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Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Fifteen days from now

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The Yorkists

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Whitehall Spookery

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Gordon v. O’Connor

Rupert Thomson

Revism

Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

Two PoemsGavin Ewart
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Violent Passions

The mouth can be quite nasty in a bite
The lover’s pinch can be malicious too
Legs kick, as well as tangle, in a bed

Words can be harsh and not console or rhyme
Fighting is also love’s especial food
Hands can enlace with hands or round a neck

The tools that pierce can be unyielding steel
Attractive nails can score, like claws, the face
Fingers can spread on cheeks, harmful and strong

Hair can be pulled in war, that’s stroked in peace
The fighting female differs from the male
The spitting cat attacks the barking dog

Traditional: Nuisance Value

The cat jumps onto my desk as I write this,
he jogs my arm. I swear mildly.
I push him off. From a cat, it’s like a kiss
and shows affection. I would never wildly

adore him. But I like him. And he’s old
like me. And neuter. Equally into age
both of us travel, trying to keep out the cold
as Time assaults each silly one and sage.

Marriages thrive on loving irritation.
And you miss me the nights I am away,
an absent sleeping partner (copulation
now past). That’s what you say.

And I miss you. No Master is majestic
except to devotees of English Verse,
his virtues may not be at all domestic.
Housewifely traits don’t make me love you worse.

All couples living irritate each other.
I have my nuisance value – like a cat.
But still it’s value – Irritation’s brother
can still be Love, you see. Just think of that!

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