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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Poetry”

tendencies & interpretations


I’ve been smoking weed again
for reasons I can’t explain
whether sitting in a folding chair
or spread out
on the davenport of despair

yes I say to anyone
who bothers to ask me
I’ve been shaving my legs again
dreaming of being back in Athens
in the year two thousand

mornings are dark again & suicidal
tendencies have returned
to my stream of consciousness
right along with hot chocolate
& knee-high leather boots

images trigger recollections
subject to interpretation
reminding how I used to call you
anytime twenty-four seven
but as of late your number
remains disconnected



october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

recounting the living & the dead


I’ve tried to reach you but all efforts have failed
as if you are no longer living on this planet
and I am forced to go it alone

another one has fallen
or so I’ve come to discover by word of mouth
giving me pause as I attempt to recount
the living & the dead

I wasn’t supposed to be here anymore
but somehow I’ve become the gatekeeper
sending out transcripts by way of telepathy



october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

no place left to go


so I found you
one piece out of five
hundred
and I placed you
in a place
where only you would
feel comfortable

it’s no easy answer
living day by day
but I’m not sure
if it’s worth it
as long as
there’s no place
left to go



october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the toymaker


if the toymaker had a number
it would be number nine
she would keep it in a locket
always worn near her heart
a reminder to always empty the tank
for the benefit of all the children





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

pretty angels all in a row


the grass is greener today
an exception to the rule

maybe it’s due to the sun
momentarily appearing
a reminder that finer days
used to be the norm

out east old world shadows
are hard to come by
while the wild wild west is just that
calling upon accidental heroes
to rewrite recent histories

all the while refugees arrive
by way of land & sea
universally speaking of peace
& waving in an army of angels





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

anatomy of a lonely soul


just how many crossroads
can you run into
how many deaths can you encounter
only to stop & run the other way
later telling yourself
you didn’t see a goddamn thing

now they see you & now they don’t
shadows always changing
altering the many faces you’ve worn
lately modifying your look
to the point where people
don’t even know your name

it’s true whatever they say
no matter if it’s self evident
or a big fat lie
touching your head & shoulders
two knees & ten toes
letting loose a howling cry
for the very last time





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

my new/used iphone is possessed


it moves on its own
even as I write this poem

it goes from table to chair
from chair to floor
to underneath the davenport

it falls from any place it is placed
because it is possessed

it is the epitome of gravity
and I don’t know what I shall do

I’ve become afraid to see what
is inside of it
for fear I will succumb to a similar fate





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

never understanding it all


it’s easy not to get
especially in the moment
unless of course your awareness
is extraordinarily spot on

how do you account for the fact
your lifeline is thinning
what was once a rope
has become but a shoelace

recollections are far from perfect
a few as vivid as rain
pouring down on a monday morning
causing your eyes to open





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

bracing for the winter


how do I fit in
in the grand scheme of things
is there truly a place to mark my spot
or am I dreaming still

there’s work yet to be done
the voice inside me tells me
(on occasion)
do I listen or do I not
how I’m always outside the box
looking for something else

I should go to vermont
or any other place on the planet
but I am stuck here
planning on replanting seeds
gathered centuries ago
handed down to me
today





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

my active imagination


the telephone doesn’t ring anymore
long ago replaced by something
that just vibrates
the caller’s identification appearing
out of thin air
usually unrecognizable
like an alien’s face on a milk carton

I’ve been drifting of late
disconnected by way of apathy
neglecting anything needing charging
in order to survive
resurrecting once abandoned vices
that may or may not
jump-start my active imagination





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on the other side of the mountain


I don’t know too much about trains
other than loving to be a passenger
sitting backwards

it’s no time machine
at least that’s what they tell me
stamping tickets & tipping their hats

if you’re anything like me
you’ve had your fair share of whatever it is
you want to call it
whether traveling underground
or elevated or seemingly in the clouds

I used to want to learn the language
but now I just want to cut a deal
silver bullet steamrolling into the mountain





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

routine housekeeping


I’m not like you
I get my information from the inside
scraps & shavings I’ve collected
off the ground or picked from
virtual fruit trees
rinsed in warm water & blended
into my next blueberry smoothie

I’m not above the law
but I try to break things when I can
champagne glasses
& ceramic pipes
windup toys & ill-written rules

a hand brush & dustpan
well within reach
just in case I want to take another shot
at putting everything
back together





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on highway one hundred


how does a dead hawk
end up on the centerline
unrecognizable except
for the color & pattern
of her feathers

it’s a busy place
especially mid morning
and late afternoon
speeds anywhere from
zero to seventy-five

of course it wasn’t there
come next morning
giving me pause & imagining
what transpired there
in the dead of the night





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Bartering for time


In the photograph nothing changes
it’s what separates images from reality
and laughter from tears

Sometimes it gets ugly inside
‘a winter of discontent’ if you will
but you must face it head on
repeating mantras & bad daydreams
knowing full well the latest malaise
will somehow pass
undetected

Nobody knows you anymore
and you’re perfectly fine with that
working in the underground
chipping away by
rewriting history
courtesy of some distant energy





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

postcards & signposts


I’m thinking the older one gets
the scarier the world becomes
demons and/or the devil himself
milling about the place
when left to my own devices

sending out letters but receiving none
I was beginning to think
the fox is better company than people
that the goldfinch in the bird bath
is a perfect little singer

felines pace along the perimeter
keeping in touch by way of listening
some invisible & others not
nearly all of them transitioning
back from the underworld





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

what was I supposed to do


we said goodbye in so many words
departing in different directions
me weaving through the city streets
you flickering into the night

the walls are rocky & tall
good for climbing but mainly
unpassable
inside I stay & count
the stars at night
expecting one to fall

before you left you said
I was trapped inside
but of course I didn’t believe you
the earth beneath my feet
trampled upon so many times

and you taking to the skies
who will know when you land again





october two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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