Bio: Kay Gabriel is a PhD student in Classics at Princeton University and a co-editor of Vetch: A Journal of Trans Poetry and Poetics. Her writing has appeared, or will soon, in Nat. Brut, TINGE, Harlot, Plenitude, Transgender Studies Quarterly, and elsewhere. She collaborated with David W. Pritchard on the chapbook Impropria Persona, forthcoming in 2017 from Damask Press.

These poems are excerpted from Kay’s chapbook manuscript Elegy Department Spring, a sonnet cycle for and about the Warhol superstar Candy Darling.

Mooch New York

Women quietly at war with themselves or
the imitation of Kim Novak you undertake
for work, well why aren’t there two or twelve
of me to shop with? We reënact internecine conflicts over
summer camp but actually Paul Morrissey was onto something
I wanna rearrange, delay and rob

here it’s the 70’s and degradation means something
she plays an actress with an eye to inherit, copping
glamour or actually the term is “citational”
as Candy is of style I am of cabs and scheming
like meanwhile in the New York of petty theft:
I suck off every mannequin in the Manhattan Storage
& Water Co., I
walk out with this guy’s wallet too


we fucked too long and here I am unseemly at the beach
well how’s it going with you? down this end I’m
digging public troughs in the monologue surf
connection langorous & delicate           still there’s girltalk left to look
forward to, the imprecision: are we ten thousand feet up or do we have
tension or are we nellies           The calamity is more
remarkable than loss, we showed up for some tears in a paper cup
Holly we miss you, get up, experience
my sandy inconsistent love, admiration for showing
foxgirl sex in front of God and the cinema           never to be covered on WarholStars
dot org           if I wrote another mode, history not the fantasy
of intimacy in gossip rags or the languid tones of beaches
I’d probably have put it otherwise
the waves break on the monologue shore, where else

Reality Pitch

1000 Candys and a bar called Sweethole
oh you think I made that up                     this is television,
somebody’s gotta like it           the soundtrack: a boy
in a bunny mask who doesn’t know what to do with himself
the rules: 5 Candys eliminated every week                     until then they get paired up
two to a twin bed           can’t all cram for yoga class at once or the salon sesh
voiceover           ten dollerz I’ll kill that queen André
I want a camera trained on every slight
call it: Blank Parts in Blank Pictures, why not
vamping for the questionnaire: would you fuck, marry, kill
for a $5 coupon that never ran out           how bout a box of them
in what apartment would you keep it
who would you like to go home tonight
aporia of a pleasant body                     small o of surprise

Not for all the Links in Hyrule

To anthologize each Joan
and Turner, you
        crushed on Mtl in the aughts
        cavorted unintendidly
        preferred the grass starter

In the age of Revlon you
win or you smudge. Even Jackie
is a Marilyn, while Perez reports
surprise trans icon Elle Woods has
married both. Next, an order
for the irruptions of “but then…”;
actors not to host on any futon;
rooms never to back out of