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Started as a joke. Told my wife I was making my own tombstone and the epitaph would be "Just use the one I made." The idea wouldn't let go so I had to expand it to its (and my) natural end.
A New Oreleans-styled jazz dirge, piano inspired by Jelly Roll Morton. To be used in my second line.
You want to dress me all in finery, pretend for once I am a gentleman
These threads you bought so I could finally make a good impression on your friends
I've done a bit of haberdashery a little burlap little jute
That's how I fashioned my peculiar traveling suit
The velvet Fauntleroy you bought me, pockets sewn up like my mouth
I won't require it when I'm going a piece down South
Take it on back to Gertrude Geddes You can keep the coin you paid if you just use the one I made
I know you get fed up but get a load of my getup
My policy will be paid out when my plans and I are laid out
I dug myself a firm foundation so you can put me in my place.
This wooden jacket is my entry to the pine box derby race
No swing-bail handles for my boxcar .No satin pillow for my skull
Bring my portrait to remind me that I once was beautiful
I never had amazing grace. Don't want St. James Infirmary. I don't have to fly away to have a closer walk with thee.
The song you hear is the one dear. The flowers you can choose. But for my second line just use the one I made.
The broken slab of Portland cement crumbling in the walk
I repurposed for a marker. It won't be your stumbling block.
I took my hammer, fetched my chisel, the room imbued with dust. Scratched half a rose and etched a thistle abloom in all crudeness.
For the moment be pragmatic. Think of all the bread you saved. You'll be ecstatic when I'm decidedly engraved.
Don't want to burden you no more, so I even carved the date. And my epitaph, my final words, just use the one I made.