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Matthew Freeman

My Project

Platonic Squad

My Project

Here I am living out
Karl Marx’s wet dream
and it’s all
because of Ativan.

In the morning
I get up and sing
and during the day
I sing a little
and then at night
I even lie down
with a little whimper.

I don’t know how long
they’ll let me live—
how long anyone
could live—

after turning the tables,
ripping the curtain,
revealing the sublimation.

There, I’ve said it: “Isaac.”
Here, I say again: “Cost of Living.”

How prodigal, luxurious,
to include everything,
to be bemused by everything,
to rip a page of propositions
and fold it into an airplane
and let it go up high
from the top of Parkview Place.

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Platonic Squad

You’re not going to
sing your way
out of this one—

look at you sitting
there on the little bench
with your hands
cuffed behind your back—

you repeat you saw
three white sprites
last night in
the tavern mirror

as the guy takes your weight
and rolls your
thumb along the black

and sits you back down—

no decentered dreamer has
ever had a
less propitious origin—

then it’s out to the paddy wagon
and down to Central, where

an Idea blazes in the morning sun,
Perfection tugs at your heart,
you get too cracked to be particular,
you get too bound to let the lyrical
ghosts in the heaven of a glass
pass back through you.


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Matthew Freeman is the author of four books of poetry, most recently The Boulevard of Broken Discourse, published by Coffeetown press. He also recently had a chapbook come out, Chthonic MRI and Other Poems, which was delivered by Walrus publishing. After fighting schizophrenia for several years he ended up graduating from Saint Louis University, where he was given the Montesi prize, and is now an MFA candidate at University of Missouri Saint Louis, where he was given the graduate prize in poetry.


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