In the latest issue:

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

‘The Man in the Red Coat’

Luc Sante

Is it OK to have a child?

Meehan Crist

Short Cuts: Ubu Unchained

August Kleinzahler

Bury that bastard

Nicole Flattery

Surplus Sons

Clare Bucknell

Oliver Lee Jackson

Adam Shatz

The Servant Problem

Alison Light

Poem: ‘1 x 30’

Anne Carson

The Old Bailey

Francis FitzGibbon

Jiggers, Rods and Barleycorns

James Vincent

More Marple than Poirot

J. Robert Lennon

On Rachael Allen

Matthew Bevis

Like a Ball of Fire

Andrew Cockburn

The Staffordshire Hoard

Tom Shippey

Blessed Isles

Mary Wellesley

At the Movies: ‘Jojo Rabbit’ and ‘A Hidden Life’

Michael Wood

Redeeming Winnie

Heribert Adam

Diary: A Friendly Fighting Force

Nick McDonell

Close
Close

Mephisto 5

I AM A GOD WITH A HUGE FACE. Lions
and eagles pour out of my mouth. Big white
square teeth and a red-purple tongue. There are
magenta clouds around my head and this
is my throne room where I
change opals into souls
in a spark of alchemy.
    Only a fool is impartial
to cool mist
 on the face on a brisk walk
 through the canyon. – Sometimes passed
in semi-darkness by a biker
or
a car
  delivering the papers.

AN
ORDINARY DAY
 in Paradiso with clouds
  of angels making a rose.

Smell of wet humus
   over the rostrum of lichens.

We are ‘safe in Heaven dead’
and the drone planes do not film
our home for the watchers
    near Denver.

Mephisto 6

SOMBREROS THE COLOUR OF CHILDREN’S
COOKIES. Colourlessness at the edges
of things. – Radiances of blue-silver
roll through consciousness
  past the precipice of protein and quarks.
  The silk scarf is sleek
on
 the
 neck
    – greens and reds melt into sienna.

 ART
      DISAPPEARS
         in department store limbo.

       I am always here on this rock
    ESCARPMENT
       eating a sandwich with you,
        watching mist tufts rise
         from the ravines.

         When you are angry
     MY
       CHEST,
        these ribs,
        lock together into stone
         and there’s the smell
         of the smoke
         of feathers burning.

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