The Victor - Matthew Freeman
“Hey, Dr Valentine. I want
my discharge papers drawn up
and I want two weeks of meds and I
don’t wanna hear any shit. Get on it!”
I’ve heard it said a popular poet said
sometimes he feels he’s on an ambulance
on the way to the psych ward and he’s
listening to someone confess their demons.
I won’t tell you who quoted that—
Just some prominent Chicago poet
at a prominent workshop in which
he refused to workshop my prominent poem.
Oh sure, I was sad. Then I was mad. And
then I was hurt. Afterwards I was confused.
But I sleep soundly now, unconfined and
free from terror. Sometimes when I’m alone
amidst a big crowd and someone winks
I get a little glance of madness and I
wink back quite confidently. It ain’t
just anyone who could put horror in its place.
Matthew Freeman is in recovery from schizophrenia and a lot of his poems deal with what he has seen and learned along the way...his most recent book is a little one called Exile (2River) and his last full-length book was called Ideas of Reference at Jesuit Hall (Coffeetown Press).