Followers

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

TAKAKO ARAI













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When the Moon Rises

It is the night shift in an abandoned spinning
factory
There is only a single light bulb here
The spools of thread turn by themselves
Click goes the bobbins
Changed by the machines
It has already been a decade
Since this place shut down
But when the moon rises, it begins to work
Its strange automation
They say soon after the war
A factory worker’s hair got tangled
In the machines, killing her
There are things that float here
But this is not the work of ghosts
No
In the factory
There are peculiar habits
That is what I mean
Peculiar habits remain here
An old lady who spun thread
For forty-four years here
Still licks her index finger and twists
Even on her deathbed
She cannot escape that gesture
That must be true in the netherworld too
Since threads are so infinitely thin
The gestures sink into the bodies
Of those who manipulate the machines
They possess them Look
How the raw silk thread
Is pulled smoothly
From the factory woman’s fingers
Then dances endlessly
The factory is that way too
The axle of the spinning whee
Remembers
The molecules of steel
Hang their heads in the
Direction in which they spin
Then get caught up
Clanging emptily
When the moonlight pours in
It is not just the tide that is full
Emptily
Emptily
The spinning wheels spin
The threads swim
Through the abandoned factory

Translation by Jeffrey Angles