The interior love poem
the deeper levels of the self
dates when the abandonment
of certain principles occurred
The role of courtesy—how to enter
a forest, how to touch
a master’s feet before lesson or performance
The art of the drum. The art of eye-painting.
How to cut an arrow. Gestures between lovers.
The pattern of teeth marks on skin
drawn by a monk from memory
The limits of betrayal. The five ways
a lover could mock an ex-lover
The skill in tentative messages
which included yes and no
but never the direct maybe
Nine finger and eye gestures
to signal key emotions
The small boats of solitude
Lyrics that rose
back into air
naked with guile
Our works and days
We knew how monsoons
would govern behaviour
and when to discover
the knowledge of the dead
hidden in clouds
in rivers, in unbroken rock
All this was burnt
or traded for power and wealth
from the eight compass points of vengeance
from the two levels of envy
What we Lost
Isis in Darkness
Margaret Atwood presents a man pining for his lost love over decades.
Do Not Say We Have Nothing
An extract from Madeleine Thien‘s Man-Booker shortlisted novel.
Zulu Romeo Foxtrot
Douglas Coupland on rock-star font Helvetica.
In Sight of the Lake
A women looks for control in a story by Alice Munro.
A mildewed dystopia from Camilla Grudova.
‘A man-eating tiger was on the prowl when I arrived in Pilibhit one rainy evening in September.’
‘All colours are hurt spectacles, I think, and say aloud without intention.’ The 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner for Asia.
I come from a place on your bucket list
Deepti Kapoor on travel, authenticity and the peculiarity of being Indian in Uganda.