jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “tavern”

some things we don’t talk about


there are certain things I’ll take to the grave
I said as I raised my half-filled glass
trying to figure out
if it was half full before
transferring the past down my throat

to the grave the patrons chanted
swallowing what remained of their
bottomless dreams
contented by the friendship of
lonely people
unbothered by next month’s bills

morning arrives without a demon in sight
the truth temporarily impaired
allowing me to get on with it
as they say
and forget all over again
those things going to the grave


october two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

space bar


when the two humans arrived
I knew there would be trouble

the pigman who carried
death sentences
on twelve systems
was just dying to pick a fight

once the pigman’s
wanking arm lay alone
on the floor of the bar
the music resumed
and we all just looked away
and carried on
about our business




september two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

cheers to the minor league siren


it was a sunday afternoon
and me and my gal sat at the bar
tipping pabst blue ribbons
while across the street
the crowd gathered into the stadium
for a doubleheader matinée

the flat screens hanging on the walls
aired most of the afternoon games
the sound muted by the country music
streaming from the jukebox

look my gal said pointing at one of the games
templeton is pitching for saint louis
i used to let him screw me you know

he played across the street
when he was just a baby she said
and i took him under my wing
and taught him a thing or two

yeah right i said
you’re dreaming again
holding two fingers up across the bar

my ass holds secrets you cannot imagine
she said and then lifted her glass
just above her still seductive eyes
waiting for me to do the same



march two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

shall we dance


i found myself without obligations
one saturday morning
and decided to ride jenny
down to the river
to parlor city where they
serve breakfast on weekends

the place was busy but i managed
to snag the last seat at the bar
and ordered a bloody mary
and hot skillet
full of meats and potatoes
and veggies and eggs

it soon became clear the clean
shaven gentlemen sitting next to me
was most likely smashed on vodka
perhaps even as high
as a champion kite

what do you do he hissed at me

i’m a poet i said shoving food in my mouth

there’s nobody smart enough in this town
to be a poet he slurred

i put my fork down and picked up
my bloody and took a healthy swallow

you listen to me i said using my best
dirty harry impersonation

i’m gonna go out to jenny and get
my colt 45
and if you’re still here
when i get back
i’m gonna make you dance


january two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

breaking the silence


it was the silence he said
that rocked his world
giving him thoughtful insight
into the universe

i thought that sounded nice
so i ordered another round
and asked him to feed me more

he said god would visit him often
while fishing the deep pools
lock and dam fourteen created
near the banks of the mississippi

it was there when the whole world
slept that catfish after catfish
struck his line
breaking the silence
and exorcising
the demons
planted inside him centuries ago
by a paranoid church and state

i leaned back in the barstool
and nodded my head
drawing smoke to my lungs
curiously asking him
about the bait he used
as the bartender yelled
‘last call’



december two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the sad tavern


we talked for hours
after the football game
starting where we left off
thirty years ago

we sat in the very same
booth, where in the day
i wrote short stories
while putting down pints

sometimes we’d sit
at the bar and chain-smoke
sipping on coffee
in between classes

you haven’t changed a bit
she said, laughing;
a reminder how she loved
to tell white lies

once in the corner
on a cold rainy night
i wept like a baby
ruining my story

after hearing the news
you searched me out
held me in your arms
until the bar closed

you know, she said,
you’ll meet her again
and her beauty
will take you away

melancholy struck me
as she covered my wrist
with her hands,
closing her eyes



august two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

my dear friend beer


i am never alone
as long as beer
is nearby
whether she be
in the refrigerator
or at the corner store

after a long day at work
i try to recall
the night before
wonder if any beer
is left before i stop
to buy some more

at happy hour
my friends say
final final final
as we clank
our frosty mugs
to toast another round

when life is less bright
i cry in my beer
and swallow my tears
but when life is grand
i raise my hand
to give praise with a beer

some say heaven
there is no beer
but i say
to hell with that
please bury me
with six pack in hand



august two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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