Megan Fox gets into heavy things in her petite book of poetry.
Pretty Boys Are Poisonous, out now, comes after years of suppressing her voice as not to upset the men in her life, the 37-year-old Jennifer’s Body actress writes in the 159-page book’s reader letter. She lets it all flow on topics including relationship abuse and pregnancy loss. And, yes, she shares verses about “twin flame” Machine Gun Kelly, with whom she’s had ups and downs, once comparing their romance to a “tsunami.”
Fox, who shares three children with ex-husband Brian Austin Green, writes that she’s deeply in touch with her emotions and is able to articulate her feelings, but historically she felt unable to “because when I do it has made the men who have loved me feel intimidated, inadequate and insecure.” So she “spent all of my life making myself small so that others can feel confident” — a “sacrificial lamb” for “whichever beautiful, broken, self-absorbed idiot is currently hunting me down and draining my life force.” The 77 poems of “previously unspoken feelings of isolation, torment, self-harm, desperation, longing, restlessness, rage and general anguish” poured out after “one of said idiots finally broke me.”
Fox doesn’t have a long list of exes — she was also in relationships with her Transformers co-star Shia LaBeouf as well as 7th Heaven actor David Gallagher (and she identifies as bisexual) — so expect lots of social media speculation as to who the poems are about. For the record, she told People magazine some of the poems are “literal, while other parts are allegorical.”
As for who the book, illustrated by Audrey Kawasaki, is for, Fox writes, “anyone who has given much more than they received or for anyone who struggles to believe they deserve to be heard. This book is also for me. Because f***. I deserve better.”
Fox writes about abuse
Needless to say, this is no light read. From practically the first poem, there are references to relationship abuse — physical and emotional.
“Violent boy, full of rage and insecurities. Your hands are so beautiful and strong,” she writes in “F***ed-Up Fairy Tales” on page 3. “You use them to hurt me now. Delicate bruises splayed across my jaw. I wonder what you are thinking while I cry and beg you to stop.”
In “Oxycodone and Tequila,” on page 128, she writes about being held down by a partner, who spit on her and rubbed it across her face. “‘Oh you’re so pretty, everybody loves you, your life is so f***ing easy,’ you say as you slip your fingers in my mouth and try to rip my face in two,” she writes. She’s choked “until there is a sickening crack” and yet “you hit me again and again.” It ends because, “You fall asleep on top of me so that I can’t call my family or the police.”
Fox writes about “fingertips along my neck and bruises adorning my spine” in “Greek Tragedies Lose Their Poetry When You Live Them,” on page 12.
She writes about a love telling her that abuse “was an accident” in “A 32-Year-Old Narcissist Quantifies His Crimes” on page 25.
In “Don’t Worry Darling,” on page 35, she writes about waking up to make coffee for an abusive partner the morning after he had been violent. “If anything I’m lucky, imagine all the girls who don’t get hurt, for laughing at another boy’s jokes, how ineffectual and undesirable they must feel,” she writes sarcastically.
She writes about losing herself within a relationship due to the controlling demands of a partner in “An Apparition in a Miniskirt,” page 127. “I cut everyone out of my life that you didn’t like” — friends, her sister and an assistant — and “I stopped doing the things that I loved,” including working, writing, laughing, eating, sleeping and climaxing. “I lost myself looking for your love.”
In “I’m Not Sure That God Agrees” on 123, she writes about the commonness of men insulting her with words including “slut,” “c***,” “bitch” and “idiot” as well as them hitting her, suffocating and throwing her to the ground.
Another, titled “Rape,” on page 11, Fox writes about begging, crying, pleading, fighting and surrendering, but not being able to “outrun the wolves.”
Fox on pregnancy loss
Poems titled “i” and “ii” process losing a pregnancy. Fox writes about an ultrasound next to the bed and being “10 weeks and 1 day” along. She wonders what she and her partner could have done differently. She also asks, heartbreakingly, “Do you think that if she could have she would have left a suicide note?” In the latter poem, she writes about imagining holding the baby tight to her chest while in reality “they rip you from my insides.”
Fox on fiancé Machine Gun Kelly
While it’s impossible to know which exes Fox may be writing about — Did she suffer a pregnancy loss with MGK, as had been rumored? Is “Don’t Worry Darling” a hint? Was [insert name here] 32 when they were together? — some poems are very clearly about her on-again rock star fiancé.
You don’t need to be a genius to realize that “A 6-foot-4 Damsel in Distress” on page 115 is about Kelly (real name: Colson Baker), who stands at that very height. “You’re always waiting to be rescued, never willing to do the rescuing,” Fox writes in the two-liner.
In “To Marry an Arsonist,” on page 25, she writes of finding “true love” with her “twin flame” which she has called Kelly. It talked about secrets he’s hiding “behind your scorched-earth temper and when you asked me, I said yes,” presumably referring to their 2022 engagement, after which they drank each other’s blood, “but I didn’t understand yet why you always tasted like ashes.” That feeds into “Labyrinth,” on page 151, in which she writes to her “soulmate” about how her “soul has been seeking you for as long as I can remember.” The person “who has held my hand from the beginning of time.”
In “The Devil Wears Dolce,” Fox writes, on page 61, about how he is “not real” just the “projections of qualities that you think others will find interesting” of “the morose poet, the reckless rock star, the orphaned lost boy” when he’s really “a duplicitous snake” who is “slowly killing me.”
Another one with a rock star reference is “The Ghost of Christmas Future” on page 145. During a joint therapy session with a partner, they’re asked who they see holding their hand when they die. While he says it’s her, her vision is a “nurse named Cathy” because he “stopped at a bar to listen to a bunch of college girls telling you that they grew up listening to your music” and that “you’re a legend.”
It seems that the title poem, “Pretty Boys Are Poisonous,” on page 5, is probably among the many about him too — the man she compares to a “tall, thin, twisted” tree you’d find in Sleepy Hollow.
Fox calls the book “something women can relate to”
Fox told People magazine that while poems were inspired from her real life — others are from her imagination.
As for her own romances, “Relationships are complicated. For most of us it’s not a fairy tale,” she said. They can be “ugly” and “sometimes they are a war.” However, they’ve given her “an opportunity to grow and become a stronger more whole version” of herself.
While she kept some of the darker poems to herself, saying they were “too graphic” for some to read, she’s not scared to put this book out there. After all, she’s long been criticized by the public.
“I’ve been in the public eye for a long time and my career has been one long witch hunt,” she said. “So nervous? No. I expect a mixture of admiration and vitriol from the public,” she said.
According to the publisher, Gallery Books, Fox’s collection of poetry is “heartbreaking and dark” and yet she showcases her “wicked humor,” like in “I Would Die for Y— Oh, J/K LOL” in which a lover would “rather read Twitter in bed than f***” and how, her own version of Romeo and Juliet, she poisons herself and “he doesn’t follow, he just signs up for Raya instead.”
“I’ve spent my entire life keeping the secrets of men, my body aches from carrying the weight of their sins,” Fox said. “My freedom lives in these pages, and I hope that my words can inspire others to take back their happiness and their identity by using their voice to illuminate what’s been buried, but not forgotten, in the darkness.”
Pretty Boys Are Poisonous by Megan Fox is on sale now.