jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

as forgotten can be


living in the moment
ideally like the butterfly
there is no thought
only flight
impossible to comprehend
the past
whatever it was
whatever it may have been
it is gone
gone forever
free from the chains that once
held us in place
forgotten as forgotten can be




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

miracle on first & third


it’s always the same dilemma
where do I go from here
repeatedly asking are you with me or not

how do I even begin to slow things down
once enough has become enough

conspiracy theories are running rampant
up & down the line
there’s no telling what people will believe
now that the churches have been burnt down

what’s next & why
there has to be some place better than
the here & now

they say it’s simple to mobilize
you just do it without blinking
suddenly you find yourself in the mix
inside the mosh pit of consciousness
rock solid & once again walking with purpose




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

an imperfect circle


we’re not going anywhere
no not this time
the two door’s in the garage
buttoned down with the top down
collecting but a little dust
tank full & engine well greased
strangely idling there
cleaner than a gun

everything seems to be wide open
like a harvest moon rising
into a cloudless night

but alas here on the ground
nothing’s quite the same
yes there are sights to be seen
but not a single place to stop
steering clear of small populations
gathering in imperfect circles
& passing around
dirty little secrets




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

theory of a fetus


it’s the summer of sixty-one
and I’m still in my mother’s womb

I often wonder if one day
I’ll totally recall the experience
as if I were chilling there yesterday

hanging out most of the time
sideways or upside down
every now & again
doing slow motion somersaults
or at least imagining so

back then nobody was taking pictures
so they couldn’t possibly
see that carbon instrument
attached to my left hand
surgically removed right after birth

but that’s not hindered me
from chronicling life in so many words
putting to rest any notion
that forward motion can come & go
as she pleases




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

taking it to the streets


they say a story has a beginning
and an end

[did you hear that I mean how
ridiculous is that]

we are the story
can you hear me as I tell it to you
my words vaguely familiar
picked up from where someone else
left off

we are nothing but ordinary people
[the far majority of us that is]
meticulously reworking the history books
taking it to the streets
and putting our lives at stake

bring your ear next to my heart
can you still hear me
telling my story
the one that had no beginning
and is dying to end
my heart rapidly beating
my lungs barely breathing
my inaudible words
becoming broken promises
in need of repairing




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

chasing blue emperors


now that the solstice has come & gone
seems like I’m picking up clearer frequencies
it’s not always easy to trap them in a box
& oftentimes you have to let some go
hoping they’ll return another day




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

autobiopic


you’re a producer
an individual & an artist
an entrepreneur cut from the
same cloth as a perfectionist
redoing & undoing & redoing
for goodness’ sake

you live your own life
believing it’s furthest from a lie
for no good reason
meticulously cutting & pasting
repeatedly undoing & redoing
until you make it right

lay down a few choice ideas
like lavender or violet or purple
oh why not all three
undo redo undo redo
or better yet brush them all together
& let the curtain rise




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

commonality


I seem to keep missing you
one turn after the next
all the while telling myself I’m not
looking for anything in particular

it is summer but you know that
the solstice a mere hours away
I’ve long since ventured out
chasing shadows on the open road

it’s true the earth keeps spinning
unchanged yet ever-changing
dividing & distancing & reuniting
common people like you & me




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

breaching the surface


under the stars I’m able to interpret
the bloodlines in your scars
deeply rooted & tender at the edges
undetectable like dark matter
indivisible to the naked eye

some nights stars don’t exist
[and never have]
though your scars
expand like the universe itself
free electrons & cosmic rays
tumbling freely & reaching
to touch them at the seams

once breaching the surface
anything is possible
your scars sending out feelers
first as background noise
then as multiple signals
taking up permanent residence
in so many places at once




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the tour guide


she gave me the proper motivation
to grasp what I would soon witness
as if seat-belted into a time machine
the dial turning counterclockwise
two & four & eight revolutions ago
landing in a sea of historical relevance

I nod my head & respond confidently
that I am good to go
good to go




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Turning nightmares into shadows & shadows into light


I was a prisoner in Egypt for eight years
for crimes committed against the state

Though I was innocent they treated me fairly
providing food & shelter and paper & pen

It reminded me of a short story I read in college
about a self-imposed isolationist

And though I never became as ‘enlightened’
as the character in the story

I did expand my capacities in thought & action
my psyche & physique gradually transformed

By the time I was released nobody recognized me
and I was free to wander this world again




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the ambush


they were waiting for me to pass by
the tree of five seasons
hiding behind the row of bushes
along the river’s edge

I had learned of the threesome’s dark secret
by an angel in last night’s dream
telling me to find another way

and so they sat there behind the bushes
for god knows how long
making fools of themselves
as I walked briskly through the city streets
occasionally whistling and laughing
all the way to the bank




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

anywhere else in the world


not sure how many more degrees of separation
I’m willing to accept at this late stage of the game

the masses are becoming even more massive
thanks to this unstoppable reproduction of the species

I’m sitting on a park bench removing all thought
and suddenly none of this is no longer happening

a stranger comes up to me & offers me a cold drink
I happily accept & in silence we drink in the name of peace

blocks away there is violence & incalculable hatred
marching in an organized yet chaotic way

I wonder if we should leave & she reads my thoughts
assuring me we are safer here than anywhere imaginable




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

temple of the dog


for the time being there’s nothing left to look at
everything’s been torn or burned down
systematically destroyed if you will

there’s talk on the street
everything’s going to be rebuilt
only this time
the landscape will be completely different

& best of all it will only take three days




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

alarm clock malfunction


you’re awakening and fully aware
that you are still here
something inside you sends signals
letting you know
another something inside you
is tugging at your skirt

how was it that you watched me
awaken at the birds’ first calls
studying me as as I blinked
open my blue eyes
everyone else in the dream
determining what is brand new




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

retrofitting on the fly


I wasn’t sure what I saw
other than the planet earth
for you see I’m circling it
over land & sea
unsure which one of us
is actually moving

observations are obvious
the hurting apparent & real
even from a greater distance

there is this gradual descent
as inevitable as it may be
circling in a much different way
this time hawklike eyes
testing theories of survival




june two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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