To make such universalizing claims, however, is not to downplay the specificity of language-patterns tailored to the needs and wishes of trans and genderqueer subjects. It’s notable, for instance, how often the writings in this anthology use brackets, slashes, all-lower-
casings, and other paralinguistic markers of indeterminacy and blending. Or take pronouns, those portals between embodiment and grammar: Who accepts conventional terms—she, he—that may or may not be the same language-part with which he or she was identified at birth? Which individual uses a new or repurposed pronoun—xie, hir, it, they—inventing a verbal instrument better suited to the deictic task at hand? Who contrives to avoid sentence constructions requiring pronouns altogether? For a cis-reader who may not have thought deeply about how gender encrypts in language—or for a seeker starting to wonder if “he” or “she” is really hir right label—these new terms might feel as disorienting as the old ones do for Keer and Banias. At the same time, for poetry-loving people, such derangements of received significance are precious. It’s “troublings” like these we go to poetry to find.

Frances Richard, “Multitudes”