jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “depression”

like a canary in a cage


anyone can write the monday blues
how the fog maybe lifts by noon
smartphones unable to upgrade
all on their own

the list grows longer whether it’s
monday or not
liberty or death is
(a matter of) life and breath
invisible wounds like words
perhaps self-inflicted or
suspiciously accidental

there is an artist who really
knows for sure
but they aren’t playing in any
kind of rhythm and blues band

oh no they ain’t singing
like a canary in a cage
dreaming of the sky



december two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

it’s sometime in August and it’s rained for days


alone I sit in the sunroom
wondering when in the world
I’ll see the light of day
or mow the yard
or ride my bike
or snap photograph
after photograph
in the once colorful garden

in the meantime
ruby-throated hummingbirds
feast on homemade nectar
the feeder hanging beneath the eave
the rain not stopping them
from coming and going
as they damn well please


august two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

beaten but not defeated


though he was broken
he was not defeated
refused to contemplate ending it
especially when knowing
one day things will be different
that very day when the sky will open
like never before
and the brightest of ideas
will explode like fireworks
from smokey clouds
that only milliseconds beforehand
were the darkest
he will have ever seen



june two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I wasn’t too worried about tomorrow


I had all this money stashed away
and I didn’t want anyone to know about it

It kept me up at night thinking about how
many different ways it could make me happy

but I really didn’t want to disturb it
so all it did was grow and grow and grow

I once thought it would solve any problem
thrown its way
but after withstanding
inflation and corrections and acute depression
all it ever really gave me was artificial respiration


january two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

artificial visitations


sadness used to show up
unannounced and we’d sit up
until sunrise drinking
whatever was left in the house

I kept telling myself the next time
he appeared out of nowhere
I wouldn’t let him in
but of course that didn’t happen
and he continued to pretend
to be my friend

I told him I was thinking about buying
a brand new puppy
a black one I said
so I could learn how to keep him at bay
and teach him to protect me from
monsters like him



july two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

nine of spades


he shuffled the deck as quickly
as he talked
telling stories about kings and queens
and barbers in the castle
something about the three jacks
hanging out at the fire station
playing checkers with their pals

pick a card he said
proceeding to ramble on about the
price of milk and gasoline and
disposable razors

did you look at your card he asked

yeah I looked at my card I said

keeping the card face down I
slid it back into the deck
certain he didn’t see it

he shuffled the cards and shuffled
them again and continued to
shuffle the shit out of them
as he went on and on
babbling about how man never
really landed on the moon
how fairy tales used to scare him straight
and how the pope was really lucifer
having the time of his life

he splayed the deck across the table
and I could see my card but it was mostly
covered by the king of hearts

when I looked up he had stopped talking
and was just staring at me
expressionless

what’s wrong I asked him

nothing’s wrong with me he said
but I’d like to know how long
you’re planning on hiding your
misfortune behind the suicide king


july two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

no going back


there is no going back
I think to myself
sitting alone and staring out the bay window
as if I was under house arrest

outside it is very white
and very cold
and I would do anything to see
someone walk by with their dog
but it is too cold for that
it is too cold for even the mailman
to swing by I suppose

I meander to the back window and look
outside for signs of life

I squint at all the undressed trees
sticking out of the blinding white ground

show me a juvenile cardinal I say to myself
but there are no juvenile cardinals
to be found

I go into the kitchen and sit at the counter
open a can of nuts I had stashed
away months ago
muttering to myself
there is no going back


february two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

lonesome is the night


out of the blue melancholy
wrapped her arms around me
and held me close
whispering sad songs
and wiping away the tears
that formed from the
corners of my mind

she slowly swayed me
encouraging me to hush
painted pictures of the
moon and stars with her
deceiving voice
expressing how precious
and lonesome is the night


december two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

sometimes I see her


there is this beauty
inside you
existing secretly
behind the artificiality
of your everyday routine

this beauty inside you
speaks to me
in my living dreams
allows me to understand
it’s smothered beneath
your colorful skin

the beauty that is yours
dies to be noticed
and so you continue
to scratch the surface
hoping to find her


october two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

happy hour


I felt like stepping out
but didn’t want to drink alone
so I texted Tommy to give me a call
but my phone lay silent

goddamn son-of-a-bitch

I powered up my new HDTV
but nothing was on
so I turned it off
and checked my phone again

nada – nothing – zip

I paged through my contacts
and speed dialed Randy
then Billy and then Reggie G
but nobody picked up

I walked into the kitchen
and opened the refrigerator
but I had forgotten to replace
the lamp and couldn’t see shit
but I reached in anyway



june two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

sing of sunshine where there is sorrow


there is no sense
in revisiting all the bad things
that may or may not have happened
instead
think of the things yet to come
like the seeds of dahlia
planted in your mind

create and smile and live
the way only you know how
and call forth into your mind
sunshine
where there is none
and beat back the darkness
with luminescent petals



may two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the mind reader


I lost my way along the way
and wound up in a tavern
I never knew existed

I ordered a dark beer
and sat alone
wondering how it was
I had found this place

there were so many things
I meant to get done that day
but nothing seemed to be working
so I wandered out of the city
looking at nothing in particular
and daydreaming
about all the things I had done

once finishing off the pint of beer
the bartender
poured me another without
either of us saying one word



may two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: