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You never really know where a video project might take you. It could rain like hell, and then you end up with the claustrophobia of bodies and rain. The camera could grab ahold of something you did not know was there. Or you get that sixteenth of a second of a certain look. Or it’s late at night, and wonder of wonders, your film is not underexposed. Or you run across an innate talent whose eyes alone move you and this enigmatic person eats the motherfucking camera. Alive.

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The Sound a Faggot Makes Burning In the Woods


As long as I was the proverbial injun who had pulled himself up by his literary bootstraps, America loved me, I was fine. America is in love with its image of itself. The fantasy that the struggling individual can make it. I got published.

But now that I am — horror of horrors, shock of shocks — discovered to be a fucking faggot dying of AIDS, the editors of Manhattan can’t run fast enough. No balls.


Get up from your death bed and make a difference. What the fuck do you have to lose. Your life. Your life is a shit hole.


What I love about these people is that while they’re publishing you, they pretend to be your friend. I have always cautioned writers not to be seduced. Not by Esquire. Not by Houghton Mifflin. Not by Random House. Not by ICM. Not by Hollywood. Not by anyone.


Anyone.


Grow some balls, boys. You are being chased by wolves. 


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road tripTim Barrus

exit/ hit the brakes and crunch the potato chip bag/ casino/ buying cigarettes in lalaland/ west hollywood convertible/ doctor pepper and rum/ shivering at that truckstop shower/ texas my socks are wet/ for a good time call carol lynn/ snow in new mexico/ my mouth of great sorrows/ coffee in new orleans/ pilgrimage, my whole life, pilgrimage and prostitution/ beale street is forlorn/ the fire escape at 729 as if you could write poetry/ anywhere drifting through the avenues like a whistle and reading palms/ the gun beneath the seat/

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Smash Street Art Program is a safe place for HIV GLTBQ boys in which they might acquire the kind of art skills that lead to greater communication between the boy and the community, self-discovery, and an expertise in photography, video, and film. Boys are allowed access to fair use art materials employed to instruct students in the application of mixed media and collage. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act Fair Use is applied to classroom and teaching-research applications. HIV boys get off the street. Boys learn how to manage HIV and how there are viable alternatives through learned skills for younger boys to sex work.
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tim barrus: red horsey and the cowboys


it wasn’t like in the movies/ great sex up on the mountain, and somewhat more grim, reality below/ the sex was with a teacher who made me strip naked in front of him while he just watched me do what he told me to do/ there was no mountain/ there were no livestock, and it was an entire crowd of kids, and we had to do things together while he watched that rocked my rocking horse for a long, long time/ the man is dead/ after i left him, for another school, this man rose to great social heights in the community/ he served in deeply trusted places in the thick of chaos and children/ do you rock, like I mean backandforthandbackandforth and sometimes when you do not appear to be rocking, you know you are/ aids is just one more thing in a vast sea of things you need to get to i loved that red hosey horse between my legs riding him like i might ride any cowboy and i have rocked and ripped and ripped and rocked and ripped and ripped so many cowboys another asshole, and you ought to see him naked in the desert and tan as leather but only on the forearms and the face because the rest of him was white as chalk on sunday/ i remember the horse, but i refuse to remember the names of any of the cowboys/ you what/ in the airstream at the rodeo/ no/ yes, yes, and yes/ 

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That moment you are done taking a photograph, and usually you are thinking about the next photograph, and now there's this sinking feeling that you've been stealing souls, and you might not make it out of here alive. -- Holga, DRC
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We so wanted to move here. But there are no HIV services.  The Outer Banks is the South, but isn’t the South. The beach is great for keeping in shape. I love the fishing, and had this fantasy that I would teach the boys. But if you get into HIV trouble, depend on it, you’re on your own. One more stupid dream down the tubes. The way the government has set up public health for HIV is to congregate services (as you will need them as even the co-pays for these drugs are in the thousands of dollars) in large inner cities as this saves them money, and they don’t have to do any outreach in rural areas. The South is one big rural area, and Appalachia has as many hard to reach places as South Africa. In essence, they create AIDS ghettos that develop around the public health clinics that cover HIV. Why. Because no one can drive the long distances five six times a month for all the stupid tests they require you to take (or they throw you out), and pay for. They operate their hours and management for people with HIV who do not work. If you work, it’s almost impossible to meet the requirements around making their many, many clinic appointments. What happens is that people give up and give up their jobs. Just to get into the clinics. So you have not just AIDS ghettos, but you have AIDS ghettos where almost everyone is unemployed. I BLAME public health. It has totally and utterly failed us. And it royally pisses me off to  read on places like Twitter about what a great job the AIDS orgs do as they pat themselves on the back while they insinuate that they really do serve a bunch of stupid people who can’t figure anything out. AIDS-free generation. A slogan and a pile of horse shit. There is nothing more filled with meaningless rhetoric than an AIDS org. I BLAME them, too. They are not advocates. When public health tells them to jump, they want to know how high. — tim barrus

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Summer, HIV, and Cognac A Poem of Where It All Began

summer in cap breton

having driven there

on the bikes some took

the train i am sure

turning tricks on the train

married men always

wanted you to fuck

them in the ass on trains

or in french


Nakid sur le chemin
de sable et de
chaises de plage et
tous leurs messages indésirables
au-delà ballons de plage
et les billes dans leurs
souffrances
et en rouspétant contre
les vagues ou des boucles
de
quel que soit poussé
poussé entre eux
, et que
c’était ce que moi je l’ai fait, j’
ai juste le gars qui
a poussé autour d’un
lot, et c’est tout ce que j’ai
jamais était
je n’ai pas leur permettent de fumer de
la drogue dans la maison
qui
est un mensonge
parce qu’ils ont surtout
faire ce qu’ils veulent
qu’il était sur
le sun avait
transformé en
arrogant dieux
et je n’ai jamais
fait l’amour
à l’égard de l’une d’elles
nous kick et parler, et
rendre les aliments
car la baise jours
sont plus pour moi, mais ce
Cela ne signifie pas
que certaines
choses comme
leur langue maternelle dans
mon oreille et
il a été une voie
toujours une voie
mourir dans son art, les
caméras
partout vous
attend et la grande
chambre avec
table de billard et
un chariot chambre
et windows profonde
ayant tourné le monde un
sun de couleurs
car ils doivent faire face
l’ouest où
on pouvait se tenir
il y a dans le foncé frais
scotch ou de cognac
dans la main à les regarder
à travers le whisky
avec le verre
pressé dans vous
stupide face à toutes les
lettres ayant assisté
à
effectivement, j’ai supprimé
tout simplement effacé toutes les choses que je suis
censé faire
les garçons
ont été perfectionnées
par la maladie
ne pas boire leur
sang dans cups
aucun L’un
se croient que nous sommes capables de faire
ce qu’ils ont
faites glisser sable de
barefoot
nostalgie l’un pour les autres dans les

toujours changeant qui
était dans l’amour avec l’OMS
et les drames
c’était joué dehors, ils
étaient arrivés de
paris en
bottes
dans leur propre corps
et ne pourrait pas
revenir en arrière, car
nous ne pouvons pas retourner en arrière
comment c’était
ne pas m’appeler leur professeur
parce que je ne suis
pas sûr de ce que je
leur enseigner
tout ce que je peux
c’est leur survivre
nous ne peut lancer le
troisième éveil à la

amour exagéré si un garçon
est capable d’amour
et aucun garçon est encore
avec leur
écrase écrasé entre
mes poings
où l’un est la beauté
et la Une autre est
étonnant et je ne suis pas leur
papa
leur vie sur eux


nakid on the path
of sand and carrying
beach chairs and
all their junk
beyond beach balls
and balls
in their suffering
and bitching
the waves
or curls of
whatever pushed
pushed themn
along and that
was what i did
i am just the guy who
pushed them around
a lot and that was
all i ever was
i did not allow them
to smoke their drugs
in the house which
is a complete lie
because mainly they
do what they want
that it was about
the sun
had turned
into arrogant gods
and i never
did make love
to any of them
because those days
are over for
me but that does not
mean that
some stuff like
their tongues
in my ear
and it was a pathway
always a pathway
dying in its art
the cameras
everywhere you
looked and the
big house with
the pool table and
a carriage house
and windows deep
having turned the world
a sun of colors
because they
faced the west
where you could stand
there in the cool dark
scotch or cognac
in hand all the
letters having been
attended to
actually, i deleted
just erased all the
things i am supposed
to do the boys
have been perfected
through disease
do not drink
their blood in cups
no one
will believe we can
do this as they
drag sand from
barefoot
longing one for
the others in the
always changing who
was in love with
who and the dramas
this was played out
they had arrived
from paris
in boots
in their own
bodies and could not
go back because
we can’t go back
to how it was
do not call me their
teacher because I am
unsure of what i
teach them
about all
i can so is survive them
we can only crank up
the third awakening
in the exaggerated
love if any boy
is capable of love
and no boy is
even with their
crushes crushing
between my fists
where one is beauty
and the other one
is wonder

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The train stations of Russia in the winter are grim. But so many people are bent over and looking at the ground. Much goes on around them. Fadeaushka and I connect with Jasha. The plot thickens. Did I feel like the third wheel in that confined space. Yes. Vodka. Vodka. And more vodka. Russian students drink a lot of vodka. I do not know how they do it.
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tim barrus: walking through the marsh of whiskey lake

walking through the marsh of whiskey lake/ some slow muse lives here/ the late loons and cranes as sad as witches/ some elegant muse with wings lingers in her slower flight/ i would be chopping firewood before the cold sets in/ make sure, tim, there is some for the witch across the lake/ the shattered mirror has gone blind/ it has a scent, the lake, like clover on an august afternoon/ like september’s corn/ we’ve been catching big bass with the crickets/ your marsh boots parked outside by the hose/ the witch is crazy for the birds/ the coming and the going and the taking off/ the lake has a history i do not know what it is i do not care to know/ what i know are shadows creeping in upon the leaves/ almost silent like a cry/ the cranes have busted out/ just before sunset and the whiskey witch on her ruin of a dock feeds the fat birds hardened pieces of the bread she bakes/

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Tim Barrus: Pediatric AIDS in the Ukraine mirrors that of sub-Saharan Africa a decade ago. Less than a quarter of infected children there receive any treatment at all. According to UNAIDS, the region now faces the fastest-growing AIDS infection rate in the world. More people in the general population are dying than are being born. Current estimates have a million people infected with HIV in a region with less than fifty million people in it.


Ukrainian children represent a large piece of that demographic pie. Although the Ukrainian constitution guarantees health care, the reality is that the health care system is one of the worst in the world. Addiction rates in the Ukraine skyrocketed when heroin from Afghanistan flooded the country. As addiction rates rose, so did the numbers for pediatric AIDS.


So did the numbers for tuberculosis. The UN calls the health care crisis in the Ukraine urgent. Ukrainian children are at-risk for being born addicted to opiates, HIV infection, TB, small-birth weight, and malnutrition. The chances that a child will be born to an alcoholic mother are the highest in Europe.


AIDS is not over in Europe. The fight with the disease is in full-swing. Entire generations of Ukrainian children will share pieces of the same story as the other developing story of Ukrainian politics — and which way will the wind blow, Russia or the EU —  evolves. Either way, Ukrainian children with HIV are their country’s contemporary lepers, and orphanages are leper colonies. Any child growing up in this environment is unlikely to develop strong language or literate skills. But when handed cameras, and when handed art supplies, Ukrainian children focus immediately.


These children can tell us , and will be telling us, the story of their lives.    

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