RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition who publishes zines & physical books & electronic books & music & photography & digital art & just generally whatever feels necessary to survive this deluded earth thru Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts survival systems (Version 69, establish 14 Feb 1973). Comments encouraged.

Sunday, July 23

Nagoya Basho 2017 Honour Tanka Day 14: TAKEKAZE (8-6)

(lololol, classic sumo gifage)

sumo (it appears 
at times) is engineered to 
produce grand drama 

some of Kisenosato’s 
wins appear questionable 

sports entertainment 
principles applied perhaps, 
but not acknowledged 

to achieve desired results 
requires complicit parties 

not everyone, 
necessarily, but key 
participants yes 

who better than an elder 
old school Japanese native? 

thus, mathematics 
allows for Aoiyama 
still has yusho shot 

somehow, on penultimate 
day, he has Takekaze 

he’s makuuchi’s 
elder rikishi, yet not 
near top of standings 

as mid-ranked maegashira, 
Aoiyama draws “equals” 

yet as his record 
in this basho got better, 
where’s the ozeki? 

he is allowed to appear 
dominant to keep the math 

Aoiyama bowls 
Takekaze backwards fast, 
little battle had 

Takekaze’s aging face 
flattened further with palm thrusts 

sumo’s high drama 
has all the fixings with one 
day left to decide 

Takekaze continues 
as sumo’s elder statesman 

politics appears 
anywhere money’s involved, 
anywhere on Earth 

thus Aoiyama’s challenge 
been well-crafted, discreetly 

(full match, courtesy of Jason's sumo channel)

Nagoya Basho 2017 Honour Tanka Day 13: HARUMAFUJI (10-3)

(Mongolian freight train)

overshadowed by fellow 
Mongol Hakuho 

now also overshadowed 
by young Kisenosato 

losting luster in crowded 
yokozuna field 

and yet, Harumafuji 
remains consistently great 

started shakily 
in Nagoya, seemed destined 
to withdraw early 

yet heading into final 
weekend, he remains, unfazed 

may not be popular like 

Harumafuji may not 
be the best like Hakuho 

but what he does is 
remain, perhaps Hakuho’s 
second, to this day 

ozeki Goeido 
faces him on day thirteen 

but early hiccup 
aside, Harumufuji 
is unstoppable 

dialed in like freight train, he 
overpowers helpless foe 

all Goeido 
can do is be the car in 
front of bullet train 

Harumafuji destroys 
another weak opponent 

outlasts two yokozuna 
who have gone fusen 

the grizzled Mongol remains - 
no fusen, no fucks given 


bible-study graffiti
scrawled along ungentrified
edge of old southern city

Nagoya Basho 2017 Honour Tanka Day 12: TAMAWASHI (6-6)

(Tamawashi slapped around)

someone has to get 
slapped around by Hakuho 
in all-time wins quest 

day twelve - Tamawashi’s turn 
to feel Hakuho’s anger 

vicious palm slaps in 
abundance - Tamawashi’s 
jowls rattle from strikes 

Hakuho hoping to set 
all-time record speedily 

Tamawashi has 
little chance to fight back with 
any real power 

beaten into submission 
by greatest sumo ever 

except there is no 
submission in sumo, so 
Hakuho stalks in 

Tamawashi stunned along 
edge, quickly pushed out-of-bounds 

there is no shame in 
losing to metaphysic 
Hakuho steamroll 

Tamawashi’s no coward, 
cowered not at Hakuho 

little can be done 
to stop what is happening, 
what Hakuho does 

Tamawashi did what he 
could against history’s march 

(the full bout below)

Nagoya Basho 2017 Honour Tanka Day 11: NISHIKIGI (6-5)

(Aoiyama's championship hopes tumble)

juryo demotion 
becomes extended remix 
to oblivion 

reaching makuuchi (top 
level) defining moment 

but maintaining good 
win-loss record the only 
key to survival 

very simply, one will drop 
or rise by wins and losses 

thus, Nishikigi’s 
rise to makuuchi was 
challenged recently 

three losing bashos in a 
row saw him get demoted 

at Natsu Basho 
in May, back in juryo, he 
had to start over 

he ended up champion 
at juryo level in May 

thus, Nishikigi’s 
back in makuuchi as 
low maegashira 

this means wins-losses very 
important to maintain status 

Nishikigi came 
out strong, won five of first six, 
then started struggling 

day eleven, he 
was even five-and-five, to 
face Aoiyama 

the big Bulgarian sat 
one bout behind Hakuho 

having easily 
his best basho ever, stepped 
in Aoiyama 

as low-rank maegashira 
Nishikigi needs more wins 

makekoshi might 
mean another demotion 
back down to juryo 

how many months spent struggling 
to get back up? no one knows 

some get demoted 
and spend years attempting to 
regain top status 

some never get back, not just 
old rikishi, young ones too 

a very simple 
merit-based formula 
can be hard to crack 

today, Aoiyama seems 
poised to maintain his force 

Nishikigi’s heels 
being tested, resisting 
Aoiyama’s girth 

it looks to be another 
Aoiyama victory 

a loss meant trending 
towards makekoshi for 
poor Nishikigi 

a loss meant demotion might 
appear on the horizon 

the last five days could 
unravel into succession 
of failure demons 

five wins, ten losses would man 
definite return below 

that destiny teased 
itself as reality 
at dohyo’s far edge 

inches between failure and 
survivor’s perseverance 

Nishikigi’s heels
pivoted, Aoiyama 
chasing afterwards 

for first time, Aoiyama 
seems not in control of girth 

Nishikigi pushed 
big Aoiyama down, both 
men falling closely 

Nishikigi is declared 
winner, surviving the day 

each bout becoming 
microscopic fault line 
in his destiny 

metaphysical maintenance 
of position in sumo 

(the full match, should you care)