JANITORIAL MEDITATIONS

 

I stay all bright eye

in blue-collar radiance

 

mopping da floor

so da ting come sparkling clean.

 

Eh, look down

and see myself looking back up at me.

 

Just like wun mirror, brah.

 

Station to station enlightenment

seeing da scope of one’s being and all dat jazz.

 

 

Maybe I should get wun orange robe

to go wit my rubbah work boots.

 

Den I can monk out wit da philosophy.

 

 

And check out dis brush

dat I twirl around da porcelain oval—

 

I achieve cleanliness

just like wun confession aftah wun prayer.

 

Disinfecting da bowl is okay.

 

Dat lemon fresh smell is so universal

but I prefer da scent of sandalwood incense.

 

 

I gaddah go outside da building next

and walk around da sidewalk and da parking lot.

 

Wit every cigarette butt

I sweep into my dustpan

 

it makes me tink of all da smoke

dat wen spiral its way to heaven.

 

 

I spiral too, brah,

just as randomly wenevah I want to

 

cause now I stay speaking words of atonement

in da language of wun zephyr

 

floating ovah bones lying in wun desert

as if I wuz offering wun apology

 

to wun unrequited love

long since gone.

 

 

And take wun closah look at dat skull in the sand

being talked to.  It no can hear nutting.

 

Scorpions are crawling out of da sockets

cause dose romantic dreams wen disappear years ago.

 

 

I thought I could comprehend da missing wavelengths

 

but da visual remnants

dat I saw in da surrounding infinite grains

 

wuz just da tracks of wun sidewinder slithering away.

 

Da buggah wen open its mouth

and show me its fangs

 

and I wen faintly hear myself muttering

wun litany of regrets.

 

 

Parched lips dat once felt kisses

formed all da sentences it wanted to

 

hoping to explain someting

to wun unreceptive skeleton.

 

 

Dats wat you call wun cathartic rumination

in trying to make amends aftah da fact

 

and look, dere’s anadah cigarette butt in da desert

 

as wun circling hawk ovahhead is screeching

and ringing into my cellphone—

 

 

Da boss just told me 

he wants me to watah da plants in da atrium.

 

His call

snatched me out of my cerebral meanderings.

 

 

So now I gaddah get wun hose

in da equipment shed.

 

 

Latah on

if dere’s anadah fantasy to view

 

dat hose just might turn into wun talking snake

 

winding around wun banana trunk

in wun tropical garden by da food court.

 

 

 

KILAMANJARO KALAMUNGAI

 

Wen Bernard Virgilio

became wun chef

 

nobody knew

he wuz going write

 

wun best selling cook book.

 

 

He became da toast of Kunia

 

and his show

Filipino New Style Cuisine

 

wuz showed all ovah da country

on public television.

 

 

He always liked to cook

 

and good ting his family

had old recipes from his grandmaddah

 

cause Bernard

wen put ‘um all to good use

 

by mixing in his own innovations.

 

 

His beef adobo

wuz ono delicious

 

and his puto rice cake

would just melt in your mouth.

 

 

But da best ting he made

wuz actually wun soup dish

 

called Kilamanjaro Kalamungai.

 

 

People wuz confused dough

why he wen combine wun African name

 

wit his special soup

of kalamungai leaves.

 

 

Bernard wen explain

 

he wanted wun exotic name

foa his premier dish

 

and da famous mountain

represented wun high peak

 

and had wun catchy ring to it.

 

 

His good friend wen tell him

he should have called da soup

 

Kaala Kalamungai

 

cause dere wuz wun mountain

wit wun high peak

 

right deah in his own backyard

in Kunia

 

looking down at him.

 

 

Bernard wuz tinking big dough

like wun aspiring chef

 

way beyond Oahu 

and ovah da sea—

 

He knew he wuz going global

wit his puto and adobo

 

and his crŹme de le crŹme

Kilamanjaro Kalamungai.

 

 

 

GOING TRY KILL HAROLD

 

Da old man wuz going try kill Harold

by walking in da park every day—

 

dat wuz his plan anyway.

 

 

Critical tinking

and da fountain of mental youth

 

wuz on his mind

wit all da steps he took.

 

 

He wuzn’t jealous of da debutant

or da young buck

 

laughing and sharing

wun ice cream cone

 

as dey sat on wun bench

and enjoyed da moment.

 

He just wanted da energy

of da neurons sparking in dere brains.

 

 

Because of dat

Harold wuz going pay

 

and deah wuz no way

dat buggah could hide in da crowd.

 

 

Da old man had wun hammer

 

and he wuz hiding behind

wun imaginary bush

 

in his prefrontal cortex.

 

 

He wuz going whack Harold

in da head

 

and leave him senseless

 

wen dat malicious thief

passed by—

 

mo’bettah kill da buggah now

wit wun preemptive strike

 

den lose all clarity latah.

 

 

It could be wun theory

but maybe it’s not

 

da notion dat physical fitness

may be essential

 

in maintaining

wun nimble brain as we age.

 

 

Being wun couch potato

wen you become elderly

 

might cause your cognitive ability 

to run in slow motion.

 

 

Neuroscientists

wen coin wun acronym

 

foa da phenomenon—

 

   Harold,

 

   hemispheric asymmetry reduction

   in older adults.

 

 

If it’s true

 

expect moa walking                                                                                                                      

and whacking to be going on

 

wen all dose smart seniors

start picking up da mallets.

 

© Joe Balaz