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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

Two PoemsIan Hamilton
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Responsibilities

Imagining you on your own,
I’m vigilant.
You’ve heard me, I can tell.
A rustle in the kitchen leaves
Above your head, a semi-stifled click
Somewhere below, an errant chime
An hour or so into your sleeplessness:
Ghost tremors,
They don’t keep you company,
Not now, and they won’t bring me back,
Not this time. ‘Please
Leave me alone,’ I’ve heard you cry
And you have heard me rustle in reply,
Or click, or chime: ‘Don’t make me go.’

Dream Song

He called you ‘Master of beauty,
Craftsman of the snowflake’, your contrivances
Beyond compare, or competition.
He knew little of your character,
Your background, or your ‘motivation’
Famously mysterious and manifold.

Most nights it was enough
To seek to praise, imploringly,
Your work so far, your imminent
Deep-thirsting rose,
For instance, your now dead
And yet triumphant to remember

Daffodil, your giant tree almost afloat
Again outside his window,
Punctual and unthrifty in its green.
Great Lord,
Was it indeed your will
That he should thus so humanly
Heartsore pick up his pen and look the other way?

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