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Why was Shel Silverstein trending on Twitter all weekend? (Sex, the answer is sex.)

Jonny Diamond

May 13, 2019, 2:15pm

While taking a quick break from my serious weekend regimen of reading serious books about serious things I happened to accidentally graze my bespoke vellum bookmark across my phone and it opened Twitter (j/k, I only ever read Tweets now). I was dismayed to notice that beloved children’s author Shel Silverstein was trending. “Oh no, a literary death!” I thought, before realizing he’d been dead for 20 years.

It all begins here, with this Friday afternoon tweet by writer Hanif Abdurraqib:

What follows in that thread is a glorious collection of Silverstein images, tributes, wary confessions of fear, and, not surprisingly, exclamations of lust:

All of which culminated with a link to this subtly titled story: The Surprisingly Sex-Filled Life of Shel Silverstein, in which we learn, among other things:

Silverstein might spend weeks or months at a time at the infamous party pad [Playboy Mansion], where he tended to lurk in the background and let others come to him. Silverstein had no patience for bores, whether they were movie stars or 34Ds, but he fed creatively off the many interesting people and encounters he had in the Playboy world — and he wrote many of his children’s works while inside it.

Emphasis mine. Also, sorry.

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