Everything I Love Restored and Other Poems ($11.95, 152 pp, ISBN: 978-1-60381-373-0) is the newest anthology by award-winning St. Louis poet Matthew Freeman. Coffeetown published Freeman’s collection Darkness Never Far in 2010 and The Boulevard of Broken Discourse in 2011.
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“Musician and poet Matt Freeman was once the Dogtown poet; now he’s in U. City, but St. Louis is as vivid as ever in his work. In his strongest collection yet, Freeman writes about South Grand, Poplar Bluff, Route 3, and the crows that haunt the bushes behind the Carondelet Care Facility. He writes about the pretty girl in the purple beret at the coffee shop, his fellow bus riders, a homeless man who hides a mattress in Kennedy Forest in Forest Park. But as UMSL creative writing professor and poet Eamon Wall notes, ‘his poems, because they can simultaneously embrace and transcend the local, have a wide appeal.’” Read more….
—Stefene Russell, St. Louis Magazine
“A writer of many voices and master of many forms, Matthew Freeman casts a lucid and inquiring gaze on this place and time we share. Though he often writes of his St. Louis home patch, his poems, because they can simultaneously embrace and transcend the local, have a wide appeal. He writes with urgency, humor, grace, and irony. His work is vital and convincing. You need to read this book.”
—Eamonn Wall, author of Junction City: New and Selected Poems 1990-2015
“A shaman must enter the shadow of madness to see that reality most of us will never know. Matthew Freeman is a St. Louis shaman. I am grateful for the experiences that led to this powerful and positive poet.”
—Glenn Irwin, University of Missouri, St. Louis
Critics have high praise for Freeman’s poetry:
“Gritty and real, full of personality (and personalities), urban St. Louis scenery and experience”— J. Gordon, Nightimes.com
“Simultaneously hip, funny, and sad”—Dorothea Grossman, Poet
“A microscope into the world of an extraordinarily talented schizophrenic”—Suzanne Shenkman
Matthew Freeman’s newest collection presents a romantic vision wherein the environment can range from ecstatic to sinister. Steeped in urban shamanism, the poems reflect a desperate search for the American Sublime, the author’s search for the clarity of salvation, his love of language, and his hope that the poor and destitute will not be forgotten.
Matthew Freeman is a past winner of the Albert J. Montesi Award for Creative Achievement. While pursuing his MFA from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis, he was also awarded the graduate prize in poetry.
The following is an excerpt from the title poem, “Everything I Love Restored”:
But then Jim Morrison came to take me on a trip.
His leather had changed to corduroy. Wherefore, Jim?
“After that heroin tub, when the soul sought
Avernus, I went through the Program
in Purgatory. Old Cherry—you ruined each other—
bit by a Cottonmouth hiking with her husband,
bid me come forgive you and make you give it up.”
We followed these black demons to the door of the
Mellow Methodist church and I whispered to Cherry.
We passed the spot where Seagraves got hit
on the head with a brick by the brother of a young girl he’d
kissed. Oh Jim, we went to the pawn shop
to get my guitar but I was a dollar short.
Finally forlorn, Jim taught me to put
my hand through my hair darkly, with affect,
and to yelp loudly during the hilarious innuendo.
He taught me translucence, how to get back
to the Celts, the Lakota. He showed me
the raindrop on the petal on the windowsill
in the breeze. We came to Jefferson Barracks.
Standing at my parents’ grave I noticed a little
something covered in the grass: the magic tessera dollar
of completion! I’d died just like the art therapist
had predicted and now I could get my gold guitar!
Jim morphed into a mad girl in a Mercedes asking for gas money.