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poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “Poetry”

I’m on vacation


I’ve got this idea in my head
I’m on vacation
that it’s become my occupation
debunking conspiracy theories
like the reversal of poles
or the inevitable grand gesture
from snake island

I often find myself
fishing for my mother
in deep cold trout pools
the depths of which producing
the darkest of blues

I’ve come to terms
with my misfortunes
and dash away to old cities
as if I’m a bored to death
like Louis or Lestat

The best part is I can
jump anytime I like
from princess cruise ships
putting myself in a position
to press rewind
for hundreds of years
or fast forward beyond
my imaginary tears





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

artificial island


it is clear to me
the answers are embroiled
between the moon & ocean
impossible waves bearing witness
to what we believe to be true

how many notes
will you stuff inside bottles
castaways with nothing to lose
messages reworked as questions
a collection of uncontrolled vessels
of various size & composition





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

[in these united states]


I don’t feel it today
far from patriotic as I’ve
ever been
driven away by an extremism
I’d no idea existed
in such deep-rootedness

[but of course in retrospect
how could I have not known]

democratic seems to be
more & more like a word anymore
one I came across
when I was naive
& eager to learn
one that I took for granted
like freedom & liberty
whatever the hell those two mean

the killings & the kidnappings
drug dealings & human trafficking
they don’t take a day off
not on sundays when so many
enjoy the democratic sun or rain
and especially not on the
fourth of july

in these united states





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

alien hideaway


you should be able to see me
clearly now
since becoming an alien in waiting

the tricks I’ve learned
in such a short period of time(lessness)
now preying upon your mind
as you attempt to decide
if you’re going insane
or becoming

someone exactly like me
living further from the truth
than ever before
reworking my appearance
using proverbial smoke & mirrors
and casting rolling stones
into bluesy waters
where I believe
you must be prospering again





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

rubbed out from reality


our subject was never born
not in rock island or anywhere near
the mississippi

the hospital razed
saint anthony long gone
doctor romeo likely dead as well
having succumbed to natural causes

there is no place to rewind to
but our subject’s determined to find one
going on an online rampage
purchasing pickaxes & fireworks
tarot cards & replica handguns

not a chance in hell
anyone will determine how it all went down
no hospital
no doctor
no live birth

no matter how all ended
your guess is as good as mine
and the way it all started
will be the furthest from the truth





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

restless & willing


I don’t know what it means
to feel your pain
how different it must be
than my own
irrefutable & non-replicable

how do you channel it
turn it into something new
earth in the palm of your hand
creating karma w/a
little wind & fire & spit

I once read you can’t
take it with you
wealth & promises & lies
but what you can take
hovers in the background
restless & willing





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

hitching a ride through the universe


we came together out of nowhere
like a song that writes itself
we are on the outside looking in
but certainly not for the last time

separation comes too easy
the desire to go it alone
allowing the dice or cards
or madame bovary herself
to present an alternative path

but like anything else
we always return
back to the beginning
sometimes recognizing past lives
but rarely familiar faces

such vague passings may leave
you wondering
if we’ve become nothing
but the tail end of a comet





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

strategizing using alcohol


what do you want
and I’ll make it for you
an oatmeal cookie
a washington apple
an irish pipe bomb
whatever it is
I’m sure I can make it

even if I’m not familiar
with the vernacular
I’ll google it & improvise
variate old recipes
guaranteed to blow your mind
not to mention opening
possibilities
of retaking previously
conceded territories





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

first date


it’s surreal she said
and she wouldn’t move on
she just stayed there
mesmerized at the black
& red oval (maybe triangular) thing
that may or may not have been
a ladybug

it’s a ladybug I say
let’s move on

the hell she says
a ladybug
are you fucking serious
—okay I’ll catch up with you later





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

way too soon


anything is possible
how many times have you heard this
much like
the sky’s the limit
but that doesn’t make sense
this day & age
just go ask any child
who may effortlessly tell you
the sky’s only the beginning
especially if you’ve happened
to be gunned down way too young





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

I dreamed there was no war


“People don’t run out of dreams ~ people just run out of time.”
— Glenn Frey

how to put into words
that which is only sound
a sparrow’s cry for instance
coming from deep within
inner city tower taken down

oh I was far from awake
embattled & chasing
that which should be touched
but for whatever reason
cannot be reached

an open field
fill if how you will
poppies & tulips
lilies & roses
infinite colors complementing
violin voices singing above violas

early morning & not a cloud
in the sky
red breasted robin
wrestling with an earthworm





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

I got money in the bank


I thought I was born again
but I was wrong
it was simply a premonition
before I was forced to move on


I remember it all too well
being rejected time after time
but then again
the mortality rate was nothing
like it is today

even those who make it
to walking & talking thoughts
often find themselves mumbling
what could they have been

so many respected positions
even more despised
the odds of vanishing
between the lines
increasing
with each diminishing day





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

the protégé


michael fancies himself
a philosopher
but the problem is
he’s got no skin in the game

he’s never seen
hundreds of blooms
in anyone’s garden
let alone
inside his own fantasies

how is it he speaks
of the seasons
constantly changing
without ever realizing
what’s it’s like
having to abandon beauty

michael’s supposed
to be my protégé
an impossible relationship
if there ever was one
and already it seems
he’s already seen
twice or thrice
and possibly much more
than my own modest experience
could possibly absorb





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

I’d be willing to be moving


I smuggled some smokes and folks from Mexico
baked by the sun every time I go to Mexico

                                                    —Lowell George

on the road with Linda
we left from the west side
of Lake Pontchartrain
exact town or time of day
forever stricken from the record

it was no small feat
blowing past Houston & San
Antonio
taking advantage of whatever
weed or whites or wine
we could afford at the time

it’s not the first time we
smuggled in & out of the border
the legality or legitimacy of it all
rarely reaching top of mind





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

A not so dangerous game


I wasn’t about to tell all
but I made an appointment
and promised
I would at least chit chat


She was born down the street
from Notre Dame
but never lived in France
and I remember asking myself
what does that have to do
with Saint Joseph County

She wanted to know
where I was born
but I wouldn’t tell her
didn’t want her to know
we had something in common

Next thing you know
we were playing 20 questions
and it was obvious
from the git go
who would end up winning





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

the show must go on


a little snare drum roll
feet tapping & fingers snapping
waiting on the vocalist
to enter center stage

where o’where could she be
all the faceless people
keep asking themselves
where o’where is the lovely
the talented
the beautiful vocalist

their faces slowly dissolve
into a sea of green
little red triangles floating
here & there
as if having no particular
place to go

soon the band of three
becomes two
& eventually only the percussionist
survives the wreckage
he & his little snare drum shaken
but taking requests
as if becoming the focal point
of the evolutionary
underwater show





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

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