It seems there's a New York poets group chiefly populated by young attractive gay men (and their rich older benefactors) looking to get it on. Alas, you're not invited. From the giddy pages of the New York Times Style section this morning comes the article "The Wilde Boys Salon, for Poetry or Maybe a Hot Date."
If there's anything in the New York literary scene (and, to be more specific, the gay New York poetry scene) that is under attack, it is its exclusivity. Between too-large books parties and [shudder] Barnes & Nobles public readings, the unwashed hoi polloi of this tattered old town are taking over the once-defended enclaves like so many Jersey Visigoths. But no more! Or at least that's what The Times has found: for at least a few lucky attractive, young gay men, the poetry salon Wilde Boys (perhaps like the one above, in Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan) has been formed with the express purpose of walling the beautiful bon vivants in and the malformed SUNY grads out. Let's let The Times illuminate us on its membership selection criteria:
[Wilde Boys founder Alex Dimitrov] was also new to New York City, living on the Lower East Side with a college friend. He longed for a community of writers, and sought to create his own by e-mailing a half-dozen aspiring poets his age — some he knew, some he didn’t — and suggesting they discuss their work at a cafe.
“I invited the cute gay poets right away,” Mr. Dimitrov said. “I sort of had a list of gays that I wanted to come, and some of them that I wanted to sleep with.”
Not long after the Wilde Boys' formation, an older poet invited the group to convene at a tony apartment on Lower Fifth Avenue owned by a Lillian Vernon heir, and the roster of famous guest readers grew ever more impressive. It soon became the hottest secret ticket in gay poetry town:
Notices about the salon were posted on its Facebook page and Twitter feed. But getting Mr. Dimitrov to extend an invitation to someone new took a personal introduction or well-worded note. Good looks didn’t hurt either.
Dimitrov is respectably honest about his intentions, and really there's nothing wrong with trying to get laid while sitting down with a group of like-minded fellows and listening to some poetry, even if the whole affair is decidedly cliquish. ("Every invitation came with a stern reminder: 'Please don’t bring a guest.'") But my does The Times article's author, Patrick Huguenin, write about the Wilde Boys with such erotic bluster! So much hot flash shirt-flapping, with an awed kind of turned-on-edness that's rather unbecoming.
Though, who can blame him, really. Like the Greenwich Village of the 1960s, here is a group of hot, young, and willing (depending on your bent) folks who are ready and eager for stimulation both intellectual and otherwise. Huguenin (and everyone else) should get points deducted for referring to grown men as "boys," but it's otherwise hard to condemn him for getting all bothered.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.