In the latest issue:

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

Indefinite Lent

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

Close
Close

Stirs; quite delicately sips;
yawns over Friday’s yellowed Advertiser ...

Outside is cold as inside
is cold, wind flights over the marsh,
the walls of the sky drip
as Vic already rises,
eases himself out, pink and primed,

into the beginning –
shapes still inchoate,
pewter on oyster, seacoal on zinc.
Time never was for pondering.

Banjo far-off on the brew!
A taste of plickplack in the air!
No smell of sharp rain!
His sense of day is animal
and utterly secure.

Crossing the yard
he gossips
with passerines in the thistle scrub;
hails and cajoles the two Suffolks
(the black gelding and chestnut mare)
into the shafts ...

Didn’t you see his wading walk?
That almost inward smile?
He is this land’s stage manager –
dawn corrugator,
trawler of a thousand screaming gulls –

overseer
in the candid light
watching you for one moment
longer
than you watched him.

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