The interest in Charlie Sheen's otherworldly behavior has reached such a level that someone thinks she can make money off his poetry. Judith Regan, the controversial publisher behind Howard Stern's book, "Private Parts," and O.J. Simpson's "If I Did It," recently told New York magazine:
I love Charlie Sheen ... I want to publish his book of poetry. I'm thinking of going back into the publishing business just to publish Charlie's book. Really! I think he's a wordsmith and a genius. I mean, his turn of phrase is actually stellar. It's remarkable. He may have some type of illness or addiction, but he's quite verbal and he has an amazing ability to put words together, and you can't take that away from him. He's doing slam poetry.
I'd been following Sheen's antics a bit (jaw often agape), and I'd never considered it poetry. But I hadn't yet seen this recent unsettling, and perhaps brilliant, webcast. And Regan is right. After referring to himself as "Edgar Allan Me," Sheen starts performing a poem -- right down to the rhythms, alliteration, rhymes and wordplay. Here's an adult's-only taste:
Now that I have your lazy f-ing attention world, sit back and rejoice. For the Malibu Messiah, the Condor of Calabasas, the f-ing warlock of the jealous face that is before you. Undigested hummus trading real estate for this fire dance. I beg you all to stay glued for this raving wise, Gibson shredding napalm poet before you. Alone and unshackled as the desperate cries of the soon forgotten echo freely in my lair.
And, I swear, for a while the rant slips into a sort of Whitmanian parallelism (with a distinctive Charlie Sheen twist):
Can you smell your soul?
Can you smell the rotting dog sh-t?
The fermented puke that is your viscera?
Can you smell the lies?
Can you smell the carnage you created?
Can you smell the impostor living within?
It's "Song of Myself" -- on tiger blood.
The webcast made me reconsider the new Charlie Sheen. And, if you think about it, he is being pretty poetic these days. He's taken to inventing metaphors to express just how awesome he is -- referring to himself as a drug (that will cause your face to melt off and your body to explode), an F-18 fighter/bomber, and a warlock, just to name a few. And how about fresh, vivid description? Sheen pooh-poohed the exploits of noted philanderers Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger and Richards by calling them "droopy-eyed, armless children." Armless.
Shakespeare can be credited with inventing more than 1,700 words, but he never came up with "bi-winning." And Lord Byron (also a noted philanderer) may have drunk wine out of a skull, but Sheen has his aforementioned tiger blood. Byron, by the way, was so taken with his skull cup that he wrote a poem about it, which included the lines (spoken by the skull cup):
Start not -- nor deem my spirit fled:
In me behold the only skull,
From which, unlike a living head,
Whatever flows is never dull.
Byron obviously never met Charlie Sheen.
Popular celebrity gossip disseminator Perez Hilton noted that Sheen published an actual book of poetry called "A Peace of My Mind" in 1990, which included lines like:
Afternoon chaos turned to laughter,
As the lady in grey pierces the surface of the private aquarium
It's just not the same. If Regan wants to cash in on the napalm poet, she'd do better publishing his never dull improvisations. That book would be something even Lord Byron would have paid for.