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John Harvard's Journal | Commencement 2009

"Days With the Family Realist"

A poem by Phi Beta Kappa poet Albert Goldbarth

July-August 2009

Albert Goldbarth

Albert Goldbarth

Photograph by Jim Harrison

 

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