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poetry by j matthew waters

Karaoke in New Afghanistan


Halfway through ‘Californication’
I realized there wasn’t a designated
driver in the place

we were thirty miles away from home
and knee-deep in a melting pot
patrons calling out for shots
in at least a half-dozen languages

I nailed that song even though I stumbled
through the second verse
lost in my own thoughts
worried about how things might be
come tomorrow’s sunrise

but then
when the entire house came to their feet
whistling
and shouting
and clapping above their heads
I could only imagine how Lennon
would one day love it here



This poem prompted by Poetics: War for peace – or just hard work? via dVerse Pub


december two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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12 thoughts on “Karaoke in New Afghanistan

  1. Glenn Buttkus on said:

    A strong close on a terrific poem. War poets, poets who have been there, behind the lines, face to face with the shit; puts me in mind of Brian Turner’s poems in HERE, BULLET. Very impressive, & the recitation gives us extra shivers & depth.

  2. One of the best songs ever. Great story telling

  3. Wonderful John.. I can just imagine how just singing would change it all… There is a reason why censorship on songs is always strong in wartime… Imagine it was 35 years ago… Imagine.

  4. This is so touching.. and yes the reading made it even more effective 🙂

  5. Wonderful story here. I can imagine very well. I was in NYC that horrible day but….the song continues, despite it all. Excellent work.

  6. Great song…love those Red Hot Chili Peppers! Maybe that’s the answer to peaceful coexistence…singing together. Perhaps we should give it a try, nothing else has worked.

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