jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “murder”

sudden darkness (reprise)


it’s been 16+ months since
he last set foot on earth
found dead in an alley
in the 500 block of 10th street

according to the medical examiner
cause of death was gunshot wound
what kind of gun though
she did not say
but it had to be one
that fits inside your glove

though discovered in the early
morning hours
chances are he never did
take a breath past midnight
the moon at the time waxing crescent
most likely witnessing
every single step
even with one eye closed

it matters not (or maybe it does)
why it’s taken this long
to find the killer
depending upon your point of view





april two thousand nineteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

another extravagant night


it was a black and white murder
in low to moderate neighborhood
vehicles lining both sides of streets
stray cats smoking jays in alleyways

informants seemed to lurk everywhere
but none of them were talking
having taking cover in pawnshops
and city parks and nearby boxing club

local police tape off the area by spotlight
interviewing scores of witnesses
waiting for pink panther to arrive

firetrucks and ambulances come and go
leaving behind two chalk outlines

so it seems nobody saw a goddamn thing
and one by one household lights turn off

come daybreak paperboy arrives
followed by little ones skipping down steps
hauling backpacks and walking with best friends
waving at local policemen and wondering
who it was that got popped last night




may two thousand eighteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

there is murder in the room


he sat in the rocking chair and thought about whistling

he wasn’t really rocking more like nodding
thinking of the day when he was a boy and
learned to whittle basswood with a pocket knife

he remembered the days when he used to sing
serenading like a fool until he finally won her over

he remembered when she finally said yes
remembered how the birds sang

but then day turned to night and winds
blew with neither a beginning nor end

oh how the winds did blow he remembered

oh how the winds took her away

he did not like being here now
where shadows waltzed in white dresses
whispering to themselves and laughing

his thoughts soon turned back to the pocket knife
how the wood reminded him of the remington
the one his father taught him to shoot



march two thousand seventeen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

when do I get that phone call


he didn’t mean to hurt no one
he told the officer
he swore it was in self-defense

he gave me an ultimatum
he went on to say
my bankroll or my life

he said he was supposed to be
at church in the morning
but there was no way
that was going to happen
not with all the blood loss
a found silver switchblade
and a missing body

(the dogs have been out for hours
tearing up the neighborhood
looking for the least signs of life)

I didn’t kill nobody
he repeated
blood beading through
homemade stitches


april two thousand sixteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I read the news today


when the telephone rings
it is wise not to answer
for the best news is no news
in these godforsaken lands

I cringe at the injustices
bestowed upon the helpless
how the most brutal minds
can take away anything they like
at any given moment

they were not put on this earth
by the gods who protect me
the gods who taught me
tolerance and compassion
promising a better place
in another time and space

in the meantime the wars
and the mass murders
and merciless distrust between
neighbors prevail
history unable to help
but repeat itself



july two thousand fifteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

no I don’t have a gun


she bought me a gun
just for fun
and in her closet it stayed
tucked away in her sock drawer for
weeks on end

for whatever reason
she never boxed or wrapped
or stuck it in a decorative bag
instead just tagged it with my initials
and birth date and a smiley face

sometimes I wonder
if I need such protection
I told the detective as his assistant
strapped me into the poly


june two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

judgment day


I opened up the text app
and swiftly texted with two thumbs

I just killed someone

while waiting for a reply
I checked the scores on my sports app

you didn’t
said the incoming text

I did
I texted back

I paused and lifted my eyes

first I thought and then I texted
you haven’t lived until you killed

smiling
I opened up the music app
and decided to listen to lennon sing
happiness is a warm gun

when the song ended I looked
around and noticed
I was no longer alone

soon to be judged by so many
I waited in silence for the
incoming wave of endless pings


april two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

where white flags sail high


we tested the water
by shooting bullets at it
then crossed to the
other side without missing
a beat

bullets never scare me
it’s the people who own them
that do
the ones who spend their
weekends at the shooting range
or the gamers club
or any dungeon of a basement
where m is for murder and
nothing else matters
where killing sprees can last
for hours on end

now that we made it
to the other side
to a place without war games
real or imagined
there was no reason
to remain on high alert
and with gratitude
we surrendered our arms



september two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

a call to arms


the circle invitation
echoes from miles around
from a solitary flyer
high above the flooded
creek near oxfordshire

days of endless rain create
casualties on the ground
ripe for the taking
by just about anything
remotely intelligent

the size of the circle
grows wing by black wing
gaining strength and sailing
like a school of fish
in the overcast sky

once reconnaissance
confirms an opening
the dark circle transforms
into a ruthless carnivore
spiraling toward the earth




april 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

peace process


it’s too complicated
all these thoughts running
through the streets
without supervision
with blades strapped to ankles
and an arsenal of firearms
lining your inner pockets

forget the wars a half a world
away the one right here
is about to steal your freedom
unless you get off
your lazy ass and figure out
how to save yourself
before you’re blown away



january two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

high noon


the turtle faced
a daunting challenge
but figured if a one-trick pony
could beat a donkey
then offing the rabbit
with a colt forty-five
should be as easy
as getting
a gun permit



december two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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