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Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Fifteen days from now

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The Yorkists

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Whitehall Spookery

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Gordon v. O’Connor

Rupert Thomson

Revism

Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

Close
Close

The bicycle messenger who nearly knocked you over
Was me trying to.
That was me circling Columbus Circle
On a track bike, the kind with one gear and no brakes.
Look out! No brakes with a message!
I flashed around the velodrome
Of my life, clinging to your steeply banked curves,
And discovered the New World.

It’s as if your body were itself a person
And the person wasn’t you.
It’s as if I were a flesh-eating flower,
Whereas actually I’m originally from St Louis.
The performing self opens the stage door.
I start my act.
I feel like running for office.
I feel like riding a fixed-wheel track bike for the simplicity.

You’ll play the viola
And I’ll play myself.
Komm, süsser Tod
Comes out of my mouth
Like a tail coming out of a dog.
Take my hand and we’ll wag down Fifth Avenue.
We’ll walk into the first church we see,
Which is to say the Apple Store.

I’m walking west on Central Park South
With my iPhone out.
I am calling you, oo oo oo, oo oo oo,
With a love that’s true, oo oo oo, oo oo oo.
We take the Time Warner Building
Escalators up the four floors to the top.
Something about how incredible it all is
Tells me to stand back from the edge of the vertiginous view.

I get dizzy imagining I’m on the balcony
That runs around the torch of the Statue of Liberty
Looking down on Columbus Circle.
The handlebars are in my hands.
I ride without brakes around and around.
I walk around the torch blazing.
I see you thirty blocks uptown
In my bed, light pouring in.

And we have tickets for the Bach at Lincoln Center.
And let’s check out
The Upper West Side Apple Store next door.
It’s one more crystal-clear Apple cathedral
For Saint Steve Jobs, who discovered America,
Where the deer and the antelope play
With the herds of touchscreens on display,
Not far from Columbus Circle and pancreatic cancer.

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