In the latest issue:

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

The Home Life of Inspector Maigret

John Lanchester

Story: ‘Have a Seat in the Big Black Chair’

Diane Williams

The Last Whale

Colin Burrow

In Beijing

Long Ling

Princess Margaret and Lady Anne

Rosemary Hill

At the Movies: ‘Arkansas’

Michael Wood

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

At Home

Jane Miller

The Ottoman Conundrum

Helen Pfeifer

Poem: ‘Muntjac’

Blake Morrison

The Inequality Engine

Geoff Mann

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

At Auckland Castle: Francisco de Zurbarán

Nicola Jennings

Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice

No RepentanceSteve Ely
Vol. 41 No. 2 · 24 January 2019

No Repentance

Steve Ely

189 words

The bayonet tip wouldn’t bite at first.
Scraped, slid off, like his vest was made
of mithril. Lothlorien, Gonvilnd Keys.
A gift from the Lady, or Arron Banks.
Barings Bank. The plunderous karats
of Antwerpus Loup. The bayonet tip
wunt bite in the thick-seamed ephod,
its armour of urin and bummin. Deep
bruzing, dribling facets. Sum wailing:
Paedo/haemo-philiac sadness. Bayonet
tip at bay, tight-mesh kevlar whalebone
corset. Waling. Rifle butt or handy rock
by hand. Cracked crabshell, the bright
blood oh the bright and black bright
blood. Phil Leotardo’s pancaked dome:
CROCK. Spill it – dimunz, perlz, Old
English Spangles. Frayed linen tricklin
rubies: names stitched into underpants
unravel – Willum, Judd, Alexey, Blud.
Clubbin ducklins with Garrard & Flack:
that kind of thing, but for the greater good.
Mess up the wall and over the concrete
floor: spatter of sapphires and scattring
blue-tongued skinks. Chromosomes
uncrowned, crowned kids rinsed in blood
as Blood. The boy died at my pleasure,
like a rabbit retrieved to hand or a ball-
bellied Sudanese refugee: eyes glazing
over, rib-cage ever so slightly lifting STOP
won’t somebody think of the children?

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

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