Arts and Culture

A Poem for Noah Tao

Updated: Jan 01, 2021 09:04
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I’m wearing my Lucky 13 shirt
with the legendary logo
of that ornery cat

But this time the cat’s face
is half covered with a bandana
that says 2020 on it
like it’s warning you to stay away

Noah made sure I got this shirt
because he knew how much I loved that bar
and he knew it was going away
but more importantly because he was my friend

That’s who he was

If you were his homie, he was
on your team
which meant you were in
his heart
which meant you were
someone he loved
which meant he would
think of you in those unexpected moments and reach out to say
“I got you” in a million different ways

Noah was the first person to tell me
“Loud Pipes Save Lives”
and in a way that sums him perfectly
too nice to be a biker
too biker to be that nice

A habitual button pusher
line stepper
shit talker
ball buster
mirth making
rat bastard sonofabitch who
lit up every fucking room he was in
even if he was burning it down

I loved that man and
this world is worse
without him in it

Unfortunately, loud pipes aren’t enough
to save everyone’s life
but I have a feeling they will be the music
that brings our boy Noah home

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.