Julian George ~ Secretariat Rides into History, Belmont Park, 9 June, 1973

     J’aimé un cheval – qui était-ce? – Saint-John Perse

The race is run.

The rest of the field is still out there, eat­ing dust.

They’ll be fine, once they get home. A rub down, an apple. Johnny Carson.


This way,

Beyond the blan­ket of car­na­tions, your peers await, with bat­ed breath.

Man o’ War’s first, of course, embrac­ing you like an old chum he hasn’t seen since, oh, I don’t know, Scapa Flow?

Citation signs, we’ll talk lat­er, old bean.

Bucephalus, last spot­ted stuffed and mount­ed in Les Quatre Cents Coups, has returned to life he’s so excit­ed, a trot­ting Muybridge figure.

His prog­e­ny, The Heavenly Horses of Ferghana, sweat­ing blood, chat­ter in Yue Chinese…or could it be ancient Greek?

The Rt Hon Incitatus, cloaked in the pur­ple of a Roman Censor, mut­ters to him­self in Latin. He feels ignored.

Ruffian, weep­ing tears of joy, can­not speak at all.

And prop­ping up the Members Bar, Queneau’s Cheval Troyen, rais­es and drops a glass, sil­ly duffer.

The sur­prise party’s his idea.


Julian George’s work has appeared in the Naugatuck River Review, Perfect Sound Forever, New World Writing, Slag Glass City, Panoplyzine, Ambit, The London Magazine, The Journal of Music, Film Comment, Cineaste and Art Review. His nov­el, Bebe (CB Editions), appears this month.