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

GOD HATES YOUR FEELINGS

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

Still LifeMichael Hofmann
Close
Close

A sort of overgrown phial,
opaque blown glass of the sort
we once saw them making at Murano,
whitish – with blue? with yellow?

And sticking out of it
that odd trouvaille, a dried yard
of was it hogweed, Schweinekraut,
Schweinswurzel, something swinish about it,

some hollow dill-like plant
withered to articulate straw
that my father half-inched,
like a spindly triffid on the steel table.

It was an artistic endeavour really,
a momentary juxtaposition
that gathered dust, languishing
like umbrella ribs in an elephant’s foot,

in saecula saeculorum.
As it grew dark, he drew the curtains,
so as not to be seen, or not to show
how much he couldn’t see.

There was a drawn atmosphere
as in Buñuel or La Grande Bouffe,
like being locked up overnight
in an impoverished modern art museum

– as it were, Beuys in Buffalo –

and we slumped like astronauts
in the too-low leather seats
while he peeled and chopped fruit
and handed it around.

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