The Starlight SciFaiku Review, Spring 2023 (issue #3)

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41. Poetry by Juan Manuel Pérez

Editor’s Note: Juan states that these scifaiku are the first ten from a longer collection that he is currently working on called “One Hundred Ways To Die In Outer Space” which also features what he calls the “Trans Universal Numbering System and their Sounding Chart.”

One Hundred Ways To Die In Outer Space (ne-te/1-10)


did they understand?
gave the answer in their tongue
surface sacrifice


purple rose season:
don’t eat the dark fruit it bares
goat-herding on Mars


cure to Martian flu:
undo life support hardware
eight seconds will do


strange instruction sheet:
how good is your translator?
this part goes where part?


all stable readings
why is your suit burning up?
trusting computers


poison, do not touch
but you just can’t help yourself
she looks so human


click, click goes the sound
like the tapping on keyboards
cracking of windows


those plants are pretty
don’t dare take them back to earth
you’ll never make it


lacking oxygen
man-sized bacteria sleeps
here’s you with air tanks


appears humanoid
yet none exist on this world
writing on the wall

Juan Manuel Pérez

Juan Manuel Pérez, a Mexican-American poet of Indigenous descent and the Poet Laureate for Corpus Christi, Texas (2019-2020), is the author of numerous poetry books including the newly published poetry-memoir, THIRTY YEARS AGO: LIFE AND THE FIRST GULF WAR (2023). Juan is also the 2021 Horror Authors Guild’s Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award winner and a recipient of a 2021 Horror Writers Association Diversity Grant. To learn more about this award-winning poet, check out his official website.