In the latest issue:

An Ordinary Woman

Alan Bennett

Anglo-America Loses its Grip

Pankaj Mishra

Short Cuts: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness

Mattathias Schwartz

Smells of Hell

Keith Thomas

Mrs Oliphant

Tom Crewe

Tippett’s Knack

Philip Clark

At Tate Modern: Steve McQueen

Colin Grant

Catherine Lacey

Nicole Flattery

Churchill’s Cook

Rosemary Hill

The ‘Batrachomyomachia’

Ange Mlinko

On Dorothea Lange

Joanna Biggs

Paid to Race

Jon Day

Poem: ‘Traveller’s Tales: Chapter 90’

August Kleinzahler

The Soho Alphabet

Andrew O’Hagan

Old Tunes

Stephen Sedley

Victor Serge’s Defective Bolshevism

Tariq Ali

The Murdrous Machiavel

Erin Maglaque

Diary: Insane after coronavirus?

Patricia Lockwood

Two PoemsCharles Simic
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Prophecy

The last customer will stagger out of the door.
Cooks will hang their white hats.
Chairs will climb on the tables.
A broom will take a lazy stroll into a closet.

The waiters will kick off their shoes.
The cat will get a whole trout for dinner.
The cashier will stop counting receipts,
Scratch her ass with a pencil and sigh.

The boss will pour himself another brandy.
The mirrors will grow tired of potted palms
And darken slowly the way they always do
When someone runs off with a chicken.

Fiordiligi

My mother sang opera all day long.
She made beds, shucked peas
And swore that not even death
Could change her heart’s devotion.

Her voice was like a police siren,
Her voice was like soft evening rain.
In the shed, the rabbits trembled,
The rooster looked admiringly at her.

Days of ecstasy, anguish, silence.
A year of long black dresses,
A year of white handkerchiefs,
Crumpled and strewn on the floor.

Once we took a walk in the cemetery.
The leafless old trees terrified me,
And so did her hands clenched into fists
As her chin rose higher and higher.

Grocers and mailmen ran from her
As from a sleepwalker
Who came after them in broad daylight,
Asking for the news of her lost love.

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