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UBT: Sad Sausage Poetry

Universal Bullshit Translator
The Universal Bullshit Translator

Dear Chump Lady,

I’m seeking feedback on a text my ex sent. We were married over two decades and shared what I thought was a beautiful partnership with our children. He told me that a poem and painting he created were published in a small newsletter. The poem is about how he has forgiven himself and is loving himself for the first time in his painful, trauma-filled life.

Why in the world would he be sending me this? We keep it civil for the kids, but I am not feeling we are friends one bit. The discovery of the affair and his secret, hidden life filled with years of online sex chatting and meet ups with escorts in Vegas kinda killed that vibe for me.

I did not respond to him and not sure if I should. Please see the poem and artwork below along with his explanation. Thoughts?

Sincerely,

The Chumpiest Chump Around

****

Dear Chumpiest Chump Around,

Oh, I have thoughts.

My first thought was: Should I run this? On the off chance that the three people who lined their hamster cage with this recognize him?

But then I thought: He shared this for all the world to see. And to be a published writer is to feel the sting of commentary.

And then I realized my non-self and impermanence and thought WTF. The UBT could use a snack.

However, could we first discuss that illustration? What is it? Buddha in a Bunsen burner? Is it painted on black velvet?

It’s the “ongoing journey of forgiving myself (the lamp) to fully forgiving.”

Keep going, Dude. You need to forgive yourself for bad art.

Onwards to the faux Buddhist sad sausage word vomit…

My journey in this life has been difficult, filled with pain and loss from the consequences of actions I have made or those I couldn’t make.

This sentence construction has been difficult, filled with nameless actions to avoid responsibility.

You should know, this has all been very hard on me. Hardest really.

What I carried within my heart was blame. I blamed the gods, the world and me!

The gods never should’ve booked those Vegas escorts.

Last June I realized the journey to forgiveness is something I have been doing wrong.

I had an epiphany. Forgiveness is not remorse or recompense for those I have harmed. It’s New Age drivel published in a cut-rate newsletter.

I have been doing it wrong. I should Xerox this shit and leave it on car windshields.

I thought if I forgave everyone and the gods, welcomed them back into my life, then I would be forgiven too and feel at peace.

If I forgave the gods, welcomed them into my life, had them over to my hotel room and hired a few hookers…

The truth I have experienced is very much the opposite — when I forgave myself fully and began being kind to myself, I truly began to feel love for my imperfectly perfect soul within.

As a man who’s spent decades siphoning off marital funds to fuck strange, I need to be kinder to myself.

The truth I have experienced is I love my perfect dick.

When I completed this journey of fully forgiving myself

Since June! It’s what, mid-August? Journey complete!

and embracing with warm love who I am,

The UBT asks that you please not discuss your dick and your warm embraces with it. Eww.

#WhoUR

I also forgave everyone around me for their imperfect perfections.

I do not understand what perfection means. Or forgiveness.

#PublishMeAnywayBitch

It has been rewarding to realize that the first one to forgive and love is me.

I am the first one. I come first. I love me.

****

And now the Universal Bullshit Translator shall recite a poem.

***

Standing on this shore, I hear the overwhelming waves of your judgment crash.

My trouser cuffs are wet from your disdain.

Woe! Angry seagulls! Do not eat my imperfectly perfect liver.

My skin is pierced by your hate and I have a tattoo of a phoenix on my back. Inked by salty tears.

My tears. Hooker hearts burst with compassion.

I am frozen. How much? Do you take Venmo?

My wife’s burning sirocco of vengeance. Rococo. Loco. Mocha latte.

I utter “Splendid day for an enema” to the wind. All is earflaps. Waves cuddle.

I FORGIVE ME.

(The UBT has expired. Send Lebkuchen.)

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I smell the lotus scent of my essence?? Sorry, dude- What you smell is your unwashed hooker underwear. Just Yuck! This man is pretty sick and does not deserve a response!

  • Ew. Hence why I hate new age spirituality. I’m sorry but every western heritage man who talks like this is always a disgusting narcissist. Like every time.

    • I want to know which “gods” he’s referring to. -_- I doubt he could name any specific ones from whatever religious jalopy he’s trying to slap together here with the chunks of Buddhism he decided fit his narcissism.

    • Yeah, I’ve had that experience too. It’s like men who feel the need to tell everyone they’re a feminist, they’re usually the most disgusting and predatory misogynists you could imagine.

      • KatieP, my ex was a card-carrying feminist. He minored in Womens Studies at Uni. He delighted in studying really intense feminist philosophy and their stance on sex (I’m not familiar with who they are). But he loved to wax lyrical (whack off) about the G spot, anal, labiaplasty etc and study the feminist take on all things sexual. In spite of being a woman myself I just didn’t have the time or inclination to deep dive into cogitating the philosophy of my clitoris. This, of course, led him to view me as naive and boring compared to him and his in-depth knowledge on the topic. He trotted all this out at parties and women would hang on his every word like he was a Demi-god and possessed some magical sex powers. Truth is, he was a very selfish and awkward lover. All talk, and of course was one of these double life guys who cheated on me the entire 25 years we were married. I’m now repelled by the sensitive new age guy types. I thought my husband was stimulating intellectually but he was just stimulating his own genitalia.

        • “ I thought my husband was stimulating intellectually but he was just stimulating his own genitalia.” That’s my quote of the day right there. Right up there with who ever said to never mistake intelligence for character.

    • The filmmaker Akira Kurosawa said something a bit dry about Western practice of Zen. He didn’t understand why Westerners were drawn to a practice developed in an entirely undemocratic, regimented feudal society where most people had no power over their own lives. In other words, “no-mindedness” is the state necessary to bear a life with “no agency.” If you rebelled, you died, possibly along with your whole family or village.

      I guess Kurosawa didn’t understand how Zen applied in a modern democratic society where people have a greater degree of choice. I’m not knocking meditation if people find relief in it. It’s a tool and tools can be used for good or ill. Research reports that mindfulness meditation can be used to increase empathy but also to reduce guilt along with the tendency to make reparations for harming others. https://knowledge.insead.edu/leadership-organisations/meditating-away-guilty-conscience

      Quelling conscience would have been one of the original applications of meditation since Samurai with masters and other indentured warriors and had no choice over whether to kill or who they killed on any given day. I suppose that’s useful for shady people in modern democracies who prefer to believe they’re not responsible for their own actions nor who gets hurt by them. The path to enlightenment can also be the path to sociopathy.

      • “The path to enlightenment can also be the path to sociopathy”. This. FW#2 used his bi-polar diagnosis as a handy scapegoat for ALL of his character flaws, therefore he had no need, ever, to feel guilt for whatever he did. He couldn’t help it. #manchild
        He also bought into some of the “enlightened” BS that basically said any problems I had with the relationship were MY problems, not his. Therefore…not his fault. No reason for him to feel guilty.

        • I don’t remember the name of the woman comedian who said that whenever she heard anyone say “Everything happens for a reason,” what she actually hears is, “Anything can happen with a razor.”

          I can make fun of Yogazilla-isms all day long. I respect the faculty of faith even if I don’t really have that faculty. I can see how spirituality can be a means to access intuition beyond our limited rational minds. I don’t know if it’s true but it’s said that most advanced physicists believe in some form of higher power. Groovy. But I absolutely hate fatalist, Calvinist-style victim-blaming no matter what religion is being weaponized to that end. It seems like Western interpretations of Eastern religions are chock full of that crap.

      • We can always depend on Hell of a Chump to get to the rational heart of the matter while expanding its context — you should have a blog, too.

        • Hugs and thanks. I intend to complete another degree in something related when all the kids are packed off to school. Scientific certification matters in many types of advocacy writing since science often forms the basis of laws and social policy these days. If you can’t be as funny as CL and you tend to reference science a lot, certs will be scrutinized! 😉

      • so great to read this. So well put! I’ve done a lot of meditation but always hit the wall at the idea of aiming to achieve some kind of non-personhood. A lot of people who undertake meditation, do so to lessen stress and trauma, where they have been already been somewhat “erased” or bulldozed over by conscienceless people. During meditation the mind can go over and over the original trauma. I’ve asked questions regarding these issues to a few gurus and teachers, and their answers have always been a cop out. A lot of Students are traumatized people to begin with, and this is not addressed. We have developed Human Rights in order to recognize “personhood”- there are and have been abuses in every religion, including Buddhism.

        • Interesting. When I was at the height of my trauma in the months following DDay, the advice from my psychologist was not to meditate or do anything like mindfulness until I was a bit better. He was right- it was not helping and in fact making it worse. He also said no TV which worked as well.

        • The cop-outs– yes. I once went to the fancy ashram of a Hindu meditation sect that FW’s mother had been a devotee of for years. I walked into the entryway, took one look at the four foot portrait of the late founding guru and what flashed in my mind was “Pedophile.” Then for three hours all I could think about while meditating was trafficked children, abused children. It was mental torture. The thing is, I wasn’t sexually abused as a child. The thoughts came out of nowhere.

          There were some kind of sub-gurus forming groups among people in attendance after the meditation and collecting questions for the acting guru who had been hand-picked and groomed since childhood to succeed the founder before he died. Rattled, I asked what if all that you could think about during meditation was social evil and corruption. Then the guru took the podium dressed head to toe in silk and designer gear before answering questions from followers. My question was brought up and the answer– uttered in a slightly sneering tone– was, “Don’t be a donkey carrying the world’s dirty laundry on your back.”

          A few years later this sect was the subject of a major media investigation and expose. It seems the founding guru had serially raped the children of devotees for years at family retreats where the children were lodged separately. And while the founder was alive and for years after he died, the acting guru had covered it up and intimidated parents of victims. I guess the parents were donkeys too in that scenario. And the victimized children (or maybe the truth itself?)= dirty laundry. A cop-out as well as an attack on victims and whistleblowers.

          With the truth coming out, I realized that if I ever found myself in the core of evil again, I’d know it by the fact that I’d find myself going into obsessive, intrusive thoughts about it.

      • “The path to enlightenment can also be the path to sociopathy”.

        True story: a few summers ago, I worked for a wealthy, middle aged guy in my town who had retired young from the business world to become a gentleman farmer. That summer, he found new age spirituality, experienced an awakening, and sent a letter explaining this — with poetry and an inner child journey — to his family and friends. He asked me to read it, and that’s when I started making different plans. He stopped sleeping, began wandering barefoot all day and driving around all night, and after a couple months had a “violent psychotic break” (whatever that actually means). Tried to kill a girlfriend because god told him to, then attacked a female passenger on a flight and the nurse in the psych ward where they held him after. From there, it just got worse, but fast forward a few weeks, he signed himself out of the exclusive mental institution he’d entered to “recover” (amazing what money does for violent criminals) and went home. The last I heard (I moved away to LACGAL), he managed to maintain a sense of normalcy for awhile before “snapping” again, killing his two magnificent sheep dogs and committing who knows what other crimes.

        Writing like this is ridiculous and deserves to be mocked, but it also gives me the creeps when it’s coming from an entitled, grown man with a personality disorder. I don’t think it’s harmless and I hope the Chumpiest Chump will look out for other warning signs and take them seriously. I’ve now seen a couple previously “normal” men turn scary (my ex also flipped a switch, though not quite this bad… but close), and I have a hard time trusting anyone who can be this selfish and this out there.

  • The UBT did a masterful job of processing and not blowing up after being fed this garbage.

    As for me, all I could think of re CCA’s ex is, ‘you deplete me’. Glad Mr Zen is out of your life.

  • His writing and PUBLISHING this tells us all we need to know about this shallow, self-important windbag who wouldn’t know forgiveness if it hit him over the head. But he sent it to his ex?????? Unbelievable. That’s a new low.

    • “This sounds like an edgy emo 14 year old just learned poems don’t have to rhyme.”

      Hahahaha! Love this. It’s perfect. Although I’d put quotation marks around “edgy”. LOL

  • Well good thing he has forgiven all the people he hurt for not embracing he his atrocious behaviour. That must’ve been really hard for him. After all he is entitled to disregard the rights of others but he is to be revered and adored at all times as the superior, nuanced and interesting human being that he is. Puke. This man has the depth mountain.

  • Chumped poet here. And yeah, it’s tough and vulnerable and all that crap to publish poems. But really, dude — “the burning sirocco?!??” Your name wouldn’t happen to be Roget, would it?

    And really, the most honest line in this poem arrives courtesy of bad punctuation:

    “Frozen water, lay like a mirror at my feet”

    That comma? Not only is it inexplicable, it allows the proper reading by turning “lay” into a noun. So your “lay” — an escort, an affair partner, whatever assorted sordid choices you’ve made for what to achieve sexual congress with — your “lay” is a mirror. And there we are. Look into that mirror, bro. Source of problem found.

    • Not to mention bad spelling (by the author) and/or slipshod proofing (by the newsletter staff) — “I breath in the burning sirocco of your anger . . .”

    • I like this reading of that line. It also suggests that when he commands anything/anyone to lay at his feet, which I’m sure he has done in the name of many a spiritual (ahem) union, that he sees whoever submits to him as reflecting his glory. The person is an object that is just there for him to look at himself.

      • Chumps spinning gold… Who else could find such depth and wisdom in this shallow puddle of a “poem”? The poem is garbage, and yet we still manage to make something of it. The only meaning is, and ever was, created by us.

  • There are not enough lebkuchen in the world. Thank you, UBT for taking on this hot mess.

    But there’s one bit I think I’d add to:

    “I also forgave everyone around me for their imperfect perfections.”

    My UBT said “I just had to get in the last word that chump is also a fuck up. But look at me! I’m the better person and I can forgive her for all she does wrong. (You know… like using bagged salad).”

    • “I also forgave everyone around me for their imperfect perfections.” Isn’t he (mis)cribbing from John Legend’s All Of Me (all your perfect imperfections) there? Imperfect perfections doesn’t even make sense.

  • “Splendid day for an enema.” LOL! CL, that is classic! I would wish 1,000 enemas on this dude who is so full of himself (and so full of shit), but he’d probably enjoy it.

  • In my case Ex said he “forgave himself” like 2 days after DDay. He said “you can’t expect me to walk around feeling guilty. So I forgave myself. “

    Of course, he forgave himself for unnamed things. 🙄

    I think forgiving himself is just another line in the cheater handbook. Seems like the poem and art is just trying to make you miss his wonderful self. Don’t respond.

    • Yep Reminds me of the letter my fw wrote apologizing for being a dirt bag, didn’t know why he acted like that.

      You acted like that because you are a dirt bag, and you did all that shit to my face, but you cowardly apologize in a letter. My only regret is the letter got stolen the same day I got it at my part time job. (wallet stolen). I didn’t get a chance to burn it.

      • Yep, I got one of those emails too.

        Since today is my first ‘divorce is final’ anniversary (yeah me!), I had seriously given thought to forwarding that email to CL to be run through the UBT to celebrate. This is 100x’s better … the “Chump Gods” had me in mind today! Thanks for the belly laugh!

      • FW also wrote me an apology letter. Left it in our marital bed where he had fucked the howorker (I burned that waste of paper along with the bed – twas a very nice blaze 😁).

        In the letter he stated that he needed to be happy and he wanted me to be happy too…. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷‍♀️.

        I am happy now especially after getting back all the money he stole from me while schmoozing…….. I also got the house, car, pensions and a substantial sum of cash, enough for me to give up working and go travelling.

        Hugs to the newbies. You can do this we’re all with you ❤️

    • ChupNeedsSunlight, yes, my FW was so intent on not allowing himself to drown in his shame, and the fact that i might be angry now, but eventually I would have to forgive him! I actually laughed at that.

      I hadn’t actually decided to divorce yet, but hearing him say he forgives himself shortly after DDay, and that I “had to” do anything, certainly tipped the scales in that direction. So glad he had it all figured out how things should go 🙄

    • Yup. Goes right along with, “I’m not going to let this define me.” Uhhhhhhhh. Good for you, but your actions leave a stink on the rest of us.

  • Hilarious CL! God he’s full of crap. He needs to be beaten with a stick several times a day just for that drivel. Never mind the other transgressions.

  • I saw the words impatience, judgement, anger and hate and then stopped reading.
    Yeah, those words summed it up for me…he deserves all of those.
    What a jerk.

      • Agreed Rebecca & Four-leaf – if this thinly-veiled venom is how he forgives, I’d hate to see the invectives he writes for the unforgiven!

        As in, with friends like this, who needs enemies?!

  • Bless his heart. But don’t. This is the same B.S. my step-father spews out. He smokes a joint & goes all Bob Marley when the world doesn’t recognize his specialness. Instead of remorse & making amends, as you say, he strokes his inner ego. I stopped responding to his flowy self-gratifying poems & essays & he eventually stopped sending them. So you may get more of them if you respond initially in any way, like I did. Dear stepdad then smeared me on Facebook by declaring that he was cutting his stepdaughter out of his life due to “her cruelty”. Okey dokey then. He complains bitterly about me to anyone who listens but most people (except a few toadies) have him figured out. Probably the people around your ex do as well.

    • I also know people like these men. They are all the same. They sound and write and act exactly the same. Narcissism. They wouldn’t read a real book for a million dollars, but they fancy themselves educated.

      • After a while, you can spot them a mile away. I don’t even need to hear the Chump’s side of the story.

  • Chumpiest – this is sort of terrifying. If this is how FW feels/thinks/acts after the marriage has ended, I can only imagine the word salad after Dday. File it or send it to your attorney if there are any issues with custody or child support. This guy is violating boundaries and printing a “get out of jail free” card.

  • Sirocco… RED FLAG… the use of pretentious langauge should always put you on alert (regardless of education level, who speaks this way without a goal of manipulation or from a place of narcissism)… what drivel. Do not respond. Delete and keep moving forward like you would if you were passing a dumpster fire (which this is!)

  • I have secondhand embarrassment, except I don’t think FW has the self-awareness to be embarrassed. Yikes.

  • “My skin is pierced by your hate (faded love) for me.”
    Where are the kibbles? He wants more kibbles. He wants a response from you, and he wants you to know that others are listening to him and publishing his deep thoughts and valuing his self-pity– er, enlightenment. It looks like his artwork is a pastiche of free clip art. As for the rest, does he really believe he is enlightened? At least he fed the UBT.

    Fraudster told me his online AP was the best writer he ever knew, because of the poems she sent him. It was immediately apparent that the catfisher’s “poems” were a series of single sentences in vastly different and clashing styles. I put them into a search, and found they were chunks of drivel copied from sites like “Fifty ways to say good morning to your lover, ” but copying multiple lines instead of a single greeting as intended. Fraudster didn’t even realize it. They were hilarious, like:
    ” Let the morning dewdrops that wash away the burdens of yesterday. May god sprinkle much of these on you today!
    Good morning!
    Enjoy life – now! Good morning 
    Give your day meaning by setting a goal. Then, work towards achieving that goal. Wishing you a very good morning!
    Wishing you a day full of sunny smiles and happy thoughts. Good morning!
    This is not just another day. It is yet another chance to make your dreams come true. Get up and get started. Good
    morning!
    You cannot change yesterday, you cannot predict tomorrow. Today is the only gift you have. That is why we call it the “present”. Have a good day!”

    He said he didn’t understand why most of her emails and texts were misspelled, ungrammatical and seemed like she was intellectually impaired, but her “poetry” was brilliant. He also said he was glad she seemed to be mentally slow, because it would be easier to impress her and she’d look up to him instead of argue or disagree. Ugh.

    • Do you sometimes wonder if FW’s are following some evolutionary drive or intuition to breed and produce offspring with someone intelligent and normal even when their crotches prefer dumb, unhealthy and dysfuctional?

  • “ The truth I have experienced is very much the opposite.” I couldn’t let that one go.

    Where’s the lamp in the painting? All I could see was a predatory cat waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting bird.

  • Oh, dear god.
    I thought my ex was the master of sad sausage bullshit, but this takes the cake.

    I thought, when reading that drivel, of two things, sequentially.

    I thought, one, of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the requirement that those who sought amnesty accepted responsibility.
    I thought of the TRC’s concept of “restorative justice”; where is it here?

    I thought, two, of the massive sad sausage that is TS Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,”
    of which this poem “I Forgive You” is a but a shallow reflective puddle,
    calling on Buddhism rather than Catholicism to excuse his
    Does this cheater wear the bottom of his trousers rolled?
    Does he dare to eat a peach?
    In which room do the women he hires come and go?

    He should drown.

    • “Does he dare to eat a peach?”

      The peaches eat him. For $200 a pop.
      Lol @ the Prufrock comparison. It’s perfect.

    • I totally missed the Prufrock inference, but by god, you are spot on! “Restless nights in one-night cheap hotels” … bwahahahahaha!
      Chumpiest, delete and don’t respond. If you do, you risk getting his new-aged version of “Ode on a Grecian Urn”

  • The painting, poetry, and the fact that the topic is all about him seems to indicate that your ex-husband is an artistic narcissist (or artsy narc for short). I would guess the reason he sent this to you is because you haven’t been paying him enough attention recently and this is the tap on the shoulder he feels you need to keep him centralized. If you are still that angry and unforgiving, that means you’re still thinking about him.

    Also, “ I touch the imperfect perfection of me“…. TMI. Nobody needs to know how, when, and where he touches himself. #Don’tVisualize

    We are almost to the weekend. Hope this was the only low point for you.

    • Agree. Narcissist as victim. I cannot imagine sending anyone words to say, “I have forgiven myself for my self-inflicted pain.” Just wanted you to know! No wonder Chumpiest Chump is confused. 🧐

    • I was married to an “artsy narc”. Up until the day he died (actually, several days after he died, since you can program YouTube to drop your video on whatever date you want) he was writing songs about how wronged he was. His last word was a song about how his girlfriend (ex by that time, as she had left him) was an abusive alcoholic. Anything to have people pay attention to him.

      When he finally “officially” dumped me (“I think we should date other people” dumped), the one thing he cried about was that he couldn’t imagine having his film premiers without me there. LOL. He was losing kibbles.

  • Yes to every comment here. This is the writing of someone incapable of considering anyone or anything but himself. I am truly sorry that he was ever in your life.
    I know several men who blather on this way. They will never be able to grasp the fact that they are not the center of the universe. They don’t understand that their writing is empty drivel.

  • WOW!!! Sending German Cookies and even a Stollen to the UBT for this one. Yikes, that was a lot FW BS. Nothing unusual though but this FW just expressed his in a saddest of sad sausage way. They forgive themselves so quickly because they believe their cheating is totally justifiable. You know, they deserve to be happy by fucking strange.
    Yes, he may see himself as a high priest or whatever but he is just another self centered narc begging for kibble.
    CCA, just laugh it off, save it as meaningless cheater dribble (there may be a sad sausage poetry contest somewhere eventually) and be happy that new age Zen Cheater has forgiven himself (you don’t have to forgive him and besides it is much more important in his universe that he forgives himself). Glad that you are away from that nutty FW.

    • Her FW and mine can be High Priests of the church of MUH DICK! This chauvinistic way of running their lives centered around their dicks is so juvenile/ highschool. Makes my head hurt.

  • I fixed the poem for him.

    I Shall Genorously Attempt to Forgive You, Inferior Creature

    -By Whoremaster Von Spoogestain

    Banging with this whore
    I feel the sizzle of my omnipotence
    Banging with this whore
    I see my pimply ass in the mirrored ceiling
    Banging with this whore
    I inhale the odorifery of ten dollar perfume
    Banging with this whore
    My man bits tingle with my power (oh sweet power!) over you.

    Chumps, eyes swollen with tears
    Hearts breaking at my betrayal
    Send me to the heights
    You do worship my almighty unclothed penis
    Like the gals over at Rubs For Studs do, right?
    Though they call me plankton for some unfathomable reason.

    Bla bla bla me me me
    Last blithering stanza
    My heart soars like a white swallow
    You know I love white swallows
    So play your cards right
    Delectable punching bag
    And I’ll forgive you.

  • Buddha in a Bunsen burner 🤣

    Why do they think they are somehow above everything they do? I simply cannot comprehend how a person can believe they are so inherently special and completely compartmentalize their actual life from how they see themselves.

    This faux-art is sad-sausage navel-gazing crap unless you consider it as a portrait of a disordered mind. Add the backstory and it’s fascinating, “Self-Portrait of an Empty Elevator Shaft.”

  • Well, of course!

    Cheaters giving themselves that which they do not deserve and should be conferred upon them by others is what cheating is all about!

    What quicker faux fix is there than declaring oneself forgiven of one’s crimes? Never mind that it should come from your victims, ideally because of genuine regret, restitution paid and amends made! Why do the time-consuming and difficult footwork of studying for a test when you can just give yourself an A? There is a tangible difference between an earned reward and a stolen one, and cheaters are too insensitive and emotionally anesthetized to detect it.

    This reminds me of the tale of Kevin, dear friend’s cheater X who went on a Vision Quest and came back enlightened, bearing the news that he had forgiven…..himself!

    Recently, Traitor X asked to spend 10K of corporate cash on a Tony Robbins seminar “for the business”. In our discussion where I vetoed the expense, it became clear he is grasping for another quick fix for himself. It seems that over the past four years he has realized that the Craigslist Casual Encounter “sole mate” as the solution to his “unhappiness” is not working, and he is anxious about being 57 and not yet found a way to be blissed out 24/7/365.

    Last fall he was complaining about a lack of forgiveness and compassion from me, even though he has in fact continued to lie and inflict damage.

    “Based on what?” was my response. He had no answer. Of course.

  • Okay, so the poem is…. well… something. To call it self serving would be an understatement. My UBT version of it goes like this:

    Me good.
    You bad.
    Me good.
    You bad.
    Me super good. I forgive me. Cheating not wrong.
    You bad. Angry, judgey, and bad. Not forgiving cheating is super wrong.
    Me hero on the shore.
    You bad.

    #publishedpoet

    But, snark aside. *This*…. this is a poem and a piece of creative work that came right out of a FW’s soul. *This* is from a FW’s heart. And all it says is “Me good.” There is zero self awareness, critical thinking, or understanding of others’ emotions in this blank verse.

    This is an excellent example of why we don’t engage with people who are convinced they can do no wrong. Dig deep and it’s all just “me good.” How can you engage with that? You can’t; it’s a brick wall and you’ll bloody your head trying to get through those bricks made of “me good.” They’re impenetrable but your head and heart aren’t.

    That’s why No Contact and estrangement are such blessings. I also have children with a FW made out of “me good/the problem is you” kevlar, so my version of NC is a bit more fluid to allow for that but I am estranged from him as I can get because anytime I tried to get him to understand that he tore apart my life, I just got a magnanimous version of a “me good” poem with complementary “OW good” verses. Absent from that kind of poetry: me and the kids.

    So, yeah. No contact all the way. Only business (kid or money) missives–the shorter and professional, the better; anything personal gets ignored and never, ever, *ever* responded to unless you want “Me Good Vol. 2” sent your way.

    • “…anytime I tried to get him to understand that he tore apart my life, I just got a magnanimous version of a ‘me good’…” Same here, Fourleaf. In the more recent aftermath of my STBX’s affair (now over three years out from d-day), anytime I expressed dismay over the destruction he caused our family (after a two-year affair with a friend of ours), he’s increasingly defended himself with the statement: ‘I’m a good person!'” Yes, he stuck around after everything blew up, has always provided for our kids, went to some therapy, apologized over and over. But the years of lies?! The magnitude of betrayal and heartache, all because of his selfish choices.

      I never knew how to respond to his “I’m a good person!” Attempting to argue the definition of “good person” only inflamed him. Estrangement it is then!

      • My FW insisted that bad actions don’t make somebody a bad person. I asked him if not that, then what does make somebody a bad person. I got crickets in response. He knows. They all do, subconsciously. Under the bluster they know they are shit. Hence the overcompensation with crap like this poem. Hence other forms of nauseating image management.

  • I wouldn’t want to contribute a single penny to encouraging this narcissistic FW, but would love a copy to put on the bottom of my parrot’s cage. Thinking my parrot’s output would improve both the poem AND the art.

  • 😂😂even FWs “Enlightenment” is entitled drivel. Glad your free! My FW reportedly from my sons went through a self shame guilt phase. He seems fine now. Whatevs.. I need to empty my garbage.

  • The description for this artwork’s inevitable acceptance into the Museum of Bad Art (http://museumofbadart.org/):

    I FORGIVE ME
    Anonymous
    Oil and Soot on canvas
    2022

    “The elephant-eared human form (presumably the artist) meditates within the impervious confines of an unspecified part of female anatomy. Meanwhile, the multi-chromatic symbol of dispensation in the foreground drifts away to an unknown destiny, much like Wilson the Volleyball.”

  • Wow, this is IMPRESSIVE. Impressively delusional.

    Unfortunately, the best response is no response at all. Sigh.

    But if you must, you could always reply as I did a couple of times to my Ex;

    Thank you for reminding me that you haven’t changed.

  • You know what this reminds me of? Frankenstein. The book, not any of the movies that are absolutely nothing like the actual story. I highly recommend reading Frankenstein to chumps but especially to women chumps. When I was going through my divorce I was talking to my best friend and mentioned I had never actually read the book. She said, “Oh, you should really read it. Especially right now.” And I was confused, a book about a monster is going to help with my divorce? But oh, those type of men like my ex husband are nothing new and Mary Shelly totally gets it. She wrote an entire book about a spineless man baby who refuses to take responsibility for anything he does and constantly proclaims himself the victim. And it became a classic.

    The good doctor literally gets a young woman executed for a crime she did not commit, could have saved her by opening his mouth, and thinks of himself as the victim. He’s all like Oh, but at least her suffering has ended (because she was killed!), she’s been shown mercy (DEATH!), but what of me?! My suffering still goes on!

    That’s the whole book! He’s terrible to the monster just for existing when he’s the one who made him, gets everybody killed, won’t take any responsibility, and is a whiny m*****f***** the whole time. Some might say he tried to redeem himself at the end but no, it’s far too little, far too late. And he’s still whiny and pathetic then too. He’s a FW. They’re all the same and they haven’t changed in hundreds of years.

  • You know what OP, I’d block the MFer if at all possible after this. He shouldn’t get to send you sad sausage crap about what a victim he is anymore. How old are the kids? If they’re old enough, you don’t have to talk to him. You can talk to them about their schedules. If they’re young, maybe it’s time for parenting software and zero other contact. You shouldn’t have to get smacked with his ridiculous poetry about how he’s the real victim and he’s forgiven himself for abusing you.

  • Best choice: ignore
    2nd choice: response
    You probably sent this artistic endeavor to me by accident. Maybe forwarded from someone in an introductory creative group? No worries. It’s so badly done it’s comical and only took a few seconds to digest, albeit uncomfortably. Like mild gas with unknown origins.
    Amused I am the uninterested and unintended recipient of that drivel. Who thought that was something other people should see? Can you imagine suffering through a 25 person class of that? Teachers aren’t paid enough!Also, a reminder that communication between us is 110% unnecessary! Thanks! Off for an eye rinse!

    • “Can you imagine suffering through a 25 person class of that? Teachers aren’t paid enough!”
      Chortle. Snort.
      Bet the *small newsletter* that *published* this douchebaggery was really a listserv of attendees sharing *realizations* after a faux zen retreat.

  • Yet each fuckwit kills the thing he loves,
    by each let this be heard,
    Some do it with Vegas hookers,
    Some with self serving words

  • He paid way too much for that Zen Brush class… and clearly the instructor’s generic words of praise went straight to his …ahem… ego. What an embarrassment.

    “Perfectly imperfect”. These narcs really have to contort all mental operations to maintain their egos. Only I can forgive me! And since I am decreeing -and publishing!- myself as FORGIVEN you must accept it too!

  • Forgiving himself did not purge the narcissism.
    He sent it to you expecting kibble treats back because he’s such a good boy.

  • Chumpiest Chump, you REALLY need to print off Chumplady’s translation and mail it back to him. Laughter is the best medicine for your ex’s affliction.

    • Roses are red
      Violets are blue
      Your poetry sucks
      And so do you.

      Ah, the classics – simple, yet elegant…

  • As one who makes their living writing, oh my. And what is expressed, oh my. I can’t speak to the “art” submitted with the poem, but it seems cringy.

    My oldest asked me not long ago if I would go to his dad’s funeral if they call us. I’m not sure if we’ll even be notified, frankly. No, I won’t go to his funeral. I know that it would be hard for me not to say something ugly and blunt at a time when some people there would want platitudes and love spoken. I’ll make a final decision if the time comes, but that’s where I am now.

  • Thank you Chump Lady and fellow Chumps!! Y’all are giving me LIFE with the post and these comments. I have been belly laughing my way through them. Laughter is healing for me and so is your support and understanding.

    • My thoughts are: I really hope that you posing the question of “how you should respond” is fully rhetorical, and just for our entertainment.
      But in case it isn’t: No response (other than saving, and forwarding to your attorney).
      I’m glad that you can now see how (only) laughable this is.
      Congratulations on putting this colossal FW in your rearview frozen water.

  • I can’t with this drivel. And the Buddha – that’s his self-portrait? He sees himself as the Buddha?! The self-indulgence is so next level. He actually sees his garden variety scum baggery as art – and art that he’s basically copied from Target’s spiritual outdoor line.

  • The poem is hilarious in a ha-ha-shriek kind of way. It gave me flashbacks. I got an eerily similar creepy poem years ago from the psycho former coworker who stalked and assaulted me and then was arrested at the scene. While in jail the stalker got one of his flying monkeys at work to deliver a message that the stalker was suicidal. That annoyed police who put the perp on suicide watch and threatened the flying monkeys with charges of witness tampering. Then a few days after he made bail, the stalker broke an order of protection to leave vm messages that “he wasn’t going to harm me” and sent the poem. I delivered the recorded messages and the poem straight to police like unexploded letter bombs and an eight man anti-terrorism unit broke down his door and put him back in jail.

    The perpetrator’s haiku had attributed all kinds of rage, hate and murderous impulses to me while denying those things in himself. He depicted himself as MY victim. Huh? I’m sitting there with taped ribs, a damaged eardrum and a limp and it couldn’t have been more obvious that the perp’s perspective was crazy. But the accusation was still weirdly spellbinding. All that mattered was that he believed it, which meant he could act on it again and potentially make others believe it which he’d tried to do since being arrested. My workplace was split right down the middle– those who were on my side and those who thought I was “evil” for “framing” a poor innocent guy.

    Fortunately the cops weren’t so confused. The head of SWAT and another officer came to my place of work straight from the arrest in full tactical gear and told me what happened. They were still hopped up and drunk on adrenaline and joking about “the resident poet.” Things got surreal when the head of the unit sang the line “No I don’t have a gun, No I don’t have a gun” from Nirvana’s Come as You Are and laughed, “Turns out he had a gun, right?!”

    I had conflicting emotions about being confronted at work by huge, loud, heavily armed, happy singing pit bulls. Thanks for saving me, gulp. Thanks for the display of power to intimidate flying monkeys, gulp. But in their regular Joe way the cops helped me identify what had been so terrifying about voice mails and the shitty poem better than any academic psychologist could have: “displacement,” “externalization” and “protesting too much.” Cops took the words “harm, rage, hate, kill,” only saw the perp’s intent and responded accordingly. And I felt weirdly “exonerated.” Isn’t that something? I hadn’t done anything wrong but it didn’t matter that the perp’s claim was nonsense if I still stood to pay consequences for it. That’s all the primitive “danger ganglia” at the bases of our skulls seems to understand. Accusation= punishment. It produces emotions almost identical to shame or guilt.

    According to criminal psychologists, jujitsuing intent is a classic serial killer thing: externalize and attribute evil intent/identity to victims in order to justify doing evil to them. Apparently Bundy, Dahmer and Gacy did exactly this. Researchers argue that serial offenders’ self-exculpatory mechanism applies retroactively, in the moment and proactively to quell conscience for past and present crimes and to pave the way for future aggression. In other words, displacement or reversing victim-offender is a threat disguised as an accusation.

    If that research is correct, it’s horrible and heartbreaking to realize what the victims of these serial killers must have experienced in their final moments on earth.They were turned into receptacles for the killers’ own shame. The killers’ wholehearted belief in this must have been spellbinding. I can’t stand thinking about it but it’s important to consider that it’s one reason DARVO can be so paralyzing and terrifying and strangely shame-inducing. Even if the DARVOing culprit couldn’t wrestle a goose, it still feels like part of some serial killer-ish continuum. Any brush with that mentality feels menacing.

    • Sounds like your coworkers reacted to the assault and stalking like many people react to cheating and divorce. They don’t understand the impact, and they can’t or won’t bring themselves to believe that someone they knew was capable of that. I’m so sorry you were attacked and injured, and still saw half your colleagues side with your attacker and blame you.
      My ex wrote first-person songs about shooting people and killing them. He assaulted me, and then our tween when tween tried to intervene. He’d knocked me unconscious and I was too confused to let the tween call police, and had him call friends, a huge mistake I still regret. For about a year after he left, he secretly called our tween and threatened that he was going to come back at night with his friends to kill us and the tween’s cat and dog. The police couldn’t do anything but talk to him, but they told me to take it very, very seriously. They recommended no contact. DHS investigated and recommended no contact. The Parental Responsibilities Evaluator likewise recommended no contact. When my ex saw the report from the latter, he stopped fighting. I have sole custody. And my now-teenager still has horrific, graphic nightmares of us being assaulted, hunted down and killed. He’s on a medication for PTSD-induced nightmares, and if he misses a dose, the nightmares are back.

      • God I’m so sorry you “learned” about that through first hand experience and that your child came so close to being destroyed. But I’m glad police and legal authorities took it a bit seriously as they did in my case. They too often don’t with deadly results.

        To me, justice is the best PTSD treatment so I wish your abuser was rotting in jail. But it seems the evil (calling a spade a spade) bystanders in your circumstances actively stood in the way of this possibility and the legal response might not have been quite sufficient either way. There’s still a huge problem in the system (read Flitcraft and Stark’s “Women at Risk” for the spotty and unsatisfying evolution of legal response). I suspect that, in a just world, having the villain neutralized and rendered powerless might have helped with your child’s nightmares.

        But we don’t live in a just world. I did something a little odd while being bullied by bystanders at work and may have figured something out about bystander betrayal which, by the way, is known as the “second injury” of DV and other forms of victimization. It’s bad enough that a survivor endured trauma or violence and threats from one person but it tends to seal in and complicate the trauma when the social context starts blaming and even further endangering victims. Researchers found this was the case with traumatized Vietnam veterans who were treated particularly badly when they returned home because of the unpopularity of the war and consequently fared much worse in terms of resolution of trauma. Some Native Americans societies seemed to have understood this. When warriors returned from battle, the entire tribe would enter the sweat lodge with them. Not to clean their pores but to demonstrate willingness to suffer along side the traumatized warriors.

        Bystander fuckery is the part of my experience that still haunts me the most. It was so Rosemary’s Baby. But at least some of the mystery of it was resolved and that helps. I think because my supporters reacted with a certain amount of gallows humor to the situation and were encouraging a professional take-down of the bullies and flying monkeys, I got a bit counter-predatory and also morbidly curious and started “interrogating” the flying monkeys to figure out why they’d reacted the way they did. Some of the enablers hadn’t even liked the guy previously but then reflexively ran to that side. Boggling. Though these people could not have been unaware of the fact that my prying questions weren’t being asked from a friendly perspective, it seems like people in the throes groveling for amnesty from the most dangerous person on the scene are in some kind of altered, dissociative mental state. They trance-ily answered my questions and, bingo, it turned out four had grown up with domestic violence or, in the case of one, rampant cheating by a parent and psychological abuse. The fifth was more cagey and wouldn’t say but then it seems his MO was more pragmatic and less compulsive than the others. He was coldly using the crisis to take over my position. He led a kind of attempted coup to go over my head and get the partners of the umbrella company (complicated structure) to get rid of me.

        Long, complicated story short, my wily friend who didn’t work in the same company but had a certain amount of power in that industry helped orchestrate a situation in which the monkeys were all fired in one sweep. It was a stunning take-down, kind of like the baptism assassination medley in The Godfather. We were laughing so hard when it all went down which probably put years back on my life. Without that friend I would have been dead or without a job. Since then I have a great admiration and respect for “moral Machiavellians.” She’d wisely warned me that “innocence is never enough to survive evil.” It’s also not enough to save others from it. No surprise that she herself had been forged in the fires of severe childhood trauma but had just gone an entirely different way with it than the flying monkeys. I think the key was that her mother rebelled, put herself through law school and got free of the abuse trap while my friend was growing up. That’s what your child is seeing too. It might not seem so at the moment but I think that can make all the difference in the long run.

        Anyway, what I drew from that situation is that the compulsive groveling for amnesty or “boxer’s clinch” of negative bystanders seems to be the key to knee-jerk victim blaming. These types may be common but they’re really not “normal” as in healthy. They’re like Manchurian candidates who will always be triggered into their childhood training to take what they see is the “safer” side of any bullying situation on the belief that abusers always win and victims always lose– because this is how they saw things work out in their own lives. My friend had seen a different outcome in childhood and she liked to prove victims win and evil loses. I had the same MO when I got involved for advocacy for survivors. From experience I wanted to help survivors manage and gain immunity to what I felt was the worst part of many traumas– bystander blame and endangerment (including in the so-called “helping” professions).

        So what a “learning” experience we’ve had, huh? Some don’t survive the “lessons.” Others, maybe rarely, turn into anti-bullies. But I don’t thank shitheads for the education. I wish we could have all learned about this stuff from books instead of first-hand.

        Another thing I wish was in books was the warning that when you’ve survived trauma once, you may be at greater risk to be targeted by subsequent predators who love a challenge and will be particularly skilled at getting past defenses as they play “understanding ally.” It can help the masquerade if they fully believe in their own positive identity or want very badly for it to be true. Abusers can be Manchurians in their own way who deny their own capacity for long periods of time until triggered back to factory setting by some chain of events. So I met FW in the midst of criminal proceedings against the stalker. D’oh. It was a protection racket. It’s obvious that faux-heros with their imitation empathy have an advantage in the fact that too many Joe Schmo bystanders will knee-jerkedly blame and shame former victims even in subtle ways, letting the patient moles shine heroically in comparison. That kind of sums up my chump experience. At least by the time this happened, I’d become allergic to even the slightest hint of victim-blamey ideology, at least in friends. I’d already filtered out most potentially “Manchurian candidate” bystanders in my inner circle and everyone who remained sided with me. That’s FW’s bad luck.

  • The letter reminds of a letter I received from my incarcerated sociopath (diagnosed early) brother. He had picked fist fights with me daily from when I was six to when I was sixteen and he was first locked up. He also stole from me and hid his drugs in my things in case they were found, until I found them and brought them to my parents. He went on about how he had forgiven himself. I’m convinced a prison psych doctor had told him to write to all his siblings, because we all received letters. There was not a bit of regret for his behavior, no apology, no curiosity or concern about my life in the twenty or so years since I last laid eyes on him. It was all about him. Thank goodness he didn’t try to write a poem! Someday I expect a similar letter from my lying, cheating ex. After three years I finally got my annulment in the Catholic Church. I got to read what she sent to the tribunal. It was entirely lies about me to make me look bad and avoid responsibility for her behavior. She created fictional events that never took place. The thing is, she had no interest in a Catholic marriage tribunal and she ignored the questionnaire they sent her. She only sent a letter after the initial filing. I think her lies were trying to convince herself that she was a victim. It was as if she was creating an alternate reality to live in that was preferable to taking an honest look at the things she was responsible for. The letter from my brother, and the letter Chump Lady posted are also about creating an alternate reality. It’s an alternate reality where they have harmed no one, where they are the victim, and if they “forgive themselves” they can absolve themselves for the things they do without input from those they have harmed. It’s pretty weird to live that way, divorced from reality.

    • My fw ignored the tribunal document too. I knew he would, but I did tell the woman doing the work that if he did respond do not contact me, and never tell me a word he says because he has said and done enough to me, and I won’t hear another word. She said I didn’t need to read it if I didn’t want to. Didn’t matter I would have anyway.

      Funny thing was mine was easily approved. My h’s wasn’t and his wife responded. Unfortunately she died a few years later and we got remarried in the church. We had been married by my dads preacher.

      For my H I am glad we got to remarry in the church, for me it really didn’t matter. I am a Christian, but I think the bible makes it clear that one can leave a marriage in cases of adultery or if they refuse to walk in faith.

      • In my case, the tribunal believed her lies, and it required a review and comment by a psychiatrist. It pinned the deficiency in consent on “lack of discretion” on her part, but then added “inability to perform the essential obligations of marriage for causes of a psychological nature” on my part. I had filed on the grounds of fraud and partial simulation on her part. If I ever want to get remarried in the Catholic Church they will require me to have a psych evaluation first. I was dumbfounded, as was my pastor. In effect, she successfully enlisted the marriage tribunal as a ‘flying monkey.’ They assumed she was telling the truth. Honestly, they aren’t in a position to know she’s lying because they weren’t there. But still…

        • I’m Protestant, so I may not have the terminology right, but I have a Catholic friend who had her first marriage annulled. He was a raging alcoholic with multiple DUI’s, but he actually cooperated, so it went right through.

          Over a decade later, she met #2 who talked engagement right away, but he was divorced without an annulment. She said no ring without that, and it took a while, but he blamed COVID and all. Finally, it went through. They got married. A year later, she was having significant doubts and came across a thick file of paperwork from the annulment. He was a monster to #1 and somehow finally convinced them. He was doing all the same things to her (#2) that he had done to #1. It was all there in the annulment paperwork.

          She got her ducks in a row and then moved out as soon as the divorce paperwork was ready. She feels betrayed by both her husband and the tribunal.

          • This is something that worries me about the annulment as it was granted. A woman would be rightfully very wary of letting someone into their life with that sort of thing. I know I would. I have no plans to date right now, and I’m concentrating on my kids. But if I do meet someone I’m interested in I’m worried.

        • When I started the process I spoke with a Father Thomas who was the priest of the church I was then attending. He told me basically what the process entailed. I told him then that I had no issue with it, but that I would never read or listen to anything my ex had to say. He assured me I would not be forced to, and then he said “quite honestly a lot of priests, me included hope to get out of the divorce business altogether some day”.

          I think they will, some truths never change, but some man made truths need to. We are all a work in progress I guess, including religious institutions.

  • My ex fancied himself a writer. I know writing is a matter of taste, but his stuff always seemed to be a lot of self-indulgent, undisciplined, and semi-stream-of-consciousness blather he vomited out without thinking if the reader would be able to follow it or find it interesting.

    The occasional emails I get from him are usually not too bad, but sections are still sometimes stuff that is a slog to get through (so I don’t–I skim). He’ll neglect to answer specific questions I asked (nothing sensitive–e.g., just stuff like questions about how his brothers are doing or what his son’s plans were after high school). Instead, he’ll write reams about some sports-related stuff that I have zero interest in, or some song parody that is mildly amusing. My eyes glaze over.

    And occasionally, I’ll get confirmation that he hasn’t changed much (no surprise–most people don’t). Sometime after we split up, he saw a Broadway revival of a famous musical (with an actor we had seen some years earlier in a production of a Shakespeare play and who had given a powerhouse performance). He barely mentioned the actor and basically complained that the actress who played a character who is supposed to be overtly sexy was not as attractive as he thought she should be. Then, in a recent email–we’re talking 18 years after that first email about this Broadway revival–he again mentioned seeing that musical, and again, what he focused on was his opinion that actress (not even the main female character, but an important secondary character) was not sexy enough for that role. He said, “it didn’t matter whether she was good or not” (singing, dancing, acting). He added, “I know it’s filthy males being filthy males,” which shows some self-awareness. But it pissed me off and showed me that the man has not matured a whit (and again made me so happy I split). I ignored that email.

    So that actress was good enough for a major Broadway production, but apparently not good enough for him because he didn’t find her fuckable enough.

    Annoying stuff. But at least I’ve never been subjected to such self-pleasuring crap as the OP posted from her former spouse, although it made awesome fodder for the UST.

  • Ok, I went to town with this one. TL;DR: what a wanker.

    I have so many thoughts on this.

    First, on intentions mattering:

    I teach the craft of poetry to adults and I see a LOT of “bad” poetry every term. But “bad” because someone is awkward at finding the words for what they earnestly want to express is not really bad, it’s just inexperienced. To me, truly bad poetry is exactly this: the work of someone who expects praise for a thing that is just a performance of profundity, yet exposes their shallow understanding of expression, of art, of genuineness, of human connection, and of themselves. They’ll never get that a genuine person’s poem about a green Skittle is going to be more profound than a liar’s poem about the meaning of the universe.

    My friend’s ex was a small claims lawyer and a cheater when they met (she thought he was different; turns out he wasn’t; quelle surprise). While they were still together and I was still a broke student, I was sued over a fender bender. This guy offered to do a services trade: he’d defend me if I would give a critical reading and feedback to a few of his poems. This was the kind of “helping good guy” move he often pulled to hide his multiple affairs. His poetry was exactly like this: vapid, full of florid word choices, ultimately saying nothing but “look how great I am!”. When I gave him some gentle feedback about where his clichés were making the speaker seem inauthentic, or how it creepy it was to see where his mind went when given the opportunity to describe Asian and Black women, he just mansplained the whole poem to me. (Also, quelle surprise.) I can only imagine someone sending the link to this page to the writer of the poem above: he’d just think we cretins didn’t get it.

    It also reminds me of the many (!) dudes over my years of dating who find out I’m a published poet and who take it as a challenge to prove their sophistication or charm or whatever and who then write me *terrible* poems, full of clichés and hyperbole about my beauty, bestowing them on me with smug little smiles on their faces, like, bet you’ve never had a guy do *this* for you, eh, hon?

    Next, on pseudo-Buddhist wanking:

    It enrages me when someone hurts someone then loudly proclaims their own forgiveness of themselves. Also I hate when a person who speaks up about their being hurt is painted as the bearer of “negative energy” that lowers the perp’s higher vibration. I had a film prof from China when I was in undergrad and he taught us that the Chinese government used Buddhist teachings as a way to dismiss legitimate critique and paint protestors as not-Zen-enough, as clearly they were too spiritually unskilled to learn to be peaceful no matter what their conditions.

    Last, let’s workshop, shall we?

    I just can’t with that painting!

    For the poem I’m not going to do a nice professional praise / constructive crit /praise sandwich, though. I just have queries, of the kind I wish I could have given my friend’s douchebag ex and that I sometimes wish I could give to asshat students who waste my time with wankery:

    First, what shore? We’re given this shore, over and over, so it seems pretty important. Usually an image like this gets its importance from what lies on the other side of the shore, on who departed across the water, or on the immensity of the ocean in relation to the speaker’s little life. It feels like the shore image came up when you imagined the “waves of judgment,” but why does the speaker have to be on the shore in order to see the dark images or have their septum pierced by loved hate? Are we next to the Atlantic Ocean? Are we on the water hole of the thirteenth green at Vegas Mini-Putt?

    Next, who is the you? No, I get it, the “you” is yourself! Clever! But, maybe it’s just me, it feels like you’re trying to suggest that there have been others who’ve carried this judgment and anger to the speaker. If you’re being consistent, the last line should be, “I utter “I forgive you” to you.”

    How did Life “send” the Moon? Does the moon come down out of the sky to meet the speaker on the shore? How, if Life is personified with tear-puffy eyes and a clichéd bursting heart, does she have the power to order the moon around? The “her” who possesses the silver plate is Life, yes, not the Moon? The plate being the moon’s would make a bit more sense, because the Moon has that shape, but ok, whatev. The moon is a silver plate, ok. A silver plate with freezing power, though. Why? As far as I know the real Moon literally pulls the liquid of the ocean around, but in your imagination it is cold and can come down through Earth’s atmosphere to freeze the water that is on this nondescript shore. Because Life said so. I follow!

    The speaker’s life (which is different from Life who can wear mascara and direct planetary bodies) is frozen by this mirror: but this does not kill the speaker. The speaker is a warm-blooded perceiving thing, separate from their life, which stops motion like in a movie. Oh wait, it’s Time that’s frozen? Okay, not the most unique concept but any cliché can be saved by what you do with it. The way it plays out here, though, is kind of like in A Christmas Carol where Scrooge has an epiphany by looking at his life, except that in this case he doesn’t actually get to witness future consequences playing out, but gets frozen behind his desk for a while and stared at a reflection in his computer screen.

    And what could the speaker finally see on Life’s frosty ocean-mirror that they couldn’t see in a regular mirror? You don’t say. But whatever is seen clearly gives the speaker a pleasant feeling in each of the five senses (good job, you remembered the five senses exercise from week one of poetry class; “oceans of tears” is probably not the freshest image). Is it just that they see themselves? Why does seeing themselves in the mirror lead the speaker to know whom they need to forgive?

    In fact, doesn’t this need to forgive, which feels importantly placed at the end of the poem, kind of come out of nowhere given what we’ve seen thus far? The “you” the speaker addresses clearly has feelings of anger/judgment/hate; is the speaker suggesting those feelings aren’t valid?

    If you continue to work on this poem, consider showing (rather than telling) where big abstract emotions come from. You did a great job of grounding the moment of seeing the self as perfect in the five senses. Do the same for the troublesome vibes that start the poem: does the impatience look like sighing because the speaker didn’t get supper ready on time, or does it look like using a lawyer to remind the speaker to sign overdue papers regarding child support? Does the hatred look like recoiling from the speaker’s touch when they smell like someone else’s p*ssy or does it look like a kiss given while still smelling of said p*ssy?

    Consider the mechanics/physics of your personifications of big abstracts like Life. Go look up world-building.

    Also what would be the consequences of not having had the frozen mirror experience and forgiving the self? So far in the poem, the speaker seems to stand on the shore relatively undisturbed by the feelings they perceive in the ‘you.’ I don’t quite understand what’s at stake; is the speaker forgiving the ‘you’ for having feelings in the first place? What is gained by this forgiveness, that seems to come from the speaker understanding their own perfection? A silent conscience? The lotus-fragrance of no negativity? Publication in the Three Horse Casino spiritual newsletter?

    At the end, is the speaker still on the shore?

    • Magnolia, I thoroughly enjoyed that spot-on analysis. I can’t imagine the kind of person who would attempt to write a poem for a published poet. Perhaps I’m off base but it seems like it would be sending a message of how trivial they consider that accomplishment.

  • My ex forgave himself too, which astonished me as he’d never even apologized and when pressed, still insisted he hadn’t done anything wrong. He harassed me for months demanding I forgive him because it “wasn’t fair” that I was still mad at him. I have never hated anyone so much in my life.

    Ten years later, he’s made a mess of his life and is on the brink of self-destruction. Selfishly, I’m glad. These people are evil.

    • Yep, honestly it gave me pleasure that fw’s life turned into a pile of shit by anyone’s standard. At the time it gave me a bit of vindication that he was the problem and not me.

      I remember after our D was final, he came by to drop my grandson off at my little house. Don’t remember how the convo started but I think he asked if I was going to sell the house, I said something like I don’t know, I can pay the bills; I am not worried about being rich. He said “oh I am going to be rich” I assumed he would make it happen. He got almost all the assets in the D. Little did I know his method to get rich was to start gambling.

      I am so glad he sold off all the marital property in short order. I mean legally he had taken it all over; but still they might have tried to come after me, then I would have had to take him back to court.

      Still hard for me to believe how irresponsible he became with money. Of course once he went down that road, he never returned. Asshole even tried to scam our son at one point. Luckily son caught it.

      I actually don’t put that on whore, she was of course penniless when they were “dating” but I think he just did what he wanted to and since he had shit away his reputation, his rank etc well; he just didn’t care anymore; by golly he was going for broke, and broke he got.

  • Reading that bizarre-ass “poetry” gave off vibes like a line from The Great One, “Weird Al” Yankovic, in which he sings: “For I know I’m a million times as humble as thou art.”

    Works Cited
    alyankovic. (2009). “Weird” Al Yankovic – Amish Paradise (Parody of “Gangsta’s Paradise”). In YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOfZLb33uCg

  • Awesome job, CL! The UBT might have to go into the shop for a long time after that workout. What trash!
    I am never not amazed at the similarities of these unique, misunderstood and incredibly ‘special’ FW’s. Many times I would get in an email from him during the divorce fiasco but “ I’m a good person”. He wanted validation. We don’t have the same definition of a good person, I was forced to not respond to that.
    After reading this ridiculous poem today and wasting 90 seconds of my life doing it, I remembered a poem written out on a yellow legal pad by my own “ special” FW from years back when I didn’t know all the cheating stories I know about him now. I searched for a bit, but was able to find it.
    It is pretty comical to read now and it reminds me a lot of the unconscious writing of today’s showcased loser. Here it is:

    “Passion=Desire without regard to consequence.
    Free my heart from its cage
    that it may float on the waves of passion
    Trapped in a prison of societal norms
    Muffled beats in the dark of a typical day
    Tactically planning a futile escape
    Leap from your cell race away before dawn”

    Gosh , the poor man! Too bad I didn’t know how tortured he was.
    He had a wife that absolutely adored him and showed it all the time and three healthy beautiful great and fun kids.
    It was a nightmare situation he needed to escape from!! ( not enough drama for him I guess, stability is the kiss of death to a narcissist’s life)

  • You had me at, “And then I realized my non-self and impermanence and thought WTF. The UBT could use a snack”
    😂😂😂😂😂😂

  • Oh this is just so, so bad. The art, the poem, the accompanying write up. It reads emotional 12 year old girl having a hormonal surge! I have a mental picture of our poet laureate writing this and honestly believing it is so breathtakingly good it will send shivers down the spine of dear Chumpiest Chump. Shivers were sent, all right!

  • i noticed the sirocco. i don’t know what to make of the usage beyond it’s a hot wind. that’s it but i’m too tired to think today.

    gah.

  • The Greek gods were notoriously bad role models: Zeus was the king of adultery, Apollo wasn’t concerned with consent, and Hades (god of wealth as well as the underworld) carried off a young goddess who was compelled to spend 6 months with him as her mother mourned.

    Zeus disguised himself as a wounded bird to trick Hera into a relationship. In the myths, Hera often played the marriage police, once borrowed Aphrodite’s girdle to pick me dance, and occasionally took vengeance on an OW. Sounds about right for the god of FWs.

  • I know very little about poetry, but this is one of the worst things I’ve ever read. It should be entered in that bad writing contest.

    The “It was a dark and stormy night” contest. Although I don’t know if they take poetry.

  • Why the need to publish it for everyone to read? These people love to be the center of attention. They love to minimalise their wrong doings and look for validation from others.
    I was told that everyone makes mistakes. He never felt ashamed of the horrible things he did behind my back. He fooled me for so long while I kept investing in the relationship thinking I was safe and loved.
    They do not feel guilt. Instead he kept bragging about himself. He kept saying he was a good person, he told me how everyone loves him at work, and his peers are proud of him. It was all about how I make myself seen by others. It was never about what I see when I look into the mirror. They cannot exist without external validation.
    The same need for attention is obvious in this, I forgive me (but please everyone feel sorry for me first) poem.

  • Standing on the opposite shore
    It’s too foggy to see you
    Standing on the opposite shore
    I don’t give a fuck about your misery
    Standing on the opposite shore
    I breathe in freedom
    Standing on the opposite shore
    I turn my back to you and fart.

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