The Boy Born with a Pinhole Heart,
Hello Universe Lovers, and Oakland, I’m Not Dead
Keith Mark Gaboury’s The Boy Born With a Pinhole Heart is a moving collection dealing with family history, particularly a grandfather’s heroism and decline. The speaker of these poems confides, reveals, laments and ultimately sees his experience as part of “a family of naked stars shining onto waves breaking anew.” Central to the saga is the speaker’s place among loved ones and in the world at large. He has stepped “through a wormhole into this shivering reality,” and it is only moonlight that he feels will “wrap me into a hug.” The Boy Born With a Pinhole Heart tells the story of a family with intimacy and grace.
John Skoyles, author of Suddenly It’s Evening: Selected Poems and Yes and No
Hello Universe Lovers is a time-bending journey into the “unmapped atmosphere” where the “cosmos is alive,” a live, lithe, many-armed serpent of possibility and imagination. From the Lunar Kingdom to the Planet X Soap Opera, you might find the Milky Way in L.A. or make a pitstop at the Moon Country Museum and Bar. Here in the far reaches of space, we are gifted a “cosmic sight,” a view of the moon, a fresh perspective of the whole of Earth in its “pocket of light” as outer space “slavishly / pipes the unity of gravity into our universe.” Bring your “alien heart,” and “gather as one nucleus” as poet Keith Mark Gaboury gives us so many wonderfully strange and daring way to return home.
Jennifer K. Sweeney, author of How to Live on Bread and Music
The compelling prose poems in Oakland, I’m Not Dead are infused with surreal imagery, humor, and memorable vignettes. Keith Mark Gaboury breathes human awareness into animals, body parts, and plants, even produce, and then he engages the entity in conversation. Each poem draws you into an alternate world and inspires you to keep reading. In “Childhood Conversation,” we meet Elizabeth, the poet’s hippocampus and keeper of his childhood memory, and the woodpecker in “New Roommate” launches a convincing argument to accept droppings as rent. In “Birth Head,” a daughter born with a head of lettuce becomes one of many heads in the supermarket aisle. As a Walt Whitman lover, I especially enjoyed “Brain Dreaming,” where a synthetic reproduction of Whitman’s brain might be reincarnated in a diner’s stomach. Set in the common surroundings of Lake Merritt, grocery stores, and apartments, the poems reveal the magic around us. In the title poem, for example, the city of Oakland mutates into deadly weather, a squid, and a feeding buzzard. These poems will leave you interrogating your environment and enjoying the experience.
Terry Tierney, author of The Poet’s Garage