The Stuff That Makes Me Happy

I finally just realized
I'm atrocious at writing
about my own happiness.
All of my criticisms are written
with a balance of wit, brevity,
and exhaustive enumeration.
My thoughtfully fermented
examinations of my dissatisfaction
with the human race
and the humans I know personally
are like a tenured historian's
three volumes on the causes of slavery,
barely scratching the surface
of his encyclopedic awareness.
But it's hard to write good
about stuff I like, such as pizza.

The truth is, two people today
told me they're happy
I've been happy for months.
In fact, when I sat down to write this poem
all I wanted to say was
I'm so, so happy
but the first draft betrayed
an infantile perspective
and the very thought of publishing it
racked me with self-conscious dread.
To render it poetic,
ironic and angsty,
fitting of a true artist, I turned it
into a rumination on my repeated failure
to express elegantly enough
that I feel so good
and I freaking love my life right now!

My problem is—
the reason
I've often been unhappy is—
I've wasted so much time
practicing complaint,
mastering the art
of the articulation of misery
and its roots
and I've wasted so little time
jumping in puddles
and telling the world
what makes me smile.

So anyway
the stuff that makes me happy is:
good pencils,
my friends,
making pizza for my friends,
drinking beer with my friends,
smiling at pretty girls,
making new friends,
when people know my name,
when I know people's names,
smiling at strangers,
cleaning my skillet,
looking at purple kale,
eating food someone didn't want,
thinking about Star Wars,
thinking about stuff that makes me smile,
smiling about stuff I think about,
and writing about stuff that makes me happy.