Last Words by “Slick”

By Etheridge Knight 1931–1991 Etheridge Knight

(or a self / sung eulogy)

Now, when I / die, dont you bury me
On no lone prairie;
And dont put me in no plain pine box
(cause I left plenty cold cash!);
And throw my cold butt in the deep blue see.
Whatever you do, dont plant me / in no six feet of dirt;
Just mash me, mash me, except for my dick,
Which I want wrapped in a white / woman’s skirt.

I dont want no preacher / man a-preaching
Over me—cause I know where I am going.
I dont want no tears, no flowers,
No standing around and waiting / up / all hours.
Just get a golden trumpet, and have Dizzy blow it.
Cause I / wuz / Slick—and you damn well know it.

No piano playing, no blues please;
No moaning and groaning;
Just lay me on the table, mash me
Into my two-hundred-dollar suit,
Red socks, black patent leather shoes,
Polka-dot tie (make damn sure it’s silk—
And dont forget it!)

Take me out to my pink cadillac
Prop me up / under the steering wheel,
Tow me out to real high hill,
Dig a hole—twenty feet long and twenty feet wide,
Place a giant joint of reefer / weed by my side;
Then leave me alone
And let me drive to hell in style!

“Last Words by ‘Slick’” from The Essential Etheridge Knight, by Etheridge Knight, © 1986. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: The Essential Etheridge Knight (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986)

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Poet Etheridge Knight 1931–1991

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Etheridge  Knight

Biography

Etheridge Knight began writing poetry while an inmate at the Indiana State Prison and published his first collection, Poems from Prison in 1968. "His work was hailed by black writers and critics as another excellent example of the powerful truth of blackness in art," writes Shirley Lumpkin in the Dictionary of Literary Biography. "His work became important in Afro-American poetry and poetics and in the strain of Anglo-American . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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