new zealand electronic poetry centre



M Ā H E A L A N I   K A M A U U

Born in January 1947 in the Lawai, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i, Māhealani Kamauu is the Executive Director of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation. She received the Elliott Cades Award for Literature in 1993 and her poems have been included in numerous publications, including Sister Stew (Bamboo Ridge Press, 1985), Literary Arts Hawai‘i (No. 91, New Year 1989), Na Mamo (Hartwell, 1996), O‘ahu Review (Balaz, 1997), Manoa, a Pacific Journal of International Writing (1998) and volumes 1 and 2 of ‘Oiwi: A Native Hawaiian Journal, published in 1998 and 2002.

What My Mother Said to Me

Come here!
I said, come here!
Where the hell you been?
Where the fuck you think you was going?
You on dope or something?
No lie to me.
More betta you tell your friends support you.
Quit school already – you only wasting everybody’s time.
At the rate you going, more betta you get out.
Don’t gimme that.
What kind report card is this?
That’s what they teach you at school?
As all you can think about, is hanging around the beach?
I not going to no more school conferences.
I not wasting my time talking to teachers.
You tell the principal I said go to hell.
They kick you out, that’s your tough luck.
No come crying to me.
You lucky you even get chance for go school –
I had to work – I wish I was you.

No come in here asking for money.
No think you going drive the car.
You wen take my cigarettes?
You wen take money from my wallet?
What I told you about taking money from my wallet?
No make me laugh – you going pay me back,
You going get one job.
What kind job you think you could get?
The rate you going, you going land in O.P.

By the way, how your friends got that car?
Where they got that Bug, anyway?
You know anything about that fire down the school?
You had something to do with that haole girl down the beach?
Answer me!
No think jus cause you get hair growing up your ass you too big for get licking.
Come here so I can punch your face.
No look at me like that.
Whassa matter? You cannot talk?



Last updated 04 July, 2004