Every year I get older
And it’s so frustrating
To be too young to talk
About getting old. I used to drive everyday
To the Starbucks on the far end of town and order
A tall mocha, skim milk with whip cream. The barista practically
Had it made before I walked in the door.
I would sit in the corner, not drinking, just watching.
Not wanting to stay, but having nowhere in particular
To go. I measured my days in coffee cups and disposable paper sleeves
I could have become a clock maker and let the hours drip by
One by one into tiny espresso cups.
But fuck it, I’d rather be a poet instead.
This poem was written by me in 8th grade, and I think it makes a pretty good Franco poem. No edits have been made.
Sitting outside the parking garage
lips pink with cherry slime
waiting for a break in the clouds
It was me and you too.
Watching the flowers wilt and
the cars break down.
Is it guns or roses?
I can’t remember why.
I’m walking home all alone
by the street lamps with
only a dull buzz for company.
It came so close
right there in front of my eyes
It slid to the side
and hit you instead.
It’s a game I play.
I start out quiet, nostalgic,
Reflect on my childhood or
Take you to Disneyland.
But as the verses roll on
And the words are released
I get closer and closer to the moment
And I just can’t stop myself.
I take out my dick.
I know it’s vulgar, but I have to do it.
It’s hard to let emotion out.
To explore yourself on paper.
To let everyone see you.
I’d rather hide behind my dick,
Or talk about finger fucking
This girl I used to know.
I’ll drop the F-bombs, too. Fuck and fag.
Have I got your attention now?
It’s 3 a.m. again, James,
And you’re still awake
Turning pages in old books
Letting beautiful words pass by your eyes
But you’re not actually reading them,
You’re not actually feeling them.
They’re just marks on a page for you
Right now. You’re up all night again.
It seems safer to be awake at night because
You think we can’t see you clearly,
But we still can, James,
Or at least as much of you as there ever was.
You’re anxious, afraid to sleep.
You want to ‘play all the roles’
Collect all the characters
Line them up neatly in a row
Pick and choose the one you want
Maybe this one will actually fit.
Sorry, but you can’t be everyone, James.
There are too fucking many of us.
You’ll drive yourself crazy this way,
Trying on lives like hats.
Worst of all you’ll forget
To play the most important role of all.
Put the books down.
Turn off the TV.
Sleep isn’t as scary as it seems
And I promise Lindsay can’t stalk you in your dreams.
Good night, James Franco.
I’m in love with old movies.
Color, present, but just off,
Like someone has carefully buffed away
The harsh edges of reality
Long before Photoshop could.
The sound has a certain quality,
A buzz, maybe or a tinniness.
It sounds like the past,
Like a fake soundtrack recorded to demonstrate
What something might have sounded like.
It’s comforting, somehow
I know I’m watching a movie and
Don’t have to worry about reality right now.
Sometimes movies today are too real,
They make it hard to forget.
But I know someday a future me
Will watch a movie from 2015 and think,
‘I prefer it when movies were this way.’
I’ll miss the strange cadence with we used to talk
And the pop music that played in the background.
Maybe I’ll write a poem then,
And it’ll sound just like this one.
Jason drove me to work
Every morning for months.
He had coffee for me.
His name may not have been
Jason. That sounds like a name
You make up for someone when
You’ve forgotten their name.
I don’t remember much about
Jason, like his last name
Or if he had a family.
Hell, I remember more about the
Fucking warehouse we were filming in.
People are props that litter
My world, useful until
They disappear, unneeded.
Like Jason’s coffee,
I drink them and then they are
Why am I so fucking alone?
In second grade I moved
To a different suburb
Only half an hour away
But it felt like
Hundreds and hundreds of miles.
The teachers were nice enough,
And I guess so were the kids,
But they all played with pogs
And I had no idea
What those were.
I had an illustrated copy of
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Edited for children and when
I read it unabridged I was upset
Because there were no pictures.
I didn’t have a crush
On anyone, because
I was eight years old
And much more interested in
Someday owning a horse.
And I never secretly
Watched someone take a shit.
Why would I want to?
That’s fucking weird.
Imagine Holmes stepping in dog shit on the moors.
Every day for months I walk into the same coffee shop,
Order the same drink from the same barista and then
Read the same book while I drink it. But today
When the barista takes my money he grabs my hand, rough
Skin trapping my wrist and invites me to a sex party.
Put a jump cut here. Pull away from the emotion,
The characters. Focus on the message. Don’t make me feel
The awkwardness, the fear, and worse, the curiosity,
The desperate desire to know what happens
In houses where people fuck and then discard each other.
C’est vraiment dégueulasse.
I pull back. Smash cut. Run away, down Queen Street, to
The safety of noise and people, until I stand, blocks away,
I cast my net wide
In search of love,
Dragging the seas endlessly
For what ought to be an easy catch.
Love caught me in its current,
Pulled and pulled me
Until the waves washed me here
(This line doesn’t make sense)
To this shithole.
Here I find empty cans, lost scarves,
Broken bottles and old refrigerators,
Packages with their logos long washed away.
I collected them,
Diverse fragments of love’s
Memory, coalescing and breeding
On this monstrous island.
If a garbage patch is all
That love offers,
I’ll be its king.
Gather what supplies I can.
I can work with this.
With shredded paper for hair
And an old rug for the torso
I can make myself a lover.
Or maybe I’ll just jack off instead.