August #73 : Snap Shots: Joe Westmoreland - by Angelo Ragaza

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
E-newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues




Table of Contents

Gimme A Break!

Too Close for Comfort

On an Off Trial

Publisher's Letter

Mailbox

Got Asylum?

Dogma Doo

Bad Ad Fad

Highest Court On Weed

Obit: Robert C. Randall

The Tour de France

Center Stage

Drama Queens

Lipo Ladies

Her So Good

Playing for Time

Herb Blurb

Hurry Up, PEP, It’s Time!

Is Less More in Safe-Sex Ed?

Combo Condom

Pregger Rap

Pocket Money

Good Company

20 Years And Counting

Missing in Action

Memo From Hell

Material Girl

Snap Shots: Joe Westmoreland



Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


email print

August 2001

Snap Shots: Joe Westmoreland

by Angelo Ragaza

The punk rocker-turned-writer has a debut novel, Tramps Like Us, and a new clutter-free life.

Tramps [Painted leaf press, $17.95] is a thinly veiled autobiography. People say it’s all about sex and drugs. It’s actually about looking for a sense of home, and the trouble I got into on the way. O I tried to capture a time in New Orleans and San Francisco in the ’70s and ’80s. It was wonderful but got overshadowed by AIDS and everybody dying. I crammed everybody into the book. All my friends who died. My father, who sexually abused my sister. I would streamline it now. O Most readers seem deeply moved and thank me for being so honest. My brothers and sisters are anxious but remind me that “we did nothing wrong” when we were kids. People relate and even imagine I’ve written about them. Some are demanding a sequel!

Writing it was very zen. when I hit my stride, I would forget where I was. Being in the moment gave me incredible energy. O I had been very sick and was on disability. But taking care of yourself when you’re sick is a full-time job. Writing was part time.

There was the constant fear that I wouldn’t get the story down on paper before I died. The only way to get over that was to write. I pared back my social life to focus—every night from 8 to 11.

Music is important to Tramps: the disco song "Do It Any Way You Wanna Do It.Patti Smith. "Born To Run," of course.

I loved punk! The Ramones, the Talking Heads, Blondie before "Heart of Glass." My friend and I were anti-disco. It was the big divise gay thing.

When Joey Ramone died last spring, I went to the CBGB memorial. I got my first twinge of "getting older." Of all the things I 've had to  prepare myself for wioth AIDS, aging wasn't one.

My wild youth taught me that Quaaludes take the edge off LSD, sex is better with someone you care about, and drugs and sex only numb the pain temporarily.  Tramps ends when I tested positive. But at 44, I’m still a tramp at heart.

It freaks me out that kids today are getting HIV and thinking it’s OK because all they have to do is get on the drugs. I want to scream, “No, no, no!” O The whole thing about Andrew Sullivan barebacking freaked me out. He’s this big public person, a gay role model. What is he thinking?

The other day I heard “I left my Heart in San Francisco” on the radio. And I was like, “Oh, I did too!” My friends asked how I could leave California, the climate is so beautiful. Yes, but the intellectual climate is so much better here in New York. And you don’t have to drive. O I’m reading Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui. I have this work area where I do all my medical stuff. It’s piled up with all these old bills and records from when I was sick. I’ve got to go through and throw out as much as I possibly can, because that time is over now




[Go to top]

Join POZ Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar


    Drew949
    South Orange County
    California


    Sin_Grinder
    Reno
    Nevada


    Heartland4now
    Tacoma
    Washington


    albsur7436
    San Francisco
    California
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Survey
Pop Watch

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.