Apr 152010

The poet in a reflective mood

Read the comments below for the Authentic Lost Poems of Paris Hilton.

(Editor’s Note: There is really no defense for this post and the comment thread below other than to say that parody and pastiche are the forms of a culture in decline.)


  65 Responses to “Paris Hilton, the lost poems”

  1. But Paris isn’t inane, right? She’s the real McCoy. (Sorry…I think I’ve really stumbled across the nadir of American culture.)

    Just saw an interview with David Shields. He’s a plagarism advocate. No shit. These are signs, I think. It fascinates me, the disparity in our world. I’ve joked around about this stuff too, but it frightens me. Honestly. Are these things simply more modern forms of gladiators or have we turned a corner into something more vacuous and apathetic? I feel fortunate to have an outlet. But it’s almost like moving to a deserted island and flipping the bird (thanks Lorrie Moore!) to the rest of society.

    The kind of stuff I’ve been joking about really bothers me, on an existential level. Sorry for the rant. I’m still trying to make sense of it. Bread and Circus, right?

  2. No, of course not. Paris is an avid reader. Proust is her favourite. I’ve been trying to get her to join the blog. But she’s a little shy. She’s definitely been reading it though. Not a lot of people know this side of Paris Hilton. While she was an undergraduate she published experimental poetry in now defunct lit mag called Anonymous Celebrity; she wrote her senior project on the obscure Mexican surrealist poet Edward Note. Ask Rich Hartshorn. I believe he is in email contact with her. I think they send work back and forth. Am I right, Rich?


    • No one is supposed to know about that, but yes. We did some undergrad work together back when she was trying to decide whether to major in Writing or Quantum Physics. She does love obscure Mexican poetry; I believe she was extensively studying the poetry of the infamous El Guapo before he was sadly killed by Steve Martin. No one knew his softer side, much like no one knows this side of Paris. It just crushed her.
      But her work lately has been improving again; I think her morale is up because of Rich F’s rave review of her TV show. Let’s all join forces to get her on here!

      • Sorry, I didn’t mean to divulge any secrets. A touchy subject, I’m sure. What with the celebrity photographers and the hackers trying to get into your email, not to mention the innuendo. We won’t make a big deal of it.

        • But, yes, let her know we are a supportive group, eager to see the best in a person.

          • You don’t have any samples of Paris Hilton poems, do you? You remember the one called “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat is Liiiiiiiiiiiiiife?” The intricate repetition of the vowels repeated on every line and instead of words, just the syllables, ‘dum-de-dum-de-dum?’ I don’t have a copy, that’s just from memory.

  3. Actually, Doug, I found something Paris sent me back in college when she was going through a breakup. The above one is a classic for sure, but I tend to prefer the early version of “Oh Em Gee.” Try this for size.

    Sitting in my room
    Grey’s Anatomy pilot
    Sandra Oh is like
    and kind of weird-looking
    but the little nerdy doctor is kind of
    I feel like a surgeon on the first day!
    Nothing to go back to!
    No home! No rest!
    Rainbows! Rainbows! Rainbows! Dark.

    -Paris Hilton

    • OMG! Effing brilliant. I’ve never seen this one.

      • Once again, I can sleep soundly tonight knowing that beauty exists. I may never create it, but it comforts me just to know that it’s being coaxed into light by Paris.

        • I’m glad, Rich. As for myself, I just received this email (please note that this is verbatim, not my own spelling):

          “I was liek googling myself liek I do evry day and I c u sharing teh poem I sent u in collej. -PH ”

          I can’t tell what her tone of voice is. She is sometimes too eloquent for the primitive tool that is the internet. I’m debating how to respond to her! I hope she isn’t mad at me! Oy.

          • I can’t believe she’d angry with you Rich. I never knew a more even tempered and understanding person. Besides we all like her poems. What’s to complain about?

            I was just remembering another–I heard her read this at Caffe Lena in Saratoga at the open mike, maybe three years ago. It was called, hauntingly, “Remembrance of Things in the Future” — an allusion to her favourite novelist no doubt. Perhaps her tenderest poem, it deals with break up and despair. Technically, I see her experimenting with open field poetry and playing against the class Whitmanesque long line. Like Proust, she is playing with time. The event described in the poem, mysteriously, has not yet taken place, yet it seems somehow determined, a Fate the young narrator wishes to avoid but cannot. Driven by her demons, she knows she will destroy the love she so desperately desires.

            I re
            mber it
            like it was tomorrow
            the touch
            of his fingertops (sic)
            on my hair
            had to
            and brush
            it be
            i dont like
            it messy
            when i
            Chuck was
            gone gone gone
            and I was

  4. Wow, Doug. She never showed me that one. It really melts the heart… and the brain.

  5. I’ve been asked by anonymous outside agitators to compose a brief ode to Paris Hilton. Herewith:

    I dream of eating Stilton
    With Paris Hilton;
    And other things, simple things
    Sewin’ and quiltin’—
    Perhaps just painting a built-in
    Wearing a kilt &
    Hurling snowballs laced with tequila
    Discussing Hamlet and Ophelia
    Translating Dante and Milton
    Ice-skating, paraparazzi hating,
    Dating, copulating
    But ultimately ignoring her call-waiting
    Beeps, keeping her at a distance,
    And then ruthlessly, casually, inscrutably
    Paris Hilton.
    (I had to let her go –
    she wanted to make a video.)

    • Oh, man, Steve, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize. She just destroyed you. Bear up. At least, you got a great poem out of it. And, you know, she can’t help herself. A tragic figure. I mean I see that in the poem you are in complete denial, but ultimately we all know who left whom.

      The poem is a bit derivative. You copied a lot of PH’s technical innovations.

      • I guess the big question is did she leave any of her own poems lying around the house when she departed?

        • Agreed; the poem is almost “too good.” But I can see why the poem would be so derivative, considering the two of you spent so much time together.

          Perhaps someone should do a whole book of Paris Hilton’s poetry, in order to “create new forms for the twenty-first century.”

  6. Yes, Doug! The thirty-first century. By that time we will all be preserved craniums living in tubes. Reading PH’s poems the way they were meant to be heard will be such a treat. I can’t wait.

    • Damn, I just found this scrap behind the toilet. She must have been working on it there (ok, I am not much of a neat freak–it was three years ago she stopped by after the Caffe Lena reading).

      Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
      Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
      Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
      A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
      What leaf-fring’d legend haunt about thy shape
      Of deities or mortals, or of both,
      In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
      What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
      What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
      What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

      Clearly it’s inspired by Keats’ “Ode to a Grecian Urn” and it is incomplete–I imagine the word “ecstasy” kind of side-tracked her. But it’s so much better than Keats, don’t you agree. The phrasing is infinitely more delicate, her word choice is more precise. An unfinished masterpiece. It’s fascinating to see that she had this formalist armature in her technical repertoire. So different from her other work. Also it’s interesting that this pre-dates the Shields “quotation manifesto” by three years. Ahead of her time once more. Actually, in this poem she is ahead of her time and behind her time at the same time. She is a poet for all times.

  7. I’m working my way through her translation of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin. She’s re-written the title too: U Give Me One Gin, which I think is closer to the master’s original intent. Who knew her expansive intellect include Russian too? I hear the Bronze Horseman is next, but alas, we’ll have to wait.

    • She was doing that translation from English-to-English thing, right? Just brilliant. She really does make it look like Russian.

    • Let’s be careful here. We’re not going to criticize her for appropriating someone else’s words. That is so passe. And she does it brilliantly.

      On the other hand, yes, as scholars of poetry, it behooves us to track down the source of every single one of her scintillating passages.

  8. Fine. Why the hell not? I promised I’d never show this to anyone. But I didn’t get anything else after she dumped me. (You want to see poetry? Check out her 47-page pre-nup — and we weren’t even married.)
    This sounds like I dumped her.
    No comment.
    (FYI -we never went to 29 Palms together. Ok, maybe once. But we were both too drunk to remember anything about it)

    No one understands me
    No one cares
    No one helps me
    Everyone just stares
    Except you
    Except you
    Except you

    No one touches me
    No one feels
    No one reaches out to me
    Everyone just steals
    Except you
    Except you

    No one listens to me
    No one hears
    No one sets my blood on fire
    Everyone just leers
    Except you

    And you are gone
    Into your Joshua Tree silence
    Your Mojave horizon line glare.
    The lawn sprinkler snickers
    Wind pushes a beach ball across the empty pool
    You are gone but you remain
    Like the flare in the eyes
    After the flash bulb dies.

    • I lived in 29 Palms for a year, Steve. I’m pretty sure Paris composed this ode for me, but who is to say? I’m currently digging through my archives to find her rough drafts. I feel like we are beginning a literary battle, a veritable academic war over the missing verses. I hope this doesn’t become hostile. We all respect her work, her weighty tomes on existence, on the meaning of life. I’m just not ready to concede that Paris had other loves. It’s too hard. It cuts too close to the bone.

    • Very brave of you, Steve. You see you can be authentic, too. This poem of hers is unlike any other I’ve seen. She changes with every man she’s with (I like the with…with in that sentence, it’s very PHian). There’s a pounding, passionate rhythm here. She is the chameleon of modern poetry. Or is she an American Pessoa?

      • Is she American? Has anyone ever seen her birth certificate?

        • Well, the “Birthers” say she is not from America, and the “Earthers” say she’s not from this planet. My sources say she is in fact a seven-foot-tall, ex-basketball playing Hindu guru drag-queen alien. But seeing as she has written so deeply and viscerally about the American experience, I just don’t buy any of it. O, my Paris, my Paris.

    • I assume the lady bloggers are going to step in soon and clean this mess up?

      • Gary, you protest too much. I think you, too, have an as yet unknown Paris Hilton poem in your hope chest. Give it up, man. My sons are experts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. We will get it out of you one way or the other. (Of course, I only mean this in the figurative sense.)

    • So much to love about this poem. Especially “The lawn sprinkler snickers”. So true!

  9. Here’s my Paris story (amazing how we all know her!)

    Paris and I met, in all places, in the Hilton in Paris. We became friends instantly, sharing many of the same sorts of tastes (need I list them, you know what they are!).

    One day in the VI ieme, while shopping for Jimmy Choos (she bought an incredible pair of green lizard-skin stilettos, I settled for black suede studded with rhinestones), we dashed off a sonnet (written on the back of a Galleries Lafayette sales invoice which I kept but inconveniently seem to have misplaced). The title of that particular work was something like, “How To Sue For Defamation of Character.” There had been some unflattering reviews of her poetry in the Figaro and Paris, never one to take insults lying down, was letting off a little steam (with my help).

    Soon thereafter, at a party atop the Eiffel Tower (Ivanka Trump’s 18th birthday party) the three of us (yes, Ivanka’s also a talented poet) composed several amazing Haikus on cocktail napkins, again about Lawsuits and Revenge.
    Sadly, these have gone missing too.

    I had these gems in a drawer in the nightstand next to my bed.
    I’m beginning to think Anna (she’s my domestic assistant) stole them. I caught her on Ebay two weeks ago; yesterday she showed up with a gold rolex and informed me she was quitting as she had “come into some significant cash.”

    (nata s)

    • Natasha, You know Rich was just saying the other day that you can’t get good help these days. (day…day–a typical Phianism) What an appalling desecration if, indeed, those poems have leaked into private hands. Can you recall any of the verses?

      Also I don’t think it’s surprising we all know her. I mean Numero Cinq’s celeb status is well known. It’s no fluke we were featured on Twitze. I suppose you’re basking on some Mediterranean beach today writing a novel on your Ipad (BTW we’re starting to do some product placements; you’ll be getting a list in your email).

      Can you remember even one haiku?

  10. I’m sorry, I can’t, I’ve been trying to muster up a syllable or two, but you know what it’s like–I mean partying with Paris–the gray cell count dips vertiginously afterwards and this am I’m lucky I can see to type this. Maybe Ivanka kept a copy of the haikus. Will check with her and get back.

    • I understand being confused. I myself was lost for a while at the thought of you staying at the Paris Hilton with Paris Hilton. I get the difference in theory. One’s a building, right?

  11. Eureka! Ivvie had a copy of a draft of the opening verse to
    an unfinished opus intended for the editor of a certain French magazine:

    Scandal sheet, slander sheet, ledger, log,
    newspaper, throwaway, weekly, blog;
    I did my time
    behind closed doors.
    Here’s this subpoena
    so it’s now up yours.

    (Sorry for the rather rude ending, but we were upset. Yes, even ladies get upset.)

    • I’m over the moon about this one. Such passion, such vehemence, a blend of, yes, as you point out, earthiness and social conscience. Celebrities have rights, too.

      That’s not my final word. I await Rich’s analysis. He’s better than I am at placing a poem within the oeuvre, giving it a dynamic developmental context.

      • I am thinking about this: Natasha, Ivanka & Paris at the Paris Hilton together. The mind boggles at the mischief this Dark Troika could get up to. I bet they stayed up every night reading their poems out loud in their pjs, maybe even past midnight!

    • I’m haunted by several issues in this post that I think need to be addressed.

      First the juxtaposition of David Helwig’s photo with Paris Hilton’s, and what this suggests, but start with his lines:

      As if entrapped in the suicide’s murderous mistake
      or the muddle and depletion of dementia,
      you come upon maddened wasps in all the cities

      (great lines, David, in event you’re stepped into this post)

      Second, I believe there are identity issues to be resolved. Close linguistic analysis suggests that “A Close Friend of Paris’s” may in fact be dg. But then it’s not clear that dg is dg, but someone else, perhaps a son who is also a close friend of PH or possibly David Shields or the ghost of Nietzsche. It is possible, too, that rtf and rts are the same person.

      My real name is Lucy, btw.

      • Yes, I agree, the juxtaposition of the photographs is jarring. But I think David would agree that parody and pastiche are characteristic forms of a culture in decline.

        Beyond that, what is identity? What are intellectual property rights? Just old words tied to an old order of things.

        You need to stop losing yourself in metacriticism and cough up that Paris Hilton poem you’re hiding. We all know about what we speak of entre nous as “The Paris and Gary Incident.”

        • (only to get dg [dg?] off my back)

          Life’s a —– bitch,
          Where’s my coke spoon?

          • Okay, not one of her best, I’m afraid. It’s too direct, too literal. She eschews her usual ironic obliquity. This poem seems to be about what it is about and thus, poetically speaking, not really about anything.

          • I knew this was a trap.

            I spent 30 whole seconds on that! Have a heart!

      • Here we go. We are doing that doubling thing again. This is where strange configurations start happening. If Gary’s analysis is correct, should I send my next packet to professor P. Hilton? Does anyone have her address? Rich? Not me, Rich, the other Rich. Or perhaps they are one and the same…perhaps all of this exists only in my imagination, and I am every blogger. Perhaps none of you exist. Perhaps the entire universe is populated only by Paris and me.

  12. Wow. I woke up this morning and found this wonderful pantoum (or is in an imperfect pantoum? I’m so lost in it, I just don’t know). The simple title is “Life,” perhaps a response poem to her “Whaaaat is Liiiiiife” poem during her “blue” period.

    And no one will care
    A night when screens are aglow
    I won’t go
    To where time does not pass
    A night when screens are aglow
    It’s when snowmen painted on candle-holders cry
    To where time does not pass
    and I’ll star in B-movies forever
    It’s when snowmen painted on candle-holders cry
    I won’t go
    and I’ll star in B-movies forever
    And no one will care.

  13. Is Numero Cinq, in fact, Paris Hilton’s dress size?

    Things are being revealed.

    SA = ACFoP = dg = Lucy = rtf = rts = Nietzsche = Sigmund Freud = the Brooklyn Dodgers = a shower of gold?

  14. OMG!!!

    How you guys get carried away by dogs and women! 🙂

  15. Though not necessarily in that order.

  16. there are some who have wished this blog could have started back in those bygone days when its estimable administrator had female advisees but now we know why that would have never happened … 🙂

  17. Sadly, I missed all that. Thanks for calling it to my attention. A person in my position should be well versed in verse, as well as in prose, and this exchange contains some of the more outstanding examples of verse of the Extramodern School (celebrity subgenre). Glad to see that Numero Cinq does something more serious than fomenting weird contests.

  18. I think there’s a book of PoWems here.

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