jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

when young he dreamed of touching the sky


when pretending to sleep in the crib
many friends of the family
came and went
commenting about this and that

my conscience told me this is exactly
how it will be in the end

bored from all the attention
I fell asleep and
dreamed of becoming the man
who lived to touch the sky


july two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

birdhouse


in your free time bright ideas
arise out of thin air
and fizzle into nothingness

more often than not
trial and error leads you
tossing your thoughts to the birds
and you wonder if they will feed on them
or regurgitate them like earthworms

but if you’re industrious enough
you can incubate them
study them
nurture them
transform them with
wood and glue and nails

on lazy weekend afternoons
you sit and listen to birds happily
singing to their little ones
and you realize it’s best
to deconstruct your inner thoughts
and rebuild them into something
better than before


july two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

imagine


these neighborhoods
reside in underworld riddles
subjected to laws
systematically enforced
by remote controls

stepping on stones
children experience daring truths
along boundary lines
carving their world from another
looking from afar

latest weapons
brutally scratch hard surfaces
buckling the pavement
like tectonic plates exploding
and consuming homes

lord have mercy
mothers lament repeatedly
sprawled on city streets
grown children riddled with bullets
limp in barren arms

lifeless bodies
encircle living among dead
pleading up on high
beating breasts and shouting for world
to imagine peace


july two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

artificial visitations


sadness used to show up
unannounced and we’d sit up
until sunrise drinking
whatever was left in the house

I kept telling myself the next time
he appeared out of nowhere
I wouldn’t let him in
but of course that didn’t happen
and he continued to pretend
to be my friend

I told him I was thinking about buying
a brand new puppy
a black one I said
so I could learn how to keep him at bay
and teach him to protect me from
monsters like him


july two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

nature over portrait


running through fields with
raised nets and breathable lids
atop glass jars
we chase down dreams
and stow away
childhood memories
unaware one day our hidden
beauty will be unveiled


july two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

nine of spades


he shuffled the deck as quickly
as he talked
telling stories about kings and queens
and barbers in the castle
something about the three jacks
hanging out at the fire station
playing checkers with their pals

pick a card he said
proceeding to ramble on about the
price of milk and gasoline and
disposable razors

did you look at your card he asked

yeah I looked at my card I said

keeping the card face down I
slid it back into the deck
certain he didn’t see it

he shuffled the cards and shuffled
them again and continued to
shuffle the shit out of them
as he went on and on
babbling about how man never
really landed on the moon
how fairy tales used to scare him straight
and how the pope was really lucifer
having the time of his life

he splayed the deck across the table
and I could see my card but it was mostly
covered by the king of hearts

when I looked up he had stopped talking
and was just staring at me
expressionless

what’s wrong I asked him

nothing’s wrong with me he said
but I’d like to know how long
you’re planning on hiding your
misfortune behind the suicide king


july two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

porcelain doll


born into a colorful world
you look to the sky for answers
blinking your wanton eyes and
hiding your smile below
wide brimmed hat

anxious to live for tomorrow
you rarely sleep at night
dreaming of the day your
prince charming finally
finds you outside the box

winter arrives on cue
changing you into that girl
nobody really knew
your radiant summer skin
fading in the evening light

years turn into forever
your lost thoughts seeking
a new kind of loneliness
your mind aging
gracefully like porcelain


july two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

too many trains


I do not like the trains
daddy
I do not like how they take
my friends away

those trains are not for people
daddy
they are for cows and pigs
destined for the slaughterhouse

I’ve seen the train stations
daddy
I watched through the fence
have witnessed the police tell my friends
they are going to a better place

they line them up like animals
daddy
day after day all summer long
stuffing them into windowless cars

I know the police are lying
daddy
please please please do not let them
put me on a train


june two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the enemy within


solar winds introduce new
life into the galaxy
hurtling subatomic creatures on
out-of-control rocks
racing to find a place to crash

lucky enough to penetrate
outer atmospheres
they breakup and collaborate
as golfball-sized hail
strategically hitting safe houses

once accepted within they evolve
one thousand years
learning the culture and waiting
patiently to take over
a planet destined to be theirs


june two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

no I don’t have a gun


she bought me a gun
just for fun
and in her closet it stayed
tucked away in her sock drawer for
weeks on end

for whatever reason
she never boxed or wrapped
or stuck it in a decorative bag
instead just tagged it with my initials
and birth date and a smiley face

sometimes I wonder
if I need such protection
I told the detective as his assistant
strapped me into the poly


june two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

january rain


she told me she liked a good cliché
liked how it felt against the
tip of her tongue

she was the kind of gal
who loved to french kiss for hours
or so she told no one

I remember her telling me on
new year’s eve
to be at the bus stop at noon
where she’d pick me up and
we’d go picnicking in the park

it rained throughout the night
and well into the morning
and though the buses don’t
run on sundays
there I sat in the dark
wondering where she was


june two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

true interpretations


it rained all night
and while I slept sharks
swam in circles around my body
either protecting me from myself
or saving me for later

awakened by wind sweeping in
morning sunshine
I took to the kitchen
coffee maker abuzz
birds of the air outside my window
like chatty statuettes
swapping old stories

settling back into real-time solitude
I revisit casualties
both foreign and domestic
making headlines on print and
television and internet
their bodies dead or dying
my prayers hoping they find
doves soaring on the other side

unable to shake the current
course of events
I stare into my oversized cup
of morning petroleum
dorsal fins circling above the surface
daring me to find out the true
interpretation to my dream


june two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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