jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

santa’s little blue bird


I witnessed first hand
how santa claus hijacked
a short bus half-filled with
excited yet misinformed misfits

you could see him barreling
down route 13
allegedly screaming out a list of names
bouncing on the driver’s seat
failing to get the little blue bird
off the ground



december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

like a canary in a cage


anyone can write the monday blues
how the fog maybe lifts by noon
smartphones unable to upgrade
all on their own

the list grows longer whether it’s
monday or not
liberty or death is
(a matter of) life and breath
invisible wounds like words
perhaps self-inflicted or
suspiciously accidental

there is an artist who really
knows for sure
but they aren’t playing in any
kind of rhythm and blues band

oh no they ain’t singing
like a canary in a cage
dreaming of the sky



december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

keeping watch on cold nights


individual victories are few
for those unheard voices
having restricted choices
and few precious resources

you know I don’t have to be here
he reassured himself
keeping warm from layered clothing
mentally digging in for the night

mercenaries from the past
march alongside enemies of the state
chanting slogans in ancient languages
only few understand



december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

rapid eye movement


trees speak in your sleep
like those three dogs
chained up down the street
scratching at the aluminum fence
and digging holes in
all the wrong places

trees speak in your sleep
using the wind and
birds and insects as carriers
scratching out memos
and pontificating about the evils
of the new world order

trees speak in your sleep
sharing secrets from the shire
hosting a murder of crows
gathering above the creek
whispering incessantly
fearing you may awaken



december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

she comes from within


chain smoking and
having pie for lunch
my lovely tour guide
never stops talking

there are others
vying for her attention
her knowledge of the land
and the lore it contains

the fruit of the vine
grows year ‘round here
the mountainous region
much older than the hills

the bakery at the next stop
sells cherry pie slices
for 500 drachmas
I place my order for two

motivation can be instilled
she would often say
but true inspiration
she must come from within



december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

peeking around the next corner


it seems like everyone is hell bent on
picking a fight
but by everyone I don’t mean you or me

sometimes I want you to make me think
and other times I don’t

I’m not sure which is worse
pretending the white elephant
isn’t actually pink
or acknowledging all is fair
in lust and taxation

I didn’t come here looking
for a fight
and neither did you
so I keep on convincing myself
that’s what keeps us separated
from whatever it is
that’s hurting



november two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

who’s paying for these anyway


he never understood there are consequences
for his actions
especially as a child

had the good doctor never mentioned it
the concept would have remained
alien to his thinking man’s brain

I always thought we live in a society
where we need evidence for such claims
he remembered telling her
uncrossing his legs and looking away

she never much cared for his constant
avoidance at eye contact
but it was usually worth the wait
once he finally decided to come back around

nothing seems to bother me anymore
since mother passed (he went on to say)

I don’t know about you but that isn’t working
for me



november two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the rain falls perfectly in late november


the rain falls perfectly in late november
neither hard nor soft
simply there and bringing awareness
to practically everything
many questioning their lives behind
closed doors and shuttered windows
on the laziest of sunday afternoons

the rain falls perfectly in late november
either reminding you of a
specific place in time you
wished remained suspended
or making you forget altogether
recent distractions repeatedly tugging
at the fabric slowly covering your eyes



november two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

déjà vu and me


I am tired but I wake up anyway

I don’t dare dream of showering for fear
that I may never get out

yesterday I had hypothermia
at least that’s what I thought
but every time I took my temperature
it said I had a fever

I don’t play the french lottery
but for some reason
I keep checking the numbers

I used to dream of blackbirds
screaming at the sunrise
but now all I get are sunsets
exploding exactly like last night



november two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

tutoring on the southside


identities defined by society
broadcasted on media
country folks uninterested
understanding why children
struggle with reading or arithmetic

I was sitting in their house
playing mario brothers
and so many people
walked on by

who’s your white friend
someone asked my girlfriend
and I pretended not to hear
even though there was nothing
wrong with my spanglish

you know I told her
I’d never been on this side of
nineteenth street before
but I feel just as safe here
as I do anywhere else



november two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Getting his motor going


Billy got a gun
it’s been something he’s been
muttering about for years

He didn’t know what to do with it
once he got it
so he stashed it somewhere
(in the house)
and returned to his nondescript life

Billy got a gun
because he didn’t feel safe
but knowing he had one now
stashed somewhere in the house
made him feel like he could do anything
he set his motoring mind to



november two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

god is in the wine (and the wire)


the light above me starts
humming and pulsating
distractedly
and it was then I realized
some higher power was communicating to me
telling me how there is so much more
to learn about myself

down below in the basement
inside the fuse box
hot wires pass over neutral ones
arcing into obscurity
sending cross currents
to the nearest known light



november two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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