Poetry from Joe Balaz


“Bounty Bob”

wuz wun really good pig hunter.

He wuz humble too

but he wuz wun man’s man

tough and determined in da bush.

Everybody knew

who da king of da mountain wuz.

Bob took it all in stride

and he wuz always cool.

He went aftah da big male boars

out deah in da rain forest.

Dat wuz plenty of meat

to trow into wun freezer

foa family and friends.

Da whole hunting experience

wuz also wun spiritual trip to Bob

and he usually came back

wit wun good catch foa his kitchen table.

Dats why everybody

called him “Bounty Bob.”

Wen he wen pull

into wun gas station

wit da latest big boar

in da back of his pickup truck

wun nearby tourist in wun rented car

wuz all excited

and she just had to take wun picture.

She went up to Bob

by da gas pump and told him

dat she could send him                                                                                                                        wun copy of da photo

if he wanted one.

Da reply wuz classic—

No need wun picture.

I not into dat.

I already know 

wat da buggah look like.”

“Bounty Bob”

hunter extraordinaire.

He gets his game on all levels.


You may tink I’m quirky

odd or even strangely different

but labels are just sticky tabs

stuck on da surface of tings.

It doesn’t mattah

if I like to mix pieces of beef jerky

into my oatmeal

or sleep in da nude

wearing wun pair of polka dot socks

cause your critical opinion

no mean nutting to me.

I’m not heah

to be one of your perfect squares

to be placed in wun perfect row

as you look to arrange

da world as you see it.

If you feel uncomfortable

and I seem to be

wun burr in your undahwear

dats just too bad foa you.

Da choices dat I make

going be da mainstay of my watevah

and happily for me

I really could care less if you disagree.

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.