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, August 23, 2011

New Poem - Moussaka Making

 Posting for Dverse Open Link night...

Moussaka-Making in Summer

The tastes come from afar
and slowly grow nameless on the tongue.
Where there were words, discoveries flow,
released from within the fruit

Sonnets to Orpheus,  Rilke

St. Paul, late summer.
I lay my hands on the purple
Chalky bulbs of the eggplant.
Then my reliable Sabatier
Delivers up thin opaque slices
With its refined blade.

I layer these between paper towels
Salting them to make them sweat out
Their bitterness
Even as I follow suit--.
For what is cooking
If not an act of love?

I heat amber virgin olive oil
From Calabria
The pieces swim in the copper pan
Darkening small fish
So laden with oil

That when I spread them on newspaper
To drain, all over the kitchen floor
Into the study
Each makes a map, a shadow
Greater than itself.

I labor on in the heat, mixing fresh
Minced thyme, tomato puree
And browned ground lamb together
Until I am the seducee

Of the Greek Isles, then a lathered
Corsican crone, bent over
A bubbling Sauce du Béchamel

Laced with the aphrodesiac nutmeg
Returning only to familial Italy
When I garlic-rub my stoneware casserole
From The American Hand.

Now cold white wine crinkles my tongue
Takes the ache from my bones.
I layer the rich red sauce
With the aubergine

Sprinkling all with breadcrumbs
Spoon the insouciant nutmeg-laced
Custard over all.

Lo have I mastered
The world of the Eggplant
Have I made Moussaka!

I sing, amateur chef du jour
Sluicing off a thousand seas’ residue
In a rain-cold shower.


copyright Jenne' Andrews 2011


Maureen said...

One of the best (if also time-consuming) dishes. . . served up here beautifully.

Timoteo said...

Only you could make cooking this sensual...

P.S. (Would love to say "ooh" to you too!)

hedgewitch said...

I'm sure there are as many layers as a moussakka here, the combining of all these assorted and far flung rich ingredients, but the joy of cooking itself is prominent as well; making a soul's dish from scratch, savoring each element, what else is that indeed "if not an act of love."

Pat Hatt said...

Wow cooking with you sure sounds interesting, nicely done!

Brian Miller said...

it sure is getting hot in the kitchen jenne...i actually enjoy cooking with my love...the act of creating together...

Mama Zen said...

"Salting them to make them sweat out
Their bitterness
Even as I follow suit--."

I LOVE that!

ayala said...

Nice... You made me hungry :)

Natasha said...

Your passion for food is evident in your passion for poetry. Fantastic overload of the senses...wonderful!

Sheila Moore said...

Whoa! Jenne, you make my banana split look like dog doo doo compared to this - lol.

Laced with the aphrodesiac nutmeg
Returning only to familial Italy
When I garlic-rub my stoneware casserole
From The American Hand....

Spoon the insouciant nutmeg-laced
Custard over all.

Who is this nutmeg one you speak of? :)

In a rain-cold shower.

nice ending. This was so fun to read.

Beachanny said...

As layering goes, my dear, you are a master cordon bleu chef! I ate your package of love up line by line! WOW! (and yum).

Heaven said...

What a culinary delight... I love the flavours and smells flowing from your words...exquisite ~

Mark Kerstetter said...

Amateur? You had me fooled. I LOVE moussaka!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I too am seduced, by your delicious descriptions.

Ann Grenier said...

Beautiful Jenne...and I don't like to cook. I so enjoy reading your work...

siubhan said...

Now you've gone and made me hungry... and homesick for Sicily (which was never home but only ever felt like it)-- for me, eggplant will always conjure memories of there. A vivid write!

The Gooseberry Garden said...

a delicious piece,

love eggplant related piece.

maggie said...

love, love, LOVE! This is awesome, Jenne'. Thanks so much for pointing it out to me!