Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Alpha Poet

Meet Frederick Seidel.

Fred is a poet. Fred is very, very wealthy. But I couldn't tell you how Fred got his money, because Fred doesn't go bleating all over the media about these things. Fred is discreet, you see; he's classy.

So what does he do with his money? Well, he buys and races custom-built Ducati motorcycles. Did I mention that he's 73 years old? He travels all over the world. He's been to lots of "interesting" third-worldy countries in places like Africa and Southeast Asia. But if his poems are to be believed, what he really loves are Italy, Paris, London, New York. There he dines in the finest restaurants, wears clothes from the finest tailors, fucks beautiful women, and writes his poems.

Fred is not a dilettante poet; he's a real poet. If you are imagining Richard Branson writing poems, think again. People will be reading these for their literary merits a long, long time from now. In fact, nobody but his other extremely wealthy friends would have any idea who Frederick Seidel is if it weren't for his extraordinary poems. He reminds me a lot of the late 19th-century French writer Guy de Maupassant, who was also very wealthy and was not afraid to enjoy his wealth, who fucked half the young aristocratic women in fin-de-siecle Paris and sailed around in a three-man boat in the Mediterranean, and who also wrote some of the most beautiful little aphorisms and prose-poetry you will ever find.

A poet like Seidel could never have come out of the university writing program mill that churns out boring femynyst poet after churlish gray eunuch poet. Here are Fred's topics: sex, fucking, girls, death, terrorists, motorcycles, luxury hotels, slavery, history, literature, fucking, girls, sex, death, and sex. And fucking.

Here's a section from his poem "Rilke," which imagines a day in the life of the great German lover and poet Rainer Maria Rilke.

He's late to her. He thinks of her, waiting,
Limb by limb.

Her defenselessness and childlike trust!
Smiling to be combed out
And parted—and her lust
Touching the comb like a lyre.
To have been told by her not to trust her!

And he distrusts her.

And everywhere he sees
Hunchbacks and addicts and sadists
In braces in the cities,
Roosting in their filth,
Or plucking the trees,
In New York for true love,
In Boston for constancy.
You can be needed by someone
Or needy, thinks Rilke.

They clutch their loves like addicts
Embracing when they see
Hot May put out her flowers.
Or clutch themselves. They can't shake free.

It's beautiful, and it flows. But notice the alpha behavior. I'm serious. He's late to meet his girl. She's just laying there waiting for him. He sees the couples that clutch at each other like addicts, with contempt. Like the boys I see hanging off their women in the train. They won't be happy in the long run.

The next one is from the beginning of the poem "Casanova getting older." Can you hear the voice of the world-weary lover? He's so jaded, and meanwhile every little precious woman he takes to bed somehow views it as the most momentous occasion.


Do they think they are being original when they say
This is a new thing for me to ask, and ask
Do you love me?
Everyone these days keeps asking
Do you love me?
Everyone says
This is a new thing for me to ask.
The answer is yes.
This is a new thing for me to ask.

The answer is yes I don't.
Do you love me?
The answer is yes.
The eyes glisten with feeling.
The creature hath a purpose and its eyes are bright with it.

The woman is merely "the creature," and the poet has given her purpose just by wearily answering, "Yes, darling, I love you."

Seidel has lots of other wonderful poems about different things: tropical locales, motorcycle racing, terrorists blowing up trains full of lovely japanese schoolgirls, etc etc. But since this is a blog about sex and sexual dynamics, I will leave you with a final poem along those lines.

People who don't understand gender relations often confuse learning about these things with taking the joy and mystery and spontenaiety out of life. They are completely wrong, of course. Once upon a time no one knew that the stars were just gigantic balls of exploding hydrogen that were very, very far away. They were thought to be gods, or crystals in heaven with the angels, or something. Now the "mystery" of the stars has been taken away, and yet, for me at least, they have lost none of their power.

In this last poem of Seidel's, you can see the man with ultimate, calm and jaded sexual mastery is the same man who can write the most lovely and feeling lines about summer rain hitting the window. Here it is, in it's entirety, called....


Will you? Everything? Anything? Weird stuff, too?
I want to do anything you want me to.
I will meet you in an hour in the mirror.
I will meet you in front of the mirror.

When the cars have their lights on in the daytime when it's raining.
And the full-length bedroom mirror is the hostess entertaining,
And the summer downpour thrillingly thrashes the windows,
My naked in high heels shows me she can touch her toes!

The rainy city outside stretches around the world.
The rainy season inside the mirror gets whirled
Into a waterspout. No doubt
The dolphins in the mirror know what the water is about!

You love it all.
I love it when you make me get down on all fours and crawl.
I put you on a leash and spank you.
I thank you.

The value of a life which will end is unbearable,
And these are just some ways of bearing it. The joy is terrible.
The joy is actually terrible.
The sweetness of life is actually unbearable.

God looks up to His creation by dint of lying on the floor.
God lies there on His back on the carpet and looks. That's what you are for.
Hike your skirt up higher. There is nothing higher or more
Than Him you stand over and adore!

Seidel's publisher, all his books, and some audio of him reading his poems, are here.


  1. You can be needed by someone or needy
    Do you love me? The answer is yes. The eyes glisten with feeling.
    I love it when you make me get down on all fours and crawl.
    Time and again I see that even the most experienced lovers can't shake off a lifelong fascination with what gets women hot.

    It's such precious insight. Women lust for this knowledge in a guy, and fear it at the same time.

    Besides the power one gains from realization, there is tremendous beauty in insight. I wouldn't be able to express it more eloquently than you did in this post:
    the "mystery" of the stars has been taken away, and yet, for me at least, they have lost none of their power

  2. props for the Maupassant reference. he's a favorite of mine who most people that brag about being "well read" have never heard of. it's great to hear about a guy writing about what he lives and getting paid well to do it.

  3. I read "Afloat" (sur l'eau) by Maupassant recently, and it actually blew me away. Not one of his big works, just some random musings he wrote down while sailing around the French Riviera in 1899. But beautiful and quite funny in parts. There was some comment about women that he put down that was really amazing, but I can't find it right now... I think your comment encourages me to do a post about him sometime soon!

  4. "organized religion" is delicious. great post.

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