jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “In the City”

god willing there will be work


she may have been an angel
but often let the weather
affect her daily mood
unpredictably

lightning could easily set her off
or calm her nerves
depending on time of day
and task at hand

the homeless knew her best
had no idea she was not human
but loved her stories
especially how she romanticized
being born under scorpio’s sign

she’d often go missing for days
sometimes weeks
stray cats patrolling at night
commissioned as her private eyes

my work is never done here
she often complained or cajoled
depending upon who would listen





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

meanwhile shadows linger downtown


they put in sidewalks where there used to be grass
on the old side of town thanks to that penny tax
three whole blocks for three whole weeks
disrupting traffic and making everything ugly
heavy machinery and piles of dirt
candy corn pylons and cement trucks
men and women dressed fluorescently
an occasional open hand in my face
or arm motioning me to get on with my life





november two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

how I wonder


alien boy sits on curb
waiting for night to fall
desirous of first star to appear
bringing back his smile

fast cars with one headlight
impersonate meteor showers
sweeping up passerbys
unable to pay the freight

it’s a million to one chance
but what else is there to do
besides singing the blues
or counting red cars

tomorrow’s hitchhiker
catapults away from superhighway
discovering alternatives to
hunger and desire and fear

there he learns falling out of grace
is not an option
nor dashing through the night sky
perhaps unseen



november two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

as if I had been there


I was in the back seat of my father’s
big black lincoln continental
tooling down elm street

it must have been autumn because
I remember it being early evening
and it was completely dark outside
the car filled with a number of us
heading for an hour of CCD

I was feeling melancholy
but lucky to have a window seat
driving past dark house after dark house
doing at least thirty-five

and then I spot a boy laughing
his smile lighting up
corner kitchen window

seated tall at the table
his face lit up with joyous wonderment
while two adults lean toward his energy
smiling and laughing with him

and for the briefest of moments
I too was feeling happy





november two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

restless on park avenue


I used to walk through the park
but now all I do is sit on benches
and watch the world go by

the people in this town
are travelers from another world
dressed in heavy clothing
throughout the four seasons
undoubtedly covering their
tattooed alligator skin

on fridays the food trucks
line both avenues on either
side of city square park

I sit on my favorite bench
unmoving and
counting down the minutes
before they pack up their profits
and shove off

things slowly return to normal
and I am content watching
everything inching away from me





november two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

making a pilgrimage (for candy)


panhandlers converge downtown to pass
out sugar to unsuspecting pedestrians
some proclaiming to have arrived from as
far away as the moon

word has it they had rolled out of the desert
at three in the morning
having arrived a fortnight later
to what is often referred to
as the end of the earth

they carried with them canteens
and canned tuna and eggshell colored flags
bugles and banjos and tambourines
and every sort of confection imaginable





october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

jailbreak


covertly they were collecting doves
over a thirty day period
rounding them up like common criminals
caged in underground cells

there were marches in streets
and scuffles in alleyways
pigeons and geese and sparrows
fleeing the city
lest they too be taken into custody

on the outskirts of town
swallow-tailed kites and red-shouldered
hawks circle high overhead
co-conspiring to take out the sheriff
now that all hell has broken loose





october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

macy’s thanksgiving day parade


an ordinary autumn day
colorful trees swelling like a piñata
stretching to reach a bright
and amazingly beautiful blue sky
pretty pink pigs with angel wings
noisily floating overhead



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

open doors on the streets of paris


how the streets shine at night
after an all day rain
lost in the city of lights
you walk for hours on end

this language is not your own
but translates easily
into living and breathing poetry
complementing misty air

there is warmth in the most
unimaginable places
but somehow you manage
to find temporary solace

you arrive here as planned
but become lost over time
your final words a resting place
recorded for all to hear





october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on call on a friday night


how do I replace all the friends
I’ve lost along the way
at what point will it be the end
of the road for me

it’s silly to dwell on such thoughts
but sometimes ego
unexpectedly takes over
suggesting I fall to my knees

road signs keep cropping up
further and further from the city
expanding the time it takes
to find inner peace

meanwhile I sit idly by
counting virtual dollars in the
palm of my hand
waiting somewhat impatiently





october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

deeper and deeper into the night


it’s almost seven o’clock and we’re
still waiting on shakespeare

everyone seems to know that
son-of-a-bitch is always late
and as far as the host is concerned
scheduled poetry readings will begin
with or without guest of honor

this laid back lingering gathering
seems to be primed on local brews
and/or pumpkin infused caffeinated beverages
quite a few rotating in and out the front door
seen huddling and smoking in front of
big picture window

it’s mid october and so far there
are plenty of tricks and an occasional treat

nobody is about to abandon the notion
that good old bill and his entourage
will eventually appear
(as contractually agreed upon)
but meanwhile all give thanks
to this peaceful venue
and sincere thanks to every poet
stepping up to the mic



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

tapping my foot to the beat of the drum


I liked how the crow’s nest was within
walking distance from my place
its pink rooftop like a beacon
calling out my otherworldliness

Intellectuals and up-and-comers and
has-beens frequent the place
sprouting post-modern hallucinations
by way of fermented imaginations

Of course I am an outsider with a
photographic mind and a microphone
picking up prose and poetry
that seems to reside on the airwaves

Sitting unnoticed at the dark end of the bar
I systematically imbibe local ale
memorizing their stoic faces
second-guessing my unfounded fears



october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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