Joe Balaz


Choke homo sapiens, brah,
like wun dog
wit five million fleas.

On dis island
it’s a good ting if you get money


you going find yourself
sunk like wun stone

living on da beach.

Meanwhile da tourists
fly into town

wit dere expensive cameras

expensive reservations

and expensive expectations
on da wonders of paradise.

Watching da jets land

you stay stuck in traffic
headed to your job

if you got wun

tinking how
you going shuffle da bills

as you fall deeper into debt.

Choke budgets
choke people
choke stress

everybody choking
on da fear of choking.

Polynesian Hong Kong

it’s a hootenanny
and a hoedown

if you’re on da top

and you pull da strings
on all da puppet clowns.

If not

just dangle dere in space
wit dat submissive look
on your face

and tink
how wonderful
all of it used to be.


Manu P. Gouveia swears
by his Kahuku Corn Salsa—

“Broke da mouth
and hemo da brain”

as he would often say.

“Good wit beer
and moa beer”

wuz da mantra
as he passed da bowl around

while he and da boys
dipped dere chips
and watched da latest sports event.

UH football
losing by 30 points
in da 3rd quarter

so wat?
get Kahuku Corn Salsa.

Bully pigging out
moa den usual—

Kawika forgetting
wat his first name is—

Henry disappearing
into da backyard

and talking to wun banana tree
as if it wuz his ex-wife—

—Kahuku Corn Salsa
taking full effect.

Da secret
is in da preparation:

--30 ears fresh corn
--10 cups cherry tomatoes
--5 cups Maui sweet onion
--40 tablespoons minced fresh Maui Wowee
--20 tablespoons minced Acapulco Gold
--2 liters vodka
-- and humungous amounts of Hawaiian salt.

Kahuku Corn Salsa—

breakfast/lunch/and dinner
of champions

and of Leonard
driving down da street

witout his car
or his clothes on.

Joe Balaz lives in northeast Ohio in the Greater Cleveland area. He is the editor of 13 Miles from Cleveland.

Balaz grew up and lived in Hawai’i until he moved to Ohio. He has composed works in American-English, Hawaiian Islands Pidgin English, music-poetry, and concrete poetry. In contemporary Hawai’i two prominent languages are used: American-English and Hawaiian Islands Pidgin English. Beginning in the early 1970’s, many writers in Hawai’i started to create more and more works of literature using the Hawaiian Islands Pidgin English that they grew up with. In the forty or so years hence, a rich and extensive literature of Hawaiian Islands Pidgin English comprised of poems, short stories, plays, and novels, has flourished in Hawai’i.

previous page     contents     next page



Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger