jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

angel in my oldsmobile


sometimes my inner workings hesitate
like a sixty-nine cutlass

in the back seat my hopeful angel
looks out half-opened window
elbows on arm rest
chin supported by hands

eyes cast upwards she interprets
unspoken words
as they race past silently
like high-flying clouds

the night sky indicates
low temperatures are inevitable

but who’s to say when autumn
shall begin and end

there comes a point where nobody
really cares when the dead of winter
has finally set in

and as long as I have my angel
inside my winterized oldsmobile
I’m bound to witness
the ides of march again



september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

into thin air


she sat reading a book
never looking up as the train
raced and abruptly stopped time and again
as if it had some place it needed to be

she reminded me of a morning star
transiting along smog filled clouds
maybe noticeable but memorable
slowly becoming consumed by a rising sun

I raced and stopped like the train
attempting to get closer
drawn to discover the title of the book
or why she always disappears



september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a private conversation


where do you go in that mind of yours
when you are nowhere to be found

what triggers do you keep in your pocket
that nobody knows about

those poems you used to write inside
virtual greasy spoons
they’re plastered now
nearly everywhere
giving inspiration to all things living

I swear I found you more than twice
walking the streets at midnight
blinders on either side

I begged you to take my hand
I swear I believed I could have saved you
but you heard nary a syllable
and reluctantly I turned away
listening to your very last words
resonating



september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

will you die for him


children playing out back
unrestricted by all the fences
digging foxholes and
sowing the lord’s seeds

dinnertime bells only delay
the inevitable
and just as their bellies
will never be full
most will find it nearly impossible
to ever grow old



september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

six thousand years and counting


as it turned out he was alive and well
resurfacing somewhere in carolina
taking up sun and counting the years

he made sure the money didn’t follow
redeployed somewhere offshore
far away from oil rigs and earthquakes

after wearing the crown all these years
incognito pro tem seemed fitting

walking the dog and swiping debit card
who the hell would have guessed

all the while cities continued to grow
melting pots boiling impatiently
fueled by remotely controlled triggers



september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the dragonfly’s calling


stitch and sew
your restless eyes
dragonfly hovers
keeping its cool

no bark no bite
mandibles chew air
swallowing suggestions
blown by the wind

water nymph no more
final metamorphosis
captures soul mate
perpetuating the cycle



september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

in search of stars and mermaids


I stepped onto a rocket ship
hoping it would take me away
from all earthly woes

a couple hundred bucks seemed
like a fair trade toward becoming
more or less ungrounded

the view from the top supersedes
all things seen and unseen
no matter how fleeting
like a beauty queen

unstrapped and plummeting
supersonically
gravity fought the law and
contained me
inside an asylum disguised
as a yellow submarine
far below the oily surface



september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

starving graffiti artist


downtown railroad cars
sit still in line like cows
waiting to get branded

cigarettes cost too much
but not a quart of malt liquor
or can of yellow spray paint

getting good day’s sleep
is critical for optimal performance
when working graveyard shifts

nomad apostles carry flashlights
and lighters and waxing moons
calling out on occasion to look out

not opposed to taking new requests
or collaborating on a tanker
there’s a preference for going solo
especially on kansas city southern




september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

counting bodies like sheep


do not be nervous little ones
the world is not falling apart at the seams

I do not mean to lie but things are not
what they seem (to be)
in fact these happenings may just
be a figment of some lesser god’s
imagination

and those drums coming nearer
gaining ground even while you’re sleeping
what are they even doing here
and how did they earn privilege
to beat upon the children



september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved


footote:
loosely based on song of similar
title by A Perfect Circle
A Perfect Circle youtube video

hell freezes over


we can’t seem to get past
talking about the weather
how it lifts us up only
to tear us down
one day sipping apple-spiced tea
at café eden
the next trapped inside a
bomb shelter in aleppo

I say the weather is earth’s
spirit restless in its own creativity
slowly evolving and forever changing

you nod and look skyward
pointing at the clouds
roiling and attracting countless starlings

seeds affected by cosmic precipitation
you never know what may come next
perhaps a prophet or a prince
or a torrid dictator

ruthless storms continuously stir
inside boiling pots
reappearing as easy as they please
perpetuating change by destroying
everything in its path


september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

She loves me she loves me not


I keep telling myself I don’t know you
practicing in the mirror
seeing myself bowing down
lowering myself to my knees
reaching out and pulling your
wrists toward my lips

You didn’t mean to leave your mascara
bleeding like black ink
on my hands and
down your rose-colored cheeks
my skin like a paper towel
absorbing it all in

Somehow I missed a perfect chance
to find a perfect paradise
located beyond the border
somewhere past the looking-glass
now scattered on the floor
broken into tiny little pieces


september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

when nothing seems to stick


tossed into the air
it suddenly vanished
like a flying saucer

you yell “pull”
and watch the next one sail
your hands at your side

you have no pistol to draw
no scope on a rifle to peer through
there is nothing to pick up
nothing to hold on to
inconstant thoughts dart
and ricochet and deceive
while old ideas tug and
momentarily tarry before
disappearing again

you yell “pull” even louder
and there it goes
your last concrete object
heading toward the lone tree
lime-shaped and standing in the
glass-littered field
its kelly green leaves
covering every single branch
collectively heaving in relief


september two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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