Spring 2024

During an Argument She Says I’m as Dumb as a Doorknob

by Neil Carpathios

A doorknob’s I.Q. in relation to other objects is below average, I suppose. But it knows something. Like how to turn its head. Without it a door is just part of the wall, and you’re trapped. I’m no Einstein but, I too, know at least something, which is more than nothing. So I’m not too insulted. In fact, I can relate: how it waits and waits to be touched, how it squeaks and makes a small sigh when squeezed and twisted. It’s not too dumb to know pleasure. A doorknob holds a mystery we’ll never enter. Get inside the universe of a doorknob’s head. Of course you can’t, nobody can, not even a psychic. A doorknob could be a genius, for all we know, silently meditating, hour after hour, on philosophical constructs of stillness, of entering and exiting, of birth and death. A doorknob might be a small bald god. Remember that the next time you touch one, whisper a prayer of gratitude as you pass from one room into another with its help, is what I want to tell her but she’s already gone.

Author Portrait

Neil Carpathios is the author of five full-length poetry collections, most recently Confessions of a Captured Angel (Terrapin Books, 2016) and Far Out Factoids (FutureCycle Press, 2017). He also is editor of Every River on Earth: Writing from Appalachian Ohio (Ohio University Press, 2014). Currently, he is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.

View the website of Neil Carpathios

Spring 2024