Manzano Mountain Review is an online New Mexico literary journal affiliated with UNM-Valencia.

Three Poems

by Keith Mark Gaboury

A Stranger in Roswell
Night arrives on four haunches
when I kick the capsule hatch free
and flounder through a New Mexican night.
An alpha to my voyeuristic species,
my claws skitter-scatter
over a bareback dirt field
away from the smoke
billowing from my sausage roll vessel.
Slap me now. The dominion back home
will lick their gills
as they serve my roasted head
on a cannibalistic platter.
But here on this blue fleck planet,
my bone-grind legs
move toward the town lights.
My skin, a flexible shimmy,
touches oxygen
and morphs to the disguise of human eyes
like yeast to rising dough
or better yet
a feathered daughter spawned within a shell.
Bread and chickens
go intergalactic 
don’t you know?
Off the dust, onto the sidewalk,
I want-must-need
toast and eggs.
The waitress says their eggs
come from a farm
one mile past that water silo
yet the shells stay dry
under a jelly-thick sun.
I order them easy,
which she scribbles onto her notepad
and sends back to the cook
with a whiskey tongue.
He of course loses the arc of time
like a jail cell key
to a bad alien’s slippery escape.
I know spacetime
stretches and crunches
but still,
why the fuck are my eggs hard?

I complain by unzipping
my human facade.
Once my claws shrivel
up my hermaphroditic anatomy,
I slither
to the grease-talking kitchen,
crack two eggs into a skillet’s crackle,
and flip them onto a plate
before Pa’s warp drive dies.
At last, I dunk
dunk my crispy soughdough
into a yellow ocean.

I awoke to my father yelling
back when Saturdays
stretched out like film strip.
Adulthood stood oblong
in shadow as his curses
flung disjointed into my bedroom’s
soft skin. I peeked out my door
where my father bent under
our kitchen sink, his paws
clawing at busted pipes. 
With his toolbox open
like an unhinged jaw,
he reached for his screwdriver
but grabbed his hammer’s brute force.
I remember Fuck You
thrashing from his mouth:
the broadcast of an angry coyote
out for a young kill.
Last President’s Day weekend,
I awoke to my landlady
screaming at an ex-tenant.
You’re no man you’re no man
she spat out over and over.
I welcomed 8:00 AM
because my brain kicked my eyes open.
When I shuffled into the kitchen,
tension swelled my mouth
into a red throb. In tax season,
I won’t forget walking over to my father
to hand him his screwdriver
and a smile
just to keep him moving
like a man should.


In the secret dialogue between space and muscle, my brain undulates against the rhythmic kick of Jupiter’s spin tossing about orbiting oceans by the girth of her magnetic field. I read The Inferno within her great red spot when mother’s voice calls me home calls me home to a  Europan hitchhiker eating beef stew at our helium-based supper. I stare into binocular green eyes. I am native to a gas goliath as named for the Roman god of thunder and sky. Who are you? to sit on the wood of my grandfather’s chair. The man immigrated from his Venusian birth to the dense core of our solar system’s closed fist. Foreigner rips out eyeballs, plops them next to our whale-fat candle burning, and opens the screen door onto an atmospheric chainsaw.
Keith Mark Gaboury earned a M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. His poems have appeared in such publications as Eclectica Magazine, Fife:2:One Magazine, and New Millennium Writings. After spending his days as a preschool teacher, Keith spends his nights writing poetry in San Francisco, California.