Exclusive: Read James Franco’s New Poetry

2 minute read

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

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