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, April 24, 2012

New Poem: Misericordia, for DVerse OLN and Beyond....


Lent has stilled the bell tongues of the town
Save for the burnished carillon of the Catholics
Tolling the hour to the courthouse.

But think not of the dark-robed there
Meting out a facsimile of justice.
Think of the choirs of impious geese

Driven by the unseen to open water
After hours on the flight-path
Over the Continental Divide.

The earth wakes and cares not
Whether the Penitentes
Erect timber crosses in the Jemez. 

The waters will swell and course
And the body will surge and sing, burn
And desire.  The soul dies

If we are silenced, made to feel
We cannot speak, should not name
What is seen with our very own eyes

Mine eyes have seen the glory of
The Big Dipper every night, pouring
Milk over the fields, that Canis Major

Burns on, glazing  the mares’ backs
With frozen light.  Someone is turning
Over the earth with a great fork

So that air, sun and water come to it
To soften, split and raise the seed. 
Mozart tried to finish his requiem

In whispers that could not be
Deciphered.  He shut himself away
To hear the callings he wrote down

In a rain of black notes on parchment. 
He couldn’t stop or silence himself. 
Whitman the same, writing A woman

Waits for me, of waiting and surging,
Manly love and we, we women
Are the takers and keepers

Of the seminal milk--
But we seek diligent assuagement
patience, rapture,
from the lover’s hands, mouth. 


I need you. I hunger for you. 
As it is Lent, I confess
that I have often terrified myself away

From being filled, released
To my own torrent.
Here then is a sundered dream:

The priest proffers
The Host to me and I open his robe
And take the bread of love into my mouth. 
He goes down on his knees, spilling forth
The incarnate. 
Later he finds me and spares me nothing,

With his circling tongue
And probing fingers. 
I am the bread of life, he says; 

She who comes to me will not hunger.
But broken promises—that we will no longer
Make war, that we will be changed, rage on

Like the taffeta robes of the sunset
Even when the sagacious geese that ascend
And call to each other mate in mid-air

In a wanton refueling,
And all the unseen things writhe together
In the dark privacy of the waking brown grass,

And the slugs make their luminous orchid
From the intertwining and strange
elongated glands

That then burst,
So that each falls to the grass, spent.  

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copyright Jenne' R. Andrews 2012


Maureen said...

Striking imagery (especially those last five lines) in a multi-leveled, deeply thought-provoking poem that bears more than a single reading.

Brian Miller said...

The earth wakes and cares not
Whether the Penitentes
Erect timber crosses in the Jemez

nice. i like that acknowledgement...i also like the great turning of the fork as well in that first part jenne...

that is some dream there in that second part...some interesting intimacy there...

Timoteo said...

Forgive me, but when you opened that robe, this came to me:

You don't give
an inch
but you take
a lot of them

Timoteo said...

May I also add that that moment was sac religious.

ayala said...

Lovely imagery...beautifully penned.

Anonymous said...

Whoa! A very torrid poem! I can feel surrealism and naturalism - Dali and Courbet and Caravaggio and I don't know--how about a little Audubon or Eakins? But all turned into women, of course.

I am joking - it is a very cool poem. I am a bit tired to comment coherently, but was impressed and moved! K.

Mystic_Mom said...

Jenne, whether I like it or not, your images and words always draw me in at the start and pull me through to the end. Wow.

Semaphore said...

You are at full powers here, exploring alliterative technique with the bells, flowing into the cadence of an ode, mixing the sacred and the profane into a feast for the tongue that tests the line between blasphemy and transcendence.

jen revved said...

Thank you for all of these perspicacious and salient comments, dear writing friends/fellow poets. I have no idea where I thought I was headed with this but I was first turned on to-- and then by-- those mating slugs by William Pitt Root, editor par excellence of Cutthroat..I am ever running behind these days but will find you...xxxj .

Charles Miller said...

Simply and irrevocably beautifully crafted and spun into bones that found the courage to pen the words. Your words rise from the screen and soak the night like a soft torrent of rain that will nurture wild flowers in the morning sun.