Baroness Else Von Freytag- Loringhoven (1874- 1927)

Image: The Baroness Else von Freytag in her Greenwich Village apartment, December 1915, retrieved from Archives Dada.

"If there was ever a one-man or one-woman happening, it was the baroness," wrote poet Kenneth Rexroth. "She smoked marijuana in a big china German pipe that must have held half and ounce or more."
German poet Else von Freytag-Loringhoven published in English literary magazines during the mid-1920s. Her poems sometimes sound like utterances of a modern Delphic oracle. Appalling Heart shows how marijuana opened up all of her senses.
Baroness Loringhoven nearly starved to death while selling newspapers on Berlin street corners before going to Paris, where she died by her own hand. "She was not a Futurist", said her friend Marcel Duchamp, "She is the future." This was as true of her style of dress as it was of her visionary poems. She attended balls with postage stamps decorating her face and wearing a girdle of kitchen utensils- a New Wave fashion leader fifty years ahead of her time."

Appalling Heart

City stir-wind on eardrum-
dancewind; herbstained-
flowerstained- silken- rustling-
tripping- swishing- frolicking-
curtsying- careening- brushing-
flowering- lying down- bending-
teasing-kissing; treearms-grass-
limbs- lips.
City stir on eardrum-.
In night lonely
peers-:
moon-riding!
pale-with beauty aghast-
too exalted to share!
in space blue- rides she away from mine chest-
illumined strangely-
appalling sister!
Herbstained- flowerstained-
shellscented- seafaring-
foresthunting- junglewise-
desert gazing-
rides heart from chest-
lashing with beauty-
afleet-
across chimney-
tinfoil river
to meet
another's dark heart!

Bless mine feet!

- p. 95, Sisters of the Extreme: Women Writing on The Drug Experience by Cynthia Palmer and Michael Horowitz (2000)

Baroness Else Von Freytag- Loringhoven, Sisters of the Extreme
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