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Matthew Freeman

An Exciting Case of Schizophrenia

An Exciting Case of Schizophrenia

After I got back from New York expelled
and humiliated and emasculated
and still under the Beatnik Influx so
introverted I could not see
what was right in front of me as in
I sat at a bar with a loud bright Amex
and this wonderful young lady
kept hinting she’d like a drink so I
went over and threw up on
the jukebox and I was looking
for the cuckoo but landed
on the lamplight and when Chief and I
left I had these discordant elements
of consciousness following me as we
ended up at the emergency room and Chief
disappeared and the judge who was
my buddy’s dad had said you’ve got to
find your voice and I told the intake lady
I needed to see a female analyst
in the presence of a male security guard
and these young doctors come in
and I said I’ve learned about the
discourses because I had been sitting
in structuralism class when
I was bombarded by the teacher with
this crazy wild innuendo so I got
up to freak out and leave as Emma and Jane
grabbed my shoulders and the
teacher said you’re driving this class
and when I opened my eyes the
young doctors were smiling at me
and language had me screwed like
I could tell gender and sexuation but
the truth is just that some stoners will
talk about someone else but stab
you in the heart because they’re really
talking about you Lord why did it take
so long and why did I have to have
literal auditory hallucinations at the
same time finally figuring out that
“Finding your voice” is just a metaphor
and poets don’t necessarily all take dictation
from voices and I went so far down back at the
dusty home with Dad and Mom dead and
when someone said something mean
about me not having a job usually
someone sinister practicing witchcraft
I would let them go let them go let them go
and learn to like myself and what the hell
because then I exploded on difference
and a wild flood held up
a mutiny against total desiccation
and then twenty years go by and my doctor’s
like you have such an interesting example
of schizophrenia because you have insight
and you can even remember how it was
before you were sick
and I’m like I’ve sat in so many rooms
where someone said “cuckoo” and I found
it could go either way and what the hell
all of my early miseries built me up and I have
to touch the stop sign to know it’s real
and I get this deep numb sorrow and
I’m sad and when I go out will women
come from all over and scream at me
and it’s fun to go back and forth and after
fifteen years I can date and be cool
and I was walking on campus like through
wretched fire and I had no expression
on my face and I heard one kid say to
another kid look how cool that guy is
and I’m so happy I’ve got no warrants out
and everyone’s passing and we’re so happy
here at Parkview Place where my
friends all give me these microwave meals
and one dude gave me these new clothes
and I walk to coffee with my
friends and I let go and I hardly know anything
and I don’t throw anything out the window
or care who’s watching and who’s listening
and I learned that Lesbia was wrong
when she said
you can’t be crazy if you know you are
and as for that bird song by Jakob Dylan
well maybe he heard of me up in New York
maybe the nurses want to sleep with me
maybe I’m file at the FBI
who really cares anyhow because now
I know Starla and I sit with her
very carefully and I try to listen to
exactly what she’s saying and watch
what she does with her eyes and somehow
I still think she knows more than I do.

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Matthew Freeman's latest offering is a chapbook called Trying to Take a Nap and was published by Kattywompus Press. It documents a week during which the poet just couldn't fall asleep. Everything I Love Restored is his most recent full length collection and was published by Coffeetown Press.  

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