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, September 24, 2011

Written for the DVerse Poetry Prompt this date to work with repetition. Strictly a draft.

No More Maggie’s Farm

Thanks to public radio
vestiges of Dylan embroider afternoon.

Whose life is this, I ask my restless dog
she who would steal me from my work to play.
her tail a pulsing plume

And then I ask it of the blank and unshaded
day--its toiling ants and hoarders in the trees

Its fresh-washed laundry and few low-flying
desultory bees.

Whose life is this
I ask myself, steaming vegetables
too far gone to sell

The urge to fly through the window
Alive in me and brimming,

It is the damnable longing for home
And the treason of my deeper self

That she should want and want
So that I recant the vow I made

To stop looking back and live
boldly through my solitary hours
with a truant heart, a will that evades.

The black phone calls me
From its black desk

How did it know my name?

In Civil War taffeta 
my ancestors fade

Into their gilded frame.

Why do I have them here?
I never knew them and they seem
So somber
Under the smoky boughs of ragged summer.

Whose life is this?
Now the agitating dog dozes
Her heart beating against the earth.

Does she feel it turn?
Is Rome burning?
And why do these long days

Afflict a graying dilettante
With such foolhardy yearning.


copyright Jenne' Andrews 2011


Mary said...

I like your poem and sometimes wonder the same thing: Whose life is this anyway? It is perhaps a question we all ask at different points in our life. As for the old ancestor pictures, I'd say...put them in a drawer!

Claudia said...

is rome burning...? somehow it always is..intense write here jenne

Timoteo said...

The imagery. The longing. The yearning. The ever poignant, skillful mastery of craft. The YOU! And I must ask: How is it that you break my heart so easily?

hedgewitch said...

I like the short couplets that hold so much, the contrasts and images, with the repetition underscoring the recurrent question that refuses to be pushed away by the details of living. Very clean and clear work for a draft.

Anonymous said...

The treason of my deeper self--such a wonderful way of phrasing something we all deal with. Really interesting.

Mark Kerstetter said...

Hmmm, it's almost like you've turned that song on its head, like: why shouldn't I be happy to labor away on this farm? - why the yearning for more? Dylan had a head full of ideas that were drivin' him insane, but he just seems to keep tumbling on, never at rest (just thinking out loud here).

Beachanny said...

I think of Dylan as setting the stage of "our times" - his words the folk designation, the stage sets for our life. I was listening to him with Traveling Wilbury's earlier to Clean Dry Place which is masterful in its way and as questioning about what to do with a life full of amps, guitars, and "electrics" as your piece is to do with what to do with a lifetime of memories that won't stop haunting you. Ancestors with snippets of their lives left in the dust of journals, pictures, bits of history remembered incompletely. Yet the mind bends itself to sort the erasures, the empty spaces as if knowing what they experienced would make this life of ours (yours) make more sense. I fell into this so easily, walking through long halls of shadows, smelling the end of summer through wooden sashed windows. Lonliness winds through here as an errant breeze. Beautiful language as always. It's always a privilege to read your work. G.

Sheila Moore said...

The longing, the questions, the restlessness - all come through in this strong piece of writing.