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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “poem”

a moveable page


done reading now listening
a virtual sheet of paper by my side
not a single thought comes to mind

how often do you digress
it doesn’t matter your age
the younger you are the clearer the text
the older you get the deeper the dive
either way possibilities are endless

what doesn’t get written today
will be dreamed about overnight
& in the morning there will be praise





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Preparing for a New Day

            with a nod to Sylvia Plath

With terrible intensity
I am again
drawn into the fray
impossible to distinguish
reality from the day to day
as if I should know
what’s considered normal
versus the outer worldly

You’ve been there before
if you recall
crawling out of your skin
on a Sunday morning
dealing with a reality
constantly changing
reminding you that living
is only the beginning





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

it’s true what they say


that flash before your
very eyes
I see it happening
all the time

[I see it happening
all the time]

it’s true what they say
about the mind
a recorder of everything
playbacks & recalls
sometimes spot on
often faulty
nonetheless all of it
the truth & the way
how a simple gesture
takes you back
before the very beginning
before time itself





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

telescoping an itinerary


I ain’t got much left
my body battery drained
& according to my wearable
I’ve only so many days
yet to live

it’s not exactly
information overload
I’m just searching the stars
trying to decode
my next resting place





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

In Oklahoma not Arizona


            — for David W Lodge

Dave’s hot dog stand
the only thing
standing
between progress
& a Five Star Hotel
selling only the finest grub
in downtown Tucson





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

at the end of the drought


the act of attrition
not quite the same thing
a personal sort of process
when left talking
to yourself

it’s been as many years
as there are
days in the week
since my last obituary
ghostwritten of course
and predated
elsewhere in the clouds

I like to hang out there
when I’m at my lowest
knowing it’s a mere matter of time
before I fall down like rain
hours upon end





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

not necessarily in my peripheral


not looking for sympathy
but an irreducible remedy
a little bump that gets me
from here to there

one minute you’re close
the next a living memory
lurking by day
& haunting by night
whether in my dreams
or real life

you tell me in so
many words
you’re but a chameleon
still loving to play
hide & go seek
practicing & reinventing
the fine art of deception
one superfluous life
at a time





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on a sunday late afternoon


late afternoon light
occasionally slipping in
between breezes
competing with floor lamps
an occasional flicker of artificiality
& other LED devices

to say it’s a gray day
isn’t really saying much
I mean isn’t it the light from within
that truly matters most





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

standing the test of time


passing the test of time
is an impossible endeavor
if ever there was one

let’s dig into the past
explanations
layered one after another
facts & tidbits
clues & black holes
striking gold
unfolding new worlds

there is no time there

and when you’re weighed
down by the body
it’s critical to keep the
big picture
into perspective

in fact it’s essential
that you’ll not tell a soul
what it is you know
and precisely when
it’s going to happen





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Chief Nuclear Commander


Forging a new path is rarely easy
as any historian knows
societies flipping on their sides
defying the odds
by way of switching associations

Paying a price is never an option
no matter which side loses
ask any responsible citizen
pledging allegiance
to the latest & the greatest





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

time bleeds


time bleeds
pauses for no reason
and a scab forms

people come & go
and I am right there
intermingling amongst them
not really thinking
simply doing
like a dedicated army ant

time bleeds
stopping by applying
pressure
making origami
tourniquets
shutting it down
at least temporarily

time bleeds
a passed on genetic defect
a character flaw
an embarrassment having
to leave the show
for no apparent reason

incapable of discovery
the beginning or the end
I’ll not retire the thought
that what I don’t yet know
will one day be revealed





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

inside the apothecary shop


as history continues to repeat itself
I idly peruse the apothecary shop
filling my empty bread basket
casually
as if the atrocities of the latest century
can be replaced by non-
prescription drugs
newly arrived from omaha
or columbia or singapore
or maybe from the neighbor next door
the latter growing their own shrooms
& dabbling in synthetics
telling you how they’ve recently added
gambling to their repertoire





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

she’s going to change the world


            She can do anything at all
            Have anything she pleases

                                     —Chris Cornell

there’s all this talk
about simplicity & minimalism
reducing if not eliminating
mishaps & miscues
shedding thoughts of excess
and gaining intellectual insights
for no other reason
than to let the world know
that she can’t be changed





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

someone like me


because slow motion is boring
and fast forward
makes no sense
unless you’re sitting inside
a time igloo

the fire went out somewhere
around mid century
and ever since
the dogs & I have been
trekking southward

we had a map
but had to eat it when
corned by four coyotes

they let us off the hook
except for the youngest mutt
his mother crying
for the next seven days

we kept praying for rain
but all we got was this cold
fierce wind
sent directly from the north pole

they kept asking
where we’re going
and I said shut the fuck up
you’ll know when we get there

it’s not cold anymore
but we’re still numb
devastated by the
relentless fire
chasing us down like we’re
common criminals

I tell them the dakotas
must be near





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

I might be her


I might be her she said
and that made me think
if it might be her
who may I be

she might be the sunrise
and I may be the ground
she might be serendipity
and I may be starbound

I might be her she said
and I may be a passing ship
sailing by without permission

she might be exactly
who she thinks she is
and since discovering such words
I may never have noticed





may two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

on the shortest day of the year


I fell in the dark
awakened by a dream
& I crawled on my knees
coming up empty
in search of a safe haven

I’d been here before
helpless & nearly breathless
the watch on my wrist
completely useless

this time will be different
isn’t that what they
always say
free falling deeper into the pit
arms swinging
upwards & wildly





april two thousand twenty-two
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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