Strongest of the Litter

I tried so genuinely hard to like James Franco’s poetry,
sneaking verses at the warehouse
while my manager took phone calls,
pulling meat from his thin chapbook,
his full length,
the back of his art book.

he played such a pretty Ginsberg,
read Howl on screen better
than any of my friends in my living room,
even better than me,
drunk on Ginsberg’s birthday,
yelling to the Brooklyn Bridge.

so I tried very hard to like it.
And he slung high school sex around
like the Hercules of cock I already assumed of him
and packed weed smoke tight into his verse,
and knew how to curse like an adult,
writing “pussy” and “cunt” without flinching.

and it all amounted to very pretty
drivel, and this poem too, and anyways,
no one is writing hate mail these days and he
didn’t respond when I mailed him my best
work, so maybe he’ll read this, and tell me
it’s very good, and never of us will ever
get a bigger break than this, because

at least the hate is raw and he caused it,
and I’ll take all the approval I can get,
even on the drivel,
from anyone at all.


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