A Dream in Which I Am Playing with Bees is a collection of poems made of natural imagery, queer metaphors, personal observations, and historical circumstances surrounding honeybees. In the aftermath of a fictional bee extinction, these poems are presented to the post-bee reader as “artifacts.” These are poems in hindsight.
Playing with Bees positions poetry in hindsight to contemplate poetry’s “natural” inclinations towards building alternative worlds through earthbound metaphors. Whether in a line or an entire premise, none of the poems could think, speak, or see in the same way if bees—and the relations they make possible—suddenly disappeared. Like any natural resource, the bee is a wellspring of possibility. Essential. Fragile. Causal. And like any animal, the pollinating bee has enabled a diverse phylum of phrases and myths that humans trade to express our most hard-to-name feelings.
What changes about our imaginations after a peg in the environment is removed? What could disappear from our minds, our fantasies, and our self-descriptors, if nature is no longer a mirror?Consider a museum of language. As artifacts, these poems are the residue of a dead species—but they are also the offshoots of a playful, abundant, delicate ecosystem. Playing with Bees covets what’s left. At the bottom of everything, we find the fragments an ecologically intact dream; an apocalypse in reverse.