Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's All Over Too Quickly


It’s all over too quickly.  When I look
   Behind, all that I was and did are blurred,
Like someone’s flipping pages of a book
   So fast that I can’t read a single word.
Yet every day has something that I wrote—
   A hope, a love, a loss, a gift, a need—
And thoughts and dreams that only God can quote,
   For years are books that only God can read.
This one’s done now; another one begins
   In which I hope I’ll never try to be
Less than my best, or fret about who wins,
   Or live a single day complacently,
      But smile through what I cannot celebrate
      And word by living daily word create. 


Copyright 2014 Matthew J Wells

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Wish

If I could give you anything this year,
   I’d give you all the things you are afraid
To give yourself—the perfect love you fear
   You don’t deserve; great success in your trade,
Whatever that may be—the kind of wealth
   That keeps the wolf from your financial door—
An optimistic attitude—and health,
   Good health, to give old bones new places to explore.
And then I wish you all that you won’t think
   You’ll need until some crisis will remind you:
Good friends—the calm to float when others sink—
   The heart to put all the bad times behind you—
      The strength to love when Fear and Hatred reign
      And a great weakness for all souls in pain.


Copyright 2014 Matthew J Wells


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sonnet for Gary

We all live after death in memory
   Which smooths the rough stone of our lives until
It has the curve and line of poetry
   Like happiness that we from grief distill.
In memory, our awkward symphony
   Will lose its baser frets, and all our false
Notes will be tweaked into a harmony
   That turns our halting tune into a waltz—
The way we made an album from your life,
   My brother—upbeat tracks that we can hum
Whose high notes are so strong they dull the knife
   Of grief that made the world bleed and become
      Empty without you—empty, cold and wrong—
      Until we close our eyes and hear your song.


Copyright 2014 Matthew J Wells


Monday, December 15, 2014

Tell Me What You Want For Christmas - The 2014 Christmas Compilation

And so we come to the end of 2014, otherwise known as either The Year We Lost A Boatload of Great Actors or The Year We Lost Whatever Patience We Had Left With A Militarized Police Force, Racial Profiling, The Justice System, You Name It.  Either one of which (but especially the latter) can put a stake of holly in the heart of anyone’s Christmas cheer.

So here’s something musical to help turn that frown upside down—music to lift your spirits over the next couple of weeks—music to trim your tree to (if you haven’t done that already)—music to wrap your gifts to (and I KNOW you haven’t done that already)—music to make you  feel the warmth of Shane McGowan’s Birthday  The Day James Brown Died  The Night We Bombed The Crap Out of Hanoi  Christmas.

Enjoy, and Haddy Grimble, everybody.

You can find the songs below in a zip file here

01 Tell Me What You Want For Christmas  -  Chris August
02 I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas  -  Leann Rimes
03 Christmas List  -  Vic Mulkey and the Blue Veins
04 Full Service Santa  -  Vic Mulkey and the Blue Veins
05 Santa's Got a Zoot Suit  -  Dave Rudolf
06 Poppa Santa Claus  -  Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
07 Santa's Party  -  Nick en Simon
08 The Party's Still Going On  -  Marcia Ball
09 Christmas People (Radio Edit)  -  Naguale
10 On Christmas  -  Dum Dum Girls
11 Jingle Bells  -  The Minions
12 Goin' Up To Bethlehem  -  Bob Rivers
13 Good King Wenceslas  -  Fab Four
14 Make it So  -  Jean-Luc Picard and the crew of the Enterprise
15 Hannukah In Las Vegas  -  Richard Cheese
16 Joel the Lump of Coal  -  The Killers
17 Unwed Mother  -  Hoyle
18 Let It Fall  -  Over The Rhine
19 Autumn Carol  -  Leigh Beery et al
20 In The Bleak Midwinter  -  John Fahey
21 Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening  -  Allen Leech
22 Let It Go  -  Pentatonix
23 Imagine  -  Emeli Sande
24 Make It Rain, Dear  -  Maggie Chapmen
25 My Reindeer Got Drunk  -  The Wise Men
26 Don't Need A Reindeer  -  The Moody Blues
27 Sleigh Me  -  Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler
28 Sugar Rum Cherry (Dance Of The Sugar-Plum Fairy)  - Duke Ellington
29 All My Christmases  -  Jillian Edwards
30 Christmas Day Blues  -  Cephas & Wiggins
31 Talkin' Christmas  -  Taj Mahal & The Blind Boys Of Alabama
32 Rum-Rum-Bells!!!  -  Los Temblooores
33 On Christmas Day (Radio Edit)  -  Magnum
34 Christmas Madness  -  The Rocket Summer
35 Being Alone At Christmas  -  Miss Montreal
36 The Ice of Boston  -  The Dismemberment Plan

Friday, December 12, 2014

I Saw Mommy Doing Santa Con

I saw Mommy doing Santa Con
Up and down Third Avenue last night.
She flashed her Mommy boobs
Just to titillate the rubes
And sang, half bare, “Don’t Touch Me There!”
(A great song by The Tubes).

Then I saw Mommy leading Santa Con
In a conga line till dawn’s first light.
Oh how they loved to see her dance
In bra and underpants
During New York’s Santa Con last night!

I saw Mommy doing Santa Con
Underneath the Brooklyn Bridge last night.
She kissed her Romeo
Underneath the mistletoe,
Then slung his hash and stole his cash
Just like a ho-ho-ho.

Then I saw Mommy searching Santa Con
Until she found an elf who was her height.
Oh what a vision to erase
When they were both sucking face
In the bars at Santa Con last night!

I saw Mommy doing Santa Con
In Bushwick and in Williamsburg last night.
She tried her best to have
Every Russian, Czech and Slav—
They’d pussyfoot until she put
The bed in Bedford Ave. 

Then I saw Mommy during Santa Con
Hitting on each hipster jerk in sight.
So many drifters selling snow
And lots of flakes to blow
During Brooklyn's Santa Con last night!

I saw Mommy doing Santa Con
Wearing just a beard of snowy white.
She barely kept her feet
After shots of whiskey neat
Then drank a ton of Jameson’s
And threw up in the street. 

Then I saw Mommy spending Santa Con
In the back seat of a black-and-white.
Oh it was such a great divorce
When Mommy did half the force
During New York’s Santa Con last night!

Copyright 2014 Matthew J Wells

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Police State Blues

“Oh what is that red mess in the street
And why is that woman crying?”
“Because that body at her feet
Is her only son, and he’s dying.” 

     Move along—nothing to see here.
     Move along—nothing to see. 

They say he acted like a threat.
They say he had a gun.
They thought he was a criminal
And treated him like one. 

     Move along—nothing to see here.
     Move along—nothing to see. 

The witnesses know what they saw
But their stories don’t agree.
“They must be biased,” says The Law,
“But cops can never be.” 

     Move along—nothing to see here.
     Move along—nothing to see. 

“Oh look at the men they’re arresting here.
Oh what can their great crime be?”
“It’s something they’re guilty of, my dear;
If they weren’t, they’d be free.” 

     Move along—nothing to see here.
     Move along—nothing to see. 

If we’re concerned, we have the choice
To speak when wrongs provoke us.
But if we never raise our voice,
They’ll never have to choke us. 

     Move along—nothing to see here.
     Move along—nothing to see. 

“Oh that man just asked a question—
Now they’re jumping on his back.”
“To an insecure authority, dear,
A question is an attack.” 

     Move along—nothing to see here.
     Move along—nothing to see. 

“But we have the right to say what’s wrong
And stand up for what’s true.”
“Oh no, my dear, we have no rights,
Until they say we do.” 

     Move along—nothing to see here.
     Move along—nothing to see. 

“Oh why are there helicopters here
And soldiers next to our car?
And why are they telling me not to fear
When fear is what they are? 

There are snipers on the rooftops.
They’re making our neighbors withdraw.
They’re telling them that it’s nothing,
It’s nothing but the law.” 

     “And it’s coming for you and me, dear—
     Coming for you and me.”


Copyright 2014 Matthew J Wells


Monday, December 8, 2014

I Want A Love That Time Cannot Destroy

I want a love that Time cannot destroy
   Or nibble till there’s nothing left but scraps—
A passion full of ever-present joy
   That laughs at Time and all its silly traps.
I want a flame that will not end in ashes.
   I want a light that will not lose its glow.
I want a love the future never trashes.
   I thought that love was ours, but Time said “No.”
So I say “No!” right back.  I want Time dead.
   Time took our vows and made them all untrue—
Time proved that we were lying when we said
   “I’ll never love another soul but you.”
      Time’s a bored toddler; passion is its toy.
      There is no love that Time cannot destroy. 


Copyright 2014 Matthew J Wells

Friday, December 5, 2014


I reach for you the way I used to reach
   For cigarettes—because my body craves
The comfort and the high it savors each
   Moment we touch.  You are the ache that saves
Me from the pain of loneliness, the need
   That says I lack for nothing—your cool skin
Melts my reserve like charity melts greed,
   Your eyes blind me with all that shines within
And deep beneath them.  And when those eyes look
   At me and judge me worthy, then I cease
To count myself a badly-written book
   And dare to think that I’m a masterpiece.
      And though the world may think the work is mine,
      Your love for me has written every line.

Copyright 2014 Matthew J Wells

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Beginning And The End

In the beginning, all we felt was love,
   Forgiveness, joy, contentment, ecstasy;
And in the end, we were the victims of
   Neediness, hate, resentment, jealousy.
While other hearts walked cautiously, ours dared;
   When every daring heart fell, we ascended.
We made a heaven out of all we shared
   And we were damned to hell the day it ended.
We swore that we would always be together;
   You cursed, I acted like a maniac.
We said: “There is no storm we cannot weather;”
   We said the kind of things you can’t take back.
      And though our future’s Never now, not When—
      Because it’s you, I’d do it all again.


Copyright 2014 Matthew J Wells


Monday, December 1, 2014

Byron And Shelley At The Hippocrates Club


Whenever he was visiting London, Byron would stay at the Hippocrates Club on Dean Street in Soho—a private doctors-only club of which Byron had been made an honorary member thanks to his contributions into the causes and cures of clubfoot. 

The first time Shelley met him there for dinner, Byron gave him the grand tour, showing him, among other rooms, the immense library with its priceless historical collection of ancient medical manuscripts, the Anatomy Room with its articulated skeletons and plaster models of the human circulatory system, and the Hall of Cerebella, in which were displayed the preserved brains of everything from dormice to dolphins. 

“Shall we have a drink before dinner?” Byron asked rhetorically, and led Shelley into a high-ceilinged room, with a bar at one end, whose four walls were covered with shelves that groaned under the weight of hundreds of specimen jars.  Upon examining the contents of these jars, Shelley was shocked to perceive that they contained perfectly-preserved examples of the male reproductive organs of every animal species on earth, including humans. 

“Good Lord!”  he exclaimed.  “This room is completely filled with specimens of Male Genitalia!” 

“Of course it is,” Byron explained.  “This is the Members Lounge.” 

Copyright 2014 Matthew J Wells