After Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa


It always starts this way: They say

it was an ordinary day, the sun was rising from behind you, the observer
This picture of a floating world
illuminating Fuji's snowy peak. No rain, the sky cloudless

We were three boats off the coast of Kanagawa, eight rowers in each, and each
with two more passengers in front. We were fast, transporting catch, live
from the peninsulas, returning north to Edo, when

however confident, there was nothing we could do, when
the ordinary becomes the catastrophic
the rogue wave rising up, noticeably higher, more active, more dynamic

threatening to break the relationship of circle and the square, when
the yang of nature overcomes
what you think is sacred and the sacred

is swallowed up in forces greater than the elements: boats, the mountain
in the distance, and you, the viewer

whose eye is forced so low that it can't help but be entangled
in center of the action
beneath the wave