Poetry Showcase: Matthew Freeman (March 2023)

So Far

Once you’re fully inside the Constant Symbol
and everywhere you look
the synchronicities
are increasing and accelerating
you think oh no this must be death
but maybe not so until you discover the source
but now mathematics and physics
look like the mere work of a factotum
who can’t see anything.

Well, you had no choice but to come along this way
and look at several methods
for thinking yourself out of it
like the subjectivity of a purely personal multiverse—
like social media from Erebus—
and then you ask Chief where’s the internet
and he surprises you
and says North or South Carolina or something
which is just a metaphor
for something much deeper and scarier
and immaterial
which involves Truth and Logic Deconstructed
and so you say One Thing
and you think your childhood church
is going to put a hit on you—

maybe one day I’ll wake up and be alive—
like that summer at Mizzou studying French
and popping Xanax outside Shattered
and then drinking and dancing all night—
and embrace all the forms so formerly
thought to be so far apart.

On the Steps

Adam the Jeweler and I were sitting outside
Starbucks listening to the beautiful muzak
of an old rock legend
around whom many people had passed.
“Do you think he was jinxed,” I asked.
Typically wise, Adam responded,
“Aren’t we all?”

Look, I’m trying to create a classification here.
All sense and rhetoric are exterior.

They had me see a shrink at NYU because of my voracious
drinking and right away I knew he was cool
because we both smoked in his office
and once during a session as I was going on and on
and mentioned that my father liked to tell stories
he broke in and said,
“So you’re telling me you’re a storyteller.”
And when I asked him if he thought I should stop drinking
he was pretty vague and noncommittal.
Because he knew things
had to run their course
and that I was required
to become
fully daemonized.

You know, it just occurred to me right now
that I might have come so far
that I could benefit from some assertive self-talk.
I think it works once you’re coming out of purgatory.
Maybe I’ll send this to the New Yorker. Don’t scoff!
Oh frenemies, maybe I’ll place all this
on the steps of Wash U.!

To Whom it May Concern

I cannot bear to bring my unconscious truth
out into the light.
I think people would think
I looked like an asshole, a maniac.
There is the sense, though,
that I don’t know what I’m saying.
When I was down at Mizzou making
a feeble attempt at studying physics—I knew
it was my last chance to fuck around—I was
getting the answers egregiously wrong but

I kept telling myself around that time
that I was inside the primary process.
Maybe the unconscious is bipolar
and the conscious is paranoid persecution.
Maybe I’ve created a new diagnosis.
Oh, I’m renouncing everything.
All that matters
is the person
to whom I’m addressing this.

Upon Fame

You’ve got to get to where you just don’t care
if anyone’s listening. The strongest note
is the one which was never sent.
As for me and the Old Man—once I was hit
with the spirit I quit
listening to anything he’d ever said.
Curiously, after Diana got with Red
she asked me to write her a letter.
All I can say on that subject is that
the one she got was the seventeenth draft.

Incredible Apologia

One can’t help but feel
after one’s written a pretty good poem
that one’s gotten away with something.
Like when I was on the 14th floor of Barnes-Jewish
and sang out so loudly
and then had to be given some Haldol and Ativan.
So hard to sing at the very end of the world.
And Lord, I wanted to be back in time
but I didn’t want this.

Bio: Matthew Freeman's seventh collection of poems, I Think I'd Rather Roar, was just published by Cerasus Poetry. He holds an MFA from the University of Missouri-St Louis.

A Poetry Showcase by Matthew Freeman

Poetry Inspired by Photography by Kevin DeLaney @kpdela Poetry by Matthew Freeman, Vipanjeet Kaur, Lesley Curwen and David L O’Nan “The Empath Dies in the End”

2 new poems from 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


  1. I like these very much. Unique! The matter of fact voice and the ‘quiet’ pace. I especially liked the conversation with the counsellor about stopping drinking. A wry and amusing and bleak collection!


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