June 29, 2010

Caitlin Doyle

BACKWARD SONNET FOR A FORWARD THINKER

“If only I knew now what I’ll know soon,”
he likes to say. His office is immune
to order, his lab the opposite. His team
built a molecular machine that walks
on strands of DNA. His childhood dream
was to become a poet. He gives talks
on nanosystems every fall – the hall
is packed. “Old ends demand new means,” he starts
(his intro doesn’t change). “The past’s a wall
between the present and the future.” Charts
and tables, fluctuating year to year,
support his points. He’s photographed for Time.
He whispers to machines that can’t (yet) hear:
turn right, turn left, step back, walk sideways, climb.

from Rattle #32, Winter 2009
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