Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

You Do Not Have to Personify the Mountain

Blue eyes mean avalanches, the old climber warned. Passersby glanced up at condos rising downtown like fingers set to claw the sun. So little light filtered down through the shadows, everyone shivered in the heat. Two panhandlers played the same song in different keys on opposite sides of the street. One man, with crampons and ice axe, started to scale the tallest condo. His friend watched him begin his ascent then ducked into a Thai restaurant where members of his support group met on Tuesdays to start a new political movement. Avalanches could be metal, bricks or piles of trash, stony absences where everything that mattered used to be.

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This Is Not a Literary Journal :: Leaving Mount Everest Alone

8 Comments

  1. I love the details of the panhandlers & the planning of political movements — you brought great imagination to this.

  2. I’m fascinated by the friend’s Thai restaurant. That string of increasingly specific descriptors is such a fine set-up for the last sentence. Somehow it seems to make the abstract “everything that mattered” more powerful.

    I have a question (or–maybe–two). Is the post title also the poem title? (if so, I like it, and think it adds to the piece.) How does one title prose poems?

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