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Jeanne L. Kroenke

Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Volcano, Hawaiʻi

Jeanne L. Kroenke

A good bit of my writing comes from where I am at the moment, both physically and spiritually. I am a single parent, full time student, and small business owner. I am born and bred Louisiana Cajun—Cajuns are the descendants of the Acadian exiles who escaped religious persecution in Canada, only to be banished from Nova Scotia by the English in the Eighteenth century. They settled along the Eastern seaboard, but the highest concentration of obnoxious Cajuns are living in the bayous of Louisiana. Cajuns will eat just about anything, including with zeal what most people call "mudbugs," (crawfish). Oddly enough, however, we don't eat SPAM.

I now make my home in Volcano, a little town with a truly diverse but close knit community. We are odd compared to Hilo because we are at about 4000 ft. elevation and 20 degrees cooler; so we look down on Hilo both literally and figuratively. Also, it never stops raining, which leads to some positively depressing paradoxical poetry.

My background is very important to me, and I truly feel that everything that happens in my life makes me who I am and therefore affects my writing, good or bad. I would discuss what schools of thought influence me, but I have never really thought about it. If I had to guess, I would say the post-modernists. I never intentionally play with language, alliteration, or any of those other big glossary words, except when my editor makes me.

Excerpt from Making Waves

Mardi Gras Redux 2005

This place of floats and Bourbon
Forever a toxic cocktail
Dysentery distilled—a voodoo brew.

Memory recalls a hurricane party
Barricades break with a rush
Bodies in excess—bloated streets.

The MAN trots through unlooking
His job is a job—only a job
Despair despised.

Mardi Gras Redux 2005, Part II

Where are you now on the back pages nobody reads
You are yesterday, a black spot in history
A black face blank.

I am sorry it happened, but life goes on
Harry Potter came out last week, and Wal-Mart is having a sale
Where will you put your tree?

I have my own problems you realize, no you don't
Or you wouldn't ask why we've forgotten again
Don't you know there's a war?

This labyrinth of lies protects those who protect you
From you. We will tell you when and where
Return, rebuild, re-live.

Contamination in the word in the soil in the hearts
Of the MAN. He looks out over a sea of his worst fears
A black face blaming.

What does it matter these people shouldn't be living there
They don't pay taxes, they live on welfare
They can't afford a pot to…

I have my own problems you know, did you think of that
Do you think I've forgotten how could I forget
But it's Christmas.

My kids need the latest upgrade on the latest toy from last year
I gave to the Red Cross twice, wasn't that enough
What are my taxes for?

You've had three months to find a place a job a new life
This is the land of the compassionate conservative with his
Moratorium on mercy.