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 17, 2011

Poem for DVerse Poets Poetics Prompt: Trains

What a fabulous prompt brought to us by Claudia at DVerse Poetics Today-- I have long wanted to share an older poem of mine that has had some exposure, but for me is my ultimate "train" poem.....  I look forward to reading all of  yours! xxxj 

Lily Codington, Waking

“These were the least
Of my passions…”
Lily Codington writes
From her seat on the Zephyr
from East to West;
It bores, iron mastodon
Through Utah ranges.
Passengers lean on the panes
And dream:
Gold sleeps underfoot, in the arroyo:
There are silver threads
In the graves.

Lily’s hair is a skein of cinnamon.
She writes, sipping from a cup
In a  pewter holder.
Passing sombrero mountains
She pours from a Rose Medallion teapot
In a wicker cozy lined with pink linen:

Meditation on the Imported Teapot
Wedding Gift from John

The surface pictures are harmonious.
The mandarins court in gardens
Their feet hidden under silk robes.
In pink arbors the brides to be
Are pale, redolent
And gibbons hide in the banyans
It is their mating without temerity
At night in the trees
One hears, above the lute.
By night
In a dance as oblique as dross
They conceive.

And why then the appearance
Near some of these mouths
Of prayer or anguish
And why the upswing of the pagoda roofs
And the eyebrows’ arch
The track curves down toward the Mojave
Pekoe steams toward the glass
and the wheels throw off sound
from the canyon.

A single hand is so mortal
A familial gnarl of the fingers
Holding cup and pen;
It small and claw-like.
But the privacy of my hand, here
And of my body, away from John?


Do I say a woman sings
No language for our redemption
not poetry
Not pain.  I cannot reach you
With ready speech.

Yet how we once wove our conversation
The marigolds of Amherst
The appetites
Of the Bostonian.
We agreed on love as mercy
As labor toward  an erratic God
We wept near the lilacs parting for war
I promised many gardens
In my heart I said
I would not covet
Possible lives.
Yet while you were away
I was moved and restless
I had a seance
In a grove
I was tapping syrup
With Mother, on her cane.
I saw Emily Dickinson, in taffeta
In salt grasses
Striking her breast
Her fists like quartz
And her shoes wet and sagging.

Trying to write on a train
Is like trying to walk in the winds of Boston
With an umbrella open
But I want you to know about our separation
In your face I thought I saw
A spirit both man and woman
I thought by hope or luck
We would leave the parlor
Of our immovable lives

I am impossibly alone at twilight
On the train to San Francisco;
They will hurt me
But how can I hate them
All our hands are restless
And we are all pioneers
Crying out “Vision!”

(This poem was originally published in Wingbone: An Anthology of Colorado Poetry, late 80's, and was the lynchpin of my MFA thesis.).

 copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Anonymous said...

so the lesson here is "all train tracks lead to Emily Dickinson" ;)

Brian Miller said...

each ofthe three parts build well jenne...the first for its descriptions...the last though def bears the weight for me...fine bit of story telling too...

Claudia said...

oh i like this jenne...writing on trains is magical...seeing the landscape float by and trains of thoughts running through one's mind...and then the magic when in all this movement, the pen scratches paper and it all makes sense suddenly...beautiful..

Anonymous said...

I am impossibly alone at twilight
On the train to San Francisco;
They will hurt me
But how can I hate them
All our hands are restless
And we are all pioneers
Crying out “Vision!”

Your words are amazing, I had no choice but to fall in love with them, this last stanza really broke into my soul, and I think it will stay for a long time to come...amazing

jen revved said...

Many thanks for your affirmatives--xxxj

Anonymous said...

Read like a novel... beautiful description.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful images on this amazing journey... I really enjoyed this, Jen.


hedgewitch said...

A tapestry of image, and I can well believe it part of a larger work. Scholarly as well as emotional and interrogatory, a very rich poem.

Beachanny said...

The finest of writing here, Jenne. Worthy of the best of poets - the vision, the scope, the language perfect, fluid, graceful, literary and all the while personal. For every reader who brings his/her personal favorite poems with him/her to this read, they leave enriched with wider horizons. G.

Anonymous said...

wonderful range of allusions and associations.. enjoyed the story almost as much as the sudden juxtapositions...perfect for a train ride..

Anonymous said...

Jenne..really enjoyed the range of allusions and sudden associations...the narrative and the sensuality.. what a mix... perfect for a train ride..

Anonymous said...

Jenne..really enjoyed the range of allusions and sudden associations...the narrative and the sensuality.. what a mix... perfect for a train ride..

Anonymous said...

You could build a universe spiraling from this poem. I'll have to return to give it the additional time it deserves. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Sheila Moore said...

impressive and beautiful language, jenne.

California Ink in Motion said...

I enjoyed the poem and the flavors you carefully placed within. Really a nice poem. I can see what it was published.

seasideauthor said...

What a fabulous poem brought to us by you. A fabulous poet. Thank you.

Ruth said...

So rich and elegant, Jen. I heard Whitman here too, those lilacs and war. I love so many words and phrases:

- Zephyr (I would love to ride it or the Southwest Chief)
- silver threads / in the graves
- skein of cinnamon
- marigolds of Amherst (great title for book or film!)
- fists like quartz

You are amazing.

Anonymous said...

A seance bringing Emily Dickinson in taffeta! Oh if only the seers could be trusted! I would give all my gold for that very moment! Lovely ride, a poem within a poem... but I came here, Jenne, to see "Something in me cascades..." I'm guessing you pulled it for editing at some after it reached my mailbox..... May I offer this word? Keep the geese... My absolute favorite things in life comes to me twice a year, with the coming and the going of the geese...... Hearing their hello's and goodbye's, and looking up to see that familiar "V" is one of the most grounding things in my lifetime... Good poem....

Fred said...

Wow, what a brilliantly crafted masterpiece. I tend to really enjoy segmented verse, and so appropriate here, I wish I would have thought of using it. Not only are the sections separate, like that of tracks on a rail, or perhaps a station house, but they're connected in a very similar manner. Then the journey you take the reader on, is smoothly flowing at times, intentionally choppy at others and creates a magnificent train-ride like experience as we flow through the storytelling. Absolutely one of the best pieces I've read recently, and it seems I'm reading amazing work every day, can't say how much I enjoyed this write. Thanks for sharing, or I guess more appropriately would be to say re-sharing this piece, twas a very good read:)