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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

After a Spate of Sleet and Hail

He dreamed of smoke –
An electrical fire? Woke, stumbled
Through the house, the smell
Vanishing, a wisp rising nightward.
Back in bed, restless with the light off,
A bottle of Bordeaux on his nightstand,
A pistol in the drawer, a loneliness
He couldn’t control, though he enjoyed
Control. Posture was important, shoes,
An expression to satisfy women
In power suits, the manner of how
One crossed a floor – his manicured
Nails, his fondness for even numbers.
But could he change? In California
He made love to a woman once
On a redwood stump

One wraps one’s arms about those
Baby animals in a barnyard, their scent
So clean. Perhaps he could learn to cook
After work. His wife visiting her mother
In Missouri, Or was it Arkansas?
He’d been to neither.
She hadn’t called

Pears

The city historian remarked,
The past is inferior for some
But not for others, I am
Heading west however
To become a pro poker player

There was a brewery halfway
Up the hill that resembled a church,
The parade trolled past in the direction
Of the hospital, where they dispersed
And pulled off their masks. Women
With cupcake faces, men with big behinds.
They would later shave that hill down

Let your brush do the thinking
The retired house painter explained.
Puppy chewing on a Budweiser can.
Sun on goldenrod.
Being a rebel and tilting at windmills
Are two different things.
Would you like a pear?

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