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

GOD HATES YOUR FEELINGS

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

Policing BeaconsfieldMark Ford
Close
Close

Pot-plants unwatered on the sun-deck
Like moaning minnies lie down and die.

Her lips have twisted into a random smile, but
In her mind she curses in her mother-tongue.

The room is now an inverted fish-tank;
Things float helplessly up towards the glass –

Her brushes, her combs, her trash,
Objects it were useless even to list.

Each noise fades away like forgotten
Sex, its stripes etched faintly on the buzzing air.

You dream of a crisp welcome, leading into some
Precise business proposals. A three-course

Luncheon will follow shortly after.

The Queer Smell of Gas

The grey of 3 a.m. envelops her room again. Hush!
From its mountainous source the Thames
Inches its way towards Southend
Under a glaring, three-quarters moon.

To grasp more fully his insignificance
Man propounds new and ever stranger theories
Of language and evolution. Others object merely
That the sexual revolution has been betrayed.

The day after the deal, the TV off, I took up
My woods, remembering Finsbury Circus.
The will was not to be contested. In theory
All the chairs in this house are now solely mine to dispose of.

Super Black Thursday

Intense pressure builds up
In the sinus, making the legs
Weightless, the eyes water.
Beside me my mug, enamelled,
With its slogan; its star-signs
In tea-leaves.

                      The screen’s blip
Has all but vanished. Green graphics
Reveal all – how here I wept,
There you scratched yourself,
On this estate I grew up, denting the garage doors
With my ball.

                      P.M. The newcomer’s swivel chair
Lolls empty: across the city
Terminals are ablaze with the absurd news,
The markets shooting out in all directions,
In random, jagged leaps. Your eyes are
Seized by dysfunction. Then on this
Super day we gathered together, shouting,
Drank beer in flocks, somehow wheeled home
Reeling with it, breathing it all in, the night,
The ghostly carriage cloth, the stations blurred
And moving, always moving.

Policing Beaconsfield

He talks with his feet;
‘Er –,’ he pauses before replying.

Two pale fish flap
Through the aquarium.

How often did he take
Mind-expanding drugs?

A twist of cirrus, drifting slowly
Across the white ridge.

She lies there unmoving;
Her straw, they think, needs changing.

We voters long to be abused.
We love the truly merciless decisions.

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