Urban Nocturne

by dschapman

A calm sweeps like snow through the lights of the city, cool and acquiescent, weightless in place and in ambience. We slip into our patient reprisals, our natural tendencies, relaxed without limit or measure, curled up with our knees to our ears, carving a home from the holes in the walls, out of the darkness and into a dimly-lit chamber, into our wholesome abstractions. Of bushels of fruit and a pitcher of milk, of remnants of snow on the lips of the windows tilted open, open and motionless windows of glass. In the kitchen, pull the curtains back, in all the kitchens that spread like a tremor of peace and of discontent, unsubtle, unsafe, alone in the coolness of late-night aesthetics, standing bleary-eyed by the pots of boiling water, counting dead flowers in a deep muddy vase, strands of dancing marionettes hanging from a nail in the wall, see-through energies, the hum of eternal mortal coils, the vibrations through the stacks of books, the train tracks laid under the bridge, the smell of stale smoke lingering white, phosphorescent, burning slowly, pooling tufts of ash. The future has come, and it is appalling, it is insistent and wide-angled, internal and spacious and elegant. It casts its warm blue-orange glow across all of our subtlest contours, all our expressions and our thoughts, passionless ambitions, windowless eyes. It glances off the roofs of the libraries and drains from the chains to the gutter. It is a soul, and it is nestling, it is woven in the calm, all-encompassing. It streams from the cars and the trains as they weave through the ice of the evening, lamps burning, casting shadows, rescuing shadows from the darkness. We can hear a music playing softly, somewhere near, below us, something paced and emotive, heartbreaking, spacious. It moves softly, like the snow, over the earth. It drifts through the cracks in the doors and slides like swirling tendrils of light through the fog spreading over our walls, into our mental fixations, our struggles with bliss. It is a consciousness, it is an electronic pulse, misting, lasting and transient and soft. The moment of the candle, snuffed. It bears with us, and we with it, into nights many endless nights long, full of longing, lost in the slow-flowing floods and the gentle emanations, blue and orange. Gentle subdermal messages, currents of light through our veins, comforting haunts in the laurels of sleep… You can feel it in the air around you, always all around you, like dew on morning bluegrass. It settles supreme over every nerve-ending. A vacant diffusion through drifting totalities, pale winter prints in the snow… I feel fingers with my fingers, cold transparent fingers, hands pressed up close to my hands. A familiar perfume… cologne dripping over your spine… I see the slippery glare of the full mortal world out my window, I see people treading dirty puddles, crossing canals over bridges, having a drink in a magical park, under magical awnings and lattices… Doves flutter out of the leaves, blankets pulled up to our faces. I see violet petals, falling. People sleeping and dreaming, people are laying, awake, threatened with awe, with nostalgia. People shaving the hair from their skin and people sitting in still-warming cars, gloves on their hands, frost on their glasses. People uneasy, tossing and turning and cursing the blue-orange light. Silos are drained of their stores. People lean against walls, love-stricken, in love with one another, tripping through the streets together, drinking fresh coffee with cream and speaking in stilted poetics. They feel all the world buzz around them, the aura of all extant beings, all pictures of winter devotion. Everything is crystal clear. Everything is whole and is peaceful. Everything yearns, everything satisfies, pacifies, sifting through many-layered dimensions, overlapping observations – woven photonic emissions – inspiration as torn from the pages of books, bicycles freed from their padlocks and chains – Everything gleams of an innocent, ever-present beauty, a thin screen of silk… Time seems to stand almost perfectly still. Dust filters through it, bass wafting up from the club in the basement, ice-like, steaming shallow and decisive, passerbys laughing, passing by in their muted distinction, perfectly muted tendencies, pacing and making their way through the winter, the weight of the sink cratering inwards… crowns of dancing embers, blue-white and beautiful… the calm of an astral presence, parted, dim-lit and eternal. If it were a horse, it would be a pale horse, with eyes luminescent, and it would have traversed many worlds, and carried many riders to sleep. It would speak of the inextinguishable universals in an honest, indistinguishable tenor of being. It would be distant, like a planet, like a ring of bending, blinding light. These are not the best years of my life… These are not the best years of life… These are not the best years of my life… Terrifying clarity! These are the best years of my life… Strangled pluralities, nascent illusions… the drifting, the breathing, the plasticity within us arcing over us all, the boundless profusion of the blue-orange emanation, cold and without pain, set back with the stars and the corporeal motion of worlds, set with the elliptical orbit of self-realization, realized in arms in the deep of the night in the city, under the tree limbs that shake in the park, under a bridge or on top of a tower, on top of a bare wooden floor, in the bed with the sheets tangled up at our feet, the fading horns of midnight rainy midnight drivers… Diminishing flashes of light through the window, light bursts through the pale evening prisms, at one with the visions played out in our mind, on the ceilings like scenes from a subconscious opera, translucent, reminiscent. Such is the omnipotent feeling, the imminent involvement, the living entity. So laps the wind at our clear brimming eyes, drawing out our tears and then drying them, easing us into our futures unseen, unlived, inescapable. Everything is diffusive, everything secretes. Everything is exquisite and serene. Worlds are made whole again, feelings are spun from fresh ether. Things are felt, voices are heard. Humans parade through the bends, the bends of the listless wind in the wishful wind-tunnel, vanishing through the close narrow scope of the eternal mode of existence, out of and into the scale that transcends all confession, all judgment, consumes in an all-encompassing perpetuity, elastic, a neon late-night splendor, a sidewalk and a gaping wound, a landscape of stars twinkling knowingly over fields and a cemetery, bodies in all of the graves, a prayer at the gates of the monastery in the name of the savior… She is there, the most beautiful girl in the world. She appears through the passing mirage like undressed premonitions. She walks on her own through the stars towards morning, wading through the cosmic tide towards uncertain salvation. She is preceded by the blue-orange span, many-leveled and miraculous. She strides beyond all sight, ascends beyond vision and into a stream, out of the lightstream and onto the ceiling, the screen of the mind’s mystic eye, of bluish light and crystal intentions, of fluorescence reflected through endless concavities, through prisms of evening still slipping away… Her whispers are honest, her manner is pure. It lasts all night long… Nothing slips from her. Everything is soft again, everything is promised. Moons dragged through mountains and cast to the sky, given to glowing and shadows, to 21st century uncertainties, nothing is certain, nothing is real, everything is possible, everything is pure… On the front steps of the tenement building, waiting to see her pass by – drinking the blood of the holy lord savior and rubbing the sleep from both eyes… lingering halos of motionless light… stumbling, lost in a daze, shoes glistening, toes cold… over the exhaust grate, billowing exhaust, and into the cinema, into the faltering path of the light, of people playing make-believe… All of us, all make-believe. It is the same distant feeling, the same sentient melancholy. It is made out of honey, flows out of our glands. It is implicit, staid, soft. It lingers, flickering blue and orange… and then, without warning, it just… disappears.