James Franco should have delivered the Inauguration poem.

Eric Cantor was not impressed with the poet who performed at the Inauguration. But then again, who was? This poetry thing is super weird, since no one writes real poetry anymore. They just string a bunch of words together and hope that the crowd at the coffee house open mic understands the true depth of the ennui they’re telegraphing over the steady beat of the bongo drums because there was this one time, forty years ago, when everyone was so high they thought Allen Ginsberg saw things they didn’t.

Apparently, the Yahoo News saw the flaw in the grand inaugural poetry plan and commissioned several poets to write substitute poems in case Eric Cantor was suitably satisfied with the initial selection. Among the luminaries they requested submissions from? Two Pulitzer Prize winners and James Franco, who may have written the single greatest inaugural poem.


“I’m not up there, but Obama is. I was asked to write something For the inauguration of his second term, but what could I write? I was in Asheville, studying writing, but not the political sort; I write confessions and characters, and that sort of thing.”

And, unlike two other poets, Kevin Young and Paul Muldoon, Franco looks like he’s ready for bed, slouching sideways while delivering his poem via what looks like a self-rendered YouTube video in a dim-lit room.

After nine stanzas filibustering with [F. Scott] Fitzgerald’s suicide, asking a friend what to write, and a pit stop at a “little burrito place,” Franco recounts a time he and Obama met at the Correspondents’ Dinner in D.C. and how the president recognized him from “Spider-Man.”

In the last three stanzas, the poem becomes less about Obama and more about Franco when he conjectures that if he were to ever play the role of POTUS in a film, he would win the Academy Award hands down.

I had completely forgotten that James Franco was in Spiderman.

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