Essays    Reportage    Marginalia    Interviews    Poetry    Fiction    Videos    Everything   
Fan, Or a Fan’s Notes

Someone circulated quietly around the room.

Poetry | Zuihitsu
April 15, 2022

This piece is part of the 随筆 | Zuihitsu notebook, which features original art by Satsuki Shibuya.

The fans I used to make, folding a sheet of paper in pleats, then again at an end for a handle, multiplying. Lonely, not an only child. Memory fans open and closed.

Cheek seeking the one cool spot on a pillow. Remember—heat waves when an ancient box-fan was turned on and sleep was impossible. A long lost normal.


My mother’s impatient fan fluttering in church, the strong scent perfuming the pews. Embarrassing. Pews scattered with a sheaf of bulletins folded into fans.

Lights off in a classroom, energy-saving afternoons, heads resting on desks, we played a favorite game.

Someone circulated quietly around the room.

The sandalwood fan still in its lidded paper box.

Four-sixty cooling: the windows rolled down, four packed into the backseat. Family time. Geological time. The long trip broken in Las Vegas waiting for a replacement—fan belt. Sunrise at the canyon’s yawning rim was like a melting ice cream cake. I miss you.