our dog is like Frank O'Hara

our dog is like Frank O’Hara
aaaalover of gregarious freedom!
we don’t want to train him — he’s untrainable
half wild, like a Coltrane solo
he takes free rein, takes it where it will go
he barks at everyone he sees aaa with no malice
he just wants to say hello
& tell everyone aaa he loves them
he can jump up in the air in crazy yelping pirouettes
he’s a bit of a show-off

he’s too quick footed for the big slow dogs
who can’t pin him down aaa there’s no easy walk
trotting along beside in regular rhythm
it’s all full tilt, nose down, tail up, pulling forward
choking against the collar — sudden stops
deviations aaa instant enthusiasms
abandoned for the next delicious scentaaa tiring
& exhilarating, like keeping up with Peter
when his brain’s exploding
T.S.Eliot mixed with obscenities

he sleeps close to us on the bed
any noise, 2am, 5am, & he’ll leap off
& run around barking in circles aaa it’s idiotic
& pisses us off
he wants to lick your ears in the morning
loves it when you scratch his head
he hardly eats, but likes to clean your plate
flies annoy him aaa (he’s mostly content)

he escapes often, being small & agile
always finding a new way to get out
we’re lucky he hasn’t been hit by a car
we would miss him a lot
aaaabecause he’s full of the genius of life
our dog
a destroyer of shallow boredom
like Frank O’Hara.

Published in Poetry NZ 43, Winter 2011.