Read James Franco’s Touching Poem To Late Gay Actor Sal Mineo


James Franco is a man of many talents. Many talents of dubious and differing qualities, but many talents nonetheless. Somewhere between making homoerotic art and making homoerotic films, Franco wrote a book of poems, including an ode to slain out actor Sal Mineo, to whom Franco dedicated a biopic:

Sal Mineo

I directed a film about the actor Sal Mineo.
Many people in the new generation
Might not know who he was,
Because he’s been dead since ’76.

My film focuses on his last day alive,
Sal-MineoBecause he lives his whole life in his last day:
He talked to his lover Sid on the phone,
About plans for the future;
He went to the gym;

He invited people, including Liz Taylor and Paul Newman
And Nick Ray to the opening of his new play,
P.S. Your Cat Is Dead;
And he went to rehearsal
With Kier Dullea of 2001 fame, and Milton Katselas,
The future guru of the Beverly Hills Playhouse.

In P.S. Sal played a bisexual burglar
That gets caught burgling an apartment.

Later that night, after rehearsal,
Sal was actually stabbed
By a real burglar
In front of his apartment,
On Holloway Drive.

Stabbed near his heart,
In the heart of Hollywood.

For a year they didn’t capture his killer.
So the tabloids said he was killed for drugs,
Or because he was gay:
But it was none of those things.
None of those things.

Don’t worry, famous people;
Three and a half decades
Aren’t the limit of fame.
Sal fell out of favor long before he was killed.

He came out.
He got older.
He did bad films.
He couldn’t find work.
He did cocaine.

A down-and-out actor randomly killed.

I made the film,
It’s called Sal,
Because I wanted to tell about a life
That had lost its life,
And I wanted to tell it with love.


h/t: Out

Lester Fabian Brathwaite is an LA-based writer, editor, bon vivant, and all-around sassbag. He's formerly Senior Editor of Out Magazine and is currently hungry. Insta: @lefabrat