Joe Balaz

Six Hawaiian Islands Pidgin Poems


She calls herself
Chlorine Jones—

Her faddah wanted her
to be wun champion swimmer
but she can’t even dog paddle.

She can pole dance dough

and she doesn’t need wun bathing suit
to look Olympic.

It makes me suspect
dat da promo show biz story

about her daddy’s wishes
to be known in swimming pools
around da world

might be somewat exaggerated.

Observing her moves

I have to admit
dat she’s in great shape—

It’s quite impressive
to do wun squat split
and slowly kiss da dance floor.

Wat control!

She is so close
you can almost touch her.

It gets wun immediate rise
and wun standing ovation
from da entire male audience.

I guess she likes performing
undah da bright lights—

She seems to be smiling
in da magenta neon glow.

Chlorine Jones—

She is swimming
in everyone’s mind right now.

The whole club
would love to take da plunge
and dive down deep—

It’s always wun new world’s record
every time she takes da stage.


Cupid's evil twin
is shooting poison arrows
and laughing uncontrollably

hitting da bulls eye
ovah and ovah again.

If only human reason and forgiveness
had clipped dose wings

and sent dat little bastard
spiraling into wun dive

to strangle in da twisting free fall
of his own bow.

If only dat romance
nevah go bad.

If only da golden rings
nevah lose dere meaning.

If only da bond
nevah break.

If only da moon
wuz made of clay

and Cupid's evil twin
wen fire all of his poison arrows
towards dat heavenly body

instead of into fragile hearts.

If only dat wuz da case

dat lunar ball out deah
would be wun loving savior to all

and it would shine
like wun round porcupine

bristling light
in da smooth dark night.


She stay all angry
telling me I driving her crazy.

Excuse me foa living

but I just trying to find
anadah good game on TV.

“Eh, look!

Da Eagles are playing in da snow
in Philadelphia—

amazing how dose people
live in da wintah ovah deah.”

She grabbed da remote
and turned off da power—

“You already watched wun game!

I taught we wuz going shopping?!
You always do dis kine stuff to me!”

Give me wun break.

I bet she no even realize
dat da running back in dis next game

just needs 38 moa yards
to go ovah 2000 yards in wun season—

Dats not wun easy ting foa do
and now I’m going to miss it.

“Football, football!
You only tink about football!

Wat about me?!

Wen wuz da last time
you took me to wun movie anyway?!”

Come to tink of it
I don’t really know

but dats not important right now—

I gaddah calm her down
and take her to da store

cause wen she stay all angry
she turns into wun maniac.

It’s not my fault
dat men can only focus on one ting at one time

so I hope she appreciates da effort.

Aftah we got to da store
I walked around wit her

but wen she wuz looking at some furniture

I disappeared around da corner
to da electronics department.

“You tink dese chairs
are worth da price or wat?—”

She wuz talking to air cause I wasn’t deah.

If I taught she wuz angry before
I just took it to anadah level

cause wen she found me
standing in front of wun big flat TV screen
in da demonstration show area

her face wen turn red like wun tomato.

All I could say wuz—

“Eh, how you like dat?!
Da buggah made ovah 2000 yards

and it’s still snowing in Philadelphia!”


He wuz always fat
as long as I can remembah

and it wasn’t because of his glands—

—da buggah just loved to eat.

In da cafeteria
he wuz in heaven

and he would pig out all da time.

He wuz da only guy I evah knew
dat ate three lunches on wun regulah basis

followed by wun ice cream sickle
and two candy bars.

His focus on his grinds

wuz like wun hungry dog
chomping down on wun bone—

you could paint his nose blue
and chop off one of his legs

and he wouldn’t even notice.

His size attracted Mr. Kim dough—

He wuz wun assistant coach
foa da jayvee football team

wen he wasn’t teaching history.

He talked Ronnie
into trying out foa da team—

I tink he wuz just looking foa bodies.

Wen da new potential lineman
came out of da locker room
foa da first time

it wuz really someting—

he looked like wun beach ball
wit wun walnut foa his head.

Dey tried to teach Ronnie
how to block—

He kept tripping ovah his own feet.

Da only good play he made
wuz wen he wen accidently slip

and pancake his own quarterback.

He quit dat afternoon
and Mr. Kim wasn’t disappointed.

We wen joke latah
dat maybe Ronnie
should join da diving team

cause he would win foa sure—

all he had to do
wuz step off of da board

and da buggah would make
wun unreal cannonball.


All da young girls and guys
dat going sprout wen I stay gone

I’m leaving stuff foa you
cause I going have to hele on.

Dis body dat I’m wearing
stay living in da final chapter.

So dey going collect up all my words
and dey going tell you wat I mean

da professors and da scholars
and da literary machine

watevah it is
it’s just wun observation to me.

I had fun wen I did it
it wuz catharsis to da brain

and wat you reading right now
is da spark dat still remains

just anadah poetic fling
added to da whole collection.

Maybe it’s wun honor
to be studied from afar

to be pondered
and examinded

like wun bug in wun jar—

Academia going do
wat dey going do.

Because of dat

I’ll offer dis exoskeleton
foa da eggheads to dissect.

my advice to da girls and guys

wen dey read wat I wen write:

“Da eyes going see
wat da eyes going see

da ears going listen
and da spirit going be free.”

I’m loving dis translucent body

and wen I spread dese wings

I fly right through da glass.


She taught
she had all da right moves

but da hidden camera
saw tings differently.

Da young woman from Kuliouou
got some nice braclets in da end dough—

Wen she wuz arrested

dose silver handcuffs behind her back
fit really good.

It’s wun unusual way to go shopping
foa panties and halter tops.

Even da police wuz amazed
at how many stolen items

she could conceal all ovah her body.

Too bad she’s not as sly
as her braddah—

He’s ripping off cars foa wun living
and he hasn’t been caught yet.

He is wun mastah
at popping da door lock

and digging out wit stuff

wen da tourists leave dere valuables
in dere rented vehicles.

Unlike his sistah
he must be da brains in da family

because dere faddah stay in prison
and dere maddah is on probation.

Kuliouou klepto

sitting in wun police car
looking out da window—

good ting she no moa kids.



hele on


Huge; very large.

To move on; to go.

A block in American football in which an offensive lineman overpowers an opposing player and drives him backwards to fall flat on his back

Joe Balaz is a well known writer of Hawaiian Islands Pidgin (Hawai’i Creole English). He also writes in American-English and creates visual concrete poetry and composes music-poetry.

Some of his Pidgin works such as “Junior Like Be Wun Rastah,” “Pidlit 101,” “Da History of Pigeon,” and “Da Mainland to Me” are viewed and studied as classics in the genre. Balaz also recorded Electric Laulau (1998), an innovative and groundbreaking CD of his Pidgin literature set to music.
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