Carley Moore




Things with Teeth


My arm and the wandering arms that broke them.


The double-sided comb at the Bargello which

tells the story of Susan, wife of Joachim.


The six trees outside my window, newly pruned

and shocked to see themselves.


This morning. All of the mornings.


Handbags, briefcases, shoes without laces, and zippers.


Zeus as the swan!

And then the violence of all swans that follow!


The souvenir combs made by Jäneke.


The afternoon spent looking at annunciations.

The sharpness of frames edged in gold flake.


The fight over David.



Stories About Un-Specified Longing


I wouldn't want to be the yellow trolley

that circles a painted city and thinks,

"This is the upside and the downside."


I didn't love the voice of cable channel three,

although he wrote me a witty note from study hall.


I am passed around and drawn.

I am passed around and drawn and told to stay still.


That was a whole house to be cared for in.

That was a whole house and its four rooms.


He caught me feeling smug.

And later he crashed his bike.


I am seen hanging from balconies.

And later on the shores of a river.


I am not brushed, but I am waiting.


I wouldn't want to be the window that watches

a vertical city slide off its shelf and never calls out.

I wouldn't want to be the one who finds out in the middle.


I am wrong, but no one says so.


I wouldn't want to find you startled and painted

in the middle of a back rub.


That was the house that won't sell,

the one that someone wants painted.


I own many shoes.

I am carried away by the waist.


I wouldn't want to be the under life of a mountain city

or the shadow track beneath the trolley,

who calls from under the feet,

"Look down. Jump. Let's go."



Your Calculator


If your calculator has keys like these, you can't use it.

I carried the little robot to the back of the store

and we pressed our heads to the freezer.

Look at the drawing. Does your head work like those heads?

Look at the keys. Press your buttons.

You can't use them.


I gave my face to the palm of his hand

and his hand said, "How like me to have a new face."

We stepped away from the freezer.

We tried to move like surveillance,

but even with switched faces, the ceiling could see us.

Look at your keys. Press your buttons.

You can't use them.


If your calculator could be the folding chair that it was meant to be.

If you could see the sun with a new face, sitting in the folding chair.

If you could see the buttons, then you could use them.



By Moonlight and Contemplation Rock


What moves the oily waves at sea?

The ocean is most 3-D when you touch it

and yes it washes over you

and yes it washes over itself

and yes at times all water moves itself

or seems only to be an excuse for movement

or even an example that just happens to move. . .

the ocean is always on top of the ocean

but which water is on top of you?


What moves the man to stop the film?

One man is only the extension of a rock.

He thinks we think he is thinking—

that is the photographer's trick,

the promise of evidence is always the figure of a man

who does not act like water inside of a courthouse.

And later the man acts like the ship

he made himself out to be.

All boats live on top of water, but pretend otherwise.

This man is the dark hull of a rock,

the print on top of the print,

the yes in the possibility of jumping.


What moves the eye to make it jump?

Good eyes make blankets for themselves,

bridges of absent light.


What's dark is persistent,

but vision makes it go.