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Botanic Macaroni

Steven Shapin

What made the Vikings tick?

Tom Shippey

In the Lab

Rupert Beale

Will there be a Brexit deal?

Anand Menon

Short Cuts: Under New Management

Rory Scothorne

Out-Tissoted

Bridget Alsdorf

Sarah Moss

Blake Morrison

Poem: ‘Country Music’

Ange Mlinko

On the Trail of Garibaldi

Tim Parks

Art Lessons

Peter Campbell

You’ll like it when you get there

Tom Crewe

Early Kermode

Stefan Collini

‘The Vanishing Half’

Joanna Biggs

At the Movies: ‘The Truth’

Michael Wood

The Suitcase: Part Two

Frances Stonor Saunders

Poem: ‘Siri U’

Jorie Graham

Diary: Getting into Esports

John Lanchester

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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