Thursday, July 20, 2017

Marcello on the Beach

                   Marcello on the Beach

A monster has just washed up on the sand—
   A manta with its black eyes wide and dead.
The young and beautiful act like it’s grand.
   The older man just looks and tilts his head.
They’re making such a big deal out of it,
   It makes him wish he planned it in advance.
No matter; they’ll get blasé in a bit,
   No matter what the tune, it’s the same dance.
He’s wearing white—he always does these days—
   Because, no matter what you do, it will
Get dirty in a hundred different ways,
   Then cleaned. For suits are much more versatile
      Than souls. His own likes to wear dark sunglasses,
      So it can close its eyes to all that passes.

He drifts away, like thoughts in Sunday School.
   He needs a shave and sleep. Such sad dark eyes.
He hears his name across the tidal pool.
   It’s someone that he cannot recognize.
But we know her. She’s the young girl he met
   When he went off to finally write the book
He knew was in him. So did she; and let
   Him see that knowledge in her every look.
And now he stares at her and all he sees
   Is someone he can’t even visualize
Whose hands make typing moves—whose eyes don’t tease,
   But promise something pure, tender and wise.
      It makes him wish he could always be near her.
      But she's so far away, and he can't hear her.

What is there he can do, but give a shrug
   That says “I can’t” as loudly as “I wish”
At what’s long past that he once longed to hug—
   At what’s as dead now as that monster fish.
What is there left to do, but shrug, as if
   To say “There’s nothing left in me to give,”
And offer up a smile with just a whiff
   Of sadness in it? For that’s how we live—
Mixed up like cocktails; chasing after tastes
   Our tongues have outgrown; looking back and seeing
Not what Time offers us, but what it wastes,
   Till Life is not the finding but the fleeing.
      And so we shrug, over the lost and broken,
      As if to say all that cannot be spoken.

That’s where we all get washed up, on that shore
   Where youth cavorts with age—where there’s a tide
That sends up monsters from the ocean’s floor
   And driftwood loves that Time has beautified—
A beach where might-have-beens call out our name
   And make us choose to hear them, or forget
That what they saw is not what we became—
   That our farewell dishonored how we met.
And when our current life calls out to us,
   We take its hand as it leads us away
To what’s consoling and innocuous,
   Where regrets are stubbed out in Time’s ashtray—
      And all the angels who saved us from hell
      Smile sadly, knowingly, and wave farewell.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Monday, July 17, 2017

Life In 14 Lines - 27

My ignorance about the world is vast.
My ignorance about myself is vaster.
I stretch my gifts, and still wind up typecast.
I hold myself back, and it’s a disaster.

The way I think about my life is not
The way I feel about it. What I do
Is based on instinct and caprice, not thought;
And who I am’s not deed, but follow-through.

I worry more about what may or might
Than I prepare for all that will and must.
My faith is ignorance with piercing sight;
My ignorance a crafty form of trust.

My knowledge? One unalterable text:
Life has no afterwards—just now, and next.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Love's Inner Enemies

The moment that I put my faith in you
Is when my wounded heart begins to doubt you.
The moment I know what I feel is true,
My vanity starts telling lies about you.

I don’t leave well enough alone in love.
I probe it like a wound to find the bullet.
I question what I should be trusting of.
Whatever’s labeled DO NOT TOUCH, I pull it.

There is a terrorist in me who lives
To blow up innocence, crown Fear as king,
And make my heart pull back before it gives
Till it expects and causes suffering.

He wins, unless I’m brave enough to bleed,
Not for what fails me, but makes me succeed.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Last Night I Dreamed I Was an EMT

Last night I dreamed I was an EMT.
I took your call—you said our love was dead.
It hurt to see its corpse in front of me.
“Please bring it back to life right now!” you said.

So I start up my heart up and feel it beat
And feed it to our love to live upon.
I say: “Quick—quick—give me your heart, my sweet.”
You say: “I can’t right now.” And then you’re gone.

You cry: “I’ll find the time! Just not today!
I swear that when I’m free, I’ll make a date!”
And like an idiot, I say: “Okay!
I’ll be here!” And I wait. And wait. And wait.

While my heart loses blood, minute by minute;
And our love dies, because your heart’s not in it.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Friendship and Love

Love is electric; friendship is a breeze.
   Love is exclusive; friendship is inviting.
Love lives for pleasure; friendship lives to please.
   Friendship is peace; love is a torment biting.
Love is the rapids, weak rafts overturning;
   Friendship, a still pool with no shallow end.
Love is a rose with every petal burning;
   Friendship, a garden full of herbs that mend.
Friendship may lead to love, but can be lost
   When it’s not shared, and die in hurt and doubt.
And lovers can be friends, but at the cost
   Of passion, like a flame that fizzles out.
      Ah, but when burning love and cool affection
      Can marry happily, life is perfection.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Saturday, July 1, 2017

A Month of Couplets - June 2017

From The Daily Couplet:


She gave her love, then came the double-cross.
He walked away, thinking: blind fool—your loss.


To be the person I was meant to be
Means learning not to take things personally.


                 Two Ideas Of Love

He’s worthless, but she loves him for the way
He makes her think he’ll be a prize someday.


                       Two Ideas Of Love

He likes to say “My flaws are what create me.”
She likes to screw up, then say “Please don’t hate me.”


The right wing loves successful terrorists—
Laws against them can shut down activists.


The First Amendment isn’t worth a dime
When laws are passed that make protests a crime.


Life is a stage, so make the part you play
Impeccable in all you do and say.


               The Art of The Trump

He hollers “LIAR!” when his foes are critical.
His base cries: “Honest! Blunt! And unpolitical.”


Any deep feeling can, in its own fashion,
Become a great mistake—except compassion.


                       Two Ideas Of Love

What helps: when he's not there, he never haunts her.
What hurts: she's all he hates, but he still wants her.


People who treat you colder than December
Are clubs that don't deserve you as a member.


Two Nevers haunt all that Life has in store
For us: Never again. Never before.


The facts are never trusted by the pious
Because they always have a left-wing bias.


             The Senate’s 
          Kamala Harris Rule

You must treat liars deferentially
Whenever they reply evasively.


The fool will always blame the quills—and whine—
After he tries to hug the porcupine.


Desire: “I’ll win your love because I choose you!”
Love: “I can’t let you go, or else I’ll lose you!”


Friendship sees all and chooses to be kind.
Love only lasts when it’s a little blind.


Love writes a poem filled with perfect rhymes.
Marriage sees all the typos as high crimes.


      The 10 Commandments
    Of the Republican Right - 1

We must be treated deferentially,
Not asked hard questions about policy.


      The 10 Commandments
    Of the Republican Right – 2

It’s honesty when you applaud our tracts
And propaganda when you check our facts.


          The 10 Commandments
       of the Republican Right – 3

The toughest question that we want to hear
Is whether you believe that we’re sincere.


          The 10 Commandments
        of the Republican Right – 4

We’re weary of your smirking cynicism.
Echo our press release—that’s journalism.


          The 10 Commandments
        of the Republican Right – 5

We’ll treat the symptoms as if they’re the cause
And end big government with tons of laws.


         The 10 Commandments
        of the Republican Right – 6

We all agree that it makes little sense
To subject our beliefs to evidence.


         The 10 Commandments
       of the Republican Right – 7

We cannot lead this great democracy
Unless you say “Of course, Your Majesty!”


            The 10 Commandments
          of the Republican Right – 8

Like all whose hearts are mean, and mien is royal,
We’ll suffer traitors, but not the disloyal.


          The 10 Commandments
       of the Republican Right – 9

You cry: “If you have principles, then say them!”
But since we lack them, how can we betray them?


          The 10 Commandments
       of the Republican Right - 10

We’ll suck up to whoever is in power
Even if whores gave him a golden shower.


          The 10 Commandments
      of the Republican Right - 11

You can be sure that you will face our wrath
When you subject our fiscal lies to math.


You can rely on one thing from the Right:
The whine they serve is always cold and white.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

All That's Wrong With The World

The burping rich ignore the starving waif.
Terror kills random targets craftily.
Our rights are sacrificed to keep us safe.
You wake up next to him instead of me.

The lost and wounded worship the fictitious.
Self-righteous vengeance is their Decalogue.
Their anger will be used by the ambitious.
You treat him like a prince—me, like a dog.

You told me that you loved me and you lied.
The First Amendment hasn’t got a prayer.
Democracy’s committing suicide.
I’d kill you, but it isn’t worth the chair.

Our country’s falling to a right-wing coup.
This life is pointless if I can’t have you.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Monday, June 19, 2017

Love Is

Love is our yearning to create the thing
We love out of what speaks to us alone
In someone else—and make its beauty sing—
Like statues are created out of stone.

Love is like gravity, distorting space
And time, till there’s just nearness and the now,
A universe in someone else’s face,
And faith to fuel the jet of fancy’s vow.

Love is a chrysalis that will give birth
To something new with wings, that will not stay
Wherever is it paid less than it’s worth,
Or owed more than it gives, but fly away.

Love is like war—we’re haunted by each past one,
And always end up re-fighting the last one.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The One I Love

The one I love fills up my journal pages.
   It makes me sing to hear her say my name.
I have been chasing after her for ages.
   Each time we get close, it’s always the same:
She tells me I’m the one she’s thinking of;
   She tells me that she cares—that she adores me;
And waits until I offer her my love,
   Then takes somebody else home, and it floors me.
It kills me. Kills me. It plants something dead
   Inside my heart—a hole; a growth; a cancer—
That poisons every pure hope in my head
   Into dead-end despair that has no answer
      Except what will forever make me grieve:
      The one I love’s the one I have to leave.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

13 Reasons Why

(My Plays Don't Get Produced)

I am sequoia-ancient (three times twenty).
I build my plots on consequence and choices.
Most plays are one-note horns—mine, horns of plenty.
I think Art is the rebel who rejoices.

I always make the finish worth the chase.
I write to challenge, not make you relax.
I don’t suck up to your subscriber base
By patting them on their self-righteous backs.

My premises are clever and unique ones.
My dialogue is smart and more than noise.
I write strong women ‘cause there are no weak ones.
I write men as they are—arrested boys.

I always choose the truth over the fact.
I know how to construct a second act.

Copyright 2017 Matthew J Wells