jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

a purple kind of day


she stood silent in the walk-in closet
shoulder-length hair wet & combed
clothed in white panties & bralette
finger pressed against lower lip
casually calculating multiple
color combinations

there was no question is was a
purple kind of day
that pious & royal & mysterious
intermediate color
created by combining red & blue
and a little bit of sunshine

only one choice remained
what complementary color would
best bring out her wistful mood
whether traditional yellow
or better yet a softer pink
accentuating her rare allure




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

twenty stories tall


some hypothetical trees are hard to fall
madmen with chainsaws & ropes & pulleys
make calculations and smoke cigarettes
from sunup to sundown they undertake
this nearly impossible task

this one must be made of steel
one of them says
the rest nodding in agreement
scratching their heads and looking skywards

it’s only a matter of time another says
and they bow their heads in silence
grasping the gravity of their predicament




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

springtime festivals


things that crash and clash
like overbought stock markets
and preposterous accessories
blowing up in a single session
and overtaking empty streets
where st. patrick day parades
weave in and out of the hearts
of plump little girls and boys
scooping up wrapped candy
thrown by spooks in makeshift floats
clad in green and grey spacesuits
pants pockets turned inside out




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

gregarious like the locust


why am I stuck here
without an internet connection

flipping through imaginary channels
that once calmed my nerves

but now all that I have is fear

that instinctive natural state
changing me into something I’m not
making me want to bust out onto the scene

like when the short-horned grasshopper
gregariously morphs into the locust

taking over entire fields
systematically moving onto the next

devouring and decimating everything
in its inexhaustible path

their offspring released within the swarm
waxing their wings and singing
alleluia be not afraid




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

problematic at best


you’re like a hologram
I see you and then I don’t
popping in and out at your leisure
green eyes staring me down
or your slender self in my peripheral
back against the wall and arms
extended down your sides

these uncertain times
remind me of the twilight zone
take your pick ~ any episode
or the song itself
exploring offshoot worlds
conveying new ideas in old ways

what if I told you
this is how it will always be
using made up words
and accepting new discoveries
like the congregation of trolls
beneath the quintessential bridge
rewinding yarns and drawing straws




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Trying to Remember Her Name


I saw you board the greyhound
in Little America some forty-one years ago
a naturally beautiful young woman
if I had ever seen one

I had just turned seventeen
and was on my way to San Francisco
that is after changing my ticket
which was originally destined for Fresno
where I had planned to find work
and blend in with the college crowd

I’d already been confined inside my
self-contrived conveyance
for a full twenty-four hours
and even though most of my traveling
companions thought I was much older
you were the first to join our party
remotely close to my own age

The next stop was Salt Lake City
at the most brilliant station in the world
and lo & behold there we were
talking outside in the fresh January air
as if we’d known each other for years
you telling me about your life and death
operation at the university hospital
followed by me attempting to explain
why I’m continuously on the run




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

buried out back


where do we begin
or shall we say
where do we go from here
now that we’ve uncovered
the strongbox

it blows my mind how deep
it was buried
in the backyard
but metal detectors never lie
and garden spades
last a lifetime

we’ve vowed not opening
the damn thing until everyone
makes it back home
and it matters not
if they arrive dead or alive




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

contagion


I’m running
to where I’ve no idea
all you can see is the back of me
an obscuration of my former self

where did the world go
seems I’m running in and out
of staged impressions
grass really not grass
but painted concrete
the sky but a watercolor
painted by a pathetic god

listen here
I keep repeating to myself
but there is nothing left to hear
besides the occasional trill
of a solitary bird
attempting to be my friend

all we have is time
my newfound inspiration tells me
flying faster than ever
as I myself
continue to pick up speed
pretending I’m finally lifting off




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a good night’s sleep


here we go again
plunging into the red
walls caving in and ceiling dropping
I lift my hands above my head
prolonging the inevitable
yelling at everyone to get out
get out

no it’s not a dream
this sickening viral nightmare
evolving like a self fulfilling prophecy
spawned from out of nothing
each passing hour growing darker
eyelids fluttering faster
than is humanly possible

it’s a symmetrical world
we work and play and sleep in
sometimes working in our favor
but mainly indifferent to our
desires and insecurities
a stark reminder how we all need
to get a good night’s sleep




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the next one hundred years


I’ve been trying to bring everything
into focus
been thinking of placing a phone
call or two
ended up consulting with myself
but those talks
pretty much stalled prematurely

I’m thinking it may be high time
for plan B
dial me up some dead
and try to get to the bottom of things
start having
one on one interviews with
Mama and Greg and Sister Maria

I know it’ll cost me emotionally
and financially
but I’m willing to sacrificing anything
to gain some insight
into what might happen tomorrow
or better yet
the next one hundred years




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

reunited


two humans landlocked
on the only continent
left on earth

it is like an island
surrounded by four oceans
but the fact remains

it is a continent
larger than a little planet
as if south america

and africa were conjoined
reunited if you will
adding to the complexity

of a dying planet needing
more trees and moisture
and sunlight

two humans walking
hand in hand
retracing their footsteps

back to the garden
to the one and the only
how can this story ever end




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

WAIT


I’m rediscovering sugars and spices
and some things not so nice
I ask myself how many combinations
can I put on a simple slice of toast
how many times can I count down from ten
before saying WAIT
let’s try starting all over again
and see if we come up with a different answer

for decades we’ve been chasing moons
and wishing upon stars
just look where it’s gotten us
another year older and none too wiser
eventually discounting every fairy tale
we once believed in
until finally we say WAIT
it’s high time we make up our own

doctor says I’ve got to change my ways
I tell her I most certainly will
another lie in the grand scheme of things
I rush home and sit in an empty room
light up the pipe and WAIT
for you to return into my life
curious how actions once considered sinful
have now become legal




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

imaginary borders


I became an outlaw before turning the age of sixteen
kissed my mother goodbye and ran away at speeds
surpassing five hundred miles per hour

I was stopped countless times by people who pretended
they had power over my soul
but each time I had the right answers & was free to go

these new lands mean nothing & everything to me
how simple it became to fact check
each new location in the palm of my hand

I get handouts on a weekly basis
fresh fruit & vegetables & hand me down jeans
bottles of whisky & water & a bright silvery handgun
just to name a few

I’ve learned it’s best not to stay in one place too long
for fear I might become involved with someone
who actually believes they know me




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

breaking away


what goes through the mind
once clipped in and setting sail
propelled by pedals and wheels
and always affected by the wind
even if there is none

conditions change quickly
one day here the next not so much
weaving in and out of reality
one minute counting clicks
the next five updating lists

third eye always in the rearview
all six senses kick into play
on autopilot and multitasking
breaking away past boundaries
one set of hills at a time




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

another saturday night


I don’t know how I feel
having long since come down
from an all-time high
hungry but unable to eat
instead feeding on thoughts
that may or may not be healthy

all that I’ve compiled
these past several years
has been successfully erased
an unceremonious purging of sorts
no fire and no ash and no wind
just a simple kiss goodbye




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the fear of failure


listen to my incredible story
recounting the risk of death
here there is no such thing
as seeing is believing
oh no you must first
close your eyes
and learn to listen
learn to fly like a bat
free falling into the darkness
the fear of failure impossible
the courage of flight
never-ending




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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