The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: “What Hollywood Taught Me” by Alison Taverna


“A Letter from Justin”

Dear Alison,

I’ma be straight, I tried to get someone else to write you. Not sure what you want
from me but everyone wants something and it’s better to be honest about it. I’ll tell you
this: I keep my shirt off most days not for the girls, not really, but so the world will see
me as strong. Half of me is the person they want me to be, all Canadian cocky and
teenage throb, but then there is this other half I find in weird flashes, like when I’m
brushing my teeth or holding a pencil. Like the most dumb, pointless moments when
I can just look at myself without someone else looking too, ya know, and I think, I wish
this body were mine
. But this world makes you belong to other people. And so what’s the
point fighting it? I haven’t found it. You can send them to me, the poems or whatever.


This selection comes from the poetry chapbook What Hollywood Taught Me, available from Seven Kitchens Press. Order your copy here.

Alison Taverna holds an MFA in poetry and a certificate in publishing from Chatham University where her thesis, If We Keep These Bodies, won the Best Thesis in Poetry award. She is currently the Associate Editor at Autumn House Press and the poetry instructor at Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) High School. Her first chapbook, What Hollywood Taught Me won the 2015 Robin Becker Prize from Seven Kitchens Press.
Visit Alison here.

Beth Couture‘s work can be found in a number of journals and anthologies, including Gargoyle, Drunken Boat, The Southeast Review, Ragazine, and Thirty Under Thirty from Starcherone Books. Her novella, Women Born with Fur, was published by Jaded Ibis Press in 2014 as part of its Blue Bustard Novellas series. She graduates with her Master’s in Social Work at Bryn Mawr College in May, and she lives in West Philly with her husband and five cats.

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