Off the top…

ô mount fuji, fuji-no-yama
capped in winter white & grammar
ô mountain calling forth more words
than scales on fish or beaks on birds:
words western – stiff and straight and starched
as pattern, pitch and pate and parched
words abounding as round as sounding. . .
or sleek words, shimmering and oblique,
black lacquered syllables, that squeak.

I peek
as they slip off your peak
come rumbling, tumbling,
bumbling down

to plop like frogs in pacific pools
to be fished by merry mortal fools
each wearing his tie around his skull
in hopes of never appearing dull.



One Reply to “Off the top…”

  1. A playful intriguing poem. I read it in two ways. One interpretation is that the speaker’s addressing a writer who has pretensions about being magnificent, majestic – like Fuji mountain. The work, however, falls far short, as suggested by the analogy to frogs in the last stanza. Another intepretation is that the writer is actually as good as he/she believes to be, or at least the speaker believes the author’s damn good generally. But perhaps the recent work is a parody of former glories, or is inept, even lame, in comparison with previous work. It may be derivative or merely repetitive. And stiff as well, lacking much of the author’s characteristic grace. If the second interpretation’s closer to the mark, the speaker may be a little harsh. Nobody can always be great. It’s a truism (and obvious) to say that where there’s a peak there’s bound to be a valley. That’s just an inevitable aspect of life.

    Liked by 1 person

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