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.

Wednesday, July 12

Nagoya Basho 2017 Honour Tanka Day 2: TOCHINOSHIN (1-1)

of half a thousand
active rikishi, select
handful make the top

each one starts at literal
bottom of banzuke scroll

even that’s after
having navigated harsh
world of closed beya 

Tochinoshin currently-ranked 
as high Euro rikishi 

entered Nagoya 
with only thirteen men ranked 
higher on the scroll 

five full divisions below, 
and most of makuuchi 

he got kinboshi 
on day one, beat ozeki 
class with his big ass 

but day two brought Hakuho
number one yokozuna 

over two dozen 
times these two men met - never 
has Hakuho lost 

Tochinoshin has grappled 
up the sumo pyramid 

but each time he gets 
near the top, he hits a wall, 
tumbling back downwards 

both men’s fists touch, and blast off, 
Tochinoshin barrels in 

Hakuho moves back 
briefly, then regains root feet; 
the wall has been built 

Tochinoshin tries to lift 
the wall, clutching mawashi 

the wall sways but does 
not give; Tochinoshin leans 
in, catching his breath 

two walls resting against each 
other, probing for weakness 

Tochinoshin goes 
again to lift wall, push it back - 
the wall comes alive 

as Tochinoshin goes on 
one foot to push, the wall lifts 

the wall seizes the 
other man’s force, twists it round - 
Tochinoshin out 

twenty-five times, headfirst has 
Tochinoshin hit the wall 

twenty-five times now 
Tochinoshin has gotten 
nowhere - zero wins 

you can conquer five hundred 
rikishi, sit high on scroll 

those last few spots stroked 
in the largest letters do not 
budge so easily 

Tochinoshin loses, walks 
back, insecure in his place 

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