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


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

Three PoemsRobin Robertson

False Spring

A lift in the weather: a clemency
I cling to like the legend

of myself: self-exiled,
world-wounded, god

of evenings like this,
eighty degrees and half a world away.


All night, the industry
of erasure, effacement,

our one mouth
working itself dry.


But even a god can’t stop the light
that finds us, annealed,

fruitless, two strangers
broken on the field of day.

In the window-box,
the narcissi come up blind.


Straight on through the rifled dark,
the headlights film the road:

light pools ahead as the land dips –
the skid and slur of sodium

hangs, traced in the eyes,
as the road reels in to the sound

of sirens, crowding the night.
The cars in front are slowing down.


At the very edge of the train’s torrent,
its horizontal through-fall, you can feel it
clearing the platform’s length like a piston
of grey and grey and grey,
pushing air in front of it,
pulling it behind; gone
leaving less than nothing, just that faint
pitch forward
into its pocket of loss.

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