by Angeliska on September 29, 2009
The season turns, and I return home to find the scarlet
hurricane lilies abloom and two friends dead in New Orleans.
I don’t even know if they were acquainted,
but they both died in the same week,
probably within blocks of each other.
I have to write, have to attempt to honor them
in some way- and continue to make death public.
It makes me so sad to see the bereaved feel
ashamed of their grief, and to sense the
uncomfortable helplessness of those who
love them. I am sharing the lives and passings
of my friends here, so that you can know them too.
Of course, in these moments words desert me.
I don’t want to give Colby short shrift here,
but it had been a long time since we had
really seen each other. I met him when he
was sixteen or so, and went by the name
Famine. How gamine, and he was-
a violet-headed street urchin perpetually
on the brink of starvation who always looked
as if he had rubbed his eyes with ashy fingers.
He was very beautiful, and already looked
a thousand years old. The last time we
really shared a moment was around ten
years ago, when we left Fairyland.
There was an enormous farewell party,
of course, and as part of the evening’s
festivities, Colby enacted a performance
which involved being suspended from meat-hooks
driven through the flesh above his shoulder blades.
He was then raised 50 or 60 feet, dangling
in the air above our heads. He held his hands
in front of him and remained in quiet repose
in the canopy of pecan branches while the
assembled party gaped below. Eventually
the police came, called by worried neighbors
who thought someone had done themselves in.
When we explained that what was happening
was a completely consensual performance,
they were fascinated, and wanted to stay
and watch. I had to remind them that it was
kind of hard to keep the party going with
them around, and they respectfully left-
still staring at the boy hanging in the trees
as they backed out the gate. I’ve been trying
to find the photographs I have of that
for days, but the boxes keep eluding me.
Hopefully I’ll find them soon. I still don’t know
exactly what happened to Colby, but I’m guessing
from the silence on the subject that it can’t have
been a good way to go. I know that the walls
between the living and the dead are more
permeable in New Orleans, and I think it
is one of the best cities that you could die in.
Maybe that sounds strange, but no where else
will there be a parade with a brass band to
escort you on your journey. I know that’s where
Noah wanted to die, and he just barely made it
there in time. If you didn’t have the opportunity
to meet him in this life, here he is in an assortment
of his most lavish personas and permutations:
A periwinkle dandy-lion, hiding in the thicket.
A lord and libertine, insanely decadent.
His painted mouth, twisted comically, cruelly
crooked glitter-red lips perfectly pursed.
He loved his black pug Stimpy enormously.
Underneath the pomp and circumstance,
he had a gentleness, a child-like nature, very playful.
In the absinthe pavillion he created at Gadjo Disko.
The goat-pope at Easter, giving the egg-hunt his benediction.
With Ooops the Clown, making mudras at Gadjo Disko.
He participated in the Fashion Show at the last Disko,
and his satirical pink Hitler fop, with paper doll underpants
was a fitting swan-song before leaving Austin, and Earth.
This photo was taken by Ooops after his last major heart surgery.
Noah had Marfan Syndrome, which affected his health in a lot of ways.
He was 33 when he died, and had commented recently that he had
outlived the life expectancy for someone with that disorder.
He died in the night, hopefully in his sleep.
In his own words he was..
“..A cake eating, ale swillin’, razor cheeked, gypsy fortune-teller.
Mercifully bereft of the ravages of indirect communication.
I am a classically schooled witch-doktor with an emphasis
on Afro-Carribean technologies. I am a dress maker, a tailor,
and an impromptu utilitarian. I am the unfortunate product
of pomp and circumstance, and in some cases I am
an unlikely anti-hero. I am skilled in the services I offer.”
R.I.P. Noah, aka Baron Zubi, and Colby-
may you both eat cake
with the guede and learn all their secrets.
One of Noah’s favorite sayings,
“…However mankind has baked his cake,
and he must eat it, every crumb,
and when he has done so
he can clap his plate on his head
and use it for a halo.”