David Wojnarowicz Reading

AIDS Community Television
from a benefit fund-raiser for Needle Exchange

David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) read several works from his writings at the Drawing Center (New York City 1992) as a benefit for Needle Exchange shortly before he died.

"’If I had a dollar to spend for healthcare I’d rather spend it on a baby or innocent person with some defect or illness not of their own responsibility; not some person with AIDS...’ says the healthcare official on national television and this is in the middle of an hour long video of people dying on camera because they can’t afford the limited drugs available that might extend their lives__ and I can’t even remember what his official looked like because I reached in through the T.V. screen and ripped his face in half__ and I was diagnosed with AIDS recently and this was after the last few years of losing count of the friends and neighbors who have been dying slow and vicious and unnecessary deaths because fags and dykes and junkies are expendable in this country __’If you want to stop AIDS shoot the queers...’ says the governor of texas on the radio and his press secretary later claims that the governor was only joking and didn’t know the microphone was turned on and besides they didn’t think it would hurt his chances for re-election anyways __ and I wake up every morning in this killing machine called america and I’m carrying this rage like a blood filled egg and there’s a thin line between the inside and the outside a thin line between thought and action and that line is simply made up of blood and muscle and bone and I’m waking up more and more from daydreams of tipping amazonian blowdarts in ‘infected blood’ and spitting them at the exposed necklines of certain politicians or government healthcare officials or those thinly disguised walking swastika’s that wear religious garments over their murerous intentions or those rabid strangers parading against AIDS clinics in the nightly news suburbs __ there’s a thin line a very thin line between the inside and the outside and I’ve been looking all my life at the signs surrounding us in the media or on peoples lips; the religious types outside st. patricks cathedral shouting to men and women in the gay parade: "You won’t be here next year—you’ll get AIDS and die ha ha’__ and the areas of the u.s.a. where it is possible to murder a man and when brought to trial one only has to say that the victim was a queer and that he tried to touch you and the courts will set you free__ and the difficulties that a bunch of republican senators have in albany with supporting an anti-violence bill that includes ‘sexual orientation’ as a category of crime victims __there’s a thin line a very thin line and as each T-cell disappears from my body it’s replaced by ten pounds of pressure ten pounds of rage and I focus that rage into non-violent resistance but that focus is starting to slip my hands are beginning to move independent of self-restraint and the egg is starting to crack __ america seems to understand and accept murder as a self defense against those who would murder other people and its been murder on a daily basis for eight count them eight [nine, ten...] long years and we’re expected to quietly and politely make house in this windstorm of murder__ but I say there’s certain politicians that had better increase their security forces and there’s religious leaders and heathcare officials that had better get bigger dogs and higher fences and more complex security alarms for their homes and queer-bashers better start doing their work from inside howitzer tanks because the thin line between the inside and the outside is beginning to erode and at the moment I’m a thirty seven foot tall one thousand one hundred and seventy-two pound man inside this six foot frame and all I can feel is the pressure all I can feel is the pressure and the need for release."

Partial Bibliography:
Close to the Knives
A Memoir of Disintegration
by David Wojnarowicz
Vintage Books
Random House, Inc

Memories That Smell Like Gasoline by David Wojnorowicz Artspace Books (San Francisco)
David Wojnarowicz,
Brush Fires in the
Social Landscape
Aperture #137
Fall 1994

Seven Miles a Second
comic by
David Wojnarowicz & James Romberger
Vertgo Verite

David Wojnarowicz,
Tongues of Flame
edited by Barry Blinderman University Galleries Illinois State University Normal, Illinois Distributed Art Publishers (New York, New York)