Atlantis to Los Angeles

We seek cultural clues

in stains from cigarettes

and clotted cream

left on tablecloths

in palaces, newsrooms

and striptease clubs

 

But we can’t find them

obsessed with lexicons

and mystic signs

and even if we could

they’d huddle misunderstood

in grimy depths

 

Where canisters of celluloid

piled aimless in nostalgia

gather dust in some

abandoned basement

of Vienna, Leningrad

or in a cavern under Bollywood

viewed once or twice

and PG rated

 

And yet we dream of them

our nights disturbed

by punctuated visions

of Marlene, Gary, Deepika

Hercules and Sergeant Pepper

all crying faintly under heaps of

broken masonry

 

As calendars and libraries

collapse and from a previously

quiet ocean a wall of mountainous waves

sweeps pages, scripts, love letters,

recipes, Al Jolson, Lincoln,

Moses on the mount, into

the gloom-filled depths of what

was once so vibrant

 

A million conversations

hardly overheard

by coelacanths and whales

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© Johnmichael Simon

2012

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