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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “dreams”

the tenured psychiatrist


the university paid him dearly to lecture
about his dreams
three days a week to hundreds of undergrads
recounting big winnings in vegas
trafficking drugs and humans in all kinds of worlds
and slaying fire-breathing dragons while
strolling through sherwood forest with
nothing but bow and arrow

like a time machine he dialed up
triangles and chains of events
and conflicts of interest
introducing the likes of mozart
and hitler and michael jackson
cameo appearances by jekyll and hyde
and the great houdini —
    elvis and jesus christ and charles manson
quietly waiting in the wings

he used his hands and eyes
to amplify the effect of his words
which were spoken mostly softly
occasionally loudly
and infrequently quite scarily

many would take notes
others would use smartphones as recorders
but the far majority simply sat back
relaxed and indifferent
going through the motions as if
they were living his dreams themselves





december two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

breaking new ground


three in the morning wakes
me like clockwork
as if cock is crowing at
stars falling from sky

was it fever or dream
that shook me wide awake
both former and latter
leaving me in cold cold sweat

I sit up and shift to edge of bed
my feet unable to reach anything
             this room is not mine
and where the door resides
I can’t begin to surmise

how do you escape from a place
that has no address
and how will I ever find the sun
if there are no windows to open
or cracks in walls to scratch





october two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

literary incendiaries


clearly he sought a connection
one in which nobody in the world
could ever have dreamed

how quickly one learns stars are stirred
beneath the belly of its creator
like a newly born burrowing mammal
drawn to its first light

and so he imagined there were only
three worlds to discover
        the second of which
lies upon the surface itself



july two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

georgia


nothing is real
not even the exception to the rule
to which you have seemed
to execute to perfection

I’ve chased down
many a dream with no end
only to pick things back up
exactly where you left them

you leap from tree to
tree with relative ease
repeating in my mind like a
hand-made picture show

I toss it aside
carefully behind a bush
thinking there’s a good chance
I want to retrieve it

I always tell myself
you should have told me
to stop swinging for the fences
a long long time ago





june two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

only dreaming


I showed up with plenty of time to spare
so I ordered myself a beer

nothing was really happening and I began
to wonder what brought me here

perhaps we had met in a previous lifetime
and me being here
was nothing more than a memory

or perhaps I’m still alive and only daydreaming





june two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

daydreaming at night


I’ve not seen it all
this movie that weaves
in and out of close encounters

actors are not what they seem
on any kind of stage
whether supported on oak trestles
or razor thin wire

the money flows like milk and money
brewed and bottled on the black market
where trade secrets are available for sale
anywhere from one to a million bitcoin

sometimes I like to daydream
during the night
just to shake things up
excited to rehearse those parts
I’m least familiar with



may two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

shadow in my periphery


there is a shadow in my periphery
merely a glimmer of my future self

the moment I sense its presence
it reshapes itself and disappears
leaving behind a lingering desire

that which cannot be defined
interrupts my ordinary days with
perfectly placed subliminal messages

I’ve learned to decode and encrypt
slowly making sense of my former life
diligently uncovering its suppressed dreams

little did I know the shadow in my periphery
was nothing but an outcast heart seeking light



april two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

catching up with the midnight rider


I miss everything reckless
and I’m bound and determined
to make another run at it
barreling down river road
giving chase to the current

most times it’s impossible
to catch the leader (of the pack)
let alone decipher exactly
who put what in motion

even without all the facts
I’m prepared to move on
singing a song I’ve not forgotten
when once upon a time
I dreamed I was a little girl



march two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

    in pursuit of peace


    the bounty on my head
    keeps going up
    or so I’ve heard from the
    monotonous talking heads
    streaming in the air

    I’m feeling much better
    since crossing the mississippi
    heading east by northeast
    toward an unknown place
    where sanctuaries still exist

    secret agent men
    keep hunting me in my sleep
    but I manage to elude them
    by rolling over into
    a new form of reality

    I know every inch of concrete
    and railway between
    this world and the next
    where I am destined to settle
    into indescribable peace



    february two thousand seventeen
    copyright j matthew waters
    all rights reserved

    it’s gonna snow sometime soon


    it’s early february
    but the calendar has yet to turn

    there’s no snow on the ground
    but it’s cold as hell
    people dressed for spring and shivering
    whiskey beginning to wear off
    hands shaking for another shot

    the sun never shined in january
    it was a record year

    without the sun I can’t dream (she used to say)

    I get up earlier and earlier every day
    thinking I might catch the sun somehow

    but you live in the valley (she says)

    oh yes I keep forgetting

    there’s no whiskey in the cupboard
    it disappeared that wintry night
    they took away my baby

    when’s it going to snow again (she says)



    february two thousand seventeen
    copyright j matthew waters
    all rights reserved

    kansas city blues


    sky big and cloudless
    I count the days of sobriety

    looking down the track
    all I see are sixes
    rolling on down the line

    paper hat stuffed in back pocket
    patterned like salt and pepper
    sporting paper suit and
    folding paper planes
    riding atop the dream train

    kansas city’s but a night
    or two away
    its lights and sounds
    pulsating in my veins



    january two thousand seventeen
    copyright j matthew waters
    all rights reserved

    at one with the earth


    they huddle around the fire
    the little ones in front
    wrapped in animal hides
    and mesmerized by the flames

    black and bedazzled
    is the sky
    spotlighting
    exhalations of storytellers
    reading from unwritten books

    soundless nights accentuate
    the reality of dreams
    projecting and protecting
    the history of a people
    at one with the earth



    december two thousand sixteen
    copyright j matthew waters
    all rights reserved

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