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


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

The Golden StateStephen Knight
Vol. 23 No. 1 · 4 January 2001

The Golden State

Stephen Knight

137 words

For Colleen

If not the giant redwoods
taking centuries to reach
the light, nor the lights-
camera-action typhoons
regular as clockwork
in the murky Tonga Bar,
nor, perched above LA,
the penitential Getty –
its prospect of the coastline
smudged by airborne crap,
nor even the Chronicle’s
news that the universe
is flat, and expanding
faster and faster for ever
– ‘Wow! Wow! Wow!’
to quote one scientist –
then how about the way
you drove your car
wrists out, double-jointed,
or, sealed in silver paper,
those skinny joints
I could never light, or
the line in a Visitors’ Book
in the Valley of the Moon
left a decade earlier
(This is a beautiful setting
to put the ghosts to rest)
or else that ‘bohemian’
legacy of Venice Beach,
a henna tendril
fading from your ankle
slowly, over days.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences