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Tim Dlugos

1950–1990

Tim Dlugos was born on August 5, 1950, in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1968, he joined the Chris­t­ian Broth­ers and attended La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

After a few years, he left the Brotherhood for Washington, D.C., where he was active in the poetry, anti-war, and gay communities and worked for Ralph Nader's newspaper Public Citizen. In the mid-1970s, he moved to New York City, where he was involved with the Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church and affiliated with poets Joe Brainard, Bernadette Mayer, and Eileen Myles, among others. 

He authored several collections of poetry, including Je Suis Ein Americano (Little Ceasar Press, 1979), Entre Nous (1982), and A Fast Life: The Collected Poems of Tim Dlugos (Nightboat Books, 2011), a posthumous collection edited by David Trinidad, which won a Lambda Literary Award. 

In reference to Dlugos's work, Ted Berrigan said he was "the Frank O'Hara of his generation."

After learning he was HIV-positive, Dlugos enrolled in Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1988, with the intention of becoming an Episcopalian priest. He died of AIDS-related complications on December 3, 1990. 

 

Tim Dlugos
Tim Dlugos

By This Poet

1

Great Art

for Donald Grace

 

Underneath your skin, your heart
moves.  Your chest
rises at its touch.  A small bump
appears, every
second.  We watch for what appears
to be hours.

Our hands log the time: the soft
light, darkness
underneath your eyes.  Our bodies
intersect like highways
with limitless access and perfect spans
of attention.

We pay for this later.  I pay
for breakfast.  We
can’t stay long.  We take off
to the museum
and watch the individual colors
as they surface

in the late works of Matisse.
They move the way
your heart moves, the way we breathe.
You draw your own
breath, then I draw mine.  This is
truly great art.

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