New Books of Poetry: Alain Ginsberg- UNTIL THE COWS COME HOME (Elation Press)

Alain Ginsberg is an agender writer and performer from Baltimore, MD whose work focuses on gender, sexuality, and mental health and the ways trauma weaves and takes hold of the narrative. Their work is featured or forthcoming from Hyrsteria, Crab Fat Magazine, Shabby Dollhouse, and elsewhere. Their chapbook UNTIL THE COWS COME HOME (2016) is published through Elation Press. Outside of writing they are trying their best to french braid



The Worst Part About Being Alive Is You Can Only Kill Yourself Once


For the past several weeks and for the next several more

I have been saying that all I want is death and

dying, like a prayer that you know the ending to,

like I know the ending to anything that doesn’t make me sad.

What I mean, usually, is that I’m tired,

that I want sleep, to not work a job

or two, and still feel like I’m not doing enough,

that I feel like I’m not doing enough,

that I’m not living a life for two, or more, who can’t.

What I mean, sometimes, is that last night

I fell asleep wondering how similar tie knots

are to noose knots, if I own anything strong enough

to hold me in place, to make me feel weightless

or, as empty as I tell myself I am.

I once took a course on knot tying and left

with an itchy neck, how sometimes the end

of a book is so obvious we pretend it wont come true.

What I mean, always, is that I miss you,

how I know the only way to get close

is to unbecome, to be both exit and exit-wound.

Once, it took me over a year and a half to visit

a grave with your name on it, how sometimes

even when we know something isn’t going anywhere

it’s hard to be in the same place at the same time,

how sometimes your grave enters me and forms a field

of grass across my skin like something so alive could live

with such death in it, how sometimes I wake up

marbleized and am unable to move

without breaking you, how you broke me.

What I mean is, I think the worst part about being alive

is that you can only kill yourself once.

How I wonder if you would do it again,

how I know I would, again, and again,

and again.

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