In the latest issue:

Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Indefinite Lent

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The Yorkists

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Whitehall Spookery

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Gordon v. O’Connor

Rupert Thomson

Revism

Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

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?

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