Harvard     

When you don't go to Harvard you can date Harvard 
later. That is similar. They look at you like you say things 
they only thought privately freshman year. Many times 
Harvard does not befriend Harvard whom they did not know. 
It's a big university. They silently run the whole party 
by surrounding people with their presence. They can protect you 
in a war of words. They can say, C'mon, in your favor. 
You can be silent then and hold your breath and hope 
the other guy will back down because he knows 
That Guy Went To Harvard. This is similar to going to Harvard 
and being pretty. Men from Harvard are called Harvard men 
and I mean it. This is how I can tell some people who 
major in economics at Harvard. They tell you things like, 
You should go to law school. You can see his mommy 
at the grocery and she wears a Harvard sweatshirt, 
but appears casual. Somehow, you work Harvard into 
a conversation to hear her say, Hi, my son goes to Harvard. 
She has no time for women who do not have a PhD. She wants 
prodigiousness for her offspring. She wants a miraculous 
woman to bear a president. That's easier with Yale 
I infer, but she wants to be different.   

***

The Plagiarist     

A Harvard degree is like a passport to jobs. Many people 
want to Pick your brain. This is how many people from Yale 
become president. It is rare to have a Harvard man. 
When we do it is time to start thinking about how smart 
you are. Can you at least look smart? I think there are people 
who look smart. They are smart dressers. They wear red. 
Can you imagine sticking out at graduation wearing red? 
That means you've got life in the bag. You know 
you're going to be a management consultant who majored in 
comparative literature. How your résumé stinks with money. 
You had a paid summer internship at a Fortune 500 
telecommunications house. You don't put that on your résumé 
because it sounds like you're bragging. Sometimes, 
a résumé has many jobs on it that are not real. Benihana. 
That is not normal for someone who went to college 
unless you work at the New York Times. Then, 
you can write anything. You can name yourself Jayson 
and forget it. There are not many memories 
that involve the newspaper anymore. So few people 
feel comfortable saying they Read it in the newspaper, 
except to people who like to read but then you sound jejune 
for mentioning it. Like they were reading the same article 
but got so much more out of it that they could e-mail 
the president. This is when you can say 
you overheard it at Starbucks and no one 
would judge your flagrant indiscretion.    

***

To My Vibrant Benefactors    

You are not scholastic. When you think about academe 
it makes you sick. You are smart however, while you lease a car. 
That's smart if you think about liabilities on your off hours. 
The way women don't invest until they are too old 
for marriage. Some women invest. They are smarter 
than the ones who don't, or at least in a hurry. 
The way the whiffle ball is sometimes better 
than bungee jumping. Even when you are 
in New Zealand. It is a fresh 
departure from living with roommates 
who ski and follow the stock market. How there are 
many ways to invest in your future while having no money. 
You can buy compact discs and say you have CDs. 
Then, people will look at you like you're ahead 
of the game. You can tell them you have mutual funds 
but you mean you share your money with your bank 
that is garnishing you. You can become divested 
from reality. The way some people understand Wall Street 
reform in their dreams but cannot re-form the ideas 
when daydreaming. There are many times when I think 
about stocks and how I wish that I had diversified 
my boyfriends as often as I watch the penny stocks and 
laugh. Thank you for remembering me in your will.

as seen in Octopus