Faulkner’s first draft of “Dying As I Lay”

Tossing another token to John Prine who epitomized offering more with less. I liken this to a song rather than a poem but I’ll leave that definition to the reader.

Hey, dying ain’t all it’s cracked up to be

so don’t you go listening to that Fibber McGee

nobody’s thinking ‘I gotta hit the finish line strong’

’cause there ain’t any victors racking up wrongs


Living serves up messy helpings of joy and dire

on the level with the devil and singing with the choir

as my hourglass sands silently collect at the bottom

the choir loudly singing ‘smoke ’em if you got ’em’


Did I master the rudiments of bountiful living?

was my existence knowledge minus application bidding?

okay, I’m throwing myself on the mercy of the court

and aborting the generous A+ request on my life report


At the end of our paths of becoming a human emeritus

we remain self executioners serving out a life sentence

I’ve learned not much changes putting the tea kettle on

IPA salvation at the brewery tops a day at the salon


But say I make up my mind I want to come back

unfinished business, hand me that jacket of flak

you know if Google or Apple has an app for that?

We all wish for the one offering just rewards


So before I coldfoot it out of this Hotel Final

where it’s always checkout hour with no revival

I’ll offer a last howl before as a breathing human

serving up these words as my last communion.