Alain Ginsberg

Mastor of Ceremonies spoken word at The Crown

Alain Ginsberg is an agender writer and performer from Baltimore City, MD whose work focuses on narratives of gender identity, sexuality, mental health and trauma. Their work is featured or forthcoming from Black Heart Magazine, Rising Phoenix, Crab Fat, and elsewhere. Outside of writing they’re trying to get a sunburn so they can be marginally less pale this year.”

A Poisonous Thing

On the first day of taking hormones

I wonder if in myth monsters

are always monsters, was the nest

of hair on Medusa’s head always venomous,

or did the thick bulb of it fall out

when the snakes came to live there.

Is the skin that is living underneath my skin

aching to be a breathing thing,

sometimes it’s pulse feels like it’s coming from

my own body and yet I know it not to be mine .

My doctor tells me I should plan to change the gender marker

on my id from M for monster to F for feral thing,

we all know that dogs are just domesticated wolves anyways.

I tell her that both will be wrong, but I will always be

something that appears in verse and epic as if

there is nothing beautiful about knowing how

deadly you have always been.

Tells me I should do this to ease the confusion

of someone who would not know what to make of me.

They will never be the ones to make me.

I feel a rib breaking inside of me, planted in the garden

of my body, how on the eighth day the god that is also myself

broke Adam’s ribs again, put them back inside and Adam

did not feel this ache anymore. Medusa was probably

grateful all those fucking knots would be out of her hair,

carved a body into a weapon, no, a sharper weapon

than it had been before.

A horse has been roughly the same kind of animal

for a very long time, it is not shaped like death

but it’s kick can deliver it to you, why do you think

the apocalypse chose them as their steeds.

My doctor tells me that taking hormones

is described as a second puberty,

and I don’t say that I hope I’ll be taller this time.

Don’t say how I hope my skin will be a delicate thing

a poisonous flower, call me by my other names,

call me wisteria, foxglove, rhododendron.

If the world is trying to consume me whole

than it should be prepared to feel

death in it’s body live a good harvest.




My Anxiety, A Toad

my anxiety lives at the back of my throat / sits on my vocal chords / sits first chair on my vocal chords but sometimes will sit second chair to raise the tension / sits on the back of my throat and enlarges my vocal sac / plays the flute into my esophagus / breathes when I breathe /

my anxiety is a toad living inside of me / crawls up my throat from my stomach covered in acid / all anxiety is at some level toxic / and doesn’t that make me a poisonous beast / how the throat of me grows larger to make room for the animals / makes it hard to swallow / makes my voice tremble /

and doesn’t that make my body a difficult thing to play / the toad in my throat using all of its web and bog skill to make me into a worthy instrument / how private I play these notes / how to bike home with an open mouth to feed my anxiety / all of the bugs in my mouth applauding / all of the bugs in my mouth / all of my mouth / full of such delicate dead things

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