Louie Knuxx aka Todd Williams. Photo by Wernxin Khor
Louie Knuxx aka Todd Williams. Photo by Wernxin Khor

BooksAugust 22, 2021

The dead are always laughing at us: A poem for Louie Knuxx, by Dominic Hoey

Louie Knuxx aka Todd Williams. Photo by Wernxin Khor
Louie Knuxx aka Todd Williams. Photo by Wernxin Khor

Acclaimed New Zealand hip-hop artist Louie Knuxx (Todd Williams) died of a heart attack in Melbourne on August 13. Author Dominic Hoey has written a poem in tribute to his good friend.  

The dead are always laughing at us 

And once we lived together in a rotting house, writing down our dreams, lotto tickets to lift us from our pasts.

You know I don’t remember much of nothing Todd, but I recall this…

Your love of violence and your love, both equal in their ferocity

You, the only person that could make me watch sports

You, begrudgingly promising to push my wheelchair when my bone disease finally won

You, Backwater Romeo, bringing beautiful women back to one of the many garages you called home

That time we left the city to take ketamine in the ngahere, and all you brought to eat was 10 packs of sizzlers

That time in Melbounce, MDMA churning the liquid night, you beating up someone wearing a t shirt with your face on it, him screaming “I love your music”

That time you got subs in your brokedown car, drove the streets of Roskill blasting The Smiths

How you held me in your heavy arms while I wept, about love and shit

How you never gave a fuck but then somehow you always did

How you lived under a bridge and wrote music for the weirdos and lovers like a Kurt Cobain with hands

The last message I got from you asking if I was ok “yeah just busy with work” like a crazy person

After we got the news, drunk asking myself what would you want at your funeral or wake or whatever they call that shit

crying listerning to your sex raps with your whānau

Driving back to Tāmaki from your mum’s, the car breaks down like you don’t want us to leave

And fuck, neither of us had no time for god but since you died everything feels poignant

Faded polaroids of a life, I am an unreliable narrator at best
But I know for a fact that near the end, you’d won that lotto, left the dead weight of your past so far below
and I was proud
we were all so proud Todd
wish I could tell you one more time


To contribute to the fund to bring Todd Williams home to his whānau and cover the costs of the funeral go here.

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