Lo Kwa Mei-en
Two Tales moves between broken sonnets and prose poems that recast lines from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Nightingale" into a contemporary story of gender, servitude, power, and objecthood, and navigate life, the afterlife, and the rules that structure the past.
Lo Kwa Mei-en is the author of Yearling (Alice James Books, 2015), winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize, and The Bees Make Money in the Lion, which won the Cleveland State University Poetry Center Open Competition and is forthcoming in Spring 2016. Her work has appeared in Boston Review, Gulf Coast, PEN Poetry Series, The Kenyon Review, and The Offing. She is from Singapore and Ohio. She now lives and works in Cincinnati and can be found at www.lokwameien.com
Said the emperor, "The whole world knows what I possess better than I do myself."
It was wrong of me to diss the stiffly evolving corn.
It longs to be mediocre, as do the years I did not live.
I have never felt so American as the time I mated
a poem I imagined would terrorize my sexualization
to a poem I tore up after the sex act of immigration
and stayed awake that you, haute poet, might see me
period. I have lived sans full-length mirror since 2009
as a call-out with a hole. Bile fills it, flapping prettily,
a feeling that flips me off—oh-ho, what a pretty bird.
It was what of me to serve up drama like a salty verb,
like haute semen, like a vigil buttressing a pantoum?
A tiny gold key is overstimulating the rented grove.
Rewind the formula—a rental god, quiche, and title
divide two girly criminals on a brilliant fabergé pyre.