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

Fifteen days from now

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

The lights come up, the stage is bare,
the audience goes on sitting there,
row upon row of gleaming teeth,
set in expressions of dutiful mirth
for something they have now forgotten.
Someone has spilled an ice-cream cone
from the balcony onto someone’s head.
It trickles down over his forehead
and from there down into his lap.
We see the smile fade from his lips,
the lips fade from his mouth,
the mouth slowly wither from his teeth.
Now his jaw drops open on its tendons
and a look of horrified understanding dawns.
The urge to clap is irresistible.
He finds this is no longer possible.

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