In the latest issue:

An Ordinary Woman

Alan Bennett

Anglo-America Loses its Grip

Pankaj Mishra

Short Cuts: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness

Mattathias Schwartz

Smells of Hell

Keith Thomas

Mrs Oliphant

Tom Crewe

Tippett’s Knack

Philip Clark

At Tate Modern: Steve McQueen

Colin Grant

Catherine Lacey

Nicole Flattery

Churchill’s Cook

Rosemary Hill

The ‘Batrachomyomachia’

Ange Mlinko

On Dorothea Lange

Joanna Biggs

Paid to Race

Jon Day

Poem: ‘Traveller’s Tales: Chapter 90’

August Kleinzahler

The Soho Alphabet

Andrew O’Hagan

Old Tunes

Stephen Sedley

Victor Serge’s Defective Bolshevism

Tariq Ali

The Murdrous Machiavel

Erin Maglaque

Diary: Insane after coronavirus?

Patricia Lockwood


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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