Joe Balaz

Two Hawaiian Islands Pidgin Poems


Kevin wen shoot out of dat cubicle
like wun Jack-in-the-box on wun spring

wit all of his compressed emotions
exploding in da sky like fireworks.

Tinking outside of da enclosure
wen seem to give him moa exposure

in imagining tings
dat adah guys no can see.

Da only problem is

dat illuminating light
beaming out of dat creative brain of his

is just too much radiation to handle.

His girlfriend says

it’s like being forced
to look directly into da sun—

She tinks he has OCD.

Kevin tinks nutting of it

cause he stay riding wun tornado
like wun whirling dervish.

Da drive engine
is obsessive and compulsive

but just like chaos

it does have wun certain order
dat eventually falls into place.

It doesn’t mean
dat Kevin is any easier to deal wit—

He’s still wun tsunami
wen it comes to his passion.

Da good ting dough
is dat at least his girlfriend’s criticism

wen finally ring wun bell.

She tells him
to kinnah slow down

and look into da mirror.

Kevin still going be
wun supercharged jumble of loose wires

but maybe wit some luck

he just might pull his intensive nature
back from da ovahwhelming abyss.


It looks like
all da adah tuna cans on da shelf.

Same five ounce size
except foa da particular brand label.

Wun excellent source of omega 3

da contents wuz harvested
dolphin free

if it’s important foa you
to believe dat.

Twelve grams of protein

packed wit two hundred milligrams
of sodium

da stuff inside heah
wuz caught out in da ocean legally.

As I rotate da can in my hand

dats wat all information
is telling me anyway.

I dunno why dough
but I stay suspicious.

Is dis wun interstellar trick?

Am I holding da maddah of all land mines
in my fingertips?

It’s amazing
how dey got dis ting to look exactly

like all da adah tuna cans
on da shelf in da store.

Dat should be nutting dough
to wun advanced intelligence

springing wun big time surprise
on all of humankind

wen you would least expect it.

I wonder wat da alien agent looked like
wen he wen plant dis ting in da store.

So now I stay like Adam wit da apple
at ground zero

debating if I should puncture dis ting
wit my can opener

so I can make me wun sandwich.

Dose shrewd invaders
from outtah space

wit dere devious booby trap

stay preying upon my basic need
to eat wun simple lunch.

If I open dis tuna can dough

da condensed energy inside
going explode like anadah big bang

and earthy life as we know it going be toast!

I read all da science books
and da relevant study papers.

I know dat paranoia sometimes
runs wild in da minds of shut-ins.

People can be really weird
believe me I get it.

You should see some of my neighbors
in dis institution—

Loony tunes every day of da week!

But dat no mean
I stay suddenly questioning my perceptions

in my very own cognitive monkey house.

It’s just dat
if I gaddah open someting

maybe dis adah can of chicken soup
might be wun bettah choice instead.

Joe Balaz writes in Hawaiian Islands Pidgin (Hawai'i Creole English) and in American-English. He edited Ho'omanoa: An Anthology of Contemporary Hawaiian Literature.

Balaz is an avid supporter of Hawaiian Islands Pidgin writing in the expanding context of World Literature. He presently lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
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