A Different Perspective From Matthew Freeman

I am very appreciative of poet Matthew Freeman’s generous offerings to this blog. They are really gifts, as he informed me that, technically, when they are published here, they are– well– published. How lucky we are to have these works at this blog to read and consider.

I challenged Matt to write from the perspective of a sane person, and/or to describe a state of sanity. We hear so much about how mental illness might be perceived from the view(s) of the sane. How do mentally healthy people appear to the schizophrenic poet? Let’s find out.

Christmas Dream

For a long time now
I’ve been thinking
about how I used to come
home from New York

in the dead of winter
to the warm old house
in Dogtown with my
pocketful of bar napkins

with rhymes and how my mom
would be making potato soup
and Chief was asleep on
the porch and the living room

was so dark and safe lit only
with the Christmas lights
and how I felt
such boozy love there

and what changed
and what had to change
for me to see
clear through disaster

and how I could have
been a completely sane poet
at Christmas with not one
line coming against my will

and how closed I would
have been with my bruises
and lungs and cheap stale beer
to that sinister, sinister dream.

Sane Vignette

Before I knew
it a bunch of birds
broke through my window
and I awoke
and got ready for school

and on the way in my bright Mustang
I passed a guy
who was talking to himself in rags
and I laughed and
spilled coffee on my shirt
and turned up the radio
and checked myself in the mirror
and I liked what I saw

and then for many years my eyes
took on the color of dead still water
with a plugged-in alarm clock in it
and I couldn’t move I had to force
myself to move and I found myself
walking a brick ledge and a bell went
off in dispossession and they said take
this little pill and on the third day Diana
showed up and everything was totally clear
and I’m like now I know Beethoven and
the difference between depression
and persecution anxiety and sometimes
I have walked the streets disheveled and at
any other time in history I’d be dead and when
last I put my head on Diana’s door I said
I’m destroyed but in a good way with double vision.

“If You Wanna Be a Poet”

Once I was dead drunk
and sane and not at all crazy
and I cried
when I was lonely and
my mom comforted me and I met
a girl from Singapore
and we held hands at the movie
and drank some forties

and sane is not jumping
over the nurses’ desk
and throwing a computer
because no one believes
you’re married to Nicole Kidman
or crawling
all over the floor in the day room
thinking you’re pregnant
and you realize
you’re either a ghost or God
and when you get out
you sleep for twenty hours a day
and you make a chapbook of poems
and you give
it to your community support worker
when he comes over to do your meds
because you accidentally
took a month’s worth of meds in two weeks
and he keeps
putting the pill bottles on top of your book
until they are conflated in your mind
and this is the beginning of sanity.

Author: mystified13

Sole member of Mystified and Mister Vapor.

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