Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Poetic Obsession with Pitt

For those growing up in the 1990s Brad Pitt was the ultimate hot movie star. Even if you don't dream of Brad coming into your room at night and making hot passionate love to you, you can at least recognize his appeal. He's perhaps very typical in his hotness. He's not unique looking, but truly the cliched, beautiful male, but I mean that in the best possible way. He is what cliches are made from, but Brad is more than his hot six pack and perfectly placed hair, which is why I put him at the center of a sequence of poems I wrote during my last year of grad school. 

Yes I wrote a sequence of eight poems that use Brad Pitt to discuss the ups and downs of a gay relationship. Of all the poems I wrote in grad school these stand out for me, perhaps because they were one of the first times I felt I had perfectly melded together pop culture with my own poetic concept. This is something I do more often now and Brad Pitt was my gateway into it. The poems aren't really about Brad Pitt but about this gay couple, however Pitt is vital to the poems and couldn't just be replaced with another movie star. 

Why Brad fits so well into my poems is because of his status as a mega movie star and all around hot guy, but also because he has always chosen really interesting and strange movies to star in. He is a big movie star but he's not often in the biggest blockbuster of the year. He's done odd roles and challenging and interesting roles. The sequence of poems I wrote use many of his films that play up the homoerotic quality (Interview with the Vampire, Fight Club, Troy). 

Brad always has this blank quality to him that makes him very moldable. He has an innocent looking face that can say whatever you want it to say and you believe it, you buy it, you want to take it home. I got to mold Brad into what I wanted him to be in these poems. The gay couple here uses Brad Pitt and his movies to discuss their own fears about commitment and love. 

In recent years Pitt has also become a big humanitarian and has devoted a lot of time and money to such projects as rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (which is also referenced in the final poem in my sequence entitled "Deciding Our Future After Watching Brad Pitt on Larry King Live). In even more recent times he's stood up for gay marriage, which of course makes a gay boy like me pretty happy. 

I mention all of this because yesterday I got two more of my Brad Pitt poems published. I now have 7 of the 8 published (just one more to go). La Fovea published my latest two. La Fovea is a great poetry online project where poets invite other poets to be a part of the publication and each poet gets a "nerve," where they can add people they like. The project has lots of up and coming poets like Frank Giampietro (founder of La Fovea and author of Begin Anywhere) and Kara Candito whose book Taste of Cherry was just published and just reviewed by me in this blog. The project also has very established poets like Denise Duhamel. It's a very cool idea and I'm happy to be apart of it. 

Below is a list of my Brad Pitt poems in the order they should appear in the sequence. Click on them to view the ones that have been published:
"A Gay Man's Ode to Brad Pitt" published in La Fovea
"Making Love After Watching Interview with the Vampire" published in Hoboeye Online Arts Journal 
"Protesting the Circus After Watching 12 Monkeys" published in PANK Literary Magazine 
"Disappointed and Horny After Watching Troy" unpublished (if you are interested in publishing it let me know)
"Trying to Sleep After Watching Thelma and Louise" published in Hoboeye Online Arts Journal
"Questioning Our Future After Watching Fight Club" published in Hoboeye Online Arts Journal

Hope you guys check them out and enjoy them!

-Stephen (Pitt Lover)

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