Monday, August 29, 2016


“Wake up to a hearty, lip-smacking bowlful of nutritious, nourishing Ubik toasted flakes, the adult cereal that’s more crunchy, more tasty, more ummmish. Ubik breakfast cereal, the whole-bowl taste treat!”
                        ― Philip K. Dick, Ubik

Let’s face it—we’re all getting finger-fucked
   By everything from toys to telephones
Like Life won't make us happy till we’re sucked
   Off by a junkie tailored to our jones.
It’s all distraction, like a dangling carrot
   That swears it isn’t guiding, only freeing.
Stuff we can buy, opinions we can parrot—
   What are these visions stopping us from seeing?
Reality's become a gateway drug
   To worlds where even the police are copping—
Where liberty’s the freedom to be smug
   And Life’s one true reward is one-stop shopping—
      Where Eve can buy a garden with an Apple,
      And God's a cloud download above each chapel. 

Copyright 2015 Matthew J Wells

Friday, August 26, 2016

Life In 14 Lines - 5

I think of change and never make a move;
And when I make a move, there is no motion.
When pushed, I renovate, but don’t improve.
All tides ripple unturning in my ocean.

I can’t stand where I live, but love the view.
The less things change, the fewer my vexations.
I say I can evolve, but that’s untrue—
We don’t evolve except by generations.

I knew a girl; I said, “It’s you I love.”
She said, “If things were different, I’d be game.”
“If things were different” is the motto of
Anyone who wants things to stay the same.

My soul’s a loafer I can’t energize
Unless I’m not just smart, but otherwise.

Copyright 2016 Matthew J Wells

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Life In 14 Lines - 4

There is a petty me who always whines
That I deserve to win the race because
I entered it, and loathes the little swines
Who see me and don’t greet me with applause.

There is a lonely me who falls in love
Because it feeds his insecurities
And always proves that I’m unworthy of
Happiness, satisfaction, and heart’s ease.

And there’s an angry me who feeds on hate,
An empty me who swallows all my dreams,
A vengeful me who yearns to dominate,
And a sly me who bides his time and schemes.

And I will only draw a happy breath
When I can starve each one of them to death.

Copyright 2016 Matthew J Wells

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Death Be Not Even Remotely High And Mighty


                         for Meir Ribalow

I had a drink with Death. He looked real sad.
I asked, “What’s wrong? Your face looks like a fist.”
He said, “As if you care,” and cursed a tad.
“I bet it’s Meir,” I said, and Death got pissed.

“I HATE it when you people die,” he said.
“The ones you leave behind when your life ends
Keep you alive in them after you’re dead!
You NEVER die—you live on in your friends.

You know what that makes me look like?” he cried.
“The only house on Stupid Avenue!
I don’t see ANYONE after they’ve died!
My kingdom’s empty—they’re all here with you!”

And then he cursed some more and said goodbye,
And I just smiled and went: “Meir says hi.”

Copyright 2016 Matthew J Wells

Monday, August 22, 2016

In The Event Of My Life

         for Coley Campany

In the event of my life
let me be known not for what I do
but for what I dance to
and what I fight for.

In the event of my life
let me outlive everyone
my death would crush.

In the event of my life
send me nothing but great souls
to be part of my non–blood family.

In the event of my life
give me enemies
who will always commit rookie mistakes
and friends who will forgive me
whenever I make mine.

In the event of my life
please let all the sex I have
leave a crater, like make-up sex
after an angry shouting donnybrook
where we both scream unforgivable things
and go at each other like crocodiles on crack
but without the fighting.

In the event of my life
give me health over fame.

In the event of my life
let what I am looking for find me
even when I’ve given up the quest.

In the event of my life
if what I’m looking for doesn’t find me
let me be wise enough to see
and appreciate what does.

In the event of my life
surround me with people who share
the correct opinion about biscuits, dogs, key lime pie,
and The Wolf Of Wall Street
which is such a gigantic pile of shit
that it can single-handedly fertilize the Gobi Desert.

(and Kylie)
(fuck ‘em if they don’t like Kylie)

In the event of my life
let me give birth to something every day
and kill a bad habit once a week.

In the event of my life
I want a guarantee in writing
that every time I talk to a friend
I haven’t spoken to in ages,
it will be like picking up the thread
of a life-or-death conversation.

In the event of my life
remind me to always say goodbye
like I’ll never see you again.

In the event of my life
give me contacts when I’m young
and talent when I’m old
because the other way around
is death.

In the event of my life
keep me away from people
who don’t make an effort.

In the event of my life
don’t ever let me give 
more than I'm going to get.

In the event of my life
if there’s a choice between being oh so smart
and oh so pleasant, let me 
recommend pleasant.

In the event of my life
remind me that this body I was born into
is no more who I am
than yours is you.

In the event of my life
let me apologize less
and forgive more.

In the event of my life
please God make sure I do NOT
repeat my parents’ mistakes
but make my own
because new mistakes are progress.

In the event of my life
I want somebody
to put all my victories and defeats
in the same box
and then blindfold me
and challenge me to tell them apart.

In the event of my life
if I'm going to get hurt
let it happen because I acted out of trust
and not suspicion.

In the event of my life
keep me the fuck away
from people who say “110%” or “150%” or “200%”
like it actually means something
because I'll kill them
I swear to God I'll fucking kill them and their dogs
and feed them to their grammar school math teachers
so watch it.

In the event of my life
give me the pride to own my gifts,
and just enough self-assurance
to undermine my insecurities about them.

In the event of my life
let my laugh be the cause
that laughter is in other men.

In the event of my life
give me the courage to leap
and the faith to survive it.

In the event of my life
let me live only and always
in the arms of whatever I would die for.

Copyright 2016 Matthew J Wells

Friday, August 19, 2016

Life In 14 Lines - 3

My life obeys the power of suggestion:
The way I feel is why I fall or fly.
I’m here to think about and ask the question
And trust the world will give me a reply.

I learn the consequence of my decisions
Each time I wonder why or wonder at,
And suffer through the day-to-day collisions
When what I want and what I get go splat.

All I can do is tell you how I feel
I cannot make you answer that you care
And then embrace denial or the real
Each time the world fills in my questionnaire.

I may not get the ones I want to hear
But they will all be answers, loud and clear.

Copyright 2016 Matthew J Wells

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Two Grief Sonnets

         It’s not that I felt nothing. I felt nothingness.
                 -- Clive James


I see a sorrow nothing can dispel.
   I see dull eyes that used to wink and play.
I see a jewel constricted by a shell.
   What do you need to wipe this grief away?
Despair is now the state that you inhabit.
   It hunts you like a roaring Chevrolet
While your soul stands there frozen like a rabbit.
   What will it take to help you run away?
And when you think life’s empty, cold and black,
   Or that nobody hears you when you pray,
Tell me—and I will always answer back:
   What can I do to wash your pain away?
      I’m here to give you what you always give
      To me—a day-by-day reason to live.

I’ll be the bowl when grief melts you away.
   When you reach out, I’ll be the hand you hold.
When all seems dark as night, I’ll be your day.
   I’ll be the heart that warms when yours grows cold.
I’ll be your certainty when you feel doubt.
    Whenever you feel terror, I’ll be brave.
I’ll be the shovel that will dig you out
   When you bury yourself in sorrow’s grave.
A friend, a scold, a comforter, an ear;
   A crutch, a noodge, a pessimist, Candide;
A clown, a priest, the stars by which you steer—
   I’ll never stop being the thing you need.
      You’re stronger than you think—and till you see
      And know the truth of that, just lean on me.


Copyright 2016 Matthew J Wells

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Moment's Now

The moment’s now. Grab it. It will not come
Again. This is the only chance you’ll get.
Even the strongest feeling will grow numb.
Now never waits on those who say “Not yet.” 

We think we can go back, pick up the trail;
But what it leads to isn’t there—it’s changed
Or moved—like you. It docked and then set sail
Into an ocean that’s been rearranged. 

Only Now has your name on it, and if
You never reach for it, you won’t forgive
Yourself. So do it. Be a lucky stiff
For once. No second guesses. Choose and live. 

And if Time lets it grow or leaves it dying,
At least it won’t be lost for lack of trying. 

Copyright 2016 Matthew J Wells

Friday, August 12, 2016

Life In 14 Lines - 1

I live my life mostly inside my head—
Talk to myself when no one is around,
Imagine love, think about being dead,
And always look for higher vantage ground. 

I order Happiness; Life serves me habits.
My heart forgives the crimes it should condemn.
My fears disguise themselves as little rabbits—
They are so cute, I have to cuddle them. 

I only feel great joy when I stop thinking.
For all I talk, there’s more I’ll never say.
There’s nothing that cannot be solved by drinking
Except for drinking. Which I’ll quit. Someday. 

And like all promises I make myself,
That gathers lots of dust on my life’s shelf.


Copyright 2016 Matthew J Wells


Thursday, August 11, 2016

Jottings from the notebook

FRIEND IN HER MID-30'S: So how old are you again?
ME: I'm at that in-between age--biologically old enough to be your father, and emotionally young enough to be your child.

Frank Sinatra actually saved a man’s life once.  He just said three words.  “Boys, that’s enough.”

“What’s it like outside?”
“Cold and depressing, like my ex-husband.”

The bosses are happy when YOU feel helpless.  They’re pleased when they think the source of your trouble is your family . . . they even like addicts as long as they’re mostly out of sight.  After all, addiction is just the last stage of consumerism.
                -- Charles Baxter

Who HASN’T gotten hurt?  If you get to a certain age and you’ve never been hurt, then that means you were the asshole.

Justice is incidental to Law and Order
                -- J Edgar Hoover

I’m talking to you pre-coffee?  I don’t know whether to be honored or terrified.

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.                       
                -- Steven Weinberg

The Roman Catholic Church is like a school where the best students are always expelled.
                -- Paul Valery

Scottish men: they’re so sexy they put the laid in plaid.

“Are you having a good time?”
“I’m surrounded by horny, stupid men.”
“Isn’t that great? You can get laid and reinforce your self-esteem at the same time.”
                -- Mike Carey, Lucifer

Love is a weird mix of nervousness and serenity—like an ache mixed with a hug.

Only the mediocre are always at their best.
                -- Jean Giradoux 

A woman has her first child the moment she says “I do.”

Winning is the mark of Abel.
                -- Diane Arbus

Closeness gives birth to distance every time.

No snowflake in an avalanche ever felt responsible.
                -- Stanislaw Lec

Guys are like refrigerators. You keep going back to the ones that are half-empty, hoping this time it’ll be there, that thing that you want.

I’d rather be whole than good.
                -- Carl Jung

If you want to bet on who will do the dumbest thing in the world, pick the smartest guy in the room.

The structure of a play is always the story of how the birds come home to roost.
                -- Arthur Miller

Never forget that, if you want to forgive your enemies, first you have to make them.

Once we were citizens. Then we were consumers. Now we're just data.
                -- Art Yomama 

He’s the kind of writer who does to his women what Nabokov did to his butterflies.

Whenever I tried to sing of love, it turned to pain. And again, when I tried to sing of pain, it turned to love.
                -- Schubert

The future is going to be a vast conforming suburb of the soul.
                -- JG Ballard, 1982 

REPORTER: Did you ever sleep with General Eisenhower?
MARLENE DIETRICH: How could I, darling? He was never at the front.

Marriage is all about learning how to live with someone you used to think you could never live without.

Sacrifice is a word that makes people feel noble about slaughter.
                 -- Kate Atkinson, A God In Ruins

No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else’s draft.
                -- HG Wells

If I were you, we'd both be miserable.

STUDIO HEAD: We want you to rewrite and direct Cleopatra. Name your price.
NUNNALLY JOHNSON: Ten percent of the losses.

I have a cobweb soul; it feels everything.

He used to be a great artist, but now he’s only a genius.
                -- Braque on Picasso

You must come again when you have less time.
                -- Walter Sickert showing Denton Welch the door

People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.
                -- John Kenneth Galbraith

The only perfect lovers are the ones who got away.

A man asked Mr. K. whether there is a God. Mr. K. said: “I advise you to consider whether, depending on the answer, your behavior would change. If it would not change, then we can drop the question. If it would change, then I can at least be of help to the extent that I can say, you have already decided: you need a God.”
                -- Stories of Mr Keuner, Bertolt Brecht
The heart has no sex.
                   -- Art Yomama