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


Reflections of a spotlit mirror-ball,
Casting a light net over a pearl pond
In oval orbits, magnify my haul
Of small fry at a disco, coiled in sound.

On anti-clockwise tracks, all shod with steel,
Initiates feel exalted; starlets glide
To cut more ice with convoluted skill
Practising tricks that lure them to backslide.

Their figure-carving feet have chased my skin
With puckish onslaught. Gloss they vitiate
For pure fun, when they joust through thick and thin,
Vanishes under frost, a hoar-stone slate.

Midnight, my crushed face melts in a dead heat:
Old scores ironed out, tomorrow a clean sheet.

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