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


There’s news about oil on Radio Eireann:
Exxon’s profits are up 30 per cent.
And the Pope will not,
it now appears,
visit the North.
Too many problems of security.

I prefer the news at home.
Edna and I made love this morning,
her egg tasted ten times better
in the new eggcup from the Aillwee Craft Shop,
and I opened one of those paper cartons of milk
without making a mess.

I’m in my study now,
at half ten,
looking out on the weed-green garden.
The zucinni squash are all over ground,
and those cabbage plants that Micky gave us
have taken root.

2. Later

Edna just told me how to spell zucchini,
and she brought me a rose in a ceramic vase
to remind me of her nipple.

3. Still later

I’m sitting here looking at the rose
that Edna gave me
to remind me of her nipple.

I sat down with the intention
of writing a poem.

But instead I’m looking at the rose
and thinking about Edna’s nipple.

Her right nipple.

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