Richard Weaver : Three Southern Last Word poems : Poetry : November 2019

Southern Legitimacy Statement: The folks below were born in Alabama, Louisiana, and North Carolina. Unless there is a statute of limitations on the Southern Legitimacy Statement I sent you in 2016 when you kindly published my “Mule Toe” poem, I am opting out of this requirement. I have lived at 85% of my life in 2 of the 3 states listed above.

Three Southern Last Words poems


Tallulah Bankhead

What? No champagne!
Do I have a choice? Is it exclusive?
Surely there are better choices at this bar.

No? And Don’t call me Miss Tallulah,
or Miss Bankhead. I’ll have none of that.
Well then you wretched bastard,

make me a damn cocktail
“codeine … bourbon”.

Huddie William Ledbetter (Lead Belly)

I live through the music and the music lives
through me. How simple and great is that?

I ain’t never gonna retire you know. Makes no sense.
“If I put this guitar down now, I ain’t never gonna wake up.”

No more me. And then I’m alone cause I’m dead.


William Sydney Porter

Home. I wish I knew where home was. Certainly, it was not jail.
And not New York, though the grafters and businessmen there
were commonplace enough, and first-rate characters. Bagdad
on the subways did well there, as did I. But death always got
in my way. My wife. Was my life cursed or did I curse my life?
Hard to say in a few words. But I do know this: the darkness
of a prison cell, and the loneliness of life, are enough for me
to demand you “turn up the light. I don’t want to go home in the dark”.