poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “addiction”

Expecting Jane’s Return

She once told me no more lies
but that was a half-life ago
I’ve since forgotten
the illogic circumstance
leading to such a proclamation

Smoke and mirrors always adored her
changing little lies into white lines
appearing and disappearing just like that
leaving me with hands in pockets
stuck again paying the rent

Jane always left for no good reason
out looking for something
she’s yet been able to define
block party still a go a week from today
everyone expecting to see her there

february two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Kudos to ‘Jane Says’ by Jane’s Addiction which I’d heard on the radio
on the drive home the night I wrote this poem.

random and meaningless rabbit holes

who didn’t I love more than you
all those years
locked inside my box of fears
going out and about
acting like everything
was picture perfect
all the while holding in the truth

leaving house after dark
I say it’s time to meet the boys
gonna play some 8 ball
and swallow pints of beer
you remind me
there’s work yet to be done
yet always I make it there

somehow you knew it was just me
and my imaginary past
tugging at my shirt tails
plotting and scheming
and luring me away
promising to show me places
most men never dare dream of

november two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

lost opportunities

these addictions have become commonplace
even though in reality they’ve
resided in the recesses of everyday minds
centuries before either you or I were born

what I wouldn’t give to hear your guitar
gently weeping again
taking me to places specific in time
places meant for only you and me

the storm destined to light up the night sky
somehow dissolved into nothingness
and so here I sit all alone again
wondering what could have been

june two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the things nobody mentions

addiction is a powerful word
penetrating like a tattooed heart

sent off to war as an innocent
only to return as a coked-up diplomat
a poster child in denial

nobody said I always had
to be part of the family
and even though I knew the
association was optional
I went along with the charade

I love saying I’ve been sober
going on two weeks now
and whether or not nobody knows
for sure
nobody really cares
just like me

I went to visit a friend in the cemetery
last sunday
he died the same night I was killed
again and again and again

we get together every now and then
just to have a good laugh

april two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

performance of a lifetime

he’s dead she said
as he entered the scene
on the television screen
and I nodded my head

heroin isn’t much of an inspiration
but then again I wouldn’t know
how one can fall so far
after rising so seemingly high
how stardom and make-believe lives
can’t possibly satisfy an ego
starving for the ultimate
out-of-body experience

I don’t want to watch this
anymore she said
and I nodded my head
and we moved on with our lives

march two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

in remission

things build up inside
so when you can’t breathe right
you reach for something
that really isn’t there
like that new stuff you heard
just arrived to town

clean for weeks
you walk the streets
hitting bistros and internet cafés
but you steer clear of the bars
where former junkies
prey on innocence

chasing down demons
is not your specialty
but for the moment the madness
inside remains at bay

moving away from the lights
your inside limits have no bounds
(as if you have no bones)
and for the moment
you are afraid but convinced
your breathing will not stop

january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the house next door

I found my teeth in the guest bathroom
inside an empty jar of vaseline

I called out to see if anyone was home
and was thrilled to see the cat
rubbing up against the hallway

smiling I tickled my ivories
with my tongue and pressed my bridge
tighter with my thumbs

opening the shade to one of the dormers
light flooded in and nearly
killed me

across the street an unmarked car
slowly came into focus
a man with a hat in the driver’s seat
smoking a cigarette

walking away I told myself
that house across the street is much
dirtier than mine
and I sat down on the edge of the bed
considering my next move

june two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

when nothing else matters

it’s brown and cheap and comes
from mexico via chicago usually
around fifty percent pure

some like to smoke it but I prefer
to shoot it between my fingers
where you can’t detect the marks

the last high was beyond euphoric
as my body warmed like a toaster
my mind sailing away on a starship

as I zoomed out of this world past
the northern lights there was no chance
in hell anybody could ever catch me

april two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

maybe tomorrow

everything around me was ugly
including the paintings on the walls
the very walls that keep moving in
one ugly inch every hour

the newspaper scrawled out on the table
reeked of ugliness
delivered by the acne-plagued paperboy
on a dreary saturday morning

i looked outside and noticed the sun
hid behind hideous clouds
and i remember asking myself
why is everything so ugly

i decided to stay inside
and selected a rock glass off the shelf
setting it next to a bottle of jack
who was the ugliest son-of-a-bitch
i ever did meet

march two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the insurance salesman

he was destined to be a star
there was no doubt about it

he had the name that just rang true
and he had looks to die for
and the girls were so happy
he wasn’t taken even though
everyone knew he liked guys

he was the number one draft pick
right out of college
after winning the big game
with his golden arm
“he’s going places” i remember
the talking heads saying
as if they knew something
nobody else did

he was destined to be a star
there was no doubt it
but now nobody remembers his name
and not even the talking heads
talk about
where all the money went

february two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved


after falling down against my will
decades from the past
represented themselves
as colorful pixels
slowly dissolving
into near nothingness

in due time my consciousness
resurrected itself
as a beautiful child
and there was nothing
i wouldn’t do
to start walking again

january two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

white lies

I fell in love with you from the very start
your shapely lines burned my eyes
reflecting off a mirror
I bought as a gift
before realizing
I wasn’t the only one you left penniless
with desperate thoughts of turning the blade
against my own will

august two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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