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

They’d always out in the end
– or so it was claimed – of their own accord.
Then why did he vividly recall
gouging at the wrinkled pad of his index
with a brutal pin picked from the sewing-box?

Strange how the years go by
how less and less the need arises
to plough flesh after some buried speck.
Always black as a thorn whatever the source.
Driving a fork through clay,
he’d hook it finally with a braced pin

there

it would spring loose.
Confess itself. Cleansed,
he’d return both hands to the given task.

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