jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “In the City”

church bells will be ringing


eleven times church bells were ringing
rising moon faintly shining on new year’s night
slender and somber and silently emerging

brothers in arms assembled in town’s square
followed by women and children and elders
all awakened by resoundingly familiar tolling

they’ve been called to march down this road before
paved over many times by many generations
redefining a past that refuses to be changed

though all the statues have long been raised
resilient memories are much harder to replace
stamped inside stories unwritten and retold



august two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

what’s on your hard drive


joseph had been missing for many
days and the sheriff told lois
mary was a person of interest

she kept insisting he had called
an uber driver the day before
to pick up their son in san salvador

but no such records ever existed
according to law enforcement
but law enforcement had nothing
to do with their predicament
that is being trapped inside
a jesus christ superstar song



july two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the map room


I’ve no idea where you’ve been
but you keep telling me I appear
in and out of your crystal ball

I hadn’t checked on my horoscope
in over a week
mostly because I kept getting it
wrong on a daily basis

There is this map room I’m not
supposed to know about
even though it appears
to be common knowledge

I decided not to go there
instead stuck to my instincts
walking along the riverfront
like I do most every night
attempting to connect the dots
buried deep beyond the stars



july two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

taking hiatus from the city


the cease fire was nothing
more than fake news
declared by gluttonous warlords
seeking enigmatic furloughs for
scores of armies needing to be fed

meanwhile acid attacks continue
at an alarming rate
terrorizing a cautious citizenry
keeping pace with an expanding
and luxurious underground

whole cities no longer exist
while even more slowly crumble
subjected to a stronger will
and dying to be rehabilitated by
way of artistic interpretation



july two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

there comes a time


rumor had it Sir Isaac Newton
moved back downtown
ate and drank and conversed
amongst the commoners

early in the morning he walked
against the grain
waving at joggers he met
along the way to green square

there the rays of the rising sun
warmed the giant circular sculpture
made of copper and radiating

and there he sat
taking notes and making drawings
looking up and looking down
and looking straight away
convinced he could solve it all
if only he had more time



july two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

things will look brighter in the morning


I could care less about fireworks
or trips to poland
or face to face meetings between
elected dictators

the neighbors look especially cautious
having invitation-only block parties
and seemingly grinning at those they hate

I wish I could forget about the wars
but with all this weather going on
it’s just a perfect reminder how
thousands are dying before their time

tipping points may or may not come to fruition
but in the meantime dramatic world-wide
crashes are certain to spawn modern day prophets
declaring the next golden age is at hand



july two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

stormtroopers on the run


rains followed along streams of light
attracted to the illumination of the city

raindrops splattered atop thin ice
triggering flashbacks of fluorescent flying insects

though the winds behaved peacefully
casualties kept arriving at an alarming rate

each lull brought back another storm
arriving like missionless troopers with an attitude

they said to get out while you still can
far away from places casting incandescent shadows



june two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

smack in the face


under the bridge needles grow
tendered by invisible trolls
thirsty for artificial light

rolling up sleeves
uncovering layers of skin
giving names to veins
and telling inner city stories
one tattoo at a time

rain never bothered anyone
not where I come from
if push came to shove you could
always find shelter with Orson Wells
and all his little friends



june two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

these towns all look the same


maybe you should go there
and stop complaining about
taxes and megaphoning
death to your leader

I’ve seen more out-of-town
and out-of-state license plates
than I care to report

we are just this one small dot
connected to no other single point
on this godforsaken landscape

my lord tells me something bad
is about to happen again tonight

there is no reason not to believe her



june two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

brand new bluebird song


there was this poem I used to keep
in my back pocket
kind of like bukowski’s bluebird
only not as hopeful and
not as sad
but plenty sorrowful in its own right

one day somebody asked to borrow it
and I gave it away without even thinking
I gave it away
like it was a knee jerk reaction
like when shutting the door behind you
instantaneously realizing
you just locked yourself out

the poem lives on in somebody
else’s life now
leaving me to explore the city streets
sandals on feet and opera glasses in hand
capturing glimpses of brand new blues



june two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

rumors of an evacuation


for some reason only the crickets
came out that night
and before the break of dawn
all of the birds will have left the city

at the inception it was a nonevent
but in retrospect
it shouldn’t have taken so long
before the people started leaving



june two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

smoke if you got ‘em


I was pretty sure I got things going
but when you told me otherwise
I kinda felt like shutting down

kinda
she says
really
how old are you

well I didn’t want to get into that
so I just went on about my business
that had nothing to do with
business at all

suddenly the front door opens
and here walks in an
uber driver carrying six tall boys
and pack of marlboro reds

there’s no smoking in the house
she says unless I say so

the uber driver looks at me
as if she’s not going anywhere



june two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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