for the bad boys, not the bad guys
and for our guy, Allen Ginsberg

America when will you be angelic?
When will you take off your clothes?
—Allen Ginsberg

Kill Your Boyfriends

First, wear the clothes they carelessly left
on that night you can't remember,
so it's themselves they see walking away.
Look at them, always,
with an expensive abandon
and a little below the lips.
Whatever you play, play it on repeat.
And if they say, "why this?"
tell them "Brando or Morrison died
listening to this song"—
say it without caring what they'll think.
Kill your boyfriends, boys.
At the movies or the bar booth,
on your first date, in your bedroom.
Kill your boyfriends—kill your boyfriends, ladies.
While they kiss you, just before they say
"I'm close," just before they can forget to miss you.
When they mouth sweet things,
when they ask once more to see you.
Why not kill what's yours?
Why not make it lethal?
You are so in love with love.
You are carving out another heart,
you are filling it with nothing see-through.
You must kill your boyfriends.
You must kill what wants,
like death, to keep you.

Leaving Town with Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg, I met you
in a gas station bathroom somewhere in California
and I don't even drive or dream. You asked me for my number,
I asked you for a cigarette. It was evening in New York
where we were both dead, and America
was beautiful and bloody like a boy.
I don't smoke, I said,
but there's a war and there's my love too,
and no mirror in this bathroom
so, what next? When can I go into the supermarket
and buy what I need with my good looks?
Where can I find the best blue jeans to sell my book?
If we leave this place tonight
let's not leave loveless.
Let's dig a cemetery like a summer in our hands.
And all the people that will pass and bless our bodies—
let's take them with us Allen Ginsberg,
let's never let them sleep.

Portrait of the Poet as an American Boy

Portrait of the poet

American Faith

You wonder if this city will kill you.
The way the sad boy doing cocaine dangles
his legs over the ledge of another roof
and your favorite summer song ends
or is it beginning—it feels too brief to matter.
Someone's life is a red or blue light in the distance.
None of this will strip you down the way you'd like.
You know you came here for the wrong reasons,
so tell me, if New York was a word
would it be money or ambition?
If you're lucky, love will let you forget about one of the two.
You think about this
while you watch someone beautiful
put a pill in your mouth
and a temporary feeling in your body.
And love—love again—
like a night siren, passes.
Why go into detail?
America is about finding something to worship.

The Bad Boys, Not the Bad Guys

You're such an elegant pisser,
charmer, dashing tongue teaser.
In the corner at another party
I'm overdressed and undersexed,
spitting your way like Rimbaud
spit out his heart.
My cigarette is wet, my black is red
and this drink won't spill
until my neck is what you use
to dry your fangs on.
The salt crusting my lips is sweet,
it streaks the blood with tenderness.
So killer, of course it's you I think of
as I unbutton the cardigan of another boy
shamelessly vomiting champagne
into a beautiful glass toilet.

Grindr 1: Poems actually

Grindr 1

Sexual History, 1984-2012

He slept with no one in 1984.
He slept his way to the high chair in 1985.
He slept behind the Iron Curtain in 1986.
He slept and sucked on his thumb in 1987.
He slept with the enemy action figure in 1988.
He slept while the Wall fell in 1989.
He slept and what they called communism ended in 1990.
He slept on the plane in 1991.
He slept with Bill Clinton on television in 1992.
He slept through everyone who died of AIDS in 1993.
He came in his sleep in 1994.
He slept in America in 1995.
He thought about not sleeping with anyone in 1996.
He wanted to sleep with men in 1997.
He needed to sleep with men in 1998.
He couldn't sleep at all, not during the days or nights in 1999.
He slept with his semen in his mouth in 2000.
He slept with a man but didn't really sleep with him in 2001.
He watched men sleep in 2002.
He wanted to die in his sleep in 2003.
He slept with one person in 2004.
He slept with only that person in 2005.
He hated sleeping with him in 2006.
He kept sleeping with him in 2007.
He slept with someone who looked like the son of a dictator in 2008.
He slept with five people he could remember in 2009.
He slept with nine people in 2010.
He slept with seven people in 2011.
He is asleep in America in 2012.

Grindr 2: Ooh youre a poet

Grindr 2

One American Summer

And what next for kicks on earth,
Ginsberg wrote in one of his journals.
The August night opens like a cut.
All those stories I wrote with black netting
about you—I tell them to cab drivers now
and let them tell me the endings.
I step onto 15th Street and Irving Place
and there's no place for sadness on the sidewalk.
In the park's illegible language,
like a mistake, two boys
pass a cigarette between them.
What they're trying to forget is summer,
what they forget is each other.
In a train somewhere love stalls.
The gutter fills with someone's glitter
and it's boring but beautiful
how glitter has only one purpose.
Why I asked, if I asked,
to be here—I forgot.

Grindr 3: Proust's grave

Grindr 3

We Sleep a Little and We Live

It's some day today, isn't it?
Someone's birthday or deathday,
yes that day, today is an ecstatically sad day.
Christopher, don't you know
we could fall in love so fast
if you only meet me for a drink at six?
All my friends are broke and lonely.
They're smoking now in their leather jackets
trying to say something about kissing
in a poem or a novel maybe.
Except my friend Rachel who doesn't smoke
and writes about paintings
and beautiful things—Rachel!
Don't you know you are
my favorite person in the world.
Not any other world but this one,
which we know so well because we're in it.
Yes, the winter's fast approaching
and on this, the saddest day,
Fifth Avenue is cold and crying
like the blond poet sipping his coffee
outside New York University.
Why should he listen to the man who says
he has no reason to be sad because he's young?
It's some day today, some place
this place we live in.
I'll never get over the fact
that the buildings all light up at night,
and the night comes every night
and without regret we let it go.
We sleep a little and we live.
That's what we do.

OkCupid: Which word describes you better?


Time is a River

Perhaps I shouldn't be thinking of the same things
or waiting for my most comfortable sadness to write or return phone calls.
What else changes other than your number and the seasons?
Not every poem needs to remember us, but we—we have little choice.
I'd like to be happy and write nothing about happiness,
didn't you ask once?
He wrote one book his entire life.
And in French, which is the loneliest language.
The boy on the train lost his place
in his story, I could tell from his eyes and top lip.
Someone once told me where a sentence enters us
and it's the same place as regret.
So a book is a past made one way and we are not books.
I avoid the streets that look lonely with too many people
and the days seem to feel like days, yes.
Time for Paul Thek was a river.
Time for historians is just time.
I stand too long at the crosswalk in summer to watch the light change.
It helps me get home.
Sometimes it helps me get home.

Charlie said I could use this pic from his Facebook


Would you say your poems are confessional?



"Leaving Town with Allen Ginsberg" borrows the following line from Ginsberg's poem "America": "When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?"

"We Sleep a Little and We Live" is for Rachel Silveri.

Alex Dimitrov
Author photograph by Billy Merrell

Alex Dimitrov’s first book of poems, Begging for It, is forthcoming from Four Way Books in March, 2013. He is the recipient of the Stanley Kunitz Prize from the American Poetry Review and the founder of Wilde Boys, a queer poetry salon in New York City. His poems have appeared in The Yale Review, Kenyon Review, Slate, Boston Review, Tin House, Poetry Daily, and the American Poetry Review. He works at the Academy of American Poets, teaches creative writing at Rutgers University, and frequently writes for Poets & Writers magazine. Follow him on Twitter @alexdimitrov.