John Harvard's Journal | Commencement 2009
"Days With the Family Realist"
A poem by Phi Beta Kappa poet Albert Goldbarth
A doorknob on a chicken
my grandmother said once, meaning
useless, stupid. Most of us,
most of the time, are that
exactly. Not that
we don’t have our ambitions,
even our nickel-and-dime
nobilities. Still, some nights
when I can’t sleep, I look
in the mirror, I study this man
who’s planning his own small
parthenons and relativity theories,
bank heists, moon shots, deathless poems.
Go milk a fish she also said.
Text copyright Albert Goldbarth