25 Points: Kristen Stewart’s “My Heart Is A Wiffle Ball/Freedom Pole”

1. Plenty of celebrities have graced us with their beautiful words—Ally Sheedy’s Yesterday I Saw the Sun (Summit Books, 1991) teaches, “My insides slosh about like a nauseous ocean/It takes great gulps of air/Words from religious books/And Diet Cherry Coke to quiet the sound.” It is the wisdom of these cultural leaders—Jewel, Charlie Sheen, Suzanne Somers, Alicia Keys—and—James of House Franco, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons and Mhysa.

2. Tell me your viscera have never once plunged in an ocean of corn syrup, have never one transformed into Wiffle®.

3. You cannot.

4. One job of the writer is to introduce neologisms into an otherwise very boring world. Alien space bats. Webinar. Astroturfing. Wardrobe malfunction. Brangelina. Affluenza. Kismetly. We need strong literary leaders like Kristin Stewart to push the next evolution of poetics.

5. How far does the looking glass reflect? Joyelle McSweeney, in a similar intense study of Stewart’s linguistics, noticed this: “‘kismetly’ is also a kind of inverted mirror writing of her own name (the k, i, s, e, t, the w inverted to m,)!”6. Similarly observed—is “Marfa” not a reference to Dan Flavin’s untitled (Marfa project), 1996?

7. Is it also not a reference to Atlanta’s MARTA terminal—or rather—the struggles of language—how the word distorts with a mouthful of blood, bone…freedom. Is this not done in the tradition of the great picaresque novel? Marfa, Marfa, beautiful Marfa! How the words travel like a train down the digital page—digital as moonlight!

8. The all-too-prosperous poetry market is overcrowded with the same bland literary journals publishing the same poets over and over. We need venerable institutions like Marie Claire to spread the gospel. Poetry from J-14! Poetry from Cosmopolitan! Poetry from Martha Stewart Living! Poetry from Golf World! Poetry from Handguns Magazine!

9. The future is now. Step the fuck aside, Blah Blah Review.

10. Why is “neon” a word that is exclusively owned by Beatniks/wannabe-atniks?

11. Should not words be owned by those with the most money? Basketball players, actors, meteorologists, CEOs—are these not the people in our community who should own the word “neon”?

12. As the great mathematician Robert Smith (later incorrectly attributed to Benjamin Franklin) once stated—”all cats are grey”. If all cats are grey—therefore—all moonlight must be digital. All bones are capable of being sucked pretty. All organ pumps are abrasive—and therefore (by Smith’s deduction)—can be perforated.

13. It is in our nature to spray paint everything that is known to us—this is fact—but what of the things we do not know? We require philosophers such as Stewart to guide us.

14. Both mythologically and scientifically-verified—devils are never done digging. They have also been observed in their natural environment 1) challenging mortals to fiddling contests 2) challenging deities to turn stone into bread and 3) challenging poets to write the best damn poetry they can write.

15. Stewart also writes—and take note—”He’s speaking in tongues all along the pan handle.” The “pan” in this line is a reference to the devil in the previous line—pan = Pan, the flute-playing god of the wild, who was later transformed (through the same ‘religious books’ Sheedy cites in her manuscript) into the Baphomet-envisioned devil we all know and love today. Iconoclast!

16. Iconoclast. Baphomet. Celebrity. Poet. Poet. Celebrity. Devil. Vampire. Wiffle® ball.

17. Freedom.

18. Do you believe in freedom? Do you believe “celebrity” is a different brand from “poet”. Why do you believe this, when you wish your poetry brought you celebrity?

19. Who decides how the Venn diagram overlaps—Kristen Stewart or you? Did you star in the world-renowned Twilight film franchise?

20. If “My Heart Is A Wiffle Ball/Freedom Pole” had been written by a darling of the New York poetry scene or your favorite MFA professor-cum-shaman, would you not have come running in its swift defense? [see 23.]

21. Would you not have come running in a pair of Balenciaga sneakers and sheer Zuhair Murad gown screaming?

22. Can you afford those things? Are you comfortable? Are you a poet? Are you a celebrity?

23. If yes, it’s a good poem. If no, it’s a good poem.

24. In a Yahoo!Answers (India Division) post from 6 years ago, user “Brainz” defined the opposite of Freedom as “slavery, captivity, imprisonment, confinement, restraint, among others!!!”. If you are not for the Freedom Pole, if you are not for the independence of poetry, of Kristen Stewart’s uninhibited language, of the right of every man, woman and non-binary gender person to sip a Starbucks Venti Frappuccino® Blended Beverage while tapping away at a 15‑inch MacBook pro with Retina display—then you are the enemy. An enemy of freedom—of poetry—of the world.

25. As fellow celebrity, philosopher and poet Billy Corgan once mused, “The world is a vampire.” This is certainly something that should be familiar to you of all people.

Tags: , , , , , ,


  1. Amy Silbergeld

      Jewel’s book was great.
      Also, LOL @ 10–so weirdly true.

  2. Andrew Sargus Klein

      The Jezebel comments were shit, and I was surprised at how sad that made me feel.

      Could you imagine getting interviewed in BIG WRITER CULTURE MAGAZINE about your writing and stuff, and say to the interviewer hey let me play you a song I wrote? Or show off your fresh oil-on-canvases? That would be kidna terrifying, no? To non-sequitor into a genre different from your outward practice?

  3. Brian McElmurry

      I liked the poem. Here is my take, after looking up words:

      “Kismetly … ubiquitously crest fallen
      Thrown down to strafe your foothills
      …I’ll suck the bones pretty.”

      Kismet is fate and it is crestfallen everywhere and all over–thus her fate, seems fucked, and she has, ala’ fallen God/Idol/Celebrity, been thrown from the mountain (because she cheated and was shamed and, I mean, yes double standard, right. If she were a dude, right? I agree. Put her in some movies. But did you see that movie of her EX where he’s a 19th century French kind of upstart/con-man/gigolo with Michelle Peifer–it’s good) and now she’s fighting in the foothills, a common guerilla, who, ala’ Marilyn Monroe/James Dean, her bones will be sucked pretty and she’ll be remembered and people will read that roles became hard for her to find after her cheating scandal, and they’ll look at her photos and watch her movies and icon-make her. Or maybe, she’ll fade away and be like a less accomplished Debra Winger, forgotten at middle age.

      I’m going to say that her fucked fate is the “Your nature perforated the abrasive organ pumps.” This shit feeling is fucking her body “abrasive organ pumps”, but at the end of the stanza is rebirth of dawn, and her soul, to die and come back in another body with only her karma, cleaner than TMZ fuckery.

      The only real and good thing is the drive to Marfa and the driver who is giving her morsels of hope to stay drunk on and not let life take her down, but the devils in her eyes and soul and the paranoia, and I mean, Jesus.

      And it ends in hyper-vigilance, all she can do is look down the line and respond to the drivers twitches, one day at a time. The agent not calling. Call backs not calling. Labeled a jezebel. Tweens hating her for breaking Robert, what’s his name, heart.

      “Nothing is true and everything is permitted.”

  4. UCLA Prof Blames “Beatniks” for Kristen Stewart’s Poetry | Stephanie Nikolopoulos

      […] critic were to delve into more specific examples like the use of the word “neon” (HTML Giant questions if “neon” is solely beatnik; I apparently already have a tag for “neon” […]

  5. deadgod
  6. reynard seifert

      dfw’s use of neon eclipses all that garbage, but putting marfa in a poem is like throwing a rock in a spider web. also, kizmetly is bad (if ballsy ((it sounds like a truck running into my mouth in slow motion))), but two adverbs in a row! come on

      anyway, i’m sure she’s a very nice person

  7. Decayke

      Shouldn’t Chuck Klosterman be all over this?

  8. Jessica Fallible

      Is this post making fun of Kristen Stewart’s poetry (obvious), defending
      it because why not (about equally obvious), or trying to do neither,
      thereby having to defend nothing? Like, what’s going on? Is trying to
      understand what an htmlgiant post is actually saying just rilly embarrassing?

      I mean, I actually want to know.

  9. Jeremy Hopkins

      Would the tadpole defend the pond against the rain?

  10. Jessica Fallible

      Yeah, great.

      Anyone else?

  11. Anna Pest

      This post is genius. It’s not defending or making fun (OK, it’s totally
      making fun) but it’s hilariously absurd. It’s also asking some
      interesting questions. Such as: What is
      the difference between an insufferable bad poem and an insufferable good
      poem? What is a celebrity of poetry and why
      doesn’t that person have any money? Who is the muffin man? Why do the beats use
      the word neon, like all the time. It’s funny how they do that. Kind of
      like kids in high school now use the word digital in their poems all the time. Also kids in Marie Claire. Who owns the public discourse? If
      Kristen Stewart were your MFA professor and you wrote, “For Lovers the
      Funhouse is Fun” on the board before anyone got to class, except the
      most popular kid in class saw you, and he didn’t tell anyone, would you and that popular kid hook up but then would you pretend to be pregnant?

  12. Jeremy Hopkins

      Are you saying it’s actually great (defending it), or not taking it seriously at all (dismissing it), doing neither (to it) thereby having something else to do (to or not-to it)? To what would you compare the goings-on? I always understand a question and reply on a giantlithium just really [sic]

  13. deadgod

      Sheedy, Jewel, Sheen, Somers, Keys, and Franco, lumped together as “cultural leaders”…

      I think the post is sarcastically supportive of Stewart and her poem, not in the sense of unironic appreciation of the poem (which would hang the critic out in the sirocco of easy disdain), but in the sense of resisting a pointless and even anti-poetic pile-on against an ordinarily lame poem with ordinarily clever turns-of-phrase, a poem given an absurdly–offensively?–wide audience thanks to the suspiciously-deserved celebrity of its author. (Stewart is a good actor, but a billion dollars? for that soapy anti-extramarital-sex jive??)

      I thought it was nasty, the way the magazine writer showed Stewart being shyly and kiddie-speak-inarticulately proud of her poem.

  14. Jessica Fallible

      Thanks for your opinion (that sounds sarcastic, but I mean it genuinely).

      I suppose I was surprised (but why, really?) that htmlgiant would bother with the poem one way or another. The phenomenon of celebrities-deciding-that-they-are-writers-and-then-not-being-very-good-writers-and-yet-receiving-an-unjust-amount-of-attention is so commonplace it seems kind of unworthy of comment or criticism.

      Anyway, I was hoping there was something beyond mean-spiritedness in the choice to write about her poem. And perhaps there was.

  15. Jessica Fallible

      Thanks, Anna Pest.

      No disrespect to the author (of the post, not Kirsten Stewart–though no disrespect to her, either, frankly), but I really didn’t understand what he was getting at or asking. Making fun of Kristen Stewart’s poetry feels trite. Nesting that ridicule in a general bed of ridicule for everyone affiliated with poetry…actually sounds like a good idea but didn’t really work for me here.

      Thanks, Jeremy Hopkins, for whatever it is you’re doing. Very funny. Lol.

  16. deadgod

      I misjudged the Greenfeld article (in Marie Claire); it’s much less mocking as a whole than the snippet to do with the poem excerpted in the Entertainment Weekly link above makes it seem. The piece is routine Hollywood puff – the other movie people quoted are exclusively positive about Stewart – , and Stewart herself sounds like actors sound when talking about their process.

      This blogicle seems to me to want to have it both ways: to defend poetic ambition (even on the part of a celeb), but not to defend Stewart’s poem too strongly. I pretty much want to have it both those ways, too.

      I think you’re right: this mini-notoriety of Stewart’s is an occasion for thinking and talking about what’s valuable in poems beyond the fact that stars write them. I think that might’ve been Scott’s main gist.

  17. Jeremy Hopkins

      I don’t know KS. I also don’t know Wordsworth. While both are recognizable names, only Stewart is (to me) also a face. Insofar as my subconscious judiciary will allow, I don’t hold faces against the people who bear them. Confessional poetry sometimes makes me uncomfortable, but I don’t frankly care (pro or con) if it was written by someone famous. The fact can’t be avoided, just as Wordsworth’s status as an Important Poet can’t be unknown once known. But an Important Poet should be good, while an actress shouldn’t necessarily. Nevertheless, I can’t recall any Wordsworth poems at the moment. I don’t blame Stewart or the media for this fact. It’s just one more fact in the pile. What was the point of the article? People are mad that their poem isn’t a momentary news-virus? Shouldn’t be, but maybe it is so. Stewart “gets” to talk about her poem because she’s already famous. Big deal. If you’re a poet and the only way you can get read by this many people is to star in a massively successful film franchise, do you take the offer? Maybe you would.

  18. mimi

      i thought (seriously!) that her poem got the attention because: she was in that movie about kerouac, therefore she should know a thing or two about poetry

  19. mimi

      i liked Berman’s book So much Better

  20. A D Jameson

      That was my impression, too. And FWIW, I think it’s nice that she writes poetry. I wish more people did.

  21. A D Jameson

      People are mad that their poem isn’t a momentary news-virus?

      I imagine that’s motivating a lot of the discussion, if not this post (which I can’t claim to understand).

  22. A D Jameson


      “The World Is Too Much With Us”
      William Wordsworth

      The world is too much with us; late and soon,
      Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
      Little we see in Nature that is ours;
      We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
      This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
      The winds that will be howling at all hours,
      And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
      For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
      It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
      A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
      So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
      Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
      Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
      Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

  23. deadgod
  24. suki skin care

      suki skin care

      25 Points: Kristen Stewart’s “My Heart Is A Wiffle Ball/Freedom Pole” | HTMLGIANT

  25. seo Algorithmus

      seo Algorithmus

      25 Points: Kristen Stewart’s “My Heart Is A Wiffle Ball/Freedom Pole” | HTMLGIANT