poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “guitar”

starting from scratch

and so I packed up my things
and headed out on the road
to seek out a fortune
that I was told [in a dream]
belonged to me

it was the summer of seventy-nine
and I had two hundred bucks
in my pocket
a loan from a friend I promised
to repay tenfold

it took me a fortnight to reach
nashville tennessee
nearly penniless but purposeful
just me & my voice & my cherry red
fender telecoustic

february two thousand twenty-one
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

out of the red

you weren’t there
and it’s very difficult to describe
but I will try anyway

you see I’m always in the park
just as the sun is setting
playing this old guitar
a flamenco with nylon strings
practicing old exercises
silently humming along

there are plenty of outside forces
attempting to influence my perceptions
but in my case it’s someone
I recently & ever so briefly knew
[that is] the original owner
of this beautiful instrument
the very one that leads me here
back to this very place
daring me to finish her story

july two thousand twenty
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

crank up the gibson

left hand glides up and down wooden neck
fingertips pressing string combinations
right hand motioning in time

fingernails pretend to be little plastic pieces
moving multiple strands and
pinging selected wires

face contorted in body english
synchronized with amplified satisfaction
streaming from little black box

august two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Big Time in Reno

I made my way to Reno by accident
with a woman much older than her age.
She said she knew a married man there
who seemed to have a ton of money.

It didn’t take long before she left me
for a drifter with some blow, so I decided
Reno was as good a spot as any
where I could work on my old acoustic.

By day I had a gig dealing twenty-one
at Fitzgeralds; earned enough in tips
to keep my lungs full of Old Golds
and my lips wet with whiskey or rye.

I kept telling myself I’m gonna make it big
in Nashville one day, but until then
I just kept singing my railroad songs
for the cockroaches in the rafters.

november two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

rocket man

there’s something about the color red
that makes everything go so fast
as fast as jack rabbits
launched into space
using supersonic wrist rockets

red rockets launch into orbit
from the back yard
blasted by homemade boosters
consigned to corral space junk
circling the planet
for what seems like a millennium

old-time rocket man rocks
on the front porch
cloaked in his red suit
and plucking his guitar
reminiscing outlandishly
about space cowboys

september two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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