Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born and raised in Missouri and now live (very, very) close to Atlanta. With the exception of college, I have spent my entire life in the South. I most certainly do not miss the snow, or the cold. How Many Dead People Does It Take…

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Andy Betz: How Many Dead People Does It Take to Drive in the HOV Lane? (February 2019)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born in Bogotá, Colombia. I have been living in South Carolina since 2010. I currently work at Presbyterian College, in Clinton. Before that, I lived in Columbia for eight years. I received a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of South Carolina (the original…

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Juan David Cruz Duarte : Superstitious (February 2019)

Posted in Essays / Memoirs

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born and raised in Florida and am still living here, two miles from Georgia. My dad and grandparents were also native Floridians, and I can’t find an ancestor who was born or lived north of the Mason-Dixon line. Mom was born in southern Georgia and crossed…

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Barbara McLay: Kneadful Things (February 2019)

Posted in Fiction

My Southern Legitimacy Statement is that my work has appeared here before, and I have read in NC, vacationed in NC, have baby-sat in NC and will visit there again to see three of my ten grandchildren. My military training was with Tennessee’s 278th Infantry Brigade at Fort Devens, MA,…

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Tom Sheehan: The Last of the Roses (February 2019)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: The South is a place where past meets present, where ghosts of things long gone seem, at times, to be more real than the person standing beside you. It’s a place of memory and escape, a place of pain and hope, joy and deliverance, and ultimately a…

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Brandon Daily: Free Dance (February 2019)

Posted in Fiction

This report was written by a particularly astute carpenter ant named Cindi camponotus. I let her use my computer at night in exchange for the promise that she and her 200,000 sisters will not eat my house. Cindi can push down one key at a time, but not while also…

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Tony Picardi: treason (February 2019)

Posted in Poetry

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Stephen Hundley was raised on the Lincoln River, south of Savannah, Georgia. When the weather was right, you might have found him in a clawfoot tub on the porch. When the game warden wasn’t around, you might have found an alligator in the tub too. Stephen’s love…

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Stephen Hundley: Three Poems February 2019

Posted in Essays / Memoirs

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Yes, I lived so close to where you do. I studied at Wake Forest University for nearly two months… I like that area greatly. The weather has a kind of healing effect. I was seriously compromised before I went there. People there are also very warm and…

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Chen Du: Catch the Train (February 2019)

Posted in Poetry

Southern Legitimacy Statement: “Georgia and Louisiana–specifically New Orleans which the rest of Louisiana hates anyway–are both located in the South and they are where I come from. My family came to Virginia from the British Isles; migrated to Georgia; didn’t spread out much till after World War II, and my…

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Reid Mitchell: LOUIS ARMSTRONG ORDERS THE 101th AIRBORNE (February 2019)

Posted in Essays / Memoirs

Here’s my Southern Legitimacy Statement: I live in southeastern Ohio. That counts, doesn’t it? After all, maybe being southern is a more a state of mind more than an actual place. And, anyway, this place where I live? It sure feels southern. Or, at least, southern-ish. What I’m saying is…

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Vivian Wagner: Appalachian Edge (February 2019)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Vital Statistics of Rhys Beleu Born: rural Texas Raised: Rich White Trash Religion: heathen Favorite Flags: Lone Star, Stars and Bars, Battle of Gonzales cannon “Come and take it” Principles to live by: 1. Never trust the government. 2. Cooking is a competitive sport. Never sacrifice taste for…

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Rhys Beleu: Larger Than Death (February 2019)

Posted in Poetry

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born and raised in Missouri and now live (very, very) close to Atlanta. With the exception of college, I have spent my entire life in the South. Mud An assassin’s doctorAncient brick starter materialSling to insultFacial mask soothingEye socket counterpart during champagne toastingGhost pottery wheel…

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Andy Betz (Jan 2019)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I once moved to Nebraska. This after 28 years of legitimate southern living in upstate South Carolina. For two cold hard Midwestern years, I shivered inside a corn farmer’s coat and dreamt of the day I’d come back South. Praise God: I don’t need to dream anymore….

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Dan Leach : My Dad vs. Your Dad Jan. 2019

Posted in Poetry

SOUTHERN LEGITIMACY STATEMENT I was conceived on a houseboat on the Ashley River in Charleston, South Carolina and was born in Monroe, North Carolina first year of the Baby Boomers. I got my undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. My kin, Irish immigrants to North…

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Norvin Dickerson : Three Poems Jan. 2019

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement:  Born in Dallas and raised in the Piney Woods of East Texas, I now reside on the coast of South Texas. My family traces their roots all the way to the founding of a county in Texas. Before that they came from the Duck River in Tennessee…

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Karen Tardiff: Down By The River (Jan 2019)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Stephen Hundley was raised on the Lincoln River, south of Savannah, Georgia. When the weather was right, you might have found him in a clawfoot tub on the porch. When the game warden wasn’t around, you might have found an alligator in the tub too. Stephen’s love…

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Stephen Hundley : Wake Up (Jan 2019)

Posted in Blog Southern Legitimacy Statements

We’re starting out 2019 early with a new format style on the Dead Mule. January is going to be a bit tough to get online but we’ll do it! If you notice any changes that “don’t look or work right” please let us know on our Facebook page. We’ve been…

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Reviewing the Mule

Posted in Poetry

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Dear Ms. MacEwan, I should not feel the need to apologize for living now in Ontario, for your name suggests first generation roots in Scotland, or at least Nova Scotia. My claim to a southern heritage comes from growing up early outside Atlanta before it became a “real”…

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Greg Stidham (Dec. 2018)

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: East Texas food figures prominently in my memory of childhood where I lived in Longview (and later in Dallas and Austin): cornpone, grits, collard greens, cornpone, fried chicken, the catfish and green jello at Luby’s Cafeteria, and of course the sweets like pralines and molasses candies. It’s no…

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June Rogers: Sweet and Tart :: Dec. 2018

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Born and reared in Texas, but graduate schooled three years in Starkville, Mississippi, and spent three years teaching at LSU in Lafayette, Louisiana. Lived and wed a talented and sweet Cajun in Crowley, La. With mind and soul embedded in southern literature, my heart is Southern. Ned the…

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Jim Finley: Ned the Mule :: Dec. 2018

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Relative to this piece, I have run throughout the Southeast, for North Forsyth high school, the University of Virginia, and Wake Forest University. I raced Peachtree back when we thought 1,200 was an astounding number of competitors. I once placed second at the Tuckasegee River and Road Race,…

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Chris Espenshade : The Course of a Season (essay) Dec. 2018

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement:  When I was ten, eleven, twelve years old, I dreamed of moving up North to live in a garret and write novels–never knowing exactly what I’d write about, but it would be lofty. Fifty years later, I still live in the South, and I write about the…

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Donna Walker-Nixon : Straw Man (fiction) Dec. 2018

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: My given name is Laura Ruth, and I am a sweet tea addict. I grew up in Woodruff, South Carolina–home of the Wolverines. I won a shagging contest in college at Clemson University, and, no shagging is the SC state dance–get your mind out of the gutter….

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Laurie Brown-Pressly : Jo’s Funeral (fiction) Dec. 2018

Posted in Fiction

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I spent the first seven years of my life straddling the Sabine between southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas. Even though across my life I dotted the map in Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Mississippi, I kept circling back to the place I call home. My stories emerged…

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Monica Bellon-Harn : Piggly Wiggly (fiction) Dec. 2018