Monday, March 27, 2017

A Month Of Couplets

From The Daily Couplet:



02/20/17

The real enemies of Democracy:
Kings who demand unquestioned loyalty.


2/21/17

All governments end up like the Titanic:
The only state is one of sinking panic.


2/22/17

So many of the best women are driven
To men who always need to be forgiven.


2/23/17

Always online, the Universe is waiting
For keywords loving, caring and creating.


2/24/17

The pains of torture, poison, vivisection,
Are heaven to the hell of love’s rejection.


2/25/17

Cloudy or bright, failure or paragon:
The day is always daughter to the dawn.


2/26/17

If I can't give without an expectation,
Then generosity becomes flirtation.


2/27/17

Look forward: potholes, detours, nothing clear.
Look back: a smooth wide road, straight as a spear.


2/28/17

When men are robbed, they’ll fight like tigers born
But act like sheep when regularly shorn.


3/1/17

You can train apes to read the printed page
But that won’t change their bullying or rage.


3/2/17

       How Trump Defines Watching The News

Stay glued to all your screens like some dumb Rhesus
For news that’s just rewritten press releases.


3/3/17

     How Trump Defines A Free Press

The Press must praise our phony attributes
And never point out that we’re empty suits.


3/4/17

With loss, the echo stabs more than the deed.
I don’t know I’ve been wounded till I bleed.


3/5/17

                    Trump’s America

A ship of state that pushes overboard
The wretched refuse and the dark-skinned horde.


3/6/17

No matter how it ends, goes or begins—
The game we play is rigged. God always wins.


3/7/17

By its pain racked and on its pleasures gorged,
This life’s an anvil where my soul is forged.


3/8/17

Women see Trump and recognize an ape
Who rules like he can get away with rape.


3/9/17

Joy follows grief in one brief frantic blur
Untasted—unless sipped like sweet liqueur.


3/10/17

The credulous say crooks are civilized
Whenever they don’t rob as advertised.


3/11/17

When assholes come down on me like confetti,
I’m sick of being big. Can I be petty?


3/12/17

I’m proud of two things—how I play Love’s game
And the scar on your heart that has my name.


3/13/17

Freedom is not the right to pick and choose
Who gets its gifts. Do that, and we all lose.


3/14/17

Women and Blacks are part of an invasion
When “real American” means “male Caucasian.”


3/15/17

         A Postcard To The White House

No matter how you lie, the truth will strike back.
(And Adolf Hitler called—he wants his Reich back.)


3/16/17

         A Postcard To The White House

Freedom’s like Trumpcare: our masters have whored it,
And we can’t get it if we can’t afford it.


3/17/17

          A Postcard To The White House

You’d rather be obeyed and cheered than fair.
(And Adolf Hitler called. He loves your hair.)


3/18/17

This life breeds strangers far too easily.
Find kindred spirits. Make them family.


3/19/17

Happy Birthday, Patrick McGoohan

Count me and classify me if you can—
I’m not a number; I am a free man.


3/20/17

          How The White House Defines
               “Personal Freedom”

“Your rights won’t disappear—we’ll just consider
Selling them to the highest corporate bidder.”


3/21/17

The Christian Right believes that charity
Means never giving anything for free.


3/22/17

        Republican Senators on the
        Judiciary Committee Agree:

“How dare you say our nominee’s not fit
After the way we treated yours like shit?”



3/23/17

                   The Current Motto of
             The Department of Education

Since the well-educated want to screw us,
Let’s keep their kids so dumb they can’t see through us.


3/24/17

               The Trump-Approved
                   Republican Motto

Nothing you say or do can terrify us—
Unless, of course, you’re rich enough to buy us.


3/25/17

Like criminals will always self-impeach,
The overbearing always overreach.


3/26/17

             Except For My Friends

It’s not constant rejection that I mind—
It’s that the world is boneheaded and blind.


Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Friday, March 24, 2017

City Life



The momentary is my daily diet.
A sinking feeling is my gut’s sea level.
I seek the Holy Grail of peace and quiet
But calm and silence normalize the Devil.

All that I grasp, with passion or in rage,
Slips through my hands like powder through a grapnel.
There’s no geography—space is a stage
Where Paris gunshots trigger New York shrapnel.

Nervous by day and trembling in the dark,
I claw at any pleasure that leaves scratches—
Part of an army searching for a spark,
All packed together like a box of matches—

Burning to find a cause that’s worth the fight
And see by more than momentary light.



Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Friends All Say I’m Brilliant




My friends all think that what I write is brilliant.
Producers rate my work 2 out of 10.
Life says: “Buck up and learn to be resilient!
I could care less what comes out of your pen.”

My friends all tell me I deserve success.
Success just laughs each time I ask her out.
She makes a date, then loses my address.
Life laughs, and says: “That’s what I’m all about.”

My friends all say I’m lovable as hell.
But love is bull, and I am its torero.
Life says: “Given your heart? It’s just as well.
You’ll never hear Te Amo—just Te Quiero.”

Such highs and lows—you’d think I’d get the bends.
I don’t. I never will. Thanks to my friends.



Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

3/9/17

Monday, March 20, 2017

Gettysburg











Sometimes my heart feels like a phantom limb.
Pain stabs it, even though it isn't there.
And something weeps that used to sing a hymn.
And something bleeds that can't afford to care.

And there I am, reliving it again:
The ugly battle and the pointless fight,
The wounds we took at our own Devil's Den
When Love bled out till it was cold and white.

That finished me for war. And yet the need,
Behind the loss that haunts me, has revealed
An emptiness in me I cannot feed
Unless I stand upon that battlefield,

Loving and hating the unfeeling knife
That had to amputate you from my life.


Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Life In 14 Lines - 22



I back away whenever I’m too close.
I make a joke whenever it’s too real.
Love is the drug on which I overdose.
Feeling it makes me feel as if I feel.

Days are for loss and struggle, nights for grieving.
Dreams are for digging tunnels till I’m free.
I know it’s wrong, but I can’t help believing
If I don’t move, the world will come to me.

The self-worth car I’m driving is a clunker.
I weave the rope on which my hopes are hung.
Deep down inside, I’m Hitler in the bunker
Hallucinating Götterdämmerung.

And when I’m dead, my life will be a quarrel
That offers either false hope or a moral.


Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Speed Of Life



It’s all a blur: death, grief, success, love, loss.
They pass me by like taxis in the rain.
Urgency rules. Haste is my albatross.
Reasons dissolve before I can ask why.

I cannot see the raindrops for the fountains.
An algorithm tells me what I like.
Perspective’s dead—events are now all mountains
That last no longer than a lightning strike.

My world’s full of unmet anticipation.
The fleeting trifle has authority.
The only rhythm is acceleration.
The only constant is inconstancy.

What comes won’t stay; what counts goes by too fast.
Death, grief, success, love, loss—they never last.



Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Life In 14 Lines - 21




I look down on the fools who dare to love me.
I look up to the dead for ways to live.
Since I can’t read minds, friends don’t think well of me.
Since my heart’s pawned, there’s nothing there to give.

Yesterday’s “Not a chance!” is today’s go-to.
Remembered slights are poison in my cup.
I feel rejected by what I said no to.
I feel abandoned by what I gave up.

I carry so much that I’ll never need.
I’ll leave behind much more that is undone.
Is hope the curse I dine on or I feed?
Is love the finish or the race I run?

Is life the hidden prospect or the mask?
And who am I—and who am I—to ask?


Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Charlotte Coughlan 1924-2017




















The space you lived in was a single room.
The hole you left behind is a whole world—
An almost-century of faith and gloom,
Of loves and births and passions—each one pearled

In your life’s necklace. You outlived it all
Except survival, and the love you felt
For blood and non-blood was a waterfall
That could make sinners clean and hatred melt.

It’s like an ocean has evaporated
And all it nursed flounders and gasps for air—
The lives you touched, the lives that you created.
Where can I swim now, Charlotte? It’s not fair.

I stumble, crippled by the loss of you
Though you’ll be with me now in all I do.


Copyright 2017 Mathew J Wells



Monday, February 27, 2017

Happy Birthday, Ayla!


         for Ayla Huguenot



Ayla! You are now 13!
Ask yourself—what does that mean?
Hear that noise, half-scream half-shout?
That’s your mom! She’s freaking out!

So what’s 13? It’s a trip!
Trust me—I served on that ship.
I was 13 once too. (Damn.
That was during Vietnam.)

I know—that’s ancient history.
But ancient is what YOU will be.
You’ll think your life is all but done—
Y’know—when you turn 21.

But until then—and even after—
Fill up your days with songs and laughter.
This is your time to take the wheel
And aim yourself at an ideal

And take off like a thunderclap
Down roads that only you can map
Full of great sights and cool rest stops
(And hopefully free of traffic cops).

And so, from one whose teens were mad—
I was protesting war! And fighting with Dad!—
Who’s lived till (drum roll) 64—
Here are some rules you will ignore:

Hold and hug, but never clutch.
Don’t be someone else’s crutch.
Make the time to write and play.
Live the now, not yesterday.

When you don’t feel, don’t pretend it.
When your heart breaks, Time will mend it.
When in doubt, be like Joe Strummer.
Never—ever—date a drummer.

Daring is your magic wand.
Always reach for what’s beyond.
When you see a challenge? Do it!
Trust your gut!—just don’t add to it.

Don’t do more than two encores.
Remember—looks will open doors
But they don’t furnish the room.
Always prepare; never assume.

Be a troubadour at heart.
Finish everything you start.
When your life’s attacked by schmucks,
Please give zero rhymes-with-ducks.

Grow a garden. Fill a hole.
Risk rejection. Feed your soul.
Stroll when others push and shove.
The heart has no sex—let it love.

Listen closely. Use your voice.
Guard your freedoms—speech and choice.
Never fail to right a wrong.
Tell your story. Be a song.


Love,
Matthew

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Clever To Wise














              for Bri Getterman

To change the world, I have to change the eyes
   That see it, and the hands I use to fashion
It like clay, and the heart that deifies
   My demons; till I view all with dispassion,
And learn to see the face behind my face,
   The spirit in the shell, the me behind
The I, the garden that my walls encase,
   The stillness underneath my busy mind—
And live a truth that shames the lies I wear
   Like labels, leaving me sincere and clean
And helpless—bravely helpless—with soul bare,
   Eyes clear, hands steady, and a heart serene
      To shun the ego underneath my name
      And be a spark that sets the world aflame.


Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells