Mine Says To Me


Thought is the thing you hear while you’re reading.

This, right here, is a thought. Abide it this moment.

Consider what it says to you apart from my words.

It is your own poem overlaying mine, like latticework.

What is it saying to you about me? Such a thing

I’ve been curious about for a long time now.

In what ways, I wonder, is it like my own?

R. Charboneau

Studies in Aluminum V

Happy New Year’s Eve!

This is part of a series I’m working on that looks at the history of aluminum, from its discovery as a metal to its mass production. The poems are connected loosely by their shared themes, but don’t have to be read in any order.

The “You” in this poem is Napoleon III (1808-73), a very interesting, tragic figure in history, who gave Henri Étienne Sainte-Claire Deville unlimited resources to experiment with aluminum manufacturing. Napoleon was hoping to get aluminum armor for his military, but it was not meant to be.



Silver from Clay


In 1855 a kilogram cost two thousand francs,

or the average household salary for that year,

or roughly twelve ingots arranged pyramidal

and garnering rude skepticism by social elites

in the cast iron nave of a Gothic whale’s gut.

Continue reading “Studies in Aluminum V”

Letter to the Kurds


To Kurdish peoples of undisclosed lands

that were yours by right of blood, the kind

that flows and the kind that spills out.

I write as someone who matters nothing.

Those are the ones who will tell you the truth.

The others will tell you the opportunity

just wasn’t there yet. You had no idea

liberty took so long, not when it rode in

on the foaming Gulf, screaming across

the dusty skies of sun-baked Kuwait.

Continue reading “Letter to the Kurds”