Monday, January 29, 2018


Skulls and rosy flesh.

When I began this blog, I didn’t know Tim BarrusWe became acquainted via email in the spring of 2007.  Since that time I’ve often blogged about him and we wrote a book about Tim’s years in Paris with Cinematheque.  We wrote alternating chapters, calledOrpheus at the Windows of the Catacombs” which proved to be too painful for the boys who were in the story.  Too many deaths, including that of “Navajo,” Tim’s dog. We withdrew it.  No one wanted to publish it anyway.  They weren’t shocked, they just didn’t know how to market it.  Books are not about writing -- they are about sales.  So I only continue to blog, though I self-publish at 

Tim and I are not communicating now, which means I’m making my own decisions about writing.  This is a list of all the posts about him on prairiemary, some of which were originally approved by Tim, including the ones that include his writing.  Since they don’t show up on Google or any other webcrawlers that I know about, I’m listing them here.  I think the time for confidentiality in this instance is over.  We never had a contract, we never shook hands (we were never in the same place), and there was no money.

Society is changing radically.  The HIV virus that hit the San Francisco community in the Eighties and killed a whole culture -- many of them Tim’s friends and lovers -- is no longer an outlier problem for stigmatized people.  It is a world-wide pandemic with huge political and economic consequences.  

Sex trafficking of children (both genders), is interacting with hunger, and exceeding the coping capacity of even zillionaire Bill Gates.  HIV-AIDS is a part of our world even in remote places where “there are no gays.”  (Homosexuality is present in as many as ten percent of all mammals.  Anyway, HIV is not about sex.)  More intimate than flu, HIV is more deadly because it is so expensive to maintain health -- there’s no end to it.  There is no cure except maybe bone marrow transplants, enormously expensive and dependent on a tiny cohort of HIV-resistant donors who must be genetically matched.  It’s just more research -- not a cure.

It’s not just the expense of HIV meds, but the necessary self-discipline of staying on a strict regime, reporting to invasive clinics regularly, surviving a list of unpleasant side-effects, and wondering what will happen if the increasingly tenuous privacy rules don’t work anymore.   We are about to find out what will happen when funding for meds is ended.  HIV is a vulnerability disease: it paints a big target on your back for co-infections, trauma, systemic debility, and politics.  

Tim has handled his own HIV-AIDS at great cost in several dimensions.  He knows more about the meds than most docs.  Avascular Necrosis, bone death, tortures him.  There is no cure or even any amelioration for bone death except joint replacement, extremely expensive and temporary (ten years or so).  I thought (and I think he believed) that Tim would have been killed by AIDS by now, but instead it is the extraordinary pain of Avascular Necrosis that puts him at risk for suicide.  What saves him is enormous courage and grit.  He refuses opioids, knowing that he was once a user and therefore always hooked.

The boys keep him alive.  He will not do anything that will put the boys at risk -- well, more at risk than they are already.  None cares about sex stuff anymore, except to stop being a human vector for HIV.  Everything is about staying alive.  The boys don’t always realize how powerful they are when it comes to Tim.

Art keeps them all alive.  Art pushes them up against the universe.  All arts.  Video art.  Photography.  Dance.  THEIR worldview: dark, scrambled, disturbing, defiant and fecund.  You can buy the photos online.  You can see the videos at  Current sale at

The dwindling number of my posts is not related to a lessening of caring about Tim and the boys.  Moving the program to the USA has meant much less safety and therefore less disclosure.  The American culture approves of violence to suppress the same sexuality that sells perfume and jeans.  Unless you're dark-skinned.  

Dates and Titles for Posts mentioning Tim Barrus on

6-22-08 The Boy and his Dog Are Sleeping
8-16-08 Penny Dreadful Native American Literary Evaluations
8-20-08 What is Native American Literature?
9-1-08` Djordji’s War
10-3-08 Beloved Community or Saving Remnant
10-29-08 Forces at Play in Native Literature
10-30-08 Books as Wicked
11-6-08 Alexie, Barrus and Louis
11-7-08 Trust Wikipedia?  HAHAHAHAHA
11-15-08 Native American Literature Renaissance
11-16-08 Me ‘N Barrus
11-22-80 “Hearts of Men”
11-24-80 Writers: Beetles or Jaquars
11-25-08 Indian Trouble: a Double Chapter
11-26-08 In a Word: Revenge
11-27-08 Reservation Life
11-29-08 Native Literature Identity Politics
11-30-08 Kickstart: The Hostage
12-1-08 I Can’t Believe it
12-16-08 Kickstart Begins
12-21-08 Boyz in the Night
12-24-08 The Turning Moment
12-27-08 Some Dance to Remember
12-28-08 Old Lady in Montana
12-29-08 Shooting Down Lovers
12-31-08 Tristesse: Hope in the Dark

1-14-09 Time and Terrain
1-18-09 Let It Be a Dance We Do
1-26-09 Enabling Tim
1-30-09 My Brother, My Lover
4-6-09 Au Courant
5-12-09 So Tim Barrus is Nasdijj -- Get Over It
5-26-09 Crossing a Threshold
6-2-09 City Streets Can Be Catacombs
6-3-09 Scary Mary
6-4-09 Politics of Identity and Resentment
6-7-09 Keep Them Dogies Movin’
6-8-09 for Qi Lin
6-11-09 Let Me Ask You This
8-13-09 Capote and Us
8-14-09 Trickster Goes for the Joints
8-15-09 Trickster and Shaman
8-26-09 Coyote Was Going Along
9-8-09 Trickster Notes from Lewis Hyde
9-23-09 Bildungsroman?  Kleinsterroman?
10-2-09 Gad Vooks
10-3-09 NPR, Nasdijj, Jackie Leyden, and Zebo Boozer
11-21-09 Ben Yagoda; the Egg and I
12-26-09 De-Hoaxing Timothy R. Fox, Ph.D.

1-15-10 Tim Barrus: a Guest Post about Publishing
5-7-10 Tim Barrus
6-7-10 Robert Sapolsky Explains Tim and I
6-11-10 Boys with AIDS
6-17-10 Who Reads This Blog?
6-29-10 Am I Me or Am I You?
7-1-10 A Sample from “Orpheus Pressed Up Against the Windows of the Catacombs”
7-10-10  The Author’s Motivation
7-19-10 Paradigms and Human Systems: A Dialogue
7-26-10 First You Have to Think of It
8-10-10 Light in August
8-15-10 Reading Modern Poetry Explained
8-17-10 Immersion without Publishing
8-24-10 “On This Shore of Catapulting Time”
8-26-10 “Land Bare Under Burning Sands”
8-29-10 Tim Barrus FELL
9-12-10 For a Boy Called Flare Who is in Mortal Combat with HIV
9-14-10 Surviving the Holocene
9-17-10 Strange Collaborations
9-25-10 The Struggle to Understand
10-3-10 Indian Summer in Sandburg Country
10-10-10 What Books Are Now
10-18-10 Barrus & Scriver
10-19-10 Tim Barrus: Poet Maudit
10-22-10 The Two; Le-Too; Deutorology
11-1-10 “Then Let the Wind Die Down”
11-7-10 Tim Barrus Fights AIDS
11-27-10 The Shared Trajectory into an Explosion:  Barrus & Scriver
12-4-10 Shall We Call it Rapting?  (Not Rapping, Not Rafting)
12-5-10 Curating Tim Barrus
12-6-10 “My Brother, My Lover,” First Draft Novel
12-9-10 “Ulteriority” in “Anywhere, Anywhere”
12-30-10 Tim Barrus

1-19-11 No Choice But to Write
2-4-11 Chris, Queens, and Wikipedia -- Oh, and Barrus
2-13-11 Book as Dance
2-15-11 Catabatic Nights
3-1-11 Naked Young Men
3-21-11 Tim Barrus Creates “Tristan’s Moon”
8-22-11 End of Story

4-28-12 Video Art by Young Males
6-5-12 Cinematheque Goes for the Throat
6-29-12 Tim Barrus and Cinematheque

5-9-13 Art by Boys

5-19-13 The Way 

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