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

The Inequality Engine

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

Northeast BuildingJohn Ashbery
Close
Close
Vol. 34 No. 23 · 6 December 2012
Poem

Northeast Building

John Ashbery

178 words

I tell myself I’m a minimalist.
Not that it matters to the big guns
who train their sights on us,
who also know about tomorrow and their brothers,
and had a pretty good run. It would be that time
in the future, that was predicted. The wearing of boater hats
had become fairly commonplace, like going to the park.
Children ran errands while adults went to the movies.
There were more sights along the strand than at first
imagined. Nobody ever heard of an alternative
to these dingy, then bright vignettes.
We had a good night’s sleep and fell into an uneasy dialogue,
like the United States and Canada. Then mild everything.

The runner is already here,
has been for some time, awaiting instructions.
If it was my turn I’d go, but since that is
out of the question, I’ll merely keep my counsel,
looking for some converted to preach to.
The other thing, your happiness programme, fits in
with the recent trend for self-expression. All in good time.
Why is parting, then, permitted?

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

letters@lrb.co.uk

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Read More

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences