Joe Balaz


Everybody like carve out wun niche
or cut anadah notch

while dey aspire
to create wun dazzling literary portfolio.

So now you’ve been smitten
wit wun cathartic urge to join da club

cause you feel
you got someting to say.

is wat you make of it

and dough you got wun way wit words

dat no mean
dat your efforts are monumental.

Don’t take yourself
too seriously.

You’re special
and den again you’re not

as your head swells
wit wun engulfing ego.

It’s good to keep in mind

dat wat you may deem
as fantastic paper insights

might really be as common

as raindrops, sunshine,
or Pushcart nominees.



Somebody got to you
and changed your vision

by whispering in your ear
wit corrosive chatter.

In da bowels of da undahground
got all kine worms and germs

dat going test your immunity.

One infector

felt da words from da public
dat you wen choose

no can fit his imposed canon
of alternative literature

so he wen sway you
to disengage

by persuasively
editing your editing.

Wit your feather pen
broken in half

and your ink well
tipped and spilled ovah

you no can fly like you used to
cause your wings stay all clipped.

He just made you
like everybody else.

Da rebel nature
dat you desired

is now stuck

in da circumference
of wun censored circle.

Break out
and get back to wheah you wuz

cause originality looks good on you.


He’s running to daylight

like dat popular gridiron phrase
wit nutting but green field before him

dough wit dat helicopter gunship
bearing down on his position

maybe he would have been bettah off
hiding in da nearby tree line.

Edit dat.
Let’s start dis ovah.

He’s standing in daylight

surrounded by sheep and goats
grazing in da meadow

as da wildflowers bloom
and da bees seek dere pollen

while wun big transport truck
pulls up wit wun trailer

to load his entire flock
and takes it away to wun slaughterhouse

to be eventually processed
into cat food.

Strike dat.
Maybe dis instead—

He’s relaxing in daylight

floating downstream
on wun rubbah raft

while multitudes
of beautiful women

are calling out his name

and tossing him
dere lingerie from da banks

in unabashed adoration.

dat seems to work foa me

so here’s da happy ending—

He smiled and waved
and his fantasies wuz bathed

in wun magnificent daylight.

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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