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MIDNIGHT ROUNDS

by George Edward Tait

(for Akosua Tait)

She begins to sing
“Roun’ Midnight,” “Roun’ Midnight”
Chords begin to cling
To her voicings
Monk by chance begins to dance
Whenever she sings “Roun’ Midnight.”

Have you heard her sing
“Roun’ Midnight,” Roun’ Midnight”
Have you heard bells ring
To her phrasings
I must tell about the spell
Of her magic midnight song.


Sometimes the singer is the sibling of the song
Sired in the same year/conjoined in creativity
Twins of tonality and time
One of flesh and chords; the other of notes and blood.
To see the diva is to hear the duet – the singer and the song
Singer in the spotlight, styling her sounds
Monk at midnight, making his rounds
To see the one is to hear the other;
To hear the one is to see the other.

Out of the nucleus of nature she is a nimbus in the night
Her vintage voice filling the vaporized void with veracity
It is midnight when she sings it – sometimes midnight in the morning/sometimes midnight at midday
It is a midnight of the mind, making it a midnight in the moment
As surreal shadows sit in solitude and sway in synchronization
And somniferous sounds serenade a setting sun
Evolving into the emotional eclips’trophy of evening
While the day departs and disappears into the dusk
And rendition rises into ritual, roun’ midnight.


It is a midnight of Blackness and blues
Of perpetual passions and purple pain
Of daily denials and a nocturnal netherworld of nothingness
Of the symbiotic sibling-ism of the singer and the song
Of the skill within the singer and the story within the song
It is the a cappella artistry of Akosua:
Listen to the loneliness within the lyrics
Listen to the longing within the lament
Listen to the lesson within the larynx.

Midnight moonlight dramatizes the dark
While westwinds walk on water without waves.
Silence sabotages sleep
As hell holds hostage the heart.
The siblings sing into a starless sky; the sound saturates space
The tone traumatizes timelessness
Making melancholia the malignancy of motion – and memory.
Lifelessness leeches off the lovelorn –
Especially, expressively, roun’ midnight.

Time to hear her sing
Roun’ Midnight, Roun’ Midnight
Time for you to bring
Your attention
Time for me to count to three
So we can hear “Roun’ Midnight.”