In the latest issue:

Boris Johnson’s First Year

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: In the Bunker

Thomas Jones

Theban Power

James Romm

What can the WHO do?

James Meek

At the Type Archive

Alice Spawls

Where the Poor Lived

Alison Light

At the Movies: ‘Da 5 Bloods’

Michael Wood

Cultural Pillaging

Neal Ascherson

Jenny Offill

Adam Mars-Jones

Shakespeare v. the English

Michael Dobson

Poem: ‘Now Is the Cool of the Day’

Maureen N. McLane

Tativille

David Trotter

Consider the Hare

Katherine Rundell

How Should I Refer to You?

Amia Srinivasan

Poem: ‘Field Crickets (Gryllus campestris)’

Fiona Benson

Diary: In Mali

Rahmane Idrissa

Two PoemsRuth Padel
Close
Close

Mr Exocet

She dreamed
he made a scape ship
from a grandfather clock,

bone soap,
and the certainty
that human’ll breed true.

Refuse the transhuman,
he’d thunder in his sleep
to the digital alarm.

But that’s the old style
him. He’s bought air purifiers,
banned whisky from her house,

eats only yellow food.
He’s carving
tables of exogamy. Marry out.

Seek help from
inner cracks of outer space.
Inbreeding

blossoms the nightmare.
Alien species save. Together
we could be anything.

The Way Mud Dries

The fields are empty
but you see from Ulsterbus
in couch grass by the road

a boy
horizontal on his tummy,

Leicra No 7(Dark)
brushed down to his throat
one inch from the rifle-haft.

On the edge of town, past
Armagh Planetarium’s bitten brick,

you find the dismantlers.
Gerry Molloy,
Car Spoilers, dismantled

and the child in his car-seat
waiting for Hula Hoops

stares from a blue Fiesta
into the gauzy flame
of morning-shopping mist,

a High Street
where there are no strangers

to speak to, his velour pajama
tide-marked by the kiss
of dye

thirsting up
off her pillow at night

when he wakes her, and it dries
the way mud dries
to a gingernut map-stain,

different loops
of map each day

when she spends those five
warm seconds after waking
quiet

then says Never mind
Recital Shampoo-in Colourant

Auburn to Blonde,
there’s so completely nobody
she might as well be

the green plash of Bertie
Parrot on the blind.

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