SMASH STREET BOYS BLOG

Back

timothée barrus/ for trevor/ (01/01/11)

 

trevor, i’m afraid, too

i’m supposed to be the cynic, boy. you have stolen my thunder/ you,

and your perpetual observations/

 

only.

i’m not buying it/

 

what you throw into my face is that i can’t get published/

because the grey old men will not have it/

i broke the rules/ the punishment is for a lifetime.

 

i can only shrug/ the grey old men don’t mean/

anything to me. but you.

do/

 

your ha ha all of us are fucked stuff is simply

wrong//

the brick walls they’ve built.

inclusion hasn’t exactly been on their agenda/

can only be seen within the light

of context/

 

you have to ask the right questions/

in this case, the right question is.

what is on the other side of the big brick wall/

 

a cemetery is on the other side of.

the big brick wall/

the dead are buried there

there is a separate section for the aids dead

germs, you know/

they might contaminate the rest of the cemetery/

 

your contention that the brick walls have all

been constructed to keep you out is misguided/

i know where several holes in the fence exist.

i have gone through them many, many times/

you will learn to do that, too/

 

if you think i am going to sit here in my

pollyanna dress and high heels you are sadly.

mistaken//

i am not here to tell you, trevor, that there is

hope.

you have hiv/aids/ it’s a fatal disease/ so is losing

hope//

been there done that.

i will find a wall for all your photographs

i know i can do it/ what i want from you is.

more

 

i lose hope two, three times a day

so fucking what it doesn’t mean anything

you’re out there turning tricks and shooting dope.

now, we have arrived

at something meaningful/

because it’s killing you/

 

i want you in my life

i want to stand there and hold you

and hug you hard

i am not a trick

a hug is not a fuck///

i want to tell you all the secrets that i know

as whispers in your ear.

 

not sex sex is killing you/

i will be your friend

but you have to give me a chance.

the other option is that i will

end up burying you

in the cemetery behind the brick wall

i hope you don’t have germs/

 

your rage that there is no real love.

in the world

is lost on me/ i get real down, down there, too.

a gravitas and

clinically depressed i get clinically depressed/

because i have buried too many corpses

with that shovel in the photographs

act one: scene one: we see a man on a stage//

with a shovel.

 

i really hate that shovel but i will bury

you with it if i have to/

1.) death is fucking easy just carry on as usual.

2.) it’s living that’s hard.

3.) i love you.

4.) if you let me and you stick around//

and stop committing suicide.

i will continue to love you

5.) loving me in return, boy, will be.

no small ride

you have never been loved by anyone like me.

you will travel places you did

not know existed///////

6.) i will make you work for it

and you will be overwhelmed. You will see.

 

i am building a new website

it won’t be just any website

it’s going to be a tumble into

poetry and photography for kids

//

 

just like you

the dying ones

the junkies

and the whores

just like you

 

the ones i have held and the ones

who are still out there turning tricks

and shooting dope. just like you.

the ones i do not know yet.

 

i have sent you a video camera

you will receive it federal express on monday

it takes great photos, too

directions for the cameras are enclosed

you can read your poetry in it or

(i hate the sound of my own voice)

you can type it out it’s up to you

does this sound like a brick wall

to you/

 

i knew i would hear from you/ that it

would only be a matter of time.

trevor, i’m listening/

 

send me your work/ we will hang together/

by our fingernails/

 

i know you need to talk about your dying/

i would be pissed off too

if i was fourteen but i’m not

and i am pissed off anyway.

 

i say we turn our back on the brick wall and

not even look at what is on the other/

side//

 

I say i put my bloody shovel down

i got an email from lois today who asks

about my dad

good people do care/ but we have to be alive to let them

my old man was a lot like your dad

but you had the guts to leave

leaving scared me half to death// at fourteen///

what if i really was the loser

he said i was/

what if i deserved to be whipped.

with whips

the real kind

 

trevor, we have to put out father’s behind the brick wall/

and then we have to walk away.

we have to tell ourselves that turning tricks

isn’t worth it

and then we have to just keep going forward.

i will push you to do it.

i am pushing you now/

 

i say we do it together/

i say we tell the journey of it as a story.

our story/

our story/

i say the video camera can be your new voice/

i bet i hear from you tomorrow/

looking into the camera and sharing

poetry is harder work that you might know/

our story.

that we can tell along the way//


tim
 

timothée barrus/ The calligraphy of cicatrices (01/09/11)

The calligraphy of cicatrices records a past.

The world inscribes itself, some marks on purpose and some as accidents.
What we see — the stigmata themselves — is responding paper skin.
Lines we see, stitching on the surface, mean scars deep within, on our very hearts.

Strokes of whip on backs only write in agony.
Inner scars cripple us with anguish, the rhythms of our hearts forever dissyncopated, one erratic beat altering all others.
No salve can touch those weals.
No breathing exercise relieve the pain

On black skin ridges and dots of keloids become tribal braille but on white skin even the new red blood shows bright.
Lion’s claws or razor slashing, accidents or madmen, the story forms so we can recognize one another:
lover, brother, friends, and warriors.

Let fingertips read both emboss and blood.
Let lips brush surfaces and words touch hearts.
But lightly, so lightly.
Raindrop.  Snowflake. Tear.

timothée barrus/ le dead party /(01/07/11)

tim barrus: le dead party - Films reliés ensemble

timothée barrus/ Let’s Do Something Real/(01/07/11)

Tim Barrus: Let’s Do Something Real (stories…)

timothée barrus/ They Are Only Arms (01/07/11)

his arms holding me for precarious balance/ he was way, way lost before he ever found his stumbling to wherever i was wherever i was he never let go/ he rode his bike off a cliff once/ to know him you needed patience/ to bridge what chasms/ no noise/ he can sit for hours now in silence/ we sit in chairs in the vegetable garden/ the sewers around them stained a slow dark as an evening drain/ come winter will seal us in/ the dreamless gulf between my latitudes of grievances/ midnight wears a blond again/ fluent in the idiom of remembering as a ritual which is not remembering at all/ it’s just a ritual/ his arms holding me for precarious balance so with strangers tangled in your sheets/ this one is tangled with the darkness that has slammed us shut/ good arms versus bad arms they live in sewers sniffing glue/ the one in the yellow t-shirt could be tristan/ and then the boy turns savage in an instant/ it is too late for him as it is for tristan/ no one gives a flying fuck/ they are only arms/ good ones and bad ones against the dead boy’s starry mind/ he cannot so much as bathe himself/ i will be denounced royally (again) in print for that/ as if those strange and cold words could so much as find the soap/ i dry him off quickly/ the towels are stiff as boards when you dry them in the wind/ good arms versus bad arms/ i am the host of this doorbell with a lamp/ his arms holding me for precarious balance as he slips his pants on/ i keep coming back to treason/ time and her knots and endless roads/ and warm the lucid shame of mine/ the hot water will go cold again/ i soak in his bath/ the soap for emphasis/ leaning back to close your eyes so close them/ his water in this tun smells of him/ and perhaps of her/

timothée barrus/ night sweats like waves/(01/07/11)

Tim Barrus: After the Last Collapse
poetry/ art/ no minors/ nsfw/ we claim nothing/ we own nothing/ we want nothing/ le sauvage follement artistique fous les fantasmes érotiques des garçons/
 

i sailed around the planet once onboard a tall sailing ship, the hms fantome/ now, sunk by hurricane mitch off the coast of honduras/ the thirty-five friends i had who sailed that ship, now all dead/ the sea has claimed them/ my bones only break on rocks/ i have to date not yet been claimed/ by waves or the pounding they do like the past and the past and the haunting voices of the past/ i try with everything i have to not live in the past/ i want to be in the present/ i just don’t find that nuch value in looking back/ i knew those thirty-five people when i knew them/ it was a complete accident that i was not on that ship when it went down/ the past is the pounding memory of the waves/ even writing the WORD memory makes me smell around for an old man’s yellowed socks/ the past is a perseveration/ poetry seems particularly susceptible/ i would cut that connection with it loose/ people scream at me that they so value their past/ good for them/ i am glad for them/ but where is it written i have to share that — because i do not/



i knew i wanted to do a videopoetry gig with night sweats being a focus but i was unsure how i would go about it/ clips of me getting out of bed naked and dripping in sweat seemed merely provocative, and i wanted to get a bit beyond that/ then, it hit me as i was falling down the side of a cliff onto rocks/ it was like seeing what i wanted in slow motion/ death/ water/ rocks/ an irresistible force and an immovable object/ i will be having orthopedic surgeries beginning this week/ avascular necrosis has gnawed away at what bone i had; now more of it will be replaced/ i do not care or give a fuck about it anymore/ i do value my time so i might write/ i am not sure how i will overcome this surgical obstacle to writing in the next few weeks/ i will be in slings and casts/ perhaps i will simply write on them/ watch this space/


delirium is gorgeous comes hot like sweat the night soaks the bed in death swimming by degrees/ the fevers arrive with sweet things in his wet mouth/ the freight cars are groaning through your skull/ it’s just another night of sleep/ or what passes for it during these days of bones/ blind with salt against the pain of bedrock, the night sweats arrive in rolling thunder’s swollen furnace/ my bones have turned to broken china/ the kind lovers throw and then regret they did/ you won’t have to kill yourself in small amounts because the waves of sweat will do it for you/ you lug the night sweats around bed to bed/ you will be devoured by the solar winds/ the pounding and the pounding and the pounding loosens every atom from the molecules and you die every soaked night, the sheets wrapped like lovers in your blue penultimate arms/ the executioner has arrived warm with his blood-soaked chopping block/ your milky wings to now get stoned with morphine’s blades to do the cutting with/ come, grab my hand, and we’ll stab our veins with needle’s wisdom/ against this abyss of veins and clots and flesh, we will ride the sweating out/ this bed a ship plowing through a sea of storm/ night sweats are some of the oldest of the spells cast by witches radiant in red whose thoughts speak volumes to the dark silence of the ground/ and deep within the breaking of the rocks, the sea screams in, past shuddering, past memory, past every window looking out/ there in the night sweat dreaming are the voices of the lovers who died in sweat before you/ boiled and ruined like the cabbages/ as if death were a romance you could turn away/ and taken by surprise through a wide and darker sky than you had ever assumed could be devoid of light, the weight of life has been lifted and balanced by all the rooms around the world you did your fucking in/ voyages to athens and through the secret fabric of the caves/ you’ve become the spider sadness saves/ your new body knotted and rooted in the horrid rattles of the past/ i detest the past/ the poets who wallow in the wisdom there give great lament their past has come and gone/ yes, but we were more wise than you young people and our struggles really meant something; what exists today is so superficial as to be beneath us/ it’s always the same bitching told by idiots whose fury now faces fury’s end/ a sound like leaves in wind/ the past, any past, is nothing more than another ambiguous endurance/ it’s just decay, and the stuff of us is common dust that disappears — we don’t mean anything — what have we DONE with our lives; not how many books have we read; what was it we DID with our lives before the unrelenting heat and the salt and the sweat took it all away/

timothée barrus/ the morphine hour (01/06/11)

so you have washed yourself with mud again/ the housedog is the poppy plant/ it’s the best they have to offer/ the solution from your veins distilled/ 2:am thumbs up god himself creeps his grief through pain/ fentanyl, fentanil, sublimaze, actiq, durogesic, duragesic, fentora, onsolis, iInstany, dilaudid, oxycontin, my favorite is actiq; whose witchery breaks the rims of memory, into softer wheels sitting in the silences of sadomechanisms, the masochist’s deceit that the strongbox can easily be plundered/ no/ the plundering will be of you and any number of your other selves/ the edge of nighttime’s fence/ vibrates doorframes of my tomb of mud and stones and small deceptions,  whirl over and around the rain-soaked grass/ a stir of wonders with the plastic lightness of a blowing grocery bag/ the wandering pill-to-pill/ and mud again, shines the summits of a rapture/ sleepwalks among the bones up and down the walls painted with the demon’s face/ such threads of veins have been gnawed on by the bodies of a fertile land now entangled with the voices of the talking to the lesser saints/ the awfulness of sorrow and the vanishing of the bleeding doors to sleep/ how hard they close with a clang just as the sun licks the horizon gently with its numb the mud again and melancholy tongue/

timothée barrus/ we are writing poetry/ (01/05/11)

American book publishers loathe poetry. “Don’t quit your day job,” is common advice. And they are correct. Do not quit your day job. Nevertheless, this is a disconnect.

Christine de Pizan is a published writer who employs the pseudonym, Christine de Pizan, because, she explains, “if my American publisher knew I was active in the world of poetry, they would be very unhappy.”

Her New York-based literary agency, ICM, would have the same reaction.

The New York world of publishing has decided that there is no money to be made with poetry so why bother. Poetry in their rarified world is a liability. They want a brand.

In the States, Pizan is not perceived as a poet. “I publish cheesy novels,” she says. “The kind Americans love. They even think of it as literature. I think of it as something I can do instead of teaching. I’m a really bad teacher. I like to linger over individual poems. In teaching, there’s no time for it.”

The willingness and ability to linger over individual pieces of poetry is exactly what I was looking for.

Pizan has been working with the boys with HIV/AIDS at the Studio. Most of the work is over the Internet. I ask her if there is much of a difference between working with students who face mortality on a daily basis versus working with most adolescents who feel they will live forever.

“I don’t have to tell them to write something as if this could be the last thing you will ever write. They already know that. So they are more likely to explore places typical teenagers do not go.”

I ask Pizan why it is a poet cannot make a living writing poetry.

She sighs. “Call it a lack of imagination.”

Apparently, American publishers believe there is no market for poetry. This in spite of the fact that every urban area in both the States and in Europe has a robust community of poets and people who love poetry. There are always readings. There is always something going on.

I personally get emails from people asking me if a poem I have written is fiction or nonfiction. Americans seem confused. It’s poetry.

Daniel Handler has a great piece on reading poetry aloud (to one’s self) at the National Poetry Foundation’s website: 

“When I’m Lemony Snicket, I most surely know how to read Les fleurs du mal to tatters while writing thirteen books about terrible things happening to orphans I named Baudelaire in what the French call hommage. But, until a few years ago, I was having trouble figuring out when to read poetry when I just wanted to read.”

Lemony Snicket. Another pseudonym.

Poetry magazines abound. Cutting edge poetry can be found on Facebook. Even high school students participate in slam (big time). Poetry is all over the Web. It’s on every college campus. It’s a wild world out there.

Then why are book publishers unable to find a way to market poetry. In fact, book publishers rarely even bother to respond to poets. Unless that poet has an agent.

I have never met a poet with an agent. What poets have are notebooks. To write the poetry in.

For that, there is no lack of imagination.

Back at the Studio, the poetry that is sent to me is so powerful, but so intimate that I hesitate to put it on even this, my own site/blog.

Because they’re minors. Caught between the morbid and the mystical. The living and the dying. Adolescent boys aren’t supposed to write like that.

Christine de Pizan laughs. “What they’re writing is infused with vitality. And sometimes a straightforward depression. They write about both the living of life and the end of it as well. There’s no trace of a lack of imagination. We are writing poetry.”

timothée barrus/ Choose/(01/05/11)

Tim Barrus: After the Last Collapse
poetry/ art/ no minors/ nsfw/ we claim nothing/ we own nothing/ we want nothing/ le sauvage follement artistique fous les fantasmes érotiques des garçons/


(copyright Tim Barrus, poet/USA, who writes for sexually abused boys with HIV/AIDS & to raise awareness about the Crime Against Humanity these boys have and are being subjected to daily.  No boys were harmed by Tim Barrus during the creation of this visual poetry)

Choose

timothée barrus/ for trevor/ (01/01/11)

Tim Barrus: After the Last Collapse
poetry/ art/ no minors/ nsfw/ we claim nothing/ we own nothing/ we want nothing/ le sauvage follement artistique fous les fantasmes érotiques des garçons/

(copyright Tim Barrus, poet/USA, who writes for sexually abused boys with HIV/AIDS & to raise awareness about the Crime Against Humanity these boys have and are being subjected to daily.  No boys were harmed by Tim Barrus during the creation of this visual poetry)

trevor, i’m afraid, too

i’m supposed to be the cynic, boy. you have stolen my thunder/ you,

and your perpetual observations/

 

only.

i’m not buying it/

 

what you throw into my face is that i can’t get published/

because the grey old men will not have it/

i broke the rules/ the punishment is for a lifetime.

 

i can only shrug/ the grey old men don’t mean/

anything to me. but you.

do/

 

your ha ha all of us are fucked stuff is simply

wrong//

the brick walls they’ve built.

inclusion hasn’t exactly been on their agenda/

can only be seen within the light

of context/

 

you have to ask the right questions/

in this case, the right question is.

what is on the other side of the big brick wall/

 

a cemetery is on the other side of.

the big brick wall/

the dead are buried there

there is a separate section for the aids dead

germs, you know/

they might contaminate the rest of the cemetery/

 

your contention that the brick walls have all

been constructed to keep you out is misguided/

i know where several holes in the fence exist.

i have gone through them many, many times/

you will learn to do that, too/

 

if you think i am going to sit here in my

pollyanna dress and high heels you are sadly.

mistaken//

i am not here to tell you, trevor, that there is

hope.

you have hiv/aids/ it’s a fatal disease/ so is losing

hope//

been there done that.

i will find a wall for all your photographs

i know i can do it/ what i want from you is.

more

 

i lose hope two, three times a day

so fucking what it doesn’t mean anything

you’re out there turning tricks and shooting dope.

now, we have arrived

at something meaningful/

because it’s killing you/

 

i want you in my life

i want to stand there and hold you

and hug you hard

i am not a trick

a hug is not a fuck///

i want to tell you all the secrets that i know

as whispers in your ear.

 

not sex sex is killing you/

i will be your friend

but you have to give me a chance.

the other option is that i will

end up burying you

in the cemetery behind the brick wall

i hope you don’t have germs/

 

your rage that there is no real love.

in the world

is lost on me/ i get real down, down there, too.

a gravitas and

clinically depressed i get clinically depressed/

because i have buried too many corpses

with that shovel in the photographs

act one: scene one: we see a man on a stage//

with a shovel.

 

i really hate that shovel but i will bury

you with it if i have to/

1.) death is fucking easy just carry on as usual.

2.) it’s living that’s hard.

3.) i love you.

4.) if you let me and you stick around//

and stop committing suicide.

i will continue to love you

5.) loving me in return, boy, will be.

no small ride

you have never been loved by anyone like me.

you will travel places you did

not know existed///////

6.) i will make you work for it

and you will be overwhelmed. You will see.

 

i am building a new website

it won’t be just any website

it’s going to be a tumble into

poetry and photography for kids

//

 

just like you

the dying ones

the junkies

and the whores

just like you

 

the ones i have held and the ones

who are still out there turning tricks

and shooting dope. just like you.

the ones i do not know yet.

 

i have sent you a video camera

you will receive it federal express on monday

it takes great photos, too

directions for the cameras are enclosed

you can read your poetry in it or

(i hate the sound of my own voice)

you can type it out it’s up to you

does this sound like a brick wall

to you/

 

i knew i would hear from you/ that it

would only be a matter of time.

trevor, i’m listening/

 

send me your work/ we will hang together/

by our fingernails/

 

i know you need to talk about your dying/

i would be pissed off too

if i was fourteen but i’m not

and i am pissed off anyway.

 

i say we turn our back on the brick wall and

not even look at what is on the other/

side//

 

I say i put my bloody shovel down

i got an email from lois today who asks

about my dad

good people do care/ but we have to be alive to let them

my old man was a lot like your dad

but you had the guts to leave

leaving scared me half to death// at fourteen///

what if i really was the loser

he said i was/

what if i deserved to be whipped.

with whips

the real kind

 

trevor, we have to put out father’s behind the brick wall/

and then we have to walk away.

we have to tell ourselves that turning tricks

isn’t worth it

and then we have to just keep going forward.

i will push you to do it.

i am pushing you now/

 

i say we do it together/

i say we tell the journey of it as a story.

our story/

our story/

i say the video camera can be your new voice/

i bet i hear from you tomorrow/

looking into the camera and sharing

poetry is harder work that you might know/

our story.

that we can tell along the way//


tim
 



Latest Gallery Updates

Visit Art Gallery
Back to Top