jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “cats”

the fading protagonist


I am the last of a dying breed
how many times have you heard such a thing
my irish-backed whiteness
and lack of an accent [due to my
american upbringing]
couldn’t make me any more
plain-janier

inkless & pierceless & without
nary a conviction
I look & sound exactly as expected
 —predictably beaten

            I say do not interview me
I’ve nothing interesting to add to the
conversation

I like to talk about all the times
I’ve almost died
but nobody wants to hear those
cat stories anymore
if only they had changed over the years
embellished & unbelievably heroic
perhaps they could have
transitioned into lives of their own

instead I’m the interviewer
& the interviewee
a super long list of imperious questions
going unanswered
hour after hour after hour





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

chasing the ideal can be destructive


jesse james was a virgo
a creative in his own right
inputting & processing
like nobody’s business
until shot from behind

they say at the end
he had a black cat named
mercury
(it’s a virgo thing)
but that little nugget
never made it
to the mainstream media





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

first born


the page is off white
blank & unlined
like an expressionless face
eyes shut & chin slightly lifted
mind void of meaningful thought

tiger behind iron gate
wants to come out & play
unknowing she is but a kitten
sublimely aware this life
will not be the last

charcoal in hand
ideas spring forth
from a second story window
a greenish moon burning bright
like the intensity of eyes
spellbound & unforgiving





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

the obituary


it’s late in the game
but I’m not taking myself out
look I say
that cat is almost nine years old
and he ain’t going anywhere
[except kitty heaven]
—but I have to admit
it’s high time for a screwgie
or a mickey or a riddle
a secret talisman perhaps
almost certain to buckle your knees
as if brushed by death himself





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

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

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