If there’s one person who would love the poetry of James Franco, it’s James Franco.
At least, that level of self-satisfaction shines through in his debut book of poems Directing Herbert White, which was reviewed by The Telegraph. Saying that the book is an “artistic hand grenade” from a man whose every action is “wreathed in a protective thicket of irony and ‘persona,’” the reviewer clearly does not think too highly of this endeavor.
There’s a poem about Heath Ledger that goes like this:
“There had been a time
When we were up for the same roles,
10 Things I Hate about You
(Based on The Taming of the Shrew),
And The Patriot –
Funny, you were Australian and so was Mel –
You were the knight in A Knight's Tale...”
Franco also takes some time in the book to inhabit the headspace of Lindsay Lohan (“Fame raped me. / And I raped it, if you know what I'm saying”) and River Phoenix (“Hello, James, it's River”), a very bizarre choice. The reviewer’s musing that “It all makes you wonder why respected institutions – Faber, New York's Pace Galleries, London's Victoria Miro Gallery – are indulging him” is kind of legitimate, considering the caliber of some of these poems.
Now, please excuse us while we go out and buy our own copy.