A poet of singular voice and unusual passions, Seidel's sixth volume reverts to a style familiar from his second, Sunrise (1980): gossipy, jet-setty, hipper-than-hip, the words of a man who knows his threads, fast motorcycles, beautiful girls. If that sounds more like Austin Powers than a literate cosmopolite, it's only because Seidel seems so impressed with his virility, his suaveness, his good taste. Of course, that's his persona speaking, though it's named ""Fred Seidel,"" a screenwriter hopping the globe and remembering a better New York, the days of champagne and big steaks, the Pierre Hotel in 1946, a better London, and Noel Coward to provide the wit (""The Great Depression""). Name-dropping globally, Seidel describes his fab friend Jimmy Boole, that dissolute wag (""In Memoriam""), and scorns that cad Claus von Bâ€ low, making macabre jokes to his comatose wife (""Dune Road, Southampton""). The title describes the aesthetic that's here-speedy, though hardly ""heady,"" as Seidel avers. His political gestures are just that: chic allusions that seldom transcend a postmodern posturing. Seidel's kinky sex talk seems old hat; his nomadic narcissism recalls James Salter's recent memoir, or Harold Brodkey at his pretentious worst-all annoying because all are capable of brilliance.