twelfth night, 1296 – floris’ epiphany in the hall of knights – as if feasting

Floris V van Holland

Early in January 1296, Floris V leaves his court in The Hague for Paris, where – against his better wishes – he switches Holland’s ancient alliance with England to one with France. This sparks off treachery among some of Floris’ nobles, leading to his murder in June.

*

in his hall of knights –

mental topers, tumblers, ravers

– mad din of needy bingeing gluttons

*

smoke-shrouds cling to blackened beams

minstrels mock those braying, belching goblet-brandishers

ranting voices drunk

*

alone in that crowd

and at its centre, he sits

a silent moment.

***

*

thoughts like words unborn

in a womb of forgetting

flit through his spirit

*

scared of too much thought

(which drinking puts a stop to

– as if thoughts could drown):

***

*

sacred hopes, our wished-for dreams

float off like swans when we awake

they glide off on the glossy glassy lake

*

worn out by living

(which dying puts an end on

– as if our lives first wear, then strip us bare).

*

as if as if as

if, in drinking, sleep and dreams

and thoughts and words all drowned like shipwrecked memories

*

and yet and yet and

yet we live and breathe and feed our fates,

our lives float free of us.

***

*

he sits with his knights,

his ladies, fools, his dogs and serfs and clowns

one sated, bloated, slumbering moment

*

comes as if to himself

in the din of that great hall

on his island in the lake –

*

sees in that moment

the ghosts of future feasting,

woken when he wakes.

 

Omm

twelfth night, 2018

 

 

Binnenhof The Hague in about 1290

Hall of Knights (Ridderzaal), Binnenhof, The Hague in the eighteenth century

new year 1296, the hague – floris wakes in the binnenhof (five haiku)


fazed, floris looks out

across the lake from his tower:

chilled, sluggish morning –

*

his household sleeping

off the feast, he’s alone, but for

the stork and the swan

*

one roosting above

on the roof, one swimming below –

fog-filled sky foreboding.

*

he rises from the bed

behind the banqueting hall,

kisses his lover –

*

blessing his domain

– his folk, that mindless morning –

his dark fate untold.

Omm

new year’s day 2018

 hollywood kilonova

in hollywood, our

sublunar gutter-cosmos,

the walk of fame shames

*

collapsed stars, black holes

collide, merge – an afterglow

of platinum, gold

*

counterstellar dust,

like that brute shapeshifter’s lust

ravishing Leda

*

rapist in swan’s form:

sky father, king of gods, power

launched in Helen’s face

*

engendering revenge –

Iphigenia, Clytaemnestra

and Argos dead (the dog…)

*

this darkwebbed media:

supernova’d starfuckers

named, shamed, bollocked up

 *

chorus of neutron sleaze:

lost starlets – tricked-, sucked-, fucked-up –

patriarch swansong

*

now mobs bay and rip

lives apart in shitstorm tweets

of #metoo fascism

*

in our black hole of fame

everyone’s-got-it-infamy –

carry on hollywood.

*

Omm

october 2017


zuiderstrand, the hague

from boardwalks buried
in the bed of that steep dune

you step on the beach –

*

sandscapes shift, air-borne,

you’re a visitor here, as

timelessly moving

  *

as sea waves wash off

infinite fictions of earth –

mere specks on a spot in space.

*

Omm


october 2017




la muse et la petite mort – a sonnet

la muse et la petite mort

 

i sometimes wish I didn’t love you yet

so much that I do I do for you but

nothing ever works for us both, and words mistook cut

us up and out of our connection, when we let them.
*
i always love the way you never get

stuck on stuff – some folk would fall into a rut

when hard and heavy tribulations put

their lives on hold – thoughts mired like fish in a net.
*
but you, you seem to blithely slip

through that wide open ocean of freedom

from all the drifting flotsam pains you ever met
*
setting sail on a climactic far-out trip

through wine-dark heavens, where you and all our friends can come –

loving, yet somehow wishing we didn’t love you, yet…
*

       April 2017

in our happy hour 

  in our happy hour

  blooming among wild tulips

   sappily sprung in spring –

  *

   fresh April showers fall,

  sweeten earthy sluggish veins –

    riffs of birdsong wake

    *

       liminal lovers

    on the season’s bare threshold,

     shivering off the cold –

       *

    shed our chrysalis clothes,

      winter’s pale accessories,

        emerging nude, fresh –

         *

    limitless like love

    shaken from hibernation

        in our happy hour

__________________
freddie omm , april 2017

sexy, slightly scary (her sweet self)


She’s sweet like a friend

Yet sexy, slightly scary

Like no one other

  *

You like her. She smiles

The smile of one who knows that

That liking you feel

    *

Likes her for her self

Like she wishes she could too

But she doesn’t like

    *

Like herself… She says

She can’t explain how she likes

What she likes in words

   *

She has this dream

In which she merges in her

Lies of love with others like

     *

She’s living some truth

Neither selfish nor selfless

– Like her to be both –

     *

Sweet, wholesome, love-scarred

And sexy, exposed – scared that

She’s just like herself

     *

But is not herself –

Like no one else is oneself:

We’re like each other.

shoredays, yoredays: seven haiku on a beach

DSC02124

now, then, soon – shoredays,

wave-lapped hours, wind-spun and warm

like summer kisses

*

blown in midwinter

distillated on our lips

blissed out, oh! timeless

*

yoredays – flown, but here

with you forever, come spring

and the buds and birds –

*

skies drunk on light, blue

till blacked-out, then flopping blank

on a spinning globe

*

summerled like myth,

tripping out on dewy toes –

yoredays, yours, mine, theirs,

*

the only sure thing

left is love in all our lives,

strewn along the dunes

*

days of sun, shoredays –

all transilluminated,

hewn in memory

DSC02120

who am i (lana wachowski)

for lana wachowski

001Lana-Wachowski

… who am i, and when

wachowski to wachowska

metamorphosized

was there a moment

before i became me? – no,

and yet i wonder…

♥♥

what turns us queerly

recast in a different film

to act against type?

♥♥♥

(type?) (without a face?)

life’s not some single screenplay…

(type?) (without a cast?)

♥♥♥♥

we ask ourselves this

not knowing if an answer

ever was, will be:

♥♥♥♥♥

never yet someone,

neither a nonentity

nor quite nobody

♥♥♥♥

mostly we don’t ask

for fear of wondering, lost

in rapt selflessness

♥♥♥

one eye on the road

which tears our lives inside out

one hand on the wheel

♥♥

and we become one

body, not anybody,

don’t ask who am i…

♥♥

22nd January 2014

note:

i admire lana wachowski’s work a lot and also her general attitude to stuff (as far as one can make out from her few public statements) – she combines humour with intelligence and experimentation – artistic bravery, openminded energy, a sense of inspirational anarchy…

i wrote this poem in one go last night just after i’d been thinking about her life so far.

(it is likely to get edited, tweeted and played with, being in the nature of an experiment, one of my haiku chains…)

love became a lonely land: autumnal haiku chain

leaves on loam

leaves like love let go

spiral down to snoozing earth,

dark, russet-brown loam.

*

when fall took those leaves

love became a lonely land—

warmth withdrawn, wan sun’s

*

waning light bled slow

blind trails of mud and sodden

footsteps veined with ice

*

wan sun's waning light bled slow blind trails

where ghosts shadowed past,

skulked all through that leafless land

to haunt our autumns…

*

stark, unfelled, strange-boughed—

love’s remains in lonely land:

bare old beeches, clumped,

*

storm-ridden and gaunt,

sheltering our homeless hearts,

winterblown—like us,

*

love’s a vagabond

wandering to a nameless place

of endless leaving—

*

on tracks untravelled

from fall to spring, we will see

leaves, let go, return.

leaves, let go, return

leaves, let go, return

___________________________________________________________________________________

 – I originally wrote this haiku chain on Twitter — a bad habit of mine — poetry on Twitter being so hit and miss, nobody’s looking for it — but I find it a good place maybe for knocking out a first draft.

– When I’d written it I thought Love is a lonely land was a new phrase but then I checked and I saw I had actually lifted it (subconsciously…) from an old, sweet song.

–  This was Billie Holiday’s beautiful, mournful Deep Song (by Cory and Cross), which includes the line:

Love lives in a lonely land

and ends:

Love is a barren land, a lonely land/A lonely land.

–  That’s a song I must have listened to more than a couple dozen times since childhood (my parents also loved Billie Holiday).

– At any rate, my haiku chain has ended up as a sort of retort — a positive echo if you like — to the somewhat bleak sentiments of Deep Song

– So thanks to Billie, Cory and Cross!

– And here’s their song in all its glory:

Billie Holiday: Deep Song