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

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

Close
Close

from the cadaver beginning to show through the skin of the day. The future without
                     days. Without days of it?
                     in it? I try to – just for a second – feel
that shape. What weeds-up out of nowhere as you look away for
                     good. So that you have to imagine
whatever’s growing there growing forever. As you shall not be back to look
                     again. The last glance like a footprint before the
                     thing it was
takes flight. Disturbing nothing, though,
                     as it is
nothing. Air moving aside air. That breeze. How is this possible, and yet it
                     must be. Otherwise it cannot be said that this
existed. Or that we did, today. Always breathing in this pre-life, exhaling this post.
                     Something goes away and something comes
back. But through you. Leaving no trail but self. As trails go not much of
                     one. But patiently
you travel it. Your self. You hardly disturb anything actually, isn’t it strange. For all
                     the fuss of being how little
                     you disturb. Also like
                     a seam, this trail. Something is being
repaired. No? Yes. Push Save. Write your name again to register. It is some
                     bride, this flesh barely hanging
                     on, of minutes, of minutiae, of whatever it is
                     raising now
up through day’s skin as a glance, a toss of hand, a head in con-
                     versation – as, growing in-
                     creasingly unburied now, one can begin to see
the speechless toil, there under day’s department, under the texture of
                     keeping-on-
doing-it, whatever it is that has variation in it, that swallows clip, that the
                     trellis of minutes holds letting clouds slip
                     through if you
                     look up – it seems we are
fresh out of ideas – the pre-war life disappeared, just like that, don’t look back you’ll
                     get stiff-necked – there is exhaust in the air in its
place – the wilderness (try to think of it) does nothing but point to here, how we
                     got here, says it can’t stay
                     a minute longer
                     but that we
                     will have to – & day
something I am feeling lean on my shoulders now, & how
                     free it is, this day, how it seems to bend its
                     long neck
over me and try to peer at me, right here, right into my face – how it is so worried in
                     its hollowing-out over me – night in it starting to
trickle down, & the sensation of punishment, though still far away, horns in the
                     distance, & how this was a schooling, & plain
truths which shine out like night-bugs in evening, no one can catch them as
                     they blink
                     and waft, & that summer will be here
soon, which is normal, which we notice is normal, & will our fear matter to
                     anything is a thing we
                     wonder, & before you know it
we are ready to begin thinking about something else,
                     while behind us it is approaching at
                     last the day of
days, where all you have named is finally shunted aside, the whole material man-
                     ifestation of so-called definitions, imagine
that, the path of least resistance wherein I grab onto the immaterial and christen it
                     thus and thus &
something over our shoulders says it is good, yes, go on, go on, and we did.

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

letters@lrb.co.uk

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences