In the latest issue:

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

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


Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster


Empty air is a distraction
        cut out of another void
                scissored away from cypress avenues
and dusty white roads too far
        below to see anything in it
                that feels like thinking or flying.

As we could be, now,
        through this shiny air swooping
                on details like a camera or a firefly
touching down for a moment
        on a roof, contact lenses or sunglasses
                pointed at a ridge-tile.

Looking down on a valley, go
        higher carried on thermals until
                each farmhouse rhymes with
fieldmouse, perspective awry, your wings
        shrunk to angel size,
                curved and sleek cut-outs to keep.

You call it a drone and you might
        be right, these days what soars is not
                always the imagination or the heart,
and seen from above we will
        always be a distraction, a target
                for some process that needs to cut us out.

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