Coffeetown Press is proud to release Darkness Never Far, the latest volume of poetry by Matthew Freeman.
Matthew Freeman has been a poet since he was a teenager in Dogtown, St. Louis. Since then he has fallen in love, travelled the country, and sung his songs. Diagnosed with Schizophrenia at the age of 24, he drifted in and out of hospitals before finally beginning his recovery. He now lives and writes in the Loop, in St. Louis. Darkness Never Far is his third collection of poems exploring the impact of mental illness on language and mythos.
I Guess You Call it Clarity–Buy it today for your Kindle!
My double would’ve left behind a kid,
he would’ve been some type of clear physicist
with clean fingers in front of a stupored class
and a red or black car with a brunette beautiful
from church authentic and into Washington Irving
and silver bracelets smart and creative—the pain—
he would’ve been calm and quiet in great tweed and musk
walking the clean university halls and
pretty clear concerning the minds of God
his wife would’ve
let her hair flow witty and wear
intelligent dresses and Flaubert and Christianity
somehow she had also been a Rams cheerleader
in her twenties what, supportive
with great friends and recipes and
poor verses in love with her, my double
would’ve perceived things a lot more clearly
and enjoyed life more and been proud
when his son walked and not beat him or break windows
his big red or black car and his wife would’ve
provoked titanic proportions of envy
but he would’ve remained figurative and calm
and would’ve had a couple
of drinks at a faculty party
and stole away with a rival’s wife
and had sex with her in his red or black car
and the mirrors would’ve fogged up
though he could still have sensed the quadrangle and awards
and he would’ve driven home afterwards
to the great professorial house with lots of dark wood
and lame-ass pseudo-literary books all around
but on the way home the
lights would’ve been completely clear
as he passed the dorms
full of English majors who wanted him
and he would’ve never done drugs or
been committed to an asylum or drunk tank
he would’ve been a completely sure Christian
somehow sensing easily right and wrong
and forgiveness in his head but lots of sex
his shoes would’ve been nice brogues
but clarity and sensations while on sundays
he ran around the track and had
two beers only and listened to Prairie Home Companion
replayed and maybe a football game
he would never have
driven too fast or talked too much
he would’ve been calm and detested cigarettes
but would he have died?
Well, I guess everyone dies.
But how did he die and what did he see?
He would’ve left behind some kids and money
a string of affairs and donations and a plaque or two
and so I wonder about all this clarity
and whether he submitted or I submitted and to what
and just who has what power and what continuity
and if everybody contains his opposite
and also, when you get down to it,
what some half-assed physicist ever accomplished,
I mean, even the greatest mathematician at
a state university doesn’t rank that high in the world,
probably never contributed anything eternal,
just taught some other half-assed scholars,
got laid a little,
saw things totally clearly,
wrote some clear formulas
on the chalk board for the janitor to erase.
From the introduction:
Darkness Never Far is an exploration into the thoughts and feelings of an individual who has visited the darkest places of the human heart. Fortunately, the author has now returned to teach the rest of us important lessons about human love and longing. Matthew Freeman was my patient many years ago—and I wondered then whether he would find the peace and happiness every person deserves. After reading Darkness Never Far, it is apparent that he is still seeking that peace. Matthew’s latest book of poems takes us on a journey through the streets of St. Louis, so that we can look through his eyes at women, men, authority, medicine, hopelessness, and hope.
–From the introduction by John G. Csernansky, M.D.