Friday, December 2, 2016


When I first met the white horse
He had Napoleon on his back;
They were crossing the
This was in a magazine ad -
For Courvoisier, I think -- the Emperor
Flourished his sword and pretended
He was off to conquer
You could tell he felt embarassed
To be shilling for a liquor company.
I haven't seen the ad in years
But yesterday I saw the horse
In a Rubens painting. Napoleon
Does not appear there. Perhaps
He told his agent "If Rubens calls
Tell him I'm not born yet."
Instead, the rider is an Arab hunter
Who's being bitten by a tiger. The tiger
Looks angry; the hunter looks surprised.
The horse looks as he always does
Rearing, tossing his handsome head,
His eyes large and intelligent,
Pretending to be barely under control
But inwardly poised, waiting
For the painter to put away his paints
His tiger, his hunter, his emperor,
And pull out a nice apple.

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