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

They can’t get enough of the indecent
toy skeletons in copulo every which way,
the perpetual action heroes, the cast-off clothes
with writing on them, the mufla

and vulcanizadora shops, the girls in bathtub jeans
from no label they ever heard of,
no film without Schwarzenegger or Willis,
wrought iron and tin mirrors, sad tenor crooners

over brass, caja de ahorros (chamber of horrors),
joyerias (brothels), the prettier the place
the uglier the music, the men growing more and more
like themselves, the women more and more like the men,

an orange balancing on an orange
balancing on an orange, no dry stick poking
out of the ground without a flower, and those
flagrant skeletons – like there’s no tomorrow.

– The water deepens to iodine from brown.

What is there to wait for? The gulls to get bored
of their bouncy slick offshore. The sun to break through the qwerty clouds.
The entire coast to make more hag-stones, amber, jellyfish.
The sand martins to file themselves away in their cliffside tenements.
Or the cropped blonde to come back along the beach
with her mystery rucksack and impenetrable wraparounds,
her superbly articulated deltoids under the black wife-beater –

    to iodine from brown.

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