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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

Indefinite Lent

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The Yorkists

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Whitehall Spookery

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

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

A ProfessionJamie Baxter
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The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognise

Shigeo Shingo

Thank you for giving me this opportunity      in the world of work
I will endeavour      I will strive      I’ve put hands on parts of my body
and committed      It is a noble pastime to work      few would disagree
though some might shun      not I      Recognising my own potential
I have become a corporate citizen      The office square fills with workers
at lunch      wandering from their desks into the highest point of the sun
though often in the form of rain      Some days I staple my work to my desk
so I can slowly unpick it      There’s so much to look forward to
like watching Thomas fail      What a thrill it is      not being Thomas
His eyes back      from the bathroom blare      I save files and am constantly
printing or making notes at easily remembered meetings      Sometimes I strip
in a toilet cubicle      only to redress      but there is a moment
I care very deeply about this company      whose name      I will research
My lunch is almost ready to be removed from the photocopier      What a thrill
to receive so many different looks during the course of a day      from the same set
of people      I am very focused on being here      My emails are always leaving
and move through the one language I know      and a few others
I’m vaguely aware of      I’m always being asked for advice      how did you
get a job here      how do you define failure or success      When the red
of the clouds fades to pink during the 4 o’clock winter sunsets and everyone gathers
by the windows to take in the view I tut and shout   make sure they get back to work
I’m always making coffee      and throwing it away      I don’t drink coffee

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