Jannie Wolff

Working Note: I live in downtown Manhattan and watched the attack on the World Trade Center from my roof ten blocks away. This poem was written on September 23 and was the first piece of creative writing that I was able to do after what I had witnessed. It was part of a photography exhibit on Wooster Street called the September 11 Photo Project along with two photographs of mine.

Before After
A Different View

You have not gotten to see
Many sides of me
And I have not really seen you
A smile here, a quick laugh
We’ve known each other for years
But what have we known

On a Tuesday in September I woke up
To the most beautiful morning
The air was clear, the sky blue
But it was just an illusion
By eleven o’clock I was drinking as I thought of you
And so many others

Nothing is clear, nothing seems real
From my roof I had a bird’s eye view
Of a sight I will always remember
But will never believe

And what is there to believe after all
Except the things we feel are true
One thing I will always believe
Is that I’ve never been wrong about you

Bio: Jannie Wolff is an actor and writer. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, she spent her first year in New York working with the Circle Repertory Company (now Circle East) and became a member of that company’s LAB the following year. Since then she has appeared in plays and independent films and has had her work produced by various organizations including Circle East, La Mama Etc., HERE Theater, Evolving Arts, HOME For Contemporary Theatre, and The Duplex. For the past four years she has produced evenings of new theater and music in downtown locations such as the Knitting Factory, the Bell Caffé, S.J. South and Sons, and the Tilton Gallery. Her full length play, Coyote, was selected for the NYSSA/South Hampton College workshop in July, 2000, her short play, Conductors, was a finalist for the Actors Theatre of Louisville Year 2000 Heideman Award, and her poem, Voices, was a finalist for the International Library of Poetry’s annual contest and was included in their anthology published in the Summer of 2001. She has just been named a semi-finalist for the Chesterfield Writer’s Film Project, and she is currently collaborating on a screenplay with Steven Berkoff.

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