How to Read a Poem

First, get an audience.
That’s the most important
Thing. Someone to fucking
Read to.

Then pick a poem.
Any poem.
And read it.

Look down at your book
The whole time.
Fuck the audience.
You don’t owe them anything.

Make sure to take a

Pause at the end of each
That’s how real poets

Do it like Shatner.

When you’re done,
Just leave.
No questions.
No autographs.

And they’ll all applaud
Because they got to see James
Fucking Franco
Read a poem.

Zombie Sonnet 5

I came home for Christmas break and
You said you had a new game I had to play.
You said I’d love it, and of course you were right.
A co-op zombie shooter? Duh.
Soon we were playing through all
The campaigns together and Mom was
Getting tired of hearing “Boomer! Smoker!”
Being shouted in the living room when
She was trying to enjoy wrapping presents.
But now you’re gone.
I have the sequel on my laptop but
It’s not the same with a keyboard instead of a controller.
And it’s too weird to play through the game

Poem for the Blackhawks

Once, when I was in
New York – not
When I was filming Spider-Man
But another time

I went ice skating at
Rockefeller Center. I
Went slow at first, got
Used to the slipperiness

Of the ice. But then
I was off. Speed
Skating around the rink.
Then a double Axel.

Then a triple Axel.
I was on ice fire.
I grabbed a hot chick
Who was a little bitchy about

The whole thing tbh
And we pulled off a routine
That Olympic skaters can
Only dream of.

Flakes of ice melted
Off my skates
My breath fogged the air
Applause deafened my ears.

Every time I go back to
Rockefeller I get
In for free.
I’m a fucking legend.

What’s that?
Oh, right.
Congrats to the Blackhawks
On winning the 2015 Stanley Cup.

Zombie Sonnet 4

I didn’t like the first Evil Dead.
I thought it was boring. And the zombies.
Looked so fake. I barely finished the movie.
I don’t know why I bothered to see the second one.
I was a teenager. Maybe I was bored. Maybe it
Was because Netflix wasn’t a thing yet. But
I’m glad I did because Evil Dead 2 was fantastic.
A zombie comedy. I couldn’t believe it.
I still remember that one joke.
‘A Farewell to Arms.’
It was so perfect. I watched that scene again and again.
I know Army of Darkness is everyone’s
Favorite, but I still prefer 2.
I just can’t pass up a Hemingway joke.

Zombie Sonnet 3

Resident Evil was one of the first PS1 games I bought.
When I started the game for the first time I was expecting
Those blocky 3D graphics that looked so good at the time,
But instead I saw a film in black and white, with real actors.
I was confused. I had to check and make sure I was actually playing
A video game. But then I got past the intro and found myself perfectly
At home. Except I was armed only with a knife and the PS1 controller
Was alien plastic in my hands. I could barely move Chris across the screen
Let alone aim a knife. I slashed in vain at the air. The first
Zombie I ran into killed me with ease.
One single, damn zombie and I was dead.
I started over as Jill, and did a lot better. She had a gun, and
I could figure out how to aim that. It’s weird to look back
Now and think how scary I found that game.

An Ode to All the Pussy I Got While Working at McDonald’s

If I said I worked at McDonald’s
You might think I would talk
About poor wages, long hours,
And no benefits.
But I was there for three whole months

And, shit, I got laid a lot.

If you do a bad accent for
A girl in the drive thru
She will be all on your dick.
It’s a fact.
Bronx works best.

Or you can pretend to be Italian.
They’ll ask for lessons.
You can start by teaching them
Haha, get it?

Working at McDonald’s
Was probably the best time
Of my life.
Plenty of chicks to bang
Nobody relying on me for anything

No pressure to be James Franco.

Zombie Sonnet 2

You woke up alone, abandoned in a hospital bed, and I wondered,
How did he survive? Stuck in a bed, no food, no water for 28 days…
But you did. Maybe they hooked you up to an IV or something.
The zombies in this one are practically human. Fast and smart.
It took me a long time to realize that’s because they aren’t
What you have to fear. They’re dangerous, sure. But not
Nearly as cruel or frightening as Major West and his gang.
Armageddon brings out the worst in us. When cities crumble, so does
Our humanity and we’ll find any excuse to justify our behavior.
West said it was all for his men. He’d promised them.
There are two endings, but I like the one where you die the best.
It seems fitting, somehow. Nobody should get to survive
The end of the world without paying a large price.
Not even an innocent like you.

Zombie Sonnet 1

Before there were hordes of them pounding hungrily on the doors
Of the mall, before there were thousands upon thousands
Of them choking the highways and leaving the bones of entire
Cities behind in their wake, there were just a few.
Just a few survivors trapped in a house.
Just a few zombies coming after them.
And that was enough.  The idea of the dead returned
To life, hungry for the flesh and organs of their former kin
Was enough to terrify, to chip neatly away
At the fragile illusions that underpin our reality.
In the end we find that the true monsters,
The truly dangerous ones, will always be the living.
Poor Ben.  To see everyone else die while you lived,
Only to be shot, mistaken for the creatures you fought.

I’m Just Going to Adapt Everything John Steinbeck Wrote into a Film Because Fuck It

Sometimes I think about
How people will remember me
And how it will probably be for Spider-Man,
And that’s a shitty way to go.

I decided to adapt everything John Steinbeck wrote
Into a film.  Then they’ll remember me
As smart and well-read,
Not crazy and shirtless.

Skip East of Eden.
Too mainstream.
Start with its lesser known cousin,
In Dubious Battle.

Then we move on to
The Winter of Our Discontent.
Keep with the Shakespeare references.
Wait, shit,

I think the first was a Milton reference.
Fuck it.
Skip to his first novel, Cup of Gold.
Nobody’s ever heard of it, so serious lit cred.
Also, pirates.

Fuck, I’m awesome.

Romney in Raleigh

This week’s poem is a parody of the poem James Franco wrote for Obama’s 2012 inauguration.  Link to the original poem and a video of James trying to read it like a serious artist in footnotes.1)–231846640.html

Trigger Warning: This poem contains Time Travel.

Raleigh, North Carolina has an art museum full of
Rodin sculptures.  They’re reproductions, but
They’re considered original because they were cast
From Rodin’s original plasters.
Rodin sculptures are weird like that.

While I was in Raleigh, they asked me
To write a poem for Mitt Romney’s inauguration,
Just in case he won.
Don’t worry about Obama, they said.
We’ve got a real poet for that.

Well, fucking fine, but I don’t
Know what to write.
Romney’s about as far from a guy like me
As you can get.  So I wrote a few friends
Asking for advice, but they all said
I was on my own.

So then I drank a bunch of decaf Red Bulls
And took a long, long nap.
When I woke up, through my Red Bull hangover
I could see that sometimes the person who can see you
Most clearly is your opposite, so I wrote this poem.

I met Mitt Romney in an out of the way
Diner in 2011.
He was eating a Cobb salad.
I sat there for a long time looking at him
Before I got up the courage to approach him.

I sat across from him.  He looked up.
He said he hadn’t liked me much in Spider-Man,
But everyone else seemed to, so kudos to me.
I smiled at him.
“Binders full of women,” I said.

Romney looked confused.
He didn’t understand me.  It was my fault.
I’d forgotten that he was from 2011,
But I was from the future.
“Never mind,” I said, “You’ll get it someday.”

I wonder if, when he uttered those words
At the debate, he thought of me and smiled.
And maybe changed his mind about
The whole Spider-Man thing.

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