Marionette means little Mary. Think of Mary Shelley, a jointed doll lifted from her mother’s unstitched interior, that fist-shaped hole, the future mother of three dead children and Frankenstein’s monstrous electric baby, hater of creators. Think of all the porn-dollies moving their mouths up and down on wood and the way the men jerk, responding as they’re made to, and the clear wires. The men who make up cyborgs, beautiful and silver-skulled with wet mouths that might deliver quick blue shocks. Think of Eve’s small teeth kinking apple flesh and who put it there and who suggested and who lifted her wrist. Think of shadow puppets with enormous penises. Think of little boys shot for holding up toy guns. Think of animals compared to puppets by Aristotle — how levers are released and strike the twisted sinews against one another. Think of people compared to animals. Think of men on a bus forcing instruments so far inside a girl they puppet the girl to death and puppet means pulled by tendons. Think of if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands. Think of the grace of a marionette as it glances the earth, as its limbs shake and float. Think of how its mind is elsewhere.

Fox and Cat hang Pinocchio
from the tree, a noose
of string around his throat.
Hoist by what he’s made of,
the merciless weather
swings him to clatter
like a wedding bell that rings
out atrocious spasms
to a shuddered stop.
His maker is not here
for this unmaking.
They should make him watch.
More Poems by Clare Pollard