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 House of York

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Secrets are like sex

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Caroline Gordon v. Flannery O’Connor

Rupert Thomson

Revism

Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls

The FathersJon Silkin
Close
Close

A dog-lion’s haunched triangular fury
guards the dead. He says, ‘several things:

first I bite, then in death I guard you.’
‘Besides, I don’t want it,’ I said. ‘Then forgive me.’

‘I’ll guard my own death,’ I say. So then
he bites me. Meanwhile a little swooning

in the blood. I tell this dental fool,
‘I am the right, and fierce creature,

the insects gnaw my veins, my newly rived flesh,
I find the Jew in the scrolls, I nourish him,’

and I dispossess him like a father.

It is the crime: I lay two sandals down

as if it were my mind, its occupancy
for the foot that shudders fitting into it.

It is that gentlest act, I was given.
Shall I be nourished, in my giving?

Hearing a great beast cry,
I am called to account.

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