Sunday, November 10, 2013

Poem: Kei Miller

Kei Miller 


the speech of birds, as in birdsong, but with exceptions. Pigeons do not sing. Vultures do not sing. A bargain, or a very small sum, as in “he bought it for a song.” Think what we could purchase with songs, thrown across the counter and landing more softly than coins. Perhaps then, the origin of the expression, to sing for your supper. The troubled sound that escapes from a woman’s mouth while she dreams of fire, also any sound that escapes, also anything that escapes; a passage out, the fling up of hands. A prison break is a song. The parting of the red sea was a song. In Israel there are many songs, but there should have been six million more. Across the Atlantic, there are many songs, but we needed 10 million more. Sòng (宋國) was a state during the Eastern Zhou Spring and Autumn Period (770–476 BC). Its capital was Shangqiu. Anything that climbs is a song; vines are a song; my father, 70 years old, at the top of the ackee tree is a song; all planes are songs. Song was a low-cost airline operated by Delta. Tourists were flown by Song to Florida. Song’s last flight was on April 30, 2006. All that pleases the heart. All that pleases the ear. The final measure of joy. When we have lost song, we have lost everything. A common surname in Korea, often transliterated as Soong. What would it mean if your name was Song? Song is the third and final album of Lullaby for the Working Class. It was released October 19, 1999. Songs often refer to songs, as in “He shall encompass me with a song”; “Sing unto the Lord a new song”; “Sing a song of sixpence”. Sing a song. Sing a song.

Copyright © Kei Miller (b. 1978), "Some Definitions for Song," in the The Caribbean Review of Books, May 2010.

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