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In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

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Ferdinand Mount

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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

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In Lahore

Tariq Ali

GOD HATES YOUR FEELINGS

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Rereading Bowen

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At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

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Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

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Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

Jenny Turner

Close
Close

It was February in Provence and the local market
sold goat’s cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves and
thick, painted pottery. The stalls of dark check shirts
were the kind you used to wear, and we began to see you:
burly, bearded, handsome as Holbein’s Wyatt,
looking into the eyes of a girl or
jumping up from the brasserie table
to buy truffles from a street vendor.

We stayed with our children like gypsies in a barn
of your wife’s family house near Aix, and you fed us
beef daube, thrush pâté and wine. Long ago
we sat through the night as a threesome writing
those film reviews I always drove to Heffers
in the early rainlight of a Cambridge morning. We still own
the pearwood Dolmetsch bought at your urging,
and copies of that magazine you and I ran together

which the police came to investigate after
a delivery of Naked Lunch from Olympia.
For a few years, you moved whenever we did,
from Adams Road to Sherlock, then De Freville
where the printer we owed money lived next door.
You wrote your first book for three hours a day
and then felt restless, since your body liked
to use its energies and you could lift a car.

Your hair was thick and brown
even in York District Hospital where you murmured
‘I’m not dying, am I?’ and described
the wild animals calmed with a click in your throat.
We guessed you could withstand a February mistral
that gets under the clothes so bitterly down here
more easily than we can, being younger
and more robust though, strangely, no longer alive.

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