The Farrar, Straus and Giroux Poetry Blog

April 15, 2009

The Rime Of The Teenage Drama Queen

Guest blogger Kevin Guilfoile is a Contributing Writer for The Morning News and the author of Cast of Shadows, now available in paperback. He is also the commissioner of the recently finished Tournament of Books with John Warner. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife Mo, his sons Max and Vaughn, and a cat you wouldn’t like.

Years ago, in an attempt to keep pace with the blogging community's ceaseless demand for Leonard Cohen quotes, Leonard Cohen said, "Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash." I recall it now because I've noticed another performer, Lindsay Lohan, has been speaking almost exclusively in verse since her own life began incinerating before our eyes.

This fact is all the more strange when you consider what a terrible songwriter she is. Here are some of the words to "A Little More Personal," a tune credited to Lohan and the unnecessary new judge on American Idol:

You say you gotta go but what does that mean?
Do you wanna be together or is it just me?
Sometimes I think you're in, until I think your out
It's like I'm swimmin' in the deep and pull me out.

That's really bad. But somehow, when Lindsay is just chatting with reporters, her lips spin silky verse like William Carlos Williams emceeing at Lawrence Ferlinghetti's birthday jam.  I call these improvised compositions (which I first pointed out during the recent Powell's/TMN Tournament of Books) LiLoKu:

The (Sycophants) and the Noise
By Lindsay Lohan

I move forward
And I change.
Life’s too short not to.
If people would just leave
My personal life alone—
Because it’s really not all that interesting—
Then I could land
A great role.
But all the sicko fans
And the noise
Is so distracting.

The Burn Books of Hollywood
By Lindsay Lohan

Oh my God,
I'm not working,
And I have a house
To pay for now. And yes,
The web sites,
The gossip pages,
And all of that stuff
Have hurt my career—
They're like the
Burn books of Hollywood.

I Meant To Say Starvation, Obvs
By Lindsay Lohan

I’m planning a trip to Africa
During the second week
Of December.
I’m working with
The American Red Cross.
Temptation is always there.

Like Leggings and Food
By Lindsay Lohan

Tights are another staple just
Like leggings.
For girls that don’t want
To wear socks
With their leggings,
Tights are a natural
They are sexy.

A few weeks ago, Lindsay sent a LiLoku to another actor through her primary mode of communication, the pages of celebrity magazines:

The Callback
By Lindsay Lohan

We’re trying to get Seth Rogen
For this project, but
Seth won’t call us back.
So call us back Seth,
If you’re reading this.

When this LiLoku appeared in the papers, Seth Rogen, a writer himself, cheekily replied with a fine SeRoKu of his own:

(So I Don’t Know) What Happened There
By Seth Rogen

No one that works for me
(Or with me)
In any capacity
Has received any word from anyone
That works for Lindsay Lohan.

It's possible that Lohan is faking it when she writes songs, trying to manufacture the emotions of normal, music-buying teenage girls when she never really was one. Perhaps the real Lindsay, the one who has been beat down and drug-addled and heartbroken on the covers of gossip magazines since she was a very little girl, can only speak from the heart when she talks to the same reporters who are trying to exploit her. Observe the existential angst, the poignancy, the naked honesty in what is perhaps her signature LiLoku:

Am I Now Or Have I Ever Been?
By Lindsay Lohan

It would be
Really nice
If people would believe in me.
I don't drink,
I don't do drugs
And I don't lie.
I just want to live the dream
That I've worked so hard for
Since I was four
Years old.
I'd like to have
My own charity
Do work overseas, be
In Oscar-nominated films.
Produce movies, shows,
Design clothes,
Make music
Write books,
It's all possible
If people would just
Stop judging me
And accusing me
And making me
Out to be
This aloof, spoiled,
Ungrateful and
Unprofessional person
That I am not
And could never be.

Put a little drum machine on that, with some funky synth, and turn up the Autotune, Lindsay.
You can call it a comeback.


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lethal commission

I actually like her songs. They have a good beat.

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