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The sound from the trombones betrays a very different era, the noise itself setting the rhythms of what we feel and think, or at least how weíve been tricked to feel and think. These man-made rooms we know, at least, will be broken, once the day seeps back between the cracked bricks. Itís an illusion with the tagged-on premise of us all being in on the act. Our throbbing bunker, that gloams, with the light unseen from the other patches in the ragged bunch of conurbations. How many other hidden jamborees? Massive when youíre in them yet silent elsewhere, even just the other side of the walls. The outside with its frost-perfect stillness combined with netting of lights, like an interactive, absorbing walk-in game. Iíd love to be there too, inside the lights, as if they were arbitrary lasers going right through my skin. The beams are constructing another land, and itís easy to forget that there things arenít so simple, that on the periphery the jagged syringe-brown edges of things can be shaped in the mould of a nightmare. I think of them now - annoyed that Iím thinking of them - and canít stop. The outskirts seep into the coolness of now. Iíve been there; the deadly margins, where lawlessness can be a virtue and the street maintains no rules. Whenever Iíve been in those lands Iíve felt as though I was destined to stray into them forever, their black barren cul-de-sacs, too distant from any flames Ė bodies or fire. And that place is one side of these things, the nautical landscapes the other. From now on, every night will feel like this one. Every time I step into the clear grids of roads Iíll be disorientated by the flash of bike lights that Iíll mistake for a lighthouse, or laughter from somewhere near will rekindle those communications late in the evening in the dining lounges. Every night will bring with it a measure of loss, manifested in the laughter made by open pub doorways, girlsí smiles as they quickly walk past to some amazing party or other, and buses breaking the hush, bludgeoning up the never-ending hill.

Atlantic Road under a sodium glare.

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© Copyright 2016 John Maher