The Irish journal Blue Nib has been a generous supporter of my work. They not only named me the winner of their inaugural chapbook contest, they have run several other of my poems in one of their regular issues—including the piece below. In my book Mutt Spirituals it appears as the frontispiece poem; it looks kind of like an epigraph, though without attribution.
In Blue Nib, it was published under the title "Mutt Spirituals."
The words "ohoyaho" and "ohoo" are borrowed from one of my favorite poems by one of my favorite poets: "Life Is Motion," by Wallace Stevens.
Ohoo, begins the blues hymn of the dog,
who in his sweet, growled gutturals of dog
allows that he's a dog,
but how he loves this language of the birds.
Howling, Oh, what it is to be a dog,
as the alley's congregation of dogs