Catherine Moore
Capitalist Fable


Someday I will get me a little blue jackass and put a load on his back
as the light comes on underneath the giant’s mechanical eyelid.

Listen, in the days of large-size notes I got this dub sack for a sawbuck.
I gave him the ten, which was like folding up and sticking it in his arm.

He’d be twelve different shapes twelve hours from then, bits of nugget
clicking inside the pockets of his eyes.

We called tender as cut wood, as rib, as the romans,
eagles and double eagles, we called it by the slat in a large.

Across the back yards our sawbucks in depressions.
A quantity of whites stood ready for bleaching

in a lye made of silver ashes and dung.
The laundresses envied who could with so small charges drive the yarn.

Now we’re in for more than a sawbuck and change.
I will think no more of dropping through the streets like a basket.


failed transmission #

from “Close Correspondences, Near Transmissions”


someone that would treat her like a penny and change
tightly shipwrecked to the piano
no smooth slide tonight
song winging after all
dancing wants a body
with a crescent shine clear on its cult

miles and bird sainting it out
wound round mysteries of shells
ghosts rain down felt creatures
if you sing for clowns a mouth harp will do
at chest reckless bad lettered blues
sweet map of a line

giving permission to
lift the back window just like a spell
loses its mark and an old woman speaks up
we all fall still as a vessel breaks loose
a roll and some supper turn away


[western notation]

from “Close Correspondences, Near Transmissions”


on the riverbank the wind blows fine sand
inside a golden star hangs on the door’s glass

heat sounds in the corner, water sounds underneath
key echoes like a brass bell after the h

sound of geese, deer eating food, us eating food
weather today was a glory cloud, a sun dog

time finds her mother’s drawings
and mosaics of animals on her spine

a spider crawled into her neck and hatched
how jaws work on a letter      how it frays

mountains click moistly nearby
heal and baste and hope for no twister

or any noise including the unheard
what kind what sort of buzz was it o

next generation taking shape of waffles
jaw-stretching, erogenously specific clouds

this place has a ghost and then some
typewriter growls and rings and frets

bells and poison and wind at night up against
the film, smoke making this room heat up
and the door won’t shut right