Stonecoast Review Issue 5

Mosura

Written By: Zana Previti

“In a production still of Mothra in its caterpillar phase, a 30-foot costume manipulated by seven individuals, Ragone pointed out the meticulous background details of well-tended fields, which prove barely noticeable in the film itself. Sometimes the cameras were so low on the set, you couldn’t see these details. Offering a production still of the 1:50 scale miniature set of the Shubiya ward ravaged by the larval Mothra, Ragone could confirm its “staggeringly perfect” accuracy, having lived there for a while.”

-Michael Guillen

We are this animal together; one whole monster, inexact
as science and perfectly made. *Naoto builds the city below,
a complete world which exists without me. Intolerable facts,

numbers like locusts on his blueprint, distract
me from my heavy work: weaving through napalm, boats.
We are this animal together; one whole monster, inexact

but moving as best we can, together, to keep the shape intact.
Every moment our body changes. In my hometown, snow
covers the world. My family exists. Without me, fact-

checking the field dimensions, Naoto moves slow, racked
by perfection, by the limitless detail, by work undone. Naoto
is this animal. A monster held together by inexact

fears. I am only here, this puppeteer, I cannot act,
grow wings; I only destroy this meticulous thing. Though,
I think, without me, the painstaking world, the beautiful facts

collected below could not, ever, be. We will enact
might, satisfy our—its purpose. Above the set, gaunt shadow,
we are this animal. Together monstrous, cruel, exact.
The world exists, will exist, without me. Intolerable, intolerable fact.

 

* “Naoto” refers to a Japanese man working on the set of Mosura (or Mothra, as it was called in English), creating the “staggering” perfection alluded to in the epigraph, while the speaker of poem is one of the seven-man team managing and manipulating the Mothra puppet.

Zana Previti was born and raised in New England. She earned her MFA in fiction from the University of California, Irvine, and her MFA in poetry from the University of Idaho. Her work has been published in The New England Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, RHINO Poetry, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. She was recently named the recipient of Poetry International’s 2014 C.P. Cavafy Prize for Poetry and the Fall 2016 Emerging Writer-in-Residence at Penn State Altoona.