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



On ‘Buried Alive’,
possessions can’t be lost

or found.
They can’t be exchanged.

They’re negotiated

as one negotiates
a landfill.

In the militarised evening,

touts its service
to ‘our troops’. We’re shown

soldiers pinned down.
One is strapped

to a pallet –
ready for take-off?

In the currency market,
I’m the judge

of a talent show
or beauty pageant

in which the contestants
are moments

of my life. None
is good enough

to keep


‘Do words just pop
into your head?’

Some may go


‘Have you thought much
about your legacy?’

I’m a legacy

No I’m not.


‘What do you call precious?’

The precious doesn’t
get around much

so it stays small.

Or it orbits
the same small

a kid
on a carousel.

‘Look at me!’

It fiddles
with itself.

But I’ve got bigger things
to pick up

and put down.

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