jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “In the City”

new york state of mind


it was a hot dog kind of day
not the kind you buy in the grocery store
but the meaty ones from a push cart
or your local neighborhood tavern
served any which way you like
with corn fritos and your favorite beverage

it was an indiscreet
and unsuspicious kind of day
one in which you can express your feelings
without exaggeration or superficiality

go ahead and pick one
out of 35 variations
or better yet create your own
like the way you used to do





may two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

sunday gospel brunch


I saw you at a distance
light on your feet
and hovering like an angel
various laughter rising and falling
a bloody mary in your hand

I had just attended mass
having arrived an hour early
hopeful of resolving all of my
impossible transgressions

I shouldn’t have taken
the long way home
no less stroll past
sunday gospel brunch
where the atmosphere I hear
will bring back sweet memories





may two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

there’s talk on the street


he was the new kid
everyone has at least one
in their lifetime

wide-eyed and outgoing
or mysteriously shy
people want to know more
like what circumstances
brought her here

maybe he’s not really a kid
but rather some unfamiliar idea
walking confidently down main street
sun stretching her shadow
further than anyone else

some say this town isn’t ready
for someone like him
stealing their thoughts and
rearranging them without
anyone noticing

oh yes she was the new kid
and everyone wanted to love her
like one of their very own





may two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

150 foot foundations


they keep digging up bones
moving them from one
sanctioned place to the next
this time far from city lights

protesters are well-prepared
to be run over by earth movers
arm-in-arm and squatting
chanting what gives you the right

some say it’s sacrilegious
to be displaced for such reasons
as if full color panoramic views
far outweigh black & white





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

vacationing in Colorado


I’m not going there
she said
can you please change the channel
there must be more to life
than current events
sapping all your energy

we had just sat down
at a local dispensary
having ordered two craft beers
and a bowl of purple sensimilla
the remote control to the TV
directly overhead
within arms reach

what about the Rockies game
I suggested
do you consider pro baseball
current events

that all depends upon who
they’re playing
she answered
not to mention how quickly this weed
will make me not care about anything





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

living on the blind side of the city


the more populated we become
the more dangerous are the streets
all kinds of people packing heat
be they good or bad or indifferent

I don’t own a gun and I’m beginning
to wonder if that’s a good idea
thinking the older I get
the more vulnerable I’ve become

please don’t get me wrong
even though it’s a sad state of affairs
many positive things are happening
inside cities both large and small

but in the meantime here I am
living in the present moment
pretending the problem isn’t mine
as I go about my daily life





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

push and pull


living in the present
yes I get that who doesn’t
taking in the sights and sounds
as if you’re seeing the world
around you each and every day
for the very first time

but alas what challenges
the present creates
especially when piecing
together past and future events
defining and redefining
perceptions and realities
not to mention those ever elusive
dream interpretations

so here you are sitting
at an outdoor cafe
alone or perhaps with a
real or imagined friend
living in the moment as they say
never pulling back or pushing forward
somehow knowing every single word
to every single song streaming
out into the open air





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

sudden darkness (reprise)


it’s been 16+ months since
he last set foot on earth
found dead in an alley
in the 500 block of 10th street

according to the medical examiner
cause of death was gunshot wound
what kind of gun though
she did not say
but it had to be one
that fits inside your glove

though discovered in the early
morning hours
chances are he never did
take a breath past midnight
the moon at the time waxing crescent
most likely witnessing
every single step
even with one eye closed

it matters not (or maybe it does)
why it’s taken this long
to find the killer
depending upon your point of view





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

an american alien in egypt


in the dark in alexandria
chasing an illusion
from one continent to the next

this city is far from dead
and inhaling its past is intoxicating
no matter the time of day

greeted by angels at midnight
I’m allowed to dock and disembark
a foreigner without a guest pass

I say tell them I’ll barely be seen
walking their sleepless streets
as if back in new york city





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

stranger in this land


what brought me here is difficult
to explain
almost as if I was abducted
by a team of aliens
and set loose in the city center

something or someone
wiped clean my memory
and the clothes on my body
I was vaguely certain
did not belong to me

as I walk the streets
nothing is familiar
landmarks or architecture
the language or signage
urban animals roaming about

I stuff my hands in my pockets
pull out colorful script
and silver and gold pieces
fairly certain the sum of which
will give me a place to stay
for the night

over time I will come to find
there is inspiration in the streets
in everywhere I go





february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

getting to know thyself


the faces are inspiring
whether real or appearing
in one-off dreams
faces in the crowd
popping up from one spot
to the next
by any means necessary
be it by foot or uber or bus
or train or aeroplane
exhibiting happiness or grief
pain or sorrow or glee
eyes and mouths wide open
or reluctantly shut
teeth clenched or relaxed
pale-faced or rosy-cheeked
hurried or stymied or grounded
it matters not

I swear I know
each and every one of them
much like how I know myself




february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

lost in the crowd


it’s not even mid-february and already
the weeping on the streets
goes by unnoticed

it was just a couple of weeks ago
when the thaw was in full bloom
but that was short-lived
and now once again
the weeping on the streets has resurfaced
one hundred fold

what is to become of all this weeping
this unforgettable sorrowfulness
all too present yet seldom recognized

and what are we to do
standing unnoticed in the crowd
reaching out in furtive attempts
to make a difference




february two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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