Photo: AP

So, Sean Penn wrote a thing.

It’s a poem, and it’s fucking horrible. You won’t be able to stand it. I can share part of it with you as it was dredged up from the epilogue of his novel—entitled Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, out from Simon & Schuster yesterday—for a review published on Tuesday on HuffPost and written by Claire Fallon. The book’s entire epilogue is, according to the HuffPost review, a poem, and it natters on for six pages.

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The book was recently described in a press release as a “darkly humorous novel” about a “middle-aged, divorced, disillusioned man living in a nondescript house on a nondescript street in Woodview, Calif.”

On Tuesday, Fallon memorably described Penn’s book as “an exercise in ass-showing, a 160-page self-own.”

To return to the poem, it’s about his quibbles with #MeToo, or at least this section of it is. Penn rhymes “sheen” with “Time Magazine”; “Louis C.K.” with, well, nothing. What upsets me about the poem the most is this sinking suspicion I have that most men could write it. It’s inside them, waiting to claw its way out. First it’s called a “novel,” then a “discarded talent” then, before you know it, is subtly reworked into a Bloomberg View column…or something. That’s just one scenario, I’ve got others. Here is the poem:

“Though warrior women

Bravely walk the walk,

Derivatives of disproportion

Draw heinous hypocrites

To their flock.

[....]

Where did all the laughs go?

Are you out there, Louis C.K.?

Once crucial conversations

Kept us on our toes;

Was it really in our interest

To trample Charlie Rose?

And what’s with this ‘Me Too’?

This infantilizing term of the day...

Is this a toddler’s crusade?

Reducing rape, slut-shaming, and suffrage to reckless child’s play?

A platform for accusation impunity?

Due process has lost its sheen?

But, fuck it, what me worry?

I’m a hero,

To Time Magazine!”

If you need to recover your halfway-decent mood after reading that atrocity, I suggest this Dean Young poem as the antidote.