Poetry Blog by J. Otis Powell‽ (with interrobang)

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keith jeffries on Beyond It's Disease (Fri, 18 Aug 2017 09:02 pm)

J. Otis Powell! on Music Formerly Known As Jazz (Wed, 26 Jul 2017 01:23 pm)

Cynthia Buell Thomas on A Sin Of Omission (Sun, 28 May 2017 04:29 pm)

keith jeffries on Body of Work (Thu, 11 May 2017 09:57 am)

Emer Ni Chorra on In Praise of Fallen Stars (Mon, 24 Apr 2017 04:55 pm)

Cynthia Buell Thomas on Esoteric (for #sayhername) (Wed, 9 Nov 2016 12:41 pm)

Noetic-fret! on Esoteric (for #sayhername) (Wed, 9 Nov 2016 06:03 am)

Abbi Gamm on What is Ours (Wed, 12 Oct 2016 05:14 am)

M.C. Newberry on My Neighbor Across the Road (Thu, 12 May 2016 10:11 pm)

GeeProcessor on Double Dark (Thu, 4 Feb 2016 03:43 am)

Beyond It's Disease

Photo credit: Diane Aldis

Beyond It's Disease 

It's easier to talk about romance than it is to explore the meaning of love

There are entire industries exploiting the chemistry between magnetized bodies 

drawn to each other and how the games are played 

But love is quite another matter

Simplicity is deceptive; walking in the rain, holding hands, touching lips,

rubbing noses and...

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New Jerusalem

Music Formerly Known As Jazz

photo credit: Intermedia Arts

Geneva and John Henry played songs like they learned them, by rote, for as long as they could but knots of unrequited living or unrequited love didn’t unraveling to satisfy their needs. Something more was required; a hook, a head or a melody wouldn’t carry them away anymore. They longed for passage to spaces beyond what they knew into somewhere other than here. Eve...

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round bout midnight

Waiting For A Spaceship (the book)

photo credit Bill Cottman 

In Waiting For A Spaceship  J. Otis Powell‽ pens a deep acknowledgement to both the pain of language and its potential for liberation. In these elegant and absorbing poems, J. Otis‽ plays soloist to a backdrop of jazz rhythm, capable of moving from the elegiac to the celebratory in one shift of tone, expressing the haunted nature of American life: “Ghosts hitch rides ...

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A Sin Of Omission

Photo credit: Innocent Technologies 

A woman who says she loves me

Doesn’t use the interrobang at the

End of my name  

My journey toward manhood / personhood

Includes finding an appropriate name to fit into

Maybe she doesn’t appreciate

I had to become my name to be a man

Nothing short of a sea change

Could have made me possible

People have trouble with my name

I’m ...

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Body of Work

Body of Work

I see me vanishing into

A moonlit morning expecting

A normal day but for months

"Normal" has assumed a new identity

On every single date

I'm befuddled by love

That embraces me tighter than I know how to receive

I'm confused about my origins again

Wondering why I came here in the

First place and why I'm going  

Anywhere else.

Am I done this time,


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There is no clean slate

No blank sheets of paper

To write our lives on

We erase and rewrite existence like

Painters whitewash

And rescape canvas

With images telling new stories

Often by another painter

In some other time

With alterative visions

No story is complete

Life goes on telling

The same story differently

From other sides of truth


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