Archives for category: Celebrity Free Verse

by Virginia M Mohlere

If you’re looking for a key –
          the slow burn,
          the long view,
          the endlessly reliable generators
                    of Nature and friendship;
          the image of planetary kin,
          the company of fellow travelers.
Companionship and wonder in the face
          of bitterness and disillusionment:
both are bigger than us,
two influences that never fail
          to buoy and nourish me.

We set out to hope.
We set out to make something.
Our dreams are the place where we can
          that which we never realized we knew.
They support and carry us.
We can fly at the back
          of the formation they form.
That would take some acting out:
          I want you to pull
          those bad thoughts out of your ears –
                    companionship and wonder might win –
          and never listen to No.

SOURCE: “Tilda Swinton Is Not Quite of This World” by Carl Swanson, (April 2014).

PHOTO: Actress Tilda Swinton by Norman Jean Roy, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve been a fan of Tilda Swinton’s work since Orlando – she seems like a delightful mix of Alabaster Space Queen and warm/friendly. I admire her fashion adventures and her willingness to transform her looks drastically for a role (watch Snowpiercer, people, she’s tremendous in it [so is the rest of the cast]). This interview made me stomp around in circles for a bit and make a screechy blog post. Her commentary about being a “cheerleader of artists” didn’t make it into the poem, but it echoes my belief that we should build each other up, never tear one another down. Making art is difficult enough without planting obstacles for ourselves and others. Art lifts up art; love lifts up love.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Virginia M Mohlere writes from Houston, where it is generally 4 inches from the sun. Her poetry has been seen in places like MungBeing, Strange Horizons, Ideomancer, and Mythic Delirium. She blogs extremely sporadically at

Contemplating My Golden Years
by Andrea Janelle Dickens

I would love to spin the wheel: to eat
monkey brain, a big durian, and rats (fresher
Tuesday through Friday), or try an extended
stay in a crime novel set next year, fiercely
fiercely undignified, an easy target. I’m not
into sex with a crackhead clown, a monster,
an ebola-infected spider monkey. (They’re not
too good in the sack). I don’t have a retirement
plan. It freaks me out. I’m making it up
as I go along. I contemplate what is a pet
and what is food? A grilled cheese sandwich
served me a steaming load of crap in spite of all
the terrible things I’ve said about the cat and dog.

I have little memory of eating the cobra heart.
I’m still pretty rough: heartbroken and appalled.
I hope to die watching you singing anarchy
from a table top with your shirt wrapped
around your head, with a very small,
very angry and rather athletic oyster.
Like a travelling band given license to kill.

SOURCE: Anthony Bourdain online chat, Washington Post (March 30, 2006).

IMAGE: Celebrity chef and culinary expert Anthony Bourdain.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve always been fascinated with celebrity chefs, especially the polar figures of sophisticated, restrained Nigella Lawson and bad boy Anthony Bourdain. What I found really fascinating as I worked on these poems [find Nigella Lawson poem here] was how obvious it was that the language of Bourdain was all public and external; he lives his life in public. And the language of the interview with Lawson was private, domestic, and polite, even while hinting at darker truths beneath the surface of the words she spoke. I tried to capture these impressions as I worked the found words and phrases into these two poems.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrea Janelle Dickens recently moved to the Sonoran Desert, where she lives among the sunshine and saguaro cacti. Her work has appeared in Star 82, cakestreet, Ruminate, Caesura, and The Wayfarer, among others. She teaches at Arizona State University, and when she’s not teaching, she’s backpacking in foreign cities, making pottery in her ceramics studio, or tending hives of bees.

In Which I Contemplate Men And Vegetables
by Andrea Janelle Dickens

The only vegetable men really like
is peas. There’s no turning back:
you will carry around Brussels
sprouts for people who don’t like
Christmas pudding. Most of the other
women in my position distilled something
simple. Something completely different.

My mother was a believer in
the strawberry cheesecake; at the end
of the day the women want to rebel,
be taken into care like cranberries.
They spat it out sort of viciously, sort of
graphically but with more broccoli
and the metallic taste of spinach.

I’m sort of trapped. As long as you
don’t think they’re going to help you,
(as if you wanted the child labor),
the flames get us to stir things, the luck
of being very cosmopolitan, very very
tired. And the only vegetable
men really like looks the same.

SOURCE: Nigella Lawson interview by Becky Anderson, CNN (April 19, 2010).

IMAGE: Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrea Janelle Dickens recently moved to the Sonoran Desert, where she lives among the sunshine and saguaro cacti. Her work has appeared in Star 82, cakestreet, Ruminate, Caesura, and The Wayfarer, among others. She teaches at Arizona State University, and when she’s not teaching, she’s backpacking in foreign cities, making pottery in her ceramics studio, or tending hives of bees.

SOURCE: “Keeping Up With Kimye,” by Hamish Bowles, Vogue Magazine (April 2014).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This is a found poem, using Kim Kardashian‘s quote alongside the photograph on page 220 (Vogue, April 2014).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Karen Massey writes in Ottawa, Canada. She has an MA, has published one chapbook, and her work has won local and regional prizes and appeared in a range of literary journals and anthologies. Recent online publication includes, and one of her poems was featured on the Chaudiere Press blog during National Poetry Month 2014.

by Mathias Jansson

First I didn’t know
I’m so honored
So proud
The first I’m the first we’re the first
Dreaming one #1
The biggest dream
I’m so honored
I’m just so honored
I kind of have the biggest one
Like a little accident
That little surprise!
Totally First

SOURCE: “Kim Kardashian breaks silence on Vogue cover,” interview with Seth Meyers (


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mathias Jansson is a Swedish art critic and poet. He has contributed with visual poetry to magazines such as Lex-ICON, Anatematiskpress, Quarter After #4, and Maintenant 8: A Journal of Contemporary Dada. He has also published a chapbook at this is visual poetry and contributed with erasure poetry to anthologies from Silver Birch Press. Visit him at, or his author’s page at

Autographs and Receipts
by Wm. Todd King

Sorry eyes close
on a dark afraid
you wish gone.
Every nightclub
another minutes fifteen
tan spray night
that rejuvenates few.

SOURCE: Kardashian Konfidential, page 136  (St. Martin’s Press, 2010).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Wm. Todd King is a poet and Regulatory Compliance Supervisor living in Kentucky. He is the recent finalist in the Found Poetry Review’s Dog Ear Poetry Contest, and a participant in 2013’s Pulitzer Remix project. His works have appeared in STILL, the Silver Birch Press NOIR Erasure Poetry Anthology, Life’s Vivid Creations, and Found Poetry Review.

by Winston Plowes

I’m addicted to me –

Sugar this woman open
like a hip shifting
and explain to millions why.


SOURCE: “Kim Kardashian: In Search of the K Factor” by  Alyssa Giacobbe, DuJour Magazine (Spring 2013).

PHOTO: Kim Kardashian by Bruce Weber, DuJuour Magazine (Spring 2013).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: In this erasure I have tried to distil the found words of Kim Kardashian into something hopefully poetic.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Teacher, compere, performer and poet, Winston Plowes spends his days fine-tuning background noise and rescuing discarded words. These are re-sculpted over a glass of wine into poetry birds he releases by night to fly to new homes in poetry journals and online destinations worldwide. He lives in a floating home in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, UK, where he tries to persuade his two black cats that it’s a good idea for them to do the same. Visit him at

by Sue Barnard

I go with my gut instinct.
I don’t have competition.
I’ll admit it: I’m a control freak.
I customized my school uniforms.
I had Post-Its on all the breakfast cereal.
(Every time I haven’t, it’s been a mistake.)
I can live with my own mistakes.
But I’ve finally made the transition.
This line has been a lifetime in the making:
I’m a gay man in a woman’s body.

SOURCE: Victoria Beckham interview in Marie Claire (October 2010).

IMAGE: Singer/fashion designer Victoria Beckham.

Sue Barnard author pic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sue Barnard is a novelist, an award-winning poet, and a member of the editorial team of Crooked Cat Publishing. She has a mind which is sufficiently warped as to be capable of compiling questions for BBC Radio 4’s fiendishly difficult Round Britain Quiz – an attribute which once caused one of her sons to describe her as “professionally weird.” She lives in Cheshire, UK, with her husband and a large collection of unfinished scribblings.To learn more, visit her blog.

by Katie Darby Mullins

People have speculated things—
We’re holy rollers, we’re super religious
Face that mystery about us head-on, you know?
Sometimes I write a song and I feel
God is talking through me—
Where in my life did I learn the wisdom or the knowledge
To say that? I’m having help.
It was an out-of-body experience, the first time
I felt the Dark Carnival in me.
(Shake the funk off me.)
I felt like I was in the room with somebody
Words were coming really cool and scary—
Years before I ever smoked weed.

Back in the day, people didn’t know what to expect
So the shows were crazier
I used to have dreadlocks and I remember having
My dreadlocks ripped out of my head. People want
A souvenir. Now, a lot of the mystery is gone.
Back in the day, the mystique was cooler.
We have utter chaos maybe one show a tour. The rest
Is organized chaos. But we don’t have a lot
Of complaints—we still want to be
The most hated band in the world.
We want to be the opposite of everything else,
We want to be underground.
We want to be the sewer dwellers—the tunnel runners.
When push comes to shove, we still don’t have hits.
We don’t have songs on the radio.
We couldn’t be happier.

SOURCE: “…the World’s Most Hated Band,” Vice Magazine.

PHOTO: Members of the Insane Clown Posse. L.A. Weekly photograph, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve always been weirdly obsessed with Juggalo culture (though very much an outsider) and the Insane Clown Posse, despite finding their music unlistenable. When the band came out of a few years ago and said that their violent, misogynistic music was actually supposed to be an outreach and expression of their evangelical Christianity, I couldn’t get enough or stop reading, even though I found that claim to be ludicrous. However, the interviews that followed that announcement all had a strange rhythm to them, and if I didn’t know what I knew about the band, would be beautiful in a way.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Katie Darby Mullins teaches at the University of Evansville. In addition to being nominated for a Pushcart Prize and editing a rock ‘n roll crossover edition of the metrical poetry journal Measure, she’s been published or has work forthcoming in journals like Hawaii Pacific Review, Harpur Palate, Broad River Review, Big Lucks, The Evansville Review, and she was a semifinalist in the Ropewalk Press Fiction Chapbook competition and in the Casey Shay Press poetry chapbook competition. She’s also the lead writer and founder of the music blog Katie Darby Recommends.

Above ground with a week
by E. Kristin Anderson

I’ve always somehow
performed, a crowd ignited
     in teenage years,
     the balance along the lines
of outlandish floors.

With a full view, I spun
in a dollhouse      like a scratch,
     a sway in the streets.

               a need to time, on track.

SOURCE: “Royal Jasmine” by Nylon & Baby G (advertisement). Nylon, August 2014, pages 60-61. (This ad featured an interview with musician Jasmine Solano.)

IMAGE: Musician Jasmine Solano.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: E. Kristin Anderson‘s first nonfiction anthology, Dear Teen Me, based on the popular website of the same name, was published in October of 2012 by Zest Books (distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). She’s worked at The New Yorker magazine, has a B.A. in Classics from Connecticut College, and is currently an online editor for the YA & Children’s section of VCFA’s literary journal Hunger Mountain and a contributing editor at Found Poetry Review. She’s published poetry in many magazines worldwide, including Post Road, the Cimarron Review, [PANK], Asimov’s Science Fiction and forthcoming work in Cicada. She also has poems forthcoming in the Silver Birch Press Great Gatsby Anthology. Her first chapbook, A Guide for the Practical Abductee, was just released by Red Bird Chapbooks, and her next chapbook, A Jab of Deep Urgency, is forthcoming in October from Finishing Line Press. Her work also appears in Futuredaze, an anthology of YA fiction and poetry, and in Coin Opera 2, an anthology of poetry about video games. She blogs at