Sonnet for David Attenborough


Science tells us the process exists

in the thing itself. A chimpanzee

is the sum of its processes, both

kinds within and without, one

metaphor of iteration at all scales.

Physiognomies, behaviors, moods

multiplied out of primordial soups,

spermatogeneses, ancestors as large

as sperm, once the largest things 

living on the face of the earth.

All this in the glassy look

of a chimpanzee clumsily

shucking nut-paste with a spatula

fashioned from a broken stalk.

R. Charboneau

Born To Work


[Fred Trump, aged 90, in the throes of dementia,

is greeted atop Fifth Avenue to sign some papers]


See I don’t sign it till Maryanne looks it over.

That last one of Don’s codicils she said didn’t

pass the smell test. I told her get, who was it

Mary, who did my estate last?—I told her get—

But I’ve always been careful, always, even

with the kids. They’re yours but they have

minds of their own. They want things and

when they’re young that’s all you want to do

is give them whatever it is without their asking.

Then they grow up and you start negotiating.

You’re trying to teach them what’s valuable.

If you’re lucky they’ll want what you have.

Continue reading “Born To Work”