Pushcart nominee, On Apophasis and a Bee, by Karen An-hwei Lee

our fourth nominee, from issue 10.2

On Apophasis and a Bee



A buttered roll and a dinner bee are not in this line.

Orthography is a roll baked at a spelling contest.

The spotlights on the spellers, I mean, burning

at roll call. See, neither role-play nor dinner rolls.

On apophasis, a translator says, I will only render

what is there, not what is not. For instance,

deus ex machina never appears in the source-text

as a buttered angel-fish or 400-watt flying bicycle

although one might say this poem is an engine.

At no point does a line break exist in the original.

Neither is a hand-held spyglass an engine of words

while sparrow-grass spells out asparagus

      buzzing in the ear of this language.

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