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.