James Franco has written a poem to commemorate the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. You should obviously read the whole thing, or don’t, what I meant to say is you should obviously do whatever you want. But here’s just a taste. You can never really take an artist’s work out of context, and you wouldn’t just put PART of a statue on display, but I think you do get a bit of a taste of what the bard is going for here:

I met Obama once, in D.C., the Correspondents’ Dinner.
I was the guest of Vanity Fair, guided through D.C. by the wife
Of Christopher Hitchens, when he was alive. We went to Hitch’s place,
He had books from floor to ceiling, and said he had read

To Borges, when he was blind, Old Icelandic Eddas—
Then we waited in a private room with the likes of Tom Cruise,
And Katie Holmes, and Claire Danes. When Obama entered
The crowd converged. Finally, I got to shake his hand,

He knew me from Spider-Man.

I’m actually watching the inauguration live as we speak and thus far I don’t think Franco has read the poem to the Washington Mall yet, but I’m assuming he will soon. His words echo in the hearts of all Americans, including Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Claire Danes, and Spider-Man. Amen.

Comments (23)
  1. I hope he’s followed by Topher Grace’s poem, “He knew me not from Spiderman/But from That 70s Show/Which remains popular in syndication.”

  2. I shook Obama’s hand one time
    He didn’t know me from anything
    Because I am nobody

    • I’m Nobody! Who are you?
      Are you – Nobody – too?
      Then there’s a pair of us!
      Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

      And just like that, Kate has taken the concept of sampling from uninspired rappers and successfully transitioned it to poetry. Well done.

    • “I’d like to express my love for this comment.
      It’s not everyday where I can’t repeat
      something written verbatim and have to stop
      because I can’t hold in my laughter.” -Me, another nobody.

  3. Someone obviously did his research on authors and artists who spent time in Asheville.

  4. This is the best part, IMO:

    “If I were to act in the film about Obama,
    All I would need to get down, aside from the outer stuff –
    And I know that’s important — is his essential kindness,
    I’d let the writer put in all the political crap”

    Please somebody, cast James Franco as Obama in a movie. This is now my greatest wish.

  5. Such a poet!

    Deep inside the emotion of talking about such a cool president that recognizes him from Spiderman, is a want and need to become him just to win an academy award!

  6. Imma just listen to Solange Knowles on repeat instead. You guys, “Losing You” is so good.

  7. My favourite thing about this is imagining Franco’s delivery of the lines. You know he stops after every few lines and looks around with a smile, so that after his reading people can say they shared “a moment” with him. ESPECIALLY after “I’d let the writer put in all the political crap.”

    • There is a video. I repeat: there is a video. I had to stop after 5 seconds though. It was just too much.

      • GAG! That is horrible. I can’t stand this guy, especially when he’s lying in his room reading his poem from his laptop that is also recording him doing so. Does this guy have no shame?

  8. “He knew me from Spiderman.”

    “Whose villain this is I think I know.”

  9. I’m glad he specified the wife HItchens had when he was alive, as opposed to the one he married after he died. Although, I hear the dead wife and the Obamas did not get along.

  10. “First I called my class at UCLA, and told them to watch Apocalypse Now,
    And that it used Heart of Darkness as a model, and that we’d watch

    Eleanor Coppola’s Hearts of Darkness, the making-of, the following week.
    Then I read Frank’s note. He said he was sleeping twenty hours a day,
    With no symptoms except that he desired sleep
    And just a little more sleep. He’s in his seventies.”

    Just checking: His friend “Frank” is Francis Ford Coppola, right? He’s just being super chill and low-key about it, correct? Because that’s how James Franco rolls, he is not about name-dropping.

    (I watched Freaks & Geeks this AM, the one where Bill dresses up as Wonder Woman – that show is so great that James Franco would have to murder puppies for me to stop loving him just a little).

  11. I’m sure Franco’s first thought upon finishing this poem was “Charles Simic, eat your heart out.”

  12. I feel sorry for all the legitimate poets out there.

  13. He must be stopped.

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