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By Daniel Shapiro

His world-class dummies

Knucklehead Smiff
and Jerry Mahoney
fading, conversation
one-sided, the man
behind the voice
of Tigger needs
to move his lips,
to ax the charade,
to create a doll
that breathes.

In his workroom,
he crosses plastic
with motor and pump.
He flexes jaws brazenly,
spilling his guts
to the misshapen head,
inventing a perfect
mechanism to thump
in rhythm. No Geppetto,
he refuses to succumb
to dreams of real, banishes
the gadget backstage.

When a heart attack
fells a fan in Row 3,
Knucklehead continues
to drone. Unfazed,
the hideous head stirs
in its box, frees itself,
plucks out googly eyes
so ventricles and atria
may grow from sockets.

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