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Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: ‘Parallel Lives’

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Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Indefinite Lent

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The House of York

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Secrets are like sex

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At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Caroline Gordon v. Flannery O’Connor

Rupert Thomson

Revism

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

Follow the Science

James Butler

Close
Close

Men

We often elude the scimitars
of the zouaves among the furniture
by being geese.

Or deodars
so that striking at us you also hit
your sacred tree.

(Ha ha, say we.
You say, Just you wait.)

Vitale

Remember Vitale, the old aesthete
knifed to his death on Mulberry Street.
I hear he said, sinking to his knees,
on the first night of San Gennaro,

Enfin, quelque chose m’arrive!

That’s how I want to go, with an aperçu,
or koan like Basho or Lao-Tzu.
‘I am the nosegay and the nose,’
the strong gods assembled will hear me say.
‘The Japanese beetle and the rose.’

(But say as I’m dying, an old shaman croaks,
with fresher wisdom and better jokes:
the gods fly, deaf to my remarks,
‘I am the password and the pass.
I the asshole and the ass.’)

Knifed for nothing, Vitale, you lived for art
and ended slumming like some old fart,
but for Enfin, quelque chose m’arrive!

Which words recollected here by me
alone save you from obscurity.

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