“Cat Women of the Moon” by Ron Koertge

Ron Koertge


Once my friend Rusty and I saw that movie, we couldn’t think of anything else. Sometimes we wanted to go to the moon in small space suits and surprise them. Other times we wanted to be Cat Women. The possibility of a new and feline gender made us queasy and excited. We fantasized about pouncing on our schoolyard tormentors and tearing their throats out with our claws and fangs. Then we would change back into boys with baseball gloves who were interested in Marilyn and Becky, pretty girls in our grade who wore fuzzy socks. But we weren’t just boys. We were Cat Women, too. We prowled on our way to school. We ate only fish sticks and drank only milk. We thought some day we would marry girls like Marilyn and Becky but never tell them that we, Rusty and I, dreamed the same dream every night: on the moon with our Cat Women friends: playing with a ball of yarn, grooming each other, watching for a rocket ship which we hoped would never come. 

from Rattle #56, Summer 2017


Ron Koertge: “I love movies and see about 50 a year. In theaters. DVDs and Netflix aren’t part of that 50. I see a lot that way, too. I’m always available for a poem, or at least that’s the idea. There’s a cool video rental place in South Pasadena called Videotheque. Big old place with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of DVDs. They also have a poster outside; it’s under glass like in an old-fashioned Orpheum or Rialto, and it changes every few weeks. One evening there was the poster for Cat Women. I could feel the warm breath of the muse, so I just stood there for a while. I thought about the poem a lot, stroked it in a way. Then pretty soon—presto: There it was.” (website)

Rattle Logo