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In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

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Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: Springtime for Donald

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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Tariq Ali

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At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

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Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

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Kevin Brazil

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David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

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Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

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The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

Two PoemsIan Hamilton
Close
Close

Pretending not to Sleep

The waiting rooms are full of ‘characters’
Pretending not to sleep.
Your eyes are open
But you’re far away
At home, am Rhein, with mother and the cats.
Your hair grazes my wrist.
My cold hand surprises you.

The porters yawn against the slot-machines
And watch contentedly; they know I’ve lost.
The last train
is simmering outside, and overhead
Steam flowers in the station rafters.
Soft flecks of soot begin to settle
On your suddenly outstretched palms.
Your mouth is dry, excited, going home:

The velvet curtains,
Father dead, the road up to the village,
Your hands tightening in the thick fur
Of your mother’s Persian, your dreams
Moving through Belgium now, full of your trip.

From The Visit

Steps

Where do we find ourselves? What is this tale
With no beginning and no end?
We know not the extremes. Perhaps
There are none.
We are on a kind of stair. The world below
Will never be regained; was never there
Perhaps. And yet it seems
We’ve climbed to where we are
With diligence, as if told long ago
How high the highest rung.
Alas: this lethargy at noon,
This interfered-with air.

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