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

Two PoemsHugo Williams
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My News

Now that the sun has made it over the tops
of the opposite houses,
flaring through the wrecks
of wallflowers and marguerites,
the seeds from giant purple flowers
spiral up over the graves
of the chrysanthemums,
one-winged sycamore planes
revolve on their axes
down through the air.

A slight breeze knocks the bell heather.
Sun wobbles in the bird mirror.
The green shed is humming.
The bare red twigs
on the upper branches of the peach tree
flick on as an electric charge hits them.
Rose brambles glisten.
The telephone wires
shoot parallel silver bullets into the blue.
How are things with you?

Artist

She’s working on a ‘found bed’,
a door panel or workbench,
bound with material like an ironing board.
She runs her hand over
its virgin flatness: not a ripple
disturbs the surface of the sheet
where the bridal couple
have been tucked to extinction.
She stands back in satisfaction,
shivering slightly in the unheated studio.

Old suitcases and games,
wardrobes and window frames
crowd round the narrow bed
teetering on its tripod.
She’ll be out again tonight,
cruising the skips with her shopping trolley.
Every day the piles of junk grow higher,
the floor space smaller.
Her long-term project is a studio piece
whose completion requires her absence.

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