The Acid Tongue
Selected By Cyril Wong
I got this off Flavorwire and I must confess that I could not resist reading this article all the way to the end: Hollywood celebrities who write poetry — need I say more? Alison Nastasi, author of the article, elaborates: "...most celebs are predictably oblivious and self-absorbed when it comes to their laughably bad writing. See what happens when pop culture icons pretend to be poets and fail miserably."
First up: Suzanne Somers, sitcom-star-turned-hypochondriac who went on Oprah to promote the ridiculous amout of pills she consumes in order to stay youthful through her old age. Her love for everything organic comes across in a poem that Nastasi samples:
Nastasi exclaims: "What deep thoughts does the Thighmaster mistress have..." Then hair-straightened-Friends-star, Jennifer Aniston, soon follows:
Here Nastasi is more forgiving: "There are a few things wrong with this poem, but we can forgive some of it. Jennifer Aniston was feeling the warm fuzzies of her relationship with John Mayer..." I guess we should be more forgiving because Mayer is a dick whose actual penis, as he once publicly claimed, "hates black women".
Next up is Charlie Sheen, whose "groan-worthy 'A Peace of My Mind' contains tragic verses" such as:
"They don't all have to rhyme, Charlie (but, ugh, they do)," Nastasi moans. Pamela Anderson, Britney Spears and Sean Penn follow on, and although their deplorability is obvious and predictable, actor James Franco's poetic contribution is more controversial, since he actually has a book of poetry coming out from Graywolf Press soon; Graywolf Press must be losing money and doing badly. In the actor's poem, "Obama in Asheville", commissioned by Yahoo for the president's second inauguration, Franco "name-drops everyone from King Charles and Spider-Man, to Christopher Hitchens and Katie Holmes. He also mentions 'the little burrito place where they know me.' If that weren't enough to annoy you, he also made a shitty webcam recording...in which he read the poem while looking baked out of his mind and totally bored." (You can find Franco's whole poem, as well as the video, online somewhere — but really, why bother?)
Nastasi also reveals that the late American film actor, Jimmy Stewart, actually published a book of poems in 1989, full of "corny lines" that are "awkward and earnest, and many of them rhyme in a terrible singsong way":
Finally, Nastasi shows us that Richard Grieco (Richard who?) writes poetry that is "pure nightmare fuel" and how Ally Sheedy (remember that movie, Breakfast Club, from the eighties? Never mind...) became "an early poster child for bad celebrity poetry". Nastasi tells us that the actress's poems "should have stayed locked away in her rehab journal", and after reading "On the Road", "we're not sure Sheedy's work has won us over with time":
QLRS Vol. 12 No. 4 Oct 2013