In the latest issue:

Robespierre’s Chamber Pot

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

Noises OffHubert Moore
Close
Close

A fraction of sky falling in,
miles over my head. Unless
it’s coal in the stove downstairs
inching closer over the fire of itself,
settling down to be burnt.

It’s guns waking me up:
deep in the woods, minutely
thundering off at pigeons or rabbits.
Eight hours, ten hours, it must be,
perhaps twenty conscious thoughts,

since last night on TV
some expert said they could now
make lightning; not just likenesses
he showed us, but whatever it is
that signals frantically that thunder’s coming.

Sunday morning of course: so quiet
in between the explosions
you might hear the shot animal cry.
Simply count the seconds and say
how far off the explosion is.

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