Jeremy Freedman

I Want to Believe

I want to believe the ants
are wise and that you mean it
when you say it’s for my own good.

I want to believe that Fernando
Pessoa was happy in his
heteronymity, that Nijinsky
continued dancing in secret,
that someone honored Alfred Jarry’s last
request, in his low-ceilinged room, for a
toothpick, and that Frank O’Hara
did not go to the beach that night.

I really want to believe that Karl Liebknecht
declared the revolution from the balcony
of the Berliner Stadtschloss,
then stripped down to his underwear
and went to sleep in the Kaiser’s bed.

I want to believe that he was
still asleep, dreaming his dream
of peculiar freedom, when the Freikorps
dragged him from his bed and shot him in the head.

I want to believe that the Clash really
was the only band that mattered and that
DiMaggio would have hit in 56 straight
even if he’d faced Satchel Paige once or twice.

I want believe that my
parents would have found me at
the ’64 Worlds Fair
if they’d known I was missing.

I want to believe that dogs
are man’s best friend and that
plants, animals, even
the baby hare will help me
fix the sedimentary world.

I want to believe these things
even if they are true, or true
enough, or even if
they are untrue, it doesn’t matter,
I could have a whole trunk
full of ants and they
wouldn’t make me wiser.

Reasoning Backward

It’s mid-day in Berlin.
By backward reasoning I found
the Italian Barbara Stanwyck
(The Lady Eve, 1941,
Preston Sturges)
sequestered in Kreuzberg;
she’s writing.

Writing the story of
her takeoffs, misadventures
and associations.
Now in New York
I’m listening.

Listening to Beethoven’s Seventh
(London Symphony Orchestra,
Krips conducting),
and wondering.

Wondering what
symmetry to steal.

Jeremy Freedman is an artist and writer who lives in New York City. His photographs have been exhibited in the United States and Europe.
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