July 3, 2011

J.C. Ellefson

LASTWORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
FROM GOOD LOUISIANA GRANDFATHER SOUTH

What you want is a woman who will work with you, and a one ton green
truck, four wheel drive, four speed, low rear end, dumps, and I don’t
care what make it is as long as it’s no
                                                                        Ford. You promise me. You must
rid yourself of any desire to own a Ford.
                                                                                    Diesel, so you get the cool
low pounding vibration through your backbone and hips, help you
with your fiddle playing. Spit in that tank, and she’ll take you the gulf road
to New Orleans. Clean cab. Dust is ok. You sound like a shrimp boat rolling
through town, eighteen inch tires. Drive twenty miles, get
out, you feel like you just had all night
                                                                        sex. And you want your trusty black
dog, tool box, twelve foot jumper cables, ten ton jack, chain
saw, and a .30-30 Winchester just in case some son-of-a-bitch decides
he wants something you have.
                                                            You’ll know him when you see him, and he’ll
know all about you, and if you need to, put him out of his misery, and don’t
worry if he’s got a head like a lion and bigger than a fire truck. You put
a bullet in him. He’ll settle right down, start cooing, sleep the whole
night through.
                                    And if you say you’ll do something, you do it. The highway
is lined with greasy little bastards with good intentions. Each one has a five
gallon bucket from the outhouse, and he’s dumping it over his own
spiky little head as you drive by. Not one of them is any good.

Not one could be as good as the man you need to be. Be
good, find yourself a woman who will work with you, and the two
of you need to build something together on a piece of ground nobody
can take away.
                            You need to build something
                                                                                    together out of clear
white oak, cedar, and stone. You need to build some place
grandchildren can walk all day on good dirt and never have to take
more than three turns.
                                                 Be good, god damn it. You need to be good, work
hard, never
                        surrender, and don’t you ever, in private, family, or public
company alike, give up any opportunity
                                                                      to keep your mouth shut.

from Rattle #34, Winter 2010