Albert M. Schlaht (U.S.A.)

endless rain
ascending the screendoor
slug army

Comment: a ku that juxtaposes two vertical movements of opposite sign. While the rain (ame 雨) keeps falling from the sky, in fact, the slugs (namekuji 蛞蝓) that were in the poet’s garden are slowly yet inexorably climbing his screendoor, mixing their trail with rainwater. To some readers the expression ‘slug army’ may recall the famous 1996 scrolling videogame called ‘Metal slug’ (Metaru suraggu メタルスラッグ). To me, actually, the ‘endless rain’ in line 1 and the reference to the ‘army’ recall the war in Afghanistan began in 2001 (and still ongoing), which cost the lives of 2,400 American soldiers and more than 38,000 civilians. According to this reading, the verb ‘ascending’ is even more eloquent (the ascension of human souls), reinforcing a plurality of interpretations that branch out from a simple, daily scene.

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