The latest project from multi-hyphenate movie star James Franco will be the book Hollywood Dreaming: Stories, Pictures, and Poems, due out Sept. 23, 2014. The book includes snapshots, short stories, essays and poems — including the two excerpted below.
That was a time we had down in F-L-A.
It was something, like with all movies,
That was special, like a bubble, in which
We all lived, a magic time, where we all
Came together. This is how it iz on all filmz
But this one was special, because them girlz
Was doin’ sumptin like this fo’ the first time
And they wanted to be rescued, di’n’ they.
At first they was excited, and said yes, yes,
Then they was scared, and pulled back,
Because they waz still loyal to all them fanz
Of theirs, the young wunz, impressionable.
But then it changed, once again, when I arrived
Because I waz the electricity that shocked dem
Into place, you see how that happened?
They was hot young things with skillz of sex
That I brought to the fore, and galvanized.
They called you Sean
De Niro because of your
Dedication. An actor
As engrossed in his role
As De Niro, as LaMotta,
You were Spicoli, stoner,
Prophet, entertainer, politico.
Smart enough to know
Not to give too much:
That ordering pizza
In class was the move
That would last.
Everyone loves a loser
If he smiles; everyone
Wants to relax.
Spicoli, in his dream, won
Surf contests, and had babes
On his arms, and was asked:
“A lot of people expected
Maybe Mark ‘Cutback’ Davis
Or Bob ‘Jungle Death’ Gerrard
Would take the honors
This year.” You said,
“Those dudes are fags.”
And when he introduced you
For your nomination for Milk,
De Niro, now your friend, said
He couldn’t believe you
Had been cast in all those
Straight roles, because
In Milk you were such
A fine homo. And when
You and I kissed
On Castro Street, it was for a full minute.
Your beard was like my father’s.
Excerpted from Hollywood Dreaming: Stories, Pictures, and Poems by James Franco, published by Insight Editions. Copyright © 2014 James Franco