the louderARTS Project

Jen Abrams

Jen Abrams is a dancer and actor who worked at Guild Complex in Chicago for almost four years before it occurred to her to write anything. She began integrating poem-like things into her dances in 1998 in Chicago with her dance company, Limbic Fix, and hasn't shut up since. She worked briefly at A Gathering of the Tribes before moving to Poets House, which now pays her rent. Collectively, she's produced over 500 poetry events. On her own time, She is a member of the WOW Café Theater Collective, where she performs her original dance/theater works regularly. WOW is the country's oldest all-women's performance collective, and it is open to any woman interested in creating and producing performances. She has also performed at Dixon Place, Chashama, LaMama and the Theater for the New City. You can find out more about her work at...

jenabrams.org




East 4th St, 7am

Fourth Street you are antsy today
The condo builders itch up six stories above bleating dump trucks
And the roof squatters splat on the pavement, nudged
By assembly district politics and the unrelenting
March of commerce
The Nigerian guy's on the sidewalk again
Pissing against the pitted concrete planter
Cause the DOH closed down his shop third time this month
The asphalt sweats and it isn't even June yet
And it's too early for the cafes to hose down the trash and make
The place presentable for the relocaters from uptown

I love you at this hour, when you are owned by refuse and dirty faces
I love you at construction truck time, when there isn't a decent sandwich
     to be had for blocks
And everyone smells bad
And there's room enough for anyone with an honest rant
And a dollar for a lunch cart cup of coffee
I love you before the bell dings on Wall Street
Before the Jersey folk disgorge from the PATH train
Before anyone in their right mind is up
While the clarity of deep night still clings to the fire escapes
And the unforgiving workday has not yet stripped you
Of your self.



© Jen Abrams



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