jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Upsilon Scorpii


The big lie started
well before Jesus was born
before certain stars aligned
themselves perfectly
in order for my own creation
to take place
millenniums later


I am but a late stage
dandelion
watching Jeopardy
every weekday afternoon
the television muted
questioning answers
even before they appear

One eye is clear
the other but a blur
somehow I managed to pass
the driver’s license test
somehow decided
not to call it quits
well before my time




july two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

dreaming of tomorrow


where do you find beauty
the very definition of your being
deep-seated in the condition
known as the human experience


your eyes have seen
the beauty nature has to offer
flower & bird & celestial bodies
inviting you into their mysteries

morning sun does not exist
once you understand
that the beauty of this place
forever remains the same




july two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

in the great wide open


get in the car
it’s time to check out
what’s happened


to our america
shot to hell & barely
hanging on

her metropolises
on life support
held hostage by ordinary

people who became
ordinary prisoners
on no account of their own

people once promised
life & liberty &
the pursuit of peaceful

neighborhoods
instead left to defend
turf on their own terms

get back in the car
& discover the alternative
in the great wide open




july two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

keeping a low profile


the sun disguised as a shadow
lurking in the background
slashing the back sides of
dark clouds with serrated knives
beams of light stretching out
like desperate hands
imploring to be freed


spotlights range in full motion
picking off their targets
left & right and one by one
but somehow you manage
to duck & run
manipulating the shadows
all the way past sundown




july two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

because of you I’ve become a lesser god


because of you I came to life
and later feel in love
with someone other than myself

how could I not adore
the gods in my world
piecing together my story
as if I there is meaning
in a poor man’s soul

there is temptation
in your proposal
my favorite color
appearing out of nowhere
by way of your satin dress

what you promised I wanted
only finding for myself
you were but a lesser god
incapable of changing
my inevitable design

and so because of you
I took my own solitary life
in hopes of becoming you




july two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

occupying time


they keep missing their targets
these so-called sharp shooters
raised from the dead
passing puberty in a heartbeat
breaking in long-range rifles
pointing bayonets toward the sky


there are worse things than
becoming the next casualty
picked off by an assassin
who goes by so many names
whether cuban or texan
or from the lower east side

I’ve been down this road before
hunting down the bad guys
only to surrender
by no fault of my own
ordered to march in single file
as if these streets are not my own




july two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Irresistible Force


The fox in the sky wanders by day,
the universe his playing field.
Zeus proclaimed the creature’s cunning
would forever prevent his capture.
At night you could spot him dancing
while his predator rested worlds away.


The sun god created the hunter,
a canine with an uncanny sniffer.
Zeus predicted the dog’s destiny
included perfection in pursuit.
Led on leash by his master,
nothing eluded their golden snares.

The inevitable could not be ignored:
the fox could not be caught
while the hunter always prevailed.
Somewhere in between the paradox
ended their short-lived careers
after Zeus converted both to static stardom.




july two thousand twenty-one
(originally penned october two thousand eleven)
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

legally blind


my favorite colors
are various shades of primary
violet & pineapple
cornflower & strawberry lipstick

as a child I learned east
versus west
the lonely cry
of the whippoorwill
phases of the moon
reciting all the crayolas
in a one-twenty box count

some days remind me
of the apollo missions
others the flying of a kite
whether slowly climbing higher
or speeding in reverse
back when the white cane
ceased to exist
& unicorns
were as real as rainbows




july two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Cancer rising


Creature of habit staring me in the face
Until one of us decidedly blinks

She goes by a number of names
But I know maybe two or three of them

Weeks or months or perhaps years pass
Without any kind of visitation

She’s like a cancer in remission
Alive & well & fully aware of my proximity

Mirrors & ideas & loopholes are everywhere
To me they’re all one in the same




july two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

one beautiful life at a time


you reflect & wonder
how it was
you escaped death
(after all these years)
recounting on 1.4 hands
those near-
death experiences


each one a story
unto themselves
you tell your invisible friends
but since this is a poem
the details will be vague
& the metaphors
plentiful

where there is smoke
there is humanity
attempting to put out fires
romantic truth-seekers
watching the world
casually destroying itself
one beautiful life at a time




june two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

as dangerous can be


At least 150 killed in nationwide shootings this July 4th weekend
                                        New York Post Headline (5-Jul-2021)


something has always been stirring
in all territories in america

even before the signing
these lands were as dangerous
as dangerous can be
in constant motion from east to west

back to back national celebrations
only add to the anxiety
the killing machine incapable of pausing
well oiled well before
the first lynching
gangs as ubiquitous as interstate commerce
guns as common as salt & pepper

anything previously written
has become red-lined & dissected
a new focus on the intent
and the consequence
novel interpretations turning into
the latest conspiracy
an age-old melting pot
violently redefining itself




june two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

an unambiguous afternoon


it’s too hot to be boiling water
but what else are you supposed to do


there are people being buried alive
& all you have is a flat tire
something tells me you should be
counting your blessings

having been stranded
on the highway for a good hour
one starts to wonder if you can
overdose on vitamin D
the answer is yes & no
but certainly not from the sun

there is too much ambiguity
coming from too many sources
one good reason why things don’t
always go as planned

you tell the tow truck operator
one has to listen first
in order to understand
he nods his head & replies
that is absolutely correct





july two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Area 319


Forget about point of no return
this is where it’s happening


With nearly 9000 square miles
there are plenty of spaces to land
be it on urban or rural ground
or anyplace above or below

The invasion was barely recognizable
all citizens going about their business
as if everything was normal
but in reality the world
was undergoing a change
and whether for better or worse
this is where it started





july two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

third year spanish


there’s nothing to be concerned about
even though the concept of time
hangs in the balance
controlled by a committee of gods
who may or may not care

I’ve been practicing my prepositions
in case I get called upon
I tell everyone in the spanish class
me llamo juan
simply because I want to fit in

relearning all the greek gods
in a romantic language
is kind of a bucket list kind of thing
sitting uncomfortably in the back
counting all the bitcoin I’ve squandered

I was supposed to go out & play
but the gods now chatting with me
tell me it’s not a good idea
or at least I think that’s what
they’re trying to tell me




july two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

graduating to a higher plane


[I’ve nothing left to confess to
unless of course
I plan to do it all over again]


did you happen to see
what jimmy had to say
he was in the barber shop yesterday
tooting his rusty horn
saying something about
your sister or your mother
or some other
female body
sending shivers
up & down his spine

mama told me
I can’t go there no more
& so here I reside
occupying the upper west side
collecting flies
& working on grander designs




july two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

meet me at tokyo bay


the wind is picking up
bringing us closer to tokyo
than previously announced


we are lost inside
this smallish planet
inside a slightly larger planet
like a shell within a shell
(within a shell)

new york can go to hell
these omniscient lights
convey greater meaning
mainly due to carbon dating

released from our cages
we are free to roam
like damselflies & dragonflies
coexisting in the city center




june two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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