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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Micropoetry”

Making Buttons


Tongue stuck out and twisting
Pepsi bottlecap between thumb and forefinger
pocket knife in other
spooning out the corking from the metal

The rounded cork disappears
inside the T-shirt
reunited with the bottlecap
between the fabric




nineteen ninety-seven
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

inner city haiku baseball


full moon with stitches
off-white and slowly revolving
like a knuckleball

in the alleyways
pick-up games start at daybreak
broomsticks and duct tape

tying run at plate
runners at every corner
bus driver pitching

final shot arcing
sailing over skyscrapers
shooting for the moon




september two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

calm before the storm


every so often they visit
bursts of faint light
appearing and diffusing in a
matter of mere minutes
figments of my imagination
flirting with my night vision
reminding me my earthly days
continue to count down
right before my very eyes




september two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

life again


I left the city for fields of goldenrod
painted by many artists over the years
fresh in my mind for reasons I cannot explain

if I had stayed I’d surely be dead by now
having fallen to the atrocious ills of society
either by murder or apparent suicide

I am far from home but closer to reality
like the shepherd is to his flock
like a mother to her newborn




september two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

lying low


I’ve been waiting for low tide since daybreak
barefoot and hardly any place to go
save further into the well

red sky is but a memory I’ve long locked in
ever since I’ve been able to cry

tears eventually turn to celebrations
thrown by mere mortals
choosing times and places
your spirit is certain to be lying low




august two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

beyond the veil of illusion


just sitting here drinking a beer
pocket knife and block of wood in hand
carving new notches in a made-up world
my worrisome thoughts going deep
unable to return to safety of shallow waters

from inside the house I barely hear
radio broadcasting inconsistent streams
coexisting with my troubled mind
carving deeper against the grain
steadily drifting along muted current




august two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

station to station


I found myself repeatedly moving the dial
clapping randomly at small somethings
flying in my face
sent in one by one by some
strange god testing my mid-summer mettle
uninterested in my inner well-being
let alone my outwardly comical countenance
instead secretly intercepting frequencies
concocting far worse consequences
involving matters of life and death




august two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

snapshots of rainbows


we used to chase them just like we chased
butterflies and rabbits and tornados and daydreams
pretended to store them in mason jars in the cellar
(or the lower level as we like to say)
sealed tight and placed on web-laced shelves
like ordinary bottles of homemade beer or wine
or better yet experimental body parts
ensconced in formaldehyde
and though we talked at great length of our
supposed prized collection
nobody in their right mind dared go underground
to disprove their existence




august two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

single speed


mind may be racing
but heart is slowing down
counting days until
current surroundings
suddenly take a turn

she says come look
and see for yourself
sphere has but one speed
yet all inside her
tumbles chaotically

I believed her
like I believed in rain
softly falling
keeping me company
breathing on our own




august two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

magnanimous immortality


emotions are in charge of the world
and my own creations are nothing but
manifestations that are either killing me
or my next door neighbor
forces sending us in different directions
either deep inside our own agony
or propelling us outwardly into the
beauty of the next world
whichever seems to be reasonably
relevant at the time




august two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the artist and I


we will cross the river
the artist and I
and we will find a new outlet
to call our home
and we will sleep as one
falling in and out of
romantic daydreams
evening sun hiding her
eyes behind decorative fan
rising moon reaching out
to gently awaken us
so that we may create again




july two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

not your final destination


I heard it on the radio
childhood memories
reformatted for the digital age
revolutionary forces
transformed from past to present
longtime secrets resurrected
playing loud and clear on
intergalactic airwaves




july two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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