Catching Javelins – by Joe Balaz


Debating wit her is like catching javelins

but I do appreciate da energy
coming at me.

Wun cream puff she is not
and dat suits me just fine.
I tink I’ll send wun salvo ovah her bow
just to let her know dat I’m still breathing.
In da past
she accused me of carpet bombing.

I don’t deny dis.

I have even been known
to scream like wun banshee

and bite da heads off of rats
to get results.
Wun pensive sensitive approach
wuzn’t always my forte.
In da old arms race dat followed
we both went nuclear

and da big mushroom cloud
has taken awhile to disappear.
Dat we can even be friends today
is wun mystery in itself.

Maybe all dat poetic radioactivity
mutated our brains

and gave us wun sense of wisdom.

but it’s not like we’re chanting mystic oms
or sharing scriptures wit each adah.
At dis morning’s coffee shop get together

I notice dat she’s wearing
wun double-sided holster just like I am

wit two loaded six-shooters
ready foa action.
Dere might be anadah OK Corral hullabaloo
wit wun lively word exchange

but at least da bullets aren’t lethal.
Nowadays we’re able
to just let ‘um bounce of of our chests

like two super heroes

who have somehow managed
to live wit da kryptonite.




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. 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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