The Sarah Who Hates James Franco Talks to the Sarah Who Loves James Franco


So, I’m going to get right to it:  Why do you love that crazy bastard?



I think people make the mistake of thinking I’m a legit fan of his.  Let me ask you this:  Do you love Big Trouble in Little China?






Why?  Because it’s a good piece of art?



No, it’s terrible, but I love it!



Exactly.  It’s not going to win an Oscar, but it’s goofy, over the top, and fun to watch.  That is exactly why I love James Franco.



Right, but watching Big Trouble in Little China doesn’t hurt anyone, whereas giving James Franco more attention just encourages him to be more of a douchebag.



I thought about that before we started this site.  Eventually I decided that he’s going to continue being an ass – posting half naked pics of himself, writing shitty poetry and using grant funding to get it published,1)I shit you not, Directing Herbert White was funded by grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and Target(yes, that Target), among others according to the lovely copyright page in the front of the book.  Don’t you just feel angry now? holding “art” exhibitions in the name of spreading awareness about art when it’s really about his ego, and so on – whether I make fun of his poetry or not.  So I might as well use my own art to take him down a peg, even if it barely makes an impact.



That’s the point of satire.



Yes, I love satire.  It gives power to the powerless, voice to the voiceless, and nobody is immune to it.



Let’s talk about his ego for a moment.  It’s why I hate him.  Why does he have to do everything mediocre when he could do just acting fairly well?



Yeah, and it’s why I love him.  He’s a lot like us.  Think about it.  How long have we dreamed of having a novel published?  Or having a short story in a magazine?



Our whole lives.



Right.  So imagine if we had some kind of power – celebrity, money, connections – that would let us skip all the hard work and just magic that novel into being?



It wouldn’t be the same as a book we worked hard on.



I agree, it wouldn’t.  But it is tempting, isn’t it?  Now imagine that we’re surrounded by people who tell us that it’s not because of celebrity/money/connections, it’s because we’re really good authors and this is a really good book.



It gets harder to say no.



Almost impossibly hard.  My point is, when you want something very bad, it gets hard to avoid the temptation to get it the easy way, even if we know that getting it the easy way renders the victory completely meaningless.



But you need to resist that temptation.



Everything worth doing is difficult.  That’s actually why I like writing, and why I love Editor Sarah.  She’s beautifully ruthless.



She does take a kind of sadistic pleasure in cutting lines.



But we didn’t always have her.  We developed her over years of hard work.  If we’d gone the Franco way, she might not even exist.



That’s kind of sad.  Are you trying to make me feel bad for Franco, now?



No.  He made his own bed, and besides, we all have our own individual struggles.  But maybe that’s another reason why I love him.  He’s us if we never committed ourselves to one kind of art.



There but for the grace of God go we.






I’m confused.  Do we hate him or love him?




   [ + ]

1. I shit you not, Directing Herbert White was funded by grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and Target(yes, that Target), among others according to the lovely copyright page in the front of the book.  Don’t you just feel angry now?


How awesome am I?
Let’s make a list.
I’m an actor, a painter, a writer, a poet,
Basically anything I want to be.

Except happy.

I’ve got plenty of fans
But no real friends
So I lock myself away
And live in fiction instead.

There’s so much more
I could say
But I’ve never been
The reflective type.

So let’s talk about dicks
Because that’s all anyone
Wants to talk about

If you believe the poems
I peaked in high school
Or maybe that’s just all
I remember because

That was the last time I was real.

Stop Me If You’re Tired of Reading Poems About High School

It’s all parties
At someone’s parent’s house,
Drinking and getting high.

Blowjobs in the bathroom.
Getting laid on a
Basement couch.

You think you’re showing us
What it’s really like,
The grime under the surface.

But you’re really showing us
The grime the media
Showed you.

There’s more
To teenagers than

They’re real
Human beings,
With hopes and dreams.

But you can only see that
If you look back with some

Not if you look back
And wish you’d never left.


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.

8th Grade Poetry

This poem was written by me in 8th grade, and I think it makes a pretty good Franco poem.  No edits have been made.

Fuzzy Memories

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.


I Put My Dick in Everything

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.1)I’m not very comfortable using this word, but Franco does, and often enough that I feel I have to comment on it.

Have I got your attention now?

   [ + ]

1. I’m not very comfortable using this word, but Franco does, and often enough that I feel I have to comment on it.

Good Night, James Franco

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.
Good night.

Old Movies

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?

Eight Years Old

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.