jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

behind the alibi


alone I wander the sea
of dreams
just me and my alibi
and yellow submarine

beneath the depths of
deserted space
shooting stars sail on
outside the alibi

old borders collapse
new realities emerge
compressed and
submerged
and living a new lie



april two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

groundhog day


no matter where I go there are holes
holes in the city streets
a hole in my metal bucket
holes through hula hoops and hangman nooses
small holes on wooden boards boys and girls
try to hit with miniature bean bag squares

at the deli I order a ham and cheese on rye
I hope swiss is okay says the hair-netted lady
not really I say got anything without holes
afraid not she says
perplexed and nearly disgusted
I walk out with a bag of chips
but no sandwich
and proceed to step in a hole
full of sand and rocks
displaced from last night’s rain

an old man sitting on a bench with a hole
in his head chuckles at my misfortune
keep laughing old man I say
don’t worry says the old man
there’ll be plenty more days like these



april two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

voodoo doll


I rescued you from the scoundrels
washed you and restitched you
and let you lie in my bed

I took out your eyes while
you were asleep
and pinned them inside your heart
whispered softly everything
would be fine in the morning

I promised myself you would no longer
be used for the benefit of others
went on to explain how any pain
you experience from this day forth
would be yours
and yours only



april two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

judgment day


I opened up the text app
and swiftly texted with two thumbs

I just killed someone

while waiting for a reply
I checked the scores on my sports app

you didn’t
said the incoming text

I did
I texted back

I paused and lifted my eyes

first I thought and then I texted
you haven’t lived until you killed

smiling
I opened up the music app
and decided to listen to lennon sing
happiness is a warm gun

when the song ended I looked
around and noticed
I was no longer alone

soon to be judged by so many
I waited in silence for the
incoming wave of endless pings



april two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

blue river


I wandered down to the river
where the rolling rock
segues into a row of willows
settled inside the shadows
and wished my blues away

dark clouds gathered ‘round
blanketing the sunshine
casting sheets of rain upon the river
purposefully rhythmical
yet without any reason

eyes surrendering to gravity
I spread my body across the ground
like an angel with torn wings
dreaming within the willows
in every single color except blue



april two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

summer wasn’t summer without baseball


out of the fields and onto my bike
glove and spikes
strapped on the rack
I race through the cemetery shortcut
straight to the diamond

to get away was to get away
from the house of rules
where the master
made sure it was okay to disappear
as long as the work was done

transformed into a collective whole
I become one of many parts
dreaming to be the hero
while trying not to make an error
examining the stitches
hand-sewn on my pants
as well as the fastball
playing music beneath my chin



april two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

what’s stopping you


I cut you out of my life without
a tear or tantrum
freeing my mind from noise
that once crowded my thoughts
and dulled my senses
nearly leaving me motionless with
barely an original thought

over time a healing of sorts
reversed decades of
destructive habits
old impulses slowly replaced
by a voice discovering
its own truth
void of any outside influence



april two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

narcissus


show me something pretty
she said
something that will make me smile
and say oh my
the world is so wonderful

I drew a daffodil
emerging from an inch of snow
her golden inflorescence in
stark contrast to the dilapidated
barn in the background

she’s perfect she said
but I’m saddened
nobody in the world
except herself
will behold her beauty



march two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

down on the farm


she thought she knew
the difference between
art and trash
but when her life
became such a mess
everything around her
became just plain wrong

I’ll be damned she thought
ripping up the dear john letter
if that racist poet hasn’t resorted
to exploiting sex slaves again

desperate for fresh air
she walks the yard
and spits on the ceramic pig
pissed at the world
and swearing to herself one day
someone will rescue her from
this godforsaken farm



march two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

red light


camera at top of the world
forces my foot down
left facing the red light
idling first in line
outside the city’s edge

I wait with my own thoughts
neither angry nor sad
indifferent to my circumstance
my petty arguments
list of things unsaid

vague images fly by like
recollections on wheels
transporting me near and far
as if past and present
resided inside the red light

one blink of the eye
I’m rushing forward
to the next intangible destination
chased from behind by
lights of another color



march two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

face-to-face relations


the mystery unfolds like an
expanding universe
unraveling countless motives
to mayhem and madness

traveling back in time permits
peering further ahead
until standing face-to-face
to a renewed self without shame

despite our asymmetrical lives
thou shalt not kill me
nor put me to the test
lest you endure an appropriate
and undying consequence



march two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the magic of the magic wand


I’ve always kept the magic wand
under my bed
the one I lifted from the magician
at the TV station when I was
five years old

it was my first trick

I snatched it when all the kids
shuffled their feet forward
in single-file fashion
awaiting like ants on fire
to shake hands with the
man of the hour

I slipped it inside my pant leg
and never looked back
never told one soul

selfishly I kept the magic
of the magic wand to myself

once upon a time on a cloudy day
I wandered into an open field
pointing the wand high into the air

soon I guided the birds of the sky
as best I could
orchestrating their climbs and falls
their motionless glides

over the years I came to understand
the potential of its powers
and it frightened me

for decades I kept her
in darkness
imagining how she must be thriving
storing up energy
put out by endless dark matter
amassing a lethal arsenal of old
but new tricks dying to be shown



march two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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