Merci Ta-Nehisi de la Paris Review

by Lorin Stein

Many thanks to Ta-Nehisi, many thanks to you all for letting me share your airspace—and for going so easy on a sub. Your forbearance has not been lost on me.

This afternoon you can find me in the comments section, responding to individual threads. In the meantime, I will leave you with an invitation and a poem.

The invitation—for those of you within striking distance of New York—is to a sneak preview of our fall issue two weeks from tomorrow. Copies will be for sale fresh off the truck. Secret guest readers will be unveiled. They will read. They will autograph. Glasses will be lifted. This will happen at Fontana's bar, on the Lower East Side, as part of the Lit Crawl festival. Click here for deets.

The poem is by the Australian John Tranter, from the next issue. It is an imitation of a sonnet by Charles Baudelaire. You are its very first readers. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed my time with you.

Perfume (After Baudelaire)

My eyes closed, dozing on a summer afternoon,
I inhale the perfume you're wearing, wearing
nothing else: I see black volcanic sand,
waves flogging the shore, a harsh sun,
a country colonized by waves of capital
where every man conquers every other,
and the women run the joint, roaming at night,
seeking a casual coupling in the dark.

Spellbound by your perfume—Eau d'Ivresse?
I see a hotel parking lot filled with Cadillacs,
the lobby crowded with realtors and call girls,
while the shrieks of peacocks roosting on the roof
echo through the crowded streets and mingle
with the hysterical laughter of the party-goers.