With the Internet abuzz over James Franco's new collection of poetry, "Directing Herbert White," published earlier this week, we got to thinking: has this happened before? Have celebs been penning their experiences in Moleskine notebooks between red carpet premieres and rehab all along? Below, we've collected some of our favorite prose from Hollywood's finest, which all answer this question with a resounding yes, yes they have.
Not only can Kristen Stewart grimace and silently face-judge her way through a movie, but she can also write really weird poetry. In an interview with Marie Claire for her March 2014 cover, she read one of her poems, "My Heart Is A Wiffle Ball/Freedom Pole," aloud and gave them permission to publish the verses in the issue. After numerous readings, we can honestly say we have no idea what this is about -- and what does "strafe" even mean?
Kismetly...ubiquitously crest fallen/
Thrown down to strafe your foothills/
...I'll suck the bones pretty.
Your nature perforated the abrasive organ pumps/
Spray painted everything known to man/
Stream rushed through and all out into/
Something Whilst the crackling stare down sun snuck/
Through our windows boarded up/
He hit your flint face and it sparked." [via]
In her book of collected poems, "Touch Me," published in 1980, the Three's Company and Step by Step actress writes about exactly what you think she would be writing about: that time she wore her green sweater, wanting to be touched (and likewise, to do some touching), and how she'll probably have an affair with the house boy -- but only probably. In this poem, "Beautiful Girls," Somers tells us just how hard being the most attractive person at the party is -- it's a sentiment we don't all relate to, mainly because she tells us so.
"There are rules
For beautiful girls to abide by:
You must notice other women
Or you're a snob
And you must let their men alone
Because every worthwhile man
Belongs to someone.
So men stand back
In deference to their wives
And women stand back
To watch their husbands
And only bores step forward
To tell interminable tales
And get so close
And so enthusiastic
That little spitballs fleck your nose.
And even the single guys
Who look special and exciting
Stand back and give way to the bores
Figuring that a girl as beautiful as you are
Certainly wouldn't have any free time.
But you do-lots of it-
Because there are rules-lots of rules-
For beautiful girls." [via]
In the early '90s, while his tiger blood was flowing young and strong, Sheen self-published a book of poems, "A Peace Of My Mind," and distributed copies to close friends. In this poem, "I.D. Blues," he basically has crowds of people trying to talk to him during dinner, freaks out, and reveals that he's a dead past president. We can't make this stuff up.
"I.D. Blues" by Charlie Sheen
"'Excuse me, aren't you...?'
'Hey, you look just like...'
'Oh my God, that's...'
'Sorry to interrupt your dinner, but aren't you...'
'Look, I never do this, but, my wife thinks you're...'
'My friend is so convinced that you're...'
'I'm so embarrassed, but, aren't you...?'
'I know you must be tired of this, but...'
All eyes held in stare, all mouths locked open in shock, as he pulled the latex Charlie Sheen mask from his head, revealing the rotted skull of President Lincoln." [via]
In Playboy's January 2011 issue, Pamela Anderson was gracing the cover -- and centerfold -- with her various attributes for the 13th time, but for this go-round, she wanted to offer the viewers -- ahem, readers -- something more: poetry. In a poem called "Musings From The Bed Of Pamela," Anderson literally just...muses. We're assuming on a bed. There is really no other way to explain this.
Excerpt from "Musings From The Bed Of Pamela," by Pamela Anderson
"The youth...The wild that rose up from the ashes. The adults...Living and dead that fought for our rights...Artists...Sweet artists...Hold on...Crazy, the world goes on...And goes..." [via]
James Franco has proven to us once again that you can be ridiculously good-looking and still act like that weird kid in middle school that ate glue and laughed to himself in the back of the classroom. In his latest book of poems, "Directing Herbert White," Franco writes about all kinds of stuff, but our favorite might be this excerpt featuring River Phoenix talking to Franco from the afterlife. Is this his way of trolling us, or is he actually serious? Either way, we're still madly in love with him.
Excerpt from "Directing Herbert White," by James Franco
"I died at age 23, ten years before your age now
James, you're the Jesus age." [via]
Celebrities are people, too. So when Rosie O'Donnell writes personal poetry on her blog, we shouldn't be weirded out or anything, right? Her poems include verses about pretty regular things like butterflies, being together with her kids in their Florida house and seeing dolphins. The best part? It's written in early 2000s AIM talk. It'll leave you reminiscing about the days of dial-up and wondering why exactly she decided to upload this to the Internet.
Excerpt from Butterflies, by Rosie O'Donnell
"...mish and i ate with r new neighbors
bob and rita
sincere silly saintly seniors
who make me yearn for parents
ones who kiss me goodnight
with a twinkle in their eye
that says i love u
without having to..." [via]
Britney Spears was having a rough go of it in the mid-2000s, and as if all the paparazzi coverage wasn't enough, she decided to tell the world about all her problems through poetry. Spears posted a poem about her then-husband Kevin Federline to her official website, called "Remembrance Of Who I Am," where she talks about how Federline has poisoned her, practiced voodoo on her, and tried to steal a crown from her?! The disclaimer at the end, "This is for everyone who thinks they know me...", reminds us of the old Britney we knew and loved, circa "Oops, I Did It Again." #SLAYNEY 4 LYFE.
Excerpt from "Remembrance Of Who I Am," by Britney Spears
"...The guilt you fed me
Made me weak.
The voodoo you did
I couldn't speak.
The phone is ringing.
Resurrection of my soul
The fear I'm bringing.
What will you say
And what will you do?
She's not the same person that you're used to.
You trick me one, twice, now it's three.
Look who's smiling now
Damn, it's good to be me!" [via]
For his BAFTA appearance in 2002, Russell Crowe recited a few verses, and at the 2009 Empire film awards, he did it all over again when accepting the "Actor of our Lifetime" award. The poem takes lines from other famous works, and seems to be his way of giving advice to the crowd while at the same time talking about what a poet he is.
Imagine there's no heaven.
I don't know if you're loving somebody. To be a poet and not know the trade, to be a lover and repel all women. Twin ironies by which great saints are made, the agonising pincer-jaws of heaven.
If you can walk with crowds and keep your virtue, walk with kings but not lose the common touch, if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much;
yours is the earth and everything that's in it and what's more, you'll be a man.
It's only words, and words are all I have, to take your breath away." [via]
Amber Tamblyn, the creative-yet-misunderstood one in our favorite pre-pubescent movie, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, is actually just as artsy-fartsy in real life, having published two books of poetry and co-founding the nonprofit Write Now Poetry Society. Yeah, we had no idea either. In the poem "Laurel Gene," Tamblyn talks about what it's like to be a star that isn't in the spotlight anymore, and damn, it's actually pretty good.
Excerpt from "Laurel Gene" by Amber Tamblyn
"...When I vacuum I think of Ingmar Bergman
fucking me from behind. I open
like the palms of Julius Caesar to a crowd.
Men used to rearrange their months to fit my seasons.
I suck a finger then the caldron in his tip.
He films my apron sticking to the sweat.
Makes this bad heart a pulse from the sky.
I am a distant explosion of myself again. A star." [via]
Who would've thought Chuck Bass had a sensitive side? In an interview with People Magazine back in 2008, the actor decided to share some memorized verses that he says he wrote at "like six in the morning," about someone in a dress. Although he claims the poem doesn't mean anything, we know Blair must've had something to do with it.
"Tell me what you want?
You've got it all.
Things are real in a handshake.
Rest my bones these days in a different way.
Cherish the change; it may not stay.
I remember your dress,
Like dreams when you wake with a sudden start.
You're beside me in the dark,
Wrapped in my arms.
Love is being entranced in a glance,
To muster up courage when you're flustered,
To stumble on the words you prepare.
Don't worry about the money that went down the drain
Because the best things in life are free." [via]
Leonard Nimoy is way more emotional than his Vulcan counterpart -- the actor has published a few collections of super sappy poetry and in our personal fave -- "You Fill Me With Your Love" -- Nimoy tells us exactly what he's filled with. Ooookay.
"You Fill Me With Your Love," By Leonard Nimoy
"You fill me
With your love
You fill me
With your caring
You fill me
With your thoughts
You fill me
With your sharing" [via]
It's no surprise that Alicia Keys has released her own book of poems and lyrics, "Tears for Water," or that she's participated in Def poetry -- and kills it, if we do say so. In her performance of "P.O.W.," Keys tells us how she's stayed silent for too long, and we can't help but remember her fedora-donning days and think: really? We love your soul-bearing regardless Alicia (and those boots).
Our favorite Ja Rule collaborator, Ashanti, published a book of poems called "Foolish/Unfoolish: Reflections on Love" in the early 2000s, complete with a close-up cover of her laying in bed and all. The poem "Three-Way" is probably our favorite, simply because it features a three-way call to find out if her boyfriend's been cheating and has the word "conversatin." This is millennium-era gold.
"...I gave you a call
to see exactly what you'd say
You said, 'Girl you know I'm not lyin!'
Good, lets call her on three-way
Now stay on the line
We've gotta end this today
When she picks up the phone
Talk like nothings wrong
Now I've got you on three-way." [via]
Ally Sheedy has been making art since even before she enthusiastically scratched dandruff out of her hair and onto a drawing. While in rehab for an addiction to sleeping pills, she wrote a book of poems, "Yesterday I Saw The Sun," which is surprisingly not bad. In her poem, "New Jersey," Sheedy seems to be stuck in a dream -- at least there 's a jet-ski.
Excerpt from "New Jersey," by Ally Sheedy
float away my dreams
slicing through your waters
in a conscious jet-ski stream
rolling toward your ocean
on the swells of movie themes
my mind has come apart
finding liberation in extremes" [via]