Corner of My Mind contains perhaps the most personal of Jim Freeman’s poems. “I’d like to know you naked, so I could better understand you dressed / Clothes get between us, hiding what’s behind your eyes and mine,” he says in a poem named Tulsa. These lines perfectly reflect the tone of a collection that exposes the writer’s mind, revealing far more than nakedness could.
Freeman’s love poems are lyrical without the sugar coating. They honestly look at love as a permeating force in relationships with women, friends, or his favorite city. Prague provides more than the backdrop to his writing and a chance to explore the lives of strangers, as in Guardianship, where we observe an elderly couple on a tram. The cobblestone streets of this ancient city are a physical manifestation of probing the quiet and secret corners of one’s own mind.
Several poems mark the complicated beginnings of Freeman’s relationship with his wife Michaela, then still “dancing to womanhood”. His words “It might be a journey longer than I knew” in Flowered Fields seem almost prophetic as the free-thinking muse who possesses “an ancient spirit” became his companion over the past two decades. Corner of My Mind provides an intimate look at the motivations and habits of a writer, at friendships, past loves that never fade, life in an expat community and connections to people across continents and time zones.
“There’s a corner of my mind you own” the opening line of the title poem suggests your invitation to a shared journey.