In the latest issue:

An Ordinary Woman

Alan Bennett

Anglo-America Loses its Grip

Pankaj Mishra

Short Cuts: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness

Mattathias Schwartz

Smells of Hell

Keith Thomas

Mrs Oliphant

Tom Crewe

Tippett’s Knack

Philip Clark

At Tate Modern: Steve McQueen

Colin Grant

Catherine Lacey

Nicole Flattery

Churchill’s Cook

Rosemary Hill

The ‘Batrachomyomachia’

Ange Mlinko

On Dorothea Lange

Joanna Biggs

Paid to Race

Jon Day

Poem: ‘Traveller’s Tales: Chapter 90’

August Kleinzahler

The Soho Alphabet

Andrew O’Hagan

Old Tunes

Stephen Sedley

Victor Serge’s Defective Bolshevism

Tariq Ali

The Murdrous Machiavel

Erin Maglaque

Diary: Insane after coronavirus?

Patricia Lockwood

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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