Voices and Verses

National Poetry Month: “My Dog Barfed” By BJ Love

The Houston poet reads a poem inspired by a walk with his dog.

BJ Love

In this sound portrait, we meet poet BJ Love. He talks about finding inspiration in small moments of everyday life, being married to another poet and how poetry is like a time machine. He reads his poem, “My Dog Barfed.”

BJ Love teaches English and creative writing at The Emery/Weiner School in Houston. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he has taught poetry all over the world. His recent work can be found in Gulf Coast, The Indianapolis Review, Moon City Review and Stirring: A Literary Collection.

 

My Dog Barfed

on our walk
this morning.
It was mostly bile
just bright yellow
spots on the side-
walk. Like little
suns lighting
up an otherwise
gray sky, his puke
pooled and appeared
almost pleasant.

Like the car fire
I saw the other day
that burnt blue
and purple and
powerful as it
consumed the whole
vehicle and the
attentions of every
person who drove
past it. This poem
is about light, is about
all the places we can
find light if we just
try harder to find it.
It’s something new
I’m trying with my
life, which, sure
has a lot to do
with turning 40
but what doesn’t?

Look, the sky here
is clear and the day
is that perfect mix
of cool air and
warm sun. Days
like these are few
and far between
in Southeast
Texas and so I was
really trying to
enjoy myself as I
walked the dog
first one extra block
and then another.

But I overworked
him and he puked–

Everybody in line
at the taco truck
breathed in heavy
and let the smell
of eggs and potatoes
and jamon fill
their heads with
a kind of revelry
usually reserved
for god or being
naked with someone
you love. I picked
him up and carried
him back to the house.

The sun shone a little
through the live oaks.
Specks of yellow light
littered the sidewalk.

 

This poem is reprinted with permission of the author.

Music used: Morgen, op. 27, no. 4 (excerpt) by Richard Strauss from Timothy Hester: The Classical 91.7 Sessions, Un grand amour (excerpt) by Marguerite Monnot/Edith Piaf from Antonio Pompa-Baldi: The Rascal and the Sparrow and Gymnopedie No. 1 (excerpt) by Erik Satie from Jean-Yves Thibaudet: Satie, The Complete Solo Piano Music

To learn more about this series, go here.

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Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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