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The ‘Tinder Poet’ Might Be the Only Good Thing On the App

Most people, upon hearing “Tinder Poet,” will cringe, imagining some corny, deluded Lothario shilling stanzas for swipes. But there is a real life dude who goes by that moniker, and wouldn’t you know, his profile might be the one bright spot on the app.

Scene: Before bed one night, I was reluctantly swiping — you know, out of habit, boredom, and that “oh, just in case!” mindset — when I matched with a certain Alexander, no age, “Tinder Poet” listed as profession. His bio read “hey, you’ve reached the tinder poet. Archive: https://tinderpoetcom.wordpress.com,” followed by a poem of the day.

I was pleasantly surprised that the day’s poem didn’t suck, so I looked up his website and found myself scrolling through verses for maybe half an hour. Some are odes to ostensible Tinder matches, like “For Federico,” which contains the lines, “I don’t want to date you/and I won’t/though your fourth pic is pretty hot/you should make it your first.”

Others put forth New York-specific sensibilities, like the unnamed piece beginning “I am an imposter/in these nice clothes/shuttling through the air/on the old el train.” There are reflections on past loves, “Hey I miss the way you say I’m sorry” and random musings about mortality, “when have you remembered that your birth was mysterious? That you came bloody, out of the womb, and managed, for decades, not to fall down the stairs?”

“For Brian” ends like the world’s most whimsical fortune cookie, “you’re going to be lit by a green light, notice someone’s crooked elbow, ask them to dance,” and elicited in me that corkscrew-to-the-gut sensation I associate with being moved by something.

This is good shit, I thought. And felt grateful to this unlikely troubadour for doing what a standard swiping session has never done for me: piqued my curiosity, stimulated my intellect, and made me feel actual emotions. Sure, the standards are low, but this was a welcome departure from that signature Tinder blend of malaise and revulsion.

I messaged Alexander asking if I could interview him about his project, and we set up a non-date at Project Parlor in Bed-Stuy, our shared neighborhood. I vaguely recalled spending evenings there drinking PBR with dirtbag “poets” during my MFA days, so it seemed an appropriate choice.

Click to enlarge.

When I arrive, he’s seated in a shabby sofa chair, talking on the phone, very official-like. We move out to the backyard, and he explains that Alexander is actually his pen name, and prefers I use that in the piece.

TP/Alexander is tall, brown-haired and bespectacled, a gentle giant who answers my questions in careful, measured responses. He’s easy to talk to, and I immediately like him as a person, which is more than I can say for most Tinder dates.

This, however, is not a date. Alexander tells me he’s in a relationship, insisting that his presence on the app is strictly in service of his poetry project, and, “although tempting,” he never uses it for dates or hookups.

“I want to keep the integrity of it,” he says. “I only respond to people who acknowledge me as the Tinder Poet. Otherwise, I just don’t have the time.”

The 30-year-old began the project in January of this year, after a work trip to LA where he found himself overbooked with Tinder dates every night of the week and finally burned out from dating app exhaustion. He wanted to do something more meaningful with the platform, providing matches with “something to look forward to.”

“I want to be the only good thing on Tinder,” he says, and then clarifies, “my real goal is to become the poet laureate of the United States, through Tinder poetry only.”

Click to enlarge.

Although he says he’s been writing a poem a day since his junior year of high school, so far, it remains a labor of love. As his actual profession, he’s a new music/concert composer (he rejects the term “classical,” finding it limiting). He plays cello and guitar, and was formerly in a band called Polysonic Joy until they had a “dramatic falling out.”

I ask if he would ever want to publish a book of his Tinder poems, and he shrugs. “It’s inevitable. We live in a capitalist society.”

He does have a more immediate vision for his alias off the app, though: a poetry reading where he’ll invite everybody on Tinder and auction off a date with him, using the money to fund a guerrilla cover-up of all the subway poems.

“I’m really upset about the subway series,” he explains, which amps me up because, second to the MTA’s crumbling infrastructure and hellish scheduling problems, the outdated, mediocre poetry lining the subway cars draws my ire. We joke about how absurd it is that the mock poems in the PolicyGenius ads are inadvertently better than any of the actual subway poems.

But the egregiousness of the MTA can have a silver lining: it facilitated a meet-cute for Alexander and his girlfriend. They were both waiting for the bus in the Navy Yard; he, after a class in film scoring, at the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema; she, after a shift at the Mast Brothers Chocolate Factory. The bus was taking forever to show up, so they started talking and immediately hit it off.

Transit delays aside, how does one actually make these real-life romantic encounters happen?

“Be bold,” he says. “It’s awkward to talk to strangers, but I feel like if you want to meet somebody in real life, the definition of meeting somebody is talking to a stranger.” I tell him my vibe is probably not the best: always wearing headphones, resting bitch face, dodging catcalls.

“A big part of meeting people in real life is being open to it,” he says, adding that if you’re giving off a good vibe, “people will be attracted to you rather than you having to chase them.”

Or, be the aggressor. One way? Swoop in on a bad Tinder date while one of them goes to the bathroom, he suggests. “Hey, is that a terrible date? Here’s my number.

“Maybe that’s your calling card. It’s super obnoxious, but if that’s you, that’s you.”

I think, I just might try it. I tell him he should write a dating column, “Ask the Tinder Poet.”

He says he’d love to.

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One Man’s Crusade Against the ‘Epidemic’ of Fake MCs

Keep your eyes peeled. A new poster, featuring rapper Big Daddy Kane, claims that “real MCs” are absent from the world of modern hip-hop. Zeps, a hip-hop artist turned children’s book author from Brooklyn, is the guy who made the poster, and according to him, there’s a new trend to blame for the disappearance of authentic artists. It’s that thing where, instead of singing during live performances, rappers just yell sloppily over the studio version of their song. He said his poster should be considered a public service announcement.

It reads: “There is a horrible new trend among today’s rappers: RHYMING OVER VOCALS LIVE. This is unacceptable. You are ruining the essence of live hip-hop, it’s lazy and means you have no stage presence.” The 36-year-old has been putting up signs with this message for a few years, and said that there’s a whole generation of rappers who think this style of performing is cool. But according to Zeps, it’s taboo and makes you look foolish.

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Looking For a Girlfriend Guy is Now Busy Perino-Scoping Around Town

(Photo by Daniel Maurer)

(Photo by Daniel Maurer)

We all remember Dan Perino, aka Looking for a Girlfriend guy and his abundant flyers around the East Village, don’t we? (At least, we hope you didn’t forget his speed dating escapades at our B+B Bazaar last year.) Well, he’s kind of pulled back on his flyers as of late, and his bid for a reality show seems either stalled or forgotten. Could it be that Perino’s quest for the perfect child-bearing-aged match is complete? (After all, he claims of hundreds of dates to his name.)

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Untangling the Cat Hair Pill Enigma

CHP Fresh Poster Brooklyn

(Photo: CHP)

We’re still holding. Cat Hair Pills, that is. After answering a mysterious flyer posted in Bed-Stuy last week and being directed to One Last Shag, where we acquired pills stuffed with cat hair, we couldn’t decide what to do with them. Throw them in the garbage? Toss them in the East River? Feed them to ourselves or our roommate or some cat lady we know? We had more questions for the Cat Hair Pill sorcerer. Admittedly, our journalism only “scratches the surface” and we’re no closer to discovering the Cat Hair Pillducer(s)’s identity, but we at least have a slightly better understanding of their designs on this world as well as some up-close-and-personal photos of the contributing cats.

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Our Quest For Pills ‘Made From the Finest Hair of Organic, Free-Range Cats’

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

We love weird flyers. And while we’re sure we’re not alone in our appreciation for this very old-school, pre-internet means of reaching out to the masses, we’re betting that we’re counted amongst the brave few people who will really follow this one through. Last week while walking through Bed-Stuy, we happened upon this intriguing flyer. It almost passed for a sincere holistic medicine advert. Almost. Until we gave it a closer look and realized that, unlike holistic medicine, Cat Hair Pills seemed to be generating a great deal of interest– several contact tabs had already been peeled off. With this in mind, we couldn’t possibly ignore what the Cat Hair Pill people were offering.

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Looks Like the ‘Looking For a Girlfriend’ Backlash Has Begun

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

When we announced that Dan “Looking For a Girlfriend” Perino would be speed dating at our Bedford + Bowery Bazaar, a “Concerned EVer” commented, “This person has made such an ass of himself in the EV that I cannot imagine ANYONE actually being interested in him.” Either that commenter has access to a Sharpie or others feel the same way, because here, above, is what someone has done with at least two flyers announcing Perino’s new Indiegogo campaign. 
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And Now ‘Looking For a Girlfriend’ Guy Wants to Make a Doc About the 40 Cock Shots He’s Received

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Just minutes after posting a story about knockoff “Looking for a Girlfriend” fliers, we stepped outside to discover that Dan Perino, the OG, is back on the scene, having posted the above flier today. That’s right, he’s looking for funds to make a documentary about what he says are now 67 dates and counting.
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‘Looking For a Girlfriend’ Guy Is Officially a Meme, Is Now on Facebook

IMG_0482Not only did he inspire the “Also Looking For a Girlfriend Guy,” but check out this flier advertising School for the Dogs, spotted across from Ruff Club on Avenue A. Dude’s bigger than Dan Smith!

As for the real Dan Perino, who has started adding a personal website to his fliers, he joined Facebook earlier this month and is now posting his media appearances along with updates on his lurve life. Last week on PIX 11, he said he’d posted 15,000 fliers and gone on 65 dates.

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It’s Official: Flyering Is the New Swiping

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Months after we spoke to Dan “Looking For a Girlfriend” Perino about the flyers he threw up around the East Village, they’re still everywhere. We take it the lampost lothario still hasn’t found that girlfriend, but that hasn’t stopped the above Don Juan from putting up these hilarious “Also Looking for a Girlfriend” flyers in Williamsburg. Dude has copped Perino’s exact steez — except he specifies that, in addition to being an artist, he’s a game designer looking for a “gamer chick” who likes burgers (vegans need not apply).

Either that or he’s the same guy putting up the fake movie flyers.

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Meet the Man Behind Blish, Who Admits He Went ‘a Little Overboard’ With All Those Flyers

Blish3

If you’ve noticed these incendiary posters hung around Brooklyn, you’ll be happy to know we found the man behind the curtain. Mark, who opted not to share his last name—“because I’ve been putting down so many blogs”—is a 25-year-old reality-TV producer with (no surprise here) a history of rejection and a big-ass chip on his shoulder.

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The Latest Lamppost Lothario Has Gotten Over 400 Calls

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When we saw this latest “Looking for a Girlfriend” poster up around the East Village, we thought it might be one of our previous flyer boys. Probably not swinging-man Alex, but possibly lonely-hearted Luis. This assumption was based on similar, defensive wording: “I’m really looking for a girlfriend. This is not a joke. Just tired of the singles scene and hoping to meet the right person…Open to the possibility of the relationship morphing into something more profound.”
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Meet the Heartbroken Man Who’s Trying to Build a Social Network… With Flyers

(Photo: Kirsten O'Regan)

(Photo: Kirsten O’Regan)

After the cocksure mystery-man approach of “Alex A.” (AKA “Mr Right”), we wondered whether the heart-on-sleeve approach might be more effective. In this second flyer we recently spotted in the East Village, “Luis” (who’s just “looking for someone to talk to”) details how his girlfriend of seven years “decided that she couldn’t deal with me and my financial struggle”; “[I]f you have a heart, you can give me a call or text,” reads the flyer. “Don’t be cruel I am really vulnerable right now.” We spoke to Luis to check in on whether the community at large was playing nice.
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