Monday, November 14, 2011

Frederick Seidel


I think you do
But it frightens you
I have the guns
In the car.

I wanted to save
Someone and
The rest. It will happen.
I will take you hostage.

Also I wasn't
Going to fall in love
But when you're fleeing
You're flying.

Someone had to take
My blindfold off for me to
Just take off. I turn the key in your ignition.
Contact! The propeller flickers.

We are taking off to
Have another

For the road. Burn the birth certificates.
Run the roadblock.
All the whirling lights
On the roofs of their cars.

They're going to check
The trunk and find our bodies.
I won't.
We jump out firing.

I am already in you.
I am rafting down your bloodstream.
That is already over.
I have entered.

Frederick Seidel is offensive, savage, sinister, and yet in his poems, one can't exactly tell if this persona (elite, sleazy, macho) is being celebrated or satirized. That is the power of his poetry. The speaker seems delighted and afloat in his nightmarish, materialistic world--and yet he becomes cartoonish, absurd, as if partaking in self-ridicule. The offensive brutality of Seidel struggles with a delicacy and satirical sensibility. This conflict is not resolved by the poem or figured out by the reader. Heidegger might say there is concealment and an unveiling in Seidel's work. A rift and a striving that never finds an end.

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