Cover design by Pat Matsueda, Peak Services. Photo courtesy of Keith Yabusaki
"The storyteller is a poet, Greydog, who kills goats and feral dogs for a living; who elegizes violent men, derelicts and even a murderer; who polishes off cases of Moosehead beer in the company of friends with equally colorful nicknames and who, upon moving to the Mainland, writes home asking for a "No Touch the Native" T-shirt .... Don't stay away from this book because it's poetry (which many find intimidating) or because it's about uncomfortable topics. There is blood, yes, and ugliness, but there is also humor and deep feeling. And there is a contemporary Hawai'i story, well told."
—Wanda Adams, The Honolulu Advertiser
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"Gary Chang has written a first book of complex beauty, made from the
mortal darkness in the muzzle of a gun and the glorious gold in the
eye of a feral goat-death and resurrection, ferocity, despair,
loyalty, and love. In these poems are the big dogs and four-wheel
drives that are the apt metaphors for our racial wounds and our most
tender affections. This is the real stuff." —Frank Stewart
Captain Aloha Winkies
For Prairie Dogs
This morning, Captain Aloha called me up, gave me shit
about my prairie dog message: "Braddah," he asked, " why
you like shoot them fuzzballs?"
Cause I never stay home,
he went scold my voice-mail: "Someday, Grey, when you
spocking one dog-hole, I going pop out in my lava-lava.
Show you one effin' prairie dog."
While I calling him back, I akamai of when we went shoot
this rifle match. Captain, he lucked out, drew first squad.
Lying on his opu, he set up for shoot prone. Me and twenty
other mahus, we all standing behind him.
Now, Captain is one thick
Hawaiian: six feet, three hundred eighty pounds. Kinda
hard for him shoot prone, yeah, but nobody like laugh.
More worse, he get on his lava-lava, bright orange with
two yellow hibiscus, one humongous flower for each
cheek. He work construction, so Captain stay choke
päpa‘a. But above his knees, white like one haole.
Eh, not like we like look, but
nobody had choice. And then, the braddah, he went spread
his legs. No can believe, K., underneath he stay naked.
Like in Braveheart, when Gibson's braddahs went moon
the English. I no shit you, his guavas, dangling.
Even this kanaka get place the sun no go. Aye, right there
in front everybody, his brown winky, winking at all us.
The whole club stay so grossed,
nobody can shoot. Captain Aloha, he
laughing so hard, he like cry. Braddah
won the match by default.
So when Captain went pick up the phone: "I, Captain
Aloha," he champs, "Prairie Dog Protector, shall lend
tremendous resources to preserve their environment."
"Yeah, gunfunnit," I stay laughing, "you could
huli the whole damn colony up your brown winky."
Long time, Captain no say
"Braddah," he says, "my feelings
© 2003 by Gary Chang
Nowhere Near Moloka'i