Then suddenly, one day in 1925, success. John Logie Baird transmitted the first ever recognisable TV image across his attic workroom. The image was of his ventriloquist’s dummy Stooky Bill. It was a great day for both of them. Lux Online

Did you ever watch the episode of Seinfeld
Where Jerry fears Kramer’s ventriloquist dummy?
Thinks glassy-eyed Mr. Marbles will kill him in his sleep.

At the end of the episode
I think I remember it is dark.
Jerry is in bed–His eyes: cartoon-wide

as a silhouette scuttles past laughing–
And I wonder now if this fucked-up ending
was his dream or mine.

Greeks used to think these sounds
were the voices of the dead
housed in the belly of the ventriloquist oracle.

Now we think we know better:
They are the dummies–
all giggles and banter and quips–

The pure fun/kid-friendly
Mr. Rogers/Howdy Doody/America’s Got Talent
golly gee whiz dolls.

We tell ourselves not to be afraid.
After all, we pull the strings, move their lips,
give them our voices.

But I can’t help wonder if they have us duped,
if they are waiting for the right moment
to wear our flesh,

if I will be awake when one scurries across my floor,
sits on my lap–
whispers how I will die.