In the latest issue:

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


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

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

Two PoemsBilly Collins

You Said You Would Write

Two strong coffees
and an hour of unfocused staring,

and now the hour rolls round
to put on some clothes

and then to take them off again
and return to bed.

Later, it will be time
to stride down the driveway

and wait by the iron mailbox
on its solid wooden post

for the truck to round
the corner – red, white and blue.

Time even, if he is late,
to hop up and straddle

this dark metal postal horse
by the side of the road,

time to lean forward,
jockey of romance

in my imaginary silks –
a red and black hexagon –

full of hope, whip in hand,
mad for the stamp, the blue curve of your pen.

Looking Forward

Whenever I stare into the future,
the low, blue hills of the future,
shading my eyes with one hand,

I no longer see a city of opals
with a sunny river running through it
or a dark city of coal and gutters.

Nor do I see children
donning their apocalyptic goggles
and hiding in doorways.

All I see is me attending your burial
or you attending mine,
depending on who gets to go first.

There is a light rain.
A figure under an umbrella
is reading from a thick book with a black cover.

And a passing cemetery worker
has cut the engine to his backhoe
and is taking a drink from a bottle of water.

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