Children chant from a distant concrete space...
Down by the river, down by the sea,
Johnny broke a bottle and blamed it on me.
An elderly man with an Irish accent talks loudly outside a pub, thick tongued with booze, chatting to his shadow in front of a sign that promises 'all FA cup matches, hot grub, and pub games'. Inside, one or two sullen figures hug the bar nursing their glasses of tepid fermented liquid milked manually, for their discernment, from a low pressure antique tap. One of them listlessly watches the TV, which is tuned to a channel featuring pundits talking about football round-the-clock because match day alone is not enough.
anyone who thinks the man in the moon is sympathetic or sound might do well with thinking again
Soon it will be bonfire night, and small gangs of kids will take to the streets pushing prams and shopping trolleys with limp featureless effigies sitting within. The canal will glow orange in the reflected light of fires. And, briefly, there will be other colours too, ignited by the empty whistle and pop of lone fireworks and their miserable clawing arcs across a regional urban sky, severed from the context of a full display. And somewhere, something will happen. Acrid burning fur. Leering faces around the last embers of a bonfire. A shred of child-sized football shirt caught on a barbed-wire fence.
The local papers the next day.
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