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This text is by Marie Buck in her capacity and does not, necessarily, reflect the views of different infinite mile contributors, infinite mile co-founders, the author's employer and/or other author affiliations.  

two poems

Marie Buck

The Price of Power

I gather up firewood.

I gather this wood up for myself.

And I’m crying for the saddest thing I know:

a wasted life.


When I faint I flicker,

I flicker in and out of dimensions.

When I faint I disappear.

When I faint I flicker,

unloved in my touching scene.

Tears on my testes.

A robot swimming from the doom.


I name myself Night Fire, Door of Shadows

and let this dark stalker prize its sash highly.

I mean I let it play dominos with a prisoner’s sash
while my teacher Tongue asks,

unfurling his sponge from its sash,

Why are the whales dead?

Where have all the flowers gone?

Why are you on a roll,
eating seafood

while sharpening your pencil
to the ways of darkness?

Why is your darkness sputtering
in my heart of stone

when I need a constant light?

Round and round
and round and round,

my teacher Tongue shatters me
before the light.

He eats my hamburger

and glares as I set my foot
onto the dance floor.

Me, a too-wonderful babe.
Me, a creature of drool.

Tongue is chanting:

A bug flew out from under the bun!

But there’s no way a bug can breathe!

Under a hamburger bun!

It would have suffocated first!

Or flown out!

When you put the ketchup on!

When you put the ketchup on!

When you put the ketchup on!

When you put the ketchup on!


Tongue and I share a single mind.
I call our mind “dead whale”

and let it all hang out,

its blubber bouncing

and flying away.

Tongue, my custodian, my pie.
Tongue, my parent, my rash.
Tongue, your sweet embrace.
Tongue, my heart.
Tongue, my noose flapping in the wind.

I worked hard to grow
and I can’t stop loving you
as I enjoy myself in this,
this doomed dimension of Hell.




A Baby Elephant Sees the Ocean for the First Time as It Quietly Dies

My teacher Tongue is my heart and soul, good God.

I drool as I stare at him. 

There is only one cure that will make him well.
To have someone shed tears for him.
To have someone shed tears over his body
as it flickers in and out.

But first I’ll pick the island clean.
First I’ll find his dreadnought
and drink fresh coco fruit juice there
with the sea winds against my face.


I throw myself on the beach
and call myself “beach crab,” 

my juice flavors changing, me thanking
everyone so much

and wishing I were even hungrier

while Tongue flickers in and out
and I wait to save him.

Me here, I dip myself in batter
and fry myself for a fritter,

katana and plasma cannon
while Tongue waits for me.

Stuff me with seaweed.

What a woman I am.

Stuff us both with seaweed

as I do Maneuver 36
at Octopus Cove for all to see.

Stuff me as I pull my grapple and line.

Stuff me in the cloud cover,
me splinted straight at my own self

as I lurch into adulthood at Octopus Cove.

Stuff me, stuff me! I cry.
But I cannot shed tears

over the body
of my teacher, Tongue.

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a journal of art + culture(s)  
link - issue 09: September 2014