William street, night

by Dean Kyte

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about

The Melbourne Flâneur, Dean Kyte, loiters with intent in Melbourne’s legal district, his Pentax K1000 locked and loaded and ready for bear as he awaits le moment décisif in this atmospheric prose poem.

lyrics

The mellow light des lampadaires filtered through the floconfeuilles des platanes verses itself, sievelike, over William street, each silver sliver falling softly, invisibly, into the void of darkness de la rue.

You linger at the corner of Little Collins street, a restive presence, camera primed. A taxicab, its crown ablaze, idles opposite, another nightcat catercorner to you, another ruecruiser, phares fiercely aglim, soliciting for a fare. A dark car, a sedan sleekly glistening like oil, stands still and dark, muffledup with the lightmottled night, a gangster’s ride. Among the greyhued shadows within, no motion, no manshaped trou punched through the spectrum of noirness.

At William street, the eerie air which pervades Little Collins street at night finds an estuary of other eerie street energy. The two meet and commingle at this crossing. The energy of each street being particular, their particulate particles combine in an odd atmosphere even more indefinable when conjoined. You hold vigil, camera at the ready, hopeful that the spectral aura can be registered on the filamented grain of film.

Two broads, shortskirted, loud gueules with broad gestures, disturb the ambiance as they wander up Little Collins street. They emerge into this estuary of confluent energies, oblivious, mobiles en main as they search for some bar. They mill on the corner across from you, conscious of the unconscious exhibition of themselves, pale scimitar limbs and mascarastreaked eyes madeup for Saturday night on Sunday.

They turn north, towards Bourke street. Right then, le moment décisif approaches: the 58 tram, Toorakbound, scrapes and squeals across Bourke street and trundles into your frame. The girls, realizing their error, turn back towards you: the bar, in Bank place, lies east, not north. You depress the shutter release button, which utters that satisfying snack: taxi/tram/lamps/trees/leaves/sedan/shadowed dames retained by the instant reflex of the mirror—the eerie atmosphere of William street at night.

credits

released November 15, 2021
dnlburnett: “Ambience Urban park evening windy trees.wav”
freesound.org/people/dnlburnett/sounds/360775/
(CC 0)

dr19: “Cicadas in Melbourne”
freesound.org/people/dr19/sounds/371872/
(CC 0)

eaglechopper: “Transportation » Tram stop ambience - Traffic”
freesound.org/people/eaglechopper/sounds/237997/
(CC 0)

jhumbucker: “Ambience street binaural”
freesound.org/people/jhumbucker/sounds/250541/
(CC 0)

Lucyfiles: “Lucy says » what_are_you_doing.wav”
freesound.org/people/Lucyfiles/sounds/117149/
(CC BY 3.0, changes made)

MatteusNova: “Recorded voice » Lucyfiles”
freesound.org/people/MatteusNova/sounds/159539/
(CC BY 3.0, changes made)

mhtaylor67: “Transportation & Traffic » Tram on San Francisco's Market Street”
freesound.org/people/mhtaylor67/sounds/237501/
(CC 0)

mitchellsounds: “Exterior Ambiences Hudson, Quebec, Canada » SUBURB LATE NIGHT DISTANT HIGHWAY FRONT ST_01.wav”
freesound.org/people/mitchellsounds/sounds/58944/
(CC BY 3.0)

moiku: “Trams in melbourne.wav”
freesound.org/people/moiku/sounds/361055/
(CC 0)

mw1984: “letterart.mp3”
freesound.org/people/mw_1984/sounds/37811/
(CC 0)

NHumphrey: “Car Sounds » Car Engine Start, Idle, and Revving.wav”
freesound.org/people/NHumphrey/sounds/200973/
(CC 0)

tim.kahn: “Pentax SP 1000 » camera_shutter_01.aif”
freesound.org/people/tim.kahn/sounds/66435/
(CC BY 3.0, changes made)

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Dean Kyte Melbourne, Australia

Dean Kyte is a writer, artist, filmmaker and flâneur.

He is the author of five books and two collections of short films.

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