The Bees Make Money in the Lion
Author: Lo Kwa Mei-en
Publisher: Cleveland State University Poetry Center (2016)
"The Bees Make Money in the Lion is a journey across a dizzying landscape of immigrants and androids, of alien romance and elegies. Here we encounter a language that is both familiar and estranging: phones burble, voices tune by 'auto-fable,' and we are kicked 'in the essay.' Lo Kwa Mei-en is a formalist trickster: her aubades, sonnets, and pastorals are like none you've ever read before, stuttering with rapid- fire rhymes and repetitions, pulling you through unexpected swerves. Reading this remarkable collection is like 'downloading a copy of a consciousness FAQ,' finding within it a fractured yet powerful voice. 'Voltas fail' and forms falter, but Lo Kwa Mei-en's poems declare: 'here we are, unhurt nowhere, / editing violence until we dawn.'"
"If rapture is a dizzy ecstasy brought on by a love no deeper than a hot mouth, then call me taken in and taken over. Lo Kwa Mei-en's The Bees Make Money in the Lion is bawdiness and bombast, a babel of tongues locked and loaded, vowel-drunk and pledging allegiance to the bones of a lion. These downloaded colonists and conquerors masquerading as citizens romance the future, drag you to the edge by your treacherous light. I want to lick these poems from z to a, wear this sonnet crown like a riddled king of this alien kingdom and its honeyed kingdom come."
Winner of the 2015 CSU Poetry Center Open Book Competition, selected by Lesle Lewis, Shane McCrae, and Wendy Xu