scientific note

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By Don Marquis
From “Noah an’ Jonah an’ Cap’n John Smith,” 1921

The transplanting of bones in the human body is entirely possible. — News Story.

I fell from out an airy-o-plane 
And hit a railway track,
And lay there thinking while a train 
Ran up and down my back; 
It shattered me, it battered me, 
It made my hair turn gray, 
It somewhat widely scattered me 
Along the right of way; 
It lifted me, it sifted me, 
It flung me here and there, 
It rather broadly drifted me; 
It raveled me, it graveled me, 
It sprayed me through the air — 
In short, the well-known firm of Krupp 
By shooting cannon at a pup 
Would scarcely more have used him up.

The docs inspected parts of me,
The docs collected parts of me,
The docs rejected parts of me,
And those selected parts of me
They scratched ’em up and patched ’em up–
(Except infected parts of me)–
And went to work and matched ’em up.

But bones of me and scruff of me
And soft of me and tough of me
They couldn’t find enough of me,
And so they took much-shredded me,
Those surgeons, and they wedded me
Unto the remnants of a zoo,
And part of me is really me and part of me is kangaroo–
Is elephants and cormorants and dodo birds and skinks,
Is gulls and whales and dolphins’ tails and jaguars and minks–
And femurs
Out of lemurs,
And eyelids from a lynx–
And bones and things and ribs and wings from simian sort of ginks.

They welded ’em and melded ’em and wished ’em into me,
They lopped at ’em and chopped at ’em and swished ’em into me,
They toiled at them and boiled at them and dished ’em into me–
They fixed me up and mixed me up
And joined me with a zoo,
And part of me is really me–
But some is kangaroo!

And now when I go down the street
Strange instincts move my leaping feet
Of kangaroo and cockatoo and bear and parrakeet,
And now and then I utter cries in strange outlandish tones;
Upon my soul, I can’t control my yelps and jumps and moans,
Because the surgeons bungled me,
Because the surgeons jungled me,
And left the fires of wild desires a-burning in my bones!

For only part of me is me and part is something else,
For some of me is ostriches and some of me is smelts,
And some of me is human hide and some of me is pelts!
And sometimes it’s embarrassing,
Most awful so, and harassing,
But mostly I endeavor not to take it very sad–
The only thing that jolts me much,
The only way I get in Dutch, 
The only time my spirits sag, 
Is when I feel compelled to wag 
A score or so of spectral tails I never really had.

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