jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “cats”

the body snatchers


the neighborhood
was littered with feral cats
black & white
blue & yellow & green
and every other shade
in between
the majority of them
food stamp carriers
all the others hiding
in the shadows
keeping the rodent population
under control
all the while steering clear
of the recently formed
fleet of drones
locally & affectionately known
as the catnappers





september two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

barking at the bay window


it was near midnight
the dog was barking
waking me mid-dream
just as I was I ready
to corner the dormouse

I stretched & yawned
slowly rising to my feet
stretching my legs
& lifting my back upward
toward the ceiling

by this time the dog
had retreated back to her bed
but eventually curiosity
& the red full moon
got the better of me





august two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

ghost cats of the historic mill district


the walls are rock solid here
repurposed mill district buildings
turned into restaurants
& other retail establishments
studio & two bedroom efficiencies
on 2nd & sometimes 3rd floor
anything higher than that
allegedly under reconstruction

most of the domesticated
& feral felines of the day
enjoyed their finest of nine lives
in the late 19th & early 20th centuries
their dominance still apparent
to this very day
chasing real life moths & mice
from one building to the next





august two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

and for the last three he stays


it’s not like I’ve been here before
staring death in the face
recollecting what it was like the last time
and how effortless it seemed
to move onto the next phase

they say over time
life is supposed to get easier
but that is far from the truth
just ask any old cat
rising from the ashes for the seventh
or eighth time

and now here I stand before you
challenging the status quo
asking how in the world can I be
the same man you once knew
even before you were born





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

it’s sunday night & I don’t know what to say


in the kitchen I keep a jar filled with words
but for the past few days it’s been empty
and I can’t seem to do the math
to have it refilled again

though he’s not been seen for days
I’ve been told curiosity (the cat) is alive & well
hanging out on the west side

maybe he’s the reason things are off-kilter
and if only he’d return
the world would simply right itself





february two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

postcards & signposts


I’m thinking the older one gets
the scarier the world becomes
demons and/or the devil himself
milling about the place
when left to my own devices

sending out letters but receiving none
I was beginning to think
the fox is better company than people
that the goldfinch in the bird bath
is a perfect little singer

felines pace along the perimeter
keeping in touch by way of listening
some invisible & others not
nearly all of them transitioning
back from the underworld





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

technocat


the central banker
was technically
a technocrat
but in professional circles
was simply known
as ‘technocat’

her name was katie
but her friends
called her betty
known to line ‘em up
and knock ‘em down
every saturday night

on occasion
she’d end up missing
for a day or three
only to return to the glee
of the other technos
relying on her expertise





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

intercepting inner city messages


five hour energy doesn’t
do much good
in these here streets
you’re better off using
old fashioned razor blades
& disposable needles

the neighbor’s cat
has gotten pretty good
at keeping us mostly safe
flashing the all clear signal
when not whoring around
from dawn until dusk

the building frowns upon
out-of-state visitors
but they’re usually the ones
with the best product
& with the cat’s help
we’re able to smuggle them in





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

late night drug run


how many times have you done
yourself in. two, three, five, eight.
if it’s the latter man oh man
be careful where you step.
are you still driving a car.
you might want to rethink that.
in fact you might want to start rethinking
a whole host of things, such as
what’s for supper and when is bedtime.
do you remember where you put your teeth,
your eyes, your ivory handled pistol.
and what about renewing your licenses:
fishing, driving, hand gun, voting.
how exactly are you
planning on doing all of that
in your forever current state of mind.




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

dear diary


or whatever it is you are calling
yourself these days
I’m beginning to believe
you’re stepping into a brand
new world
slightly the same
but maybe edgier [or tamer]
just can’t quite
put a finger on it

I recall you asking me
if a cat has nine lives
how many more shouldn’t we

it’s all about the math
you went on to explain
and me vividly remembering
writing it all down




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

unprepared to die


pushing the envelope
what better way to spend a life
tearing down
and building back up
testing the very fabric of
body & mind
stretching & tearing & repairing

how is it a black ant
becomes its own surgeon
after being left for dead

how is it a black cat
flouts the impossible
falling down thirty stories

changing is all that’s left
matters not in the longer run
hurlting stones
into outer space
likely not returning to earth
much like your mind
unleashed & uncontrolled




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

just a phase


it was a billy joel kind of morning
the big hand crossing over six
she’s always a woman playing on the a-side
soon to flip over to anthony’s song

in the old days you’d make a racket
demanding I clock in as the doorman
before I was good & ready
even before the first song ever ended

over time your musical tastes changed
right along with mine
lately banging our heads against the door
reluctant to find what’s on the other side




august two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

more mercy please


I dreamed I was a pantomime cat
who refused to show any mercy
spending his days daydreaming
and nights wandering the streets
acting out whatever it was
he daydreamed about

my eyes were emerald green
my coat a steely gray
and whenever the streetlamps
shined their light my way
I changed my stripes and
hightailed it the hell out of there

I tell myself one of these times
I won’t make it back alive
but in the meantime I’ll keep
challenging the status quo
working mathematics by day
and my daydreams by night




march two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

casting lots from down below


I’ve been waiting for you to die
for far too long
but now here I am on my own deathbed
just as I had feared
you arriving out of the blue
and looking down at me
the last sight I’m ever going to see

I ask myself what went wrong
all these years wasted
accumulating chopsticks & stones
and buttons & bottle caps
regretting why
I never turned them
into my own trademark piece of art

already they’re talking about who will
take over my room
dozens of rats in the basement
smoking cigars
and throwing weighted dice
some whispering & some yelling
come seven come eleven




january two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

recorded from memory


by the time I reached twenty-one
I had nearly died two or three times
but not once did I ask
is that all there is

now that I think of it
three times is probably an
understated calculation
and truth be told
I was shot dead
four or five times by danny burke
back in the summer of sixty-nine
each time resurrected by
cigarette-smoking and pie-eating
self-trained teenage witches

it’s funny what you remember
when reworking your
obituary [from memory]
for the seventh or eighth time




december two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

some fifty years later


mysteriously curious
I am unloved and underfed
walking along
so many fine lines
in and out of these city limits

acquaintances
may come and go
regardless if dead or alive
leaving me pondering
what the morning will bring

when the sun reaches out
touching me genuinely
I am reminded how
beautifully tragic we are
even though we have
more lives yet to live




november two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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