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In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

Après Brexit

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

Christopher Tayler

‘American Dirt’

Christian Lorentzen

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow

In Lahore

Tariq Ali

GOD HATES YOUR FEELINGS

James Lasdun

Rereading Bowen

Tessa Hadley

At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

William Gibson

Thomas Jones

Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

John-Paul Stonard

Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

Jenny Turner

Alive That TimeAnne Carson
Close
Close

In fact Odysseus would have been here long before now
but it seemed to his mind more profitable
to go to many lands acquiring stuff.
For Odysseus knows profit over and above mortal men
nor could anyone else alive rival him at this.

(Odyssey, 19.282-6)

It’s a panel on something improbable (Godard
and Homer?) in a fluorescent salon of some
city’s Palais des Congrès.
After
your overcrafted paper sinks to cool applause you watch the
back of Margaret
Drabble’s head
let loose hooves and Styx and stories of supper
to lope the room. Applause is warm.
Q&A is daft.
A Washington journalist asks and answers everything.
Outside in the hall you recognise Z
still in mid-sentence since 1986,
urging you to contact N – that noon, that heat, that crazy
weekend you flew with N to Miami to ID her father’s body
(Coral) midday (Gables) silence
wadded tight around the little bungalow you were both
afraid to enter –
now president of a posh college in the Midwest.
N’s favourite fact about her father, whenever he
won at the races he’d buy a diamond on the way home.
It feels alive, you go there.
Drabble dinner at a costly bistro in the old town makes
smilebones hurt.
You leave abruptly, can’t find your hat in the cloakroom,
lift a Borsalino cap, looks striking on you, glad for it all
the way back to hotel.
Cold wind, theft itself, there.

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