Blue dog, your surprised look
all the way from New Orleans,
unforgettable stare, dog to human,
as if the human artist who created you
could no longer comprehend
what he saw.
Blue dog, you are one blue dog,
one very blue dog,
static in a world of change,
jiving through Jazz Fest,
so needy, so innocent, so lovable, swirling up
out of the history of Cajun country,
just a dog,
yet I carry your image with me everywhere.
Your face, iconic,
I read your eyebrows: puzzlement, as if
not even a dog could make sense
of the crazy world you see.
You capitalistic running pig of a blue dog,
one day you will appear
on purses and stockings, plastic glasses
and cars. I can see you painted
on the walls of my house, a blue dog of dreams;
I stare at you so long maybe I see
a self-portrait. Maybe I see an artist
at long last, maybe.
The prompt for today’s poem comes Poetic Asides and from the paintings of George Rodrigue, creator of the “blue dog” series, a well-known New Orleans artist honored this spring by a retrospective exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art in a city still slowly recovering from Katrina. Rodrigue’s work uses the blue dog as a kind of metaphor for the artist’s experience, unforgettable.