In the latest issue:

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

The Home Life of Inspector Maigret

John Lanchester

Story: ‘Have a Seat in the Big Black Chair’

Diane Williams

The Last Whale

Colin Burrow

In Beijing

Long Ling

Princess Margaret and Lady Anne

Rosemary Hill

At the Movies: ‘Arkansas’

Michael Wood

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

At Home

Jane Miller

The Ottoman Conundrum

Helen Pfeifer

Poem: ‘Muntjac’

Blake Morrison

Piketty’s Revolution

Geoff Mann

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

At Auckland Castle: Francisco de Zurbarán

Nicola Jennings

Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice

City of BoysPeter Redgrove
Close
Close

Who was cast out of heaven
But is alive in me. A certain
Ghost dangles foaming in his jaw.

My tongue licks my palate
And the big shed of my jaws
Distils. The head of beer

Pocked like the Moon in craters
Alive in me. In this city of boys
A million open collars of beer

The fizz hanging in the throat
Like a gossamer in a well,
The moon going down

In black tides, the spirit
Distilling in the dark retorts
Coiling behind flat waistbands,

Distilling through the brains
Then leaving them limp
Like a dangling ghost,

Then back to the homes
The heads parade, take off
In sleep like wings, awake

To the resonant crystal
The TV chamber which is square,
The prisoner of light therein,

And the smell of disapproval
Over her entire skin like a low lawn.
The beer with its collars of light

Turning the gutdark to light,
Sweeping with its short-lived torches
Through twilight gullets. Which

Was cast out of heaven but
Is alive in me. The crystal
Tankards with their

Brilliant ghostly heads; how
The true crystals venerate the candles,
Resound to the exploring light,

Sing to the torch held up
In the great unexpected cave far underground,
The cave with fountains and a river

That casts itself out of heaven
In waterfalls, visible
And invisible falls of light.

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