jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Archive for the tag “work”

Meeting yet again


I never told you I was a chameleon
though sometimes
I’ve said my eyes are the color of money
other times they’re as blue
as my melancholic thoughts

Sometimes I tell myself I should call in sick
but every monday morning
you talk me out of it
and suddenly I’m gone
like a paperboy on a mission

Whistlers usher in five o’clock and
we meet yet again at our favorite pub
toasting to good health
and choosing favorite colors
giving new meaning to our astonishing lives


december two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

up around the bend


in the distance you hear
repetitive pounding of steel on steel
hammer on railroad spike
near perfect in rhythmic meter
and gradually pleasing to the ear

workers form a line around the bend
like pistons rising and falling
each man a link to the next
rotating and following further and
further away from their cages


june two thousand fourteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

this day our daily bread


we worked the fields
wielding sickles
and scattered thoughts of
one day crossing the
border into worlds
before unseen

we step and sway and cut
and sing in praise as
women and children
transform the stalks into
bundles for the wind
and sun to remedy

we left the fields
nearly naked and dotted
with purposeful randomness
our backs still strong
our minds set on preparing
this evening’s meal


september two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

bedtime stories


pretend you slip into my slacks
one leg at a time
button my newly ironed shirt
from bottom button to top

you get frustrated with yourself
because you can’t seem
to get the bloody dimple square
on the regimental tie

the silent alarm suddenly
signals half past eight
you lie awake forever late
to next week’s meeting

the reverie shakes you alive
screaming in your sleep
i hate you i love you i hate
the way the story ends


march two thousand thirteen
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Big Time in Reno


I made my way to Reno by accident
with a woman much older than her age.
She said she knew a married man there
who seemed to have a ton of money.

It didn’t take long before she left me
for a drifter with some blow, so I decided
Reno was as good a spot as any
where I could work on my old acoustic.

By day I had a gig dealing twenty-one
at Fitzgeralds; earned enough in tips
to keep my lungs full of Old Golds
and my lips wet with whiskey or rye.

I kept telling myself I’m gonna make it big
in Nashville one day, but until then
I just kept singing my railroad songs
for the cockroaches in the rafters.



november two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Monotony


He wakes up tired and alone and starts
the daily routine all over again,
asking himself what’s it all for,
this grind called life; doing the same thing
day in and day out and seemingly
not getting anywhere.

In the kitchen the cat tries to order
bacon and eggs as he pours himself
a cup of orange juice,
dispensing the daily supplements
onto the counter, convinced they’re necessary
to keep his vital organs functioning.

Once on the highway he interacts
with sports talk radio, arguing against
this Sunday’s predictions.
Nearing downtown he darts into the fast lane
and accelerates past the exit ramp,
a smile on his face and Vegas
only three hundred miles away.



october two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

the apprentice


i snuck into the world
through a backdoor
you carved into a rolling hill
where you worked the earth
with your creative hands

with perfection in mind
you made my eyes
the lightest shade of blue
and my skin varied
depending upon the light

your blood flowed within
nourishing my heart
and strengthening my mind
as i learned how the earth
recycles all living things

through time and patience
i came to understand
how the secrets of the clay
could beautify and nourish
a world starving for love



october two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

voluntary rejuvenation


there’s nothing wrong with me
as i hit the snooze button
for the third time
stare at the cobweb on the ceiling fan
wondering where the spider is.

outside i hear mickey’s silverado
start up and head down the street.
it must be seven-thirty-five.

a few hours later i get out of bed
walk over to the window
and draw the shade
another half inch.

i spend the next ten minutes
sitting on the shitter.
i check my email on my android
and play a few pinball games.

“hey boss this is johnson,” i say,
talking into my boss’s android.
“listen, something’s come up,
i won’t be in today…or tomorrow….
actually i won’t be back until thursday.

“there’s nothing wrong with me
so don’t call back
and i’ll see you on thursday.”

i finish my business in the bathroom
and make my way back to bed,
excited about the idea
of doing nothing
for three more days.

author’s note:
this poem is in response to charles bukowski’s oral dissertation on depression

august two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

Trick of the Mind


I trained myself to awake
around six in the morning,
no matter how many hours
I slept the night before,
even the times
when it wasn’t much
due to bouts of pleasant reveries
that didn’t want to end.
On those mornings
it seemed so easy
to trick the mind into believing
arriving to work early
was more important
than anything else,
including the imaginary parties
that continued on
from the night before.

march, two thousand twelve
copyright j matthew waters
all rights reserved

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