Frederick Seidel

Frederick Seidel’s latest collection is Peaches Goes It Alone.

Poem: ‘Moto Poeta’

Frederick Seidel, 1 August 2019

Now and again, I feel a throb Passing through my body like a sob, Which is both painless and of no consequence, Like a wave washing up on a beach, But which feels like or prompts the thought It may be the beginning of a stroke,

But probably it is just the irregular heartbeat Of atrial fibrillation (AFib) Or starting up a reluctant motorcycle. The word throb makes it sound As if it had to do...

Poem: ‘The Blue Suit’

Frederick Seidel, 7 June 2018

Richard Anderson, master Savile Row tailor, Opens the eleventh-floor hotel room door Wearing a new suit so blue It makes me smile, Something no suit has been able to do for quite a while. Welcome to room 1111 at the Carlyle.

When earlier in the morning Richard crossed the street To the pharmacy opposite, A stranger coming out of Zitomer’s cried out, ‘My God, that suit is

Every time I sleep I leave a stain. When I wake up, I climb out of a drain And step into my feet and it is plain That when I walk away I leave a lane Of garbage on the carpet in the train.

Francisco Franco (El Caudillo) pokes his head up from the drain Where he’s been hiding with Saddam Hussein. He waterboards the peasants with champagne. Now maybe they’ll vote to give this...

Poem: ‘In Late December’

Frederick Seidel, 15 December 2016

For Mitzi Angel

The man using the pay phone on Wall Street, His back to you, is using it as a urinal, And urinating – only logical! Our degradation is complete.

The young woman, a crazy smile pickled in brine, Cross-legged on the sidewalk in a T-shirt that says TOMORROW, Holds a sign telling her sad story. She’s reading a paperback of Lolita, stealthily, behind the sign.


Poem: ‘Trump for President!’

Frederick Seidel, 30 June 2016

A perfect week for digging up the block. If you care, you repair The infrastructure or it will despair. Bear with the noise! We aren’t made of air.Tyrannosaurus rex on tires, gorging horribly, Fucks the street in bursts and jerks. The operator riding it bucks and charges forward And resumes his hippopotamus mouthfuls.

The scene’s a slaughterhouse With dead meat screaming....

A popular clip on YouTube shows a local news reporter trying to interview a costume-shop owner who’d been charged with cyberstalking. The woman is dressed as a giant rabbit and refuses to...

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Two Americas and a Scotland

Nicholas Everett, 27 September 1990

Whether in person or in print, self-consciousness is unsettling. Self-conscious writers, like self-conscious speakers, can’t help betraying that they’re more concerned with their...

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Venisti tandem

Denis Donoghue, 7 February 1985

A year or two ago, Geoffrey Hartman urged literary critics to declare their independence. They should not regard criticism as an activity secondary to the literature it addressed, but as an art...

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