Recent works by trans and nonbinary poets, including Oliver Baez Bendorf, Jos Charles, jayy dodd, Joshua Jennifer Espinoza, Paige Lewis, and Danez Smith, gesture to a new mode of trans-confessional poetry. Trans poets practice naming as a form of self-indulgence, and trans names and pronouns are a form of poetry—following Audre Lorde's articulation—read into the world to give it new shape. In trans naming practices and poetry, self-indulgences are also demands made of another, a new name or unexpected pronoun asking for an affirmative repetition, a performative reflection: mirror restaging. Gender, like self-indulgence, is never accomplished alone. It relies on an audience that either affirms and repeats—or refuses—one's request to be seen and understood in a way that breaks from expectation. I closely read two poems, by Oliver Baez Bendorf and Richard Siken, whose shared centering of names articulate a relational self-indulgence in their proposed call-and-response.

You do not currently have access to this content.