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 PoemsCarl Rakosi
Close
Close

Americana

Attention, motorists!
The flag of the School Patrol
is down.
Stop!

and let the little shavers
pour out
under the benign smile
of the driver,

every one in double file,
the eye
of the teacher
shepherding them,

their little voices
chattering away.
a criss-cross babble.
How happy can you be?

There will be ice cream for everyone.
Make way,
let them cross the street

and after them
the little old ladies.
greet them
with a sweet smile

Were they not mothers once?

And a band is blaring away
as if all hell

had broken loose
under the eye
of Sousa himself

and all is well
in this fair land.

ha! ha!

A Ditty for Louis Zukofsky

By a tree and a river an exegete linguist
sat singing ‘Zukofsky, Zukofsky, Zukofsky

and I said to him, ‘Superbird,
why are you sitting there, singing
Zukofsky, Zukofsky, Zukofsky”?

Is it lyric asthenia, birdie?’
I cried, ‘or a concept too big
for your little inside?’

With a shake of his tight little head
he replied: ‘Oh, Zukofsky, Zukofsky, Zukofsky.’

Note: Written when Zukofsky was being showered with praise for the impenetrable portions of his work. Hugh Kenner, the distinguished critic, wrote that it would take a generation to plumb its depths.

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