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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

flash photography; lockjaw

By: Olivia Pierce

flash photography

here you are, woman the first moment of the way things were supposed to be painted canvas backdrop lipstick imprint on a coffee cup, you can’t afford to put honey in your tea

but you’re gonna be famous, you’re in the studio, he tells you just like they always tell you, how you look like that old movie star you’ve got a thousand dollar smile with lint in your pockets you tell them you’re from the Midwest, they can’t believe it you quit your job you broke your lease you moved a million miles away

hollywood makeup mirror, you can use that to freshen up look at that lipstick imprint on that empty cup, can you afford to put honey in your tea?

you, the walking ribcage, what a great look you’ve got the poise of poverty the moment is finally here just like you always thought it’d be

can you look into the lens & imagine you’re about to kiss someone in a punk rock club? because you give them that vibe, yeah you give them that feeling when the camera flash you’ve got that glamour, in this dirty room you’ve got all the raucousness and magnetism of all those dirty bands

yeah, a punk rock club: and you think about when you saw that couple kissing, laughing in the corner and the extended, tattooed arm of the bartender speaking to them, but looking at you and now the shutter clicks and now you hear him again

he says: pull it back, guys it’s fleeting.


for years, my world subsisted on what if and I had asked so much so often

that now in each beat between a question and my jaw working some response the answer is always your name.


Olivia Pierce is a 26-year-old woman from Michigan living in New York City. She has a performing arts degree and is a theatre and film actress in addition to being a poet. She also enjoys visual art and sewing. She is passionate about punk rock, alternative and vintage fashion, taking care of animals. She has only recently began to submit her writing; this is her first publication to go live. She will also be published in Silver Needle Press' fall print issue. “flash photography: American sociologist Charles Cooley once said something like, "I am not what I think I am; I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am." This poem is a good example of this approach to identity. This poem came from a series of racing thoughts after having to spend a few hours with a complete stranger who told me all about myself. lockjaw: This poem is short because it has to be. If I were to say everything there was to say on the subject matter, it would never be finished. I would die writing it. I suppose I am trying to make the reader believe that, though I can't tell them everything, it was still important. The story is over, but its phantom still floats around in my head every day, filling all the little moments between moments.”


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