Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky reads his poem "Shirt"

Greg Bird mentioned the idea that says if anything at all can be a way to talk about everything else you know if I had to talk about this podium it's it's some kind of plastic laminate with wood grain on it over probably that stuff they make with the sawdust and formaldehyde peanut shells underneath it and the Royce has to be a seal educational institutions have sealed those who expect heraldry when middle-class people wanted to say I long descended from warriors who were very important to the king we killed people and they have the king and we had shields and came completely in a removed from actual killing and having a shield but it became how you showed you really important you couldn't of having a really impressive and physical odd or something and you could write a blah blah blah so it's not that podiums or seals or any that is inherently great and important it's just that almost anything you begin thinking about its history and after a while you've got the whole history of the universe you got this really great tortoise of which universities shirk shirk the back the yoke the yard inch lacked seems the nearly invisible stitches along the collar turned in a sweatshop by Koreans or Malaysians gossiping over tea and noodles on their break or talking money or politics while one fitted this art piece with its overseeing to the cause I button at my wrist the presser the cutter the bringer the mango that mean the Union the treadle the bobbin the code the infamous blaze at the triangle Factory in 1911 146 died in the flames on the ninth floor no hydrants no fire escapes the witness in a building across the street who watched how a young man helped the girl to step up to the window sill then held her out a week from the masonry wall and let her drop and then another as if he were helping them up to entered the streetcar and not eternity a third before he dropped her put her arms around his neck and kissed him then he held her into space and she dropped her almost at once he stepped to the silt himself air and his jacket flared and further up reassured and he came down air filling up the legs of his grey trousers leichhardt cranes bedlamite shrill shirt ballooning wonderful how the pattern matches perfectly across the placket and over the twin bart back corners of both pockets like a street rod or a major chord birds plants checks houndstooth tattersall mattress the clan tartans invented by mill owners inspired by a hoax of motion to control their savage Scottish workers came by a fabricated heraldry MacGregor baby McMartin the kilt devised for workers to wear among the clattering gnomes weavers Carter's spinners the loader the dunker the Nazi the planter The Pinker the sorter sweating at her machine in the litter of cotton as slaves in head rags sweated in fields George Herbert you're descended is a black lady in South Carolina she inspected my shirt its color and fit and feel and it's clean smell has satisfied both hurting me we have called its cost and quality down to the buttons of simulated bone the buttonholes the sizing the facing the characters printed in black uh Nick band and tail sheep label the saber the color the shade the shirt thank you all very much

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