I consider Matt Freeman to be a friend of mine. Like me, he also suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.
Matt has captured his experiences and impressions in poetry– a genre which he is quickly mastering and in which is becoming increasingly well-known.
How perfect that, when a prominent poetry journal touted Matt for his art, they also took note of his humility.
Thank you, Matt Freeman, for sending me these 4 original poems to publish. I hope that folks will enjoy them.
The Turning Sonnet
I’d say more things I’m not supposed to say
and go where I’m not supposed to go
like having Chief hide from the CIA
my hospital jottings which in the know
said if you cry enough the birds would come
or Lesbia was touching me beneath
the sheets so soft that I was rendered dumb
and wouldn’t date again until my teeth
were pulled and fake but maybe it will not
suffice to say how crazy it has been
and what words did and did not do and hot
lobotomies and Unreached Things and then
so many things go well you have to write
them down because you can’t believe your sight.
Reaching the Impossible Thing
When I walked into triage
down in Columbia, Missouri
I was an hysteric
who didn’t know shit
and had no anchor
which would tie me to the world.
It was there I realized
why as a child I was
overwhelmed in my love for Superman:
My father smoked Kent cigarettes
and broke a lot of furniture. I
told this to some no-shit Missourians
and they thought I was crazy
but Starla loved the interpretation.
I cannot recall on instance
of Diana making love to me in my sleep.
My mother always thought I’d be a pastor.
I never even had to lift a finger
for her to sit by me as I drifted off.
Soon I will be chased
down the streets of Liverpool
by a thousand crazed women.
So put me up for the Egotistical Sublime.
I’ll use this empty keg for a paperweight.
I can only conclude—and this is
from a position of hysterical identification—
that my nurse practitioner is reading my notebooks.
Oh, how she broke me down and restored me.
But there was little language on the ward in Columbia
and the kid said, “I see,
you’re acting just like me.”
I have in my hands
of the names
of all of the
bars I’ve been thrown
I show the list to Diana.
Let’s go get a drink, she says.
After the flood
of divine images
I was helpless
against total persecution.
I lay in bed in the attic
so very still in the summer
when I could hear
the roofer on the roof
and I knew if I moved
my abdomen would cramp
and the world would end.
It’s no wonder Diana
breaks up with me
from behind a door.
You don’t want to see psychosis, either.
And it seems like hours, later on,
when I’ve been waiting for the bus
in the terrible cold,
in the dead
I Knew God Loved Me When My Mailbox Was Empty
I’ve come so far now
that a South City gangster
wearing a cool leather jacket
apologized for brushing against me
when Chief and I
were at the meat market at Joey B.’s
looking for mercy.
And then I passed the God-State test
at St Mary’s
where I was getting my CBC
when the angry phlebotomist
came in ironically complaining
that she wasn’t famous. I went
to the cafeteria after that
and did what my sister said:
I sat at a table
and slowly sipped some water
and reversed the emasculation
and found all the fragments
just like King David—and this
is where everybody got bitter—
and when I got on the elevator
to come back up
and not feeling all that well
my dear Chinese neighbor indicated
the hole in my scrubby jeans
and simply said, “Beautiful.”
And when I found the blinking battery light
on my phone was out
I knew the resurrection was real.