NEA Literature Fellowships

Jennifer Denrow

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(2011 - Poetry)


I went to wake up my husband to tell him I was leaving. He said, Why do you want to go there?

Because I have to.

You should fly then.

He won't let me borrow his car.

My car doesn't work.

I know a guy who should be driving to California this week. I check my email to see if he has written to ask me to go along.

He hasn't.

The computer says the right person is out there waiting for me. It asks for my name and age. I told my husband to make a profile on a love match website and I would do the same and we could see if we are compatible. He doesn't want to, so instead I ask if I can talk in his mouth and he lets me but says it tickles.

Later, when he wakes up he'll say, What was all of that about California?

And I'll say, Oh nothing.

And he'll say, You're pushing me away.

And I'll say, Probably, but I don't mean to.

He'll leave for work and I'll spend the day listening to my favorite musician sing very sad songs that will make me want to go far away from myself.

I'll go to California then.

(From California, reprinted with permission from Four Way Books Inc, All rights reserved)

Jennifer Denrow lives in Colorado where she attends the University of Denver. She has two chapbooks: A Knee for a Life (Horse Less Press) and From California, On (Brave Men Press). California, her first book, is now available from Four Way Books (2011).

Photo by Matthew Morrison

Author's Statement

For me, the most important thing is to go out into something and write from there. I can feel the world when this happens--that seems important. It seems important, maybe even necessary, to consider what's before us, presenting itself, showing up as the world. Correspondence seems necessary--what happens inside the recognition that we are before one another. Now I can try at this more. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to do that. Thank you very much for letting me.