poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “crime”

internal prisoner [of war]

I’ve not yet started living
having been bogged down
in a dissident quagmire
wishing incessantly to be
drugged & tortured
by a make-believe enemy

[instead I am held
against my will
charged w/imaginary crimes
against humanity]

again I plea
I’ve not engaged in any sort
of alleged insanity
—and if you would be so kind
to free me from these chains
I will set out on foot
with neither contraband
nor weaponry
in a direction opposite
from my mother’s love
with nary a thought
to kill again

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

some kind of way out of here

in the archives
they let me spend my time
weaving tales of prison breaks
not even the watchtower
can contain

this life inside
the loneliest place on earth
would break the common man
but here I sit and sail away

once a month
I wander the yard and chat
with all the pretty young ladies
who stopped writing me
years ago

in my mind
I lived out my days in paradise
where the flowering perennials
rooted before the breach
still flourish

june two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the speaker

they brought him into school
to address the warrior nation
and I sat in the little theater
so happy to miss math

this cat spent most of his adult
life in and out of prison
and he spoke softly and slowly
as if he once walked dead

his tales of thievery involving
blunt knives and drugs
and smoking guns
proved to be entertaining
until he bent down
on one knee
and proceeded to reenact
that night
he held his girlfriend’s lifeless body
in his tattered arms

I hid my eyes beneath my hand
and looked around the room
trying to figure out which one of us
would be tomorrow’s speaker

april two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

search warrant

she sat on the curb at twilight
stale tears etched on her cheeks
elbows on knees
fingers curled in
her knuckles keeping her face
from sinking even further

across the street police lights strobe
in a constant circle and remittent flash
the k9 sedan idling
its radio haltingly chatty
broadcasting to nobody
but the girl
and her neighbors
operating as passersby

twenty-four concrete steps
and a steel railing
scale the hill leading up to her house
where inside her daddy
is handcuffed and pinned to the wall
soon to be escorted
down the twenty-four steps
and past the curb
momentarily out
of her wretched life

click here for youtube video

october two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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