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

A ten-minute Jesuit nap with shoes on
releases the hypnagogic sentences
mimicking the rhythms of sports commentary,
morphing darkly into a story like this:
In the sunless world where we’d arranged to meet
everything’s lit from within and space has nerves
that pass through your throat (if you slide along them
like a curtain ring it will hurt the next day)
but it turned out to be much harder to leave
my body behind than my slugabed mind,
so we plumped for the Donkey on Fire instead
with its comforting smell of public carpet,
billiard balls clacking and vinyl silences.

Having lit my way through the gloom with a pint,
I slumped on a couch to watch elastic blobs
collide and coalesce in a lava lamp.
How is it possible to return from there
with the briefly glowing certitude that all
is forgiven and a hypnopompic snap
of softly obliterated prints left by
a barefoot Carmelite errand in the snow?

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