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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the category “Poetry”

some kind of alien operation


the intensity is high in these
surroundings
but I play it cool by taking drugs
designed to keep
my blood pressure in check

I’m not supposed to be here
I tell them
but they process me nonetheless
handing out one of those
restaurant beepers that flashes red
when my table is ready

the longer I’m here the more attention
I seem to get
and when I tell them a second time
there’s been a mistake
they chortle and nod and strap me in





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

painting pretty pictures


I sit in exaggerated silence
corner lamp dimly lit
open book by my side

it’s a story about a spanish
painter addicted to opioids
a novella really
with flowery words
and beautifully naked models
who come and go at their leisure

I had to put the book down
because it reminded me of my own
missteps and consequences
how it led to this very moment
sitting in exaggerated silence
while outside early april rains
continue to fall torrentially





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

turn by turn navigation


how can it be that you’re with me
every step of the way
even though you’re nowhere
near the vicinity

the roadmap in my pocket
changes constantly
and though I’ve been tempted
on multiple occasions
to pitch it out the window
I continue to spread it out
finding new ways
to reach same old places

[the best roadmap is one
that can be folded
many different ways]

soon spring will become summer
and the summer sun
will recharge my batteries
getting me back on the
road to recovery
your spirited old self
back in the proverbial saddle
guiding me turn by turn





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

out of the blue


where oh where have you been
my darling April
or shall I say is it really you
hiding like a lion behind the bush

who will remind me not to be fooled
by your bad intentions
and steer clear the lesser path
alluringly lined by red red roses

how I wonder when your teardrops
will fall again
washing away recent memories
abruptly cold and uncompromising

where oh where have you been
my fleeting April
won’t you abandon your wild ways
and promise me you’ll stay awhile





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

unsolved and theoretical


there’s nothing mysterious about your
inner instincts
how they sometimes take complete
control of your thought pattern
and subsequent actions
leaving you wondering in the end
exactly how you got from
point A to point B
in a matter of mere milliseconds





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

prototypical


in the backyard
all secure by a privacy fence
two boys continue their work
on new and improved old ideas

they’ve done the math
and they’ve completed
the construction
all that’s left is to send
that damn rocket
out into outer space

striking a light
they set the fuse to burn
running away at full speed
their future blazing overhead





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

no one understands me


I wanted to converse with you
in your native tongue
but all I could do was listen
and nod and smile
comprehending your every single word
but unable to respond accordingly

you’ve been gone now for what
seems like days or weeks or months
the concept of time incalculable in my mind

retreating back to familiar places
I practice words & phrases
spoken half a world away
painting pictures and
connecting dots from here to there
where words once meant everything





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

time travel is complicated


I don’t know these people
where they came from
or what their mission is
having appeared out of the blue
once winter succumbed to spring
now soliciting sugar and milk
and common knowledge information
as if I was their next door neighbor

how they keep finding me
remains a mystery I care not solve
but find me they do
regardless of my state of mind
whether digging a new trench
or scaling skyscrapers
they appear out of the blue
nearly scaring me half to death

how they ever chose me
haunts my waking days
and eerily dark blue nights
when the weight of my eyelids
become most burdensome
as I whisper beneath my breath
praying to the gods that be
that tomorrow they’ll never find me





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I can’t change


no I don’t hate you
in fact I don’t know you
know not where you
live or what you stand for
the color of your hair or eyes
the language that you speak
or religion [if any] you practice

no I don’t hate you
fact is I adore you [from
a great distance] like a dream
long ago escaping me
leaving me aching and asking
how can I ever get back
to a place that never was





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

catch and release


I am somebody else today
dressed in clothes
fitting unfamiliarly
sun shining upon me
somehow differently
than the day before
warm and inviting
and encouraging a slight
smile on my face

I am somebody else today
not the person
you met in passing
or shared a meal
or intimate moment
somehow changed entirely
perhaps for the last time
whether it be for the better
or for the worse





march two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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