fine poem.

Natasha said...

I have said more than once this evening, reading through these works, that ignorance can certainly be bliss. So many of us chose to keep that third eye blind, for fear of what it may reveal. Thought this was a powerful, emotional write, weaved with amazing imagery...and a fantastic response to the prompt. Thank You!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Your words never fail to move me. I see this series of poems together in a hard copy collection one day.. That's where they belong.

Heaven said...

I think it depends what you want to see with your third eye. The universe gives us a wide berth to explore this; I believe we see what we want to see.

Now to your poem - this is about relationships isn't it? The texture of hurt and misunderstanding are heavy in your lines. It does not escape me that you want to erase if you could the wounds and have an amnesia of a sort. Perhaps a sincere "I'm sorry" would suffice?

Wonderful words to share today... Happy day to you ~

rmpWritings said...

"wow"..."beautiful"...are the first two words that come to mind as your words still soak in. a very touching and (in my mind) emotionally draining piece.

The Gooseberry Garden said...


Hello, how are you?

Glad to land in your lovely land of wonders. Excellent talent!

Hope all is well.

Appreciated your support to The Gooseberry Garden, your inputs add light to our place, we would love to see you around weekly…

Random piece or old ones are welcome too.

Bless you.
Happy End of August.
Hope to see you around!