Proposed Additions

Donovan Kuhio 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 Manoa, focusing on creative writing and Pacific literatures.

About the Cover Image: "The cover is a representation of the key elements of Donovan's relationship with his grandfather.The front cover, as the book will most often be seen depicts an ‘okina. Hawaiian, being an oral culture, lives through storytelling, chants, and songs. When the book is fully opened the front and back covers are seen as one and the ‘okina is transformed into an open quotation mark. It implies that these poems are the beginning to a never-ending conversation. The photograph within the punctuation marks shows the tabbed folders within Donovan’s grandfather’s cabinet. Lastly, an image of One‘ula’s reef encompasses the entire cover." Allison Hanabusa

Proposed Additions
By Donovan Kūhiō Colleps • 2014 • $14
Design by Allison Hanabusa


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 over-developed.
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