The 2River View 25.4 (Summer 2021)

Matthew Freeman

My First Insight Ever

It was a bird talking. And I
was supposed to be on another

level, one where people communicated
and everything would be revealed to me.

After they let me race around the women’s
ward I was called into the conference room

to be interviewed by six shrinks
and I went in smirking and intense

and declared I’d found my object relation
and the secret local newscaster they had sitting in

deliberately tapped her toe and one doctor
asked if I could fly and I said I felt like

jumping out the window and taking off into the sky
but that wasn’t physically possible and he said

that’s a good start and I felt like a toddler again
going from the pure illusion of love into

the gnosis of the body of light. Write your obsessions,
they say. I say lay down your miracles.

January Song

I stole something from some gangsters.
I can’t remember what it was
but I’m pretty sure they’re out to get me now.
I tried hiding at my parents’ house
but there was just a vacant lot there. I got the feeling they’re dead.
I asked my girlfriend if I could crash on her floor.
“I’m not your girlfriend,” she said. “That was thirty years ago.”

Maybe if I gave back what I stole
everything would be cool again.
I go stumbling around my room
but it looks like I need everything I have.
Maybe if I open a window I’ll get an idea.

Oh, whoever this is, please have a heart.
I got thirteen teeth pulled in one sitting.
I mean, they were bringing in people just to see it done.
And the country’s being ravaged by an evil pestilence.
Everywhere you go the winter’s so discordant.
I’m not even convinced that was real snow falling the other day.
I keep going back to my origins, trying to figure out the plot.
And I might not even be the hero of my own story.

I’m being stripped of everything now. Take it, take it all away.
My dad drums some loud note in my head: don’t get involved with gangsters.

Matthew Freeman is a poet and songwriter from St. Louis, Missouri. His most recent publications are Ideas of Reference at Jesuit Hall (Coffeetown Press) and the chapbook Exile (2River).

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