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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

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Christian Lorentzen

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow

In Lahore

Tariq Ali

GOD HATES YOUR FEELINGS

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At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

William Gibson

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Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

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Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

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Wang Xiuying

Two PoemsCharles Simic
Close
Close

The Marriage

If I had an ounce of good sense
I’d stay put in the country,
Rising early to hear the birds
And see the sun come up,
Taking long walks after lunch,
Stopping only to talk to a crow,
Or a dog who happens by.

The trouble is, I like to raise hell
As much as I like sitting quietly
Like a monk in his cell.
A car careening with a screech,
Carrying a party of revellers
To another late-night dive in the city,
Sends me into ecstasies.

To marry wisdom to foolishness
Has been my lifelong desire
Since I take pleasure in both their company
And attend to their counsel.
A blessing from my parents
Who alternated bickering
And swearing love for each other.

These thoughts and others came to me
While I slept in my bed,
And, for all I know, may have been whispered
Into my ear by the black cat
Who keeps a nightly vigil by my side,
So mice don’t nibble my toes
Or take shortcuts over my pillow.

Things Need Me

City of poorly loved chairs, bedroom slippers, frying pans,
I’m rushing back to you
Passing every car on the highway,
Searching for you with my bright headlights
Down the dark, empty streets.

O you heartless people who can’t wait
To go to the beach tomorrow morning,
What about the black and white photo of your grandparents
You are abandoning?
What about the mirrors, the potted plants and the coathangers.

Dead alarm clock, empty bird cage, piano I never play,
I’ll be your waiter tonight
Ready to take your order,
And you’ll be my mysterious dinner guests,
Each one with a story to tell.

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