In the latest issue:

Botanic Macaroni

Steven Shapin

What made the Vikings tick?

Tom Shippey

In the Lab

Rupert Beale

Will there be a Brexit deal?

Anand Menon

Short Cuts: Under New Management

Rory Scothorne

Out-Tissoted

Bridget Alsdorf

Sarah Moss

Blake Morrison

Poem: ‘Country Music’

Ange Mlinko

On the Trail of Garibaldi

Tim Parks

Art Lessons

Peter Campbell

You’ll like it when you get there

Tom Crewe

Early Kermode

Stefan Collini

‘The Vanishing Half’

Joanna Biggs

At the Movies: ‘The Truth’

Michael Wood

The Suitcase: Part Two

Frances Stonor Saunders

Poem: ‘Siri U’

Jorie Graham

Diary: Getting into Esports

John Lanchester

Close
Close

Monday, you take the accordion out of its case in rain,
                                             begin to busk.
Tuesday, you complain that the raito sauce with your hake
                                             is far too garlicky.
Wednesday, you will be the boy arranging for his skateboard
                                             to be tattooed with a skull.
Thursday, you will be a PA in a software solutions firm,
                                             filing your cherry-red nails.
Friday, you gain consciousness after your last-chance operation
                                             to beat prostate cancer.

Monday, you will be a gate-leaning farmer, watching tall wheat
                                             ripen like bamboo.
Tuesday, you are on duty at the beauty salon, applying shampoo
                                             to grey flimsy women’s hair.
Wednesday, you will be fitted with a spinal stimulator, if metabolic
                                             complications have cleared up.
Thursday, you are a salesman picking your teeth as you leave
                                             a small-town hotel.
Friday, you try your damnedest to revive stalled peace negotiations
                                             with your fellow-envoy.

Monday, you joke with other widows about the man who calls
                                             the bingo numbers.
Tuesday, you are a parcel-lumbered motorcycle courier,
                                             jousting with gridlock.
Wednesday, you will block the undertaker’s lane, unloading
                                             a consignment of veneer.
Thursday, you stack up cushions for a better view from the seat
                                             of your adapted car.
Friday, you will attack bank e-mail systems worldwide
                                             with your virus.

Monday, you bring the best case you can to the attention of
                                             the sentencing review board.
Tuesday, you place yourself inside an orthopaedic corset to save
                                             your back from strain.
Wednesday, your slow fast-lane driving is greeted with the kudos
                                             of a two-finger salute.
Thursday, you know the acute pain of seeing the very twin of your slingbacks
                                             at barely half the price.
Friday, you administer morphine to a doubly incontinent patient
                                             in a dank public ward.

Monday, you will iron white shirts like a carpenter
                                             planing a plank of deal.
Tuesday, you feel a cold coming on as you banter to passengers
                                             on your tour coach.
Wednesday, you will broach the subject of a barring order
                                             with your younger kids.
Thursday, you will change into your uniform before picking up
                                             your guard dog for patrol.
Friday, you will wake up stark naked, wearing only
                                             your lover’s arm.

Monday, you are a leotard-clad ballet dancer rehearsing
                                             for Coppélia at the barre.
Tuesday, you are a car mechanic in a pit: dirt under skin,
                                             grit irritating a graze.
Wednesday, you are the mindless old man whose happy release
                                             his family is praying for.
Thursday, you will give birth to a child, smuggled like a refugee
                                             under your tarpaulin.
Friday, you will struggle across the fairway, hiking your golf
                                             bag like an oxygen tank.

Monday, either as a bank’s investment analyst or flipping burgers
                                             in a fast-food chain.
Tuesday, the unsame ...

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