jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

stuck in the middle


jimmy dugan said it best
about not crying
during a specific activity

I could have used that advice
back when I was a little leaguer
back when real life was
easily distinguishable
from this present day reality




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I am the boy god


I tried writing the end of this story
about a boy & his bird
bound together by a freak
accident his dead mother
would never forget
but in doing so was interrupted
distracted by a murder of crows
telegraphing their signals
mimicking words like secrecy
and pure fiction
a reminder those series of events
long ago were swept away by a
twisting turning wind
mystically created by the two of them




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on becoming a child


from snake to mouse
to predator bird
your understanding
naturally progresses
in complete alignment
with the slightest of stars

soon you’ll be able
to build a birdhouse
a boathouse
a townhouse
soon you’ll be able
to hold a heart in your hand

at some point
you’ll be showing others
how to interpret their own dreams
humming by the fireside
thread & needle in hand
mending leathery wings




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Meteora


The bus took us only so far
and from there
we had to go by foot

Not everyone chose
to climb even higher
they remained at the base
napping in the bus
or browsing the curiosity shop
some watching the locals
playing chess
and enjoying a beer

As for the rest of us
it seemed like we were
stepping through a cirrus cloud
eventually reaching the solemn plateau
the inner graffiti centuries old
a voice inside you reaffirming
nothing down below
possibly matters




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Death Scene at the Kotel


Tarantino pointed in my direction
immediately I stood at attention
and yelled out Yes Sir

I was supposed to be an “Extra”
but for some reason
he saw something in me
and next thing I know
I’m learning my lines in the cabin
of a Seven Forty-Seven

He casted me as the New Messiah
having moved the set
miles outside of Jerusalem
learning to ride a donkey named Travolta
my mentor Uma helping me
to memorize my lines

In the final scene they shot me to death
at least twelve times
three silver bullets from a Colt 45
ripping through my bare chest
the entire crew hurriedly packing
leaving me bleeding to death
at the foot of the Kotel

I dragged my body toward the Western Sun
one arm stretched up & out
begging them not to abandon me




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

not a cloud in the sky


we’re neither buyers nor sellers
so don’t bother asking
we’re holding on to what we have
[at least for the time being]
praying at sunrise & at sunset
for the wind to bring in the rain
for the blues to be blown away




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Side by side


So it’s come to this
the will versus the way
your mind can’t possibly
comprehend
though you’re dying to know

[it’s not difficult
harnessing a dragonfly
you merely need a reason
and the will]

Please be mindful
everything is repetitive
call it circles or cycles
the natural circumstance
of all ordinary things

But the flesh is not ordinary
and once removed
exposes the slightest of flaws
each turned back into the earth
alongside the easter lilies




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

preparing for the next exam


there is no test tonight only theory
a flashing picture show
beaming from your eyes onto the white wall
an abandoned starling adolescent
gathering himself on the window ledge
you spend a moment trying to read his mind

you blink and suddenly he’s gone once & for all
the color of your eyes change from blue to green
from your vantage point all you see
is what’s behind the ledge
something blue & something brown
you untangle yourself & rise to your feet

what you expect is no different from yesterday
the same day you gave out dollar bills
one after another to complete strangers
emotionless & robotic you carried on
everyone around you gracious & concerned
some of them calling you the chosen one




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

crawling in my skin


what will become of me
on those dark cold nights
not knowing if I’m
sound asleep
or walking on thin air

the air outside is oh so cold
and the wind
oh the wind she is wicked
knocking on my door
at all hours of the night

there is a fine line
between sublime identities
& newfound realities
the kind you are likely to find
crawling toward the light




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

rock & roll fatigue


my watch buzzes at 7 pm
a yoga time reminder
I quickly dismiss it
a subtle reflex
the song on the google thing
making me think about
the handgun
I hid in the basement
years ago

it takes two efforts
to make the damn thing
operational
the old song segues
into a new one
I find myself singing along
[inside my head]
purposely forgetting
the hidden key upstairs




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

coming down from the high


it’s a few minutes past november
and already I’m bracing for the calm

at some point I won’t be able to speak
the obvious truth
having already crossed the golden bridge
standing & waiting on the other side

in the meanwhile I continue my research
attempting to prognosticate
(with a little help from la niña)
how this very november
will be remembered
long after the first day or spring




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

fishing under the influence


it’s sunday somewhere
so this week I’m starting early
making my own bloody mary mix
on a late saturday night
secret ingredient bone broth

for some reason I’m thinking
the trout must be biting at prairie park
and though it’s eight hours ‘til sunrise
it’s only an eighteen minute drive
to my favorite fishing hole




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

hunting down the dragonfly


in every object resides a memory
most going unnoticed forever
and a few more days
either accidentally misplaced
or stashed away on purpose

a time will come when one of them
will reappear of out nowhere
and suddenly you are entranced
incapable of movement or sound
transported by the dragonfly




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

like a child does


imagine the energy
deathbed newly made
how do you capture it
the liveliness that lingers
fading like a siren
single bullet inside soldier
one single voice sounding like three
saying breathe baby breathe




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

sabotage


beastie boys in moscow
everything’s

in black & white
an effort by the locals

to disguise the day & year
by keeping their kettle clean

there are no subtitles
translations or misunderstandings

the nights are always grey
and lights dimly bright

the music barely loud enough
to keep the youth at bay




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a box of twenty-four


fresh as a new beginning
one sheet of paper & two sides
call them what you will
if anything they are possibilities

on the one side I put to work
a box of 24 crayolas
creating a world all unto my own
using blue violet for the wind
and apricot for the sun
shadowing my eyelids with dandelion
all the while eating mac & cheese

at the ripe young age of five or six
I’ve never considered the other side
something without color
no yellows or blues or reds
not a simple flower showing off
multiple shades of cerulean
properly supported by a forest green stem

at some point you flip to the B-side
a sea of off-whiteness washing over
a series of black speckles
just begging to be discovered




november two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: