jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

antarctica


colder than I could have ever imagined
here I am walking among the gentoo
as if exploring another planet

I came here to die but decided
there was too much to live for
as long as I couldn’t get out of this place


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the start of a brand new day


there’s something missing he said
opening the refrigerator
pulling out a mcintosh and
gutting it with the round steel slicer

deliberately he ate slice after slice in
complete silence
focusing on the uneasy feeling
deep inside his core

outside on the front patio he heard
the daily paper kicking the door

out back a stray cat cried in the cold
garnering the attention of camouflaged chickadees
sitting quietly from within the pines

a gust of wind brought forth new life
from the many wind chimes

beneath his feet he feels the morning train
beginning to roll from a few miles away
a good forty minutes late he tells himself

as the first whistle blows
the sun breaks free from the clouds


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I lost a day and found everything


time machine on four wheels
fueled by some kind of natural gas
yet to be mined or refined
sent me on backward courses
destined to make me believe
in new definitions

there is something to be found
where you least expect
especially when weaving in
and out of byways and highways
genuine or imaginary or
in the design phase

bracing for impact I wasn’t
sure if I was exiting or entering
my man-made machine
simple and complex and
able to travel everywhere
in a matter of seconds


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

second story rescue


I’ve been here before
I recognize the painting on the wall
recall being inside this second story
room with drapes flowing out like fire

below in the courtyard
chickens and children scramble about
and I squint my eyes peering
past hills rolling into my heart

everything is moving away from
my current line of vision
and I stand bent over and desperate
reaching out to be rescued


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I took hold of one end and she the other


pulling back with equal strength we stretched the
dried-out wishbone ever so slowly

it was then I wondered why there are always
winners and losers
why the winning side always smiles
and laughs and dances and kisses
spraying champagne and crying for joy

it was then the bone snapped and I stood
there smiling with the longer piece

here you go I said handing her the winning ticket
let’s get out of here
lunch is on me


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

lord of my machines


he took the microphone
and introduced himself
men without souls below him
fists raising and voices cheering
redefining their short-lived lives
chanting ingrained mantras

he convinced them they are
more than mere machines
destined to find praise and glory
long after the killing is done


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

beyond the light


pretending this life-giving light
never once existed is like
accepting neither did I

wandering in the darkness
catlike eyes search for nothing
in particular but hopeful
to find something new

tall trees open up like umbrellas
protecting the ground
from metallic dust showers
turning into cosmic twisters
chased by space cowboys
riding sun-powered horses

life beyond the light is like a twin
searching for her lost soul
relentlessly persevering


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

made in the shade


these fears inside I lay to rest
as setting sun bows and
curtsies one final time

I’m off to chase grander stars
hosting brighter moons
orbiting other oceans
sent on my merry way
accidentally
a victim so it seems
partially of my own accord

there are no sad marches
no guns to be fired
no motorcycle escorts
no victory day parades

there are no flowers or polaroids
or guestbooks or folded flags
no children sniffling
or women weeping

from now on the future
is my present
and whatever good I left behind
would one day become
a necessary ingredient
to grow the shadiest of trees


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

picnic in the park overlooking the cemetery


it just sucks
all this is going on and one day
nothing matters
none of it matters
and you’re gone
and there’s nothing more

who’s to say there’s nothing more
she says
sitting back in her director’s chair
legs crossed and freshly shaved

don’t go there he says
don’t you dare go there

maybe death is a good thing she says
maybe it’s the start of something new
and hopelessly beautiful
just like this glass of champagne

maybe we shouldn’t be buying champagne
he says
maybe we should be buying real estate

yes she says
a change of scenery would do you wonders


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the queen’s rapture


your empire means nothing to me
but your queen is my everything

kidnapped and held for ransom
you scrambled to amass
your very best men
sent them on a quest to save her

I directed them down multiple ways
each avenue looping into other
promising outlets where horses
drink from rivers flowing underground

and so you regrouped yet again
the man we call king
hiring more men to satisfy
your obsession with recapture
an obsession
certain to awaken royal madness
stirring within a mighty empire


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

still the same


I got out of the house using a bonafide
lie about meeting my buddy at the
pinball arcade
hopped on my tenspeed and
pedaled the shortest route to prospect park

lying on our backs at the top of the hill
it felt as if we were vertical
suspended if you will
the river far below our feet
the clouds above
shaped like sails and almost touchable

all afternoon we held hands and
talked about how old we felt
trapped inside young bodies
unnerved by the fact this place in time
would always be the same


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

that someone else


for ten seconds I sat there
dumbfounded
the image so clear in my mind
what I was going to do
who I was going to be
but then out of nowhere
all clarity left my memory
and for ten seconds I sat there
perplexed how I lost the vision
or the means to flip back on the light

for a moment I nearly cried
and another ten seconds later
I became myself again


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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