New Trans Voices: Hear From the Trans Poets Workshop NYC

Members of the Trans Poets Workshop NYC offer pieces from their diverse bodies of work.



Andy “Rocket” Izenson


Only my heart is left in New York.
If you trace your finger along my arteries – here – here –
you'll see they are splayed out along the telephone wires
from Maine to Ishikawa,
tangled with the highways that pump from
western Massachusetts to Kentucky -
feel, here, where my nervous system is saturated
with the exhaust of endless commuting kisses,
exes and ohs, lesses than threes, colon-dash-asterisks,
that you can – almost – feel on your lips.

We don’t know how to be family. We certainly don’t know
how to fit words like “I love you” in the shapes of our mouths.
It sounds like something someone else would say,
someone who knows how to be held close or kissed without violence.
I know what your cheek feels like against my eyelid but not how to be your brother.
I know what you look like just before you cry
but not how to make you stop.

My words only come out in brutal tenderness or tender brutality
because I have never wanted to be fucked but
the only tokens I know how to give are unwanted
and dripping with gore. I wish I could give you more.

My loves, I feel your distance like dry retching.
There is a hook in each chamber of my heart and
my blood vessels are twined intimate as ivy around the wires that lead
from my wrenched guts to your fingertips, twanging taut lines of longing across the globe,
I feel your every movement in the ripples that move through
the nest of razor wire inside my skin – if only I could loosen the knot by touching you –
if only I could feel the knobs of your spine with my hand –
but rather I am the sounding board of a cruel harp, I am the sound,
I can touch the wires that thrum across the miles between us,
pluck at them with bloody fingers,
make of this a song

Andy "Rocket" Izenson is a trans*human genderqueer event planner, poet, attorney, and activist, previously published by 24 Magazine, Sibling Rivalry Press, Sock Drawer Press, and the Yes Means Yes blog. They are likely of extraterrestrial origin and they miss their chosen family.