How Atlantis disappeared

Posted on | October 9, 2009 | No Comments

A man gets a haircut

Under Socrates’ quiet direction

they took down the street signs and the house numbers.

One by one

the city councilmen dissolved

the ink on all the deeds and licenses,

while the mayor personally

destroyed the negatives

of every picture of the town.

Then, citizens, dutifully checking off a list,

erased the floor plan

of every house on every block.

In a single day

the city vanished

for its own protection.

From the far-off coastline

of Cadiz and Tangiers

the official Greek

telescopes recorded

a strange cirrus formation

of filaments and streamers and confetti,

as Socrates and the mayor’s secretary

fed the city archives

into the shredders and the Gibraltar surf

spread Atlantis over the sea.


Amy Scattergood is  author of “The Grammar of Nails,” Creative Arts Books Company, 2001. She also edits the Squid Ink column at LA Weekly and occasionally posts her poetry at her personal blog

Photo: London Guardian, October 9, 2009 “Flooding and landslides in the Philippines”


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