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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “friends”

words without friends


throwing words against wall
seeing what will stick
be it war or peace
or work or play
sun or moon or stars

some stick better than others
individuals letters
peeling off now and then
turning batch into bach
or clock into cock
crow into row

sometimes it’s fun
to toss one letter at a time
like darts in a barroom
spelling heart without an E
or soul without a U
bullseye with one I

sometimes nothing sticks
and you find yourself
back in the drawing room
making words with ink
one lonely letter at a time




december two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserve

Long Lost Friends


I didn’t make the bed.

I meant to take the dog for a walk.

I forgot to take the garbage out.

When I went to the store to buy some milk
and bread I ended up spending
all my money on lottery tickets.

I was late for work again and they promptly
fired me.

Years went by and I forgot everyone’s birthday.

I couldn’t afford to pay the rent so out the door I went.

I found a new world living below the surface.

I lost my dog.

As I walked the sunken streets at night
I came to realize not even death wanted me.


november two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

new moon rising


we walked between the lake
and the rail yards
smoking cigarettes
and spitting on
century-old ties
wondering if the midnight train
will ever arrive on time

it was a year ago tonight marshall
died on these very tracks
attempting to escape
his own restlessness
his dream of starting a
new life
in st louis or kansas city or santa fe
seemingly interrupted

we made a fire
like we always do
and sat in a circle
our voices as quiet as
stones skipping on water
our karma just a little off kilter
one of us asking out loud
why there is no moonshine


november two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

godspeed to anarchy


they sat around the fire pit
on a saturday
downing amber ale
and getting high on sticky weed

midsummer stories ensued
as evening turned into night
and off in the distance
a freight train chugged along the river
slightly shaking the ground
and slowly picking up speed
past the corn sweetener plant

bottles were raised
and toasts were made
to hobos and train hopping
followed by wild ass guesses
as to the whereabouts
of their long lost buddy
who so many years ago
chose the obscure lifestyle
of a punk rock anarchist



july 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

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