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

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

Olly and TimLaurence Lerner

Olly has a new guest. Uninvited
Tim entered his head, pushing his way,
Intending to stay.
Forty years I’ve known Olly. Who’s Tim?

Tokyo spilt over the plains of China.
As the sun set a million million midges
Stippled the sky. Leaf reached at leaf,
Overcrowding the elms, the beeches.

Flabby Olly, smoking, laughing, leching,
Won’t last till Christmas, the doctors said.
Pushy Tim, tumbling among his brain-cells,
Proliferates in his head.

Crowds of people jog and elbow and stride;
Like leaves, like midges they cover
The streets, intending to live for decades
(And the young ones, for ever).

Olly picks his last, wizened apple.
Olly fondles his last breast, tells
His last, sad joke. He hasn’t room
For all Japan in his crowded cells.

Look at that throng: so many Christmases
In front of them, so much room
In their heads. Oh Tim,
Move into one of them.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences