Why? Just to see if it might prompt some good work.
Yahoo! explains the site "commissioned work from two Pulitzer Prize winners, James Tate and Paul Muldoon; the Japanese-American superstar Brenda Shaughnessy, whose latest book was called 'monumental' by The New Yorker; and Kevin Young, whose recent book The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness was just nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. For good measureand yes for a little glamourwe included James Franco, the movie star, who has a book of poetry forthcoming from Graywolf Press."
Franco's poem is titled Obama in Asheville. But it's actually Franco who is in Asheville, N.C., as he notes in the piece.
Here's an excerpt:
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. ...
He mentions meeting Obama in Washington at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
He knew me from Spider-Man. I asked him for advice,
I was scheduled to give the commencement speech at UCLA
And there were some undergraduate knockers against me;
He had been denied the usual honorary degree by Arizona State
Because he hadn't accomplished enough, so I wondered
How he dealt with detractors. He smiled his smile and said
(Copyright © 2013 USA TODAY)