jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

practicing the art of deception


I was going incognito at the drugstore
picking up a few necessities
and a prescription for my neighbor Jimmy

I pretended my head wasn’t spinning
as I breezed past the pain killers
thinking what I got back home
is better than anything over the counter

that’s about the time I spotted her
at least fifteen years younger than me
[and three years removed from memory]
two aisles over browsing bandages

I lowered my cap and headed for the door
reminding myself on the short walk home
how my eyes have been deceiving me





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

don’t stand so close to me


I’m uncomfortable in my thoughts
needing a hand to reach out
and take me somewhere
I’ve never been
somewhere far far away

I can’t seem to find a natural
position on a couch without pillows
so I sit up and cross my legs
asking the stranger in the room
what it was she just asked me

for some reason I got the police
stuck in the head
most likely from some tweet
I may have happened upon
or perhaps from a flashback
circa nineteen eighty

either way I’m suddenly uneasy
feeling like I need some
kind of fix I can’t seem to lay
my hands on
knowing full well talking things
through may not do the trick





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

attracting butterflies


how the garden grows
in my absence

photos clicked and sent
my way via
short message service

I don’t own a device
anymore
but I can still receive

be they still or moving
or downright blossoming
it matters not

I like the bleeding hearts best
almost always first
or second to arrive
depending upon the winter

I promise I’ll be back soon
it’s only temporary
where I’ve been
or where I’m going

if memory serves me right
the tulips will be next





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

slight chance of rain


the sun she is setting
radiating a cloudless sky
casting a spectrum of colors
before my tired eyes

within arms reach
a jar of whiskey speaks to me
whispering my name
like my lover used to do

the sun she has fallen
taking with her promises
of meteor showers
and brighter tomorrows

the whiskey ages
in my unstoppable dreams
slowly separating from the jar
as the night rages on





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

misery loves company


sun going down on a sunday evening
there’s no place I’d rather be but right
here where there’s no place to hide

I’ve been told sometimes I’m
somebody other than myself
standing perfectly still in the light
leaning toward the darker side

electric lights lose their brilliance
on the clearest of moonlit nights
complimenting the city of flowers
opening up to the lost and lonely

despite such compromise here I am
alive in this black and white world
enthusiastically tiptoeing its fine line





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Four 20 Buzz Cut


It’s April 20 1985
and I’ve got nothing
to write home about

I’m down to less
than a few grams
separating sterile seeds
Budweiser serving tray
[purchased once upon a time
in Saint Louis Missouri]
positioned loosely on my lap

And now here I am
pretending I’m this hot
shot pharmacist
prescribing my own remedies
to whatever it is
that ails me

In the meanwhile
rock and roll music continues
to play on FM radio





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

breaking my fast


it’s good friday
and I’m thinking of downsizing
yet again
sell the place as is
and buy something with just
enough room
to keep my thoughts
all to myself

of course I’d donate
a closet full of clothing
and sell most of the furnishings
giving a tenth
of the proceeds
to the immaculate conception
that inner city sanctuary
renown for feeding
the hungry
and saying mass in spanish
every day at noon

there are plenty of other
crosses
I’m in need of bearing
thinking they may
lighten my overall penance
but for the moment
I’m content staying put
resting my eyes and
breaking bread
come daylight





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

reemergence


I’m seeing spots everywhere
as if I’m five years
old once again
older siblings
I’ve not seen in ages
walking about like white zombies

outside my window
drones disguised as hummingbirds
feed on information
gathering what they may and
zipping away
as quickly as they came

flashbacks return
like lightning striking twice
bringing me to my knees and leaving
me aghast
subconsciously wishing I was
never born again





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

vacationing in Colorado


I’m not going there
she said
can you please change the channel
there must be more to life
than current events
sapping all your energy

we had just sat down
at a local dispensary
having ordered two craft beers
and a bowl of purple sensimilla
the remote control to the TV
directly overhead
within arms reach

what about the Rockies game
I suggested
do you consider pro baseball
current events

that all depends upon who
they’re playing
she answered
not to mention how quickly this weed
will make me not care about anything





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

cardboard boxes and packing tape


this space is too much
it’s outgrown me
and unless I start leasing some of it out
to collegians or critters or such
I’m afraid it may do me in

sometimes the spaciousness
overwhelms me
and I find myself needing to get away
so I slip on my walking boots
hightail it to the nearest nature trail

while I’m away I sort things through
reconciling every single detail
needing to be minimized
my mind slowly becoming sharper
the longer I stay away





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

once there was a way


do not confuse my words with reality
they are conjured at night while my eyes
are rapidly interpreting current events
sometimes seizing the moment
like a champion in the ring
other times adrift at sea
neither lost nor found
but diligently tracking familiar stars
eventually finding my way back home





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

living on the blind side of the city


the more populated we become
the more dangerous are the streets
all kinds of people packing heat
be they good or bad or indifferent

I don’t own a gun and I’m beginning
to wonder if that’s a good idea
thinking the older I get
the more vulnerable I’ve become

please don’t get me wrong
even though it’s a sad state of affairs
many positive things are happening
inside cities both large and small

but in the meantime here I am
living in the present moment
pretending the problem isn’t mine
as I go about my daily life





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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