Begging For It

Alex Dimitrov. Four Way (UNPE, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-1-935536-26-0
The Bulgarian-born, New York City–based Dimitrov has been turning heads for a few years with Wilde Boys, a salon and reading series for gay and queer writers. His passionate, glamorous, and accessible debut certainly holds delights: “At the St. Mark’s Baths Hart Crane washes my hair,” one poem starts; afterwards “my American youth streams down.” Dimitrov can sound at once hip and naive, devoted to the sincerities that other sorts of poets reject or obscure, and to the strong feelings that cynics reprehend: “Because there were men who slaved for their beauty/ does it cost more to love them?” Such romantically rhetorical queries, and the declarations that follow, link Dimitrov not just to other poets of modern gay life (notably Mark Doty) but to Franz Wright, or even to Rilke. It is decidedly a young man’s book, where sex, and ideas about sex, are easy to find: “We start and finish one another with a kiss”; “It’s the potential I’m in love with/ when I sleep with someone new.” It’s also a funny book, and a self-conscious one (there is a poem called “Sleeping with Everyone”), and a book of spiritual advice: “If you’re lonely enough, if you listen,/ the wind will convince you, in its human-like/ sadness, to open the windows and let something in.” (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/25/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
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