In the latest issue:

In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: Springtime for Donald

David Bromwich

Meetings with their Gods

Claire Hall

‘Generation Left’

William Davies

At the North Miami Museum: Alice Paalen Rahon

Mary Ann Caws

Buchan’s Banter

Christopher Tayler

‘American Dirt’

Christian Lorentzen

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow

In Lahore

Tariq Ali


James Lasdun

Rereading Bowen

Tessa Hadley

At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

William Gibson

Thomas Jones

Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

John-Paul Stonard

Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

Jenny Turner


                                     ‘No Trespassing’, read the blackened sign,
prompting a wry laugh. Scorched earth brooks no law.
The blazes happened months ago in the news;
now a wilderness prodigal with chartreuse,
fresh brushwork as far as Santa Barbara,
set off brilliantly the carbonised pine.

                                     Incendiaries go where they are sent.
It wasn’t just expensive landscape daubed
with embers; afterwards, winter torrents ground
raindrops through whirlwinds to thunder on the ground.
Mudslides came to heavy rest. Mushrooms knobbed
new doors for the permanent resident.

                                     Fires even crept toward the Getty,
where you and I walked. Bridal travertine’s
a flame-resistant dress for art veiled in glass.
The sprinkler system half-camouflaged in grass
wasn’t for the drought-friendly evergreens,
but defence against glowing confetti.

                                     Item 1: The Wonder Cabinet.
Doors and drawers ajar, it seemed to say
that there was nowhere to hide; given a scare,
every eye in its head returned such a stare,
a dovecote emptied at once. (Judgment Day.
All Souls’. Debts discharged to the Infinite.)

                                     Item 2: Venus. Someone wake her
(as Bacchus and the maenad are doing)
so she can flee the place where her nudity
draws out the peeping fruit of the lemon tree.
Perhaps its light cologne is so wooing,
she may deliquesce before flames take her.

                                     Item 3: La Surprise. A Watteau
recovered after two hundred years is
possibly retardant. Tuning his guitar,
the musician observes two lovers; they are
oblivious. Beyond, a precipice
drolly cleaves the composition in two.

                                     (The dog, a bit player, sides with him.)
You are still too green to share my despair
that Wonder, Love, Art, each represent a stage.
The far sensuousness of mist will engage –
like the blue plumbago that brushed our hair –
then dissolve into sexless seraphim.

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