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 .

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A New Poem for Sunday: Out of Bangkok

View the image here. Thanks again to the lovely Tess Kincaid for a stirring photo prompt you may access here.   In this case as I returned to A Year with Rilke today to find lines for my writing practice, I've incorporated those lines and the photo into my offering. 

Out of  Bangkok

What makes you stop here
just the way you did before,
as though you expected something
in this damp, untrodden place
shadowed by elms?

In a Foreign Park, New Poems, Rilke

When I looked at the geese strung up
by the neck in the market

The market of the Thai butchers
they who slaughter, quarter
and decapitate

I saw instead a terrible array
of fallen swan-children

Displayed to make a foreign mouth
water, a mouth foreign to me
uttering its profane appetites
in a sordid and imperious tongue.

And so I turned away to see
if like other cities there were a fountain
nearby, thrusting its newly mined diamonds
into a golden air

And then in a fever I saw that where
my arms had hung I too
had the wide and feathered angular
wings that I would need

For a migration—away from the cloisters
of the child sex trade,  back to the Veronese
piazza at dusk.  I know not a soul there
any longer; my old lover has died

But it is home to me, where I may alight
let down my guard, to be transfused
by the crisp pale wine of dusk

Over the cathedral tower
to be fed by the far-off ascension
Of an Io Sto Poeta-- I am Poet, Boheme
and close at hand, the unsullied roses.

*Rudolfo's Aria, Act I, La Boheme.  

copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2011


Tess Kincaid said...

Rich with melancholy...powerful write, Jenne...

Sharon Rose said...

Very touchy subjects, they are incorporated into your write smoothly and transitions from one idea to another were seamless. Reads very well.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this evocative poem; as I read it, I was there. For me Barcelona, Spain awakens the same feeling of "home" as Verona does for you. I left Barcelona in 1973 and it lives on vigorously in my heart.

christopher said...

jen, you have a good, a powerful voice. I like your incorporation of Rilke as well.

I am a complete hypocrite in this realm, loving good meat, fowl, fish and yet going into sincere grieving when I see the slaughter. I cannot reconcile the carnivore in me. I don't even remotely wish to be vegan and in fact feel that really doesn't go far enough - that life preys on life as the "original sin". I step into the shoes of the prey species far too easily and as a tomato plant resent that you pluck my babies.

There is no solution but there is compassion for our plight.

Ruth said...

Gorgeous, Jenné.

I really love the image of your own feathered triangulate and migration and all the sense of what is foreign here. I'm especially touched, because we just got home from a memorial gathering for the mother of my Thai "sister" who lived with me through high school. Her mom was a foreigner here in the U.S., and the chaplain talked about that, and how it must have felt, being Thai in this strange country. How extraordinary to meet your reversal of that foreignness in your lovely and evocative poem!

Kathy Bischoping said...

I can see there's a pattern here with the decapitate-migrate-profligate-triangulate word choices, but the not-so-Latinate words and images stand out much more to me and maybe convey more of the timeless quality of Rilke -- the crisp pale wine of duck, the voice in a minor key, the truly lovely fallen child-swans.

Kathy Bischoping said...

Hi Jen, thanks for visiting the drinkthenewwine blog! I write on it with three others, including Ron Thompson, and it's his present tense in his 1st-ever Magpie that you'd have been remarking on earlier tonight. Mine Magpie on that blog is at:



Mama Zen said...

Absolutely amazing take on the prompt! Gorgeous language all the way through.

Tumblewords: said...


Nicholas V. said...

Wonderful poem with much intricate detail and interweaving of many levels of expression.

Isabel Doyle said...

Foreign-ness opens eyes to what we may not see at home.

Fine poem.