We’ve explored deplorable poets in music — like the oft-laughable Jim Morrison and that hilarious ode to his penis — but after spotting the bad poetry of Suzanne Somers on Dangerous Minds, we went searching for more celebrity poesy. Some stars, like Viggo Mortensen, have displayed a bit of genuine talent, but most celebs are predictably oblivious and self-absorbed when it comes to their laughably bad writing. See what happens when pop culture icons pretend to be poets and fail miserably.
What deep thoughts does the Thighmaster mistress have? Touch Me: The Poems of Suzanne Somers revealed all in 1980. Behold, “Organic Girl:”
Organic girl dropped by last night For nothing in particular Except to tell me again how beautiful and serene she feels On uncooked vegetables and wheat germ fortified by bean sprouts Mixed with yeast and egg whites on really big days She not only meditates regularly, but looks at me like I should And lectures me about meat and ice cream And other aggressive foods I shouldn’t eat.
The gem “Sometimes I Want to Be a Little Girl” features an accompanying photo of the Three’s Company actress lounging on a tire swing, with pigtails (natch).
Lucky in love, lucky in love Didn’t forget me when I asked you to leave me Didn’t forget me Now you’re alongside me You’ve brought luck to love I’ve been hit by a truck in love.
There are a few things wrong with this poem, but we can forgive some of it. Jennifer Aniston was feeling the warm fuzzies of her relationship with John Mayer and poured her heart out in a poem to him. We’ve all been there and have probably embarrassed ourselves a time or two when in love, putting pen to paper. The bigger problem: what was a “unicorn love mascot” like Aniston thinking, writing a douchebag like Mayer this poem in the first place? This is the guy who said that his penis hates black women and whose awful hit single “Your Body is a Wonderland” takes on a stomach-churning meaning after his arrogant comments about the various women he’s bedded. Worse still, Mayer turned the poem into a song for Aniston as a New Year’s present.
Charlie Sheen has wasted a significant portion of his life with porn stars, cocaine, and public meltdowns, but before his recent tiger blood-induced psychosis, the Hot Shots! actor was writing poetry. The groan-worthy A Peace of My Mind contains tragic verses like:
Teacher, teacher, I don’t understand You tell me it’s like the back of my hand Should I play guitar and join the band? Or head to the beach and walk in the sand?
They don’t all have to rhyme, Charlie (but, ugh, they do).
Pamela Anderson wrote a poem that was published in the January 2011 edition of Playboy. Next to her eight-page nude pictorial, Musings From the Bed of Pamela, were these words:
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…
That’s just an excerpt from the end of the poem, but that’s enough.
The guilt you fed me Made me weak. The voodoo you did I couldn’t speak.
You’re awakening 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!
The mid to late-noughties weren’t kind to Britney Spears. Personal struggles and negative media attention took a toll on the singer, and her marriage to wannabe rapper Kevin Federline was disastrous at best. Spears rebelled in various ways (cue-ball hairstyle included), and she wrote a poem to Federline shortly before their messy divorce in 2007. Remembrance Of Who I Am (excerpted above) is overly long, mostly crazypants, and ends with an aside ripped from daytime talk shows: “This is for everyone who thinks they know me… ”
Sean Penn is always finding new ways to surprise us — like that time he dressed up like elderly Robert Smith (but looked like our favorite drag queen, Bea Arthur). His poetry has the same kind of middle-finger aloofness as his Hollywood persona, which is always somewhat appealing, but that doesn’t mean the writing is actually good. In the mid ’80s, literature and arts mag Long Shot published seven of the actor’s poems in their fifth issue. “I wrote poetry as a drunk. I would drink, and write on napkins… ” Penn said of the work. “This Water’s Cold,” is about a guy with feces on his chin who takes a shower, but (you guessed it) the water is cold. Linda Lee Bukowski once described the poem like so: “A guy wakes up in the morning with his head up some chick’s ass.”
Yahoo commissioned several Pulitzer Prize-winning poets and James Franco — whose new book of poetry publishes next April — to write about President Obama’s second inauguration. In Franco’s “Obama in Asheville,” the actor name-drops everyone from King Charles and Spider-Man, to Christopher Hitchens and Katie Holmes. He also mentions “the little burrito place where they know me.” If that weren’t enough to annoy you, he also made a shitty webcam recording (above), in which he read the poem while looking baked out of his mind and totally bored.
He never came to me when I would call Unless I had a tennis ball, Or he felt like it, But mostly he didn’t come at all… Discipline was not his bag But when you were with him things sure didn’t drag. He’d dig up a rosebush just to spite me, And when I’d grab him, he’d turn to bite me.
Jimmy Stewart published a book of poems in 1989. They’re awkward and earnest, and many of them rhyme in a terrible singsong way — but the actor-turned-poet’s works are the worst for another reason. Stewart’s corny lines about his dog biting the mailman (or something) are laughable, but when the actor writes, “And now he’s dead,” things get dark real fast. Stewart performed an emotional reading of “Beau” on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (excerpted, with video, above). Seriously depressing stuff.
Cocaine in her dresser drawer Satisfaction ten minutes away Just a sniff and she’ll be blown away Child of Hollywood Just needs a friend.
Thankfully, we weren’t the writers interviewing Richard Grieco at the height of his 21 Jump Street fame in 1989. Apparently the actor whipped out his notebook containing 300 poems during an interview with People. That sounds like pure nightmare fuel — especially if the poem “Child of Hollywood” (excerpted) is any indication of his writing style.
Breakfast Club icon Ally Sheedy became an early poster child for bad celebrity poetry after she published Yesterday I Saw the Sun during the post-sleeping pill haze of her Brat Pack years. The poems should have stayed locked away in her rehab journal, but over time people have embraced them. After reading “On the Road,” we’re not sure Sheedy’s work has won us over with time:
Brighter and brighter every day Calmer My insides slosh about like a nauseous ocean It takes great gulps of air Words from religious books And Diet Cherry Coke to quiet the sound.