Joe Balaz


Wen Kentucky falls into da abyss
it will be wun shorter drive to Nashville

foa dat rumbling in da ground
could be da start of it all.

Buckeyes and Volunteers
will soon be side by side

and da Lake Erie shore
will suddenly be “country”

as da continental plates go shifting by.

Take me down to da Grand Ole Opry

just wun stone’s trow away
from Sagamore Lane—

I’ll buy me wun mandolin
from wun good old boy

and play it
while I stand in da Cuyahoga rain.

Dere’s wun flock of geese in da sky
and flying south is just wun blink of wun eye

now dat acres of bluegrass
have vanished from far below.

I’ll be singing off-key
wit wun bottle of moonshine at my knee

wun song of lost entitled
“Da Ballad of da Wildcat.”

Foa wen Kentucky falls from sight
like wun slam dunk into da night

da center of da earth will freeze ovah

and da devil will fly like wun angel
to get da hell away.


Wearing wun elegant Parisian gown
and ovahsized jewelry

wit enough make up
to handle wun Broadway chorus line

da veteran actress
looked straight into da television camera

and affirmed her reincarnation.

In her former life

she wuz definitely wun gorgeous princess
in da land of da pyramids

wit ample crocodile studs

to sparkle up many wun romantic night
on da banks of da Nile.

She also had sufficient wealth

to fill every financial institution
from Upper to Lower Egypt.

Hearing her continue
about her lineage to Pharaoh

just makes one downright infuriated
how some people have all da luck.

Da enraged truck driver
who angrily turned off his TV set

would tend to agree—

He used to clean da filthiest stables
in ancient Babylon.

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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