Here Are Some Rejected Poems From Lana Del Rey's Upcoming Poetry Debut

Illustration for article titled Here Are Some Rejected Poems From Lana Del Rey's Upcoming Poetry Debut
Image: Kevin Winter/Getty (Getty Images)

Lana Del Rey is releasing a book of poetry. It’s nice she’s had something to do since breaking up with her cop boyfriend, considering there aren’t many pop stars left to blame for the failures of the feminist politic. It’s called Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, and it’s supposedly due September 29th. In her Instagram announcement, she also claims the entirety of her advance is going to “different Native American projects,” which is nice, probably.


Since she first announced her upcoming poetry debut in September 2019, anonymous sources—who look strangely like me and my colleague Emily Alford—have been dropping rejected poems from the collection into our inbox. They vary in quality, but are all, without fail, “very Lana Del Rey.” The Gilded Age metaphors, thoroughly Connecticut wasp aspirations, and heavy-handed LA allusions practically drip from each one, like a saccharine Gucci fragrance, or the smell of old lace curtains.

In an effort to preserve them, for history, for the archive, for the canon of female poets, Emily and I have collected what we could below. Some are clearly unfinished, while others fully fleshed out, like Del Rey’s own imagined California landscape. Enjoy!

Grant Fucking Wood

Goddamn regional man

You paint my cardbody in neutral hues

Your pitchfork is bleak and you blame the news

Promised a portrait of Nan but kept it for you

Cause you’re just a Grant

It’s just Woods you do

Paramus and Thisbe

Slip your whisper

Through mile markers’ crack

Route Four river mouth begging

Throw off what is borrowed

Wrap nakedness

In a rhinestone cloak trailing your blood

Amber as cliff walls cleaved

Full with Mulholland

Aquidneck Is a Warm Clam

Narraganset can and valve steam in your hands

No longer spawn of providence

Isle of Rods ridden hard and put away misty

Narrow saltwater straight

Tangy seawater stain

I fucked a townie in Rhode Island

That is what this poem is about.

The Air Conditioning In This 7-11 Is What Heaven Probably Feels Like

The cool air flutters through my ponytail like

the trickle of your fingertips.

The condensation on my big gulp

makes my hands clammy.

The cashier smiles at me, and says I smell nice.

“It’s Gucci.”

You bought it for me.

I dig 2 dollars out of my purse and pay him.

The asphalt is hot, but this love of ours is hotter.

Connecticut On My Mind

“Your fingers entwined around my blouse like

the image of JFK, smiling, in a world where

only love lets us blossom like wildflowers that

grow along Santa Monica Blvd., down by the

record store, where our eyes met, smoldering

knowing we would destroy each other.

Marilyn and JFK, together, for a moment.”

Happy Fourth of July, Dad

Happy Fourth of July, Dad.

You wave at me from inside,

while outside, Uncle Jeff is grilling

a hot dog. It blisters, and he

turns it over, laughing.

I see you laughing, but

you are not outside with

us, in the warm sun.

Dad, please come outside.

It’s Fourth of July.

Mr. President on Hollywood Boulevard

Like a pigeon along Hollywood Boulevard, I sit.

Here, in the sunlight, on a porch swing drowning in

the depths of a cool September breeze, swimming in lace.

I’m dreaming of you on the run.

Dreaming of you in a place somewhere I am not.

Won’t you come back to me, Mr. President?

Wild West Moonlight Dance Time

“Think of all the children dancing on the backs of their Ford pickups,

like faeries, dancing under the bonfire of the Wild West.

Golden America, come to me. Golden America, a land of the free.

A land of the free for you and for me.”

Nascar Man, Nascar Heart

You track the smell of oil in on your shoes.

A frown races across your face, its tires leaving skidmarks.

I can hear your heart, it’s running out of gas, my Nascar man.

Let me drive you to the station. I’ll wear the dress you like,

and buy us a Red Bull to share. We need the energy, to confront this.

There Is A War Going On and It Makes Me Sad

This war, will it ever end?

I want this war to end.

It makes me sad, that this war

has no end.


BB&J: The poster currently known as BB&J

Alternate names for her book of poetry:

Basic Becky Bars

Basic Bitch Bible


100 Years a Voter (It’s Our Time!)

I’m Really a Songwriter (So Don’t Be So Critical, K? I Have Feelings Too!)

From Shore to Blandy Shore: A Memoir of What America Is Through My Eyeliner

A White Woman’s Protest (Against... Something, OK!)