by Angeliska on June 1, 2011
For this month’s Exquisite Corpse, we will be dedicating the evening’s festivities
as a special memorial to some of our friends and heroes who have died this month:
Ramon, crazy-cat extraordinaire, Leonora Carrington – the surrealist sorceress,
and to Nefairia Devi, Bharatanatyam dancer and true gothic beauty. Bring something
to add to the altar for them if you wish, and come prepared to dance and celebrate their spirits.
Ramon and I. This is one of my favorite pictures of us together. He was very protective of all the ladies
of Swan Dive – acting almost like a dad (albeit a crazed, over-protective one!) A few weeks before he
died he told Amelia, “Ain’t nobody gonna be messin’ with you – they would rather be walking through hell
wearin’ gasoline drawers!” He was so great. We had a beautiful Second Line Jazz Funeral for him the other
night, and following the procession of friends playing “Just a Closer Walk With Thee”, something just broke in
me. The wall of weariness crumbled, and the numbness that has reigned in the face of losing so many amazing
people was replaced by waves of grief. Tears flowed down my face as we marched in a crowd packed with
people who knew and loved Ramon. It was the music, and being surrounded by such a beautiful community of
friends who would gather together to celebrate the life and mourn the death of one of our own. Ramon was
basically homeless, a veteran whose health (both physical, emotional and mental) had been severely
damaged by what he went through in the war, and in his difficult life – and he carried demons with him,
no doubt. Despite all that, his huge heart won out – he was a loving person, a good man. It’s just not going
to be the same without him. Lots of the fellas who work at the bar have gotten tattoos of his main motto:
Devi cracks the snake!
Laurel and I worshipping the gilded skull.
Amelia was so beautiful that night that I was inspired to say some downright naughty things to her!
Luckily, she’s a tough dame who can handle my dirty talk. Must’ve been that vicious absinthe/tequila combo…
Nefairia Devi (Elizabeth Emily Mincho)– December 7, 1976 – May 14, 2011
Photo by Solvej Jordahl
Strangely, I never actually had the chance to meet this amazing woman, though we came from the same town,
and had many friends in common. She left for London when I was still a blooming wee gothlet, and somehow
our paths just never crossed, even though she had moved back this way for a few months before her untimely
passing. When I lived in New Orleans, she started sending me sweet parcels: gifts of books and music, and
even this incredible heart-shaped floral arrangement, accompanied by an actual honest-to-goodness telegram!
Both were delivered to Sideshow, where I was working at the time – and I remember my boss teasing me mercilessly
about my admirer. Nefairia was like that: someone who would shower affection on you, just because she could.
I love how the card on the flowers reads “Angel M. Gorgeous” – what a sweetheart! It’s truly bizarre that’s she’s
gone – just like that. A freak car accident resulting in a severe brain injury, and in a flash the world has lost one
of its shining lights. It makes no sense to me. I hope her journey across the river is easy, and am lighting candles for her
and sending love to her family and friends. Nefairia, I wish we’d been able to meet in this life. Perhaps in the next.
This video is an excerpt from the film GIFTED BEAUTY – directed by Anne Kjersti Bjørn,
with music by Maia Urstad and animations by Gustav Kvall. (Ragg Film, 2000)
New York Is Killing Me (Chris Cunningham Remix)
Damn, and Gil Scott-Heron too? The afterlife is being populated with poet angels
wearing tarnished silver halos. The beating of their flaming wings is deafening.