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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “Poetry”

from Rust to ruin


by November the eye of the storm
would have grown into two

no longer a Cyclops
the monster continually evolving
like any other living thing
to the point it becomes
unrecognizable

some say Mass Destruction
is just what the world needs

a thinning of the crowd so to speak

crash & burn & reseed
earthbound Meteors
coming home to roost
every thousand millennium

the Tin Man seems to know
exactly what’s happening
heartless but not stupid
standing perfectly petrified
deep inside the rainforest





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

beyond the blue


there is dismay
and there is disarray
distressing is the one
who shall not be named
a nation’s people unafraid
and deeply motivated

making a connection
between the now
and the heretofore
a mass migration begins
leaving the status quo
for the impossible

beyond the blue
there is a peace
yet to be discovered
whether deep below the sea
or high above the stratosphere
where open minds exist





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

on ending the protests


the threats are real
as real as the violence
in the streets
an angry mob
unstoppable
marches toward its
final destination


beware the nukes
once they’re launched
there will be
no more mob
no more anger
no more streets
upon which to protest





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

time will tell time and again


we’re not going to talk about the weather
or the first full day of autumn
now grab your jacket & get in the car
this time we’re going all the way to san jose

* * *

shifting sleep hours is but a trick of the brain
—much like the subtle change of
the angle of the sun

* * *

beneath a blanket of sorrow much is lost
but not completely forsaken
for you see
there’s a certain chemistry in the air
that potentially changes everything

* * *

the scarf is lost
the hair set free
the inward wind & the ocean waves
calling your name
over and over and over again





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

my empire of junk


at a loss for words
I shuffle through the junk drawer
looking for nothing
in particular
shaking my head
at all the things
I have no reason to keep
starting to wonder
when the time comes
who will take inventory of them





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

the wandering marionette


expectations continue to dwindle exponentially
and then the sun rises again

what are we doing except exhuming bodies
as if they were black birds
murdered en masse only 10 days ago

people are coming & going
on conveyor belts
some of them alive & some still dying
the workers & the robots
having no idea
where they’re coming from

the shifts are ‘round the clock
nobody is disgruntled because they’re taught
[in their developmental stage]
there is nothing to be disgruntled about
and so while they go about their routines
occasionally someone will ask
why hasn’t time converted to the metric system

everything is constructed & destroyed here
except for the living & the dying
          the baby girl in the trash bin
                    the nomad in the desert
a businessman on a twenty-story ledge
overcome by the promise of eternity
—everything just as it should be
like the wandering marionette
disoriented & obsolete
with nary a stage to perform upon





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

missing in action


there’s nothing to see here
everybody move along


when authority figures
tell people to move along
chances are
there is plenty to see

the shooting took place
mid-morning
and by lunch time
two dwellings & three
vehicles were taped off

there was plenty of talk
but not much action
& those with pics or vids
on their person
most likely kept them
close to the vest





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

revisiting the past


I can’t expect to pretend
anymore the writing
is on the wall
—the writing wall
revealing all that is real
& what is false
standing before it
I am there among thousands
reading & nodding
rereading & shaking my head

the crowds come & go
like swarms of locusts
taking me off my feet
carrying me to the next exhibit
maybe another wall
or a grotto or a cavern
speaking to me
this time via images & symbols
that I have likely
seen before





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

in the aftermath


who is to say
that this is it
the end has finally
arrived
and there you stand
a witness to it all

who is to say
tomorrow
is nothing like it
used to be
golden rays
replaced to no end

who is to say
all the records
accumulated inside
will never be restored
or rebroadcasted
into the void





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

doctor strangelove


there is a strange frequency in the air
and the traffic is lighter than usual
[nearly nonexistent actually]
it’s as though the small & bright city
has become a ghost town


pick a year any year and you will
find how nothing has changed
how ghost towns have become
overtaken by nature in seventy-five
or one hundred years’ time

of all the cold wars taken place
this one is the most chilling
women & children sacrificed
by the hundreds of thousands
the men mysteriously evaporated





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

they sent her son to mars


it’s a self fulfilling story
or so the prophets say
the prince’s son
sent to the planet mars
to settle a dispute

a mission doomed
from the very start
the prince’s son
murdered en route
via his majesty’s consort

empires come & go
but this breakaway ploy
by the prince’s son
likely opens the door
to the next millennium





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

A Peanut Farmer in Iowa City


I’m going by memory
so my facts may be a little fuzzy
but it was the early eighties
and I was in line
at Hamburg Inn No. 2

Supposedly Jimmy Carter
was a few spots ahead of me
or so the young lady I was with pointed out
me promptly responding
with something like shut the fuck up

Like I say I’m going by memory here
but I’m pretty sure both Jimmy
and I ordered a double swiss &
a small fry

(I don’t remember what drinks
they offered
but if they had beer on tap
that was probably it)

There’s no way you could eat
inside the smallish & popular place
most of the booths & seats & stools
nearly always taken
a minority of which
by ghosts of politicians past

As we headed back downtown
—lunching while we walked—
I kept asking what’s her name
if she was absolutely sure





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

the spirit guide


you’ve lost yourself again
in the deepness of the woods
where the mind is incapable
of producing concrete thoughts
or having any kind of convictions
overtaken by an energy unseen
and guided by a spirit
that had anticipated your arrival





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

The Absence


There is an absence that is indefinable
as if the ghost dog who once roamed freely
throughout the house had suddenly departed

It was the cat who first noticed the absence
bringing it to my attention by way of behaviors
that were secondary to her nature
entering my dreams unconventionally
revealing other lives I once lived

In the morning I stand in the shower
warm water washing away dirt & blood &
anything strangely unsettled or emotionless

Going through the motions is an expression
best left for those who have given up
no longer searching & thereby incapable of
finding the smallest of things that had been lost





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

the body snatchers


the neighborhood
was littered with feral cats
black & white
blue & yellow & green
and every other shade
in between
the majority of them
food stamp carriers
all the others hiding
in the shadows
keeping the rodent population
under control
all the while steering clear
of the recently formed
fleet of drones
locally & affectionately known
as the catnappers





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

we are exiles


how proud the sun must be
giving life incredulity
inside her own little galaxy

as a member of her third family
she gave me life & took it away
repetitiously

to the point where I was
unmistakably incapable of
learning from past transgressions

and so without fanfare
she banished me from her realm
sent me sailing into interstellar space
hopeful one day another star
would pull me in





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

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