Issue 32 – 2021 – Simon Everett

Simon Everett

Mount Gox

A Tale of Climbing a Non-existent Mountain of Symbolically Inauthentic Profiteers


for René Daumal

 Mount Gox is a long poem that is a part-parody of, and spiritual successor to, the poet René Daumal’s unfinished novel, Mount Analogue. It is set in a pseudo-reality of present day, where the Poet (the speaker), equally bewildered and intrigued by the latest trend of cryptocurrency trading on social media platforms and forums, investigates the emerging fad, ‘Dogecoin’. Accompanied by none other than René Daumal as his fellow detective and guide, the pair meet and begin their ascent of the Securities and Exchanges Office in the hopes of understanding more about Dogecoin, and of tracking down the exit-scamming, near-mythical trading exchange, ‘Mt. Gox’…


The Poet steadily realises that currency relies on the fragile relationship between what is concrete and what is notional, between Truth and Value; and that meaning in language itself is threatened by the fractures in those relationships.


The following two sections are extracted from the beginning of the poem.





it began late January

the word was Dogecoin

delivered fresh on 24-hour feeds

& sub-Reddits seeping down

the runnels of blacklisted

sites & WiFi backwaters & I

unfamiliar with TikTok where all

the cool kids were & even

such a thing as Instagram

a foreign shore to me

on which the waves lapped & tossed

& whispered ‘$DOGE…


I did not know what to make

of such a thing a meme

a shiba made into a coin? but tell me

what is the use of it

I demanded of my PC

when we can pay for everything

in pounds or cents?

at first I was inclined to dismiss

all this as nonsense but

it kept its tug throughout the hours

with constant news reports &

people tweeting outrage losing

FORTUNES all because of ‘$DOGE’

& so I traced the source of this

incoherent stream through pages

of wild & inappropriate copypasta

& woke & stimulating allegations

to no avail until at 3am

not long after posting for

an explanation on several obscure

message boards my email server

spat out a letter with the subject


it went:

hello friend, my name is René

forgive me Sir for this sudden message

I too wish to know of $DOGE

it is a mystery to me

& wrecks my brain at night

then wracks me thru the day

although I know it is a ‘crypto’

a kind of electronic money

made from blocks of data

& so it comes & so it leaves

& thus transacts between the teens

smearing thumbprints over screens

but in my wanderings thru

the digital lands I was tipped off

about the root

Of This All

& tho it may be myth

I have sensed the heart & height

of something deep & monstrous

that compels me onward

to a large & shadowy mass

shrouded by incomparable encryption

I know only as


& that itself is hard to place

these people said

indeed it’s not a place per se

some say it’s an exchange

of sorts, nonphysical, unusable

but still it must be

there is no analogy manifest

except some now redundant IPs

& janky racks of servers

bleeding data into the sewers

leading back to Error 404s…

something tells me there is

more to this & I must know!

W’d be glad to hear from U.

all things must start from here.

signed René Daumal

a fellow seeker of Truth.

to which I sat & scratched

my neck perplexed of what

to make of such a brazen &

compelling draft

& in the short hours backlit

by the blue of LCDs

I hammered out a reply

that went as such:

hello of course René

I too am intrigued & also must

confess to trawling thru the

dregs of internet

& all that disgusting backwash

in search of something sound

from which to comprehend

this $DOGE

as a Poet I cannot

leave these things be without


but what you mention

this ‘MtGox’ you really think

it will lead to sense

of everything?

I mean the World and the Word

of the people is so lost

chasing tails of Doges

will we ever find the cause of that

& bring it to some rational


to which this René must have thought

me a kindred spirit or brother

of sorts & sent immediately

with a flourish

my dear Poet!

we must meet in the flesh

& discover all of this


in the city I have an address

of a place where I feel we may

chip away at some of these q’s

here is my number

we must WhatsApp with haste

& thus we conversed further & January

came to a close

& the incessant fervour

of $DOGE circled the forums & fields

& fibre optics falling

from cloud servers thru Sky

& collected in useless

wallets, backed seemingly by

nothing, nothing






then one day in early February

I stood in the city during opening hours

with the winter light of morning

filtered by excessive dust & CO2

& I waited before some slick revolving doors

of the Securities & Exchanges Office HQ

where I had been guided on the

express request of my e-friend René

via instant message only three days

prior in our pursuit of $DOGE

& it was not long before René

who said he would be wearing

clothes akin to someone off to roam

the hills that I assumed was

just a means of facile identification

popped into view striding down

the pavement with purpose & vigour

& with two spiked canes that trotted

beside him from his hands like

two more legs (the kind that are

used for hiking)

um, René?

I ventured hoping I would not be left

embarrassed before a total stranger

but immediately this man’s

face washed over with a great lightness

& he beamed at me & enthusiastically said

ah yes, my dear Poet! hello there

I hope you’re well

& ready for an expedition today?

to which I had no real idea

of that which he spoke at the time

& so I nodded half-heartedly &

asked about the need for such

a well-prepared attire with

rucksack rolled up coat

& even a harness strapped

into place around his midriff

to merely go into an office block

and ask some questions re: this $DOGE

well said René

I am a mountaineer & so I usually

dress prepared to climb in case

the mountain comes to me

as real & non-Euclidian

incremental undulations or simply

the mountain of the mind

& at any rate we will both ascend

this urban scaffold

is there much difference

if any?

to which I had no real riposte

& out of politeness

simply bobbed along with his

general view & said

yes… so, we go in, René?

he gestured to the revolving doors

& up to the floors & floors above & said

before we go just look, Poet

look up

how far can you actually see?

it was a thing I hadn’t considered

in all the minutes I had waited there

the shine of steel & glass went fairly far

a few hundred feet above before

the greys assimilated into off-white sky

& all the sheen of metal & dull of mortar

receded into one homogenous tone

just one

& I said I must admit René

I can only see so far before my eye

gives way to a point of absolute grey

& I trust it’s the same for you?

René replied

of course it is & that is why

it’s my hunch we need to climb


to get above that point you see

this is the place where securities

such as tokens such as tradeable

assets are affirmed & licensed

that we agreed would be the place

to start our inquisition into $DOGE

& it strikes me as peculiar

out of all the buildings in the city

this one is high & so high

it’s obscured to the naked eye

& likely to any other means of sight

down here on Terra Firma

it leads me to question what is

being hidden there

in that veil of sky beyond

& he was right

the grey was so consuming &

pallid & engulfing that it seemed to

coalesce about the building more so

than the others adjacent

to which there were

clear flat-ended rooftops

& looming spires barely clear in

the thick air

but there to see all the same.

it is odd for sure today

I agreed

but what about on my Map APP?

& brandishing my Smart Phone

I fired up the APP & swiped

around in the hopes that

street view might dispel the

sense of foolish intrigue

felt between us

but to my amazement on the

camera-captured blue & sunny day

the dazzling panes of glass &

chrome-like steel became nothing

but one blue & so the whole screen

at the furthest point was sky

& nothing more than that.

I blinked & René laughed

HA I knew this was weird when

the whole concept of exchange

became involved.

how so I pressed.

& René looked at me seriously

& his face became stiff & slightly dour

& he went on

I want you to remember one thing

my dear Poet one thing that must be

our question here & in all we find

from here on out

& that is this

what is VALUE?

he adjusted his round-framed

goggles strapped about his eyes.

we must ask

‘what does VALUE mean?’

in all things because it is the root of all

exchange & thus the measure

of this damnable $DOGE.


he paused…

let’s find out what’s going on.

& with that we

(& I, not able to find my

tongue to say much of any worth)

went step-by-step up to the entrance

of the SEO building & dove

into the rolling compartments

shunting people in & out

like a great glass ventricle

circulating, circulating



Dr Simon Everett is a poet and poet-translator. His latest pamphlet of poetry, Tamám (Litmus Press, 2020), is an experimental reimagining of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. His translations of Chinese T’ang dynasty poetry have been published in magazines such as STAND, and his translations of contemporary Chinese poet Zhang Yangyang appeared in Chinese Arts and Letters journal. He holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Essex, funded by the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE). Simon was also the Layout Editor of the Brief Encounters open access journal from 2017-2019, and is currently Editor-in-Chief of Muscaliet Press.