In the latest issue:

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

Spell for the Witch’s Hammer

a two pronged sword
to put them down



out there a lot of things happen


witches
undo   each other     a candle in each opening


    witches wake at night and cry
    beasts with curly horns comfort them
    / suck gently


witches go astray
carnality     swooping and fluttering    like a ragged flag

they      laugh    so much
covered in purple bruises
teaching    tricks        GPS of the  eternal flagellant light      always going home


the witch’s hammer  sinks into flesh
then      disappears     and only mercury remains     its little peasant trail



        the witches eat your book
        then you
        then everything

Spell for UN Resolutions

        the sun comes

they are lying there on the frayed grass


      some warm arms and legs



there is only a particular smell in them


      small occult fire

when the libraries were burning down everyone was running back
and forth with armfuls of paper



a     touch
down to the genome

         SAVE THE


      ah because suddenly you care

language and its vulgar rotations


grass thinks too

is thinking:

      ‘my only’

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