In the latest issue:

In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: Springtime for Donald

David Bromwich

Meetings with their Gods

Claire Hall

‘Generation Left’

William Davies

At the North Miami Museum: Alice Paalen Rahon

Mary Ann Caws

Buchan’s Banter

Christopher Tayler

‘American Dirt’

Christian Lorentzen

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow

In Lahore

Tariq Ali


James Lasdun

Rereading Bowen

Tessa Hadley

At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

William Gibson

Thomas Jones

Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

John-Paul Stonard

Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

Jenny Turner

Making itGareth Reeves

He taught me to say ‘blacks’ without blenching.
At his party I was the only white
but did my waspish best not to notice.
Though a student in my Freshman class,
he was seasoned. He showed me a thing or two.

‘You press this button and look
the antenna goes up,’ taking me for a ride
in his brand-new sports car which flew
along Skyline Boulevard. I bought his old car;
it looked like nothing on earth:

‘I’ve got to sell it quick
for the down payment on my new machine.
By the way, you’ll need this form,’
and he signs his wife’s name.
Next day she phones: ‘I want my car back, see’.

I blink and don’t see. A week later:
‘Keep it. I don’t care, now I’m shot of him.
Know what he said? – “Well, if you wanna send
Gareth to jail, receiver of stolen ...” ’
and it all comes out:

‘He ain’t what you’d call a family man.
Forgot about our baby once and it fell downstairs.
I told him he was kinda careless. He agreed.
Rented himself a love-nest on campus
and used my name as security –

‘Story of my life. Fell for him over and over.
After all, he’s charmin, you’d agree.
He even nicked some frat rat’s tie-pin
to prove he’d been to college. So we married.
Now I’m paying for the whole of his damn

Me lamely: ‘At least he’s made the best of it.
I mean the essays he did me were, well, rather
‘Yeah, and you wanna know who wrote them?
Love works in a mysterious way,
as you would say.

‘Anyway,’ she ends, ‘it’s a fine auto.
May look a wreck but it sure goes.
It’ll get you all the way back to lil ol Englan.’

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