I asked poet Matt Freeman to write a work of prose from the point of view of a “sane” person. Oddly enough, I find his work to be essentially identical to the work of a person who is “sane”.
What separates Matt’s work from that of a healthy writer? The self-doubt, the awkwardness, the hope– I think we’ve all felt similarly. Is it just that Matt “knows” that he has schizophrenia? Or is there something deeper? I can only wonder.
If a person can imagine it, personify it– can it be? If not, then why not?
As I write this while listening to clear Vivaldi I’ve come to realize that I am at an interesting and rather invisible point in my recovery where mostly I keep my mouth shut and walk down Delmar and smile at everyone like my salesman father in his best mood and no matter how bad it gets I am generally grateful for all of the miracles that have occurred beyond belief and I’m still surprised I think somehow I have entered this season where against all temptation to really let loose I have kept taking my meds and have not picked up that huge glass of beer and no matter what fear I can run my little workshop or sing my songs and I feel now I’m in the serious experience of explaining how this so-called and highly valued insight– like that little sign could mean me or the loud window slamming in the alley or the pen in the parking lot as I walk my way to the library or maybe Jakob Dylan had hear of me in New York etc. and all this same old stuff I can doubt—none of this ability to discount certain affects came overnight but was the result of sitting hours in a room where everyone was suggesting mildly that I was crazy and because I didn’t want to be known as crazy I was mostly stiff and silent trying to think things through and I might have blurted a few times “are you guys mad at me” so that in twenty years I have gone and learned something which mainly is consigned to silence in conversation but which comes out in my poems and especially my new songs because who really has dissected paranoia or the possibility of a mic in your heating vent in a simple popular song and clearly that’s the bomb shit and the given and the one thought to the bitter end of clear beautiful sanity that can in no way be won by evasion or continual in and out of the hospital and as I have pointed out in an embarrassed way we are so very close to heaven and things are plain and near and people are a fun mystery and I thank all the nurses and doctors and all of my friends and family for helping me along the river of vision which is beset on all sides by the wilderness of terror and I shall remain as I am despite all blocking devices.