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

Piketty’s Revolution

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

Piano

If I could read music
And play the piano
I’d interrupt you
With no notice
Wherever you are
In some seminar
In Edinburgh
Or sitting alone
In your office.
Today
I’d haul my piano
In medias res
And play
Like Géza Anda,
Like Alfred Brendel,
Like Frédéric Chopin,
Like Claude Debussy,
Like all the alphabet
Of subtle pianists
So impossibly
When we kissed
It would make us both cry.

50

Be my Harley, my girly, paunchess roadie,
So I can launch my fifty-something boy band:

I need you as midlife midwife, ministering angel,
To birth my crisis. O She, O Isis, come

O Rolling Stone, O Mick-chick, O stone-age Raquel,
George Eliot-brained, late-teen Emanuelle,

Let me embrace you, let me hide my light
Under your bushel, come, O come

Now to my achy-breaky heart, the one
Still unattacked, unmurmuring, forever young.

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