Levitating bodies of light
in the night
the city freed from
The streets are empty, neon signs blaze in the haze, their buzzing eroding the silence, piece by piece.
Through the window of the train they city revealed itself, a combustion of motion, lights and sound. Then blackout, the tunnel swallowed the view.
Green lights flicker, flaring red, the motor carousel stopping for a moment. Red burns out, green reforms in embers. The traffic pours forward.
The sun has retreated, the moon filling in for the night shift. The city lights switch on and the moon secretly feels shamed, unable to provide the light its diurnal counterpart does.
Stray dogs pool around the restaurant back door awaiting the days scraps.
The rain hasn’t gone away. Its morphed from a trickle to a deluge. The street lights have lost all sense of form. People can’t find their way home.
The street light is reflected in the chrome, scarlet bonnet. The car has been there for hours now, the man in the fedora glancing up at irregular intervals. What he’s looking at, what he see’s isn’t clear.
Street lamp glare
making running repairs
Under cafe lights
a river of chrome
reflected in a
the only witness
to the brown bag
imbues a passing couple
with a spark
tangle invisible golden threads
around lampposts and
Head light fades in, freight train rumble. The rats scatter from the train tracks.
The rain drop enjoyed the sea of lights before it splintered on the sidewalk, its breathern compelled to share the same fate.
An apartment building. Most of the rooms are dark abandoned for the night. Some lights remain on. A television blares static in one, an unread book flared out accompanies a restful reader in another. In another a women lies naked on a bed, a shirtless man brings down a blind. The light goes out.
The last train pulls out from the rail yard, head light receding in the night. Quiet falls over the yard, the only sound a stray cat scrambling over the tracks under lamp light.
A writer, solitary, tea steaming beside her as she compiles poetics under the azure light of a bug zapper. Outside a crowd of revellers pumps drinking songs into the curtain of twilight.
Smoke rises, red lingering in the haze as the work men have to work late, trying to block out the cities boisterous roar.
Street lights in infinite reoccurrence aid night tide mariners in their faraway voyages.
rain down light
on those below
Night descends and it’s not really a city anymore. It’s a collection of colours – abstract, fleeting – burning brightly in the night air.
In a dark alley, puddles tainted with gasoline, she gives the man a few notes. A short walk later through back streets, over cobbles they go into a motel room.
The highway is busy tonight. A river of luminous rainbow threads stream into the city.
Between the sky scrapers a street lamp shines down, two rats heavenly in the glow squabble over squalid bacon rinds.
The sound of jazz ripples from the basement cafe spilling out into the neon illuminated night, spiralling in the night air, bopping down the thoroughway. A crowd draws near.
Vibes and energies, crowds and lights all reflected in a single drink.
Blue light, the modern tower in glorious emittance, streams through broken windows and shattered stair cases in the abandoned tenement block.
mastery of figures
office light lingers
others now dormant
The forsaken berserk of a wild mans sax ricocheting out from under the roving highway.
Amongst the trash cans and garbage lies the body of a drunk. How long its been lying there no one knows and it hasn’t moved in quite some time.
Refuge from the night, the quiet confines of the cafe provide respite in the guise of soulful emanations.
The red light district. Ants coated in crimson glimmers haul an abandoned sugar lolly back home.
Golden flash of a possessed mans horn sycthing through the black, illuminating the night with a junket of day glo notes, scorching runs and a blitz of improv.
Public garden closed for the night. Away from the ruckus and the rancor three leaves tumble to the ground.
A lone busker and her out of tune guitar try to survive the city. In the guitar case nickels and dimes gleam under the street lights.
Sheets of rain
shatter on the sidewalk
pockets of neon
congregate in puddles
Strings of neon
fracture on asphalt
as people run
the noodle bar
The day has gone, the offices have shut down and the towers stand black, monolithic against the moon.
The shops are shutting. One last wistful glance at the bookseller and he fades into a neon odyssey.
He and his
work late again
glances and smiles
into the street
Flickering dragon, an august ashen light breathing noodle bar fragrance into the gloom. Better get a seat, it fills up pretty fast.
clouds of light
Named Ode to Blade Runner as whenever I think of a city at night Blade Runner is the first thing that comes to mind.
Picture Roll Call (Order of appearance):
Photograph of Hong Kong from my friend Catherine.
Blade Runner still found here: http://www.rot13.org/~dpavlin/bladerunner/design.htm
Edward Hopper’s Automat found here: http://automathopper.blogspot.com/
Georgia O’Keeffe’s New York, night found here: http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/precisionism/
Photograph of Ho Chi Minh City (alleyway) from my friend Leanne.
Georgia O’Keeffe’s Radiator Building, Night, New York found here: http://laughingorcaranch.blogspot.com/2011/08/abiquiu-nm-georgia-okeeffe-country.html
Georgia O’Keeffe’s City Night found here: http://www.dialogvisual.com/2011/01/strange-similarities-between-edward.html
Edward Hopper’s Office At Night found here: http://www.artchive.com/artchive/H/hopper/ntoffice.jpg.html
Blade Runner Noodle Bar Dragons found here: http://www.propsummit.com/viewtopic.php?p=42572&sid=44703b42b2449cb768eb1b8ce7445b79
Your ode is epic. There is something more to this isn’t there? For some reason it feels like this is the beginning of something more.
I really like the set. I wonder if you’ve seen the movie The Fall. It has some visuals that are just outstanding, at least I found it that way.
As it stands its just this. I just felt the urge to get my obession with cities at night/Blade Runner down in one big thing. Could turn into something else though. If I can think of that something else.
And I’ve never seen the Fall. And wiki didn’t help, cause it lists three of them. But I think I know which one your talking about. I’ve wanted to watch it.
You could go to Stagevu and see it there. You’d need the Divx player, but it’s a small download and a really good player.
It’s the one directed by Tarsem. It’s a really visual movie. If you’re like me, and I am guessing that you are, you will be able to let go of this world and enter into the fantastic tale that this movie creates. If you do get a chance to see, let me know what you think.
I am a big fan of Philipp K. Dick — and love the work of Hopper and O’Keete — particularly Hopper.
This is a real tribute to this American sensibility. Well done!
I do tend to think of American cities when I write about urban environments. To capture that sensibility is an amazing thing.
Thank you for commenting. And sorry for the lateness of this reply. Like really sorry.
i love the combination of the variations of light and water. i especially love the image of the raindrop “splintering”. well done.
Thank you for the comment.
The light and water was a big part of this so I’m happy it shone through.
I didn’t intend for that pun.
Replicants portrayed in Blade Runner stay in this mind with great interest, much like your interests…
I don’t think a film has influenced me as much as Blade Runner. Stays with me at all times.
wow. i feel as if i just took a walk through this city and peeked in on a few of its characters….really great descriptions and shifts in scene taking it all in and making it real to us….
Cities are amazingly varied places. It’s nice to see I captured that with this.
a great gathering of fragments, beautiful shards of poetry making a mosaic of the city.
So many things make up a city, and it’s good to know I managed to bring those elements together.
Thank you for the comment.
Really cool. Love how it all fits together, and the photog/artwork is fantastic as well. Really nice. thanks
Hopper and O’Keffe are amazing artists. I’m just lucky they painted the works that they did.
Thank you for commenting.
Not really a city person myself, I found that wandering your streets was most interesting and quite enjoyable. Epic, yes, but ‘worth the trip’!
Strangely I do prefer nature, but a city at night just draws me in. Something about it. Think it’s the dancing of the lights.
Thank you for commenting.
One of my favourite movies! Wow, your words ARE images…loved every bit of this…gorgeous!
It’s such an amazing film on so many levels. If I captured some sense of that imagery, then that’s as good as I could have hoped for.
Thank you for commenting.