Exile    poems by Matthew Freeman February 2021

Psychotic Day

Now famous people are quoting me,
I think to myself
while having a cigarette
as my sister cuts the grass.

I dream of a time
before this black line
was drawn through my name.

After I wrote this I found there was a friend
who didn’t believe I was myself. It freaked me out.
She said I was an imposter.
I said it’s me, Matt, from the sixth floor,
I’m down in Carbondale with my sister.
Bullshit, she said, and hung up.
Then I heard a bunch of wild
teenagers walking down the street saying
things that had two meanings. How can I
‘work’ under this ridiculous pressure?

I dream of a time when I met
a young woman at Kennedy’s who was
studying English at Truman State and seemed
so kind and as ever I was afraid to ask her
for her number and I dream of how the next day
I pored over the telephone book with such
hope and credulity, a distant scribbler, unknown.

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