In the latest issue:

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

The Home Life of Inspector Maigret

John Lanchester

Story: ‘Have a Seat in the Big Black Chair’

Diane Williams

The Last Whale

Colin Burrow

In Beijing

Long Ling

Princess Margaret and Lady Anne

Rosemary Hill

At the Movies: ‘Arkansas’

Michael Wood

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

At Home

Jane Miller

The Ottoman Conundrum

Helen Pfeifer

Poem: ‘Muntjac’

Blake Morrison

The Inequality Engine

Geoff Mann

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

At Auckland Castle: Francisco de Zurbarán

Nicola Jennings

Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice

Close
Close

Backed myself into a dark corner one day,
Found a boy there,
Forgotten by teachers and classmates,
His shoulders slumped,
The hair on his head already grey.
Friend, I said.

While you stood here staring at the wall,
They shot a president,
Some guy walked on the moon,
Dolly, the girl we all loved,
Took too many sleeping pills and died
In a hotel room in Santa Monica.

Now and then I thought of you,
Listening to the squeak of the chalk
On the blackboard,
The sighs and whispers
Of unknown children
Bent over their lessons,
The mice running in the night.

Visions of unspeakable loveliness
Must’ve come to you in your misery:
Cloudless skies on long June evenings,
Trees full of cherries in our orchard,
To make you ache and want to be with me,
Driving a cab in New York City.

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