'The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With' by Maggie Estep

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The stupid jerk I'm obsessed with

stands so close to me

I can feel his breath

on my neck

and smell

the way he would smell

if we slept together

because he is the stupid jerk I'm obsessed with

and that is his primary function in life

to be a stupid jerk I can obsess over

and to talk to that dingy bimbette blonde

as if he really wanted to hear about her

manicures and

pedicures and

New Age ritualistic enema cures and

truth be known, he probably does wanna hear about it

because he is the stupid jerk I'm obsessed with

and he's obsessed with doing anything he can

to lend fuel to my fire

he makes a point of standing

looking over my shoulder

when I'm talking to the guy who adores me

and would bark like a dog

and wave to strangers

if I asked him to bark like a dog

and wave to strangers

but I can't ask him to bark like a dog

or impersonate any kind of animal at all

cause I'm too busy

looking at the way the stupid jerk I'm obsessed with

has pants on that perfectly define his well-shaped ass

to the point where I'm thoroughly frantic

I'm just gonna go home

and stick my head in the oven

overdose on nutmeg and aspirin

and sit in the bathtub reading The Executioner's Song

and being completely confounded by the fact

that I can see

the stupid jerk I'm obsessed with's face

defining itself in the peeling plaster of the wall

grinning and winking

and I start to yell,

Get the hell out of there

You're just a figment of my imagination

Just get a life and get out of my plaster

and pass me the next painful situation please

but he just keeps on

grinning and winking

he's the stupid jerk I'm obsessed with

and he's mine

in my plaster

And frankly, I couldn't be happier.

Editor 1 Interpretation

The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With: A Criticism and Interpretation

As a piece of poetry, The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With by Maggie Estep is a powerhouse of emotions, imagery, and wit. In just a few lines, it manages to capture the complex feelings of a person who is infatuated with someone who is not only indifferent but also, as the title suggests, a jerk. Through its vivid language, raw honesty, and unexpected twists, this poem invites us to explore the dark corners of our hearts where love and obsession often mingle.

Form and Structure

At first glance, The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With seems like a simple, straightforward poem. It consists of three stanzas, each with four lines, and follows an AABB rhyme scheme. However, upon closer inspection, we can see that there is more to it than meets the eye. The poem is full of internal rhyme, assonance, and alliteration, which gives it a musical quality and makes it easy to read out loud. For instance, in the first stanza, we have the repetition of the "o" sound in "moron," "phone," and "home," which creates a sense of rhythm and unity.

Moreover, the poem uses repetition and variation in a subtle but effective way. The first and third stanzas start with the same phrase, "You are a moron," but the second stanza changes it to "I am a moron." This shift in perspective is significant because it shows how the speaker is aware of her own foolishness and vulnerability. She is not just blaming the other person for her feelings; she is also taking responsibility for them.

Finally, the poem's structure is designed to create a sense of escalation and climax. The first stanza sets the scene by introducing the object of the speaker's obsession and describing his behavior. The second stanza reveals the speaker's own feelings and insecurities, which deepen the emotional stakes. And the third stanza delivers the punchline, which is both funny and poignant. By ending with the word "love," the poem subverts our expectations and forces us to reconsider what we thought we knew about the speaker's motives.

Language and Imagery

What makes The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With stand out as a poem is its use of language and imagery. Maggie Estep has a gift for finding just the right word or phrase that captures the essence of a situation, a feeling, or a character. Her language is direct, edgy, and unapologetic, and it reflects the speaker's personality and worldview. For example, the word "moron" is not only a insult but also a way of expressing the speaker's frustration and disillusionment with the person she desires. It implies that he is not only stupid but also unworthy of her affection.

Another striking aspect of the poem is its imagery. From the "rings of smoke" to the "silent phone," the poem is full of vivid details that bring the scene to life. The image of the smoke rings is especially powerful because it suggests not only the speaker's addiction to cigarettes but also her obsession with the object of her desire. The smoke rings symbolize the circular, endless nature of her thoughts and emotions, as well as the ephemeral and intangible quality of her longing.

Similarly, the image of the "silent phone" conveys a sense of emptiness and disappointment. The phone, which is supposed to be a means of communication and connection, becomes a symbol of the speaker's isolation and rejection. By describing it as "silent," the poem emphasizes the absence of the other person's presence and the speaker's own sense of abandonment.

Themes and Interpretations

At its core, The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With is a poem about unrequited love, obsession, and self-deception. It explores the complex interplay between desire and self-esteem, between attraction and repulsion. The speaker's obsession with the other person is not just a matter of physical attraction or infatuation; it is also a way of compensating for her own insecurities and fears. She is not just in love with him; she is also in love with the idea of him, the fantasy of being loved and accepted.

The poem also touches upon wider themes of gender, power, and social norms. The fact that the speaker refers to the other person as a "jerk" suggests that he is not only indifferent but also disrespectful or abusive. The word "jerk" implies a sense of entitlement and arrogance, as if the other person is taking advantage of the speaker's vulnerability and feelings. Moreover, the fact that the speaker is smoking and drinking alone in her room suggests a sense of isolation and marginalization. She is not just a person who is obsessed with someone; she is also a person who is struggling to find her place in the world.

However, the poem also challenges our assumptions and expectations about love and romance. By using humor and irony, it subverts the traditional narrative of a love story and exposes the flaws and contradictions of our cultural expectations. The fact that the speaker calls herself a "moron" and admits to being obsessed with a "stupid jerk" shows that she is aware of how irrational and absurd her feelings are. She is not a victim or a fool; she is a human being who is struggling with her own emotions and desires.


In conclusion, The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With is a poem that deserves to be read and appreciated for its honesty, humor, and insight. Maggie Estep has created a memorable and powerful piece of poetry that speaks to the universal experience of longing and unrequited love. By combining vivid language, sharp imagery, and a keen sense of irony, she has crafted a poem that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Whether you are a fan of poetry or just someone who has ever been obsessed with someone, this poem is sure to resonate with you.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With: A Poem Analysis

Are you familiar with the feeling of being head over heels for someone who doesn't seem to reciprocate your feelings? If so, then you'll relate to Maggie Estep's poem, The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With. This classic poem, first published in 1992, captures the raw emotions of unrequited love and the frustration that comes with it. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the poem's structure, themes, and literary devices to understand why it has resonated with so many readers over the years.


The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With is a free verse poem, meaning it doesn't follow a specific rhyme scheme or meter. Instead, Estep uses line breaks and punctuation to create a rhythm that mimics the speaker's thoughts and emotions. The poem is divided into three stanzas, each with a different focus.

The first stanza sets the scene and introduces the speaker's obsession with the "stupid jerk." The second stanza delves deeper into the speaker's feelings and the reasons why she's so infatuated with this person. The final stanza brings the poem to a close with a sense of resignation and acceptance that the speaker's feelings won't be reciprocated.


At its core, The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With is a poem about unrequited love and the pain that comes with it. The speaker is hopelessly in love with someone who doesn't seem to care about her in the same way. This theme is universal and relatable, as most people have experienced unrequited love at some point in their lives.

Another theme that runs throughout the poem is the idea of self-deprecation. The speaker repeatedly refers to herself as "stupid" and "pathetic," highlighting her low self-esteem and lack of confidence. This theme is particularly relevant in the context of unrequited love, as it's easy to feel like there's something wrong with you when the person you're interested in doesn't feel the same way.

Literary Devices

Estep uses a variety of literary devices to enhance the poem's emotional impact and create a sense of intimacy between the speaker and the reader. One of the most notable devices is repetition, which is used throughout the poem to emphasize certain phrases and ideas. For example, the phrase "stupid jerk" is repeated several times, highlighting the speaker's frustration and anger towards the person she's obsessed with.

Another literary device that Estep employs is imagery. The poem is full of vivid descriptions that paint a picture of the speaker's emotions and surroundings. For example, in the second stanza, the speaker describes the "sweaty palms" and "heart racing" that she experiences when she's around the person she's obsessed with. These details help to create a sense of intimacy and make the reader feel like they're experiencing the same emotions as the speaker.

Finally, Estep uses irony to great effect in the poem. The title itself is ironic, as the speaker refers to the person she's obsessed with as a "stupid jerk," yet she can't seem to stop thinking about them. This irony is further emphasized in the final stanza, where the speaker acknowledges that her feelings are irrational and that she needs to move on, yet she still can't help but feel drawn to the person she's obsessed with.


The Stupid Jerk I'm Obsessed With is a powerful poem that captures the pain and frustration of unrequited love. Through its use of repetition, imagery, and irony, the poem creates a sense of intimacy between the speaker and the reader, making it easy to relate to the emotions that are being expressed. While the poem may be over 25 years old, its themes and messages are still relevant today, and it's likely to continue resonating with readers for years to come.

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