A Collage & Two Poems by Joe Balaz

*Ed.’s Note: click image to view larger size.

Immigration Killjoy


Mechanical Sparrows

All da mechanical sparrows stay broken

chirp, chirp, choking
to da oncoming corrosion

as da shiny birdhouse up on da hill
deteriorates into wun pile of small chips.


Sing, song, singing

along wit da copper doves
on da telephone wires

and da bronze geese
honk, honk, honking

searching foa wun place to land.


In da new aviary

da computer model
nevah show da flight

of how wings could crumble
like wun cracker dat you bite

while you look at da screen
and drink your cup of dismissive coffee.


Inside wun round circle
symbiotic to da degrading symptoms

wun iron bald eagle
is hanging up on da wall

as his talons falls from his legs
and clangs upon da floor.


Like wun group
of steel toe crows talking

dere will suddenly be
squawk, shock, flocking

wen disbelief actually happens
and someting else rises

from da dying flames
of wun unexpected Phoenix.


Soda Fountain Solution

Watching da news dese days
is like sticking your head in wun blender

and frantically swirling to da political debate
ad nauseum.


Depending on how you’re feeling

you can eidah add wun handful of aspirin
or wun bottle of booze to da mixture

to offer some sense of alleviation.


In households across da nation

liquid tornadoes
are spinning wildly in counter appliances

to compliment da chaos
dat is being broadcasted on da airwaves.


I’m wondering if some truth serum
poured into dese super charged smoothies

will offer any kind of resolution
to wun idealistic soda fountain solution.


One can only wish
dat everyone could be hanging out in public

sucking on dere straws
and sitting on round stool cushions

passively ingesting all of it in
while sporting pony tails and crewcuts.


At least in da days of Eisenhower

it wuz much easier
to fool yourself into believing

dat politics wuz far less divisive

and dat da country as wun whole
wuz on da verge of wun exciting new future.

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 Rattle, Juked, Otoliths, and Hawai’i Review, among others. He 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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