Saturday, March 31, 2018

Joe Balaz Returns To Bare Knuckles, Grunge, The Bovine Consciousness, The High Heavenly Rafters, And Why Not To Sell The Farm Just Yet


Da head librarian is wun poet.

Metaphorically speaking

in da suburban pastures
and da fenced in meadows of da city

I stay looking foa Bohemians
dat should be sprouting like mushrooms—

I tink I found one.

It’s not easy to do

cause in dis metropolis
all I see are institutional ivory towers

and other likewise establishments
catering to artistic big wigs.

I need some grunge
and bare knuckles

scraped raw wit experience.

Da head librarian
self published wun book

dat wuz on wun display table
by da back door at da library—

I wen read ‘um.

Den I wen find
his impromptu videos on Facebook.

Da buggah is animated
and he stay in wun way out orbit

so dere’s some kine of affinity dere.

I wrote him wun email

cause I got his address
from da information desk

wen I wen make wun phone call latah.

I wuz investigating
his existence on da local scene.

Funny ting
he wen do da same ting

and he did wun online check on me.

As foa now
dats as far as it goes

cause me and him
are like two  independent mosquitoes

buzzing da same ears
of wun big Cleveland cash cow.

Metaphorically speaking again

I can see it standing
out dere in da fields

wun humungous golden calf

dat all da academics
are dancing circles around.

Beneath da wise sacred mountain
of muse and plenty

in northeast Ohio and beyond

got all kine different voices
doing various and interesting tings.

Still yet all da academics dance
wit dere shiny grants and credentials

as dey scratch dere own backs

and toss flowers at da hooves
of da big gleaming bovine.

It’s wun good ting
dat grass is free

cause anybody can munch on it
and nourish anyting dey like.


Keep looking up to da rafters

cause you going see
wun slam dunk extravaganza.

Somebody should have warned you

cause it’s no fun
being da tallest midget on da basketball court

wen da seven-footer walks in.

No contest.
No trophy.

No certificate of participation.

Only wun idiot will stay and fight
wen warriors run foa da hills.

Bravado and self-confidence is admirable

but dere’s wun limitation scale
dat you got to pay attention to                          

adahwise you going get squashed
like wun bug.

No try be
wat you tink you see

while you take off
on dose flights of fancy.

Dere’s wun reason
dat reality is filled wit cuts and bruises
cause it’s hard and unforgiving
wen you end up falling on your face.


Before you sell da farm
to get in on da ground level

make sure you know wat you buying.

Wat you may tink is wun great bargain
offered in heartfelt sincerity

could actually be wun beautifully designed rug
placed ovah wen deep dark hole.

Watch your step
cause da shifty dealer certainly is.

All of da tricky methods

are incorporated
into wun greater shell game.

Some choice too—

It’s like picking between
flesh eating bacteria, Ebola,

or wun non-existent pea

dat will make your arms and legs disappear
along wit your purse or wallet.

always glitters like shiny gold

but dats wheah
you really have to pay attention

cause hard earned cash to most people
can be easy money to somebody else.

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.  Some of his recent Pidgin writing has appeared in Unlikely Stories Mark V, Otoliths, Tuck Magazine, and
Heavy Feather Review, among others.  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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