The Bone Welder

The Bone Welder

I’ve gone to the bone welder
and had him weld a tail to the butt of my spine.
That way I don’t have to smile anymore.
That way I don’t have to lie, “I’m doing fine”
when others lie, “How are you?”
That way I don’t have to look so surprised
I might as well be stupid
when someone tells me the good news.
And when I accept some award,
or marry, or toast on New Year’s Eve,
I don’t have to give some ridiculous speech,
I don’t even have to hear myself talk.
All I have to do is wag my tail.
A simple way of saying it: “I’m happy.”
But happiness can never be that easy,
not for us. That’s why we’re all so miserable,
even as we blabber on about “happiness.”
That’s why all our animals are laughing at us,
laughing and wagging their tails,
while we just sit here baring our teeth.
Next month, I’m thinking of going back
and getting tusks, or maybe a horn.

– Ryan Dowling

Salutation by Ezra Pound

Salutation

O generation of the thoroughly smug
and thoroughly uncomfortable,
I have seen fishermen picnicking in the sun,
I have seen them with untidy families,
I have seen their smiles full of teeth
and heard ungainly laughter.
And I am happier than you are,
And they were happier than I am;
And the fish swim in the lake
and do not even own clothing.

by Ezra Pound (1885-1972)