Puppets (during Jordan & Billy’s afternoon performance)

photo: © 2009 Jason Riker, Riker Productions

photo: © 2009 Jason Riker, Riker Productions

One holds a sense of grasp and grasps the other.

The other leads with one hand; this process is called the body to and fro.

One lifts a leg, leans back, lifts a leg that hangs.

One hangs as a puppet hangs.  This hanging is called kicking with the intention of kicking another.

Or this kicking is called rotating the body 360 degrees.

Or this kicking is a puppet show.  Each puppet is animatronic.

Each puppet is animatronic and therefore has a set catalog of feelings.

Feelings each puppet feels: excitement, glee, enthusiasm, boredom, laughter.

The art of melodrama is enforced by positioning the arms as one positions one’s arms while working at a computer. At home

One may navigate the world to find pre-recorded videos.

This video is recorded live.

Or this video is being recorded in front of a live studio audience.


One may cast the other’s torso down as live floating puppet.

One may lunge in a clean wide line so one becomes a clean wide line.

There is the sound of a foot brushing the floor. An image of the foot, now blackened.

Or there is the sound of a limb coming loose from its socket. The image of puppets slapping themselves.

The sound of a clean wide line disrupted.  An image of two clean wide lines.

There is the image of one puppet collapsing, not a clean wide line but an arbitrary sequence.

There is the image of one puppet’s fed torso, completely defined by a sequence of motions.

The image of puppet twirling itself, extending its torso toward feet, one is lifting above the floor.

Or the image of puppet sweating. Puppets don’t sweat, your honor.

One puppet returns wearing a lime green and black smock.

This sequence does not take place in a kitchen.

No it does not.

Tell me why one puppet is wearing a green and black smock.

It is because the puppet positions its clean wide lines.  It is because of margins.

Where are margins?

Margins in the space above below where puppet is dangling.

Or margins in space between two puppets’ hands.

Or margins in continuous sequence spinning and grabbing, grabbing and thrusting, thrusting and spinning then letting go.

Or margins take place in continuous space. One puppet swivels, extending its hand overhead.

About clairedonato

Claire Donato lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in the Boston Review, Black Warrior Review, Fou, and Harp & Altar. She is the author of a chapbook, Someone Else's Body (Cannibal Books 2009). Claire graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 and is currently completing an MFA in Literary Arts at Brown University.
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