Sunday, October 28, 2007

Current Addiction: "Bette Davis Eyes"

Atl GLBTQ Literary Festival

Here's a shot of the readers from Saturday morning.

left to right:
Cleo Creech, Collin Kelley, Reginald Jackson, Megan Volpert,
Dustin Brookshire, Franklin Abbott, Lisa Allender
not pictured:
Debbie Fraker & Larry Corse

AIDS Quilt----- 2 of 2

Here is the second post of pictures of the AIDS Quilt. Click here if you missed the first post with pictures.

Friday, October 26, 2007

2007 AIDS Walk Poetry Book Raffle

I wanted to be creative when announcing the winners for the poetry book raffle, so I asked blogger friend Montgomery Maxton, who is always creating interesting Youtube clips, to create a Youtube clip to draw the winners for the contest. Being the great guy he is, he of course helped me out. Please click his name; give his blog some love. Here's his video:

Funeral Today

Aunt Betty's funeral was today. Her daughter, my cousin, asked my mother if I would be a pallbearer. Normally, I have a standard answer of no to the pallbearer question because I often find myself too emotional at the funeral of a family member. I thought of what Aunt Betty would say if she heard me answer no. She would have given me hell in her special and funny way.

I'm going to miss her presence at family gatherings-- miss how she calls people out for BS, miss how she makes me laugh and smile with her honesty.

I am in such q need for a nap..... so it is about to be nap time. When I wake, I'm going to post a video made by friend and poet Montgomery Maxton announcing the winners of the poetry book raffle I conducted to raise funds for the 2007 AIDS Walk.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Presidential Hopefuls on Iraq


Please note: All information in quotations comes from the official web page of the Presidential hopeful pictured to the left of the statement.

View: There should be a timetable for the removal of troops.

"Starting Phased Redeployment within Hillary's First Days in Office: The most important part of Hillary's plan is the first: to end our military engagement in Iraq's civil war and immediately start bringing our troops home. As president, one of Hillary's first official actions would be to convene the Joint Chiefs of Staff, her Secretary of Defense, and her National Security Council. She would direct them to draw up a clear, viable plan to bring our troops home starting with the first 60 days of her Administration. She would also direct the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs to prepare a comprehensive plan to provide the highest quality health care and benefits to every service member -- including every member of the National Guard and Reserves -- and their families." (Click here to Clinton's page on Iraq.)

View: There should be a timetable for the removal of troops.

"There is no military solution to the chaos in Iraq. Instead, the Iraqi people must solve the problem politically by taking responsibility for their country. By leaving Iraq, America will prompt the Iraqi people, regional powers, and the entire international community to find the political solution that will end the sectarian violence and create a stable Iraq. We must show the Iraqis that we are serious about leaving by actually starting to leave, with an immediate withdrawal of 40,000-50,000 troops and a complete withdrawal within nine to ten months. We should leave behind in Iraq only a brigade of 3,500 to 5,000 troops to protect the embassy and possibly a few hundred troops to guard humanitarian workers. " (Click here to see Edwards's page on Iraq.)

View: U.S. forces need to stay in Iraq for as long as it takes for Iraqi forces to take over.

"Rudy Giuliani believes winning the war on terror is the great responsibility of our generation. America cannot afford to go back to the days of playing defense, with inconsistent responses to terrorist attacks, because weakness only encourages aggression. Americans want peace. We’re at war not because we want to be, but because the terrorists declared war on us—well before the attacks of September 11th. Rudy understands that freedom is going to win this war of ideas. America will win the war on terror." (Click here to watch comments from Giuliani's page on Iraq.)

View: U.S. forces need to stay in Iraq for as long as it takes for Iraqi forces to take over.

"A greater military commitment now is necessary if we are to achieve long-term success in Iraq. John McCain agrees with retired Army General Jack Keane that there are simply not enough American forces in Iraq. More troops are necessary to clear and hold insurgent strongholds; to provide security for rebuilding local institutions and economies; to halt sectarian violence in Baghdad and disarm Sunni and Shia militias; to dismantle al Qaeda; to train the Iraqi Army; and to embed American personnel in Iraqi police units. Accomplishing each of these goals will require more troops and is a crucial prerequisite for needed economic and political development in the country. America's ultimate strategy is to give Iraqis the capabilities to govern and secure their own country. " (Click here to see McCain's page on Iraq.)

View: There should be a timetable for the removal of troops.

"Obama has a plan to immediately begin withdrawing our troops engaged in combat operations at a pace of one or two brigades every month, to be completed by the end of next year. He would call for a new constitutional convention in Iraq, convened with the United Nations, which would not adjourn until Iraq's leaders reach a new accord on reconciliation. He would use presidential leadership to surge our diplomacy with all of the nations of the region on behalf of a new regional security compact. And he would take immediate steps to confront the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Iraq." (Click here to see Obama's page on Iraq.)

View: U.S. forces need to stay in Iraq for as long as it takes for Iraqi forces to take over.

"Across the nation, there is debate about our future course in Iraq. Our desire to bring our troops home, safely and soon, is met with our recognition that if Iraq descends into all-out civil war, millions could die; that Iraq's Sunni region could become a base for Al Qaeda; that its Shia region could be seized by Iran; that Kurd tension could destabilize Turkey; and even that the broader Middle East could be drawn into conflict. The possible implications for America and for American interests from such developments could be devastating. It could mean a future with far more military involvement and far more loss of American life. For these reasons, I believe that so long as there is a reasonable prospect of success, our wisest course is to seek stability in Iraq, with additional troops endeavoring to secure the civilian population. (Click here for Romney's page.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Tribute to My Aunt Betty

What the World Should Know:

Aunt Betty was fierce and a fighter. She battled leukaemia for a number of years, but sick or not she worked in her vegetable garden, canned food, and worshipped her grandchildren. She loved and took pride in her garden and shared her canned goods with people who fell on hard times and included a homemade cake. If you asked for the shirt off her back, she would give it to you and two more from her closet.

Aunt Betty said what she thought at all times; she had absolutely no qualms or fears when it came to expressing herself. She never backed down no matter how much of a ruckus it caused within the family. I admire her greatly, honestly more than anyone will ever know, for this quality.

Aunt Betty was accepting. Unfortunately, a number of my aunt and uncles carry lots of prejudice ideals, but she didn't fit the category whatsoever. All Aunt Betty required was that you be yourself. If you were fake, well, God help you then-- Aunt Betty didn't care for fake people. When one of my cousins "came out," he father disowned him. Once the news made it to Aunt Betty she called her brother to tell him how stupid he was being, that he needed to realize nothing was different about his son.

I will always remember Aunt Betty as someone who would stand up for the underdog and spoke her mind so you always knew where she stood. I love that she'd tell a person in an instance to be his/herself and recommend to that person to tell everyone else to fuck off if they didn't like it. Oh yes, she'd drop the F-bomb---she always said what she thought-- I mentioned it before but I'll mention it again: that quality is something I dearly love about her. At times you never knew what would come out of her mouth, but you knew it would be from the heart or her brutal honest opinion.

Aunt Betty fought a hard battle Tuesday morning and showed she wasn't leaving very easily. She coded four times and recovered successfully; however, she wasn't able to recover after she coded for a fifth time.

Rest in peace Aunt Betty. Lots and lots love.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Positive Thoughts, Vibes, & Prayers

Please send out positive thoughts & vibes and/or prayers for my family. We had an unexpected death in the family---one of my aunts passed away at 3am this morning.

The ICU staff at Emory Crawford Long Hospital deserves recognition for their excellent and unbelievable bedside manner. I don't think I have ever experienced such a dedicated and sincere staff.

Monday, October 22, 2007

AIDS Quilt --- 1 of 2

Ok. I feel worse than yesterday, but no time to whine about. This entry contains some of the pictures I took while viewing the AIDS Quilt; I have more pictures that I will post later. I don't know if I can accurately describe all the thoughts and emotions I experienced as I viewed the quilt; however, I know the first emotion that hit me was an overwhelming sadness. The short life spans seemed to leap from the quilt as if they were in 3-D, so many people were robbed of long lives and dealt exit cards in their 40s. Chris, who always adds rational to my emotional, reminded me to look at the years these people were born, which was typically the 50s, 60s, and 70s. He reminded me of the progress that have been made in the medical field, but it was hard for me to concentrate on what he was saying. I mean, I know that these days in pharmacy school and med school HIV/AIDS is taught as a manageable diseases instead of as a death sentence.

But even though there has been much progress, there is still so much more progress that must be made. There are so many people we need to remember.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

2007 AIDS Walk Atlanta

The 2007 AIDS Walk Atlanta was today. Unfortunately, overnight my team of six dwindled to a team of two---best friend Chris and myself. This morning I popped a few Vitamin C and a couple of Tylenol before we hit the park to get our walk on.

Exciting news: My goal was $250; I raised over $800--- go Team Truvy. During the walk I kept talking with Chris about fundraising ideas for next year...... oh, do I have some good ones. If it works out, I plan to do the poetry book raffle each year, and I'll mention the other as the time approaches.

Here's a big THANK YOU to everyone who supported me (and Team Truvy) in the 2007 AIDS Walk Atlanta. I appreciate every single one of you. The raffle for the poetry books will be happening within the next couple of days.

Chris + Me

Opening Ceremony

Children from preschool down the street from
the park played the drums for the walkers.

This fabulous entertainer cheered on the walkers
and the Atlanta Freedom Bands.

View of Piedmont as the walk started.

Shot of the walkers while on Peacthree.

Tomorrow, I'll post pictures of the AIDS Quilt.

2007 AIDS Walk Atlanta TODAY

Even though the start of the walk is only a few hours away, it is not too late to donate. You can still donate after the completion of the walk.

If you want to donate and earn chances to win a poetic prize please check out my previous entry, Poets & the 2007 AIDS Walk.

Thank you for your support!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Walk Tomorrow

I have felt like crud today, so I have been resting. I have probably spent too much time on Youtube but oh well. Come hell or highwater---well, the water would be good for Georgia--I am walking tomorrow. Feeling crappy or looking a hot mess, I'll be at Piedmont Park 11:30am-ish.

"My Humps" to Make You Smile

Dolly ~ "Better Get to Livin"

New Addition to the Family

Her name is Basha.
She two months old and all kinds of precious.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mark Your Calendar -- 11/13/07

In his quarterly reading series at Outwrite, Franklin Abbott, is featuring me and poet Karen Head on Tuesday, November 13, 2007. I plan to read new work and talk about the chapbook, DISORDERS.

Save the dates for the FirstAtlanta GLBTQ Literary Festival. Click here for my blog entry with the dates, times, and line up. Don't forget, I'm scheduled to read on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Poets & the 2007 AIDS Walk

The 2007 AIDS Walk in Atlanta is approaching in five days, and I am excited to be participating because the walk will benefit twelve organizations, which I will list at the end of the entry. In these last few days I am pumping up my fundraising efforts. You can help out and have the chance to win a lovely prize. A number of established poets were generous, thoughtful, and kind to donate autographed books with the comment, "Thanks for supporting the 2007 AIDS Walk," for me to use for fundraising efforts.

How it works:
1. Visit Team Truvy's AIDS Walk page by clicking HERE.

2. Once on the AIDS Walk site, click on "make a donation," which is located above the "AIDS Walk Atlanta Goal Watch" and "My AIDS Walk Donors." )You should see a page with a header reading "2007 AIDS Walk Atlanta;" below it will read "Thanks for giving on behalf of Dustin Brookshire.")

3. Enter the amount you wish to donate. (Remember, all donations are tax deductible.)
Every $5 donation earns you a chance to win an autographed book. A donation $50 earns you 15 chances to win a book by select poets. If you donate $100 you can pick the book you want from the list below!

4. Once you've donated drop a line on the blog or send an email to
5. The drawing will occur following the AIDS Walk. Poet Montgomery Maxton will create a Youtube video announcing the winners.


Exquisite Politics autographed by Denise Duhamel

Small Gods of Grief autographed by Laure-Anne Bosselaar

the dead alive and busy autographed by Alan Shapiro

Tantalus in Love autographed by Alan Shapiro

Late autographed by Cecilia Woloch

Slow to Burn autographed by Collin Kelley

Sacrifice autographed by Cecilia Woloch

Return of the Prodigals by Kurt Brown

Mille et un sentiments autographed by Denise Duhamel

Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry autographed by Denise Duhamel

Never Before: Poems about First Experiences autographed by Laure-Anne Bosselaar

Not Pictured* Like All We Love autographed by Kate Evans
(Should be up tomorrow)

Organizations benefited by the AIDS Walk:

Monday, October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day: The Environment

Last night while catching up on blogs, I discovered today is Blog Action Day. Today, thousands of bloggers are writing on the topic of the environment. I wanted to take a moment to share something that I have shared in part once before.

the following is from the 9/3/07 issue of Drug Topics:

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in cooperation with APhA and federal agencies announced earlier this year new guidelines for consumers to dispose of unneeded prescription medications. The guidelines replace the old recommendation of flushing all medications in a toilet or sink. According to ONDCP, consumers should:

  • Take unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs out of their original containers

  • Mix the prescription drugs with an undesirable substance, such as coffee grounds or cat litter

  • Put the mixture in an empty can or sealable bags and throw in the trash

  • When possible, return prescription drugs to pharmaceutical take-back locations

  • Some drugs particularly prone to diversion still should be flushed, including Actiq (fentanyl citrate, Cephalon), Daytrana Transdermal Patch (methyphenidate, Shire), Duragesic Transdermal System (fentanyl, Alza), OxyContin Tablets (oxycodone, Purdue Pharma), Anvinza Capsules (morphine sulfate, King), Baraclude Tablets (entecavir, Bristol-Myers Squibb), Reyataz Capsules (Atazanavir sulfate, BMS), Tequin Tablets (gatifloxacin, BMS), Zerit for Oral Solution (stavudine, BMS), meperidine HCl tablets, Percocet (oxycodone/acetaminophen, Endo), Xyrem (sodium oxybate, Jazz Pharmaceuticals), and Fentora (fentanyl buccal tablet, Cephalon)

More from Drug Topics:
"Prescription drugs are showing up in our water systems, though the long-term impact is not well understand. Beginning in the 1990s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started to examine the occurence of certain pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the environment. Since then, EPA, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) have found the existence of a broad range of unexpected compounds in the water, including caffeine, acetaminophen, erthromycin, fluoxetine, and albuterol."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Back From an Unwanted Internet Break

I'm recovering from internet withdrawals, which technically shouldn't be the case since I have limited internet access via my phone.

My laptop battery decided to take a permanent vaction a few weeks ago. At first, it wasn't to big of a pain;however, when my charger decided to go on permanent strike I found myself in a computer-less situation.

Then when the computer issue was solved I had issues with internet access. Now everything is up and running. I'm going through blog withdrawals. All kinds of updates I need/want to check out.

Mentioning updates... please read and share the information below:


OCTOBER 24 - 28
To mark Gay and Lesbian History Month
the Special Collections Department
of the Atlanta/Fulton County Central Library
will sponsor the first annual
Atlanta GLBTQ Literary Festival

Wednesday Evening, October 24th, 7:30
Festival Kick Off and Open Mic
Hosted by Megan Volpert
Lammy Award winning poet Jim Elledge
and author and activist Maria Helena Dolan
Ponce de Leon Library Branch
980 Ponce de Leon
Come early and explore the branch's extensive
GLBTQ collection and sign up for the open mic.

Thursday Evening, October 25th, 6:30 -8:00

Full Moon Celebration and Fundraiser
for Charis Books and More
The Solarium
321 West Hill St., Decatur
Bring a donation to support Atlanta's 32 year old
feminist women's bookstore.
Please RSVP @ 404-524-0304

Friday Afternoon, October 26th, 4 - 6
Southern Voice Offices
1075 Zonolite Road
A chance to meet your favorite writers and staff
at Atlanta's award winning GLBTQ newspaper.

Friday Evening, October 26th, 7:30
Festival Opening
Central Library Auditorium
hosted by Festival Director
Franklin Abbott
Award winning writer and playwright Jim Grimsley
Poet and long time community activist Sharon J. Sanders
the Art Amok Slam Team featuring Theresa Davis and Karen G
Award winning filmmaker Parthiban Shanmugam
presenting his short documentary on the sacred rituals
of India's transgendered people

Saturday, October 27th, 10:30 -12:20 and 2:00 -4:30

Featured Readers Series
co-hosted by Robin Kemp, Dustin Brookshire and Franklin Abbott
Central Library Auditorium
among the poets and writers who will be reading are
Collin Kelley, Lisa Allender, Cleo Creech, Debbie Fraker
Reginald Jackson, Craig Washington, Stanley Fong
Debra Hiers, Alice Teeter, Donna Jo Smith, Larry Corse
Megan Volpert, Clayton Benedict, Jessica Hand

Sunday Morning, October 28th, 11 to 12
Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeeshop
present poets
Antron-Rechaud Brown and Corey Green
hosted by Cleo Creech and Franklin Abbott
Sunday Afternoon, 2 - 4:30
Festival Closing
Central Library Auditorium
Author and playwright Rebecca Ranson
will be honored
with readings from her works
including her groundbreaking play about AIDS
and an acoustic concert of original songs
Melanie Hammet
and Angela Motter


For more information please call
Festival Director Franklin Abbott
or Richard Cruse
AFPL Special Collections Director
404-730-1941 or 404-730-1896