Southern Legitimacy Statement:
I’m John Calvin Hughes, son of a son of a preacher chased out of Mississippi for plucking the flock. I’m a southern boy who moved south and found himself surrounded by Yankees. I’m in Florida. There’s not a hill in sight and the restaurants that specialize in “Real Southern Cooking” put sugar in the cornbread. My own son told me the cat pushing on his chest was “making bagels”!
I used to say I was from the South, but not “of” it. I think I just had to find the right kind of Southerness.Read more
Southern Legitimacy Statement:
I love sweet iced tea. Pecan pie. Have two trees in the yard. And one large Magnolia I could once jump over; it’s now about 40 feet tall.
Southern Legitimacy Statement: Lee Wright was born, raised, and educated in a tiny textile mill town just across the Georgia line from Chattanooga. In spite of that, he managed to learn to translate things like “I knowed that he’d get throwed outta school for drankin’ ‘n’ when he growed up, he wuddn’t gonna ‘mount to nuttin’.” into actual English sentences.Read more
The Dead Mule is getting too many poems submitted without a Southern Legitimacy Statement. Now we are southern and polite, so we usually return these and point out the error. But we are getting more submissions these days, so please stop wasting our time, or one day we might just flip out and delete themRead more
Southern Legitimacy Statement: I am an eighth generation direct descendant of a 1740 immigrant who came to America as an indentured servant to the Trustees of the colony of Georgia. I was born in Valdosta, GA and have lived in either Georgia or South Carolina all my life. Reared and educated in South Carolina, I have been residing back in my native Georgia for over 50 years now. I am legitimately southern in my origin and life and lifestyle.
For up to date (ha ha, sometimes) submissions info, go to our Submittable page by clicking on the link: Submissions Information Now, for some real information about the Dead Mule, some of the restored database information is easily access by traveling over to: TheDeadMule.wordpress.com Okay then, see yall in the funny papers. -Valerie MacEwan OurRead more
Southern Legacy Statement – Half Mexican, Half Redneck. I use that to describe my heritage.
Upon hearing that: my mother’s family gets upset and offended, my father’s side laughs and hollers. I’ll let you decide which is half is which half.
From ages three to eighteen, one year of my life was spent in Southern California, the next in North Georgia. The odd-numbered years were in smoggy cities, people giving me odd looks for ordering sugar in my tea, and mocking me when I say “ya’ll.”
I was fired from my first California job because customers insisted I insulted them by saying “sir” and “ma’am.” When I got older: I chose fresh air in the woods, people that became your new best friend when you share the counter at Waffle House, and smiles when I reply to statements with “sho’nuff.” Now, I’m the boss and all my employees know full well to treat all customers with respect and address them with “sir” and “ma’am.” Read more
Southern Legitimacy Statement
Ma-Ma would take Bo and me digging for sassafras roots in the woods next door. She would boil the roots and then we would drink the hot “tea” ’cause Aint Essie said it would keep ya reglar.”She stopped a horse from bleedin’, ya know? Tom Waters brought his horse over, pourin’ blood outa his neck. Aint Essie went ’round the back of the house and when she come back, that horse ‘ad stopped bleedin’.”
We dug potatoes, too. She had on her lipstick and floral print dress. As soon as we came out of the garden, she put her heels back on – black patent leather – and put the potatoes on to boil. “We havin’ old timey pataters and lemon marengue pie.” She watched wrestling while she ironed the sheets.
Then she took me over to Aint Correll’s. We were going to get my wart taken off. I was five. We drove round a dirt driveway up to a little house and an old man came out. Flowers everywhere and trees and a bench swing hanging on a rusty old swing set. They talked a minute and then he gently asked me to go sit with him on the swing. He held a leaf in his hand, twirling it round between his finger and thumb. “Suzan, this hyere’s a peach leaf. Come off ‘at peach tree righttare.” Silence. “D’you b’lieve I can take off that wort from your hand, thare?” “Yessir” “Well, hold out chur hand and lemme just rub this leaf hyere on yer wort, like this. See. Now, when you wake up tomorra, yur wort’s gonna be gone. D’you b’lieve me, Suzan?” “Yessir.”
My wort was gone the next day.
I think my southern legitimacy is evident!
Where I’m From (My Southern Legitimacy Statement)
after George Ella Lyons
I am from a back porch, from Coca-Cola and accidental parallel fingertip slits from my curiosity of discovering our first air conditioner’s condenser coil.
I am from the closetless, socketless, south-facing bedroom.
I am from the chinaberry and the redbud, from the mimosa, the looper caterpillars dangling in fine, translucent strands from its branches.
I am from first Sunday in May and first Sunday in June and close reading of scripture, from Byrum and Welton and Portis.
I am from working by the job and not the hour and from finding the next thing to do,
From “cry me a handful so I can feed the chickens” and “washed in the blood.”
I am from the belief that “born again” is a change of character and a political liability.
I’m from Cullman County and Morgan County, almond pound cake and corn meal dressing.
From Uncle William’s fishing too close to the locks when the TVA decided to release water from the hydroelectric dam, Aunt Kate’s refusing to try the home-canned pickles until only one jar was left and her crying about it, my parents’ eloping across the state line to Iuka, Mississippi, on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1956.
I am from the middle kitchen cabinet drawer, below the medications and above the dishtowels, in an envelope box of snapshots with edges worn as hammer handles, smooth as seasoned skillets, frayed as pockets.Read more
Southern Legitimacy Statment:
I am a true son of the South. I was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. My mother once said to me that myself, Elvis, and US Highway 45 were the only three things that ever came out of Tupelo worth mentioning. I was raised in Corinth, Mississippi. I graduated from Corinth High School and ventured forth into the big world beyond Alcorn County in 1983.
I hunt and fish and purposely seek out mud holes to whip my pickup truck through, even though mud in California can some times be at a premium. I have a cousin named Larry Joe. I have been known to pick up fresh road kill on occasion. I believe barbequed Raccoon on a hot biscuit is one of life’s more special pleasures. I love my Mama and visit her twice a year no matter if I can afford to take the time away from my West Coast life or not.
I am Southern, first and foremost. Everything else is just, well…….extra.Read more
THE DEAD MULE SCHOOL OF SOUTHERN LITERATURE
1996-2016 - TO INTERNET INFINITY AND BEYOND
ALIVE AND KICKING!
"No good Southern fiction, poetry or essay is complete without a dead mule."
Celebrate the Mule!
visit us at our temporary home:
From the original Mule Statement of Reason, 1996:
We appreciate all the quirks, follies, and faults that have brought the region to where it is today. If our beloved "below the Mason-Dixon Line" self gives way to the influences of a status quo world which requires all people to be of one idea ”to walk in lock-step with all others” -- we cease to be The South.
Simply put ”Let us celebrate the individual". The South revels in individuality. Freedom and the right to be southern. It's not a curse-word, or a curse. It's just little old us. Not one race, not one religion, and certainly not just one cause!
The South contains all sides of all arguments.
Help the best of The South stay as is. Let the bitter past be studied not re-lived and let us not seek to destroy a unique culture.
Remember, please, we are not simply a bunch of back-ass swamp-dwelling moonshine-drinking coon-hunting mother lovers. We are ” arguably” the last true bastion of individuality left in the US. The Dead Mule Southern Legitimacy Statement is about describing those things which are uniquely southern, wherever you are.
We are Carolina Dogs and Coon Jumping Mules, raccoons and possums, and all things that go bump in the night. All the humidity makes us really testy at times but sweet tea heals all wounds.