The night never grows completely silent as cars crawl past with sibilant hissing tyres black tarmac shining with recently departed rain slick reflection of streetlamps shimmering, and as the city groans in restless sleep, they slither and creep under blank staring faces haunting every blackened window every toothless apartment pile of square bricked shoulders huddled hunched and listening all at once, towering over and all around us on every side, we have no will to run and we have nothing left to hide, nothing to do but watch those assassins stealing by.
With daybreak comes the noise, a gradual rising gradient gathering of muttering vehicles as a trickle becomes a sudden sputtering tide sweeping along the road like a rush of blood in the brain clogging and clotting together treacle thick traffic and the crescendo of a million whispers swelling to a jabbering mechanical mass, the hacking diesel coughing and drilling into the head with concrete coloured light pulling covers from the bed, dancing and dazzling on tinted windscreens with chrome flashing hubs glaring and scintillating as every sense is overwhelmed with the ruckus of sheer indifference.
We awake to the same cardboard day, thinking we have lived this one already, we have to do this again, another year drifting into another gear shifting piston splitting misfire, patterned with rhythmic rattling sickness as the air thickens with fossil blazing and we breath deeply of those monoxides and that sweet silica dust, our faces nibbled with twitching grief as we sink and are slowly subsumed by the cacophony of life, only the urge to drive surviving, with numb nerve endings and tingling extremities acting on muscle memories and indistinct instinct.
Crushed mulberries turn black underfoot, staining the concrete streaked with seeping moisture, lost in a labyrinth of lane-ways and hidden alleys among homes built from a jumble of stones and rotten timber, tilting chimneys leaning together in quiet conversation like old men at a cafe, tobacco stained and puffing like bellows, wheezing ragged with laughter at a joke that no-one remembers.
Clinging to sandstone walls, lichen spreading to cover those still visible viscous wounds where the city was carved from the hillsides, pushed together in a tumble of twisted geometry with hollow pleasantries and disguised revelries concealed and congealed like fat burnt onto an old fry pan power plant rising from the midst of those trendy slums, the air thrumming with underground tunneling, walls falling and pummeled into grit for the bulldozer tracks, all the ghosts and black/white photography forgotten in a jungle heap of tractor-scrape.
On the streets of Balmain the bricks are all the same and the sun barely rises behind narrow sided terraces, where no amount of generic gentrification can take away the look of rusted gloom, mortar cracks and ivy spreading with her prying hands seeking the faces behind the paintings, the whole place sighs with generations of weariness, hands worn to nothing in the red oxidized steel crumble industrial estates, the sunken docks and picking locks of back gates that lead into mazes of stone lined yards strangled with verdant vinery, still shivering with the slippery cold mould and moss from seasons the rest of the town has long forgotten.
Mescalin skinned clumsy fingers fumbling over thoughtfully programmed obsolescence drenched in adolescent anarchism, no great surprises in those clever disguises, no one smiles until the medicine sets in and we pretend to feel something in this tuneless music composed of jerking movements and perfect dissonance dancing like saboteur double agents, deep cover lovers engaged in juvenile espionage under the old Glebe bridge as the taggers spray their names with a hiss and an unintelligible scrawl.
Doctors with lasers can’t save us from saviours and turtleneck turkeys with tortoiseshell faces and everyone we once trusted with our childish hopes now lies betrayed and splayed upon crosses of their own making, never woken as their limbs were broken and their lungs filled with oil spills and carbon credit dead headed nonsense and damnable ignorant bliss.