Two Poems by Rick Lupert "Land" and "At the Nutridge Luau"

Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert has been involved with poetry since 1990.  He is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, and he created Poetry Super Highway and hosts the weekly Virtual Cobalt Cafe series. He’s authored 25 collections of poetry, including “God Wrestler” and “The Tokyo-Van Nuys Express”, and edited  “A Poet’s Siddur”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, the Noir anthology “The Night Goes on All Night.” and “Ekphrastia Gone Wild” under his imprint Ain’t Got No Press. He works as a music teacher and graphic designer for anyone who would like to help pay his mortgage.


We are leaving 32000 feet behind

for space below these clouds.

All I see is ocean but the pilot

is confident we are a half hour away

from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport

where our luggage and a SpeediShuttle await.

I didn’t pay extra for the lei greeting

as it seemed gratuitous and there

are numerous luaus in our future.

Finally one of the islands appears

to the left of the plane. Molokai

evidence this whole thing isn’t a dream.

If we time it right we could be

eaten by a volcano.

(From the forthcoming collection “I am not Writing a Book of Poems in Hawaii.”)

At the Nutridge Luau

I miss the intro because I’m

already on the other side of the fence

in the bathroom.

The only rule is to

have a good time.

If we break the rule

we get a time out.

But their time out consists

of a million dollar view

and a beverage.

Lua means bathroom.

Luau means party.

It’s different.

We’re on the youngest land

on the island

They keep growing the king’s crop

of sweet potato.

This is where chocolate covered

macadamia nuts come from.

Not just this island, but this farm.

We’re going to get our kid a virgin.

Context is everything.

Flower in the left ear taken

Flower in the right available

Flower in both confused

David keeps pulling fruits and

nuts out of his pocket

Are those huge avocados

in his pocket or is he just...

…Family show, family show.

Jude isn’t so good with the spear throwing.

The guide tells us not to worry.

Gatherers are important too.

The rock game

is, suspiciously, a lot like

people throwing rocks

at each other.

The bigger the flower

The more desirable you are.

Addie’s blocks out the sun.

I get a dilapidated petal situation

with a lone stamen reaching for eternity.

We see the burn marks

on the hands and feet of

the fire dancer.

This is not a drill.

For some reason the whole experience

ends with YMCA and the Electric Slide

On the way home

Ho Ju wants us to raise our hands

if we’re not here.

(From the forthcoming collection “I am not Writing a Book of Poems in Hawaii.”)

© 2022 Rick Lupert


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