A Poetry Showcase by Matthew Freeman

Taxed

And I’ve seen that it’s possible
to never come out of hell
and that any revisions that are made
are made in the rain.

I knew a guy at MPC on Delmar
twenty years ago now who with trembling fingers
would chain smoke
discarded cigarette butts he found
and whatever was going on in the sky
was contending in his own mind.
He was closer than I can explain.

Other patients would talk about him
and various rumors and reasons
for his condition were passed around.
I felt that they all fell flat.

I don’t know what could explain
the sheer dignity and unutterable grace
of someone so painfully and somehow
beautifully cast about.

There’s somebody somewhere
paying for every little thing that we do.

Repetition (in the Lacanian Sense)

I can write about orchards and vines
and I can write about the Greyhound and the Metro
and I can write about Orpheus going down 
or Red errupting when they
stole his Doritos

and now sometimes I feel like I've been walking
along the bottom of an ocean
for forty long years
with only the Beatles and Jakob Dylan
to comfort me
and how I'm ready to tap out of this wrestling match
but I can't keep the metaphors straight 
and anyway in kicks the Ativan
and we begin again. Okay, that's literal.

Something much greater than sex is going on.
My nurse thinks the Ativan is causing early onset dementia.
Look, I've been demented since day one.
It's only helped me making verse.
It's been about twenty-seven years
since I could tell you what I did yesterday.
Decades have passed since my community support worker
took me in because I'd taken a month of meds in ten days.

Yes, I know, I suspect 
I've already said all of this.

Forget Whitman

Ah, so it's the moon 
that's been influencing me.
All these years and I thought it was the sun.
What a fool I was !
I mistook being terribly uptight for stability.
I thought letters involved restraint.

I've been thinking a lot about myself
and what I've discovered is
that the structure of my negative symptoms,
the wonder wall,
is slowly coming apart.

I had a pleasant talk with an intelligent 
and amiable older woman today
and when I came home I felt safe and understood.
Maybe later when I put on the Bach some feeling will come.
Maybe I'll feel like going somewhere.
Maybe when I try to take a nap
I'll actually rest.

I'm becoming devout! My mind's still a little messed up
and I'm still writing poems all day with lots of cuss words
and I'm still cussing out the devil
and I'm down with all the forms of witchery 
but Christ is handling my dispossession
and Superman's going to sweep up all my symptoms
and throw them into the sun and then plant my flag on the moon.
Finally, dear Ladylove, it's happening!
The change in consciousness we talked about to change my stance.
There's a sign and it doesn't have to be a sign.
It's all about aesthetics and forgiveness.
Forget Whitman, John Keats is going to be my guide!   

Measured

By any sane stable measure
in the heavily belated
late liberal free neo-conservative
market,
I'm an abject failure.

People malign Little Marx
but without him and the mixed economy
I'd be dead meat. On a side note
I would mention 
that I might already be dead meat
because I think
my blood stopped flowing. But
that's for a different poem.

Maybe they should make social programs for
poets. Rotten teeth? Check. Afraid of sex? Check.
But without some capital there'd be no marginal 
friction. And regardless of
whatever psych evals they give
they still don't know where
poetry comes from. You can be a loud asshole
and write quiet poems. You can be
silent for years
and then come out with some 
bombastic revelations. I thank my good buddy
Chief, who remarked when I said I was a loser,
“Artists are held to a different standard.”


Witness

Everything's complicated but
I'm doing my best
to sort it out.

Okay, yes, I take a lot of meds and
they've kept me from completely
freaking out and having to hit the hospital.
But there's a grand fake edifice
being built behind me
and I'm starting to believe
that it might, in fact, be real.

As once at Barnes-Jewish
I said to the psych nurse, “So it's true.
The government is watching me.”
“But not in the sense you're suspecting,”
she responded.

But seriously, folks, let's not get
bogged down in the mire of semantics.
Some weird shit is going down
and I'm here to witness it.

My Discernment

My repeated trips
to the Underworld or the Wilderness
or whatever you want to call it
have in some manner left me
weakened. I'm not going to quit
doing what I'm doing but
it would be nice
to say I've learned what I needed to learn.

A huge breakthrough came
when I got up to leave my room
and somehow the door was already opened
and when I got to the elevator
it opened before I even pressed the button
and no one was on it
and my immediate thought 
was not that this was from the devil
but that it was a great
gift and wonderful sign 
from God.

What's to Love

I walk a little quieter when
little Enoch is around.
I have said that he is holy.
I know that you, dear reader,
would probably think
that he's clearly suffering
from some unknown
malady.

I can't tell you what we do here all day
but there is a structure to it.
There's a rhythm. You can call me the drummer.

Today I discovered a secret method
for rising out of hell. But don't tell anyone!
It's five hundred milligrams of Clozaril.
I think though I'm not sure that I'm the only one in the know.
Walking in the rain's different from looking out the window.

I arrive later at Tower Grove Park
with my notes
and continue to put down the penetrating paranoid vibe
and so, I can take part
in the psychotic discourse but
what's much more interesting to me
is figuring out those tulips and what's to love.


Loud Bell

Parkview Place has finally grown into my home
after only fourteen years
and I love my beatnik room
and last night on the patio I actually
was thinking
“eyeball” and “eyeball”
because I was noticing the beautiful lights
and the beautiful 70's architecture
and I felt some god was preparing me to roar

and I've slowly come to understand the presence of evil.
I've been so sick
and I just thought that everyone or everything
was sick as well.
I feel like I'm going to a wedding.
Somebody's about to give birth!
There's a beautiful spirit all about us
which is taking its shape in the brain.
Send this stuff to the true psychiatrist!

And speaking of trysts I'm wondering just where
Dr Valentine is now? You get so down 
and defeated and afraid
but you keep on fighting and after fourteen years or so
you enter 
into a positive transactional analysis 
and what freaked you out about everybody 
dissipates.

So don't dwell on that guy running rampant
throughout Manhattan so angry and unconscious 
and just at the beginning of picking up on language
because you know that loud bell eventually came to the fore.



A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Matthew Freeman











By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

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