The Fig in a Coffin / Hiromi Suzuki

The odour of something rotting had been given off from the kitchen several weeks ago. It seemed as if there was a corpse behind the refrigerator or under the sink. Immediately, the smell turned unnoticeable. It was a fig which was forgotten in the refrigerator for a long time. The dried-up fig did not smell at all.

At the western end of Shinjuku, there was a pond called “Jyūnisō”. It was a scenic spot of Edo with great waterfall and known as a pleasure district. Even now, the names of the bus stops “Up the Jyūnisō-pond” and “Down the Jyūnisō-pond” remain. Her house was once an inn near Jyūnisō, but it became an apartment for rent after the pond was buried. She lives with her husband on the second floor of the apartment. Her parents run a tavern at the ground floor. The second floor is like a labyrinth with many small rooms. The widest room having bath and kitchen is the residence and workplace of her and her husband. Their jobs (she does not know whether she can say that these are jobs) are management of the rent and cleanup of the corridor. Going up the stairs, there is an old Ninja drawer – a magical closet – at the corner on the corridor. Her husband’s mistress is living in the closet. A mistress hidden in the closet sleeps holding five or six bottles of Corona Extra from the daytime. At midnight, the sound of light metals tumbling down the stairs echoes. Her husband goes out to “the job” for cleaning the scattered lids of Corona Extra on the corridor and the stairs. She appealed to her mother several times, but she was turned down because “We are getting the rent every month from Tenpin”. “Tenpin” is her mother’s younger sister, in other words her aunt. Tenpin was a star player of bowling who was called Queen of Ten-pin. In a narrow drawer, Tenpin dreams of ten pins in ten bottles of Corona Extra and drinks up ten fantasies every night. While the boat as coffin is reborn by an ephemeral waterfall, Tenpin departs to the immeasurably deep and remote pond in the silent darkness.

Nutritious figs in the best season line up at grocery stores in the town. Dried fig used for cakes and sweets is condensed sweet and sour taste, but when eaten raw, it is taste monotonous and has no personality. The fig which was forgotten in the refrigerator for a long time is a leftover after used in prosciutto salad.  A chef of Italian cuisine on television declares “figs are vegetables” and cooks chilled capellini. A culinary researcher on the cookery show explains “Today’s ingredients”.

― The fig is not fruit but “false fruit”.

The sweet portions we are eating are the reproductive organs called conceptacles …

hiromi suzuki is a poet, artist living in Tokyo, Japan. The author of Ms. cried, 77 poems by hiromi suzuki (kisaragi publishing, 2013), logbook (Hesterglock Press, 2018) and INVISIBLE SCENERY (Low Frequency Press, 2018). Her works are published internationally in Otoliths, BlazeVOX, Empty Mirror, Hotel, Burning House Press, DATABLEED, MOONCHILD MAGAZINE, Hotel, talking about strawberries all of the time, Mookychick, Coldfront, RIC Journal, 3:AM Magazine, The Cerurove, A) GLIMPSE) OF) and so on. More work can be found at hiromisuzukimicrojournal.tumblr.com.

*My work and interview will be featured at forthcoming issue of ASYMPTOTE.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Comments (



Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

%d bloggers like this: