jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “History”

a ledger of lies


the world has always been a lie
and if you don’t know that as a fact
you’re living an imaginary life

if you follow the money you’ll find the lies
whether in ukraine or tehran
cairo or athens or amsterdam
the korean peninsula or washington dc

gold is still the real deal
but printed money is another lie
fake proceeds pumped into the stock market
simply because it gets high on bloatedness
and loves to implode

the lies are in the grocery stores
in parking lots
pizza places & ballparks
car dealerships & gas stations

the lies are in the air like electricity
almost always for sale
sometimes on the open market
other times in the dark web





june two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

come on & kick me


it’s none of my business
about your hash pipe
I wasn’t the one to bring it up
in the first place

back in the day
we’d buy paraphernalia
when shopping for vinyls
mainly at the brady street shop
a block away from central high

[I seem to keep missing all the re-
unions even though I still live here]

next time you’re inside
two hundred miles
shoot me a telepathic note
& I’ll respond pronto
with yet another clue





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

give me your tired


appearances
how deceiving they may be
like the statue of liberty
standing in the harbor
holding back tears
all these turbulent years
shouldering injustices
handed down
from generation
to generation
ad nauseum

standing at the crossroads
where does she go
from here





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Chief Nuclear Commander


Forging a new path is rarely easy
as any historian knows
societies flipping on their sides
defying the odds
by way of switching associations

Paying a price is never an option
no matter which side loses
ask any responsible citizen
pledging allegiance
to the latest & the greatest





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

carbon copying blackbirds


burning down the forest
doesn’t seem like the right thing to do
whether in times of peace or war

it’s not like you can make carbon copies
of hundreds of thousands of trees
replacing them within a generation or two
after having the enemy succumbed to flames

it’s not like you can stitch & sew time
making it nineteen ninety-nine all over again
before the world became more complicated
than la niña or an impossible crossword

ever since the first shots were fired
blackbirds continue to gather at the border
in numbers innumerable
patiently waiting for all hell to break loose





february two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Fait accompli


You run into it so many times a day
random thoughts inherited from the dead
uninterested in certain ponderings
the v-shaped flight of geese
rarely symmetrical
those big badass birds
capable of inflicting harm on
unsuspecting gods

Some stories are meant to change
needing a fresh voice
or begging for embellishment
but those incapable of change
man-made conventions
designed to pass the test of time
containing many great truths
& irreversible lies





february two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

nobody could go my bail


I’ve been lost before
so this time I’m taking it
all in stride
having recently arrived
in montgomery

this is not the first time
I’ve been down south
and once when I was there
I thought I’d never
make it back alive

history is not on our side
old friend
it seems this time
it’s damn near impossible
for anyone to save us





january two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Repossessing the Kingdom of Edom


We invited the prophet for supper
because we were not afraid


The Father told us about Obadiah
about his warnings of destruction
as a consequence of action

Having become students of the living
and of the dead (and especially of those
capable or rising again) naturally we
were anxious in making a connection

Although we possessed many questions
the most obvious rallied around
his postmodern interpretation
to the Day of the Lord





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

living in this necessary evil


there is this reality
that we don’t know about
other than through dreams
and from there
we are left in the dark

inside the matrix
is another form of reality
one we rarely get a glimpse of
maybe by way of a dream
inside of a nightmare

it’s like that window
or that mirror
replicating itself ad infinitum
possessing you without question
taking to all the places
you’ve known throughout
the course of human history

in the meantime
(and for some unknown reason)
this present day reality
remains a necessary evil





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

Fast forward to Bethany


I won’t be able to return
not without a password reset
the chances of success
appearing to dwindle by the day

The cranes brought forth the wind
by way of their transitory wings
with it the seeds of the wildflower
and the stench of the skunk

The enemy of humanity
persists well beyond Lazarus
giving new names to old towns
and rewriting the course of events





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

King of Macedonia


What’s in a name
or a date
such as Alexander the Great
or three twenty-three before Christ

Questions such as these
lead to others
uncovering a string of
undefeated battles
ranging across vast regions

How is it the war
within man
is unstoppable
as if the original instructions
flowing through the bloodstream
had been altered
by a God with a wry sense of humor





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

the onion


what’s brewing
has been brewed before
bound to be found
(hiding inside google)
by wannabe historians

but never mind
what you might find
anything anymore is likely
to be contested
whether the holocaust
or the crucifixion
or your very own rebirth

try not to focus too much
on yourself (which is)
likely to be detrimental
to your mental health
instead find a patch of dirt
where you can dig & dig & dig
to your heart’s content





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

time of the season


there is a time to play
and a time for prayer
the forgiveness of the day
     quickly vanishing
history books laced with hypocrisy
theoretically evolving
from one generation to the next

extremes seem to be
the flavor of the day
whether for fun or destruction
     food for thought
wrapped in body art or hatred
ideological musings
rallying for peace or executions





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

caught in a web of lies


what you wouldn’t give to be
someone else
how does it work that way
the heart & brain
at odds with each other
daily deciphering conflicts of interest
by way of the past

oh yes the past is a problem
but you cannot pick your ancestors
no matter what terrible
things they did to whole
groups of people
to dwell there is living there
with no correction in sight

you want to believe you’re
the misunderstood victim
but it doesn’t work that way
not when you’re the aggressor
dishing out hatred
by way of blind ignorance
born into a world without resolve





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

like a tulip or a monarch


skyscrapers rise & fall
no thanks to mere mortals
able to destroy that which they build
like a flawed god
constantly seeking attention

the gradual unfolding of a field
exposing all that is real
be it friend or flora or foe
young & old bones alike
buried so far below

bricks build these roads
one on top of another
a city layered in storied centuries
living & dying & born again
like a tulip or a monarch





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

from the kitchen window


new blooms move with the arc
of the perennial sun
stretching their necks
& blinking their eyes
wide open to brand new ideas


the earth has become
more than an orbiting sphere
to mere mortals
a linear timeline from pre-fossil
to garden of eden
babylon to peloponnese
old paris to present day chicago

flower window boxes
simplistically shows how far
we’ve actually come
artistically covering the atrocities
of past & present & future
watering hope & possibility
right here from the kitchen window




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

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