In the latest issue:

Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Indefinite Lent

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The House of York

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Secrets are like sex

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Caroline Gordon v. Flannery O’Connor

Rupert Thomson

Revism

Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls

HookedMark Ford
Close
Close

then thrown back, like a long-finned, too bony
fish, I finally took
him at his word, and felt the lateness
of the hour acquire a dense, rippling
aura that weighed down these eyelids, pressed

apart membrane and nerve: howsoever I twist
and retreat, I thought, or silently glide from
sphere to sphere, the merest
splinter of rage keeps returning as a glittering, razor
edged weapon, and even after dawn

has tightened still further the angle between
reflex and use, a sort of sunken
tide pushes open my ducts, washes through
or else over uncertain
crumbling defences, dissolves into itself whatever

floats, like quicklime, filters the air through fluids thicker, heavier
than water ... as in a riddle, my entire
active vocabulary scatters and drifts, sucked
under, worn smooth to the touch; instead, circling
cries and swirling, opaque

graffiti scrawled in black
clouds of enormous letters come to seem
to define only their own unforgiving
and yet volatile laws: ‘Thou
yet behold’st me?’ I’m half-inclined to bellow in jest

at the elements, but decide, inversely, my first
real manoeuvre must
be to conceal from the inquisitive, lopsided sun
the direction in which these currents are secretly
driving me, and the immaculate, tiny

moons that now cover my body.

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