This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Stephanie Erdman, is from Drop Jaw by Rikki Santer, released by NightBallet Press in 2020.
The Ventriloquist Dreams Blank Verse
British ventriloquist Walter Lambert (1869-1949)
performed as a female impersonator under
the stage name of Lydia Dreams.
This vaudevillian dreams of wisecracker
nutcracker mouths—Fanta/sea hair frosted
orangutan. True to pivot & pitch
the mimicry of Lucky Nutty Jones—
drag ain’t new—nursing dummy accident
victim in drop jaw one-act sketch—the jokes
bandaged & blue. Dig a pony sir john
lennon—the manifold powers of voice
want to do is syndicate any gurney
we row— & the voice jugglers that reign
today—with talking hands that launch ghosts
—bel canto sired by larynx, palate, tongue—
rotate a stump like Linda Blair & twirl
the alphabet of vents—the AEROflane
flew— aVOVE the clouds—anid the hard rain.
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