‘This diary, written in Tim Dlugos’ first six months in the City That Never Sleeps, is a record of his immersion in the downtown poetry scene and a gay lifestyle that was then relentlessly promiscuous. From the very beginning, when he “gobbles up” some chocolate mints left behind by Joe Brainard, Tim is like Alice eating a cake that changes her size; he’s off and running in a Wonderland of art openings and late-night escapades at the baths. In the forty-four years that have elapsed since Tim wrote this diary, the world has changed several times over: AIDS, 9/11, Coronavirus. The New York that Tim captures in these pages is long gone. While it gives us a few precious glimpses of that lost world, his diary is a reminder of how quickly a world can disappear.’ — SRP
“Like a prose version of a chatty Frank O’Hara poem, Tim Dlugos’ New York Diary is dense with the goings-on of a crush of proper names we normally might not care much about. Yet—again like O’Hara—Tim, in his accurately super-speedy rendering of the summer and fall of the now-historical year of 1976, makes them and theirs magical, intimate, and fully alive.” — Brad Gooch
“Tim Dlugos was one of the smartest, wittiest, most socially dynamic presences on the New York poetry scene of the 1970s and beyond. And these diary entries capture his voice at its most intimate and perceptive. As well as displaying the deep delight he took in being a gay man and an out poet at a time and in a place where that was finally seen not as transgressive but as celebratory. Well, a little of both. As with New York poet and predecessor Frank O’Hara, many of Tim’s friends thought they were his best friend, I certainly did. He had the ability to make you confess things to him and look for his approval. Which usually meant his matching your confession with his own. Everyone I know who knew him loved him, and many of us adored him. These glimpses into his life and mind show why.” — Michael Lally
“The Frank O’Hara of his generation.” — Ted Berrigan
Tim Dlugos’ books
Tim Dlugos & Brad Gooch reading 8/18/77
Ry Dunn -reading Tim Dlugos’ “G-9”
jwdenver reads “Great Art” by Tim Dlugos
Gowri Koneswaran reads Tim Dlugos’ “Poem After Dinner”
Tim Dlugos (1950-1990)
Tim Dlugos (born Francis Timothy Dlugos) (August 5, 1950 – December 3, 1990) was an American poet. Early in his career, Dlugos was celebrated for his energetic, openly gay, pop culture-infused poems. Later, he became widely known for the poems he wrote as he was dying of AIDS.
Tim Dlugos was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and raised by adopted parents in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and Arlington, Virginia. In 1968, he joined the Christian Brothers, a Catholic religious order, and entered their college, La Salle College, in Philadelphia, the following year. At La Salle, Dlugos became involved in the anti-Vietnam War movement and started writing poetry. He left the Brothers in 1971 to openly embrace a politically active, gay lifestyle. Less and less motivated by academic life, he dropped out of La Salle in his senior year, eventually moving to Washington, D.C.
Dlugos immersed himself in the Mass Transit poetry scene in Washington, regularly attending readings at the Community Book Shop in Dupont Circle. His friends during this period included Ed Cox, Tina Darragh, Michael Lally, Bernard Welt, and Terence Winch. His first chapbook, High There, was published by Some of Us Press in 1973. Dlugos worked on Ralph Nader‘s Public Citizen newspaper, which led to a successful career as a fundraising consultant and copywriter for liberal and charitable organizations.
In 1976, Dlugos moved to Manhattan, where he became a prominent younger poet in the downtown literary scene centered around the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church. His poems were praised for their innovation and wit, their appropriation of popular culture (as in his crowd-pleasing “Gilligan’s Island”), and their openly gay subject matter. Dlugos’s friends during his New York years included Joe Brainard, Donald Britton, Jane DeLynn, Brad Gooch, and Eileen Myles. In 1977, he began a correspondence and friendship with Dennis Cooper, then based in Los Angeles. Dlugos published two books with Cooper’s Little Caesar Press: Je Suis Ein Americano (1979) and Entre Nous (1982). Of the latter, critic Marjorie Perloff wrote, “This is poetry of extraordinary speed and energy that fuses fact and fantasy, dream and documentary. Tim Dlugos’ every nerve seems to vibrate.” Dlugos also edited and contributed to such magazines as Christopher Street, New York Native, and The Poetry Project Newsletter.
Dlugos tested positive for HIV in 1987, and was diagnosed with AIDS in 1989. In 1988, he moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where he was enrolled in Yale Divinity School. His intention was to become a priest in the Episcopal Church. He died of complications due to AIDS on December 3, 1990, at the age of forty.
Dlugos is widely known for the poems he wrote while hospitalized in G-9, the AIDS ward at Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan, and is considered a seminal poet of the AIDS epidemic. His long poem “G-9,” in which Dlugos celebrates life while accepting his mortality and impending death, was published in The Paris Review only months before Dlugos died.
Two decades after Dlugos’s death, his friend David Trinidad edited A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos, which won a Lambda Literary Award.
In 2011, “At Moments Like These He Feels Farthest Away,” an exhibition of paintings by artist Philip Monaghan based on Dlugos’s poem “Gilligan’s Island,” was held at Fales Library at New York University, where Dlugos’s literary papers are archived.
Tim Dlugos (David Trinidad, editor) New York Diary by Tim Dlugos
Sibling Rivalry Press
‘WHEN TIM DLUGOS MOVED TO NEW YORK in June of 1976, he had already received acclaim as a poet in Washington, D.C., where he was a regular participant in the Mass Transit poetry scene. New York was the big leap, a way of raising the stakes and proving himself as a writer, and he would soon make a name for himself there as well. This diary, written in his first six months in the City That Never Sleeps, is a record of his immersion in the downtown poetry scene and a gay lifestyle that was then relentlessly promiscuous. From the very beginning, when he “gobbles up” some chocolate mints left behind by Joe Brainard, Tim is like Alice eating a cake that changes her size; he’s off and running in a Wonderland of art openings and late night escapades at the baths. During the subsequent months, he meets a great many people; he has a good deal of sex; he absorbs a great deal of culture. In early August, as he notes his twenty-sixth birthday, one realizes he is just a kid—a precocious one, but a youngster nonetheless.’ — David Trinidad
p.s. Hey. I’m very happy that my blog gets to act as one of the entranceways through which public awareness of this spanking new and fantastic book is happening. Tim Dlugos was a great poet/writer, so there’s that, and this book also offers a super addictive and fun portrait of life in the red hot poetry, art, etc., scene in NYC at the the dawn of the 1980s. Tim was one of my best friends, and he was always at the center of everything, and here’s the proof. Very highly recommended. ** Dominik, Hey!! Cool: the post alignment. My mom was so generally weird and kind of awful a lot of the time that the past life ceremony thing was kind of sweet relatively. And interesting too to be able to hallucinate like that without LSD, which was already one of my brain’s pals at that point. Yeah, ‘Goofy’, the name. It was a bit too on the money. Aw, thanks, about my book, and of course i would have been a bit more shy and hesitant to put love in it had I known. Ha ha, if your love was love, I think I would be careful not to fall into it too often. Love like Darby Crash winning the current season of ‘Csillag születik’ in a landslide, G. ** David S. Estornell, The same to you, buddy. ** David Ehrenstein, I think I like films I have to chase. Francois S. is still so mad at me for humiliating him in that scene (which was improvised) that he stares daggers at me whenever I see him on the street. The French press really attacked Christophe re: ‘Homme au Bain’ because they thought using Chiara Mastroianni for her role in that film was an abuse of her talent.She didn’t think so, and she won an acting award at Cannes for her performance in his most recent film. ** _Black_Acrylic, Curious what you’ll think. ** Daniel, 👍 ❤️ ** G, Hi. Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m happy you like the post though. I think that interview must have been in French originally because Christophe’s English is not that great. The Honore film that Golshifteh Farahani is in is kind of odd and sweet, a kids’ movie but with an experimental fringe. Mm, I think maybe my favorites of Christophe’s films are ‘Dans Paris’ and ‘La belle personne’. Have a swell day. ** Sypha, Oh, right, yeah, about your mirror thing, I remember now. If I’d grown up in some place that had actual winters rather than a winter that consists of occasionally cloudy skies and temperatures in the 60s, I’m sure I would feel differently. Okey-doke about the post, cool, thanks. ** ae, Is it possible to read your political theory stuff or poetry anywhere? Maybe you can compromise and do the beast justice in a prose poem. Thank you a lot about Zac’s and my films. That was a fun scene to shoot, although poor Rico, who played the spoken word artist/victim, had broken his shoulder a few days before (you can see the sling on his arms in a couple of shots), and we had to make it as careful a sexual assault as possible. He’s a trooper, that Rico. When there’s not a pandemic, I spend a lot of time in small venues watching electronic and noise gigs. That’s almost my favorite thing. And, man, do I miss it, as I’m sure you do too unless you’re actually open again where you are. That’s interesting: I just restored an old post that’s coming up soonish that has ‘Funeral Parade Of Roses’ featured within it. Great film, yeah. I’ll check my email, cool, thank you. Damn, I wish I could sit at your dinner table. But my pal Zac made me a big vat of my favorite food in the world (cold sesame noodle) as a late b’day gift, so I’m good. This week: ‘praying’ the govt. doesn’t announce re-confinement tonight, finish a draft of this new fiction/novella thing I’m fooling around with, go look at art and hang with my friend Stephen O’Malley (I’m imagining you know his work — Sunn0)) and tons of solo and collaboration work), and … don’t know what else. Enjoy the beginnings of yours. ** Steve Erickson, Christophe’s ethos is clearest in his earlier films, from ‘Ma Mere’ up through ‘La Belle Personnne’, and then he started to diverge quite widely, but, if you know his thing, you see it in the later films too. I don’t know if I would do the acting thing again. Yeah, it would depend on who asked. No one else ever has. Well, actually, ages ago Gregg Araki asked me to play the psychiatrist in ‘The Living End’, but I said no. Eek, that does sound dangerous — open restaurants — but … who knows. ** Bill, Work going okay, or, I guess, you doing okay in its midst? ** Jack Skelley, Ha. Climb down off that beanstalk, Jack! Right, Robert Mitchum, now my bell is rung. I too confuse those two guys. I think that must be not uncommon. Weird. So, there are two new art districts. One is out on the fringes of Paris, and one is walking distance from me. We went to the fringe, and the Scharf show is in the other one, but, you know, walking distance … so as soon as it stops raining. Yeah, Christophe directs operas and theater stuff more than he makes films these days for whatever reason. Versatile. Big day, I hope, man. ** Right. Get with Mr. Dlugos’s book, thank you. See you tomorrow.