Wikipedia Poem, No. 745

“Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba….” Hunter S. Thompson


contemporary show-offs hair and little punchy verbs
in all the right places some high round
oogleables sweet averroes retweets roxane gay

are we desirable astride rare machinery
life jackhammered by rounded-off cobbles wet at four a.m.
pardner don’t get on a bike blazing in medias res down a texas highway

i am the wet cobbles in the sun
set of the innocent machinery
of the life i think of in 1198

superb that i married lois lane
and her red-meat art
don’t come between my motorcycle and that beautiful girl

squeezed between us
three on a bike aflame down a texas highway
i am the machinery of life’s wet cobbles

that i will to live

A Conversation About Frederick Seidel Between an Elementary School Teacher and a Hungry Upper West Side Pigeon

Wikipedia Poem, No. 665

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

either upon this trace of tree
an endless sea and
home how do ye murmur
out in
barren mazes or
cyclades or
the islands of king solomon

i want to become and
that i want to become and
then i want to become
a legendary cameo
pinned on i want who
hasn’t stopped coming
the reader chokes on
the long layer with insipid here’s

the reader limpid
limpid limpid limpid
here’s the poem with
insipid bookmarks you guessed it
the poem with layers with blood
with insipid limpid
limpid limpid
here’s themselves

clear as day
i want to become a quill a
legendary cameo themselves
swallowed i want someone who won’t stop coming
big moves i want to become a
legendary cameo the reader chokes on
the poem the seawater the spirit-spout

with layers
with layers


Frederick Seidel

Wikipedia Poem, No. 446


“The F-16s take off in a deafening flock, / Shattering the runway at the airbase at Cervia.” Seidel

self ego oneself I myself me my humble self number one yours truly yourself himself herself itself yourselves inner self inner man subliminal sub conscious self superego better self ethical self other self alter ego alter alterum

consume spend expend use up absorb assimilate digest ingest eat eat up swallow swallow up gobble gobble up burn up finish finish off exhaust deplete impoverish drain suck dry bleed white suck one’s blood wear away erode ablate waste away throw away squander

superlative supreme greatest best highest veriest maximal maximum most utmost outstanding stickout top topmost uppermost tip-top top-level top-echelon top-notch top-of-the-line first-rate first-class of the first water highest-quality best-quality far and away the best the best by a long shot long chalk head and shoulders above of the highest type A1 A number 1 drop-dead

time duration longue durée histoire événementielle lastingness continuity term while tide space real tmie psychological time biological time tense period time frame time warp cosmic time kairotic time quality time space-time the past the present the future timebinding chronology chronometry chronography horology tempo a sandpile we run our fingers in father time cronus kronos the illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called time

reduce decrease diminish lessen take from lower depress de-escalate damp dampen step down and tune down and phase down or out and scale back or down and roll back or down downgrade depreciate deflate curtail retrench cut cut down or back cut down to size trim away or down chip away at whittle away or down pare pare down roll back deduct shorten abridge compress shrink retrench downsize simplify

Ta-Nehisi Coates reads Frederick Seidel’s “Boys” and “October,” April 2009





Wikipedia Poem, No. 255


“Elmina was Auschwitz.” Frederick Seidel


carrion she depends on charity
tossing love from the third century
braced below by remains clarity

skeletal american military air
base arms force her forward
heart unsuccessfully toward

the hungry police at river edge coup
shed night like a shroud upend
martial chaos and circle overhead



“Dante’s Beatrice” by Frederick Seidel (2006)

I ride a racer to erase her.
Bent over like a hunchback.
Racing leathers now include a hump
That protects the poet’s spine and neck.
I wring the thing out, two hundred miles an hour.
I am a mink on a mink ranch determined not
To die inside its valuable fur, inside my racesuit.

I bought the racer
To replace her.
It became my slave and I its.
All it lacked was tits.
All it lacked
Between its wheels was hair.
I don’t care.
We do it anyway.

The starter-caddy spins its raving little wheel
Against the Superbike’s elevated fat black
Rear soft-compound tire.
Remember: racer
Down for second gear instead of up!
Release the clutch—the engine fires.
I am off for my warm-up lap on a factory racer
Because I can’t face her.

I ride my racer to erase her.
I ride in armor to
Three hundred nineteen kilometers an hour.
I am a mink on a mink ranch about
To die inside its valuable fur,
Inside my leathers.
She scoops me out to make a coat for her.
She buttons up a me of sort warm blur.

Is this the face that launched
A thousand slave ships?
The world is just outstanding.
My slavery never wavers.
I use the word “slavers”
To mean both “drools”
And, changing the pronunciation, “trades in slaves.”
I consider myself most of these.

Mark Peploe and I used to sit around
Cafés in Florence grading
Muses’ noses.
Hers hooks like Gauguin’s,
His silent huge hooked hawk prow.
I am the cactus. You are the hyena.
I am the crash, you the fireball of Jet-A . . .
Only to turn catastrophe into dawn.


From “Poems 1959-2009” Frederick Seidel