jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “In the City”

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

lights out in the heartland


the grass was covered in ash
a delicate dirty white
easily blown by the wind
waving through the neighborhood
like a thin blanket slightly floating

dogs without leashes herded
themselves through the narrow street
as if instructed to follow some leader

the sirens never went off
and any kind of free or paid service
simultaneously became inoperable

whatever it was that fell from the sky
shaking the earth for maybe sixty seconds
arrived with an incomparable sound
leaving silence in its wake

or had we all become deaf





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

shadows dancing in the darkness


the city is in danger
but the population is not scared


going about their business
before the lights go out

there is a vision shared by
some local mystics

brought to the center of
attention by way of

the prior administration
somehow stuck in the airwaves

the micro & the radio waves
the healing waves of the pacific

aligning mysterious thoughts
with those of the newest moon





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

while supper slowly cooks in the kitchen


it’s thursday night & the cocktail making
is in full-force in the basement
men & women & children
participating in the assembly line
loosely following handed-down recipes
remarking how they’ve circulated
over the past century from country
to country & continent to continent

local & social media continue to remind
anyone who may be interested
that the charity run starts
eight o’clock sharp on saturday morning

and all those down below
agree they’ll easily be ready by then





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

daily commute


sitting on a ledge with switchblade
in hand
either lost in thought or ultra-focused
asking questions below &
expecting answers from above
this is how life & death decisions
are made

the world is on edge
billions living on the fringe
a number too large to comprehend
especially when sitting on a ledge
with a good book in hand
making life & death decisions
without any outside help

outside looking in
this is how it will be in the end
sitting alone on the edge
waiting for the last train





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

circa seventeen seventy-six


there is hammering on the rooftops
in the not so distant past
fading from the west
echoing in a rhythmic pattern
like an ode on a grecian urn

autumn appears on the horizon
& hell not far behind
communications
arriving from all directions
be it by wind or bird or plane

I’ve yet decided what century
I shall waste the next
thirteen hundred dreams
lost in the city of brotherly love
pretending to be mere mortal





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

exchanging hands on the black market


there is love & hate
happening on hollywood avenue
I try to stay
on the right side of the street


my dreams keep telling me
everything I’m gonna miss
but I don’t get the half of it
waking up at 2 am to gunshot
pit bulls barking up & down the street

what few truths there are left
(inalienable or otherwise)
ricochet up & down the boulevard
the scorching sun
attempting to eradicate all the lies
baked within





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

intercepting inner city messages


five hour energy doesn’t
do much good
in these here streets
you’re better off using
old fashioned razor blades
& disposable needles

the neighbor’s cat
has gotten pretty good
at keeping us mostly safe
flashing the all clear signal
when not whoring around
from dawn until dusk

the building frowns upon
out-of-state visitors
but they’re usually the ones
with the best product
& with the cat’s help
we’re able to smuggle them in





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

back in the game


new leather bag
jet black with a thin strap
count ‘em one two
three gold zippers
perfect for
compartmentalizing
a few zodiac signs &
today’s mental mood


money clip holding tight
a few precious scraps
an apple card with a slice
or two in reserve
privy to proof of legal age
& all kinds of insurance

fingernail clipper
a box cutter (just in case)
a chain with too many keys
a rosary with black beads
a few triple A batteries (again
just in case)
and so many more little
metallic things

strolling down 5th avenue
like a big dog on parade
the big pouch empty but open
hoping something that glitters
may yet again
catch my cautious eye




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

An American blogger in Paris


I met this blogger
an American in Paris
living in paradise
(so we were lead to believe)
dishing out outrageous
autobiographical adventures
untold tales he liked to call them

And so along the way
having fallen in love with the
City of lights
he eagerly learned the language
and later
fell in love with Amélie

She brought him in
and all was good with the world
to the point where his
creativity waned
his numbers tumbling
until his online relevance
ceased to exist

as did Amélie




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

Spectacle of the Century


April the quintessential Clown
a self-educated & pragmatic jokester
in demand to entertain Royalty
the nobility & commoners alike

No wisdom will be embarked upon
this cold & viciously unforgiving night
instead be prepared to die of laughter
as the Walls come crashing down




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

after the verdict


we’re doing something
different today
but you shouldn’t have
a problem with that

the city is already boiling over
and by nightfall
it won’t be safe at all

we’ve got no time
to board up the main floor windows
we’ll pack a bag
and take some valuables
and pray for our
eventual return

some say there is safety
in numbers
but this time
that’s the exact definition
to an exception to the rule




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

enlisting lost souls & free spirits


what are you doing
trying to save the world
with mere words

we seem to have broken
the language barrier
which only proves that man
has a listening problem

and then of course
there is history itself
repeating like any metaphor
you wish to use

the world needs saving
but all we seem to do
is point & pull the trigger

there is no question
that cities will burn
the question becoming
how high the count
until the next tipping point




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

for whatever reason lessons are not being learned


the temperature was going down fast
but nobody seemed to notice
instead all eyes were focused
on the smoking gun

it doesn’t take long for word to spread
it’s the world we live in

I cringed when I got word
what happened in broad daylight

the world has got to get better
it just has to
I keep telling myself
but then this happens
and then that
and suddenly I find myself
more fearful than before




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

hunger strike


if they get away with murder
the city will ultimately burn down

the hunger striker lives in a bubble
broadcasted from the city center for all to see
like an eagle cam recording the brood

legal betting stands to make billions
regardless the duration
or the eventual outcome
of the extended televised reality




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

mass evacuations & caravans


the air became thinner than usual
as if it was ghosting right through me

last night a series of explosions
ripped through the city like a cat 5 tornado

for whatever reason I lost my sense of smell
back when we were crawling on highway 13

I’m reminded of the latest prophecy
that anything gas-powered will no longer work

come sunrise there was nothing but big sky
far from a metropolis that may or may not exist




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

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