The DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Society Prize:
H. Randolph Spencer; Danielle Veiwers
Gospel of the Blues
He cradled Lucille, like a child
or a lover, like he needed no other
to breathe. Words slipped
down his lips over satin lapels.
Made me slap my knees,
made me cry baby please,
baby please don’t go. He drew
so deep on that downbeat,
it tugged every womb in the room.
Men shouted. Women screamed
when he bent that string,
really shook that dogleg
‘til it begged. And we trembled
at the truth of his lament—
undeniably, recognizably kin.
Oh, the thrill—the anguish
of joy pulled from pain,
when B.B. King sang the blues.
"Gospel of the Blues" incorporated sonic devices and was filled with incantatory power which situates the reader in a particular space and time, as if we enter into a shared memory to holler a collective amen.