Marie Buck

Food and Blood Face

This occurred in the seaport town of Grandor.
I crawled on the sand.
Me, a multi-colored maggot.
Me, with clown make-up smeared on,
even a little tear drawn on to my face.

But a real tear washed away
the fake one.

Still today it sits on my face, refusing to run down my fat cheek.
It quivers.

There were three reports of an approaching sky intruder.
And the intruder, dissipating, blew suddenly into a purple smoke.
This isn’t a saying, but a spell.
I covered my face with my wing
and finished off the dead.
I was a little drenched and then a little rotten.
Me asking my own self questions,
me taken places by a version of my own self.

I mean there are days when your arrow barely misses my brain,
the arrow you shoot each day
as I crawl along the beach.

Everyone Has Seven Selves

Darkness and light
& banshee scream
& siren call

this piece of tin
won’t hold me
in your puny pit.

I cock my little head to the side.

I’d be perfect to play the part
of Robert Kennedy.

A kiss on the mouth.
An exchange of flowers.

I explode
half a dozen


I shove my
into your elbow

and burst
into flames.

I Show My Emotions

I sit in my car.

I stand at the 7-11.

I stand at a Kangaroo Express convenience store.

I stand in a parking lot by the freeway.

And then I stand in front of a small barrier wall.

And then I stand at a Wingstop restaurant.

And then I cut off my GPS shoe tether and I go to Payless Shoes.

And then I run through a residential area.

And then I stand in the bus shelter of the light rail station.

And then I stand in a gas station parking lot.

And then I go to the hospital but I am released as a non-threat.

And then I go home.

Kicking Hard in My Cage

I sat there and organized my potholders.
While my father made his biscuits.
While my mother had a flower in her hair.

And my cape pulled me this way and that,
me without control,
me trying to win on my own,
me my own unhappy ruler.

In my free time, I create horses,
horses behind the house,
horses that don’t look at all like horses.

I rip their images into tiny pieces
and dip my weapon
like a champion who roams the countryside.

My soul makes a list:
I want the large door.
I want the glowing book.
I want the nameless.
I want to homestead in an island of nothing.
I want to dissolve.
I want to score a goal with someone else’s head.
I want a big wide bed.

like water, leaping past those force fields, I want
sacred words, mystic gloss,
the rebels’ words trapped in a box,
myself reaped from the ground into the gap,
upside-down land and water, if ghosts like
water or drivel, feet of wet clay and arms
reaching out. Opening a bottle
of champagne or two inside the flap of my little maw.
Me, a little ugly one, I drop down and sleep.

Blood-Soaked Tarot Deck

A bit like a piece of crystal
you’d stick in your armpit for luck,
that’s me.

I slid out of myself like worms
and so I try not to think a lot of myself

but instead keep my eye
on the sky
and fight the formations there
the dark satellites watching.

I bend an arm
and then the other arm.
I sit close to the television just to count the pixels

but my glasses get stuck in a tiki hut
and the tiki hut is my only on-ramp
and my face is cold and surrounded
by a sick wreathe.

Which I can’t help but touch.

I finish myself off.
I sound the alarm.
I break on through.

I thought my dad was just a Grateful Dead fanatic,
a bizarre form of teenage torture.
But it’s worse than that.

I do blink my eyes at the weird world
I do let me entrails drag a bit, embarrassing.
I do have to ask you,
to ask you before we even get started,
when we’ll be done.

My boyfriends and my dull culture and my lack of shame,
my private life and my
open-faced bid for a free dinner,
it’s embarrassing.

I pray you see my signal:
I want an egg salad sandwich immediately
because tofu always tastes like nothing but tofu
no matter how good it looks.

You want to play snap the whip, eh?

Some day I’ll have power. Some day,

if you teach me to fly the Sky-Sled,
if I don’t get stuck flossing
or getting stuck on a barbed wire fence
or swimming through shark-infested waters
or watching The Sound of Music again.

Anything made from tofu
will always completely and totally
taste like tofu.

And I know if I embarrassed myself once
I’ll embarrass myself again,

my costume split up the middle,
or my pants ruined,
or my nose broken
doing something stupid.

Bend an arm.
Then bend the other arm.
This may be your only on-ramp
To that big information highway
in the sky.
Snap that whip.
I’m ready to jump ship.

This Condensation on My Glass
Means a Disaster Is Here

You mistook me for someone
and named me “town-burner.”

You, fooled by false images.
You found your troubles in a cloud

reflected back at you from the heavens
in the image you imagined:

golden thorn & glowing pear.

I can roll some turf up to make a gown
or cut a pond out to make a giant cup.

Me, a golden nettle
filled with darkness.

Me, with my roaming appendage,
stopping to grow in my evil.