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This report is taken from PN Review 245, Volume 45 Number 3, January - February 2019.

from ‘The Notebooks’
from ‘The Notebooks’of Arcangelo Riffis
Marius Kociejowski
‘Are there any fish in Afghanistan?’ I asked my Afghan fishmonger once. ‘No,’ he replied, ‘it’s why I’m here.’ I think he got one over me because when I got home I checked to see if there are fish in Afghanistan and I discovered there are at least one hundred and thirty species. Now I’ll have to ask him whether they are, at least some of them, edible. The walk of approximately two miles to the North End Road market where I buy my fish and vegetables takes me through Margravine Cemetery which is pleasingly dilapidated and would make an ideal setting for a 1930s horror film. The gravestones are at precarious angles, many of them, and in places the ground about them swells as if the dead are pushing up from underneath, furious that we’ve forgotten them. Add prayers and proper words to the fixed fires. This morning, as usual, I walked down the main avenue of the cemetery and then I exited at the gate that goes into Field Road, which then turns left into Greyhound Road, and it was there, where the two roads meet, that I saw a young woman in a summery pink dress pause, raise one leg, and, perfectly balancing herself on the other one, remove her shoe and shake out of it a small pebble. I marvelled at the sheer grace with which an ordinary enough procedure had become a balletic one. There was in this eroticism of a kind that’s almost too subtle for language. She had beautiful legs, which, I suppose, helped set in motion the mind’s processes. As ...


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