In the latest issue:

The Politics of Like and Dislike

William Davies

The Shrine

Alan Bennett

After the Shock

Adam Tooze

Punishment by Pressing

Hazel V. Carby

The Suitcase

Frances Stonor Saunders

Short Cuts: Thanington Without

Patrick Cockburn

The Lessons of Reconstruction

Randall Kennedy

Company-States

Linda Colley

Eva Hesse

Anne Wagner

Parachuted into France

Neal Ascherson

The Age of Sail

N.A.M. Rodger

Poem: ‘Near Gleann nam Fiadh’

Robin Robertson

‘You People’

Clare Bucknell

What Didn’t Happen

Michael Wood

Forster in Cambridge

Richard Shone

Diary: In Ashgabat

James Lomax

HomecomingJohn Ashbery
Close
Close

Weather drips quietly through the skeins
in my diary. What surly elision is this?

Who faxed the folks news of my homecoming,
even unto the platform number? The majestic parlor car
slides neatly into its berth, the doors fly open,
and it’s Jean and Marcy and all the kids, waving pink plastic pinwheels,
chomping on popcorn. Ngarrrh. You know I adore ceremony,
even while refusing to stand on it, but this, this is too inane.
And the cold anonymity of the station takes over,
reins in the crowds that were sifting to the furthest exits. No one is here.
Now I know why I’ve always hated the tango, yet loved the intimacy
secreted in its curls. And for this to continue, we’ve got to
get together, renew old saws, let old grudges ride ...

Later I’m posting this to you.
I just thought of you, you see, as indeed I do
several million times a day. I need your disapproval,
can’t live without your churlish ways.

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