Tuesday, July 31, 2018
"Atlantis" by Ross Balcom
Her body was a drowned city.
In opalescent halls,
I lost versions of myself to the blue flame,
sailors torching themselves in holocaust of mute desire.
A neon obelisk bore her name.
Electric corals thrummed,
and towers rose from canyons lost in Quaalude slumber.
Schools of multicolored fish found a single voice that seared the brain,
a napalm rainbow.
Mirage that seized and emptied me,
that scattered my bones on far-off isles
and resurrected me.
I swam again her streets,
labyrinth of flesh and precious stone,
as her body remembered me.
A shark guarded her very breath;
its raven shadow sanctified her love,
solemn as tomb of elder gods.
Conch as big as whale blew a trumpet golden;
whorls of sound enrobed her form,
naked still to eyes entranced by beauty.
Eros wove a destiny that captured sailor me,
waif of wreckage lost--and in her city found.
Love upraised a temple tall.
Her adorers gathered there for sacrifice.
No one died unwillingly;
all gave their lives freely to the glowing gong.
"Sound is the solution,
sound and the illimitable light.
We are delivered by the vast vibrations."
I slashed my wrists upon her name;
I bled to death on throne of pearl.
Quoth the merman,
"Love unites us,
sea and shore.
Our memories live in sunken cities...evermore."
Poet's Notes: Atlantis is the great attractor; we are all destined to drown and die there. Sex and death and a watery grave. This poem is dedicated to Davey Jones. I thank Edgar Allan Poe, whose influence is manifest in the final stanza.