© Chad Hambright/RockwellAllNight.see.me
© Chad Hambright/RockwellAllNight.see.me


Her voice is deep water
Though she’s too shallow this year for ships
Her body more round than angular
When I ask her questions I get more
Answers than I know what to do with
She says her name in whispers
I know her by many names
And by the ranges she explores
When she sings
I know her by how she changes tunes
And carries her heart to the sea
Bare feet
Wide bottom
She stands like Betsy and Billie and Ma Rainey
Belting blues in wordless conundrums
When she returns to actual lyrics
She sings:
The blues is a good river feeling bad
Her song carries ever-changing sameness
While everything about her transforms
Running River
Reclaiming place

J. Otis Powell‽ (1955–2017) was an award-winning poet with aesthetics rooted in Afrocentric lore and culture. His work was informed by oral traditions in literature, music, and the Black Arts Movement. His words were recorded and released on several CDs. Powell‽ worked as a co-mentor and performed with Amiri Baraka for the Givens Writer’s Retreat and Tru Ruts Endeavors.

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Chad Hambright is a multidisciplinary artist who specializes in painting and illustration. He lives and works out of his artist loft near CHS Field.

Posted in: Poetry