Saturday, December 09, 2006

Reading Frederick Seidel's Ooga-Booga. First glance worried me he was Stranding out -- going for vatic, coming off vapid -- but in his lucid stabs at making odd experiences seem familiar he's much better than that, a sort of evil double of Franz Wright. Not by any means as earth-stopping as Adam Kirsch's article suggests, of course (our opinions will never coincide) but Seidel's prosody is usually flawless, his pacing's hot, and his pantomime of ultrasnobisme gives an impression of secret knowledge I haven't felt from poetry since I first came across the New York School. If Sean Carter wanted to step up his wealth-flaunting game he'd do well to take a look, that is, if Seidel weren't a fat freaked-out geezer given to race-baiting.

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