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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

‘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

Two PoemsJohn Burnside
Close
Close

Down by the River

El muro cano
Va a imponerme su ley, no su accidente.

         Jorge Guillén

She dies in a local flurry of dismay
as kittens do, held steady in a pail
of icy water,

never what I intended, more a case
of inattentiveness than grief or rage,

I held her in the current, fingers wound
with shift and slither.

It wasn’t personal. It wasn’t something planned.
I let her slip away, then stood, alone,

forgetting how the mind will travel far
to catch itself in blood and narrative:

a little thing; not mean, but
local, like a dustfall

or a blinding,
thought burning out in the eyes and the afterwards

that lasts too long,
like cinders in the rain.

It wasn’t personal; I only saw
the logic in the moment of my bidding,

a slow tide, like the pull of earth and sky
that gripped her in my hands, and held her down,

inevitable, known but unforeseen,
imposing neither chance, nor accident.

Day of the Dead

It’s the corpse-groom
who holds my attention:

HansChristianAndersened
out of his wedding night
with the moth-eaten bride,

he’s pledging his troth, by default,
to a marzipan doll

with eyes that no longer
remind him of someone else;

and, happy to be free
of hope and fear,

he listens for the wind
that snakes across

the asphalt, hymns
and ghost towns in its wake

and silence trailing after, like the sleep
he thought would end

in sugarcraft and satin.

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