Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PROPOSED ADDITIONS, by Donovan Kūhiō Colleps, has arrived!

To order our new book, go to
It's $14, printed at Obun in Honolulu. Thanks Vince Watabu, for your help, and all the baseball talk over the last few years!

Donovan Kūhiō Colleps constructs Proposed Additions out of many parts: a house blueprint; his grandfather’s cancer journal; the instructions to a pulmonary respirator; the story of a daddy sea horse; and an investigation of O‘ahu’s leeward side, its histories and its mo‘olelo. In this hybrid work—documentary poem, prose reflection, elegy—Colleps recovers his grandfather’s memory by way of the filing cabinet he left behind. As the poet carries the metal cabinet strapped to his back across the ‘Ewa plain, he recovers more than this intimate past. He also recovers significant cultural and linguistic histories of place in a part of Hawai‘i now being turned into fields of templated suburban houses.

from “Daddy Sea Horse”

I found him behind
the Appliances folder.
Daddy Sea Horse, preserved
like so many things aren’t.
In a dirty plastic
watch box tomb.
His perfect shape
a memory organ,
his dried skin
a dark yellow. Each
ridge of his spine
confirming the fractal
geometry of generations.

reason 3: sight & sound. the daddy sea horse is anchored to a plastic plant in the tank and people are yelling behind me. i do not understand the words being thrown but i see hands cutting the air in the glass reflection. my sister storms out with her naked children, and when the front door slams, daddy sea horse explodes. i do not count his babies because there are too many. a desire to make a shaka in the water overwhelms me. but it passes.

I brought him
to the dining table
to Ma.
“Here,” I said, “here.”
Standing in the spot
where I swear
it all happened,
and placed the box
in front of her.
“Where dis came from den?”
The hole in daddy sea
horse’s belly was
still there cavernous, and
he was leaning
against the clear side
of his container, staring
out at the empty
plate of sausages.
“Nana bought dat,”
she said,
“long time ago,
from one adoze
touris-tee stoas

Donovan Kūhiō Colleps was born in Honolulu and lives in Pu‘uloa, ‘Ewa, on the island of O‘ahu. He is currently working toward a PhD in English at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, focusing on creative writing and Pacific literatures.

If you find Donovan's book compelling, try other Tinfish titles. Books about place include Kaia Sand's Remember to Wave, Barbara Jane Reyes's Poeta en San Francisco, and Craig Santos Perez's from unincorporated territory [hacha]. Hawai`i authors include Steve Shrader, J. Vera Lee, Lee A. Tonouchi, Lisa Linn Kanae, and the many authors of Jack London is Dead. Books of documentary poetry include jai arun ravine's and then entwine. Elizabeth Soto's book, Eulogies, complements Donovan's elegy to his grandfather. And so on. It's a weave, a lei, a labor of love.

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