If, While Traveling, He Could Stay at “The Most Expensive Hotel in the World”: Frederick Seidel in the Times


Frederick Seidel, the 73-year-old motorcycle-and-luxury obsessed poet, is the subject of a long profile in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine, ranging over everything from Seidel’s infamous “Climbing Everest” (“A naked woman my age is just a total nightmare”) to his childhood in St Louis, where there were “very large beautifully dark blue trucks with very chaste excellent elegant white lettering saying seidel everywhere you went.” That’d be those that supported the family business, which has kept Seidel in high style his entire life. The occasion is this week’s release of Poems 1959-2009 (FSG), an omnibus which ought to end any residual skepticism about Seidel’s outsized talent. “I think it’s an unembarrassed tone,” he says in the piece, responding to a question about what so riles and offends surprisingly large masses of people about his work, “a calmly unembarrassed tone while saying something ‘unacceptable.’ The word unacceptable of course has quotes around it. They are unapologetic, the poems are — I am — the tone is.”

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