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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

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At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Whitehall Spookery

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

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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

Caliban RexPeter Spagnuolo
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I sweeps out the last speck of his glitter dust,
his hippie robes, and chucked that disco mirror-ball
down the cliff. All day so I spits, I cussed,

watched their sail dwindle at the limit of all
that isn’t this, my birthright, my home. And then I huff
her dirty knickers up my snout – the pair I stole

when she bathed in my creek, in the buff,
posed mid my rocks, my ferns, knew I watched – and I sucks
at her essence, long gone, hiss it rough

through lips curled with leathry cracks,
past fangs worn down in service, opening their oysters,
good riddance! The white flame tacks

over the edge, my erstwhile masters
leave me here alone, king of all this. It’s her loss,
I pushed my body on her, I kissed-up hers –

so no brood of hairy babes in treetops toss
down coconuts for Da’, pile on us laughing, or howl
while chasing down a pig. I’m the boss

of no one now. Let her sail off to Napule,
whatever that place is – she can lay her velvet prince
in his velvety bed, his floppy royal tool

like squid when it’s dead, convince
herself that she can live on that. She gets a pump
from him, and slips into a trance,

and sees my sun-burnt, wooly rump,
my snaggle-toothed, sneering, bad-boy face
and wishes it’s my shaggy hump

she’s clinging to.

 

                               Now I’ve got my own place,
I can re-arrange the rocks, move the mud-spackled huts
over in the sun, take a stick and trace

plans in dirt for the new shack. But what’s
became of that airy sprite? I never knew just which
end of her to do – or him? She cuts

out first chance she gets, no more His bitch,
when I’d serve her still: she’d twangle up a sexy tune,
help me spell the nights, bewitch

me with her hollow eyes, her mirror-moon,
conjure up a cask of sack, lay and drink it at my side,
her body nothing, mine the demon-spawn.

But I’m the lonely king, I got no use for pride:
I’m made of fish-scales, pork-rinds, I am nothing but lust.
What is music? I dreamt, and woke. I cried.

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