jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “In the City”

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

shopping on a saturday afternoon


look she said
followed by a bunch more words
I couldn’t tell you to this day
what they were

I was traveling way back at the time
back when I wore a batman
or superman cape
curious in otherworldly things
yet imperfectly insular

having returning to the streets
of san bernardino
I agree with her notions unwittingly

she rolls her eyes
giving me this one-of-a-kind smile
saying next time you better
take me with you
you know I’ve always wanted to go




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

while my stereo plays


c’mon man
let’s hit the streets
& see what kind of action
awaits us

now that the clocks
are ticking differently
we can change things up
and become someone
we are not

by day or by night
what lights up the sky
is one in the same
running or hiding on any
given hour
loving to be chased
dying to be shot at




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

watching the network news at the starlight


I keep saying to myself
there are too many people living
[and dying] on this planet
and if recently played out events
are any indication
I say I may be onto something

for some reason I keep thinking
about the word ‘sustainable’
exactly what it’s supposed to mean
to the likes of people like me
doing their damnedest
just to survive

you were supposed to meet me
at the starlight at 5 pm
but now it’s going on seven
and I’m nursing my final final
working up the strength
to start walking back home




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

born to be an assassin


there’s been talk of re-education camps
for children of certain parents
thinking maybe just maybe
the countryside might be saved

for what’s happening inside the city
will take decades to decipher
and those trapped inside
will forever be beholden to the sun

some ways out are costlier than others
such as escapee versus recruit
the former barreling past borders
the latter anything but in a hurry




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

fake news from kathmandu


the lights descended on a
make-believe kathmandu
and suddenly the world took notice
just how populous
such a little place could be

but it was a mere deflection
those brilliant lights
meant only to deceive
some claiming was recently bottled
from a heavenly conjunction

the flashing was blinding
but there’s nothing left to see
and whoever managed
to elude the first sweep
can likely be found
sleepwalking the streets
in make-believe bangladesh




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

the coffee shop


we heard the coffee shop in new bohemia
had some local beers on tap
so we went in to check it out

it was a damp morning
going on noon I suppose
and when we walked through the door
heads looked up
and eyes rolled

we shrugged our shoulders
and walked past the cashier
took a seat at the far end of the counter

this used to be a dog grooming place
and then a tavern I explained
and she nodded her head while reading
the menu on the chalkboard

the help never looked our way
and at one point
a busboy washed some cups & saucers
right in front of us

I imagined it would just be a matter of time
before someone approached us
to ask “what will it be”

we looked at each other
and then at the cashier
at each other
and then the cashier

meanwhile one customer after the next
approached the cashier
placed an order and made payment

behind our backs was a glass door
with a well lit exit sign above it

after six or seven minutes ticked by
we shrugged our shoulders
and haphazardly snuck out the back door




december two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I pledge allegiance to thyself


here we are vulnerable to the masses
as much as we are vulnerable to ourselves

hitting the streets by any means of conveyance
now just as dangerous as staying put
doors locked & curtains drawn

so much of what’s out there has become
unrecognizable emotion
passions transformed into rage
the latter on the loose throughout the streets

what is to become of all this insanity
and where do we possibly go from here





december two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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