a poem for dzhokhar

warning: hateful commenters trying to hack the blog by mimicking regular benevloent users’ names. please proceed with caution and respect.

given the amount of controversy surrounding this blog, i wrote about the act of writing of the poem HERE if you’d like to read it.


you don’t know how it felt to be in the womb but it must have been at least a little warmer than this.

you don’t know how intimately they’re recording your every move on closed-circuit cameras until you see your face reflected back at you through through the pulp.

you don’t know how to stop picking at your fingers.

you don’t know how little you’ve been paying attention until you look down at your legs again.

you don’t know how many times you can say you’re coming until they just stop believing you.

you don’t know how orgasmic the act of taking in a lungful of oxygen is until they hold your head under the water.

you don’t know how many vietnamese soft rolls to order.

you don’t know how convinced your parents were that having children would be, absolutely, without question, the correct thing to do.

you don’t know how precious your iphone battery time was until you’re hiding in the bottom of the boat.

you don’t know how to get away from your fucking parents.

you don’t know how it’s possible to feel total compassion in one moment and total disconnection in the next moment.

you don’t know how things could change so incredibly fast.

you don’t know how to make something, but the instructions are on the internet.

you don’t know how to make sense of this massive parade.

you don’t know how to believe anyone anymore.

you don’t know how to tell the girl in the chair next to you that you’ve been peeking at her dissertation draft and there’s a grammatical typo in the actual file name.

you don’t know how to explain yourself.

you don’t want two percent but it’s all they have.

you don’t know how claustrophobic your house is until you can’t leave it.

you don’t know why you let that guy go without shooting him dead and stuffing him in some bushes between cambridge and watertown.

you don’t know where your friends went.

you don’t know how to dance but you give it a shot anyway.

you don’t know how your life managed to move twenty six miles forward and twenty eight miles back.

you don’t know how to pay your debts.

you don’t know how to separate from this partnership to escape and finally breathe.

you don’t know how come people run their goddamn knees into the ground anyway.

you don’t know how to measure the value of the twenty dollar bill clutched in your hurting hand.

you don’t know how you walked into this trap so obliviously.

you don’t know how to adjust the rearview mirror.

you don’t know how to mourn your dead brother.

you don’t know how to drive this car.

you don’t know the way to new york.

you don’t know the way to new york.

you don’t know the way to new york.

you don’t know the way to new york.


Click HERE to donate & find additional about The One Fund Boston…
…Setup to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15th 2013.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/hallospacegirl5 Denise Bickford

    this is what I have been waiting to read about this situation all week. thank you. thank you.

    • http://www.thisisadnauseam.com/ Jasmine

      Same here.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      there has to be more than the news, the facts. making art is how I deal.

      connect the dots

      we all are.

      • AmandaPalmerwatcher

        PUKE
        you hypocrite

  • fortunata

    beautiful. are you going to make this a song?

  • http://twitter.com/GalInTheGreyHat CMPowers

    Wow, just wow. Thank you.

  • Dchase

    My heart breaks for him, there is no way to commit such an act of violence without becoming a victim of it yourself.
    My heart breaks for the hate I have seen all over the internet this last week, and the ignorance that goes with one group of people thinking they’re righteous and some how better.
    Hate is hate.
    Hate turns into fear, fear into death, and back again.

    If only is now the story of his life.

    • Jeremy

      Amen

    • Vyvyan

      I cannot “like” this enough. You’ve perfectly expressed what I’ve been feeling since this entire business began. I wish I could print this out and put it through every letterbox on the planet.

      • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

        thank you. xx

    • The Green Devil

      Bullshit. He’s no victim. Not one of the hundreds if not thousands of people whose lives he devastated if not outright destroyed ever did anything to him. A victim has no choice- he had choices and he chose to commit horrifying acts of evil.

      • dchase

        My life has been spent picking up the pieces of what evil leaves behind, specifially the children. I choose not to hate, because if I give in to hate I am no different. Part of that choice is recognizing the humanity of everyone. Is does not mean I don’t believe that this man deserves justice. It just means I recognize that justice and vengeance are two different things. Dzhokhar is now defined by his choice. That is sad to me, it is sad when anyone succumbs to hate.

        • The Green Devil

          I admire you for working with abused children and recognize the tremendous strength it requires. Myself, I hate child abusers, mainly because I dated a woman who had been repeatedly abused over the years by her father. Her body bore the scars of many suicide attempts made in an effort to escape the pain of what she had endured and there were nights she would wake up screaming from nightmares too horrible to comprehend. I do not feel it lessens me or my humanity to hate people who inflict such pain on innocent people. They deserve to be loathed and reviled and hated for their actions.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000131841090 Michael Furie

            as someone who endured abuse as a child, i disagree that abusers deserve to be loathed and reviled and hated. i did my share of loathing etc. but came to the realization that i was only perpetuating the abuse by doing that. i was hurting myself for having been hurt. i came to realize my perpetrators only did what they did because they were suffering. that doesn’t mean that what they did was ok. not by a long shot, but hating them only separates them from any hope of change. it keeps the cycle going. and breaking the cycle became more important to me than my rage. i respect your right to have a different perspective on it than i do. i just wanted to share mine with you.

          • http://twitter.com/Anamorphotic Anamorphosis

            I totally agree with that. Loathing may be an initial reaction. It may be a reaction that lasts for years. But eventually loathing just eats up the person who loathes. I spent my childhood being tortured. I still carry burn marks on my skin from my abusers and that is the least of it. As an adult, I spent a decade and a heap of money overcoming that past. I now work with both abusers and trauma victims as a mental health clinician. And, as Bessel Van Der Kolk, the most cutting edge clinician of trauma research in our time, says, “Trauma is to mental illness and psychiatry as the germ theory is to medicine.” I forgave my abusers, in my own fashion, and was able to heal. My sister could not and she went on to torture me and to nearly destroy herself in the process. She attempted to kill my dog, she killed the family cat, she tried to kill me, she almost killed herself. I feel badly for her but I don’t hate her. She is still suffering even now. My current life is a good one. It is more than that. It is amazing and full of friends and love. I wish she could heal and have a good life as well, but because she cannot we are strangers to each other. Because of what she did to her body she will likely die in her 50’s if she is very lucky. I do not spend my spleen on those who abused the both of us before she turned it on me. They are surely miserable and I am not. And if they were not miserable, they would not feel afraid to apologize to me. However, I have far more important things to do than to wait for their apology. And because I went through the ring of fire, such as it is – I can actually help people who want healing to make it to the other side. So, in that way, my childhood curse is now my gift to others.

          • kmwilliams

            But does the hate help? You or anyone?

          • The Green Devil

            Why does an action have to help? But to answer, yes it does help. It tells me that I am a feeling human who is still capable of feeling outrage and capable of hating evil, rather than being an apologist for evil persons or evil acts.

          • http://revsean.com/ revsparker

            It’s a false dichotomy. One can feel outrage at evil and also reject hatred. Anger is an absolutely appropriate response. I feel it too. But I also try to transform it into something that *will* help–or at least will NOT cause any more harm. I have had plenty of reasons in my life to hate–rapists, child molesters, racists, violent criminals, bullies–but I learned that hatred only lets them live on in me, continuing to do violence to my spirit.

            You call Amanda’s poem “bullshit” and act as if you know THE truth, THE only right response to this. You are entitled to your feelings, your response. But so are those of us who seek a more compassionate one.

          • The Green Devil

            Wow, someone is apparently pro-child molester, based upon the “down” vote. Classy.

          • Félix Marqués

            If you see everything as “us vs. them”, you’ll be a step further from seeing things as they are.

            I know it’s a very useful lens to employ and all, but the world simply is much more complicated.

          • The Green Devil

            There’s no grey area when it comes to what that twisted fuck did. If you have a problem seeing that as evil and came somehow justify it, I pity you for your lack of humanity. There is no justification for what was done. None. Zero.

          • EvilPenguin

            “us vs. them” is the most important lens to see things through. “us vs. them” is the most basic level of viewing things in survival. The questions are what you decide the criteria is to be “us” and how many levels of “us” there are, as well as what you do to “them”.

            The smallest split between “us vs. them” should be between people that threaten me and mine and people that don’t. The largest split between “us vs. them” should be who will I share my deepest most intimate parts with and who will I not.

            If you are part of the them that threaten me and mine, then I should be able to employ force, fear, and violence to protect myself and those I am responsible for.
            If you are part of the them that I will not share my deepest most intimate parts with, htne I should simply not share those aprts with you.
            How we react to “them”, depending on who the “them” are is what is important.
            Dzhokhar has firmly chosen to be part of the “them” that not only threatens me and mine, but has killed and maimed the “us”.

      • http://twitter.com/gingerland62 gingerland62

        It’s Harris and Klebold all over again. he left that backpack right at the feet of little Martin. Martin won’t know anything anymore. I don’t seek revenge, just justice.

      • wilder

        In the time before he went beyond saying “beoiwefwe poopie daddy” he was innocent. Somebody found him when he was old enough to learn and taught him how to hate and kill

      • wilder125

        Somebody taught him at an innocent age. He didn’t just suddenly wake up one morning and design an amateur explosive that military has seen in a couple of countries outside the U.S. in the past.

        So, one day he was innocent. One age he was innocent. One innocent year he was saying “poopie, mommy. poopie”

      • Blurry

        Have you ever been so driven by madness or anger that you decided to bomb a marathon?
        Didn’t think so.
        He is definitely a victim in his own right.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sidmarcoseh Sid Marcos

      This is so, SO spot on that I have to reply.

      It seems to me that many people aren’t emotionally equipped to understand such a potent statement. I think, oftentimes you must have experienced that darkness in yourself and have ‘come back’ to be able to relate to other people in the same situation.

      No, he’s not THE victim but he is nonetheless A victim of hate – and that’s my heart goes out to him too. If you can even try to understand him rather than react with hatred or wanting to see him suffer in return then you end the cycle – and as cliche as it is – genuinely make the world a better place.

      • The Green Devil

        Hatred is a conscious choice, especially when one chooses to manifest itself and hurt others. Hate is not some controlling force. Hate has no free will. It is a willful act that one does not have to commit. Everyone talks about this kid like he’s a fucking simpleton incapable of distinguishing right from wrong, rather than a 19 year old adult who’s an aspiring med student and was in college.

        • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

          The first thing one does when anger or hatred show up is justify them.

          “This anger is righteous, because otherwise it wouldn’t have sprouted”.
          “This hatred is righteous, because it’s the natural consequence of this horrible event”.

          We pre-approve hatred, allow it to dictate us, and then erase that shameful, covert approval. We send the invader forces packs of new, shining armour and then forget the present. We are then stunned by them and think that, if we give them reign for a short while, they will give it back to us.

          But hatred and ire are not emotions that appear on command, and they are as hard to fight back as fear, or love, or many others. The difference being that you don’t betray yourself as much when feeling those other emotions.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Philip/591615305 Michael Philip

            Opposition to hatred is a pernicious idea. It’s actually rooted in hatred itself: Hatred of your own well-being. If you despise yourself and your own well-being, then it logically follows that you would promote a view that “you become what you hate by hating it.” Love of your enemies, love of the petty and the despicable, is the exact opposite of self-preservation.

          • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

            Please, do explain to me why I am “loving my enemies”, or “loving the petty and despicable”, and all the other intrincacies of my soul that your clever intellect so instantly captured upon reading my post.

            You realize I can not-hate someone *without* loving them instead, right? Why am I supposed to feel one *or* the other? Are you so absurdly passionate in your everyday life? Must we all live in one of those two extremes?

            Oh, and do please write me a full paper on how much I “hate my own well-being” because you just nailed me to the core and I am shaken and eager to understand myself better. I would have probably felt lost for the rest of my life weren’t for your acute observations on the inner workings of my ideology.

            All I said is that excusing hatred is losing self-control. I value my self control. I also value my ability to not turn into a bloodthirsty vengeance-seeker when something goes awfully wrong. I like being actually able to stand back and think. I wouold say that is much more beneficial to my survival and prosperity.

        • http://twitter.com/arfisk Tony Fisk

          ‘Hatred is a conscious decison’? Au contraire. Hatred, or any expression of strong emotion, may well be an addictive behaviour. http://www.davidbrin.com/addiction.html

      • http://twitter.com/gingerland62 gingerland62

        I could never begin to understand a human who leaves a lethal bomb at the feet of a child, knowing in seconds that child will be dead. The pain of losing your child is worse than dying yourself.. Now Martin’s parents are left with a pain that will never go away. How do you understand that?

    • http://revsean.com/ revsparker

      “if only is now the story of his life.” powerful words and probably the most powerful punishment. The most recent word is that he had a gunshot “entrance wound in his mouth, exiting through the throat and back of the neck.” He tried to die and now will, one way or another, live with the consequences of his actions. Will it bring back the dead? Of course not, it never does. As for me, I remember being 19. I remember being the parent of a very angry 19-yr-old man. I remember fearing that in a moment of rage he would do something and I would be *that* parent. I just can’t bring myself to wish for any more suffering.

      • dchase

        Maybe it is age that makes me feel sad for him. He is more than young enough to be my child. He is someones’ child. There was a time when he was held in their arms and all the hope in the world shone in their eyes. The suffering of the victims is overwhelming. He will suffer the comsequences one way or another. Enough is enough, hate only increases the suffering. Hate is evil winning.
        Evil winning ensures it will happen again

        • EvilPenguin

          Hate can be good. Hate can be helpful. It is all about what you hate.
          Should you hate the child molester? Debatable.
          Should you hate what he did? Without any qualms about doing so.
          You can hate an action, you can hate a behavior, you can hate many things. I believe that what a person hate that person should try to destroy. When a person tries to destroy what they hate they should have no guilt over trying to do so.
          The key though, is to be sparing about what you hate, while being zealous in that hatred.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=845030373 Toni Palmer

      He made this choice. This was no accident, or brief moment of youthful misstep. It was planned out. My heart breaks for the victims. He chose his consequences.

      • dchase

        I know that, maybe it is the state of the world, how polarized my country has become, how after the pessimism and seeming hopelessness of the nineteen-eighties there was a brief spirit of optimism in the world which has since been lost. I have spent most of my life actively involved in trying to make the world a better place for the generations that will follow and what I see instead is increasing violence, personal attacks amongst strangers just for having different perspectives, a wild passionate societal embrace of hate and otherness that makes me think my children will never have a better world, a hopeful future. I don’t want to offer this man sympathy, I just don’t want to succumb to hate.

    • Blurry

      Go you.
      We mourn for everyone. Even the lost souls who need the most mercy.
      And we especially mourn for the ones who lost their lives.
      It’s horrible when innocent people are killed senselessly.

    • WarmMetaphysics

      Do you feel sorry for rapists, too? They commit horrible acts of violence. Are they victims as well? I don’t hate him, but I definitely have no sympathy for him or for people that choose to hurt and kill others. He is NOT a victim. Putting him in the same category as the people that had their lives ruined is sick. If you had to pick up the pieces of a little boy or watch a family member’s legs be blown off, then I seriously doubt (and hope) you would not pity the poor murderer. Violence isn’t pretty, and romanticizing it is disgusting.

      • Kirsten Petersen

        I have not seen anyone ‘romanticize’ violence in these comments. It seems like everyone is hung up on semantics.

  • http://twitter.com/DietDeity Brenda Oelbaum

    I don’t know how to feel about this boy…he could be my son, I’m sure he didn’t know what the what would happen if that bomb blew up, I don’t think he even knew that it would. I don’t know either, and that makes me sad.

    • DiscoZombies

      He placed a bomb at the feet of women and children, a bomb. You’re saying he was too stupid to know that bombs explode? I’m so sick of everyone sympathizing with him, he didn’t wreck his dad’s car or break a window, he killed innocent people on purpose. I’m not saying I hate him, or that I even know what he was thinking, but you can’t say he didn’t know the bomb would go off, that’s like saying if you pointed a gun at a person and pulled the trigger you didn’t know you’d shoot them. We can’t forget his rights, but we can’t forget theirs either the real victims, the 4 people that no longer have any rights because he chose to take them away. I can’t feel sorry for him, and I never will.

      • http://twitter.com/DietDeity Brenda Oelbaum

        What I’m saying is there is no way he had seen the bombs they were making blow up in real life..like his brother might have while in Russia…when you see something like that in videos it’s not the same…it’s like watching a film. You don’t really understand the physicality of the events. I was in a war zone years ago and we where taken by soldiers to see some charred Syrian Soldiers…don’t ask it was a completely surreal experience…it was like watching a horror film…you could see their bones through they gloves and it was not until the wind changed and I could smell burned hair and flesh that it became real to me. It is very possible for him to have no idea what he was doing. That doesn’t make him innocent, and it doesn’t make him stupid either…it just makes the situation harder to deal with from any stand point…and once again very sad.

  • http://twitter.com/imjeskidding Jes

    I love this.
    I’m 18. He’s a year older than I am. I think it was so strange how the media was interviewing his friends and acquaintances. They all said basically the same thing, that he was nice and friendly and this is totally unexpected.
    Then I sat there and kind of realized that’s the scary part. He was human and pretty ‘normal’.
    Some people are saying we should kill him or hate him. I hate the act he committed. I hate the pain he caused. I don’t think I could ever hate him though, or wish death on him.
    Or anyone else like him.
    I was just talking about your bully blog last night actually. When I was about 12 or so I was on the beach down the street from me when the schools most renowned bully and all of his friends showed up. They pushed me around and called me a ‘fat faggot’ over and over again and broke my glasses and left me there.
    Last year we were 17 and he threatened to blow up the school and he’s now on house arrest. His futures permanently scarred. No one likes him. And he has no social life.
    I was a victim of his and yet I feel bad for him.
    Clearly he has problems.
    We all have our own problems.
    I wish people would remember that.
    And I wish people would remember how fear is such a more intense feeling than happiness. It’s more controlling. It’s more physically shaking and paralyzing and controlling than a lot of our other emotions.
    I’m glad they didn’t kill him.
    I hope he grieves.
    And he fixes the damage he’s inflicted somehow. By jailtime or something. I don’t know.
    But I also hope he finds himself again. And I hope he escapes whatever hell that’s been shaking him.

  • http://twitter.com/imjeskidding Jes

    I love this.
    I’m 18. He’s a year older than I am. I think it was so strange how the media was interviewing his friends and acquaintances. They all said basically the same thing, that he was nice and friendly and this is totally unexpected.
    Then I sat there and kind of realized that’s the scary part. He was human and pretty ‘normal’.
    Some people are saying we should kill him or hate him. I hate the act he committed. I hate the pain he caused. I don’t think I could ever hate him though, or wish death on him.
    Or anyone else like him.
    I was just talking about your bully blog last night actually. When I was about 12 or so I was on the beach down the street from me when the schools most renowned bully and all of his friends showed up. They pushed me around and called me a ‘fat faggot’ over and over again and broke my glasses and left me there.
    Last year we were 17 and he threatened to blow up the school and he’s now on house arrest. His futures permanently scarred. No one likes him. And he has no social life.
    I was a victim of his and yet I feel bad for him.
    Clearly he has problems.
    We all have our own problems.
    I wish people would remember that.
    And I wish people would remember how fear is such a more intense feeling than happiness. It’s more controlling. It’s more physically shaking and paralyzing and controlling than a lot of our other emotions.
    I’m glad they didn’t kill him.
    I hope he grieves.
    And he fixes the damage he’s inflicted somehow. By jailtime or something. I don’t know.
    But I also hope he finds himself again. And I hope he escapes whatever hell that’s been shaking him.

    • Scott

      I agree with you 100% I know how the minds of people like him work. I’m like him.One minute you’re a perfectly normal person with a nice attitude, the next you’re thinking things and you have no idea how they came into your head. As time goes by those thoughts return over and over again. Solutions, ideas, fears, pains… It takes a strong mind to not let them get to you and I would never ask anyone to take my mental state upon themselves. I don’t wish him pain. I don’t hate him. I pity him because I know where’s he’s been. I wish him the best of luck in whatever comes next and hope that he has the chance to reflect upon what’s happened.

      • http://twitter.com/1duffer Joel Spealman

        You are not like him. This is not something he did “one minute” without thinking. Do you think you could live in peace if you murdered someone? You would not care about killing an 8 year-old boy?

        And this was planned for months. At any time he could have said “NO!” Instead he had HATE in his heart for Americans, only because we are Americans and not Muslims. He had a thousand times to reflect on what he was doing and he chose to kill innocent people. He chose to kill every day he was training for this attack. Good luck, I hope your life is happy, because we do all have some really bad days, but on our worse day most of us choose to not kill another person.

        • Kat

          Why does everyone assume that because he is Muslim that must have been the reason for him to act out? For all we know he was just another troubled American individual who realised that being smart in high school doesn’t mean you’re smart in college and you have the ability to fail and life is hard and just snapped. He came here when he was very young. Does his religion make him more or less American? There has been no concrete evidence regarding the reasoning behind these attacks yet. Let us not jump to conclusions.

          • Bob

            There’s a quote from Tamerlan going around that says he doesn’t understand Americans, and he had his girlfriend convert to Islam. Dzhokhar had a social networking profile with numerous links to Chechen independence and Islamic revolutionaries. Obviously, none of this is conclusive – I only even mention the Chechen independence part because it’s a fairly radical movement, helping to demonstrate his political views – but I’d say there’s more to support their being radical Muslims than there is to support the theory of Dzhokhar’s grades being the cause.

          • eval

            pretty sure he was influenced by his radical brother.

      • BritS.

        There was no ‘one minute, then the next’ in this act. It was planned, pre-meditated, carried out. Sloppily… but you don’t come together with someone, make a bomb and detonate it, then kill a cop and continue your crime spree… without a LOT of agency, a great deal of determination, and a self-righteous hatred for one’s fellow man.

        He had a choice; this is what he chose.

    • 1duffer

      Hi, I understand that you don’t know much about Justice. Justice, the Judicial System, is not about hate, but it says there is a price to pay when you do bad things. There is nothing worse than the death and maiming he inflicted on others. Death is hard on the family and friends, for instance, who will make money to pay the bills for the young children who are motherless. And what about the aspirations of the 8 year old boy who is dead. Gone in an instant.
      A man was sitting waiting for a loved one to finish the race and now he has no right and no left leg, What will he do?
      These atrocities must be addressed. In Massachusetts they do not put people to death for murder, but the Federal Justice system allows for killing the assassin. For me I do not care if the State kills him or keeps him in jail until he dies..which could be 75 years or so. Just as long as he never is free again. But if the Feds choose the death penalty, I will not be upset.

  • http://littlelioness.net Fiona

    peace

  • Gemma

    You are a wonderful human being and I appreciate you.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  • uccella di paradiso

    just lovely! you should make it a song, ms. palmer!

  • Trix

    Holy hell, Amanda…THIS is why I love you so damn much. Yes. We are all human, we are all deeply flawed, we are all struggling. Some of us are much luckier in many ways than others. Thank you.

  • Katie-Maggie

    Yes, Amanda. Yes.

  • Jenny Bruin

    When you plant a bomb in the middle of a crowd of people, there is no way you cannot know what could happen. There is a point where either you get off the bus (even if it means your own death) or you are willing to proceed with the deaths of innocents.
    We on the left say it time and time again about US soldiers: They could have refused orders. They knew what they were doing when they fired that missile. And on and on.
    But this kid? This kid we want to hug and forgive and love? We want to say he couldn’t have known? That is spineless. He knew, acted, he killed. He continued killing.
    You don’t have to hold hate in your heart, but not hating does not mean accepting, forgiving, or pitying. He deserves every ounce of suffering he will ever feel, and nothing he can do will ever replace or equal that which he took away from so many other people. Fuck.Him.

    • Tansy

      The question that NEEDS to be asked is WHY. WHY so that it can never happen again,

  • Vyvyan

    Thank you for this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dave-Donovan/1022546771 Dave Donovan

    “you don’t know how your life managed to move twenty six miles forward and twenty eight miles back.” What a powerful, powerful line.

    • http://twitter.com/QofTU Queen ofthe Universe

      I thought the same thing and about how many times in my life I have felt EXACTLY like that, both when I was young and now that I am old. Made me cry.

    • Damo

      But I would walk 500 miles
      And I would walk 500 more
      Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles
      To fall down at your door….

  • Brody

    This is what the world needs to be taking away from this situation. No more hate, no more fear, no more blame.

    • lentower

      You paraphrase Martin Richard’s:

      “No more hurting people

      PEACE”

  • The Green Devil

    That little fucker killed an 8 year old boy, a cop, and two women, not to mention maimed hundreds of people. He’s not a child. He has free will. He didn’t have to do what he did. He could have dropped a dime on his brother. He didn’t have to place that bomb. He could have surrendered to the police when they stopped him and his brother. He didn’t. He made his choices, and may that fucker pay every single day that remains of his life for his choices.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703335175 Hannah Shmulsky

      You’re going to choke on all that bile.
      You have no idea what he’s been through. He’s already paying. That “little fucker” has probably been paying for years.

      • lentower

        What Hannah said.

        and:

        Don’t judge anyone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

        • Discozombies

          Having been fucked is no excuse for being fucked up.

          • Robert

            I love that you just quoted Kimya. I also love that your quote applies pretty well to both sides of the fence here. A+.

          • lentower

            Which is why he should go to jail for the rest of his life.

            But is not a reason to hate him.

          • The Green Devil

            No, I hate him because he killed and maimed people. Sorry if you don’t feel my hatred is acceptable but frankly I don’t give a flying fuck. It’s not like I’m hating on him because I hate Chechens or something random like that. Maybe you’re comfortable not hating someone who killed, among others, a sweet little 8 year old boy who will now never get a chance to live.

          • quicksilver

            look, you can hate him if you want, but i think the main point that everyone – amanda included – is trying to make comes down to this: the bell tolls for thee. more pain and suffering, how ever well-earned you may find it, is not going to erase crimes committed.

          • The Green Devil

            I’m not asking for the crimes to be erased, since such a thing is impossible. I am questioning the moral compass of those who feel some sort of pity or empathy for a man who committed such a brutal act of evil and murdered/maimed innocent people. What does it say that the grass hasn’t even had a chance to take root on the graves of those he murdered that some people are seeking to empathize with the man who killed them? At the very least, it’s a gross act of disrespect and spitting in the face of those who haven’t yet begun to heal from their loss.

          • Brittany

            This is a very narrow-minded, sad way to think. Being able to empathize with someone in no way means you’re condoning their actions, and it’s not spitting in the faces of the victims. Every single person in this world, no matter how fucked up they are, comes from a context that has made them that way. Trying to understand that is not saying you agree with what they did, and it’s not disrespectful to the victims. Trying to understand why someone is the way they are, why they’ve done things they have, is never a bad thing. It can help to prevent such things in the future. It’s knowledge. I understand why you feel the way you do, especially since you personally know people affected, and I’m truly sorry for that. In my opinion, though, labeling someone blindly as a monster without understanding that they come from a context and have been shaped by the world around them does a huge disservice to our rational society. We’re leaps and bounds from the pitchfork witch hunt days, but thought processes like these just slow our progress.

          • The Green Devil

            I strenuously disagree. When they made the conscious decision to kill as many people as possible, any claim to humanity was forfeited by them. They chose, through their actions, to remove themselves from the realm of civilized society. Who gives a flying fuck what drove them to it, except as an exercise in aberrant psychology and a curiosity as to how someone could do something so evil? Nothing in their background could possibly excuse what they did.

          • http://www.facebook.com/nova.armada.5 Nova Armada

            Ok, we get it. You’re a proud hater and you hate this. So why are you doing what you are just condemning and spread the hate so vigorously among these good people who are just trying to process this uneasy situation the least harmful way possible?

          • The Green Devil

            “Proud hater”? What kind of fucktarded slur is that? “Uneasy situation”? Goddamn, this wasn’t somebody making a joke in questionable taste during a wedding toast. This is 4 people dead and hundreds maimed, many for life. Jesus fucking Christ on a unicycle, if you’re that incapable of deciding if that little prick is evil or not after what he did, you really need to be clubbed upside the head with a clue bat repeatedly.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kellie.knight.165 Kellie Knight

            Amen to that!

        • http://twitter.com/FairDaizie FairDaizie

          You could walk a mile in Jeff Bauman’s shoes, except the bomb blew both his legs off.

          • lentower

            FairDaizie

            It’s true that many people were injured.

            But saying it here is not constructive to the point Hannah was making.

            I hope you gain in compassion over the years.

      • myname

        How would you know? Close personal friends? Then why didn’t you help him? Everything seems so poignant when Amanda Palmer says it. Sheep.

        • lentower

          myname Why do you think gun shot wounds don’t hurt?

          Dzhokhar has at least two, as well as other injuries.

          • myname

            Yep. Well earned, I should say.

          • myname

            Besides which, I didn’t say I don’t think gun shot wounds hurt. Is not that the very purpose? So, what’s your point?

      • myname

        And, by all accounts, he hasn’t been paying for years, He’s been a happy, well-adjusted, Obama loving pot head. Just like me, just like many of you. I never blew anyone up…

      • The Green Devil

        I make no apologies for hating that fucker. We make value judgments every day of our lives and I am quite comfortable hating someone who killed 4 innocent people in cold blood and maimed hundreds more, condemning them to a lifetime of trying to put their shattered bodies and psyches back together.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.”

      my guess is that he won’t need any of our help to “pay for” what he’s done…he’s living inside his own head and body right now, and i can’t imagine what it’s like in there. that, i presume, is payment more than the cruelest torture anyone else could inflict on him from the outside.

      • Catherine

        A lot of guessing and presuming going on here.

        • m

          it takes already a lot of guessing to affirm that he was guilty without any concrete proofs, as everyone seems to be doing without any questioning. stop eating what the american media sells you indiscriminately. try to think for yourselves, for a change. it’s not yet the time to celebrate justice nor to condemn blindly dzhokhar and his brother. and Amanda, thank you for this beautiful and compassionate poem. you’re too fucking amazing. love your work.

          • http://twitter.com/gingerland62 gingerland62

            If you don’t consider pictures of him putting the bomb at the feet of Martin, or confessing to the carjack victim or throwing bombs at the police-not concrete evidence, what do you consider concrete?

      • The Green Devil

        You think he regrets what he did? He’s not stupid. He and his brother made careful plans to kill and maim people. They succeeded. I doubt very much he regrets what he did, and no matter what he feels, I highly doubt it anywhere near approaches the collective pain he inflicted on others. Fuck him. He doesn’t deserve a moment of pity. It is pity better spent on the real victims here. Let this cockroach rot in hell.

        • kmwilliams

          Is it possible to know where pity is better spent? Maybe pity is not finite. Maybe people have the capacity to feel pity and sorrow and love for both friends and enemies? Maybe friends and enemies and strangers and heroes and villains are all just humans, caught in the storm. I don’t know if he regrets what he did. Maybe he doesn’t. If that’s the case, I feel pity that he doesn’t. If he does, I feel pity that he does. Sorrow for him, for his brother, for his family and friends, doesn’t diminish the sorrow I feel for anyone else. When I love someone, it doesn’t make me love anyone else less. I am not diminished by my capacity to love or pity or cry or rage. I am increased. All emotions increase in direct proportion to how much you feel them and how hard you cling to them, nourish them. I’ll continue to feel my pity for him and for the victims and for strangers and friends and internet avatars.. and I think feeling that will make me feel fine(r).

          • The Green Devil

            It speaks to your character that you would pity someone who CHOSE to rip apart the lives of total strangers. He made a conscious choice to do this and if you choose to feel pity for this scumsucking evil prick, that says a lot about you.

          • kmwilliams

            And what does my feeling pity and sorrow for the victims and their families and friends say about me? Does one outweigh the other? Does my pity and sorrow for one human being contradict or counteract my pity and sorrow for another?

          • The Green Devil

            You have a choice, KM. Feel pity for the victims and their families or for the person who caused their pain. It can’t cut both ways. Expressing empathy toward the murderer is spitting in the faces of the victims and makes the sympathy you say you have for them worthless and insincere. Grow a set and make a choice.

          • http://twitter.com/Cylithria Cylithria Dubois

            sometimes not making a choice takes a bigger set then one knows!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Philip/591615305 Michael Philip

            not making a choice is cowardice and it just shows that you are just empty

          • kmwilliams

            Why doesn’t my sadness for the victims and the families make my sadness for the perpetrators “worthless and insincere”? If it can’t cut both ways. Am I not spitting in the bombers faces by feeling sorry for the victims, by that logic? You think one is stronger?

            You want me to make a choice (I can’t grow a pair as I lack the testosterone). Ok. The choice you are presenting to me seems ultimately to be between love and hate. Ok, I choose love. In all its forms, sympathy, pity, compassion, attempts at understanding, casting no stones, perpetuating no hate. The choice is not difficult. The practice is not easy. Hate is easy, love is hard.

            It’s really not spit in your (or anyones) face to try not to hate, to try to understand, to try to see humans beings where a glance or a glare would see only monsters.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Philip/591615305 Michael Philip

            the choice is quite simple, you’re choosing to side with a terrorist and a monster. there’s nothing too difficult to see or understand here

          • lentower

            One can have compassion for both victims and victimizers,
            as I have compassion for you.

            I hope as you get beyond the pain of knowing someone who knew some of the victims, you’ll grow into realizing this.

          • http://revsean.com/ revsparker

            It can and does cut both ways. Again and again and again and again and again. Read history.

          • http://www.facebook.com/lucy.collingwood1 Lucy Collingwood

            I’m really sorry you’re so angry.

          • The Green Devil

            A friend of mine lost a family member to that little fucker. There’s a photo of them in the moments before the bomb went off, just enjoying a sunny day cheering on the runners and not having a clue that right behind them is the person who was about to end their life. I have every right to be angry and I don’t give a shit if I am judged for being angry about this or being angry that there are those who feel this murderer is entitled to any sort of pity or compassion for the conscious choice to commit evil that he did. He made his choice, innocent people are dead and maimed, and if there are those out there incapable of judging evil and being able to justify it or make excuses for it, I don’t have to accept that.

          • http://www.facebook.com/lucy.collingwood1 Lucy Collingwood

            You don’t have to do anything. We all handle these things in different ways.
            I’m sorry for your loss. All my best to you and yours.

          • The Green Devil

            I thank you for your kind expression of sympathy. I did not express a direct loss, It’s my friend whose family is having to deal with this nightmare and who knows their reaction if they were to read these comments here expressing the belief that we should feel some sort of empathy for the person responsible for the murder of their loved one.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000131841090 Michael Furie

            i agree with TGD that it says a lot about you. i don’t think we agree on what it says though.

        • http://www.facebook.com/kellie.knight.165 Kellie Knight

          Hey may not regret what he’s done, but I think that’s only a reason to pity him. There’s something broken inside him

      • Just me

        This is assuming that he is a person and feels remorse. I believe that he does not feel the way a normal, rational person does. He will not “pay for his actions everyday”. He did what he thought was right and just and will feel, I believe, comfortable with his actions from the day he planed them until the day is unholy soul no longer walks the earth. He is, quite simply a misguided piece of shit, and anyone who thinks otherwise is ASSUMING that he is the same as you

      • Jah

        My guess: Criminology wasn’t your major.
        I do love those naive pseudo liberal ideas, however, we live in a very real and empirical world. mayhap quoting recent studies would serve the better purpose.
        The words of great scientists seems extremely poetic, give reading a try.

    • flynn99

      In all of this, I have yet to see real evidence that Dzhokhar and his brother planted the marathon bombs. I’m not saying they didn’t, just that nothing conclusive has been proven. (Has it? someone tell me if I’m wrong.)

      And if they did, if they wanted to kill and main all those people, if they wanted to do that to be happy (because we’re all always trying to do what makes us happy), then they must have been suffering in a terrible angry place in their minds. Think of the victims, help the victims, have compassion for the victims, but have compassion also for those that kill.

      • lentower

        Never hurts to be skeptical.

        I have hear media reports that they have pictures of Dzhokhar putting his backpack down right next to the Richard’s family just before that blast.

        Also that they found scraps of a backpack of the same make that contained one of the bombs.

        Neither are conclusive.

        The evidence of them kidnapping/car jacking in Cambridge,
        being the cause of a high-speed chase,
        and the shoot-out in Watertown,
        seem more conclusive.

        I hope that the criminal analysis of the explosive residues, from
        Monday and Thursday show a conclusive match.

      • The Green Devil

        http://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/v2_article_large/public/2013/04/19/boston-bombing-suspect-martin-richard.jpg Other photos showing them carrying backpacks that matched the ones found at the scene. And I am guessing that the police probably have purchase records of the specialty batteries that were bought that were used in the bombs and are well on their way of tracking down the purchases of the pressure cookers. And if they’re not guilty of this, they’re guilty as fuck of engaging the police in a shoot-out and also the dead brother had a bomb strapped to his chest.

        And no- I refuse to have any sympathy for those fuckers. They had choices. They are not victims in any manner of the word. I have compassion for those who deserve it but none for those who commit cold-blooded murder.

        • Artemis Hope

          Do you really need to just post 500 times on this page about how much you hate him? We get it. Move on… writing your hate over and over again isn’t going to bring any of these people back to life, it won’t put anyone’s limbs back on.
          You’re hurting. I’m sorry. I am happy to accept that you may choose to grieve in a different way than me.
          Now, move on please and let the rest of us grieve in the way that will be most helpful to us.

          • miserichik

            Thank you Artemis, I was going to comment that Green Devil might want to direct some of this energy into HELPING his friend who lost a family member, not regurgitating the same thing over and over. GD, please, we see that you’re hurting and grieving. Everyone is. Go use this energy more wisely than you are now. We understand your feelings, there’s no need to beat them into us any more.

            Peace.

      • http://www.concertmanic.com/ Sarah V.

        They told the person whose car they stole that they did it. Plus, one of the people who was badly wounded in the bombing saw him put the bag down two minutes before it went off, and as soon as he woke up in the hospital he told everyone he knew who one of the bombers was. There’s really not a lot of doubt in this case.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=703335175 Hannah Shmulsky

    Amanda, this made me cry. Thank you for your compassion and understanding. Thank you for your ability to put it into words so well. Hate just begets hate; Dzhokhar needs to make amends for his actions, but he is a struggling human being and we don’t have the right to judge him, because dammit, we’re not omniscient.

  • http://twitter.com/diggingellen diggingellen

    This isn’t a poem for Dzjokhar, it’s a poem for yourself because you imagine you know how he feels. This just makes you the CNN of poets, though – you didn’t know this boy, but you’re putting words and feelings into his mouth when he can’t anymore. Sometimes a huge crowd and the lack of a time delay turns an act of creative response to tragedy into something hurtful and presumptuous, and this feels like one of those times to me. You are trying to be empathetic but you are papering over his real personality with one you’ve constructed for the purpose of empathy. Please don’t make this about you, and don’t make your own feelings into his feelings using the megaphone you wield. Be better than CNN.

    -A fan

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      this isn’t about me. or him. it’s pretty much about everyone.

      • http://twitter.com/diggingellen diggingellen

        You made it about him when you dedicated the poem to him in the title, and when you described his emotions in second person in the poem, emotions regarding situations of the last few days that only he can really describe accurately. He isn’t a symbol of youth and alienation, he’s a real person lying shackled to a hospital bed with his throat cut open. The best any of us can do for him and for ourselves is to hold off on judgment and not to invent his motivations out of the ether.

        I understand that you are trying to acknowledge his humanity, but you aren’t really succeeding in that if you are inventing his feelings to fit what you see of the situation.

        • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

          the you isn’t him.

          read again.

          • http://twitter.com/diggingellen diggingellen

            “you don’t know how precious your iphone battery time was until you’re hiding in the
            bottom of the boat.”
            “you don’t know why you let that guy go without shooting him dead and stuffing him in some bushes between cambridge and watertown.”
            “you don’t know how to make something, but the instructions are on the internet.”
            “you don’t know how to mourn your dead brother.
            you don’t know how to drive this car.
            you don’t know the way to new york.”

            I think it’s clear that some of the thoughts and feelings represented in this poem are supposed to be his or his brother’s, just as others are representative of how other people were reacting to the marathon events. And other people in the comments are responding as if much of the poem is from his POV, and praising you for it – and you are responding appreciatively to those comments. So I do think that the effect you are going for, and succeeding in, is to make people feel they have an insight into his fear, his uncertainty, his disconnection.

            So why do you not feel that this is making premature assumptions?

          • http://www.facebook.com/lucy.collingwood1 Lucy Collingwood

            I think you’re being a little bit over-literal. The whole country has gathered at their television screens to digest these details. This story is inhabiting the hearts and minds of a nation, and other nations as well. Including these details is a way to tap into our collective imaginations and fascinations, and you can see from the comments that many people are identifying with that. Specificity is the key to making art real for people, and using these details is a way to tap into our collective horror at not just this kid, but at all people who commit atrocities.

            You can read a poem any number of different ways, but it seems like you’re only looking at the literal level, not the greater implication. Poems are poems because they’re poetical.

          • http://twitter.com/diggingellen diggingellen

            This definitely is a powerful moment, and one that lives in people’s imaginations and fascinations more than in facts or observations, currently. That’s my point – in the absence of any clear understanding, using details of the attack and manhunt alongside more emotional writing makes people feel like they know this young man’s point of view.
            These poems do have great implications, and one of those implications is to provide a perspective that often looms larger than more delayed and realistic portrayals of events. That was my point about CNN poetry. I just feel that this poem produces a false sense of intimacy with something we don’t understand very well just yet.

          • http://twitter.com/n3cr0phelia Alejandra

            She wrote a good poem.

            Poetry is supposed to provoke an emotional response, even if it’s just identification… yourself (the reader) or with an other, whether real or imaginary. I don’t think you’re quite getting it (the process of writing poetry and inspiration) BUT I am a little bit excited and pleased that you feel so strongly about it, that you feel poetry is that powerful. It is.

            I am really disconnected from the media, what I know about this event I’ve heard from people I know re-telling what they’ve heard or read.
            I don’t trust the media, but I trust poetry.

            I managed to let it affect me without connecting it to any specific event or person (I clicked a twitter link and didn’t read the subject line, went straight to the small text) it speaks for itself. Who it’s “for” doesn’t matter (to the reader) unless you make it matter… which you have.

          • http://twitter.com/diggingellen diggingellen

            “I don’t trust the media, but I trust poetry.”

            I know that journalism has been doing a shitty job of things lately, but my whole point with these comments is that both are types of communication, and both can be used to mischaracterize a situation. And please don’t tell me what poetry’s about – I’m not as ignorant about the form and function of poetry as people here seem to assume.

            Poems exist to create an emotional response or to use the language in new and bizarre ways, but there’s a choice that every writer makes repeatedly when they write a poem. In this case, it seems like Amanda wants to emphasize the humanity of Dzhokhar along with the humanity of other members of the community. The way she’s doing that, though, is by ascribing a lot of sentiments to him, or comparing him blandly with a lot of very different people. I think her version of humanity dismisses the agency he had in the situation, and his feelings towards committing these acts.

          • wilder125

            I only trust media by reading multiple sources. At least 2 at minimum from outside the U.S. I will never get a complete story without having multiple stories

          • Iheartpoetry

            Diggingellen – take a break.

          • AmandaHugenkiss

            Actually, it’s shit.

          • Anon

            I guess art is hard. Oh well.

          • albe

            and this is hatred

          • Poem Critic

            How good can it really be, if it doesn’t rhyme?

          • http://twitter.com/mArusyA_ts masha tsarkova

            it’s a poem if the author says so and graphically shows that it is. rhyming is absolutely unnecessary.

          • http://twitter.com/Anamorphotic Anamorphosis

            A poem does not need to rhyme to be a poem. My favorite poet is Joyce Mansour who was a surrealist poet. Her work is amazing and soul wrenching and none of it rhymes. I have a chap book I bought of her stuff that she published with another poet – Ted Joans, who is also amazing and much more joyful with his words. He doesn’t rhyme either. I bought the tiny book for 30 bucks and found out it was normally being sold for 200.00. Beat poets often didn’t rhyme and neither do many modern poets. Some rap artists lean heavier on rhythm than rhyming. I am not saying that you should dislike the poem or that you should like the poem. I just wanted to let you know that it isn’t great form to discredit a poem simply on the basis of rhyming. It makes one sound as if all they read are limericks and the like.

          • kt

            ..Are you serious right now?

          • luci_fer

            I hope that got 42 likes because it was funny >.<;

          • Ilpalazzo

            “I don’t trust the media, but I trust poetry.”
            What does that even mean??

          • http://www.facebook.com/marlo.ricciardi Marlo Miller Ricciardi

            It means nothing. Libtards are blithering idiots and don’t realize it which exacebates the idiocy.

          • john

            its so interesting that you have a terminal inability to express yourself without insults.

          • witchbyrd

            can i have a link to the good poem she wrote? all i can see is this terrible poem.

          • http://www.facebook.com/marlo.ricciardi Marlo Miller Ricciardi

            Well, where is it? This was pure drivel.

          • Keith

            Just because something gets a reaction doesn’t make it good. So may things in the art community get a reaction and they’re terrible. This poem was poorly written and the only reason anyone cares is because this horrible act of violence just happened and she’s trying to somehow justify how we’re all humans. It’s garbage is what it is.

          • Guest

            “Poems are poems because they’re poetical.”

            Not so.
            Let’s ask William Carlos Williams:

            “I have eaten
            the plums
            that were in
            the icebox

            and which
            you were probably
            saving
            for breakfast

            Forgive me
            they were delicious
            so sweet
            and so cold”

          • http://www.facebook.com/lucy.collingwood1 Lucy Collingwood

            And you don’t find that poetical?

          • Good God

            I think the word you’re looking for is “poetic.” But this “poem” is neither poetic or “poetical.” It’s shit. Not to mention even more attention whoredom on the part of Ms. Palmer.

          • Basho

            Wow. You think Williams, the best example of late modernist stylistics, is ‘shit’? All poetic techniques are there. It’s simple yet sublime.

          • Good God

            I’ve taught poetry and literature at a college level. Yes, it’s shit. Williams would be offended to be named in the same paragraph, let alone sentence.. Ms. Palmer has sure fooled a lot of people over the years with her Emperor’s New Clothes. And you all follow like lemmings. Attention whoredom. Move along. Nothing more to see here.

          • Anon

            Well, maybe art is hard after all and besides he does kinda look like you a young bob dylan, in that creepy friday the 13th. kind-of way.

          • http://twitter.com/Hermit_Thrush Hermit Thrush

            What about rhyming?

          • Gurp

            Yeah I don’t get it

          • Xeithgeist

            He was referring to Ms. Palmer’s poem. Not William Carlos Williams.

          • http://www.facebook.com/marlo.ricciardi Marlo Miller Ricciardi

            basho, he is talking about the content not the form and it is “shit”.

          • http://twitter.com/evilforestgnome diana

            So true!

          • Dan

            First of all, “poetical” is a word, in the dictionary. Less commonly used, but it’s a word. She’s entitled to use it if she enjoys it’s cadence or just wants to be cute about it or whatever. You’d think such an esteemed literature genius as yourself would know that.

            Second of all… MAN, grad students get uppity after their first TA assignment. I’ve taught undergrads too, but I didn’t come to the conclusion that my aesthetic tastes are now the ruler against which all artistic expression must be judged. You got into grad school. Congrats. It’s not that hard. But you clearly haven’t learned much.

          • kt

            Is it attention whoredom just because so many people have seen it? Why would she need to be an attention whore? She already has an entire musical career, a TED talk, is married to a popular author.. Just because so many people are going to see it doesn’t mean she’s an attention whore..?
            I’m sorry I can’t even adequately respond because that just doesn’t make sense.

          • Iheartpoetry

            Well it had your attention. If you don’t like her work, why are you here, on this blog post?

          • Poem Police

            Don’t think that’s a poem. Sorry.

          • http://www.facebook.com/marlo.ricciardi Marlo Miller Ricciardi

            The guy is murdering scum. The “poem” sucks. That is the greater truth, no implication necessary.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=783817577 Paul Pearson

            It’s a poem. It’s art. Even if 100% of each line was factually incorrect, there would still be a valid reason for its being. It’s not reportage, it’s imagination.

          • http://twitter.com/diggingellen diggingellen

            Poetry isn’t journalism, but it doesn’t exist in an apolitical vacuum. Poetry has been used to valorize war, justify repressive states, and as propaganda just as it’s been used as a protest/activism tool. So, certainly poetry isn’t inherently factual, and is based on imagination, but that doesn’t mean that there’s no moral or philosophical implications to using a current event like this to produce a particular emotional response.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=783817577 Paul Pearson

            True, and no doubt that implications you speak of are part of Amanda’s intended effect. It’s completely understandable that people be outraged by the idea of sympathy, or more accurately empathy, of the mind of the culprit. But I don’t think AP’s poem was a value judgment in either direction — you can’t reasonably say she’s in favor of people getting killed. It’s an attempt to represent the emotional blueprint of an accused killer. Yes, yes, in our outrage about this incident, it’s fair to question why we should even consider that, because we risk looking like we support the killer. When in essence, I think Amanda was just trying to understand his motives. Why does she do that? Because she’s an artist. That’s her job.

            She does not endorse what he did. She does not suggest that we need to coddle this guy. I don’t feel like I owe this guy my sympathy at all. But I think Amanda’s reason for posting this poem isn’t to encourage sympathy for the devil, as it were — she’s talking about the random, psychological impulses this guy had that we might recognize as familiar. That such a profile could be within any one of us. Why this guy chose to do what he did because of those impulses, we can’t say. The takeaway I get from AP’s poem is that she’s trying to explain the common roots that we have with this guy. We chose to overcome our emotional questions; this guy took the cheap, immoral and terrible way out. Talking, or even theorizing, about why he did what he did, and comparing it to similar emotions we have within ourselves, might be good steps in preventing this terrible act from happening again.

            I feel the way you do about sexual predators — why should I try to understand them? Fuck that. They do what they do when they know it’s wrong. I don’t have any patience for them. But I don’t think AP’s saying we should be patient, I think she’s saying we have to understand what happened with this guy. And yeah, maybe that means we should try to “understand” sexual predators, and as much as I’m loath to do that, granted, perhaps someone with more patience than me will someday figure out why they do what they do, and hopefully figure out how to stop someone from doing it.

            Amanda’s not trying to curry sympathy for the Boston bombers, she’s just saying “Holy fuck, I feel those impulses, but I’ve managed them. I know how it feels.” She’s taking a chance because she needs to bring this killer’s feelings and actions up to her level to try to get to the answer as to how this guy felt killing was an acceptable response, and why hers, and arts in general, is different. It’s not empathy as we have come to know it, it’s problem-solving. But I definitely get why people are pissed.

          • http://twitter.com/diggingellen diggingellen

            I never say here that what she did is immoral because she’s creating sympathy for a probable killer – many other people take that tack, and that’s not what I’m saying. I have been saying that she invented a person when she wrote this poem and tacked his name on it, that she is underlining the humanity of Dzhokhar by ascribing to him feelings that she has no idea whether he has – she’s trying to emphasize his humanity by turning him into a symbol or a representation of what she imagines he might be. There’s a conflict there, and it’s important to recognize it. I compared her to CNN because that’s what this reminds me of – CNN does with facts what she is doing with feelings.

            And I don’t think that she raised the questions you say she did (“Why did we and Amanda choose our paths based on that information, and why did Dzhokhar choose his? How do we heal that? How can we stop what Dzhokhar did based on what we know about how we feel?”) with this poem, but that could just be because it was ineffective.

          • KeepItToYourselfNextTimeAmanda

            Well for me the reason I didn’t like the poem isn’t because I think she is an attention grabber or that she was disingenuous on purpose. I didn’t like the poem because it is a message that is over and over again being touched upon, it was only ever going to be read by people that agree with it based on her audience and if we revert to cynicism then why does she feel she needs to make her responses to the incident so public? My cynical side will tell me she is either a self-absorbed artist operating under the pretense of delving into the problems and emotional states of others while truly just wanting to espouse her own sentiments or that she used it as a way to garner attention. Maybe this all just betrays my sense of admiration for the tortured lonely reserved artist but I feel as though making a statement about anything on such a public platform debases the message automatically. To be completely honest it felt like a 12 year old wrote it, like a complete lack of depth and then a sense of arrogance and snobbery, typical of people who think themselves artists, when she says that we are only scratching the surface of her profound poem.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.bassior Jordan Bassior

            The poem ignores that he WANTED to kill people and he wanted to do so because he felt that they were evil in their un-Islamic freedoms and that he probably feels proud that he killed these people and happy because it means that after his death he will ascend to Paradise. In other words, precisely the motives which he almost curely feels which are the MOST alien to Amanda Palmer’s own likely world view.
            In other words, she’s not engaging the alien and different, she’s assuming that it’s someone who thinks just like herself, just a little more violent and mixed up.
            It’s an act of dis-respect toward the terrorists, and indeed toward Islam, greater than any I’ve ever committed. I would salute her for this, if I didn’t strongly suspect she had the reverse intention. :)

          • kippollo

            I’ve seen people throw shit on a canvas, but that doesn’t make it art or imaginative.

            Hell, throwing shit at a canvas and praying it sticks is pretty much the summation of Miss Play For Hugs’ entire career.

          • john

            yet Kippollo, even though you dislike her you take your time to criticize her for her passions, her love, and her honesty. don’t you have a more productive way to utilize your time?

          • Jan

            It’s not a poem. It’s not art. It’s a bunch of scribbled lines. If this is poetry, all my tweets are poetry. Still, It has a valid reason for its being: the woman has the right to express herself.

          • Pat

            I think that Ms. Palmer is telling you, over and over again, that you don’t know. It’s not a conversation with Dzohkar, it’s a conversation with the reader; we don’t know.
            At least, that’s how I have read it.

          • http://twitter.com/mattaukamp matt aukamp

            She’s putting all humans in the situation, so one could empathize with how powerful and difficult things can become. She’s using the kid’s experiences as fence-posts to hold up the idea. It’s a challenge for you, the reader, to imagine being the person in those situations. With YOUR feelings. And imagine what it might have been like to be him, with HIS feelings. She’s not a reporter. She’s not factually laying out what this kid was thinking at all times. That’s not art. She’s a writer and poet and she’s exploring, and encouraging the reader to explore. That’s what art does.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1285020134 James Hoggatt

            My head begins to ache with how narrowly you view art.

            Its not ABOUT him. Does it INVOLVE him? Absolutely. The “you” in the poem is not only simultaneously him, but me, you, amanda, Cher, and the girl down the road playing magenta in the late night Rocky Horror.

            These emotions and ideas are things that we all went through, and is a story we all share. I picked at my fingers relentlessly. I definitely found newfound love for my fat-ass legs. I bet you did too. I bet Dkzokhar did as well. Each of these lines are different for each of us. We respond violently with sadness, happiness, fear, hate, love, anger, or any number of other emotions.

            Do any of us feel the same as he did? No. Do you feel the same as me? No.

            Does this poem mean completely different things to everyone that reads it? Yes.

            Should you be angry? Yes Sad? Yes Happy? Yes Confused? Yes Furious? Yes Loving the poem? Yes. Hating the poem? Yes

            Just as long as you feel something about what happened. Something you think about for a moment.

          • http://twitter.com/diggingellen diggingellen

            This poem made me think more about how Amanda views the prerogative of art than anything to do with the perspectives of those who commit terrorism. It makes me think that she cares more about emotional power than about emotional verisimilitude. Not all poems need footnotes or accuracy, but there is something to be said for responsibility in one’s artistic portrayals, particularly given the microphone she commands.

            There has to be a there, there.

          • Kirsten Petersen

            I don’t get this. If I write a crazy poem, no one will care. Why shouldn’t Amanda Palmer be able to do that, too? We don’t own her.

          • New York I love you.

            Excellent response. Summing it up without summing it up at all. Not black and white. I don’t even know yet how I feel about the poem, it wasn’t hateful and negative though. I’m feeling better now after reading your point of view. thanks.

          • http://revsean.com/ revsparker

            and poetry isn’t journalism.

          • Jennifer

            “this isn’t about me. or him. it’s pretty much about everyone.”
            “The you isn’t him.”

            Make up your mind. Did you mean everyone else? It’s certainly not about me. I’ve never been responsible for the death, dismemberment, or injury of 160 people, I’ve never hidden in a boat, and I’m pretty sure I could find my way to New York. He is not a victim, not even of hate. He is a perpetuator. Terrorism is not romantic.

          • wilder125

            So she should have said You all, or Y’all, instead of “You” which can either be singular or plural, is that it?

          • AT

            Amanda, no disrespect intended, but you can’t profess to make ‘art’ and then tell readers that their interpretation is wrong. Especially when it’s something as literal as this.

          • wilder125

            So the author is wrong in saying it’s for and about everyone. Especially when everyone is responding differently aka taking it a different way or even taking it personally.

            Hmm.. interesting theory

          • http://twitter.com/77danielsan Daniel John

            This.
            Look, I(‘ve) adore(d) Palmer’s music. And I believe a poem has achieved success if, like other art forms, it has cultivated from its audience an emotional response. After scanning through all of the vitriol posted below, clearly the poem is successful in this regard.

            But as far as poems go I wouldn’t say it’s great. You would’ve gotten more effective topical satire out of a limerick or haiku.

          • Christ Why

            She’s not telling anyone their interpretation is wrong, she is telling them the way SHE intended it, not the way you should perceive it.

          • AlwaysPeanuts

            If people are interpreting it wrong and she has to correct them, then it’s not presenting it’s message well and it’s arguably not good art. For example, if I want to make a painting addressing the plight of African Americans in history and people see it as a portrait of a random man, then it’s not an effective piece.

          • Christ Why

            There will always be people who interpret art differently than it was intended. People are interpreting it wrong, but a lot of people are also interpreting it in the way it was intended, or in another way completely. That doesn’t make it “bad art.” Art is up for interpretation, and poetry isn’t always nearly as obvious as a painting as you described.

          • AlwaysPeanuts

            Oh my god, this. As an artist, I try not to put too much meaning in my own pieces because I know that the viewer will just take what he or she wants from it. I find that when artists write paragraphs about their paintings that it’s just a bunch of pretentious garbage. Art is what it means to the viewer, and if you have to explain it in an essay, it’s shitty art. Obviously, if people are interpreting it wrong, it’s not good art because it doesn’t present its message well enough. You may as well have fingerpainted a Jackson Pollock.

          • http://www.facebook.com/bridgetamc Bridget McGraw-Bordeaux

            ok so since a lot of us don’t seem to get how this -isn’t- about him, do you think you would be willing to elaborate on what it -is- about?

            because so far your lack of explanation only furthers the legitimacy of the response that “we” just must not “get” art or whatever other insult people have thrown out at those of us who don’t like this poem.

          • HmmMaybe

            If people are interpreting the “you” as him, then the you *is* him. I’m pretty sure that’s how ‘art’ works. If you did not want anyone to think that, then this poem is not a very good expression of what you were actually trying to convey. Personally, I think you absolutely intended for the “you” to INCLUDE him.

            I also think you forgot a few lines about how he (sorry, “you”) stood around watching people die after the bomb went off, then went back to your life like nothing happened.

            Is that something you can identify with also? If not, I think you’re cherry-picking, and ignoring the whole truth. That’s absolutely your right – but I don’t see how you can be too upset at those who are cherry-picking in favor of the victims instead of the criminal.

            Just my two cents.

          • Wayne Blackburn

            Don’t you know? The subject is whatever the ‘artist’ says it is, no matter what it actually says, even if they change that claim over time.

          • one of the three percent

            ignore the sheep

          • FunnyFaceKing

            the you is amanda, everything’s always about amanda

          • panda

            thank you. i read the poem. then read the comments. then had to read the poem again. i thought maybe i missed something because everyone is assuming the poem was written in the strict perspective of dzhokhar. thanks for clarifying what i had originally thought.

            poetry is meant for personal interpretation, but it doesnt help when people don’t really know how to read poetry.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marcelino-Soliz/1474415971 Marcelino Soliz

            you are so much nicer than I am when faced with stupid people. That’s what makes you a good person.

          • ZepFan

            Amanda, I just found out who you are and now I wish I hadn’t. You’re clearly exploiting human tragedy for personal gain and that is absolutely despicable. Get rid of that “support my art” box and direct all donations towards the Red Cross you terrible excuse for a human being.

          • Tansy

            It’s automatic at the end of posts.

            She didn’t just add it there specifically to get you to donate because of this poem.

          • ZepFan

            She could easily remove it. She’s doing this for money, nothing else.

      • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

        that is exactly what i took away from it…and it gives definition to the feelings inside that are so confusing and that is why it is brilliant. This should be in literary journals.

        • http://twitter.com/gingerland62 gingerland62

          Brilliant-really, have you read much poetry?

          • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

            Reading and writing off and on since I was 8. Poetry is my favorite form of art. I had been dead a little for the last few years…. separated from poetry and then I discovered Amanda Palmer a couple of months ago. She brought me back to it. So yes. You??? If you want to have a conversation please email me: tanyas13sonnets@gmail.com. I had to disconnect notifications from Disqus…for now.

          • http://twitter.com/n3cr0phelia Alejandra

            I dare to assume he/she has not.

          • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

            thanks for not assuming my gender. but your assumptions about my familiarity with poetry in your “dare” is incorrect. I don’t think I should be judged in this manner for liking a poem. Please direct your anger elsewhere.

        • miserichik

          I agree with Tanya. Since the line about the iPhone is what people are highlighting, let me translate it into a non-terroristic viewpoint…haven’t we all been somewhere, in trouble, stranded or left behind, or lost, and we look, and our phone battery is blinking red? We’ve lost our way and our connection to help is failing. In this way, we’ve all felt alone.

          OF COURSE she doesn’t condone what he or his brother have done. But she still might feel for him as a human being, however misguided or wrong or sick he is. Taking it literally makes it not poetry, and poetry is to be translated or rearranged to fit a viewpoint.

          Oh, and Tanya’s poetry is beautiful, and I’ll fight to defend it, she’s a friend.

          • AgainKeepItToYourself

            haha do you really think that all these people responding are ignorant of how these thought lines can be translated into our lives? you are as deluded as your friend tanya and amanda

          • miserichik

            Well, that’s your opinion, and if you think so, then maybe you should follow your name and keep it to yourself. I do think that many of these “people” are ignorant and want to lash out at an artist who is merely expressing her feelings. I’ll stick up for anyone I feel is being disrespected. that’s what friends do.

      • http://twitter.com/Jedlight Aline Carriere

        No. It’s definitely about you. This has nothing to do with him. You don’t know him. Even his family didn’t know him. You’re trying to explain him, understand him, where he’s coming from, what he might have experienced, but this is fantasy, your imagination, so it is definitely about you – what you need to get through this experience. That’s fine. It’s cathartic. And it’s not about everyone, because I am someone and it’s not about me. Even before he was caught I hoped he would be captured alive and have a chance at redemption. Even then I thought that might be too much to hope because putting a bomb down next to a child means he crossed a line – a drop that breaks the surface tension. But, I don’t want to lose hope that people can change, that he can change, that hate can be conquered. So, I would still like to see justice and redemption. But, I have no use for pity.

      • Commenter

        It’s about whatever we understand it to be about isn’t it?

      • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.north.927 Cindy North

        How very Postmodern of you. No, it isn’t pretty much about everyone,and I don’t see how you can say it is.

        • wilder125

          And yet, she has so many replies to it.

          • Maggie

            How does her getting a lot of replies say anything about who the subject of the poem is?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1285020134 James Hoggatt

            Because you responding is the point. You are suddenly vocal about something horrific that you were part of as an observer and as an American. This was always about you, otherwise you wouldn’t be here posting.

          • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.north.927 Cindy North

            I think that’s a stretch-I’m here responding because it’s okay to write bad poetry,butnot okay to obsfuscate to defend it.

          • Maggie

            Yeah, the thing is, I didn’t become “suddenly vocal” about something horrific I was part of because I read a poem by Amanda Palmer. I live in Boston, so the topic came up once or twice before this morning. In fact, I seem to recall that even people outside of Boston were discussing these events well before she dashed this off. And now that I’m thinking about it, this poem hasn’t really caused me to discuss the event at all, it’s just caused me to say that I think the poem is bad and Palmer is grubbing for attention again. The only thoughts it’s provoked are “Holy shit that first line is hilariously stupid” and “Scratch that, this whole poem is.”

            In other words, I’m here posting because the poem is terrible and ill-conceived. Me responding does not make the poem about me any more than getting drunk with my friends and mocking “Showgirls” makes that film about me.

          • barbara

            agreed. this poem has not brought to the surface ANY discussion of the actual event, especially absent discussion of the victims, of terror, of hopelessness. the discussion that has emerged is mostly shallow and crass, just like the fucking poem.

          • Hash

            Experiencing getting drunk with your friends and mocking Showgirls is totally about you though. It has very little to do with that movie and everything to do with the experience you have outside the movie.

          • Maggie

            I’ll agree that who I am helps dictate my response. But that doesn’t make the work itself about me. That my response to “Showgirls” is to seek it out and laugh at it rather than avoid it, or cringe through it, or whatever, is about me. But that doesn’t make the film “Showgirls” about me.

            I think the better argument is “It’s about us all because she says so.” Fine. I can accept that. It’s obvious that’s what she intended, the poem is hardly complicated. My problem is the logic of “You responded so that means something good about the poem!” That I can’t agree with.

          • Maggie

            Just to be clear, I know you personally haven’t said that me responding means the poem has some kind of power. That was in reference to the others on the thread.

          • Maggie

            Oh, wait. Unless by “something horrific that you were part of as an observer” you mean “reading this poem,” in which case yeah, I guess this did make me suddenly vocal about it.

          • Hash

            You did also watch Showgirls at least once. That can be fairly traumatic in it’s own way.

          • Maggie

            I’ll not deny that!

          • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.north.927 Cindy North

            And?

        • Rage

          It’s about everyone being human. Nobody is full demon or full angel.

      • YouBetcha

        Because really, aren’t we all worried about our iPhone’s battery life while hiding in the bottom of the boat? I mean, metaphorically.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Macker/518709704 Brian Macker

          You mean sarcastically also, I hope.

      • Maggie

        Oh.

        Then consider this my formal request to not be included as one of the subjects of this poem. Actually, can you send around an opt-out email? I know a lot of people would appreciate it.

        THANKS.

        • http://twitter.com/PParkTighe Patrick Park-Tighe

          Opt-out? That’s a luxury none of us can afford. We are all the subject of the poem and if that offends you so intensely then maybe that should inspire some soul searching. Nothing about this tragedy happened in isolation. This nightmare took seed in our community and it—sadly—played out in our community. So running away indignantly only perpetuates the disease and gives it freedom to spread and entrench itself. The difference between heroes and monsters are a thousand intangibles and the uncertainty of circumstance. But until we can come together with courage and talk honestly we’ll never understand how that strange alchemy works and we will be a less kind, more frightened society because of it.

          • Maggie

            It doesn’t offend me intensely in the way you’re saying. I think the things you’re saying are true – this didn’t happen in a vacuum, a person being a hero or a monster can absolutely change depending on circumstance (though I’m having a hard time picturing this exact act ever being heroic, no matter what the circumstances), and of course I think it’s important to remember that Dzhokhar is human.

            This particular poem, however, is flippant, shallow, trite grandstanding for attention which, given the subject matter, is what I find offensive.

          • kt

            Then don’t read it.
            It’s that simple.

          • Maggie

            How do you propose I know if I like a poem without reading it? Like, seriously. How does this work for you? I read a bunch of reviews and decide not to read something based strictly on other’s opinions? Or I develop psychic powers?

      • wilder125

        I think we can all agree that if you didn’t want to see reactions and comments, you wouldn’t have written the poem. So even the negative ones, I’m assuming, are giving you variety. After all, you’re obviously responding with calm and rational yet caring replies no matter who says something.

        Authors are always surprised when readers get something completely different from the true points of a poem, novel, article. Sometimes the surprise is good. Sometimes the surprise results in the author needing therapy after discovering the weird thought processes of a particular reader.

      • WhatIsThisShit

        Yeah, it’s probably about Jeff Bauman. You should write this on his prosthetic legs that he lost because this misunderstood symbol of alienation and child-killing took them from him. You know. That 19-year-old adult who killed an 8-year-old because he had no empathy for those around him nor who he would be killing. This isn’t about everyone. It’s some post-modern bullshit trying to put words and emotions into the mouth of a guy who has yet to say a word about what he did.

        • http://twitter.com/ThatDobson Nathan Dobson

          Side note, Dzhokhar has yet to “Say a word about what he did,” because his throat is slit. He literally cannot say anything. Probably never will be able to.

          • http://twitter.com/namelessw0nder Tasha

            Uh…source?

          • Christ Why

            Uh, the news??

          • http://twitter.com/namelessw0nder Tasha

            There is no indication that his throat was SLIT. His neck was injured and he has a breathing tube in place.

          • WhatIsThisShit

            Oh, I know. And it’s a shame. I wonder if we will ever know for sure if he tried to kill himself and failed or if the injury was a result of the shoot-out. In either case, he can still communicate with nods or with pencil and paper. Eventually we will know more about him, or at least what the police are willing to share. But what we “don’t know” (to quote a poem) is anything about Dzhokhar’s emotions, so we should definitely not be creating them for him. Thanks for your reply!

          • brabra

            he is writing, though. he has already been talked to and written respones, though i don’t expect we’ll know what they are , anytime soon, if ever…

          • jon

            too bad

      • gregoryabutler

        If your badly written poem is “about everyone” then it’s really about no one. If it’s about this specific guy, it’s obvious that you can’t feel his pain – I get no sense from your poem that he’s currently sitting shackled to a hospital bed with multiple gunshot wounds facing spending the rest of his life in prison or a secret CIA jail. You didn’t project that urgency in your work at all.

        • Ed

          The irony is that the impression I get from this poem in general and Ms. Palmer in general is that she really isn’t capable of feeling anyone’s pain. The poem shows a startling lack of empathy.

          • gregoryabutler

            In general, I think Amanda Palmer is monumentally self absorbed – this is just one of many examples. Remember, this is the person who raised $ 1.2 million from kickstarter, but then didn’t want to pay her backup musicians when she was on tour (she offered them hugs and beer in lieu of actual wages). I don’t think she can feel anybody’s pain but her own.

      • LOL

        who said

        “we’re all under a boat with our iPhone”?

        yep, that’s everyone.

        LOL

      • everyone?

        hmmm … my post got deleted. guess this blog is only about “some” people (not every one)

      • http://soundcloud.com/helloposer poser

        i can understand what @twitter-14755254:disqus is saying. maybe there would be less controversy over an approach like this: (for example) i wrote this song to find peace after an unexpected death. i hope it feels as good to you as it does to me. <3 http://youtu.be/aahvSXa2HyY?t=18s

        • AEB-NY

          Listening to it now. I love it, thank you. :)

      • http://twitter.com/Hermit_Thrush Hermit Thrush

        Ah, I want to apologize. Now that I read the title I see the poem is “for” not “about” a mass-murdering terrorist. That’s much more artistic so I’m way less offended.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elaine-Kurpiel/100003688922056 Elaine Kurpiel

        I read this poem and feel it could apply to any of us. Parts of it may have been geared toward Jokhar, but I also believe that, though I truly despise what he and his brother did, there is always a reason – legitimate or not. My caring about him in no way lessens the feeling I have for all the victims, families and friends. But, again, nearly all of that poem can and does apply to most of us. Life is a journey and we need to watch for signs to show us the way. And we have to empathize with each other. Despise the action but not the person.

      • iamstephenruiz

        Yeah, we can all relate to this. I remember the time I thought about Vietnamese food while blowing up a child with a bomb and then hiding in someone’s boat.

        • kt

          No but I think the point is that you may have thought about the former the same way someone who thought about the latter did.

      • Hmmidontthinkso

        He should never even rate, I’m sorry, but his actions are his own. Don’t give him relavence. He was evil. People who read this drivel have no brain, no morals, no sense of community, just me, me, me. Get over it and do something worth value.

        • broken

          Regardless of whether we want them to have relevance or not, evil people do shape our world. They give us a chance to respond to their cruelty and remind us work to improve our world together. I am in no way whatsoever excusing what he did. It was awful and he should have to take responsibility.

          Poetry can be analyzed in many different ways. I don’t think it was at all reasonable for Amanda to assume that she wouldn’t receive backlash against this poem. Art is subjective. We each get something different out of it. If one person hated it, and another loved it, that’s their prerogative. I, personally, did not like this poem (as a piece of art). However, I do appreciate that it (as a statement piece) has made people talk, think, and argue about the relevancy, significance, and appropriateness of the work. It is important for us not to forget how we feel at this moment: all the outrage, all the sadness, all the pain – it’s something the victims will have to carry with them the rest of their lives.

      • Ed

        Please never write a poem about yourself and put my name in the title, OK?

        • bigstone

          No need to worry I sure the only time she will think about you is to dismiss you

          • APfansR_Idiots

            Good puppy! Now run to mommy and drink your kool-aid!

      • Emily

        All I’ve ever seen you do in the media is make things about you. You are obsessed with yourself and your “art.”

        • Rage

          No worries Amanda, SHE DOESN’T EVEN GO HERE.

      • http://www.facebook.com/steven.blair.9022 Steven Blair

        The only offensive thing about the poem is that is sounds as if Judy Jetson wrote it from inside a 7th graders holo-brain. ( In the future kids try to affect pretensious empathy after the Great Vagrant War destroyed the Homeless KIng)

      • http://www.facebook.com/marlo.ricciardi Marlo Miller Ricciardi

        What a twit you are. Pure brainwashed Obamabot. I’ll bet your mother is sooooo proud (sarc).

      • Keith

        It certainly isn’t about me. I would never consider murdering innocent people. I also would never try to show how a murderer is somehow humane. Some people are just evil. Plain and simple.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.bassior Jordan Bassior

        You’re assuming that everyone thinks alike. The whole point of his subscribing to a violent revolutionary ideology was that he wanted to think DIFFERENTLY.
        And by the way, as an self-exhibiting opinionated woman, you were high on his notional kill list.

    • http://twitter.com/Personal_key Jade V

      “I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of. ”

      ― Joss Whedon

      • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.bassior Jordan Bassior

        Yeah, but that’s precisely what Amanda Palmer HASN’T done. If she honestly explored Dzokhar’s character, she’d have to deal with the Islamic-terrorist motives animating him, and that might involve facing something a lot scarier than generic violent teenage alienation. Since, of course, women like Amanda Palmer are specifically among their targets.

        • a_lethe_ia

          she didnt write about him. she wrote about “you”. so about us. all

          and.. well if you see at the age-graphs of poor islamic countries, you might see that the islamic terrorist movement might be fueled by a lot of teenage-alienation. alienation and hate stems from war, poorness and colonization, carefully picked up by radical people, nurtured and bred and then gave back. and to more people. young guys, some well educated but wth no job who see theyr land in flames because some people lied about WMD and such. and there is more of it. and yeah, religion. our opium. can go good, can do horribly, horribly wrong in the hand of poor, angry young guys.

          • http://www.facebook.com/yolande.liddy Yolande Liddy

            I’m sorry, but these two brothers were not living in ‘poor islamic countries’…they were living in the US with all of the freedom and opportunity available to each of them. The younger was in a wonderful university, probably with a large government financial aid package, so that he could pretty much do what he wanted. he noted that he was a lifeguard and wanted to save people in one twitter post and yet this same person chooses to blow up men, women and children without even a glance back at his carnage. sorry, no sympathy here for he or his brother, only the victims and their families.

          • a_lethe_ia

            like dylan klebold and his buddie? like the guy at virginia tech? adam lanza? like the una bomber? like the “pro-life”-guys who bomb clinics?

            yeah. he said he wanted to save people. so why did he the exact opposite? (and well he isnt the only one.. father kill all their families, students shoot students, some seemingly nice guys rape if they see the chance(eg the peoson is so drunk she/he cant consent)..

            like them. and like that, we dont know. thats the sad thing.
            maybe there is something inside humans which can do that. ist easy to hat for-but this wont solve anything and-more important it wont prevent.(well totally preventing is impossible) but the latter is far more important to me. understand why he did it(if he did) he lives. maybe he can give answers

          • http://www.facebook.com/yolande.liddy Yolande Liddy

            I’m unsure what you are trying to say….I believe the Adam Lanza’s, klebold/harris, etc. are as much terrorists as these two, maybe for different reasons, but terrorists nonetheless. Any individual, regardless of their reasons, who decides that blowing up or shooting up innocent people to avenge whatever grievances they hold are terrorists. Sure, we can ask him to explain why he did it, but psychologists have been trying to understand for years why certain people have no empathy for their victims. Luckily for society, as a whole, their numbers are small, however, for every victim of these random, calculated acts of violence, there is no amount of understanding that will heal their pain. My problem with Ms. Palmer’s thesis for her poetry is why she didn’t try and see it from the victim’s perspective as opposed to the perpetrator.

          • a_lethe_ia

            well,
            i think-or i am the opinion that the things, they have done are
            terribly terribly wrong and that there need to be consequences. But
            only this wont change anything. saying “they are terrorist,
            these people ARE like that” is too easy-and i believe that this
            might not help in preventing such things.

            iknow, there are a few people who are, for example born with severe
            psychopathy, but the most killer or terrorist are, jeah, normal
            people who become that kind of killer-monstar-sadistic-person(well,
            sometimes they aren’t sadistic, sometimes they are..). and that’s
            the scary thing-that you get normal people to do.. but to know what
            got them, you have to ask. you have to put your moral system aside
            and try to delve into their heads, life and thoughts to understand
            why these people thought it were right-or maybe just necessary to do
            this. (i say necessary because this reminds me of a book i read, but
            its German and i don’t think it got out in English, but there is
            some book with a similar theme, called “Ordinary Men. Reserve
            Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland,” by
            Christopher browning. it deals with exactly that question, which has
            been asked gazillion times in our life.. “what has to happen
            until a seemingly or real “normal” human becomes a
            mass-murderer. here its about the einsatzgruppen in Poland, during
            Unternehmen Barbarossa and executed Jews. Mothers, children, old men,
            everybody-they had to dig a big hole, then strip naked, lay down, get
            shot, after that, the next had to lay down, on the body of the
            other…and, well, these people who shot-were normal guys. policemen
            who had sworn to protect people, not to murder them. even if they had
            to shoot little crying children, they carried on(although they felt
            horrible the first time(and if they had to shoot a child which looked
            like theirs), but they felt also that this was a time and state where
            no intervention could be made-maybe, that was a though, was dzokhar
            in that situation because he SEEMED to me not very characteristic for
            that what we know about islamic terrorist-derps (and i think stated
            that his brother had the plan and all this) maybe he got caught in
            and hadn’t the guts to get out? i dont know-i know and deeply feel
            that what he has done is wrong. i mean, i cant even eat animals
            because i hate violence-but is was one time someone who was very
            violent, but i got better. maybe that’s why? i often thought about
            killing but some day realized with help of a very precious friend,
            that this is the wrong thing to do, even if world is shit and had not
            treated me well. so maybe we´ll need to understand comes from that
            place-and as i said the point that i am sure is, that knowing the
            mind state of these people can help to prevent this. and being
            empathetic too-but not about dzhokhar alone, but about other things.
            about some beggar on the street, about the person with bruises you
            meet and know he/she was lying about falling down stairs (these
            people often want to talk) about a the loud scrams and crying out of
            the flat next to yours.. there are so much possibilities to chance
            something to better-and even if that person don’t want help right
            know, trying is important-maybe we can prevent a killer like this by
            helping victims of abuse to get out of the situation. if we stand our
            for another, defend the classmate against the bullies and stand up if
            we see sexual harassment, racism or other hate, and even if its only
            to show “you are not alone, there are people on this world who
            are good. so no need for destroying it to fit ist to you..”

            and something other I wondered here- I think the people who clearly
            despise the poems.. well, some of them use really demeaning language,
            they try to act like psycho-docs and call her crazy or ill
            (narcissistic-by someone who says he knows her and is capable do
            diagnose serious psychological illnesses via internet.) they use
            strawmen to imply things she never said or wrote, sometimes they act
            straight up and try to insult or offend her by writing the idiotic
            things people write if they are hurt and in anger and try to stop
            that shitty feeling.(well, I know what shit I did,so I understand,
            but I reprove that(like the bs I did in the times I didn´t had
            myself under control enough)they try to degrade her(by using strawmen
            or by implying she does write with ill intent and I don’t mean
            people like you who can articulate and criticize without slipping
            down on unfair words and try to act their fear and-well anger (and I
            understand all of that) out on her because she has dared to have
            empathy with someone other people consider unworthy for that (which
            is okay because nobody forced them to have empathy for that kinda
            people-but some of them act like she had and would play to install
            mind-controlling to bring us all into loin dzhokhar and approving
            terrorism…)

            well,my point is.. why we can´t we behave like adult people and voice our
            anger or compassion or whatever in a way which would be deemed
            appropriate by our grandmas, grandpas and the queen of England?

            guh that’s long. i think i might
            (okay, the latter.. but this cant be that hard-well its the internet,
            but it shouldn’t be that hard..gah)

            well I believe I made a few errors- I am not very good at tense, so often I mix the wrong past-tenses together and then its strange, but well, I am a non native speaker, I am allowed too^^ ;)

    • Karina S

      Dzhokhar was not an evil person down to the core; I don’t think anyone
      truly is. The poem isn’t about Palmer’s empathy for him, although it’s
      not your right not tell her that her empathy is invalid. It’s about
      humanizing. If we write off people who do terrible things for the sole
      reason that they were heartless and sick and inhuman, all we’re doing is
      denying our own potential to turn into monsters. What I read from this
      poem is that just because a person does horrific things, it doesn’t
      mean they are no longer a person. All the media coverage and news
      stories are very alienating, and lots of people lose sight of the fact
      that this was a kid, a kid who was once happy and had friends, but
      somehow got confused and angry, and maybe he was sick or someone took
      advantage of him. I think Palmer is trying to express this dichotomy
      between Tsarnaev’s disgusting actions and the good part of him that is
      probably still there. If we don’t acknowledge the human in everyone,
      it’s too easy to write off people like the Tsarnaev’s as monsters, and
      then we end up ignoring the root of the problem, which is within us and
      society. And the first step to solving a problem is admitting there is
      one.

      • http://twitter.com/diggingellen diggingellen

        I never said he was evil. I never said her empathy was invalid. I never said we shouldn’t humanize this person.

        It’s just not true empathy or humanization if you invent someone’s feelings and then empathize with them.

        As an example: Say that his true feelings are a tremendous sense of accomplishment – he and his brother successfully produced bombs, avoided getting picked up before the marathon day, pulled off the explosions, he went back to school for several days and went to the gym, partied with friends, etc, and avoided suspicion until Friday’s events. That takes a tremendous amount of skill and ingenuity, and perhaps his true feelings are that he’s proud that it worked, he’s mourning his brother, and he’s angry that he didn’t manage to commit suicide or commit another attack before being captured. Do you think he would read this poem and feel empathized? Feel humanized? Feel really understood?

        I’m not saying we should assume that my hypothetical is the true situation, but I think that her poem is a complete fiction with a real person’s name attached to it, and that it’s been written without many of the insights that will come with time.

        • McDuff

          Congratulations, you just declared all literature about historical figures invalid. The police in charge of ensuring only acceptable art gets written would like to thank you for your service.

          • BeeJACKS22

            It’s called common sense and sound judgment, 2 things you clearly lack. No police action, self-regulation.

          • anon

            there’s art, there’s literature; and there’s bad writing. no police needed to know this is bad writing.

          • Hash

            There’s bad writing and there’s writing you don’t like. Is this a good/bad poem? Debatable. Does a certain percentage of reader not like it? Indisputable. I think Larry the Cable Guy is just awful, and yet he not only exists but is also a millionaire, not that I’m comparing the two but I’m certain you get my point. Black Licorice.

          • anon

            what is your point — millionaire = what?

          • Hash

            One would assume it equals popularity, but I’m hard pressed to find anyone who likes his work. Popular does not necessarily equal good just as unpopular does not necessarily equal bad.

        • albe

          well, a poem does not have to be true because art doesn’t have to talk about reality by means of reality. In my opinion it is about having the chance to think differently (no reference intended). Seeing things from another point, higher, lower, equal, whatever. Media relates facts and has the duty to tell what is true. But beside facts and truth, there is human. Indeed, you cannot tell what Djokhar really felt/feels, and that is the point, remind you do not, and you cannot judge. Well, at least that is how I read it. Djokhar is a name, a poem is an idea, and I don’t read it as if it were talking about him as human, but more as some kind of symbol. History and people will never be able to tell us his real thougths and feelings. this is a water drop in the ocean.

        • 4-Q-2

          Wow….Really support this guy don’t you?? You think he is a hero I bet…?
          Poor cowardly sap never got that second chance to kill..or how did you put it??

          “That takes a tremendous amount of skill and ingenuity, and perhaps his true feelings are that he’s proud that it worked, he’s mourning his brother, and he’s angry that he didn’t manage to commit suicide or commit another attack before being captured.”

          • http://twitter.com/PatriotLand Daniel

            But yes he did get a second chance to kill, and then the innocent little children murdered the security officer in cold blood.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1285020134 James Hoggatt

          Amanda doesn’t present this as truth, she presents it as discussion. I bet you money, however; that many of these thoughts were thought by him, because they are human thoughts. They are natural thoughts one would think.

          Assuming that Amanda is trying to paint a wholly accurate or wholly complete picture is reading way beyond what you are presented here. Amanda posits ideas, not truths. Perhaps you should show some restraint in reading beyond whats on that page.

          However, you did play her game, you added to the discussion. In that way, your reaction is everything she wanted and more. It made you think. Your truth is different from her truth, which is different from my truth, and different from his truth. That is the point, we see different things in each other from afar.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kelly.adlington.33 Kelly Adlington

            Thanks for being a respectful voice in this debate. You’re so right…the whole point is discussion, from any side present.

          • JINNASH

            Your point is worthless. She cares more about her “feelings” than what actually happened. Classic sign of immaturity.

        • Keith

          No. The guy was evil. He killed innocent people including a child. That’s evil. I don’t care what his motivations or thoughts were. He’s evil.

          • nj_v2

            U.S. drone strikes authorized by Obama in Yemen, Pakistan, and elsewhere kill innocent people and children. Is the person who pushes the “fire” button evil? Is Obama evil?

          • http://twitter.com/stupidjerkface Hmph.

            Blaming bad things that happen on “evil” is as much of a copout as blaming it on the Devil. Same as calling them “monsters.” Nope, they’re human, and Americans, and that means we should probably try to figure out why these things happen in the first place. A magical force called evil is just something we have to shrug and live with, and that’s bullshit.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.bassior Jordan Bassior

          It’s just not true empathy or humanization if you invent someone’s feelings and then empathize with them.
          Exactly. It’s as if I write a story about Jesse James and tried to “humanize” him by claiming he was fighting for racial equality. Considering that JJ started his career as a Confederate guerilla raider with Quantrill’s band, this would to say the least NOT be about Jesse James, but rather about some violent fantasy of my own.

      • Vertebrae8

        Let’s see if you say that when the perp is a young racist white male militant Christian fundamentalist who assassinates an abortion provider, or something. I guess it all depends on how cute he is?

        • BeeJACKS22

          But he wasn’t. But there is an abortion clinic in Philly where babies out of the womb were murdered and left for dead that you could look into if it concerns you so much.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1558645006 Lori McLeod Wilke

            Will Amanda write a poem for those murdered babies…the one that survived the abortion and was flailing about in a toilet until the nurse reached in and severed his spinal cord?

          • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.winne.clark60 Lisa Clark

            No; rather, she will write about Kermit Gosnell, as if he’s some hero; even though he’s such a bad person that he now has been condemned by pro-abortion rights groups.

        • anon

          oh, you mean eric rudolph?

        • http://www.facebook.com/yolande.liddy Yolande Liddy

          so do you somehow believe that if these two brothers were blonde with blue eyes people would somehow overlook their carnage or try and explain it away…..prior to our knowledge of these two, plenty of people on the left were saying it must be a tea partier whose upset about paying more taxes while those on the right were hoping for a jihadist that looked like bin laden. a killer, a jihadist, a school shooter, you name it, they are all terrorists in their own way and these two, no matter what their list of grievances, were nothing more than that.

      • BeeJACKS22

        He is an evil Phuck and deserves to die for blowing up 8 year old Michael Richard. He put the bag right next to him. Leave the earth as soon as possible please.

        • AshleyNoel

          It’s Martin Richard…

      • JINNASH

        Your type of ignorance(Naive?) is what gets good people killed. I hope you are not any type of decision maker. I don’t really care about Amanda’s emotional state. This childish type of smug nonense is why she is not to be respected. My feeling are for those who lost life or limb. It time for the whiny nonsense to get out of the way to that us adults can make decisions without having to put up with the likes of you and Amanda.

        • stormypink

          “It time for the whiny nonsense to get out of the way to that us adults can make decisions without having to put up with the likes of you and Amanda.”
          Oh thank God for you adults and next time say it without typos—you a**hole

          • JINNASH

            Typos are a part of life, and a small one at that. Because of your selfishness and immaturity, you are still are still unqualified to make decisions.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jim.harvey.980 Jim Harvey

        MURDERING an 8 year old boy and tearing the legs from his sister as well as maiming and amputating limbs from other INNOCENT people and you say he’s not evil? What, in your universe then WOULD qualify as evil? I’m curious.

      • susy

        Do you feel the same sympathy toward someone who brutally kills a gay person?

        • Paige

          Empathy and sympathy are different things. And yes, that murderer must have had a very confusing and sad upbringing to have behaved so monstrously.

      • anon

        ++++++++++++++++++++

        The motivation for his killing was love. He believed that non-muslims are monsters – non-muslims are sending people to eternal damnation.

        +++++++++++++++++++

    • JJ

      From a writer’s perspective i read this with a crushing indifference; from a human perspective I read this and really wished I hadn’t.

      • http://twitter.com/diggingellen diggingellen

        Not sure if you are refering to the poem or my thoughts on it, apologies if I caused any crushing indifference!

        • Anon

          sympathy for terrorists? yikes! Yeah, no I think I liked Amanda better when she was in the Dresden Dolls. This is just too freaky for me.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1285020134 James Hoggatt

            Its not sympathy, its a reminder that even ‘monsters’ are human. If we just dismiss him as just a psychopathic monster then we never stop to really ask what drove the person who ate the same lunch that I do (spring rolls) to do such horrific things.

            We know what he did, and sure there will be motive. But I think Amanda and many other people including myself, want to know what turns people into agents of death instead of agents of war.

            Motive is not the only part of the question. We will put names and places around him, but I am curious as why all those parts turned into this.

          • Anon

            One day you go on a crusade against bullying (which is awesome! thumbs way up!). Next day it is telling us that these same bullies are human beings worthy of apologist rhetoric and we should care about their motivation(s) as they carry WMD into crowds of innocent people? Amanda and Bieber should date.

          • Anon

            So then are the kids who were bullied to the point where they felt the need to shoot up their school also just demons whose motivations and feelings we should disregard as we further dehumanize them?

          • anon

            No, now they will be held accountable for their actions before the eyes of the court and by the laws of the land. We need justice to solve these social issues, not more your of your misplaced bleeding-heart nonsense. Honestly, I think Paris Hilton did a better job at drumming up publicity for herself than virtually scuttling her entire career to gain notoriety. This kind of terror-apologist misguided sympathy is quite sickening and offensive to ordinary people. If you want to “piss-christ” your way into the press, you quite certainly have succeeded today. I’m shocked and embarrassed that some of you would prefer that we should take advantage of a terrible unfortunate situation to bolster attention to some imaginary “cause” hoping to receive donations and make money when people have lost their only loved ones and are suffering from this very real tragedy. Maybe you are just desperate enough to take advantage of anything you can to make yourselves more powerful, when in fact, you are supporting the very bullies you condemned last month. I don’t really think you stand for anything except yourselves and your personal gain, publicity, notierty, and the fleeting power you attain from these kinds of pseudo intellectual piss-christ antics. I feel sorry for you.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.bassior Jordan Bassior

            Piss-Christ indeed. I’d be more impressed if she were willing to offend against Islam than against Boston.

          • a_lethe_ia

            why, there are enough people in media who are do it, specially in usa where free speech and the asshole-ism which people think of as free speach goes by partly ignored. srs, with ppl like that geller-loon and enough of them in the republican (and surly democrats as well) party, with enough of that here in europe (wilders, sarrazin, the 7% which the nazi-party in greece, (now they go out at night and beat immigrants half-to full-death, but its crisis and that’s what people do-beating the one under them, not the one at the top who had a part in economic crisis.. and all the right wing semi-dictators (hungary, bye bye democracy i say)

            and there is the internet and such.. so if you serach for antiislamic and islam-critic stuff you will find. but maybe not at the homepage of amanda palmer who has little to no ground to write something this kind because i dont think shes that kind of a journalist or a critic of religions. so why should they and what do you want here if you know this here is not yu cup of tea?
            just because you want to read this, nobody has it to write for you? and, free speech goes for people with other opinions too^^

          • a_lethe_ia

            and against Boston? dud, that’s a city. city cant be offended. my car and my flat cant be offended how much i write poems about their shittiness.(if i write some poem about my annoying shitty egoistic neighbour who tortures me with his shitty music at 3 am, he might be offended if he reads. so..little difference i know, but there is)^^

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Kilpatrick/1109772025 Mike Kilpatrick

            Your shitty poem can’t be as bad as having a flat cunt. That must be dreadful.

          • Jenny Hand

            Jordan. No wonder your profile picture is a dog.

          • DL

            As far as I’ve noticed, the suspect (which is what he is) is already being tried and found guilty, guilty, guilty (“Hang them!”) by the media and the press, rather than being held accountable before the eyes of the courts, into which he should surely enter as innocent until proven guilty, no?

          • http://www.facebook.com/tsondru Logan Morton

            Wow, you really have a strong need that is not being met. I’m sorry to say that I haven’t really received one thing from your rants that are of value, in terms of allowing me to connect with you and what’s important to you. I hope some day that there could be a greater cultural awareness of the destructive and alienating nature of criticism and blame, how they limit and stagnate our perceptions of each other and create violence. In such a world, tragedies like this could be avoided more often.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=803683287 Paul White

            If you think Amanda is ridiculous to imagine that this man was a real person with real feelings, motivations, and a history, then you are equally ridiculous to imagine that he wasn’t and didn’t.

          • Kimberly Gibson

            So very true. The problem is that what she wrote is based entirely upon the assumption of guilt. She can assume all she likes, but he’s still innocent until proven guilty. Based on tremendous amounts of reasonable doubt evidence, they’ll probably kill him before they’ll be able to FAIRLY convict him.

          • James Spader

            Sorry, that’s mostly a myth. Bullied kids stay victims, they don’t become the killers. The bullies are the killers.

            Except for Adam Lanza. He’s the only one who ever paid for what he bought. But then he shot up the wrong school.

          • captdot

            “…the kids who were bullied to the point where they felt the need to shoot up their school”. As I see it, herein lies the problem. This statement reads as though there is justification for such acts. We have been inured to violence, many times looking for something to blame. The culture of violence is ubiquitous in the large urban areas – Chicago, Philadelphia, LA, etc. – Gang murders are blamed on isolation, frustration, disintegration of the family – anything to take some of the blame off the perpetrator. This is wrong. There is NO justification for murder.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Kilpatrick/1109772025 Mike Kilpatrick

            Yes their isolated…by being in a gang.

          • Mark

            By all accounts the lead Columbine shooter wasn’t actually bullied, in fact he was reasonably popular and bullied other kids. The bullying thing was just a nice-sounding narrative the media ran with. The kid was actually just a hateful narcissistic psychopath, there’s no value to trying to empathise with him or understand his motives.

          • xtine

            well, she’s married to Neil Gaiman, but they do have an open relationship. not sure if she’s Bieber’s type though

          • disqus_ptH8mjfIDn

            But you know Neil Gaiman and Dzhokhar actually do look pretty similar, give or take 30 years or so.

          • a_lethe_ia

            yes. because its neither onl one of that. its both, in a part. i believe that most violent people (i was one myself-not bully, though, but none the better) are really unhappy with their, our shitty way of coping. yes, there are people who are sadists and who have fun. and there are people who cant feel any empathy. but even these people started somewhere. 99% of violent people arent violent by nature. there are so many other things, but one of them-society-we can chance. at least try.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Kilpatrick/1109772025 Mike Kilpatrick

            Ok this made no sense at all. Interesting concept the violent non bully. Aggressive public
            masturbation?

          • stormypink

            Forgive if you wish to be forgiven.

          • AlwaysPeanuts

            It’s impossible to know what drives someone to cast carnage and sorrow upon others because nothing will make sense to us, and they will not provide us clues. But sympathizing with terrorists and murderers is appalling. The people we SHOULD be writing poems for are the victims and the people who put their lives at risk to save others. What Dzhokhar did was selfish and unempathatic. He killed without regard to who was there. This was not a revenge crime or a crime targeting a person who had done him wrong – it was merely attacking innocents, and as many innocents as he could. Let’s not put him on a pedestal of “oh he’s just misunderstood!” The only reason we should try to understand him is to prevent this from happening again, not to sympathize with him.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.bassior Jordan Bassior

            I think what really got me was the expression of sympathy with Dzokhar for being waterboarded, which is really funny because apparently he’s going to be treated as a civilian, so he won’t be waterboarded. Note that this is essentially a cookie-cutter version of “sympathy” — it’s being plugged into the situation without regard for the facts of the case. Just as the list of motivations being assigned by Palmer to Dzokhar apply to some generic model of an “alienated terrrorist” — we could make him a 1970’s IRA member or a 1950’s Mau Mau without changing any of the lines.
            In other words, it’s all about Palmer: Dzhokhar and the suffering he and his brother inflicted are just the excuse. Which is why it’s so morally offensive.

          • stormypink

            you don’t know how orgasmic the act of taking in a lungful of oxygen is until they hold your head under the water
            This line could be seen as a promise or a semi-threat, not sympathy

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Kilpatrick/1109772025 Mike Kilpatrick

            Or just an embarrassing lack of talent?

          • stormypink

            When did Amanda say he was misunderstood?

          • Kirsten Petersen

            We should be writing poems for whomever we please. There are no rules in poetry.

          • Kirsten Petersen

            We should be writing poems for whomever we please. There are no rules in poetry.

          • Kirsten Petersen

            We should be writing poems for whomever we please. There are no rules in poetry.

          • Kirsten Petersen

            We should be writing poems for whomever we please. There are no rules in poetry.

          • Kirsten Petersen

            We should be writing poems for whomever we please. There are no rules in poetry.

          • Sam Houston

            It was the spring rolls that made him do it. Think about it before you utter criticism. Can’t you see that the spring roll represents the antithesis of the Draconian Noir. With foresight shattered to decipherable indignation for the soulless claxton of our ephemeral youth, the young nave procured forth into the succubus of Liberal epitome. The King’s transom lay forth in his White castle to wretched the forthcoming lacquer of a righteous taught. Oh bosom, stay thine contentious journey.

          • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.bassior Jordan Bassior

            His motive appears to have been Islamic jihad, based upon his own statements and those of his brother made prior to the attacks they carried out. I would trust their own statements as to their motives over random speculations regarding them. As for the deeper inner psychology, the poem is not about that, it’s about Amanda Palmer’s own fantasies regarding them.
            Here, I’ll put it another way. Amanda Palmer just culturally appropriated Chechen Islamic jihad and wrote a poem about it. And if we can sit through the poem, the Vogons will spare our lives.

          • Guest

            Please educate your self on what “jihad” is before using it as part of a racial insult.

          • stormypink

            Get spell check too !!!

          • a_lethe_ia

            its strange that htheir fb pages arent the kind one would expect from these violent- jihadi types.. drinking alcohol and having party wand watching western stuff doesnt fits into the “i am so much holier than thou”attitude these people (well, at least the salafi/whahabi-gyus/gals i know-but these aren´t violent, only ultra orthodox)

            well, i think his older brother might gotten into that cult and well, family ties (like this sniper in, what was it?new york, which worked together with his brother too.. often they ahave deep relationship and somewhat power over the younger-or maybe he complicited and they got themself deeper and deeper.-the neigbours, kids from the school and the family was very shocked because these-like school schooter were considered friendly and nice.. (well, like the dads who abuse their children, or the priest or, wll, most perpetrator who maintain some nice sides and then a kind of beast within..)

            i wouldt say chechen islamist-they got away the older brother was one or such-so he might had ties to other chechen-community, but tthey dont seem nationalistic, they dont have any text or such bullshit (al qiuadia and taliban are after bombings very prod of themdelf and wave their virtual dicks in glory-but these two? no manifesto unlike breivig who shot almost 80 kids, no tasteless-film like the nsu who shot 10 people… or like the una bomber or most of the very white, very american terrorist-most like to boast about their bullshit. (and well, how many people write down bullshit without intending to do`look at youtube and if you want to believe every user, we need more armies than we have people^^

            but-well. nothing is proven.. its very possible, but 100% sure? i dunno. so lets wait..

            and remember the hundreds of death people in other countries who didnt wanted to die either but are lagely ignored just because they aren´t (mostlywhite) americans and for the media, 3 dead Americans are more worth that 200 dead iraqui people. sad but it it, what it is.

            (btw people from syria have shown their condolence)^^

          • http://twitter.com/just1again Nancy Mattice

            Thank you, James. And than you, Amanda. I have been feeling “off”. Of course it is because of the horror of the bombing, but it is also because of an uneasiness that come from asking the same questions that you so. How does someone get to this place? This cannot be what he always intended to make his legacy. In 5th grade Dzhokhar didn’t say ” I want to make bombs and kill people when i grow up”. Inside the killer is a human being .
            There is a certain essence of humanness we all share. But lets not kid ourselves, acts of violence are carried out every day, whether by words, guns,IEDs, or drones. In an impressionable , angsty mind, who knows how this can be twisted to make something so horrifically wrong seem like a reasonable action.
            This is not sympathy on my part for a terrorist. This is just confusion and sadness about the human condition. Sometimes I wonder what that condition really is in its pure state.

          • GoodGravey

            So much anger in these comments. And I guess I understand it. But what I DONT accept, ever, is this perverted attitude in so many to refuse to ask the really tough questions. Not “Why did he do this?” but “How did we reach this point?”

            Most people don’t want to go there because it requires them to look at themselves, and not liking what they see, they shut it out and cry “monster”.

            So done mentioned his motives were “jihadist”. That’s not going deep enough. Why? Why did he have those motives? What is it about us that seems to engender such hatred?

            “Justice” otherwise known as the penal system because there is no true justice there, isn’t a solution. Understanding the deep root of these problems is the key to solving it.

            Inside all of us is a monster, just waiting for the right (or maybe wrong) set of circumstances to come out. Every single one of us is capable of doing these deeds. If this is “all about AFP” then it is because she is demonstrating her realisation of this.

            For some of you, the hate spilling from you is the perfect example of why this happened.

          • GoodGravey

            PS. sorry Nancy, that was meant to be supportive of YOU. Realised it didn’t read like that.

          • Luke

            You will never be able to fathom what went wrong in this kid’s brain. By engaging in speculation that you “eat the same food as him” you simply state that he is like any other human but some greater or lesser event in his life caused an adverse reaction in his internal circuitry. Even so, why do you want to compare yourself with this lunatic? Do you fancy killing 8 year old children and permanently maiming over a hundred more? While anatomically speaking, you are correct, “monsters are human,” but any “human” who desires so unleash such agony on fellow humans is simply a martyr for some unknown cause.

            By showing compassion for this troubled soul, you simply play right into his hand. He wanted attention, but was too psychologically impaired to achieve it in a normal way, just like the rest of us. You will probably never be able to determine why he would do something like this… And if you were to figure it out, it certainly wouldn’t be as a result of throwing profanities into poetry and calling it art.

          • underthunder

            It’s a mistake, and one of the most tragic ones of our age, to say that compassion is the same as justification of someone’s actions. Compassion is one of the essential things that make us fully human, and yet is sadly missing in public discourses like these. That poor young man is living eighteen flavors of hell right now whether he can even begin to fully feel them or not, and to understand that and have compassion for it is not to excuse or somehow justify his brutally unjust and violent act.

            Don’t be so scared of caring about all people; it won’t kill you. But not caring, or even worse, wishing harm and loss and pain and suffering on others, will yes kill us all. There’s no contradiction between Justice and compassion. Trust me (or don’t, but take some time to see what others more articulate than I have said, and then look in your heart and see what you find).

            And yes, the studies are in and the research is overwhelming: a common and frequent response to past abuse and unhealed trauma is to become an abuser and inflict trauma on others. It’s not the only response, but with the exception of the small portion who are genuinely psychotic, all those who do this stuff have had it done to them in some form. As they say, “you could look it up”.

            You really want to stop these horrific acts? Start creating a just and livable society, founded on decency respect, and genuine opportunity and equality – and I will put my life savings on “black” to say we’ll see a massive reduction more than anything else we could possibly try.

            But yeah; that’s a lot harder than calling people names and slinging hate around. Easier to point fingers and claim “those people” are not like “us”, even when “we” never have lived through what they have and have no idea how we would respond if we had.

          • Ter

            Was this really about death though? How many deaths were there? Who is to say it was not simply for the thrill of the power he had in that moment, the terror, the sensations, the pictures of his face, and the legacy he left behind. I feel like it this was a death thing, there would have been more of it. It is important to still have empathy.

          • Jim

            Mmmm, maybe not so human.

          • Jenny Hand

            James. I agree with you.

          • Kimberly Gibson

            There is always more than one side to every story. Neither you nor Amanda will find the answers you’re looking for in Jahar. You’ve accepted, obviously without question or even the tiniest bit of homework on your part, the illusion of a monster created by both the government and the media. And despite what the government, media, and American people have done to him, I still doubt you’d find in Jahar, a monster today. At 56, one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned….question what you’re told, see, hear and expected to believe. What is the motive behind the teller? To what extremes will they go to move their agenda ‘forward’? We were once a great country and last time I checked, still innocent until proven guilty.

          • http://twitter.com/QueenxNina Nina Burns

            “Sing for the terrorists” was a Dresden Dolls lyric.

          • http://www.facebook.com/tsondru Logan Morton

            When people do not receive empathy, they terrorize. :(

          • POLONIUS

            When people do not respect their own intelligence; they make mistakes. And empathy without intelligence is blissful ignorance. And coincidentally, that is how some people tend to make a very good living off of other people’s misery.

            “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

            This means you!

          • http://twitter.com/IAmYourVampire Gracie

            “Sing for the president. Sing for the terrorists. Sing.”

          • Ably

            He is innocent. There is no proof against but proof for him. Just research before you believe the media’s lies.

      • Anonymous

        I’m no poet, or author, or english major, but where does this speak of amanda? Yes she’s painting the picture against the view of the reader in saying “you don’t know…”, but last time i checked you can write something outside of your own beings inside the story or poem. JK Rowling ISN’T Harry Potter…

    • http://www.facebook.com/kymberlee.dellaluce Kymberlee della Luce

      I hear the critical thinking you’re doing here. I have to say that I don’t really see how Amanda is making anything about her OR even making it about him. Art is transpersonal. Also, we all see life through different filters.

      I have a hard time understanding the need for criticism here unless it’s just a need to find something to attack when one is feeling powerless. I think we’ve all see that type of behavior fairly recently.

    • http://twitter.com/mattaukamp matt aukamp

      It appears, by this post, that you don’t know much about what writing is about… Or why people do it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thecoppo Paul Coppolelli

      it’s called a persona poem. it’s a valid poetic device. you might want to try it sometime. pick someone you despise, and try and get inside their head, try to feel the human roots of everything you despise about them. then write it.

      it may not bear any relation to the reality of that person, but the exercise expands your ability to appreciate the fact that we are ALL human.

    • Schmiggles

      This poem. Once seen, cannot be unseen. I think I’d rather watch paint dry…..

    • Layla

      You mean the Boston Bombing WASNT about me?
      :(

    • stormypink

      you think these are Dzjokhar’s thoughts? You think he’s upset about 2% milk or where are my friends or how there is a misspelled word on the computer file name of a person sitting near him at a cafe?

    • BigAustin

      @twitter-14755254:disqus you said it much more eloquently than I. +1

    • loulou

      diggingellen, I love you!

    • http://twitter.com/artfulgaby Gaby Smith

      Artist do imagine how others feel, that’s part of the “job”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/tsondru Logan Morton

      Wait, who is being presumptuos again?

    • http://twitter.com/kenna Kenna

      Your message if probably the most human message I’ve ever read for the longest time.

    • 1000’s to hell or one?

      each non-muslim leads 1000’s of people to eternal hell.

      Is it crueler to kill one person or

      to allow 1000’s to be lead into hell?

      I propose he did this act of LOVE for the 1000’s being led to hell.

    • ShutUpperofGayFags

      Shut the fuck up,

    • Rick

      Fearless self expression is a rare virtue…we were all ready to jump on board once the ship was built…naysayers and quiet friends alike. Let’s remember Amanda cast her feelings into a torrent of rage, fear and confusion when few of us would commit to publishing any original perspective. It was, for most of us, just easier to use her words and feelings as a launch-pad for our boisterous, and many times, insensitive comments.

      Thank you Amanda for “a writing” that started this dialog…now forty-five days has passed and all of us are better for the interaction. We spoke our mind, showed our fears and looked within….we loved, hated, agreed, and despised you with passion (and occasional indifference)—but all-in-all, it was great to travel the path from your mind down to your heart…

      As always, best….

    • mindy

      It’s titled A Poem FOR Dzjokhar, not A Poem BY Dzjokhar.

  • matt

    Beautiful – thank you. Sanity and compassion, so rare, so needed.
    As others have said, this needs to be sung.

  • http://www.concertmanic.com/ Sarah V.

    Dzhokhar apparently lived about a block from me, in that house on Norfolk Street you probably heard about on the news. My neighborhood has been all over the TV. There were cameras and reporters and FBI and police here on Friday. I didn’t know him personally, but I must have seen him many times as just one of the many teenagers in the neighborhood. We took the same bus from the same bus stop, him to school and me to work. It’s hard for me not to think about him as a human, as a kid, and wonder what happened, what went wrong and when and why. How this could happen in my awesome little diverse neighborhood where no one cares if you are Muslim or Catholic or Jewish, black or white or Middle-Eastern or Asian or whatever you happen to be. How could you feel that alienated? I walk by the mosque they attended every time I go to the grocery store. People are friendly here. How could he hate us so much that he wanted to kill us? It’s entirely baffling to me.

    • http://www.psychichealerchristine.com/ Christine Pohl-Peters

      I don’t believe he hated anyone. I believe he followed his brother cause he thought his brother knew best or didn’t want to lose his brother. But in the end he did.

    • Damo

      thanks for sharing.

    • Perplexed

      “where no one cares if you are Muslim or Catholic or Jewish, black or white or Middle-Eastern or Asian or whatever you happen to be. ”

      I would argue that someone cared. Cared enough to learn how to make a bomb and employ it’s use for such a horrific result.

      • http://www.concertmanic.com/ Sarah V.

        I dunno, if someone is killing blindly and indiscriminately it doesn’t seem to me that they are targeting people based on race or religion. They were targeting anyone who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, at an international event that draws people from many different cultures and nationalities. They injured at least one Muslim man that I have heard about.

        • http://twitter.com/fhare666 Frank Hare

          This is what Islamic Jihadism is about. Anyone who is not Muslim or calls themselves Muslim but is not following Sharia law is a valid target for killing, raping, and slavery. To the fundamentalists, the Koran and Hadith are not just the writings of Muhammad and his followers. They explain how you as a devout Muslim must live your life in detail: how and what to eat, how to dress, when to pray, whom to marry, how to act, etc. etc. In minute detail. Radical Islamists interpret and take literally many passages in the Koran and Hadith that they deem allow them to kill, rape, cheat, lie to, and enslave anyone who is not a fellow devout Muslim with either no or minimal penalties under Sharia. Fundamentalist Islam and modern Western society are incompatible. Fundamentalist Islamists believe capitalism and democracy, well anything but the Caliphate really, goes against God’s will, word and law, and is anathema. This is how Jihadi justify mass killing of both Infidels and Muslims alike, as long as the Muslims were not devout enough for their liking.

          • http://www.concertmanic.com/ Sarah V.

            But… from all reports I’ve read, Dzhokhar was not even close to being a devout Muslim. His friends all describe him as a “stoner” and said he drank a lot of alcohol, two things which are forbidden by Islam. Maybe he had a sudden change of heart very recently, but I’m not really comfortable assuming that he is a religious extremist without more evidence than “he’s a Muslim and he set off a bomb.” His brother is a different story, there is actual evidence that he was a religious extremist.

            I’d rather wait and hear some evidence before making judgments based solely on a stereotype. It doesn’t hurt anyone for us to wait and see before making up our minds. We are not police/FBI in charge of the investigation having to make these difficult decisions. There is no need to jump to conclusions. Many people did that about the marathon bombers and many of them were wrong.

          • http://twitter.com/fhare666 Frank Hare

            I understand in theory your desire for hard evidence of his piety, but there may not be any hard evidence of such a thing. People are allowed to make educated guesses, and mine is he was brainwashed into jihadism by his brother and others. By most accounts so far, this is very consistent with the events and evidence. If you’d care to put forth an alternate theory that makes some sense, I would be willing to listen.

          • http://twitter.com/fhare666 Frank Hare

            From CNN ( I know, not the most reliable source…):

            “The preliminary interviews with Tsarnaev suggest the two brothers fit the classification of self-radicalized jihadists, the government source said.

            Dzhokhar Tsarnaev conveyed to authorities that his brother believed Islam is under attack and its adherents must fight back, the source said.”

    • witchbyrd

      sarah, if you are white, your perception of ‘no one caring’ about race or ethnicity or religion is basically meaningless because you are protected by your privilege.

      • http://www.concertmanic.com/ Sarah V.

        I’m the same color as the suspects and my religion is a much smaller minority in this neighborhood than theirs is. So I think I have at least some idea of what they might have experienced. Plus, this neighborhood is very mixed and I don’t think it is majority white (although I don’t have the demographic numbers to prove it). Lots of middle-easterners, many recent immigrants, Indians and Pakistanis, many black and Latino folks, Russians, South Americans, Portuguese. Little bit of everything.

        • witchbyrd

          you are from the caucasus? or you mean, you are a white person and you perceive the suspects to be white?

          • http://www.concertmanic.com/ Sarah V.

            Why don’t you just accuse me of whatever words you are trying to put in my mouth and save us both the trouble of you baiting me? :-)

            Have a nice day.

          • The Green Devil

            I’ll translate- she’s saying you’re a snot-nosed privileged white cunt. Of course, she has nothing to base that upon, other than, well, “Sarah” sounds like a white girl’s name, and never mind what you say about who you are or what you look like. Please play the stereotype game.

    • Coach K

      His uncle explained it.
      Dzhokhar is a LOSER

    • Coach K

      His uncle answered this already.
      Dzhokhar is a LOSER.

    • Coach K

      Uncle said it: “He’s a loser”

    • wiccabasket

      People forget that bit. That there is something that goes wrong in the brain that makes people hate like that. That not every ‘monster’ is actually a monster all the time. That people who commit evil acts can sometimes carry out acts of kindness.

      It doesn’t cancel the evil out, but it should go to show that we are all capable of committing atrocities beyond our wildest imaginings. It’s not hard to do. When we ‘other’ it, we isolate it and deny it – and it makes it easier for evil to flourish.

      Someone mentioned the Steubenville rapists earlier on in the comments. I am a survivor. I believe that those boys committed a hideous crime that they should face punishment for. I can, however feel some empathy and wonder how kids get so fucked up that they do something so vile to another human being and then think it is ok. At some point that person was a son, a brother and a friend. I then look at the families and support network around them and wonder ‘what did you do to make them think this was ok?’.

      It’s not excusing it. It’s questioning why it happens so we can stop it happening again.

    • Fanintheattic

      Why are you reposting the exact comment you made previous

  • Penny Dreadful

    as Neil wrote, “Nobody’s creepy from the inside, Hazel. Some of them are sad, and some of them hurt, and some of them think they’re the only real thing in the whole world. But they’re not creepy.”

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      neil.

    • http://twitter.com/gingerland62 gingerland62

      I’ve known creepy people.

  • Lucy

    Beautiful. These are the words that I’ve been struggling to put my finger on. I lost my voice among the fear. Thank you, thank you for helping me find it.

  • MrMainEvent

    The best way to let go of hate is to spend time thinking about ways that we may be able to positively impact Dhzokar’s specific victims- not even the people that he killed but the people that survived: the carpenter who can’t use his hands anymore because of the nerve damage, a marathon runner racing for charity who had her leg amputated, an entire family of four- each now with various amputations and disabilities to deal with for the rest of their lives, etc. I urge anyone moved by this poem to seek out those stories.

    It may be wrong to dwell on hating Dhzokar but it is just as wrong to assume that since we feel compassion and moments of self doubt that Dhzokar and his brother experience those same feelings in the same way.

    We don’t know whether Dhzokar knew the way to New York. But we do know that he knew the way to Cambridge, Watertown and the Boston Marathon finish line.

    • lentower

      All we know is that Dhzokar OR HIS BROTHER knew the ways to those places.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      thank you for this

  • Trix

    Yes. Because as soon as we de-humanize the perpetrator and perceive of them as so separate from us, no matter how certain we are of his or her guilt, we automatically put ourselves at risk to commit the same sort of violence as they did. And at that point, how are we any better? We aren’t.

    • KaliforniaUniKorn

      You’re insane.

      • Dawg

        Insane and stupid. The touchy-feely hippie vibe oozing from most of the comments makes me nauseous. There should be no empathy for a person that can do this, he should be shunned until he is convicted. Then a big, fat needle stuck in his arm to put him to sleep, like a rabid dog. Most of the world views us as soft and blames us for everything, even the stuff we didn’t do. These animals are a product of that world.

  • lentower

    We may never know how much Dhzokar is a victim himself.

    Family, friends, and society certainly failed them both.

    I wish before they acted, both of them could have seen Martin Richard’s:

    “No more hurting people

    PEACE”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1251933113 Chris Martinez

    This is worth a song

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      a poem is a song without background noise.

      • damo

        your poem is noise without the background song.

    • Damo

      No, no it isn’t. In no way shape or form is this ever worth a song…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1251933113 Chris Martinez

        It fascinates me. I don’t think the boy should be cuddled or pardoned or excused, I hope he sees the ultimate punishment the law will give him. Still, his youth, and the fact that he seemed to have such a wonderful life and network of friends who are still stunned at what he’s done makes me wonder about the choices he made. It’s a tragedy he decided to suddenly take the road he did that ruined so many lives, and yes I do feel it’s worth a song. Young people, even those with seemingly stable lives, can suddenly destroy their own and others with a single series of choices. What’s wrong about examining or pondering that?

  • Jean

    Very brave of you to post on something so controversial. But then you’ve always been brave, I guess. Or it seems like you are always anyway. Thats what makes you inspiring. Thank you. Art helps me deal with all this shit as well. And the people getting all upset that you dare to have empathy or dare to imagine what was going through his brain- well that’s the thing, they themselves are scared and hurting and afraid to think you might be right and he may have been normal and he might not have seen a “way off the bus”. This is why art is important. It connects us, unveils our deepest fears and gives us a glimps of our shadow. So thank you for the poem. I’ll be sharing it with my friends. Even if I know some of them won’t like it. Because they need it the most.

  • Carla Miller

    The poem is nice but why are you giving him so much “Value”?

  • Ani

    I live in England and have never been to Boston but thankyou from one human to another.

  • Juliana Fajardini

    What do bugs me is: We don’t even know if he and his brother actually committed anything. Really. We only know what government and police want us to know. And, frankly, I can’t trust an institution that shots dead someone that wasn’t proven culprit in yet. That’s terrifying to me. That’s terrorism: everybody that doesn’t fit, or that is different somehow, may be culprit even if he or she isn’t indeed. What now if that was a mistake? Who’s going to take that boy life’s back?

    • http://twitter.com/ben_cheese Ben Adams

      If you fire at the police, if you throw explosives at the police, they are going to protect themselves.

      • m

        if you see you’re face on the news as a suspect for terrorism, you know you have to run, cause american forces kill before asking (or send you down to guantanamo to rot).

    • The Green Devil

      Take a look at this pic. See the little boy in the front? Moments after this picture was snapped, his body was ripped apart in an explosion. See the asshole in the white hat in the background?

      Still have your doubts? If so, perhaps the eyewitness account of the guy who had his legs blown off might sway you. Or perhaps the security camera footage from the 7/11 that he and his asshole brother robbed.

      http://s1.ibtimes.com/sites/www.ibtimes.com/files/styles/v2_article_large/public/2013/04/19/boston-bombing-suspect-martin-richard.jpg

    • lentower

      If it’s true that the older brother was actively shooting and throwing bombs at the police,
      is it OK for the police to shoot back?

    • m

      finally, someone here with a brain. THANK YOU, JULIANA!

    • Coach K

      wow.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charlie.nacho Constantin Necrasov

    Poetry is not a way to deal with this. Not at all.

    • http://twitter.com/fountain_penmj M. J. Johnson

      Maybe poetry is not the way for YOU to deal with it. Don’t dare to presume what is right for other people.

    • Rose

      Why not? (This is not supposed t be hostile. I’d really like to hear your thoughts).

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucy.collingwood1 Lucy Collingwood

      What a delightfully absurd statement.

    • Heather Lynn

      Who are you to dictate how a person deals with this?

  • JDo73

    Buddha says “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” There is no either/or…one can feel compassion for all…even if it is not whole…even if it is with a bit of bile in your mouth…stand on your tiptoes and hope…thanks Miss Fucking Palmer

    • lentower

      Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=845030373 Toni Palmer

    Love you, Amanda, but this man and his brother deserve NO sympathy.
    When I was a confused and lost “teen”, I shoplifted, I smoked pot, I skipped school, I listened to Loud and angry music, I wanted to kill myself. All of that is a normal reaction to depression, loss, not fitting in.
    What these men did is fucking despicable and disgusting. They had so many chances to give this a second thought, to reconsider, to not pack shrapnel, beebees and nails into a pot. To just simply fucking STOP! They thought this out, they built bombs, the walked the walk, placed the bombs in predetermined places and walked away as other humans lay bleeding and dying on the sidewalk.

  • http://www.psychichealerchristine.com/ Christine Pohl-Peters

    Beautifully written and emotional. Thank u for sharing

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000131841090 Michael Furie

    suffering
    and lack of compassion are the only reasons a person could choose to
    murder people with a bomb. suffering and lack of compassion are the only
    reasons people call for someone to be strung up or raped in prison. it
    is the same illness. the antidote isn’t more suffering and lack of
    compassion.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000131841090 Michael Furie

      weird. i copied and pasted this from a facebook comment i made. no idea why it pasted like this. it wasn’t broken up like this before but it ended up looking a bit like a poem. unintentional, but i like it.

  • MRobertson

    I don’t think this is a about that poor, sad child who committed these crimes against humanity. I think it’s about the world. About us, about him, about you, about us…Anger is an emotional that is addled with grief and pain, but not for the other person. Anger tears you down and brings you to the verge of animal caged. Thanks for so eloquently/succinctly jotting this down. I’ve been too wordy lately myself.

  • Callum

    I’m not going to lie, I hated him. The thought of him made me sick. I wanted him to suffer. But reading this, I’m remembering that there’s a human being stuck in there beneath the violence and confusion and above all, he needs help. I don’t think he can ever be forgiven for what he did, but there’s no benefit in further suffering being imposed on him. I’m sure he’ll suffer enough in his own head for what he’s done.

    Thank you for opening my eyes.

    • The Green Devil

      He wanted to kill and maim people. He accomplished his goal. What makes you so sure he wants help? You’re nothing to him and if you had gotten killed in the bomb blast, he wouldn’t have so much shed a tear for you. Do you think if that little fucker has any shred of conscience? He had days after killing those people to come clean and turn himself in to the police or to drop a dime on his brother. Instead, he and his brother went out and killed a cop.

      Now are your eyes open?

      • lentower

        You’re not going to change any more minds here,
        repeatedly re-posting the same hate,
        again, and Again, and AGAIN.

        Perhaps it’s helping you personally?

        • jujyfruit0

          Thank you. I’m feeling a bit defiant in the face of trolls today. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

          • http://www.facebook.com/lucy.collingwood1 Lucy Collingwood

            The dude lost someone in the Boston bombings. Lay off.
            Practicing empathy against those who have hurt us is a noble goal, but it’s not our job to force others to do it. I’ve never been to Boston; it’s easy for me to step back and philosophize on the greater impact of empathy and understanding, and wax poetical about what good it does the world to try and love even the most hateful people. And I do believe in that. But I’m not about to tell someone who’s lost so much more than I have that he’s not entitled to his anger. If you preach empathy, practice it when someone on the internet is irritating you.

          • jujyfruit0

            That comment wasn’t made out of lack of empathy, quite the opposite. We’re all figuring shit out here, that’s all. No forcing of opinions, just trying to stand for what I think is a positive way forward. That is all, nothing more.

          • The Green Devil

            Yes, because let’s stand with terrorists, it’s far better than standing with “trolls”. I sincerely hope you are high or drunk while writing this.

          • lentower

            The Green Devil isn’t a troll.

            He states in another comment that a friend knows some of the victims.

            We owe him compassion either way.

            Hopefully as his pain diminishes,
            he’ll grow more compassionate.

          • http://revsean.com/ revsparker

            This is one of my problems with so many of my dear friends. We owe him compassion, AND we owe him and this little community an honest response. My response is that he is entitled to his feelings, but NOT to continue to spew disrespect toward everyone who disagrees. If you need examples of disrespect, reread his implications that people are stupid, using drugs, need to be beaten repeatedly with the “clue stick”–etc.

          • lentower

            Yes, he certainly is not respectful.
            Quite immature.

          • The Green Devil

            I am compassionate toward those who deserve compassion. I do not hate without cause or blindly.

            But nor do I tolerate evil. I’ve dealt with enough evil people in this life to know that compassion and empathy toward them means nothing to them and they laugh at your weakness and will fuck you with it given half the chance to do so and will enjoy doing so. I am a harsh realist when it comes to human nature.

            Try seeing the tattoo on someone who was in a concentration camp and whose only “crime” was being Jewish and hearing their stories, and then try to conjure up empathy for those who imprisoned them and killed their family. Try facing a man who raped his own daughter repeatedly over the years but does not express a modicum of regret for destroying his own flesh and blood’s life and turning her into a suicidal mess and who knows he will never be held accountable because he rigged the system to discredit her and her story.

            Try facing those things and then tell me about empathy.

            My words are harsh but are spoken out of harsh experiences. I would love for the world to be a happy place full of love, but it isn’t. We can only make our own little corner better and hopefully can find others with whom to connect to make the community stronger and larger. Despite what you might think, my world is happy, full of music and art and friends and family, but I am not so blind as to not see what is on the outside. One thing I admire about Amanda is how she built this amazing community of outsiders. I remember seeing the Dresden Dolls when they could barely get more than a handful of people to show up to their gigs.

            Like it or not, evil exists. Evil will not go away on its own accord. Evil must be confronted and vanquished, especially when it is forced upon us and we have no chance to turn the other cheek.

            Want to know how we vanquish this particular instance of evil? We give that evil little fuck the tools our legal system affords him. We give him the opportunity he did not give his victims, to make a case for his life and at least have an opportunity for mercy and justice. “Even a goddamn werewolf deserves a day in court,” Hunter S Thompson once wrote, and he was right. But that doesn’t mean we have to like the werewolf or empathize with him. He’s proven his inhumanity, aggressively and with extreme malice. Why are people so eager to hand his humanity back to him before we even know if he even wants it back?

          • lentower

            I’m so sad for you.

            So full of hate.
            So empty of understanding.
            So immature.

            In so much pain.

            I hope you grow over time,
            to become full of love and increased understanding.

            Compassion isn’t earned or deserved,
            it’s due all that lives.

          • lentower

            The Green Devil

            It is so sad that you are so full of hate.

            I hope you grow beyond it in time.

        • The Green Devil

          If you’re the sort of person who isn’t bright enough to comprehend that what I am writing isn’t preaching some kind of blind irrational hatred like racism or homophobia but a condemnation of a specific evil act committed by a specific person and my refusal to allow others to implicitly approve of this act by expressing “empathy” toward this murderer, you really need to step back, take a deep breath, and do some soul-searching and consider your position of giving comfort to someone who doesn’t deserve it while simultaneously detracting from the loss suffered by thousands of people. It’s a zero sum game here, sport. You’re either for the victims or for the murderers. Make your choice and live with it.

          • lentower

            It’s not a zero sum game for me.
            The choice you have made is not one I have to make.
            The choice you have made to hate,
            hurts you more than it hurts anyone else.

            Yes, the bombers did evil.

            But we also owe them understanding and compassion.
            As we owe the victims.
            As we owe you.

            Even if the bombers weren’t victims themselves.

          • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

            I don’t think you’re a troll either. My love goes out to you though I do not know you. I feel for everyone. And I especially feel for you right now. Your pain is obvious and I hope that time will heal it.

          • http://revsean.com/ revsparker

            What we comprehend is that you are attacking everyone repeatedly because they won’t parrot back to you your own beliefs. That you are unrelenting in your attacks and insults. That even when people DO say, “These acts were evil” you continue to attack because you don’t think we are angry or hateful enough. And that for all you say “make your choice and live with it,” you won’t be happy until you condemn us for not choosing as you have chosen.

      • Tina C.

        Dude… Broken record. Time to give it a rest. By and large, all who comment here hear your pain and anger. Maybe you yourself need to put pen to paper and channel some of those emotions in a more positive way. I hope you find peace eventually

        • The Green Devil

          How about we at least have the decency to allow the families to bury those they lost before we tell others to “give it a rest” and expressing public sympathies toward their murderers and a plea to understand those poor misguided boys?

          • Tina C.

            Haranguing and bullying others who attempt to sympathize with your POV while maintaining their own POV does your argument no favor.

            Know this: Your pain is valid. Your anger is valid. You have every right to feel as you do. My heart, and many other people’s hearts, goes out to you. Many of us feel the same anger–many of us also had friends and loved ones who were in harms way or were hurt. We ALL feel you.

            But please, redirect the anger elsewhere. Do something positive for YOU. And yes, give the verbal vitriol a rest. Let the healing begin, friend.

      • miserichik

        GDevil, please go away now. Yes, we’ve heard you. Yes, you’re angry. It’s okay. But go away and don’t make us swallow YOUR hatred anymore.

  • kre8tv

    I get a kick out of how self-described “constitutionalists” are among the ones who take issue with your exercise of free speech and liberty.

    Until it pisses some people off, poetry–like all art–is just white noise: art that matches the sofa.

    Keep making stuff that doesn’t match their sofa, Amanda. We have your back.

    • http://twitter.com/QofTU Queen ofthe Universe

      I love this phrase: “just white noise: art that matches the sofa.”

    • BritS

      Ugh. ‘Free speech’ is a *political* concept that protects the speaker from the GOVERNMENT. It does not protect the speaker from other individuals who think that their opinions, or their self-involved ‘art,’ is ridiculous and choose to inform the speaker of this.

      By all means, support Amanda’s work… but please don’t invoke constitution like it’s some kind of legitimate rhetorical argument, when you want people to shut up.

    • wilder125

      A poem that doesn’t offend at least one person on the planet is a poem I don’t want to read.

      Same goes with novels. Michael Moorcock’s Cornelius Quartet for example. At one point the series was banned by just about every country then the ban was lifted

    • GuyMontag

      We’re not saying that her right to free speech be taken away. We’re just telling her that she’s stupid.and her poem is shit.

  • The_Pip

    Empathy is the answer. It has to be or we lose our humanity.

  • Nick

    As an actor, specifically one who spends his time mostly playing Richard III or Iago types, I spend a lot of time trying to somehow understand these supposedly evil characters. I was at the marathon on Monday as was my uncle who works in the medical tents at the finish line. I saw up close exactly the fruits of this boy’s labors. I know in time I will come to possibly get an inch of understanding as to why he did such awful things but for now my hate is still burning brightly. As much as we might hate to admit this, understanding is indeed NOT the same as approval. It is a means to finding the rudder in this often chaotic world. I don’t believe Amanda is condoning these acts one bit. Its a way of reconciliation through art. I struggle to say whether I like the poem or not but I do understand the need for it. Thank you.

    • dunst43

      They did this because of the Koran. Read it.

      • Nick

        I have read the Quaran. During her late teens and early twenties my mother was a nun and when i showed up 15 years later i immediately had christianity thrust upon me. Religion only hasas much power as individuals give it. The fact is we DONT KNOW why they did this. We just have to wait. That being said these were evil acts and should be punished accordingly. I do hate these two men. But i still see why Amanda wrote the poem. There are as many ways to deal with tragedy as there are sand grains on a beach. Let the haters hate and understanders understand. The outcome will not change.

        • dunst43

          You have read the Koran. Where in that book was there a prohibition against the murder of non-Muslims for the sake of Allah?

          • Nick

            Yes yes i know it says if you see the infidel kill the infidel and all that. The Bible says love thy neighbor and the crusades still happened. Im not here to debate religous texts. As of yet we dont know why our city was bombed other than shit poor choices and bad ideology.

          • dunst43

            Nick, the purpose of the crusades was to free the Jews and Christians from Muslim rule. If you’ve read the Koran you know how Islam treats infidels. And since you’ve read the Koran you know how it sanctions the killing of kuffar.

          • Nick

            Like i said im not going to debate religious texts. Have a good one :)

          • dunst43

            No debate needed. The Koran says what it says. Koran 9:5 and 47:4. Seems pretty clear.

          • wilder125

            Debates are always needed. Otherwise the world thinks we’re all of one mind and one opinion

          • Nick

            However i think you might believe im some sort of Suspect 2 apologist. Let me clarify just to be sure. I had to see men screaming and crying while their limbs were leaking with blood on Monday. Im like everyone else right now: angry, confused, and waiting. Lets just see where this leads.

          • dunst43

            See where it leads and then go past that to find a way for us to end this carnage. It’s time to stand up and end this.

          • Nick

            Haha one incident at a time. People have been butchering each other for ages. There isnt one easy fix end game solution to terrorism. Which is unfortunate. We’re mostly up againt nations of idea rather than geography.

          • dunst43

            Terrorism is a tactic. Who is using this tactic and what is the motivation? It’s not Lutherans pissed at Presbyterians. We must defeat the “nations of idea”, in your words.

          • Nick

            But just how do you defeat that? You are right, it is a tactic. But destroying an idea is much more difficult. We cant just fight the Nazis and win the war anymore. These guys had recently become American citizens. They were in our borders and in our culture. There isnt going to be an Alexander the Great”Gordian Knot” fix to all of this. I guess im just confused by you. We seem to want the same things but by different degrees because you keep pushing back.

          • dunst43

            The Nazi of the last century is the Islam of this century. They were allies in WWII and their ideology hasn’t changed. Nick, you have to realize that there is evil in the world. There has always been evil and sometimes it manifests itself. Look around you. Look at the world. Where is the conflict and what is the dominate ideology. Sweet dreams.

          • Nick

            Exactly my point. Again i say i was at the marathon bombings. An internet poster doesnt need to tell me there is evil in the world thank you very goddamn much. This dominant ideology is more fluid than Nazi ideology. We cant just start throwing bombs at a piece of land and calling it a day. We cant just kill its Hitler and say we won. We already did that. And this atrocity still happened. Anyway this discussion doesnt even pertain exactly to the rest of this thread. Goodnight.

          • wilder125

            As a friend in a debate once put it. The bishops were outnumbered by the king and all the kings horses and men. Especially when they were with the crusades and couldn’t stop the crimes. If they’d tried, “Friendly fire. Oops, we did honor the priest with grace and respect. We even avoided drinking for a couple hours”

  • http://www.angrymetalguy.com Angry Metal Guy

    I can’t help but be sad every time I see that kid. He did horrible shit and it’s all a huge human tragedy. But the tragedy for me is as much about the dead people as the fact that it even came to this in the first place… :(

  • Alexander Doyle

    This is raw. This is hard to read. This is controversial. It isn’t wrong, though. No more wrong than he’s done…he was and still is a human being with thoughts and emotions that, for whatever reason, led to his terrible, unforgivable acts. Throwing him to the lions and cheering is what will dehumanize US.

    • http://twitter.com/quickliftzwick Lisa Zwick

      Wasn’t going to respond until I saw this and had to.
      “No more wrong than he’s done”? That’s a confusing line. Are you saying you don’t think what he did was wrong??

  • BK

    I just wanted to write a quick comment and say that the people who don’t like the poem are not compassionless. The people Amanda is retweeting now, are saying things like “… her blog, but go read it, now, if you have any compassion in your heart,” and “Too many people think empathy equals condoning all actions. #NotTheSameThing .” I respect people’s opinions who have empathy for the suspect, and I wish that people in the comments would respect mine for not having empathy. I’m really not a bad person, and I don’t think the others here who share my opinion are either.

    • J

      It’s sad that we have to defend not empathizing with a child killer…

      • Rose

        It is interesting that the people who are pro-empathy, who I do agree with by the way, are being so dismissive of other’s opinions.

        • http://twitter.com/radishthegreat Radish™OfWillendorf

          Interesting, but 100% expected. That’s what what people who *heart* terrorists do–pat themselves on the back for “feeling empathy” and then bash everyone who disagrees.

      • http://twitter.com/sophware Sophware

        i read it as observing (and even critiquing) more than empathizing. it’s entirely possible i hear what i want to hear.

      • wilder125

        In my case I have empathy for the innocent baby that got slapped on the bottom by the doctor. Somebody started molding the kid to hate when he was old enough to take and keep knowledge. Whether it’s just the news and books, I don’t know. But someone had a hand in it.

      • PBL

        It’s sad that people don’t understand the difference between sympathy and empathy…welcome to the “eat pray love” generation.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      thank you for writing this.
      i gotta say: it pains me to see people over-react in any direction.

      seeing people saying “you’re a compassionless asshole!!!” is always very funny….
      it doesn’t work that way.

      xx

      • miserichik

        {{hug}} definitely true.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1575722360 Joey Chang

        You just lack viable creativity and rely on shock value to get attn

        • Christ Why

          Joey Chang has spoken everybody! We’ve all been wrong this whole time. I’ve been blinded by shock value all these years, god dammit!

    • Nick

      Well said. Much respect.

    • Tansy

      The ‘people that don’t have empathy’ are being tactless twat internet trolls. There is no discussion to be had about it, just post and run pointless comments.

  • lentower

    So sad to see so much hate here,
    among Amanda’s fans.

    This is worse than the negative comments on ted.com about
    Amanda’s TED talk.

    Sad, because hate does the hater much damage,
    and prevents real understanding and progress.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      thank you len

    • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

      I think people are confused about what they are feeling and how to process this. But mixed in with the hate are the most beautiful comments of people processing the poem….. I have been missing literature classes with all my heart… and this feels like a large dissection of a remarkable literary piece… I agree about the hate spilling through…but it is bringing out the love too.

      • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

        and i change my mind…this is an awful thread.:( I hate this…..wow…attack a woman for a fucking poem! what the fuck.

    • noevilstar

      There’s a bit of hate and name calling here, yes. But there’s also
      some honest disagreement and discussion. I happen to think that posting
      this poem was ill timed. It’s not necessary to *hate* Dzhokhar (or
      Amanda or anyone else) in order to think that there’s a time and a place
      for everything. (AFP encourages honest discussion among fans. The
      people calling her names, like the “F. You, Andrea Palmer” (!) person
      below, clearly aren’t fans.)

      • lentower

        This is an excellent poem,
        and it’s a good time to post it.

        It has helped Amanda and many others deal
        with this week in Boston.

        To put off that healing,
        just because there are people in the world who
        prefer to hate, than understand, would have been wrong.

        • http://twitter.com/noevilstar RatsLiveOn

          Hi, Len. I know you’re a long-time AFP fan. Me, too. I’ve seen you at a couple of shows, several years ago now. I know there are a lot of “haters” posting irrational/hateful things here. I’m not one of them, and my point was exactly that — to highlight that there are more than 2 types of people posting here (those who say Amanda was 100% right to post this poem and those posting hateful things). There are others who disagree or perhaps partially agree, who are trying to have a rational, adult discussion, as I’m sure Amanda is okay with.

          Whether the poem is excellent, awful, or somewhere in between is irrelevant to my question — whether it was a good idea to post the poem at this time. *Writing* it may well have helped Amanda deal. I’m glad of that. And, whether to post it to her own blog is, of course, her prerogative. My opinion is that she should have waited. Not, as you say, because people prefer to hate, but because people need time to mourn. Good timing can be just as important as good writing.

          • lentower

            Hi RatsLiveOn

            I understand what you are saying,
            but don’t agree with it.

            There is no time that is perfect,
            except the time Amanda chooses to post her blog to her blog site.

            Amanda needs to share her grief and mourning with her community.

            And the haters would still be here at your more perfect moment.

            thanks -len

    • Alex

      Most of comments that I see are constructive, mature criticism – We’re not ‘haters’ just because we dislike the content or message of the poem.

      • lentower

        Alex

        I have no problem with the constructive, mature criticism given with love. Not everyone likes or even understands what blank verse is. Not everyone likes poetry of any kind.

        I am sad for those who are showing hate for Amanda and others because of it.

        Who are not willing to let her handle her grief her way.

        best -len

  • Guest

    Beautiful poem, Amanda. Immediately made me think of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. “I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.” These events are not about a single person; they are about all of us. And we can only deal with them by doing so together. Thanks for sharing. xx

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000131841090 Michael Furie

      that is beautiful. i think it’s time i revisited Leaves Of Grass. <3

    • poetess

      Good God – no! whatever is above is atrocious. Please, please don’t conflate it with Whitman!!!

      • Tansy

        This is like multiple personalities arguing with each other. Most def good for a giggle. :)

  • http://twitter.com/QofTU Queen ofthe Universe

    This has been altogether a hellish week for me. Aside from thinking Boston is a pretty awesome, I am an appointed caregiver to a disabled Veteran spouse who suffered greatly as the result of IEDs in Afghanistan. He is a mixture of reiki master and trained soldier and he knows that doesn’t make sense, to anyone, even to himself. It has been impossible not to watch the TV but the images and pain let all the nightmares creep back in. There are weeks we go with no issues for him but if anyone knows anyone with PTSD & TBI issues, when it rolls in, its hard to beat back. This was hard for him because just like you and me, he sees this boy is a child. He was raised here. He probably loved his brother more than anything in the world. Despite my husband seeing the worst of humanity and having suffered greatly in his own injuries, he looks at this kid with sadness. No matter the legal terms, no matter what it makes everyone feel better to name him, strip rights from him, it doesn’t change that this has happened before and will happen again. This happens in many countries over and over every day. We some how seem blind to that and when it hits us here, we are so outraged. What about the places it happens every freaking day? You can’t change that. You won’t change this, no matter the laws, the outrage and effort.

    After little kids are murdered en masse in CT, our Senate can’t agree on how to make that at least a little bit harder. How truly, profoundly sad is that?

    You have to figure out what pain is creeping into people like this and try to fix it. I am not naive enough to think you can if everyone but you shouldn’t be so naive to think it will never happen again.

    If a soldier who is permanently disabled from an IED blast in Afghanistan can find compassion for this child of the universe, then maybe what Amanda is doing here freaking matters. Props to you Amanda for trying.

    Dear haters: Get off her back.

  • Mary Jane

    look at all the disagreements, so we’re not a cult after all, yay

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      hahaahahaah

    • Derek_anny

      Except it’s probably one of those unwritten rules of the universe that all cults are torn apart from inside. So maybe we are. Que sera sera.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucy.collingwood1 Lucy Collingwood

    Hating those that have hurt us is easy, and comforting. I can’t judge people who handle tragedy by going down that road. If we can hate them, it means they are something “other” than ourselves, someone we can distance ourselves from. We don’t want to believe we’re from the same dumb, clueless species as that person.

    Dzhokhar’s story is deeply, awfully wrong and a pointless, stupid waste. But we’re from the same dumb, clueless species as that person, living in a dumb, clueless world where children kill other children. We can’t change that until we admit that.

    I just hope we can find a way to have this reaction when the transgressors aren’t as young and photogenic and baby-faced as this kid, when they’re old and different races and nationalities and have scarier eyes and less education. Empathy is much harder than vengeance, but so much more helpful.

  • T

    I love this poem.
    (This is coming from someone who lost a friend in Boston.)
    I don’t feel bad for Dzhokhar, and I strongly suspect I never will… But this poem helped me understand a little.

  • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

    The scariest thing about this kid is all of the people who knew him in high school, hung out with him, got high with him, had crushes on him, and never saw a hint, an inkling, of the dark turn he was capable of.

    It left me feeling this could happen to any of us.

    I felt that as I dealt with my own anger over the last week. Anger at everyone and everything, but never any inclination to violence. Why? What unspeakable, uncrossable boundary do I have, do most people have, that some people lose? Can we all lose it? How does it get lost, and where does it go?

    It seems to me there are two qualities that protect us from approaching, much less crossing that line.

    The first is empathy — for the victims, for the first responders, for the survivors. For the perpetrators. For their families. For the random Czeck guy who gets harassed because some asshole doesn’t know he’s not Chechen. For the asshole whose ignorance make him lash out however he can, just to feel like he’s not victimized by his fear.

    These guys put pressure cookers full of nails down at the feet of happy strangers, looked them in the eyes, and walked away. How profoundly must their sense of empathy have been broken to allow them to do that? How did they get so broken? Who broke them? Can it happen to any of us?

    The second is expression. If you can express your anger, your despair, your hope, your empathy, you can reassure yourself that you are still connected, still human, still safely on this side of that line.

    I’m struggling with how much I hate this kid. It’s hard for me to read lines that put me in his thoughts and in his shoes, and force me to empathize with him. But empathy and expression, that’s what it’s all about. That’s what we have that he lost. It’s a hope we can cling to — as long as we can do this, it won’t happen to any of us. It’s appropriate, and necessary, and hard as hell, and I’m grateful to you, Amanda, for taking us there.

  • http://twitter.com/mightyrosebud Heather Waters

    For over 15 years, my mother was a corrections officer at a max security facility for male offenders. 3 out of every four inmates is in for murder. I played three shows there; one of which was for death row. I’m the only person in the 200+ year history of the prison to have been granted that kind of access. The whole of my experiences changed my (then) very uncertain opinion about the death penalty. I’ve shared this story at a few times since then and have been called all manner of names, including sociopath. However, I’m okay with my thinking. A lot of folks would rather talk eye-for-eye thinking… execution, revenge, hatred, anger… because they’re base and easier to digest. Considering the humanity of a killer, of a criminal is discomforting; it means possibly having to recognize something ugly in yourself. People don’t like to do that. Demonizing is easier. Black and white thinking is easier. I loved this piece; thank you for posting it.

    • Ruth

      I love you Heather Waters. I hate the death penalty! I hope I live to see the end of it, but I doubt I ever will. Sad times, indeed.

      • http://twitter.com/mightyrosebud Heather Waters

        Hi Ruth, thank you for the kind reply. Sadly, I agree… I don’t think we’ll see the abolition of the death penalty (on a national level) during our lifetime.

  • Jemma

    This poem confuses me. I don’t know why.

    • lentower

      Good poetry often does.

      You could re-read it in a while, and a while after that, and …

      • Jemma

        I do keep reading it but I keep getting more confused. Though I do see it as a good thing. Again not sure why.

        • lentower

          A night’s sleep might help.

        • damo

          Your confused because it is bad poetry. Non-senscical ramblings, loosely tied together though word repetition, trying to be “deep”, without any real depth, only observations.

          • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

            I am sure a lot of people said that Ginsberg was bad poetry when his work was published. I would rank this poem pretty close to the depth and intellect of him…. I guess everyone has their own opinions of good and bad poetry.

        • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

          save the poem for later. process your feelings and go back. if you are confused by a poem at first read take time between readings. process an image or a thought at a time. Even if you get this on the first read…. it gets deeper and deeper with each read. I have saved it on my computer to go back later.

  • http://twitter.com/marcosfaria70 Marcos

    I love you.

  • Anon

    Thank you for this. I’m in the Boston area and my day yesterday went like this:

    Brunch: Conversation with close friends about how effed up the whole week was and how the long-distance pontificating about “Did I hear they’re doing warrantless searches?!” and “This IS letting the terrorists win” was just as unhelpful as the local cries for more death as a solution for deaths. A conversation about how relieved we are for our city, and how proud we are for our first responders, but at the center of this is both a public tragedy AND a private tragedy and it’s a shame that the former will forever overshadow the latter.

    Afternoon: At another friend’s house, where her friend, was chortling over the overnight social media update of an officer she knew that said (paraphrased) “standing guard over the devil, many of you will be sad to hear he survived.” No, I’m actually happy he didn’t die…I’m sad to hear he’ll be faced with a segment of our legal system who is broadcasting and sharing something like that. In a week when so many of our law enforcement officers and first responders showed the best of us, I could have done without that peak into the worst of us.

    Evening: Not attending a “celebration” party. Again, I’m relieved, but I don’t know as I’m in the mood to celebrate. And given that, based on posts from the party, they were actually naming drinks after entire ethnic groups, I’m especially glad I didn’t attend. I understand the pressure relief after the week we’ve had, but let’s be better than that….please?

    Been thinking a lot over the past few days that, I picked a hard road for myself when I became athiest/humanist. I don’t have any easy answers of good and evil where morality is black and white. I’m stuck in the moral grey area where I can find sympathy for a killer. But in the end, I definitely prefer it to the alternative.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robby-Cunningham/100001223538990 Robby Cunningham

      “I’m sad to hear he’ll be faced with a segment of our legal system who is broadcasting and sharing something like that. In a week when so many of our law enforcement officers and first responders showed the best of us, I could have done without that peak into the worst of us.”

      Hardly a peek into the worst of us. Just a peek into a different perspective.

      “We sleep safely in our beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf.” – Orwell

  • http://twitter.com/NancyBoi NancyBoi

    Thankyou, thankyou Amanda. This is just what we all need. Until we recognise people doing the people doing this kind of harm as a part of humanity. Glimpse ourselves in them and them in us, we can never begin to understand. Only by making our fellow beings “other”, does the environment exist for this kind of act.

    Hug someone today. Someone who no-one else wants to hug.

  • jujyfruit0

    It pains me greatly to see what I think was a good shot at opening up our understanding, of each other, of how we got here, of how we make decisions & react and counter-act, get so many angered hateful comments. And the older I get, the more of this I have seen again and again, the more reluctant I am to feed that fire. So rather than sit back and reply to every negative comment with a ‘there, there, you’re just sad & confused, and haven’t gotten it figured out,’ let me just say this:

    I have jack shit figured out. How about you? If you’re intent on sending out more hate into this world, if you’re really determined that it’s somehow a solution, that I have no right to my desire for compassion, then I guess we’ll part ways, because that’s not a world view I can share.

    The poem above? It’s adding to the conversation, not shutting it down. It’s opening up a heart when it feels so easy to hang up the do not disturb sign.

    This comment isn’t going to change anyone’s mind, I’m aware of that. But if you, like me, feel like there’s room in this world for more compassion, not less; for more exploration & communication, not less; for a chance to hold out a hand to someone we disagree with, who has hurt us terribly; if you think there’s any room in this world for that (hint: it’s a big world) then that’s a start. I’m with you. I think Amanda is probably with you. Don’t feel dogged for reaching out. It doesn’t make you a weak, sad person.

    It makes you fucking human. And I fucking love you.

    • The Green Devil

      You feel compassion for a mass murderer who killed in cold blood and who could have turned himself into police in the days after but instead, killed a cop and went on another shooting/bombing rampage? That’s some fucked-up shit.

      • jujyfruit0

        Exactly. This is ALL some fucked up shit. And I refuse to stand down and let you try to bully ANYONE else into thinking that somehow YOU’VE got it all figured out, that your hate-filled comments are fixing anything. Because they aren’t. Telling someone to take empathy and compassion out of their heart and fill it with hate? Kinda how we got the Boston mess in the first place, man.

        But you’re still human, even if you are a troll. So I still fucking love you.

        • The Green Devil

          What is there to figure out? This man murdered and maimed people in a willful act. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist or someone with years of specialized training in psychology to know that what he did was evil and wrong. I might not have all of life figured out, but this part I am 1,000,000,0000% certain,

          And no, this isn’t how we got into this mess in Boston. Hating an act of evil and condemning it and those who committed it is far different from working oneself into an irrational and baseless hatred that manifests itself in the murder and maiming of innocent people. Very very different things.

      • http://twitter.com/indeciSEAN indeciSEAN

        “You feel compassion for a mass murderer…” – No. Stop. Right there. Some people feel compassion for other people. And things bigger and smaller than us, as well. I’ve been scrolling through this seeing pieces of your comments the whole way down, but this one got through. Compassion is not equatable to sympathizing or agreeing. I believe if there was more of it – and less finger wagging, cursing, and hypocritical dismissal of human life – we might all be a little less fucked-up. Maybe.

        Or maybe not. But I think my suggestion – even if it’s wrong – ends with a whole lot less hurt.

  • http://twitter.com/Cylithria Cylithria Dubois

    You don’t know how to not hate. You don’t know how to not love.

    Beautiful Poem Amanda. It’s amazing how you captured all of the things “you” don’t know, so knowingly.

  • m

    the worst part of all this story is seeing so much hate and certainty towards a suspect that still doesn’t have a confirmed guilt. that’s why I cried for him when I watched him get caught, watching everyone cheering and saying that “justice had been served”. what justice? justice only happens after proofs presentation. for all we know, he could be just a boy. that’s why this poem touched me so much. i understand it’s hard to think straight after a tragedy like that, but don’t be so easily fooled by american media and government.

    • lentower

      Which is why I hope he lives,
      goes to trial,
      and has a good defense team.

      • m

        not very likely. if he survives, he will end up in guantanamo. he’ll probably be tortured until he accepts to sign a fake declaration of guilt. this happens all the time. do you have any ideas of how many people there are innocent and never had a fair trial? do you think that the u.s. government will take it back if they don’t find any proofs (as they still didn’t) after all the freaking circus they put up in Boston?

        • lentower

          I be very surprised, if he lives, if they don’t try him in Boston.

          A good defense team would try to get the trial moved to another state.

  • Elsa

    I don’t think anyone should apologize for feeling slight sympathy for him. It shows the understanding that he’s a human, and therefore never completely evil. He’s horribly broken, but it’s not as if he were born that way.

    No one is born a monster.

    People are complex beings. Even the ones that do bad things.

    • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

      I personally believe that there are humans that can be entirely evil….but I do not believe that I have the authority to make those judgements. I don’t know what to think about this kid. But people are losing their minds and doing crazy bad things and who am I to judge either way? I agree that he is horribly broken. I also agree that no one is born a monster. Society makes monsters.

    • dunst43

      “He’s horribly broken, but it’s not as if he were born that way.” So what changed from his birth to his murderous acts? Could be Islam??

      • SoPleasantlyStrange

        racism is disgusting.

        • http://twitter.com/sarje sarjé

          Really, this is more a case of religious persecution, but yeah. That’s disgusting, too. And (partly) why we have a land we call our own, however disjointedly.

        • Jah

          That’s not racism.
          And if by “Islam” he meant the Islamic radical preachers who encourage such actions, I found that cause plausible.

        • Jah

          That’s not racism.
          And if by “Islam” he meant the Islamic radical preachers who encourage such actions, I found that cause plausible.

        • Jah

          That’s not racism.
          And if by “Islam” he meant the Islamic radical preachers who encourage such actions, I found that cause plausible.

        • Jah

          That’s not racism.
          And if by “Islam” he meant the Islamic radical preachers who encourage such actions, I found that cause plausible.

    • Jah

      I agree, evil doing is human.
      Adolf Hitler was 100% human being, for instance. He also had feelings, some of them made him order the mass murder of millions, but who are we to judge. His last hours at the bunker must have been hell. Poor lad.

  • Personality Dialysis

    Empathy is hard. It’s a conscious act. Anger is impulse. People commit crimes like this because they go through a justification process that dehumanizes the victims. They stop seeing them as people. Which is shy we HAVE to fight to have empathy. Even when we burn with hate. Or we become the perpetrators and the justification process starts anew.
    Thanks for this poem.
    I’m glad I’m not the only person who feels this way.

    • Personality Dialysis

      Also, empathy is, to me, the beginning of understanding why. I care a LOT about why because that is how you stop these things from happening again. Hating the perpetrators does nothing to stop it from happening again.

      • The Green Devil

        To understand does not require empathy, which implies pity. And who said hatred has anything to do with stopping this from happening again? Hatred is a judgment of a specific act and those who perpetrate it. Some of us believe in speaking out against evil and condemning evil acts and countering those who somehow seek to justify what happened. You want to stop something from happening again, stop acting in a manner that others can interpret as a justification for their own sick evil thoughts, that they’re really not such bad people and that others understand them. Shit like that is how some people end up thinking it’s okay to shove a bag with a bomb next to an 8 year old kid and setting it off.

        • Personality Dialysis

          The word pity does not appear in the definition of empathy. You are thinking of sympathy. Hatred doesn’t have anything to do with stop things from happening again. You are correct. That is why I have little use for hate. I can only live in a world where bad shit happens if I look for the ways to make things better in the future.

          I respect your right to speak out against evil and condemn evil acts. I’m sickened just as I imagine you are that this happened. I wish it didn’t happen. I am not justifying anybodies actions. I want to understand how the perpetrators justified their own actions. That is what empathy is. Putting yourself in somebody elses shoes and trying to understand what the world looks like from them. You are implying that my trying to have empathy is what allows people to do things like this. Does your condemning of them as sick and evil stop them?

          • The Green Devil

            We all want to understand what happened and why they did what they did. Maybe we will get an answer. I hope we do. I for one would like to know what motivates a person to do something so evil in what is probably the vain hope that we can somehow use this knowledge to prevent something similar from happening again.

            In the meantime, we need to make it clear that what he did was evil and wrong and is not to be tolerated. Not that this will stop people, but to paraphrase and rework a popular saying concerning the Holocaust, all that’s required for evil for triumph is for people to not speak out against it. Expressing empathy toward those murderers is in essence standing silent in the face of their evil acts. Others with similar sick impulses could also take comfort from the appearance that others will not condemn them should they also commit acts of evil, thereby encouraging them by providing a justification, however flimsy, that they can latch upon.

          • lentower

            It’s sad your world view is so narrow.

            Yes, what the bombers did is evil.

            But I can still have empathy for them.

          • The Green Devil

            “Alleged”? They confessed that they committed the bombings to the person whose car they hijacked. There’s photographs placing them at the scene of the bombings and carrying backpacks that matched those recovered. They robbed a 7/11 and the robbery was captured on video. They also engaged in a firefight with police officers in Watertown and threw bombs and hand grenades at the officers.

            You can have empathy for them. That’s your right. All I will say is my wish to you is may you go to a bar in Dorchester- say, the Eire Pub- and be sure to regale the regulars with your feelings of empathy for those Chechen scumbags. Be sure to do it in a nice loud voice so no one will doubt your sincerity. I’m sure they’ll all form a big hug circle and you can all weep together.

          • lentower

            It’s sad you are in so much pain.

            So much pain, you have to lash out at me and others.

          • tattyheid

            I would prefer he lived long enough to be tried in a court of law not a court of opinion unlike his brother he will probably be murdered by the good ol USA if found guilty anyhow

          • The Green Devil

            He murdered his brother by running him over with a car and dragging him.

          • http://revsean.com/ revsparker

            What the bombers did is evil and wrong.

            Hatred is not necessary to make that statement.

  • anothermasshole

    Innocence can leave a person at almost any age. This kid is 19. My daughter is 19. Soldiers in other lands are often 14. He is not innocent.He knew what he was doing, and what the result would be for him. In America, anyone can walk away from almost anything. He did not.

    • m

      how do you know he is not innocent? how come everyone is so sure about it? i understand you lost someone and, as the rest of the country, you must be trying to find someone to blame. be careful with that. it’s exactly that kind of feeling that leads the US to seek revenge and fuck up the rest of the world. one week ago, 17 people were killed by american drones in Afghanistan (12 of them were kids). no one gave a shit. this is exactly the kind of thing that produces terrorists (and, again, it doesn’t mean dzhokhar was one of them). WHEN WILL AMERICANS REALISE THAT US ARE PRODUCING TERRORISM ITSELF???

      • lentower

        And have been for a long time.

        • m

          american government is the worst and most terrifying terrorist on the whole world.
          btw, wasn’t the hiroshima bombs birthday this weekend?

          • lentower

            Hiroshima 6 August 1945

            Nagasaki 9 August 1945

            And I hope Truman’s advisers were right,
            that a million plus lives were saved.

          • m

            violence to end up violence? this wasn’t about saving lifes. it’s just like this filthy “war on terror”: a stupid excuse to make political power stronger by killing thousands of innocents.

      • m

        (I evidently meant “the U.S.”, not the pronom “us”)

  • LizaTulip

    Positioning the two lines about parents, with the content of those lines, is particularly affecting. You’ve captured a sense of alienation and anger consistent with emerging reports. Thanks for sharing your understanding and healing.

  • gabu

    After reading this I felt strange and somewhat wrong for feeling sorry for the boy but you people showed me that I feel that way because we are all humans after all. At least one thing about this sad situation feels right then.

  • IDon’tKnowHowtoSaymyName

    Amanda I love you, thank you.

  • geotigger

    This is a beautiful and timely poem about humanity and where we’re at; at some point that can no longer be measured or factored by one particular culture’s sense of historical timing. I don’t know how we will all manage to live together on one planet when we all know each other’s business but that knowledge is being spread faster than we can figure out how to live with it. The whole of human populated earth is turning into a small town full of gossip and hearsay and compassion and empathy is running to catch up. We need so much compassion and so much empathy to deal with this level of interaction but the internet is faster. Isn’t it? Is it? I hear and read the way people react to current events, even not as tragic or as crucial to the whole system of social justice as what has happened in Boston and I worry, I fear that we won’t make it. We’ll take each other the wrong way and assume the worst and hate and hurt and kill each other. And then, on the other hand, I see such heartfelt care and concern and empathy and humanity and I think, well maybe Amanda Palmer’s Empathy Army will save the day. I don’t know. I’m sorry for this ramble. The world wearies and scares me and your poem, your art eases that fear.

  • CardinalIron

    Poems I feel are the personal thoughts of the writer. This poem is less about the subject of the poem, then its creator, asking questions to better get to their own truth. The poet is projecting their views about something, we are looking through their eyes, not the eyes of the subject of the poem. This poem can make you feel a million and one different emotions about its subject, but the subject is not what’s being projected, its the poet’s thoughts towards the subject that is. That is what I took from it.

  • Genevieve

    I did not know how to take this poem at first but after your clarification with diggingellen ‘the you isn’t him’, I read again and absolutely could see how this relates to every American during this era. Everyone is just so pluged in, tuned out, and spaced out with the news and media. It feels at times we are all drones and it’s hard to swim to the surface and gasp for some air. There is just so much to take in anymore it’s overwhelming.
    It’s weird, the night police caught dzhokhar, most of my friends were posting such cruel statements about their wishes for his demise but within 24 hours it seems as though it has all been forgotten and they are back to posting their pathetic meme’s about monday mornings and the days in a life of a parent.

    We are all a bunch of overprivlaged, spoiled Americans.

    • lentower

      Except for the Americans who aren’t:

      – black
      – poor
      – brown
      – undocumented
      – jailed because of the color of their skin
      – etc.

  • a person

    amanda – I have supported your art by going to several shows. I felt funny being asked to donate at theend of this poem – at first I thought I was being asked to donate for the victims in Boston (that would not have made me feel funny) – I really admire your music – I thought this poem was about healing though – just sayin – it felt inappropriate

    • jujyfruit0

      The ‘donate what you want’ is at the end of her page, not specific to this blog, this post. It’s just a generalized reminder after every post, and shouldn’t be viewed as anything else, I don’t think.

      • a person

        thanks – makes sense in that context – just felt funny given the topic – as a first time blog visitor I was unaware of its persistant placement. (I wonder if you can turn it off for certain pages?)

        • jujyfruit0

          You’re welcome. Not sure about turning it off, and I can see how that might be off-putting if you aren’t aware of that. But turning it off seems…counter-productive I guess. Now’s a good time to show support, send love/money in whatever directions our hearts take us.

          • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

            I agree..and I don’t think that the focus right now is on the page set-up. I think the feelings and conversations taking place from what people are taking away from the poem itself is the meat of what is going on right now…. my phone is blowing up with so much emotion on multiple sides. It’s kinda crazy to watch this unfold.

    • lentower

      Amanda and her team just added a donation link to

      http://onefundboston.org/

      at the end of all three of her blogs on the Marathon bombings.

    • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

      her donation button is on every page of her blog. It’s an auto- link. I don’t think she has it there on purpose. The boston donation link was intentionally added.

  • ladymiseryali

    I feel bad for this kid because I don’t believe he’s some monster. I believe he got caught up in his brother’s views and his brother’s anger towards the US. He got in over his head. I hope we can get answers as to what lead up to this act. This poem is a good way to deal with what has happened, to show empathy towards this kid, as well as ask why in a beautiful way.

    Well done, Ms Amanda.

  • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

    I am crying. This is beautiful and true.

  • kylecassidy

    In the years that will come some of this will be washed away in the collective memory of those who follow us, but the art will stay. people will wonder who dzhokhar is like i occasionally wonder who Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester were, but they’ll be moved by words like this. thanks for this.

  • Damo

    Man, that was a horrible, horrible poem. You have absolutely no talent. Stop now, before your “poetry” shuts down Boston again.

    • ladymiseryali

      Back under your bridge.

      • damo

        it is a mish-mash of a proclaimers song (I could walk 500 miles)/visa commercial (dance like no one is watching)/the movie american beauty…it’s like an anti-meth ad.

    • lentower

      a spot of humor!

  • Sylvia

    this is the first time this comments section has made me feel broken, not healed.

    i can’t make myself hate him because i don’t know him. and because i don’t know him, or the thoughts in his head, i can believe that the terrible things he did aren’t all of who he is. and inventing perspectives to explain (not excuse, but to help me understand) people’s actions, so that people may not be as inherently terrible as their actions imply, is the only way i get through the world on a daily basis anyway.

    • jujyfruit0

      ‘I can’t make myself hate him’. And that’s a wonderful thing to point out. When you feel forced to hate, well, we all might as well give up. Compassion fills in the gaps, every time. It’s what moves us forward, hate holds us back, brings about the misery we are in now. Stay compassionate, you’re doing it right.

      • Sylvia

        thank you.

      • The Green Devil

        Do you think hatred has no validity? Should we not hate Hilter, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot, four men who collectively have almost a quarter of a billion human deaths directly attributed to their actions? Why is it so wrong to hate evil?

        • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

          wow. I’m going to leave this thread and I think it is going to take me a few weeks to process what I think…. about hate and love and good and evil. Thank you and everyone for sharing your feelings so powerfully. This might haunt me a little.

    • The Green Devil

      What more do you need to know about him beyond the fact that because of what he did, there is an 8 year old who will never grow up , a beautiful young redhead who will not be there to dazzle people with her smile and help others, Chinese woman who will never fulfill her promise and make her family proud, and an officer who will never again serve those he swore to protect, not to mention the people who lost their limbs, their hearing, and will never again hear a car backfire or fireworks go off without suffering horrible flashbacks?

      He did this by design. This was his and his brother’s plan. This was no accident or a whim. It was a carefully thought-out and evilly executed plan.

      It’s not easy to accept that some people are evil, that some people cannot be “fixed” by understanding them better or showing them love. But unfortunately, such is the case in life. If you can come to grips with that and stop believing the fallacy that all people can be understood or fixed, it will help you get through the day.

      • Musings

        If I knew you better, I would take the T on over to Dorchester (where I gather you are from your comments) and give you a hug, buy your a beer, and let you vent all over me. I hope that this is helping to process your grief, truly, to the point that it is less of a sharp knife. I am not trying to patronize you or even disagree that the bombers were evil beyond helping. I really am not the judge-all on that, but everything I read of yours suggest that you are in pain and angry — as you should be. Please in the meantime, feel free to email me, if it helps. We may disagree but I am close by and I am listening. laughinglearningliving@gmail.com (sorry for the gushy email, it’s an old account)

        • Musings

          Sorry, that still sounds patronizing. I really don’t mean to be. What I mean is, we in Boston need to take care of each other, and I’m willing to be helpful in the ways that I can.

          • The Green Devil

            I appreciate the sentiment and understand that your heart is in the right place. Thank you. I’m angry at what that little fuck has done to destroy the lives of so many people and am angry that people are trying to excuse his actions or plead for us to understand him before the families have even had the chance to buried the ones he’s murdered.

  • http://twitter.com/Kambrieldesign Kambriel

    The importance of doubt,
    of admitting that which we do not know
    in a world where conclusions are rushed,
    and people are either “with us or against us”.
    Horrific stories related in black and white
    help to comfort.

    In black and white, we (think we) know…

    who to villainize
    who to believe
    who to punish
    who to grieve.

    When we “know”,
    we can neatly wrap up our conclusions
    find resolution.

    Our stories, our choices, our decisions, our lives
    exist in a world filled with mysteries,
    some of which
    we weren’t meant to comprehend.

    Sometimes the bad guys wear white hats & sometimes heroes wear black.

    Truths can be harder than that
    and unspoken stories are forever painted
    in endless shades of grey.

    • jujyfruit0

      Thank you. Beautifully put. I might come for Amanda’s posts, but I stay for the beautiful conversation created, and for you, Kambriel. You always sum up so wonderfully.

    • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

      this is beautiful too.

  • kmwilliams
    • lentower

      thank you.

      both of these are worth the time to read and see.

  • Amy

    Since I spent a full day watching the news and the search and listened to his friends and family I have spent so much time wondering what could have possibly gone wrong. It really seems like this is a kid who got caught up in something beyond him and my heart aches.

  • Dave

    We have to live with ourselves and our actions.
    The choices we make the decisions we take.
    I can live with mine.
    Can you live with yours?

    I’m alive because of the choices I made – I’ve lived with terrorism for most of my life. While it wasn’t every day, it was often enough. It injured friends, and targeted family. Often they think they have nothing left, and a man with nothing to live for is the most dangerous man alive. You don’t have to love them or hate them or forgive them. But it helps if you understand why they do it.

  • http://coinoperatedbear.deviantart.com/ CoinOperatedBear

    I remember Columbine, everyone thought I was going to be the one to do it at my school (overweight, gay, wore a trenchcoat and hated everyone) and I wondered about the mindset of those kids. As more and more of these incidents happen, I don’t think I’m any closer to understanding it beyond people screaming to be noticed. Thinking about what could drive someone to that length doesn’t make their actions right, but by understanding where the world and society failed them, we can prevent those failures in the future.

    There is no bringing the dead back. As there are a few of you who lost family and friends in the bombing, I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sorry that their wounds and deaths all appear, and may well be, pointless, lost and wrong. All that’s left are questions and lost potential and tributes and angry rhetoric and one kid who is going to answer for it. I hope that this time we can find the right questions to ask ourselves on how to make the world better. How we can heal, help and rebuild.

  • winkingjesii

    hate breeds hate. love breeds love. it is your choice.

  • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

    The Stranger. by Albert Camus. This poem is on that level and the reactions from this thread..same.

  • Juice (Julia)

    Hi. I love this poem.. It’s not really about the Dzhokhar or the events that took place last week… It’s really about human nature And empathy.. The idea we all feel pain.. And that we all make mistakes because we are all human.Humanity!!!!! The problem is judging from the comments is that people can’t get passed the title and don’t realize that the poet was Only using last week’s events as a backdrop to discuss human nature and compassion and the realities of life. .Which is a dialogue found in almost all art! ….. And is also found in life. – juice <3 humanity !!!!

  • OH

    It’s called “a poem FOR dzhokhar” not “a poem ABOUT dzhokar”. So much of it is so universal. Some of it has more than one meaning. Like “you don’t know how to mourn your dead brother.” could be about the men who planted the bombs or it could be about your feelings towards your step-brother, or it could give someone else insight into feelings over a failed relationship or any other interpretation that hits the reader. That’s the beauty of poetry. Strip away the title and this wouldn’t be inciting rage like this. I don’t understand the problem honestly.

    • Coach K

      she showed sympathy for a child killer. (and 4 others who were innocently killed) Glad I could help you understand the problem.

      • Tansy

        There you go with that hate thing again. Aspiring to be what?

        • Coach K

          listen, I did not write the poem.

          • Tansy

            True. But you sure have a lot of opinions about it that you run away from when someone tries to have a discussion about it with you.

          • Coach K

            the poem is clearly written FOR Dozhkar. It clearly references his “struggles” without any sort of indication that he is NOT the victim of the Boston bombing, but in fact the cause of it. To paint him as a sympathetic character is just wrong in light of what he did.

          • Tansy

            So your point of view is the only correct one then? That’s not what America was founded on. :P Rushing to hate and be angry does not help and don’t tell me you know different. Asking why someone would do this and getting answers stops another Dozhkar from being created in the future.

          • Coach K

            See Johnny Alpha’s comment. More coherent than I was. Getting late as I got nailed above for misspelling transvestite.

      • anonymous

        Empathy is not the same as sympathy.

  • http://twitter.com/betsiwithani betsi krisniski

    Perspective: the recipe for understanding. Thank you, Amanda. <3

  • Robbie

    Thank you Amanda for having the balls to post this.

    I’ve been feeling guilty, over feeling sad for him. I just keep reading all these comments from his friends saying things like “I can’t believe this was Jahar” and I can’t help but think “what went wrong?” I can’t help but feel for him as he lies injured, handcuffed, guarded and alone.

    I am in Boston, a Berklee student, and I spent the week fearful like everyone else. I felt relief when he was captured Friday night, like everyone else. I feel for the bombing victims and the policemen who were shot.

    But the more I read, the more I learn, the more I feel for Dzhokhar too.

    Thank you for making it okay to feel that.

  • Ourit

    A poem for all of us. Thank you, Amanda.

  • http://twitter.com/TheReddestRose So Red the Rose

    I love how your blog always continues the conversation we’re all having & builds on the ideas & thoughts you (& we) have shared weeks or months ago. To me this particular piece connects to the blog on bullying & hate & pain from a few months back. I shared a story of being attacked & how I wondered what would’ve happened if I had come from love that night instead of screaming back at her. And I am wondering that here, now. What might have changed his path? And how might we change the trajectory of this country by coming from love?

    Is it a radical idea to suggest compassion? To urge forgiveness? I suppose it is when someone has taken the life of an innocent child (I wept over Martin so much) & destroyed lives & bodies & faith. But I do suggest that. If not for his sake, for our own. So we do not become more poisoned by fear & hate than we already are. If we choose wrath & rage it will not heal us. It will not make things better or safer. It will only add to the darkness. The quote “Darkness cannot drive out darkness” has been passed around quite a bit recently. It feels relevant to me. It feels true. I hope we do find our way to forgiveness & healing & light. I feel like we all need light more than ever now. I know we do.

  • http://twitter.com/WittyUnderling Witty Underling

    To me, this poem is about everybody this week. All of us. Dzhokhar, his brother, the victims, the spectators, the media, me. All of us. Confusion and delusion and not fucking knowing anything at all.

    The only time I was warm and safe and loved, i was a fetus, and I don’t remember it.

    I don’t know the way to new york.

  • wickedangrybroguy

    why is amanda palmer such an idiot? why does anyone care what she has to say about anything?

    • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

      People care about what she has to say because she is not an idiot. And this thread isn’t about loving or hating Amanda Palmer. Apparently even idiot trolls like to find their way to threads that are of greater importance than whether a person is liked or not. Seriously…if you don’t like the woman…don’t visit her fucking blog.

    • ladymiseryali

      Obviously you care, since you wasted your time making an ass out of yourself on her blog……

  • Michael Main

    It is not a contradiction to possess empathy for the victims as well as the perpetrator. In fact empathy and love for the criminal is exactly what you owe to the victim, for without those there is no path to understanding the cause of their suffering. Hate is a conscious choice. It is also the antithesis of wisdom. Hate is wilful ignorance. It is also very easy and highly seductive. And it achieves nothing. It prevents no harm and can only encourage the very things you fear. Hate is the understandable expression of fear. Love is the incomprehensible expression of courage.

  • Maleficent

    Everyone has the right to feel how they want to feel about a killer, of course, but I’m definitely not a fan of this, nor do I understand how anyone could sympathize/empathize/pity a cold blooded killer. He is as much a monster as his older brother was. The fact that he was younger makes him no less culpable. Nobody is writing poems for the older brother. Why doesn’t he get the same compassionate reactions?

  • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

    When I was 18 (millennia ago) … I dated a very dark broken man in his 40’s that twisted my brain into darkness slowly through brainwashing techniques. Yes my fault through bad choices and bad decisions and not having my eyes open. Thankfully nothing bad came of it but it could have. He wanted me to run away with him and join a crazy cult militia in Montana and I almost did… but I was so psychology fucked in my head… it took years to put everything right. I woke up one day with absolutely no identity. What if I had done something to hurt people? No one knows what is going on with this kid. But one thing I do know is that children today live in an entirely different mindset than I did when I was his age… I feel pain for everyone. But I can’t help but wonder what psychological factors played a part in his brain. Some people are strong enough not to be manipulated or do these evil things. But some people just aren’t. Love and hate. Strength and weakness. Light and Darkness. These are all things human beings struggle with on different levels. And this poem portrays that as well as this huge outpour of emotions of anger and love that is happening because of this poem. Love to all. Amanda acts as a guide towards light to her fans. Even with this poem …even with the anger is is creating in some people. Keep an open mind. No human is without the capacity to be broken.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brandi.mimbs Brandi Mimbs

    Everyone is so busy reacting to the chaos all around. If we’d focus on the chaos within once in a while, maybe the world would be a touch less scary. Keep shining the light on love and understanding.

  • bbbb

    You are all idiots. He is not a victim. The victims are the ones in the hospital because of this piece of shit. How dare any one of you give him sympathy. I bet you wouldn’t be giving him any sympathy if you were in Boston on the day of the terrorist attack. Yes I said it, this piece of shit is a mother fucking terrorist. The fact that any of you are giving him sympathy makes me sick.

    • ladymiseryali

      I thought we lived in the USA, where people have the right to feel whatever the fuck they wish. You don’t have to agree with how others feel, but don’t insult those who feel differently than you do.

    • lentower

      The bombers are both victimizers and victims.

      • jennifer626

        You are utterly and entirely full of s***. THE BOMBERS ARE NOT VICTIMS. What the hell has happened to our civilization that this is not only being considered an acceptable philosophy, but people challenging it are subject to claims that they are “demonizing” the bombers? THEY WERE DEMONS.

        • lentower

          jennifer626:

          You’re so full of hate.

          So empty of understanding.

          So immature.

          So full of pain.

          I hope, in time, you heal.

          You become full of love.

          You become full of understanding.

          • jennifer626

            I don’t need your “hope.” I’m doing just fine, thanks — living a life where I don’t murder innocent children and don’t spend time oozing emotion and “empathy” for those who do. Your response was entirely consistent with the ridiculous, misplaced “let’s love everyone while they mutilate us” theory I commented upon, so thank you for the reinforcement.

          • lentower

            jennifer626

            you get my hope anyway.

            i hope you learn to love someday,
            and stop hating.

            hating just breeds more hate,
            more killing, more bombings,
            more starving children,
            more of what’s evil in the world.

    • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

      many of the people posting sympathy here were in Boston on that day.

      • lentower

        Like Amanda, et al, I live in Boston, and lived through this last horrid week.

        • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

          I’ve read all your comments Len. You seem to be an amazing man with a lot of love in your heart. Thank you for everything you have said. I don’t know why I can’t stop reading this thread. It disturbs and hurts me. I have never seen controversy over a poem with my own eyes before. Sending my love and thoughts your way. Everyone’s way. Amanda’s way. I’ve been following and she was affected emotionally too. Do any of the angry people get that? This past week has been horror after horror. People just need to reach out and love. *sad sigh*

          • miserichik

            I’m starting to feel the same way, Tanya. I can’t stop reading this thread and it’s painful. Len, you’re awesome and I’d love to meet you someday :)

          • lentower

            Tanya

            Thank You.

            Angry, hateful people usually don’t get that.
            Many are so much in pain, that all they can do is strike out in pain.
            Speaking reason to them with love is sometimes all you can do,
            and hope they grow beyond it in time.

            It appears this is your first time, encountering the diversity
            of human reaction. Nothing wrong with reading it all. It’s educational
            in many ways.
            Just don’t let the hate and anger change you.

            love and thoughts back at you -len

          • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

            It wasn’t my first time seeing it. It was my first time seeing it here. It was my first time seeing it directed at art. I see it on the media sites and on facebook sites. I became an Amanda fan a few months ago. I actually come here to look for peace and hope because I live in fear and I am trying to break free of it. So …yeah …. seeing it here affected me strongly. But I am still going to fight the good fight. And Amanda’s latest blog gives a bit of comfort. And so did you.

          • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

            also Len.. I was never a person who interacted with people I did not know online. I love people but have always been scared…of people. So that little chain was something that was recently broken. I find myself making friends all over the world and just having conversations….I thought it was a good thing to do this. Sunday….almost made me want to shell up and just stop talking and go back to being the silent observer…you know? But Fuck that. I have so much love to give. It is so much better to share it…right? Life is suppose to be about living and sharing. And art unshared is empty and lonely. At least to me it is.

          • lentower

            Sharing is better. And Amanda’s fans are a very supportive community.

            And yes, dealing with the hate/fear/verbal_violence is hard.

            Again, Thank You and Most Welcome.

    • http://twitter.com/cheesecake101 Bebhinn McInerney

      Why would there be a finite amount of sympathy in the world? Where are we saying not to be appalled and angry at what happened? Where are we saying we’re not horrified by the violence, or that he shouldn’t be punished?

      A person is a person and hate isn’t born in a vacuum, by showing compassion for someone, you’re not doing any harm.

  • http://twitter.com/ajwink A.J. Winkelspecht

    And he didn’t know how not to smile while placing a bomb next to an innocent 8-year-old kid, because he’s a fucking monster.

  • Musings

    A Response to Amanda Palmer’s Poem

    I will not say his
    name.

    I will not say his name–
    not because evil
    is nameless, or
    even that
    he is evil

    I will not say his name:
    the man who hid
    in
    a boat,
    the color of surrender,
    bleeding and alone,
    while a city held
    its breath
    and 10,000 men lurked
    around every corner

    I will not say
    his name,
    because already we forget:
    Lingzhu. Krystal. Sean. Martin

    Martin, who in the sign between
    his hands fortold a lifetime
    that
    would not be spent
    in the bottom of a boat,
    hiding from his crimes,
    a
    lifetime where
    the gap between his teeth
    would fill and
    he would run
    to the finish

    I will not say his name
    but I wonder if once
    he held
    a sign too

    • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

      wow… this is powerful too.

      • Musings

        Thank you.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      a poem for a poem. i can’t thank you enough.

      • Musings

        I was over on the Shadowbox for the last couple of days, saying I wanted to write poetry to get my emotions out as a Bostoner but I couldn’t get it out really. Everything was too sharp and too numb all at once. Then I read yours and it fell into place – what I wanted to say, how it felt. So thank you.

      • KimSparkles

        That is an awesome reply. I think this was too soon, but an awesome reply nonetheless.

      • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

        me too. first poem I’ve read all day.

    • Jenny

      Wow!

      • Musings

        :-)!

    • Tina C.

      This is such a beautiful response to such polarizing prose. Thank you for this.

      • Musings

        Thank you for reading, and taking the time to comment.

    • theshamburglar

      Her name was Lingzi. I guess you forgot already.

      • Musings

        Ironic, pathetic, and sad at the same time. Thank you for reminding me. I won’t forget again.

    • theshamburglar

      You didn’t fix it.

      • theshamburglar

        Lingzhu =! Lingzi. It take all of two seconds to fix.

        • Musings

          I made a typo based on yes- faulty memory and countless initial misspellings of her name in press. I can’t fix it because I don’t have an account. I am truly sorry about that.

          I’ll retype it below:

          A Response to Amanda Palmer’s Poem

          I will not say his
          name.

          I will not say his name–
          not because evil
          is nameless, or
          even that
          he is evil

          I will not say his name:
          the man who hid
          in
          a boat,
          the color of surrender,
          bleeding and alone,
          while a city held
          its breath
          and 10,000 men lurked
          around every corner

          I will not say
          his name,
          because already we forget:
          Lingzi. Krystal. Sean. Martin

          Martin, who in the sign between
          his hands fortold a lifetime
          that
          would not be spent
          in the bottom of a boat,
          hiding from his crimes,
          a
          lifetime where
          the gap between his teeth
          would fill and
          he would run
          to the finish

          I will not say his name
          but I wonder if once
          he held
          a sign too

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001164662661 Susan Daniels

            This is beautiful, and true. Let’s not forget him, any of them.

          • Musings

            Thank you. Yes, let’s not.

          • CBSPIVEY

            your poem is so beautiful. do you mind if I share it, crediting you of course?

          • Musings

            Of course. “Musings” is what I use to share my poetry in this space. Thank you.

        • Musings

          Thanks to you and indeciSean, I got it fixed above. Thank you.

    • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

      Loved it. Loved both. Thanks.

      • Musings

        Thanks, I appreciate the love.

    • http://twitter.com/diggingellen diggingellen

      Awesome! This is something that should be read. Great tone. And I loved “a boat, the color of surrender”

      • Musings

        Thank you. I really, really “dig” (if I can be totally corny here) your comments on this post (especially the initial CNN poet comment), and I think, in my eyes, Amanda’s slightly terse replies to your comments were more harmful than the poem itself. I hope in either case, to see your replies on other blogs because you so eloquently put what many of us who are in neither the “I hate this and your stupid eyebrows” or the “I love you and this, unequivocally and forever” camps feel.

    • lentower

      Thank you.

      • Musings

        Your welcome, Len. Hope that you are doing well.

        • lentower

          I hope you are doing well too.

    • Marionette26

      Please don’t repost that as your own. I’m pretty sure you just copy and pasted it word for word, and you didn’t give credit to Musings at all. She’s a wonderful writer and poet, and it’s a bit sketchy to post something of someone else’s without making it clear that it belongs to someone else.

      • Musings

        Thanks for being my knight in shining armor, Marionette ;-).

    • blurry

      Well isn’t that a great rendition.

    • ZapFan

      where can i donate to works of art like this?

      • Musings

        Just pass it forward, in the way that you wish. Thank you.

    • http://nathaniel-campbell.blogspot.com/ Nathaniel M. Campbell

      Thank you (and thank you for writing an actual poem, with rhythm)!

  • bizzy

    Thank you for sharing. I’m sad to see a lot of people writing hurtful comments on your Facebook page. We can’t know anything about his motivations yet; so yes, I agree this is a poem about a character derived from small details provided by the media. That is okay. It’s also about everyone. Thank you for bravely choosing empathy. It shows an excellent example of how to heal.

  • Grace

    People who have survive clinical/chronic depression, like I have, KNOW that everyone is capable of ANYTHING. I don’t know what I would have done in I didn’t have my family and the means to pay for help. Maybe I would have been a killer, commited suicide or an addict… Right now, that I am finally fine and functional, that seems so inhumane but I remember what I felt during those years (when I was this kid’s age) and violence felt like an impulse to relieve pain.Maybe it is religion or another social reason that we divide people in bad/good… No. We need to address the complexity. There’s a reason the US is the most violent nation.

  • http://twitter.com/_TeDiouS_ Tom Steiger

    There are no perfect security measures. No number of guns or bomb-sniffing dogs or metal detectors can keep us safe. The only way to keep us safe is to eliminate the terrorists.

    There is no way to exterminate terrorists. Attempting to do so only breeds more terrorists. The only way to eliminate terrorists is to prevent the process by which adorable babies grow up to plant bombs in crowds.

    The only way to prevent the process of producing terrorists is to understand that process. The first step in understanding that process is the realization that terrorists are not monsters, they are human beings who made a series of bad decisions, presumably for comprehensible reasons. In other words, empathy.

    So as a question of pure pragmatism empathy is required to eliminate terrorists.

    Empathy is not a zero-sum game. Having empathy for the perpetrators does not mean that you have none left for the victims. Empathy is not absolution. It does not imply that you believe the terrorists do not deserve punishment. Empathy is merely the realization that these guys weren’t born evil. They became evil in an unfortunate process that we need to understand as well as possible if we want to prevent terrorism.

    • rellabee

      Thank you for expressing so eloquently what I have been thinking about muddily while reading through the comments here.

  • Chris

    Thank you so much for writing this, Amanda. I thought I was alone in feeling compassion for Dzhokhar. As everyone else has said, this by no means implies that I support his actions, or that I don’t feel compassion for the victims, or that I don’t think he deserves to be brought to justice. Of course, I believe he should be tried in a court and held accountable for his actions. But is he not a victim as well? Even if he’s just a victim of his own hatred and fear? Are we not ALL human? Haven’t we ALL been afraid of something, and suffered from that fear? Haven’t we all done something crazy out of fear?

    I agree with what one of the other commentators said: I too have recovered from a very dark place, and so perhaps I am more quick to empathize as I feel I know all too well the horrible acts human beings are capable of, whether they are violent crimes or not. Regardless, this kid was just that: a KID. Along with my prayers for the victims he helped hurt, I pray that while he sits in jail he finds the peace that he so desperately needs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/wgregshea Greg Shea

      JLynn, make up your mind, it’s atrocious, its beautiful…

      Some lines about him, most about everyman.
      Naming it for him, “Joker,” that’s a bit much.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robby-Cunningham/100001223538990 Robby Cunningham

      He was not a kid. He was nineteen.

      The commonality of mankind is not a good excuse to feel bad for someone who rejected that commonality.

      There is such a thing as wasting your compassion. I won’t waste any on someone who rejected compassion for everyone else. I can construct a scenario in my head where Dzhokar deserves compassion too, it’s very similar to yours, but I reject that scenario. I’d rather spend my compassion on people who deserve it, rather than on whoever I might feel it for at a particular moment.

  • http://twitter.com/jennydevildoll Jenny DevilDoll

    I don’t see this as solely regarding Dzhokhar, who’s motives we don’t know and may never. Right now I’ve just read it and it’s hard to know, but speaking personally this piece may have shifted something in my head a million lectures on how we’re supposed to be feeling about traumas never could.
    We won’t see much light without if we’ve completely buried it within.

  • biz

    thank you for bravely feeling and showing empathy for humanity. it is very hard right now for some people to see many different meanings that your words could have. we all feel very painful, difficult emotions, and so i understand why many people have very strong, negative feelings about this poem. i was angry at first that people are writing hateful comments to you–but if I’ve learned anything in my life, i have learned that empathy is healing. so everyone, keep making art, share your experience, always try to understand the hurtful actions of others. you might interpret them incorrectly, but at least you will heal yourself after you have been hurt.

  • http://www.csdaley.com csdaley

    Thank you for the words. They made me finally put my words down in my blog. I think writing may be the best medicine. I was having trouble dealing with all my emotions this week.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      you’re welcome. i sat down this morning intending to check my email, decided to write a blog instead, this idea tumbled out, i wrote it in ten minutes, and pressed send without re-reading it.

      it’s amazing how much it can help.

      connect the dots.

      • http://twitter.com/skullmandible Cohen is a ghost

        “i wrote it in ten minutes, and pressed send without re-reading it.”

        yeah that’s how it reads

  • http://twitter.com/Leka4U Leka

    Sadness all around; hate all around. Where’s the Love, Acceptance, and Understanding?

  • Cecilia

    I’m doing a diploma in counselling & have learnt you must have UPR (Unconditional positive regard), empathy & you have to always, always be non – judgmental But I’m out of class right now and despite all of the things I have learnt and all the resources I have, I’m finding it hard to feel or fake (like you have to do a lot with clients) the slightest bit of empathy for this man. It’s making me question myself and what i aspire to be. He sickens me. But, and my point is looming i promise, everybody deals with tragedy in their own way. We all know Amanda uses the internet for her grief sometimes. What is wrong with trying to get in his head? What’s wrong with trying to piece his feelings together, whether they are right or wrong, for poetry? Or a story? Or a song? I’m finding it hard why people are finding it so completely offensive. We can’t all feel the same or we’d be brainwashed, dull and robotic. Let people feel what they need to when tragedy strikes. Or, scratch that, always/

  • Jenny

    Your poem reminds me a lot of Gus Van Sant’s film “Elephant” (Trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htlsOf3PnGY) which regards the Columbine massacre of 1999.

    It doesn’t make any attempt to give explanations or present everything in black and white, nor does it contain any of the original facts. It’s more like a poem or a dance about the original subject matter. I’ve been writing about it in an essay as everything has been unfolding in Boston, the coverage reminded of Columbine, and how we treat these mass media events, how we attempt to pin things down in black and white. I’m not saying we shouldn’t question things, but the way the media presents large scale events like this seems like it could potentially cause more harm, because it is glorifying, in a way, as well as potentially causing us to look at things with blinders on Obviously what Dzhokhar did was horrific, but this sort of thing doesn’t just sprout out of nowhere. There’s a bigger picture.

    I don’t know. I’m rambling. I appreciate poetry, but it’s never been an art form I really “get.” However, your poem really got to me. Thank you for your art, is continues to inspire me, and I hope one day to create art that is as beautiful and thought provoking. =]

    • http://twitter.com/gingerland62 gingerland62

      It reminded me of Columbine also. Two young men who have the world at their feet decide to attack defenseless victims and murder children.

      • Jenny

        I think you missed my point slightly, but yes, I agree and disagree with you.

  • Mary Jane

    maybe it’s just me, but when I first read the poem – even though I was aware of the title – the topical/political aspect of it was in the background but my thoughts and feelings as I read it went way beyond it.

    the poem can be read as just being about dzhokhar, but I saw myself in it. it conveys a very very specific sentiment that I often experience, hell we probably all do, and reading it felt like YES YES YES!! this is familiar, it’s this thing that I feel all the time but never name! it’s an underlying feeling that’s there in the background of my life that are generally good and great and under control, but here and there if you listen closely there’s a part of you that just doesn’t know and is really confused about everything.

    anyway that’s what it made me feel. I kept reading it throughout the day and finding lines that I haven’t noticed before, like “you don’t know how to explain yourself / you don’t know how to get away from your fucking parents.”. damn.

    I also need to seriously learn not to just mindlessly read/listen to new AFP stuff in the middle of the day while I’m out and about and busy doing things and then when it throws me into a whole different dimension of emotionalism be surprised by it. I should pretty much be expecting it by now. note to self, open AFP url’s responsibly.

    bottom line, I love this poem.

  • http://twitter.com/siorghra Miranda

    It’s okay if you don’t feel empathy or pity for those who have committed terrible crimes, but… what is the point of raging at those who do? Are we hurting anyone for including the perpetrator in our losses? Is it helping you in any way to try to stamp out that warmth? Be angry. Rage if you must. But place your anger and fear where they belong, not with those that love because our big hearts are easy targets.

  • Agnes

    “When a subject is highly controversial…one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opinion one does hold.” —Virginia Woolf

  • http://www.facebook.com/Vegangurrl Steph Ford

    And sometimes the only way to weep and mourn and try to make sense of things that we have yet to understand is to write. That my dear friends is exactly what Amanda did.

    For we are the children of love and hate
    Yin and Yang
    Good vs. Evil
    Where are we to draw that line?
    Who are we to accuse and judge?
    Anger and fear
    Understanding and confusion
    We are part of the lost and found
    in the back corner of an old abandoned building
    where dust bunnies are collecting and the echos
    of voices are long gone.
    We are hopeful and proud.
    We are lonely and downtrodden.
    We are imperfect in our imperfection.
    Let us not forget.
    We are human.

  • KaliforniaUniKorn

    This woman doesn’t know why she’s an idiot.

  • http://twitter.com/falsehorizons Aisha

    I don’t hate this man, in fact I don’t care about him in the slightest. I care about the victims, and protecting people from future tragedies of this sort. There is nothing to be gained from my hate and I recognise that. However, I do question the wisdom of sharing this particular piece of art with the world at this moment in time. Make it, absolutely, if thats what you feel the need to do. ‘But share it? Hmm. There are people who have lost lives, family members, friends, even limbs and with any or all of those things, their lives have changed drastically.

    Amanda, I do like you as a person and as an artist from what you have shared online, and from the music I have listened to live and at my computer. But I think that this might be a case of tunnel vision, of creating and being so lost in the process that perhaps you didn’t see how hurt, how outraged, and how incapable of digesting and properly understanding your work many people are at this time. It does not help that you tell those who do not get what you were trying to say “read it again”. It almost hints that they are too stupid to understand when really, they do want to. Why would they be here if they did not wish to comprehend, if they weren’t already people who love the depths of your work? Do them a favour and explain. Its an emotional moment in history and you’ve introduced something controversial at first sight, you might want to explain it before the populace who don’t have a reason to care about you decide to aim their anger at you. It might only be a matter of time. And really, hasn’t that happened too recently already?

    • Mk

      Very, very well put.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      thank you for taking the time to write this.

      i believe that art can be very therapeutic. when i wrote and posted this poem this morning, i was sharing how i felt, through words. this blog is for people who follow me and want to read my work. it wasn’t written as an op-ed for the new york times, it was written for my community, and for me, as a way of dealing with the difficult last few days we’ve had here in boston.

      i don’t believe it’s ever too soon to share how you’re feeling with your friends and your loved ones, and in my case, my friends and loved ones are the people who follow this blog.

      so while i understand your want to protect others (and it’s a feeling i can relate to), everybody has their own way of processing, of connecting, of making sense of things, of healing, of sorting through the debris of the day. this is mine, and as you can see from the people who have posted poems back to me….ours.

      most of the people i see yelling on this blog are yelling on behalf of people they don’t know, which is a very common thing to see on the internet.

      i try never to do that: i try very hard only to speak for myself, and share my own feelings. i try never to attack on someone else’s behalf. it’s hard sometimes, but it’s a good rule of thumb –
      letting everyone speak for themselves, at their speed, in their own voice, is one of the beauties of the internet.

      • http://twitter.com/falsehorizons Aisha

        Thank you for clarifying, Amanda. I truly hope you don’t suffer as a result of expressing yourself through your art. But do take care, I posted as someone who has seen you weather harsh storms in the recent past and would rather not see you suffer them needlessly again. That you read many of our cautionary words is enough. Peace and good luck to you.

      • lentower

        Amanda

        You might want to add this to the end of this blog,
        or in a future blog.

      • http://twitter.com/Hermit_Thrush Hermit Thrush

        Part of being an artist (with an audience) is that people will interpret & criticize your work. I know YOU understand this, but could you please explain it to your fans. Thanks

      • narcissistintherapy

        oh, Amanda, you’re an artist. that explains everything. you should be always be able to say whatever you want. and no one should ever think you say things that are offensive or ridiculous. it is *my* fault, in fact, that I find this poem offensive and ridiculous. sigh … I should be more like Amanda. Amanda, Amanda, Amanda … I’m just going to type her name over & over & over again so she can see it there. Amanda. are you satisfied yet? when will you fill up the emptiness in your soul that needs so much attention.

  • JLynn

    Wow…this poem and the posts from some of you are mind blowing!You all are the future of this country? No wonder America is collapsing!You write this ridiculous “poem” for a child murderer and then have the unmitigated gall to have a link for donations to his victims?I guess it’s true~you can’t fix stupid…

    • wilder125

      And yet she’s of the opinion it wasn’t about him. Well, if a writer says something was not written about someone, but someone or a group of someone elses….

  • Mk

    I couldn’t agree with green devil more. This situation is infuriating. I think showing compassion towards the suspects right now is too soon. Way to soon Amanda. I get that you are a people person and compassionate towards others, but to be honest, I tried to meet you about five years ago at the Middle East and you totally snubbed me. Coincidentally, it was during a time when I really need some compassion. I even went to your show alone, just so I could meet you. i saw so many pictures of you hugging fans and being friendly,but that was not my experience with you. My love for your music and artistic recommendations and ifluences are what keep me interested in your career. So, I feel like this “poem” is just a way for you to get some press, positive or negative. Because, from what I’ve seem you’ll take it either way, as long as someone is talking about you. So, this publicity stunt is just too soon. Let that psycho get his compassion from the devil when he get to hell.

    • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

      “This is too soon to show compassion for this man. Please only show compassion for this man once he’s already been finished and I am vacuously satisfied and feel revenged. Basically, don’t bother me with your different feelings.”

  • KaliforniaUniKorn

    On HBO’s “Real Time” on Friday night, host Bill Maher entertained CSU-San Bernardino professor Brian Levin, director of the Center for Study of Hate and Extremism, who maintained that despite the events in recent days, religious extremism isn’t only a product of Islam.

    But Maher took issue with that claim, calling it “liberal bull***” and said there was no comparison.

    “You know what, yeah, yeah,” Maher said. “You know what — that’s liberal bull**** right there … they’re not as dangerous. I mean there’s only one faith, for example, that kills you or wants to kill you if you draw a bad cartoon of the prophet. There’s only one faith that kills you or wants to kill you if you renounce the faith. An ex-Muslim is a very dangerous thing. Talk to Salman Rushdie after the show about Christian versus Islam. So you know, I’m just saying let’s keep it real.”

    Levin referenced outspoken Islam critic Pamela Geller as an example to refute Maher’s claim. But, Maher argued there was no comparison and denied he was Islamophobic

    “I am not an Islamophobe,” Maher replied. “I am a truth lover. All religious are not alike. As many people have pointed out — ‘The Book of Mormon,’ did you see the show? … OK, can you imagine if they did ‘The Book of Islam?’ Could they do that? There’s only one religion that threatens violence and carries it out for things like that. Could they do “The Book of Islam” on Broadway?”

    Levin said “possibly so,” to which Maher seem dismiss his entire argument going forward.

    “You’re wrong about that and you’re wrong about your facts,” Maher said. “Now, obviously, most Muslim people are not terrorists. But ask most Muslim people in the world, if you insult the prophet, do you have what’s coming to you? It’s more than just a fringe element.”

  • randomgit

    This is great and you are great and I weep for those that don’t poetry.

    • jennifer626

      You’re correct, this don’t poetry.

  • JBlock

    I am a fan of Amanda’s, but I find this poem callous and misguided. He killed an 8 year old boy and two other innocent people and then went back to his life as if nothing happened. The hatred and disdain directed toward him is the direct result of his actions — reap what you sow. That being said, I love any art that incites a reaction…just wish AP had chosen to write a poem about the parallels between the 8 year old boy he killed and the 8 year old boy DT was when he first came to this country seeking asylum. Believe that might have had a whole different kind of impact.

    • http://twitter.com/siorghra Miranda

      Why don’t you write that poem? It sounds like an interesting concept.

    • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

      I’d love to read that if someone did (hint: perhaps you can?).

  • Musings

    Look, this is still very raw, especially for those of us still in Boston. I went downtown today, to the Pru, and entrances were closed off, and streets are blocked off with police at every corner and it still very much does not feel like my city. My girlfriend had friends who were 20 feet away from the explosion, who saw everything. Martin lived around the corner from another friend. I am thinking about how to help my kids when I go back to teaching tomorrow, and although I disagree with some of the sentiments in the poem, I agree with others and was inspired to write my own poetry after reading — which in turn helped my healing. I am not surprised that people are upset, and I am not surprised that Amanda wrote this. Amanda is processing in the way that she does often — publicly, with empathy, and an almost innocent (I hope) blindness that others could feel different. Others are processing with anger – towards the bombers, towards Amanda, and towards others. Have empathy for the unempathetic, if that makes sense. Let them vent, let them share, argue if you need to, but there is no blueprint for processing this. We are all grieving in our own way. Hopefully, we can find each other through this thing.

    • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

      I don’t think I agree with the conclusion, but: “Have empathy for the unempathetic”.

      Yes, this is important too.

    • Nick

      This is exactly how i feel. You nailed it. Thank you.

  • Sam without sympathy

    This is atrocious to say the least, but I am more offended by the comments bellow than the poem itself. Are you seriously empathizing for this sick individual? Every time I read that he was the victim of his brother’s indoctrination all I can think is I don’t give a s****, he WILLINGLY aided in the murder and injury of innocent people. That is it. That’s all that needs to be said.

    Osama Bin Laden was indocrinated at one point in time too. Do you feel bad for him? Wake up. This kid is not only a malicious villain but a terrorist.

    • Caroline

      well said.

    • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

      The very moment you say “that’s all that needs to be said” you’re saying “I only want these facts and these conclusion to be accepted; any other reaction or attempt at seeing more is wrong and makes me uncomfortable”.

    • The Green Devil

      Exactly. Well put, Sam.

    • cabbagesoup

      I feel bad for bin Laden, yeah, in the wider context. I feel terrible for anyone he killed too. It’s possible to feel bad for all victims of the fucked up global politics of the last century or so.

      • jennifer626

        Bin Laden and the people who died in 9/11 were all “victims of fucked up global politics” who should be equally mourned. Wow. What misguided, revolting, perverse, politically correct bullshit attempting to masquerade as moral outrage.

  • EndangeredNJRepub

    Khaled didn’t know (nor care) that Monica Smith was 7 moths pregnant.
    James didn’t know he wasn’t really the Joker.
    Osama didn’t know everything has eyes.
    Adam didn’t know of his mother’s love for him, nor of the love of every mother.
    Jared didn’t know how shaky his hands would be during the darkest point in his life.
    Khaled didn’t know (nor care) that Monica Smith was 7 moths pregnant.
    Minh didn’t know that those arms were attached to children.
    Josef didn’t know that some of those “enemies of the state” were children.
    Martin didn’t know why.
    Martin didn’t know why.
    Martin didn’t know why.

  • JimTreacher

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Defending this killer
    Speaks poorly of you

    • prashranger

      “defending” what now?

      • prashranger

        where do you read that?

      • JimTreacher

        Mm-hm.

  • http://twitter.com/BattyRx Ashley

    Everyone. Stop. Realize you’re discussing how to hate someone by being hateful to everyone you’re talking with. You can deny this all you’d like, but discussions aren’t vulgar and degrading. Discussions bring clarity, enlightenment- if not about the subject, about the people discussing. Take a breath, step back, and think over things before responding to comments.

    It might sound simple, but how many of us are actually doing such a thing?

    I am just as upset as everyone here is about the Boston tragedy. What makes me more upset, more disappointed, more anxious, is seeing hate and disgust for such an event being used by people to justify hateful and disgusting comments towards others.

    • AT

      But Amanda responding to constructive criticism by calling us ‘haters’ and telling us that we’re reading it wrong is okay?

    • jennifer626

      You’re more upset about people being mean to each other than 4 people being murdered and dozens others losing their limbs?

  • noevilstar

    Hi, Amanda. Big fan since 2005. I respect your artistic need to write about these events… but I think _publishing_ this now might have been “too soon.” There is too much to be sad about, for all individuals affected directly and for our nation as a whole, already.

    • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

      This deserves to be told just as much. Precisely because this is what few people are saying, it’s more important that she post this than another lament about the victims. She’s already published those here and on Twitter.

      I¡d actually hope it wasn’t “too late”.

      • noevilstar

        She has every right to post anything she likes on her own blog (thank you, Internet/USA). But, “deserves” is a bit strong.

      • noevilstar

        Look, I love AFP, but I disagree with her choice here. She’s not perfect. She does, however, respect her fans enough to know that we won’t all agree with every opinion, love every song, etc., etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/arcane.asylum Arcane Asylum

    I see it, I get it, and it is as haunting and real as it is beautiful… In a week wrapped in as much tragedy as heroism and triumph, it is poignant to read at this close of the week.. Shame that people can’t see past their preconceptions… Thank you..

  • aussieblonk

    This is one time we can agree to disagree. Doubt trying to see things through the eyes of Dzhokhar, makes it a poem, more like an opinion he’s been poorly treated. He must be scared, NOW, but look at it from the point of view…if he were dead. No remorse equals no compassion, yet the ‘H’ word is rarely used in my presence. My sons are 25 & 10, obviously I look at this from the parents angle, and would like to think this young man was led astray, rather than evil. However, it was he who took the last breath from his brother, so let us deal with facts, because justice will prevail. In closing I say, bravo Amanda Palmer for at least caring enough to honestly opine..

    • theshamburglar

      I thought you said you were 19.

  • Eericski

    I have two younger brothers and when I first heard of these guys, I thought of how I felt responsible for them when we were growing up. I pictured a kid looking up to his brother and trusting him. Following him into something dark and horrendous. Then he’s dead. Then you’re alone to stand for this murder and mayhem. Just my personal take. Then I read this poem and I felt like someone else saw a glimpse of that too. Thanks. And from another bard “what’s so funny about peace love and understanding?”

  • amethyst

    I’m a bit shocked at how many people are protesting this poem on the basis that is a difficult viewpoint to sympathize with, or an unfair perspective to raise. This is why we have poetry, people. To help us recognize something familiar but also to let us think about it in a different way. Don’t get angry with those who raise thoughts or concerns simply because they’re hard ones to think about.

  • http://campylobacter.livejournal.com/ campylobacter

    Heartbreaking and raw. Perfectly expresses my own need to practice compassion & empathy instead of the impulse to express anger through lack of forgiveness & revenge.

  • sybilll

    I will risk being banned from Disqus for this, but ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY?

  • Sarah Jane

    People fail to realize you’re not equating empathy with justification. Thank you for seeing the innate humanity of us all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Thorpe/586231267 Dan Thorpe

    I stop sympathisizing with someone the second they decide to blow up a bomb in the middle of hundreds of innocent people.

  • http://twitter.com/jszehr Jeremy S. Zehr

    That kid is no victim. Want proof? Look at that callous smirk on his face, standing just a few feet from the backpack bomb he put practically beneath the feet of Martin Richard. No sympathy is necessary for the devil.

  • BM

    I am nineteen years old, the same age as Dzhokhar. I have an older brother that I look up to and would do anything for; he is my emergency contact, my go-to person for any problems I have. He helped me move into college and I spend endless hours with him just hanging out. There was so many influences around Dzhokhar that we could never know. The one line “you don’t know how to mourn your dead brother” sums up completely what, in my opinion, is what happened in this tragedy. Dzhokhar helped his brother and once he got sucked in, there was no way out. I would help my brother, especially if he was all I had. However, personally I would not agree to help him bomb or kill anyone, and I would probably help him seek professional help. But, I do not know Dzhokhar enough to say I hate him. I hate the pain he caused, the injuries, and the deaths – but, I do not hate him.

  • TMDesign

    Wow, a poem written for an alleged terrorist. It’s amazing to see what people will do for the sake of “art.” Because, surely “art” would never show sympathy for, you know, THE PEOPLE HE KILLED. No, let’s honor the mass murderer.

    A little side note: Adolf Hitler was also a failed artist—but I guess that wouldn’t matter to you, because “art” trumps the value of an American life.

    • lol

      godwin’s law, game over

    • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

      Apparently when art is immoral, it ceases to be art, then? Because roman circus spectacles were art, and I’m not very fond of the part about lions raping women!

      I guess when a house is immoral, it ceases to be a house too. Yay, lets’ throw everything we don’t personally like or agree with into the void of nonexistance!

      I’ll begin with you: your “opinion” isn’t an opinion. Hell, you are not an “internet poster”! You are a “person” amidst quotation marks!

      Thank you, quotation marks, God bless you, for allowing me to so easily other-ify others.

    • wilder125

      Or for everyone not just. As Amanda’s said several times.

      • TMDesign

        Oh, my mistake, it’s for everyone. That’s really weird, because I could’ve sworn the title was A POEM FOR DZHOKHAR. Or something.

    • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

      I’ve seen a lot of comments like this, but here’s the thing. Feelings for the victims are easy to access and process. They are automatic and uncomplicated.

      For some, the feelings about the perpetrators are just as uncomplicated — they are evil, they did evil, they deserve to have evil done to them, and anyone who thinks otherwise or thinks, at all, is aligned with evil.
      For others, it’s a far more difficult thing to process feelings about young people who go terribly wrong and commit heinous acts. Whether it’s Lee Boyd Malvo, under the dominant thumb of the sexually abusive John Mohammed in the DC sniper shootings, or this young man who turned from a fun-loving high school student to a mass murderer under the influence of his radicalized brother. For the people who have these feelings, writing is a way to process this complicated tumult of compassion and revulsion and abhorrence and sadness.

  • dunst43

    You know how easy it is to kill an 8 year old and then a cop.

    You know how easy it is to stone a rape victim for not marrying her rapist.

    You smell the acid burned flesh of a girl going school.

    You read the Koran and know that you have the blessing of Allah.

    Well done Amanda Palmer. Here are some lines to consider for inclusion in your poem, you privileged cunt.

    • Damo

      ? Try reading the christian bible or maybe the mormon book of mystical tales…religion is a means for the weak-minded to find solace in a world they don’t understand. Religion is control. Religion is a joke. Free your mind and free your life…learn to think for yourself.

      • dunst43

        High five Damo!! Glad to see your view of the Koran is the same as mine. I’ll quote you…” Religion is control. Religion is a joke. Free your mind and free your life…learn to think for yourself.” By that you’re saying that Mohammed is a fraud. Awesome.

        • damo

          I think that mohammed, jesus, joseph smith, jim jones, billy graham, the jew god, are all frauds…people point at islam, but how about ‘dem crusadey thing? how did that work out for ya?

          • dunst43

            Damo the crusades happened to free Jews and Christians from Islam. The Religion of Peace was not very friendly to those who had not given up their humanity. Read the Koran Damo.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robby-Cunningham/100001223538990 Robby Cunningham

            Who the fuck cares? The last person to participate in the crusades died what, 750 years ago?

            Or did you just not notice the difference between 1250 and 2013?

            The next time Christians, regarding it as an act pleasing to Jesus, fly planes into buildings or set bombs in front of little kids, feel free to bring up the crusades. Until then just please shut the fuck up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.meyer.564 Richard Meyer

    He killed his own brother by running him over with the car during the getaway. He killed an 8 year-old boy.

  • BrotherMatthias

    Fuck you, Andrea Palmer.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      they call me HELL!
      they call me STACEY!
      they call me HER!…

      THAT’S NOT MY NAME!
      THAT’S NOT MY NAME!

      • Damo

        We know, it’s Amanda…says so in your blog title.

      • Marionette26

        Holy shit. I love you. Best response ever.

      • miserichik

        *snicker* Thanks Amanda, I nearly spit my cereal out on my monitor *giggle*

    • lentower

      Wrong blog.

      Andrea’s is elsewhere!

    • wilder125

      Her name is Andrea?

  • Wazoo

    I’d really like a donut right now.

  • Rachel

    Art = sometimes provoking. If you read the poem properly, she’s not condoning anything. Just commentating. She’s imagining the other side. If Art was meant to be happy fairy floss then it would be. But since dark things exist in the world, dark art must be made to explore WHY it exists

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.meyer.564 Richard Meyer

    He did this because of Radical Islam. He did it for Jihad. He wasn’t just a “mixed-up kid who had abad day.”

    • Linus

      He told you this, did he? And if you’re right that it was about Jihad, isn’t that a pretty mixed-up thing for a kid to have gotten involved in.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robby-Cunningham/100001223538990 Robby Cunningham

        He doesn’t have to tell anyone anything; we know all about his brother. If his brother had lured him into neo-Nazism instead of Islamism, would you be calling it a “pretty mixed-up thing for a kid to have gotten involved in”?

        • lentower

          At this stage, we know little about either brother.

          You’re just adding more hate, that will generate more hate.

        • Linus

          Yes. Clearly neo-Nazism is messed up. As is a reading of Islam that suggests setting off bombs is ok. A kid who has gotten himself involved with such things is pretty mixed up. We don’t know everything about his brother or the nature of their relationship.

  • http://twitter.com/lacedtight Crazy Cat Lady

    The blind hatred directed by some at this man and his brother, the vicious joy at violence directed towards them, the calls for their deaths, the demands to bomb countries they aren’t even from… I have despaired of America this week. I had to temporarily unfollow @yesyoureracist because the blind violent hate and inaccurate racial slurs were making me too angry. I was beginning to think the US was populated only by short-sighted hypocrites with an unquenchable blood-lust. Thanks for this poem. It reminds me that so many people in America care more than just about their own citizens. It makes me sad all over again that people are throwing more hate at you for it. Surely there are more choices than “with us or against us”, “hate him with us or we’ll hate you”.

    My take on this poem is that it is a groping attempt to make sense of what happened, of what’s happening, not only in this case but around the world. And what has always happened. Why do people, why do WE, commit violent acts against strangers? Why did this occur?

    Reducing the humanity of an attacker is always an easy way of disassociating ourselves with them. If Hitler walked around laughing evilly and steepling his fingers that would be fine; it makes us uncomfortable to see him flirting self-deprecatingly or playing with the dog he loved. Because then he’s like US, and if HE is like US, then…. what are we capable of? So much easier if these people are all just inhuman monsters, bad all the way through, because then we don’t have to wonder about all the people in our lives, about ourselves, about whether Dzhokhar felt fear or even regret.

  • gretchen

    It’s not even any good.

  • elblooz

    This is pretty hilarious. Such overreaction.
    My take on what the poem says: “you poor sap, you didn’t know this, you didn’t see that, and now you’re screwed”. I see neither love nor hate in it, just bald statement of fact.
    People who are gong nuts over this ought to just set it aside for a few weeks and come back to it when they are calmer.
    Really, it’s niether that great or that bad a poem to be worth calling someone names about.

  • RomanCandle

    Questionable grammar and ignorantly spouting off awful things just to get a rise out of people: poets and internet trolls have alot in common.

    • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

      O mind-reading critic, please tell us more about what the writer’s intentions clearly were! We long for being enlightened by your superhuman capacity of observation!

  • http://twitter.com/meltinghalo Christine

    Because it’s easier to write thoughts on my own blog. #NoHate #AllLove http://meltinghalo.typepad.com/blog/2013/04/mediocre-thoughts-on-a-big-topic.html

    • lentower

      Well written.

      Thank you.

  • Dezz

    When I was 19 my life was full of pain. All my bridges were burning. I had nobody and I had nothing, nothing but rage and pain. I was so mad at the world..
    It’s been a long time, things are good now.
    But when I heard about this kid on the news, I couldn’t help but think back to those years. I could have done what he did. I would have done what he did, without any political or religeous agenda, just to see the world burn and hurt and cry. I wanted to.
    I didn’t do anything horrific in the end. I met some people who were kind to me, strangers with no motives other than compassion, no hidden agendas other than making the world a nicer place for others.
    Now I can’t help but wonder, maybe if someone had been kind to this boy…
    I try to be kind to strangers these days.

  • http://twitter.com/skullmandible Cohen is a ghost

    holy cats this is trite

  • Go Ahead, Call Me a Hater

    I can understand why the focus of the responses here have been on the gesture of the poem. You obviously knew it would be provocative.

    But I don’t have a problem with a worthy attempt to empathize even with the most rightfully reviled among us. A good poem empathizing with this guy could be powerful and meaningful.

    But … this is an awful poem. Cliche entwined with precious nonsense. Totally apart from subject matter, just utterly, flailingly, miserably unequal to the challenge it sets out to handle.

    The bland, half-baked attempts to interweave the dramatic isolation of his participation in the attack and its fall-out with everyday details the reader is supposed to relate to is just so, so, so clumsy and inartful. There’s barely any attempt at evocative language, careful diction or powerful imagery (an iPhone in a boat is the only one I can even remember–blech). Flabby and precious. More an exercise in courting attention than anything real. Awful.

    • poetess

      Yes, it’s atrocious. The worst part is that a good poet could manage this. This is not a poem; it’s absurd blather. And this drivel stinks of classism and privilege. Conflating concerns about iPhones and other people’s dissertations with imagined thoughts about murdering your brother and trying to commit suicide. People, PLEASE don’t imagine this is POETRY!

      • Blurry

        Because you’re such a credible judge of what is and isn’t poetry, right?
        Everything said on the internet is truth, right?

    • wilder125

      I love blogs don’t you. People can drabble on them.

    • http://twitter.com/_TeDiouS_ Tom Steiger

      What I like about this is that it is a critique of the poem itself as a work of poetry, and not an attack on the poet or her fans. If you want to be called a hater you’ll have to try harder than that .

  • elykr

    This is lovely

  • http://twitter.com/dharawal bitchbegrumpy

    I come from Tasmania, until the horrific events in Sweden, Tasmania had the dubious honour of being the place where the world’s worst massacre by a lone gunman took place. Martin Bryant killed over 30 people in a rampage that spanned over 12 hours. He deliberately stalked and shot two defenceless young girls and their mother. He ruined the lives of countless families and has left a deep seated wound that even now some 17 years later has still not healed and probably won’t.

    At the time I was paralysed by fear because my home state is a small one, about 500,000 people and we all knew someone who had been shot or we all knew someone who knew someone. Even in my deepest fear and terror I did not hate Martin Bryant, I don’t hate him now.

    My hate will not bring back those who were lost, it won’t make him feel remorse or make him wish he’d chosen another path, what it would have done was consume me and made me a lesser person.

    That would indeed have been letting him win.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1443701982 Michael Lee Russell

    Oh God, Amanda, why? Didn’t you get that the conservative backlash would be hateful and fierce? Or are you going into it this time with your eyes open and unafraid? I will back your play either way, but dancing on the third rail is more excitement than I would personally care for…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Thorpe/586231267 Dan Thorpe

      This his has nothing to do with politics. This is about showing sympathy for the victims not the criminal.

      • Linus

        Isn’t it possible to do both?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Thorpe/586231267 Dan Thorpe

          Not IMO, when he set of that bomb he lost my sympathy. Everyone has trouble in their life, a person with morals and decency don’t kill people in response.

          • Linus

            That is fair comment, I think. Thanks for expressing your view with dignity and without vitriol too. I don’t personally read anything in the poem that contradicts your second sentence. I think seeking to understand another person’s experience is always worthwhile. I think its important to ask questions about what is the response that is gonna help us be the kind of people we want to be and what is the response that’s gonna make our society the kind of community we want to live in. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

        • lentower

          Yes, it is possible to do both.

          Many people who have commented here, do and have.

  • Just_a_Bystander

    What a load of horse droppings.

  • Amanda’s Meth Straw

    Less meth.
    More eyebrows.
    A shower, too.
    Brush you teeth.
    Comb your hair.
    Bippity, boppity boo.

    • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

      “I have nothing rational to say
      so I’ll just attack your personal hygiene,
      even though I know
      nothing about that
      or about the drugs,
      but I know enough
      about shaming people through criticizing their appearance.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.north.927 Cindy North

      Hahahahahahahah

  • http://twitter.com/skullmandible Cohen is a ghost

    A POEM FOR AMANDA

    Look

    Look At Me

    Look At Me Motherfucker

    Everyone Look At Amanda

    Amanda Amanda Amanda

    Have You Heard About My Art Book

    Have You Heard About My Art Book

    Have You Heard About My Art Book

    Have You Heard About My Art Book

  • http://twitter.com/buckleysangel Glico Morinaga

    You are such a talentless sack of shit I often get you confused with Zoe Boekbinder.

  • ami tabha

    UnlessYouHaveLosABeloved

  • leon

    I had never heard of Amanda Palmer until I read this, good job using this to get your name out there… Oh yea those guys should have self immolated if they wanted to make a statement at least then the only people killed would have been themselves

  • ABoleynGirl

    You have your priorities (and sympathies) badly out of whack.

    Also, please don’t embarrass your second grade teacher any further by not using correct capital letters.
    e.e. cummings you ain’t.

  • James

    So it seems the lasting legacy of the Boston bombings is excruciatingly bad poetry bookended by PayPal donation buttons.

    • wilder125

      Or the site already had it and the coding has to be changed so the button won’t appear in it.

    • Tansy

      . i put a lot of time and effort into this blog and want you to have it and read it for free. if you want to give me some help for the time and effort, THANK YOU. you can either kick me back directly through paypal using the button below, or if you want to take some MUSIC TOO (even better, yay!) go to the store section and kick me back through paying what you want for an album or a song.

    • lentower

      One of which provides a way to donate to the bombing victims.

      Have you?

  • ObamaVoters

    Amanda
    you don’t know how big of a moron you really are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucy.collingwood1 Lucy Collingwood

    Oh dear, Amanda, you’ve woken the horde.
    Good luck!

  • http://twitter.com/monster19nazi Korey Flad

    I find this poem a really interesting and thoughtful exploration of how blinding narcissism and gluttonous self-indulgence can mislead someone into thinking that sharing their vapid inner monologue is more important than silently respecting the families of the recently dead and maimed.

  • piss

    you suck

  • butters

    so strange to see all the fascism on display in the comments, in response to such a compassionate piece… but perhaps not surprising. people dont know how to feel the complexity of this… so the only response is a phantom one. eye for an eye in the name of lack of imagination… of any real human emotion.

  • Lacy

    I’m reading a book right now called A Human Being Died that Night by Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, a psychologist who worked with South Africa’s TRC and conducted a series of interviews with Eugene de Kock, the commander of state-sanctioned “death-squads” during Apartheid. In it, she struggles with her own growing feelings of empathy for a man who was directly responsible for murdering countless South Africans and causing huge amounts of terror and pain in the process.

    She is writing about a very specific model of justice, since the TRC granted amnesty to perpetrators, but it still seems relevant to this discussion. She writes: “Although forgiveness is often regarded as an expression of weakness, the decision to forgive can paradoxically elevate a victim to a position of strength…forgiveness does not overlook the deed: it rises above it. “This is what it means to be human,” it says. “I cannot and will not return the evil you inflicted on me.” And that is the victim’s triumph.”

    This echoes what many have said about countering hate with love and so on, but Gobodo-Madikizela personalizes her relationship as a black South African with an “evil” man who terrorized so many South Africans on behalf of the state, and I think that her own reflections on remaining open to forgiveness as a mark of strength and humanity are a powerful lesson in how we can learn to heal after horrible injustice. It’s certainly not an endorsement of forgiveness on a legal level, in this case, but perhaps on a personal level. Also I recommend the book.

  • Fact

    I would have finished this poem, but I stabbed my eyes out before I could

    • Linus

      Your typing is very good for a newly blinded person. Well done.

      • Fact

        Thanks!

  • damaia

    Most of the time, I get what goes on in this space. I can always count on coming here to read something interesting, although I’m not sure I can even call myself a proper fan, either of Amanda’s or of the Dresden Dolls before that. However, this “poem” reads exactly like what it is; something dashed off in ten minutes and slapped on the web. It feels like a soulless attention grab, something designed to generate exactly this sort of controversy. It feels like trolling.

    I get that this was an attempt to understand what this man did. I get that writing it was an attempt to process. But writing it and posting it are two completely different acts. One does not necessarily have to follow the other. And that’s what makes me wonder. Why post this, and why post it now, less than a week after several brutal murders and the maiming of dozens more? Is there something in this public act of murder that demanded an artistic response? Did it seem like fucked up performance art, maybe? Why did this particular senseless act of violence (one extremist bombing in the dozens that have already taken place this year around the world) demand that a “poem” be posted? I mean, write it. By all means, write it if it helps to process, or calms you down, or whatever. That’s what private expression is for. But that has nothing to do with posting it. Posting it fills a totally different need, and I’d love to know what that was in this case, because I can’t imagine expecting any other response than the anger and pain here to posting this piece this soon.

    I look forward to a long explanatory post in the near future.

    • miserichik

      I don’t feel that she has to explain her reasoning to anyone. Poetry is a way to get feelings out so they don’t fester. I think that, by the looks of this comment section, everyone will believe what they want to believe whether Amanda “explains” it or not. Posting a poem is posting her feelings. Feelings that don’t follow YOUR rules or regulations. Why should she feel the need to justify her feelings?

  • Another Brad

    I mean, if sympathy for a terrorist wasn’t enough, this is not even a poem. Whatever it is, it’s shitty. Very, very shitty.

  • Hunchie

    I read this poem when it was posted earlier today. I had to digest this and did so, away from the computer. Later, I saw the explosion of tweets, comments, re-tweets etc. hate, love all reactions from people, and AFP. I watched the nova of responses, filled with bitterness and/or serious support. I kept seeing “read it again” posted. I kept thinking to myself, “Wow. I must have interpreted these words way differently than anyone else.” I saw this all on my twitter feed. This led me to do just that-read it again. I just re-read this again, hours later. I still~still see it simply in my head, as Amanda writing out words, emotions she felt driving to NY. I could be so wrong. I could be so right. I don’t quite grasp the hatred comments. “The pronoun you is a personal pronoun, second person, singular or plural, subjective or objective.” I guess, even re-reading this a second time, now a third time, I see the popcorn popping of thoughts being written out, trying to make sense and at the same time~random. To me, it made me reflect on anyone, even myself. As the reader, you interpret the meaning. Yet you don’t know the true meaning of what was written unless you are the writer. Sounds silly, I spose, but has anyone ever seen the movie Finding Forester? How disappointing, to read that someone suggested for her (Amanda) to stop writing. Makes me shake my head. Boston is a highly emotional topic right now. This is a very tragic and very real part of our lives, and we all have been affected by this tragedy. When I read this the first time, I didn’t read it as a letter, I read it as a poem. I still am reading it as a poem. xo peace.

  • http://twitter.com/hattiejdaily Hattie Daily

    In another life, I was an interrogator (military not law enforcement, so the focus was information not confession). Later, I trained other interrogators. What I did, was record people’s stories. In order to do that successfully, empathy must be the core of your process. The preparation for every interrogation begins with a process that looks very much like the poem Amanda has been kind enough to share with us. Yes, there is some science/technical skill involved, but the empathy, the humanity fuels the whole thing. Without taking a glimpse at the world through a person’s particular filter, even if they have committed a heinous and unthinkable act, we cannot open the dialogue. I spoke to a lot of young men, who were in similar situations, and all of their stories read like this poem. The people who will be questioning Dzhokhar over the ensuing weeks, will take themselves through a process much like the imagery/ideas/thoughts reflected in this poem.
    So there’s an absurd irony in some of the hateful language being thrown around here and on Twitter, because the very process these people are so furious about, is the process that will record this young man’s story, which will be admitted into court as evidence. The only difference is, they are not permitted to share their process with the world. So, if we follow the advice of some folks here and label him and silence him, he cannot be brought to justice.
    It’s easy to say “fuck him, he’s a scumbag.” The hard job, the scary job, is swallowing the pain/fear that makes us assign those labels and wish for vengeance, and taking an honest look into a very unpleasant and unfamiliar place. It is how we tell the story. It is how we move forward. And it is how we make a world in which fewer people find themselves at this place.
    Hate is the language of cowardice, and the antithesis of progress. Empathy is the language of bravery, and the map we use to get out of a dark place.

    • http://twitter.com/hattiejdaily Hattie Daily

      Also, for those accusing Amanda of making it all about her. That’s another key part of the process: taking stock in your own biases, doubts, beliefs, confusion, etc. Dialogue happens between more than one entity, so all involved must be prepared for some self exploration.

      • Alex

        I agree with you, but Amanda doesn’t, and I think that’s what’s triggering so much of the anger in this post. The top comments suggest that she’s writing based on her own assumptions and bias, and she told them that they were wrong, but provided no explanation or response. I have no problem with her standing behind her work, but responding to criticism by saying ‘no, you’re wrong, you don’t get it’ is juvenile.

    • The Green Devil

      Really? You felt empathy towards those you interrogated? Or were you merely feigning it so they would think you were the “good cop” who understood them so they would help you do your job and obtain the information you desired?

  • Another Amanda

    While I know you don’t care what some tiny person you’ve never met thinks but, wow: I’d been a fan of yours going back some years and I never thought I would lose respect for you to this degree. Sure, sometimes, stuff comes out of your mouth that I wish hadn’t. The same thing happens to myself all the damned time. But you had a choice here and this was not a good situation in which to to take such an enormous risk because you risk really genuinely hurting people who like you. It makes somebody like me, who really likes you not sure if it’s even vaguely ethical to acknowledge your art.

    The above poem was written in incredibly bad taste [in its timing and artistic aims]. If you were maybe 18 years old and not aware of the dangers of opening your mouth on the internet and typing your knee-jerk emotions, I might be able to laugh this one off. You and I both are too old for this. You can’t tell me that you wrote something with such a provocative a title and subject and thought that audiences would understand this, given the emotional timbre of…say…the news right now. You can’t tell me that you reasonably expected those audiences to conclude that this poem is a moving piece of art about how we’re all misunderstood and prone to mistakes, sometimes big ones.

    Art or no, sometimes it’s best to wait before putting something like this out there. Let it sit. Develop. Become nuanced. Complicated in the way the issue is complicated. I know artists need to be strong, to believe in themselves…but they also need to listen when someone is trying to tell them what they sound like to another person [even though this might not seem like “help”]…From one Amanda to another, this poem …needed more time and work. I guess you can argue that you’re being “historic” in recording your immediate feelings, but really, is it wise to put that on the internet like this? Is this how you want to come off to the public? The artist who felt that her personal artistic take on the bombings was more important than having some sensitivity to BOTH sides of the issue [including those the presses happen to be siding with]? You’ll probably argue that you are being sensitive to the “more misunderstood” parties in this issue; that you’re offering understanding for those that are getting the fuzzy end of the lollypop…but really? Seriously? Are you sure you want to be sympathizing with people who bomb things? Don’t get me wrong — I went to Berkeley, I’m a protest kid, but hell — isn’t there a point where one has to draw a line in the sand and say “some things are not ok”? What if it wasn’t the Boston Marathon…what if it was one of your shows? Would you write a poem for the kid who blew off that fan in the front row’s legs because they’re “misunderstood” and getting shit in the media?

    It pains me to complain, but I feel really strongly about this one. Art, true art, art that matters and hits where it counts often is aware of its most basic counterarguments and contradictions and addresses them. Ok, you’re sympathetic to kids in Dzhokhar’s state of confusion…but what about the realities of what he did? A stronger piece would be clear-headed about this, would not just wash away the gravity of this situation…and moreover, would show how empathy still matters in spite of these realities. You might feel like you’ve done all of this…but I’m telling you: it didn’t work for me. Consider me totally alienated and ethically uncomfortable with supporting your work further.

    • Marionette26

      AGGHHH. You’re such a troll! Stop copying and pasting other people’s posts! That’s just weird.

      • Another Amanda

        For the record, I wrote this post myself and have *only* posted it once. I think there’s something with the format of the discussion board that causes posts to recirculate to the top when voted up. I did not copy and paste anything from anywhere; these are my actual feelings. Essentially, this is my break-up letter to Amanda and it’s been placed publicly to allow anyone who agrees with it to say so [or vote up]. While some of my sentiments are reiterated elsewhere in other comments, any direct similarity in wording is purely coincidental. And btw, namecalling is super-uncool, given that I didn’t call you or Amanda any names in my post.

    • Amanda Palmer

      I feel the need to make an official artist statement regarding this controversial poem: I regret nothing. As an artist I am free to make any assumptions I choose and create on those personal, whether unpopular, based wholly on those assumptions. I am Dhzokar. You are Dhzokar. Yin, Yang. The offense by the lot of you is taken is proof to me that my work is powerful, that many sympathize with this poor boys misguided attempt at his “15 minutes” whether or not they feel comfortable admitting it to themselves. I’ve had mine and, let me tell you, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. My personal bomb was my music and now, this poem. His personal bomb was a literal bomb. Is there really much of a difference? People have said my music hit them like a bomb and many in other parts of the world hear the sounds bombs make as music, a soundtrack to their lives. And if assuming we all have iPhones and eat thai food is hardly an assumption…Have you travelled Boston? I’ve walked these wartorn streets and sang for the cities beaten-down lower class for hardly any pay. I have worked hard to get Boston’s name on the map and I don’t feel it was so bad to use Boston to help put my name back on the map. I regret nothing…
      Not so sorry,
      Amanda Palmer

      PS-Fans stay tuned for some new iTunes exclusive tracks this summer. Only $1.99 per track!

      • dtu

        hahahaha!

  • millie lammoreaux

    I mean, it’s just a horrible poem.

    I can’t even address whatever political comment is being made because the poem is incoherent.

    Agh.

    • miserichik

      Why does it have to have a political spin on it? Does Amanda need to make her art political? Ridiculous statement.

  • http://twitter.com/walluminati Steamin Willy Beamin

    Amanda Palmer is what they call her
    She writes poems for people who do terror
    I guess Dzhokar was misunderstood
    A few people died but to you its all good
    There is one thing you forgot to mention
    He did it for Jihad, but you wrote this for attention

    Go to hell you dumb cunt. I hope your art fails.

  • http://twitter.com/Nihilo888 R.C.

    I love this poem, AFP. Compassion & human connection without exclusion is hard for a
    sarcastic & frustrated society. Bad TV, movies and a shitload of other media outlets have taught the lazy-minded that there are black and white answers to everything. To THINK for one’s self, to consider circumstances beyond what’s printed in ink (newspapers & Internet) it required in order to BEGIN to see what’s happening. People are more sheepish than they will ever realize. Was Hitler a “bad” baby? No. Every child is innocent and pure. Everyone has teachers for ill and naught or for the betterment of society. Fault and guilt is not an easy picture to paint no matter how tempting it is to jump to easy sheep-minded conclusions. Patience is needed for everyone – e v e r y o n e (critics, trolls, the naive and blessed).

  • BrotherMatthias

    Typical Northampton-Amherst left-wing crap.

    • Damo

      Is this coming from a typical cousin-marryin’, NRA member, southern, pick-up truck driving, conservative right-wing, bible thumper?

      • ObamaVoters

        is this coming from an Amanda Palmer hairy armpit sniffer?

        • Damo

          no, it’s coming from a mittens romney underwear inhaler

  • nate

    All of you are the reason we will never win the war on terror. All of your “understanding” and “caring” and “open mindedness.” Dont you understand, terrorists dont want to understand, they dont care, and they are some of the most closed minded people of the planet. They want us dead, for no other reason than we are westerners or Jews. You cant reason with that. You cant understand that. All you can do is defend yourself from it. I know this poem wasnt necessarily about terrorism, but the comments are all repeating about how if we could just understand, it would be all good. Its not us, its the people that want us dead.

    • http://twitter.com/MissShivvers Siobhán

      Extremism is born out of many things, but mainly desperation. There are those powerful and corrupt individuals who prey on others and abuse their faith to turn them to a view of extremism. To say that those people who have been manipulated have no other motivation other than that of racism or sectarianism is a fallacy that speaks to an ignorance of the complex situations that extremist groups originate from.

      There is no question that what happened in Boston was anything other than a deplorable act. No one commenting here can condone those acts, no matter how much anyone attempts to humanize the perpetrators. There is ultimately no defense.

      However, to assume that there are no deeper motivations, however misguided or ill-informed those motivations may be, is wrong. We will never be able to stop these things happening if we don’t attempt to figure out what these people are “fighting against”.

  • M

    Amanda,

    I know a lot of people are coming down hard on you for this, accusing you of wanting to make this tragedy about you, or of wrongfully empathizing with this kid. I just wanted to say that I get it; I get that this poem is about you and your way of processing the events, and maybe that’s “making it about you” in a way that people don’t love, but shit, it’s your blog. It’s kind of about you by default.

    And I don’t think it’s ever wrong to try to empathize. It doesn’t mean you’re condoning his actions or making assumptions about who he is or his motivations. You’re just processing it the way that you do, which is by making art. Some people process by complaining on the internet about the actions of others. I know which I’d rather read.

  • Jacalyn

    I first want to say that this poem has left me feeling the same way I have felt all week: confused, and sad. This world is an imperfect place.People do evil things. I can somewhat understand this conversation about empathy, about feeling compassion for the suspect. He is a teenager,and by all accounts seemed to be a good person. However, So many people have been killed and injured and forever changed this week,and allegedly because of his actions. Therefore, my empathy lies with his victims. As a mom of a sweet baby boy, my heart is shattered when I think of Martin and when I see the picture of him and the suspect behind him, the bomb off to the side. Martin was only eight years old. HE was innocent. HE is who is deserving of my tears. The suspect will have his day in court. He will pay for his heinous crimes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robby-Cunningham/100001223538990 Robby Cunningham

    I don’t understand why people are getting so worked up over something that is so banal. It’s a bad poem, everybody needs to get over it. Which is NOT to criticize Amanda Palmer for writing it or putting it up on the internet. It is to criticize it as just expressions of alienation over and over again, until the mind grows numb. But maybe it is not even correct to criticize it. But then again, it was put in the public square, so to speak. There are a lot of ways to think about this poem, but I don’t think the way that leads to criticizing it for allegedly expressing sympathy (I don’t think it does) for Dzhokar is a valid one. I perceived it as – perhaps unintentionally – being more damning of Dzhokar than anything else. There’s also a very harsh perspective in the text towards the older brother, Tamerlan.

    And what do you expect with the first half-dozen lines, that adds the faux-sophistication that is necessary to the ego.

  • XYZ

    I read this and then got to the bottom and thought the window where you could donate money was going to something related to the Boston bombings. Then I realized that it’s just asking to give Amanda money….?

    • Mary Jane

      it appears on every post, it’s part of how this community supports an artist they love. it has nothing to do with the content of this particular post.

    • lentower

      Amanda and her team, has since added a “window” pointing to

      http://onefundboston.org/

      The main place to make donations to help the bombing victims.

  • Dan

    Every line starts, “you don’t know…” How is pointing at ignorance sympathy? It neither condemns nor excuses the bomber’s actions, it appears to me to put his person-hood in relief when most responses to such extreme acts flatten humanity in the face of the grief he is responsible for.

  • AnonByExample

    Amanda Palmer taking any excuse she can to put herself at the center of attention + controversy? What a shock. Congrats on another ‘edgy’ post!

  • beccafran

    if you want to get inside someone’s head and write a sympathetic poem try the father of the murdered 8 year old boy who also has a six year old daughter who had a leg blown off and a wife with brain injuries.
    he will be dealing with the effects of this unfathomable tragedy every moment of every single day the rest of his life. what moral equation can calculate the difference between the chosen suffering of the bomber with the innocent tragedy of this family?

  • amanda mckittrick ros

    you don’t know how to write poetry

  • Dezz

    It takes a very brave person
    To feel comassion for someone
    Who does not deserve it
    in the eyes of society.
    It takes an even braver person
    To voice such compassion out loud.
    Hate breeds only hate…

    • SoPleasantlyStrange

      Amazing..

  • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

    Omigod, did you guys not READ A Wrinkle in Time? When Meg had to defeat It with the one thing she had that It didn’t, and that was love?

    Or did you not see the Buffy Season Six finale, where Willow is so enraged and grieved at Tara’s shooting that she goes all scary-veiny and almost ends the world, and the only way Xander stops her is love?

    It’s like you think Amanda invented the concept of empathy just to piss people off. it’s called processing, it’s called coping. Show me the book or the show or movie that teaches the redemptive, healing power of hatred.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robby-Cunningham/100001223538990 Robby Cunningham

      World War II was pretty healing, that whole Nazi infection was wiped out by plenty of good old homemade hatred, from America and Russia and Britain and France… or do you believe that the Nazis were not hated by the United Nations?

      • Linus

        Yeah, and we almost lost our souls in the process; e.g. the bombing of Dresden. But you can fight evil without resorting to hate: What the allies largely achieved in WW2 was not just victory but to choose justice and compassion over revenge and hatred. That is why today Germany is part of the family of nations again, and full of people who have a positive impact in the world.

  • jennifer626

    A waste of the 2 minutes I spent scanning this crap, the time everyone else spent reading it, and the server space dedicated to hosting it. More than just “bad” but tasteless and self-indulgent. I’m not tweeting about how soul-sucking this was because I don’t want to expose anyone else to your thoughtless, egotistical attempt at humanizing a man who was pure evil.

    • miserichik

      But you didn’t mind wasting time to post about it?

      • jennifer626

        Nope.

      • jennifer626

        Nope.

      • jennifer626

        Nope.

  • insignifikunt

    i love this line of the poem because i’m sure many can relate to it… I do.

    you don’t know how claustrophobic your house is until you can’t leave it.

    right now i am finding emotions really difficult to experience due to medication but this line really hit me and not because of Boston which may have been the intent of the poem but we all take what we want from art

  • Page

    (Sigh) Amanda, has there ever been a media event that you didn’t hijack for your own media coverage? This one, you really should have left alone. I won’t lower myself to name-calling and all that horseshit, but seriously….for once, couldn’t you have just backed away and kept silent? This was a horrible act by despicable people who MURDERED a child. You feel the need to write a POEM? No. Write a secret journal entry. Go to a church and light a candle. But for once, for ONCE, leave the Media Whore behind and just mourn like the rest of us.

    • http://twitter.com/Personal_key Jade V

      People have a way with dealing with things. Art is one way to deal with this. She, and many others, choose to write and create in order to deal with things. She mourns with us. How is it wrong that she wants to connect with everyone and allow everyone to connect with each other? Now stop trolling.

    • AT

      I don’t have a problem with her writing poems about her feelings, but her responses to the top comments are disgusting – Responding to constructive criticism with a ‘no, you’re wrong’ is ridiculous. How is that love and not hate?

    • wilder125

      When did this pop up in the Media. Oh wait, i forgot. the internet is classified as media, even though the true media is all the blah blah news stations and newspapers which are usually where most of the internet news and opinion posters get their news from.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bridgetamc Bridget McGraw-Bordeaux

      dude you’re asking the impossible. i mean, one thing that is both awesome and cringe worthy is that Amanda has never shown self restraint. in some ways this has made her art awesome and honest, and then in others, we end up with stuff like this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=665096992 Brian Stevens

      Mourn like the rest of us?

      We each mourn in our unique way and shouldn’t receive criticism for our choice. When I go through bad times, I have to find a piano. If she chooses to write poems, so be it.

      If anyone thinks for one second that Amanda Palmer is praising this man, you’re the one who has lost it. Just sit back and calm down and do something productive. Walk away from the Internet. There is no need to get mad at strangers.

      Such behavior never brings about anything good in the world.

  • IDontReallyWantaUsername

    I find myself apparently at odds with most of the detractors of this piece. I agree with the sentiments behind it, at least as I perceive them – empathy for him, recognition of the similarities between him and us, etc. I just don’t like the poem.

    Why things that the subject (Dzhokhar, the reader, whoever we want to call them) doesn’t know? Why the repetition? I assume the commonplace things were there to signify his similarity to us, but I found them clunky. The ones about the soft rolls and the dissertation seemed particularly out of place. They presumably apply to the reader or the general “you,” not Dzhokhar, but they just don’t seem to have a clear purpose. All I can puzzle out of the dissertation one is an idea of lack of understanding of others, which is interesting but does not seem to be a strong theme throughout the rest of the poem. The choice of things to mention on the whole seems a bit haphazard, as if some of them were just included because they belong to a certain category – as if a certain number of everyday references were needed, and the same of Dzhokhar-specific references, and such.

    If I’m missing something, of course, just point it out.

  • berthablue

    Thank you for posting this. I was so sad on Friday night, not only for all the people that everyone recognizes as victims, but also for the two suspects, especially for the one who ended up half-bleeding-out in a cold boat. Hunting and killing them like animals doesn’t bring anyone back, and the fact that so many people are out for blood is frightening. I couldn’t imagine the horror I would feel lying there all alone and knowing so many people hated me. I kind of wished I could teleport and hold his hand while he decided to die or kill himself or surrender or whatever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/drobin71 Darren Robinson

    I was going to post on FB but did feel like putting up with everything. Here is the post I did write: Hmmmm. Hate it or not, it posses an interesting point I have often thought about. Is it likely these persons did an unforgivable act that unfairly caused massive long term suffering to others, yes. Should he be held accountable for those actions, yes. Does he deserve a fair trial, yes. Does he deserve to be punished to the full extent of the law if found guilty, yes. Should he & his brother be turned into some type of demons, sub-humans, or some other clockwork orange? No, that is dangerous because it causes a false idea that “normal” people (or the “us”) cant do that (opposed to the “them” that can); but we can and to. Those two are/were human, just like any of us. We need to remember we are all capable of great good or great ill with the choices we make, and what ever those choices: we are still human.”

    • Kate Andrews

      Wish I could upvote this more than once.

    • lentower

      Well written.

      Thank you.

    • Wow

      They’re still human, that doesn’t mean they’re not demons. A fucking bomb was dropped at the feet of an 8 year old child with the purpose of being blown up. They’re demons. Crazy, depressed, hurt, whatever. EVERYONE has problems. Everyone. Maybe theirs were worse than some, and they in all likelihood weren’t anywhere close to being as bad as others, and they choose a sick, sick way to act out on what they were feeling and for that they are disgusting. There was no purpose to what they did, nothing was accomplished except killing and maiming innocent civilians. I used to actually be an Amanda Palmer fan, but now I just think she’s pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. You think you’re smarter than you are, you’re not.

      • http://www.facebook.com/drobin71 Darren Robinson

        wow personal attack… I sorry, I didn’t realize those feelings were so strong a biting, stinging, unprovoked attack was called for.

    • SMH

      they don’t have to be “turned into” anything, seems they did that all by themselves.

  • Kleverabevera

    This poem sucks. I generally think all poems suck though. I admire that you allowed this comment section. Not many have the “nads” to do something like that.

  • http://twitter.com/DjWeideman DjWeideman

    This man set a bomb down next to an eight-year-old child and calmly walked away. That child died. His sister lost a leg. His mother is fighting for her life. Let him burn.
    Let him burn.

  • http://twitter.com/MollyHalloran Molly Halloran

    All day during the “manhunt” I kept thinking, he must be so scared; he’s a child. What must he have been thinking all day, bleeding in that boat? I thought of myself at 19, at university in Rhode Island, thinking myself an adult but living off of mom and dad’s dollar, my biggest decision whether I would go to class or not. This boy made a decision that has effectively ended his life almost before he began to live it.

    I hear so much hatred in the world, directed at the bombers and elsewhere. I think hatred is what made them do it. It’s not that I’m sympathetic to them, I hate what they have done, but I can’t find it within me to hate them as people. The public does not want to see Dzhokhar as a living breathing human being. They want to see him as a soulless monster because it is easier to demonize him than to see him as the broken child I believe he is. The things I am saying are things the people around me don’t want to hear: my family, old friends. But I think it is important to voice your opinions, especially when they’re ones people don’t like. I’m afraid that in the rush to find justice for the lives taken and the people wounded by the bombers, that instead of justice, revenge will be sought. People are talking about the bombing as an act of war, but can two people commit an act of war? Two people aren’t a nation. Two people aren’t an army. Dzhokhar is an American citizen, whether our country wants to claim him or not, and he has certain rights. I fear that in the rush to punish him, he will be denied those rights.

    It’s not that I don’t want justice for the people who were hurt or killed in this senseless act of violence. I want the powers that be to be sure that they don’t lower their standards of conduct to the point that justice is not being served. I don’t believe in “an eye for an eye.” America has been left blind by so much eye gouging, to the fact that unconscionable acts have been committed by our own people in the name of justice. I know we don’t live in a perfect world, but shouldn’t we strive to live with peace in our hearts? Violence only begets more violence. You cannot achieve peace through war, just as you don’t achieve war through peace.

    We need to show love to those who deserve it the least, because it is they who need it the most. We must live with kindness in our hearts…even toward our enemies.

    • lentower

      Thank you.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      yes.

  • Somebody

    My best friend used to live in Boston. Her best friend–someone who was so much a part of her it couldn’t even be called friendship any more– was missing for two days after the bombs went off. The day after he was found and safe, she discovered that another kid, one who she was also close to, was good friends with the kid who planted the bombs. Usually, when a disaster hits I feel sympathy. I pity those who were hurt and those who lost. But I don’t connect and it doesn’t change me as a person. This time it did. For the first time it felt so real because I have a friend who, for her, it was very close and personal and real. And when they announced that they had caught the kid, I didn’t celebrate like I thought I would. I was kind of glad, but mostly I felt sorry for the guy 3 years older than I am who will probably live the rest of his life in prison. That shocked me–feeling like that. And for a while I thought I should feel bad for feeling that way, until I figured that I didn’t wish he’d gotten away with it. I just wish he had not had to feel like this was his only choice. I wish he had not felt like he needed to hurt so many people. I wish that this kid had realized that as much potential was inside him to do bad there was also potential to do so much good.

    Thank you for writing this poem.

    • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

      Being a real Harvard Square fixture in the past, most of my friends in the area A. live in Watertown B. Attend/went to Rindge. He lived around the corner from me in E. Cambridge. The bombing occurred on my old street when I attended Emerson. I spent most of last week in tears.
      I see no value in this little emission.

  • http://twitter.com/MoBea Mauria Ellenson

    Poetry.

  • Dr. Destiny

    Jesus Tapdancing diggingellen Christ, please shut up. Amanda wrote a poem. It’s art. You saying she doesn’t know Dz is manifest in you not knowing Amanda. Ergo, the poem is a natural extension of unknown fragments among known quantities. It’s a poem about us; what we see of ourselves in the terrorist. The thing is, there’s more than the terror in him, and in us (touch wood).

    You goading an explanation out of Amanda Palmer because you’re too narcissistic to appreciate another person’s account without shitting all over it demands rebuttal:

    Don’t explain the poem. People who need a poem explained to them wouldn’t understand the explanation.

    diggingellen, you don’t know the way to make friends.

    • http://twitter.com/Hermit_Thrush Hermit Thrush

      If it’s such a good and heartfelt poem, then why doesn’t it rhyme? For example, shakespeare’s sonnets all rhymed.

  • Al Lawson

    Yawn.
    Oh, wait, it’s shocking and controversial. I forgot.

    Yawn.

  • Brian Kerk

    Write a poem for Martin Richard, why don’t you? Jeez.

  • ariel plath

    beautiful. and i thought i would hate it. during the lockdown and hunt, all i could think is: 87 sq miles of city shut down, 9000 police, and this boy who escaped on foot. one boy, hiding, just one boy.

  • Wesleyan ’10

    art should challenge perceptions and preconceptions and make us feel something

    I don’t know if this is art, but it sure does that.

    Thank you Amanda Palmer

  • aaron embry

    this poem is its own 4.20 hangover.

  • Dani

    I can understand how some would feel betrayed by what they perceive in the words here. But to me, Amanda’s just asking the questions we all ask ourselves, in the dark & the light: Is this my life? How the fuck did I get here? To me, this is beautiful.

  • Seth Gordon

    To the haters: Please don’t hold Amanda Palmer’s seeming offense against her. She’s of a rare genus, from the suborder Donaldalia Trumpinae, creatures so sensitive that they actually CEASE TO EXIST if no one is looking at them. So they HAVE to say silly things like this in order to survive themselves.

  • http://roxannecooper.tumblr.com Roxanne

    doooooooche.

  • SoPleasantlyStrange

    Poetry is an art form used to express feelings, thoughts and emotions. These feelings, thoughts and emotions may or may not coincide with those of others. Poetry, as like other art forms, is not a report. It is not literal. It is not fact.
    This poem was not intended in a literal sense. Not as facts. Not as statements. Not as a report, but I assume rather a series of thought provoking statements that read more like questions.
    Does anyone know how they truly feel about what has happened? Better question – does anyone truly know what has happened? The only people that do are the people that were directly involved and even then, they only know a small portion of it. The media can inform of us of certain aspects, but even then it doesn’t tell any of us the truth.
    Poetry should be read with an open mind and rather than criticising the writer for the subject or content of the poem, read it again, take a breath and before being negative try and remember that this person has shared their feelings, thoughts and emotions…and a part of their soul. How can you put someone down for doing that?
    In high school, don’t we learn about CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM? What is the point of comments such as “this poem is its own 4.20 hangover.” and “Yawn. Oh, wait, it’s shocking and controversial. I forgot. Yawn.” ?? If you have criticism, be constructive! Not destructive. It just makes you look like a fool. Remember when we were children and we were told “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? I believe that should always a apply.

    Please proceed with caution and respect….

    • http://roxannecooper.tumblr.com Roxanne

      This poem is bullshit.

      • http://roxannecooper.tumblr.com Roxanne

        But I think the big donate button above the comments is clever!

      • SoPleasantlyStrange

        Why are you replying to my post with saying “This poem is bullshit.” when I’ve just talked about CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM? How about you expand on that? Why is it bullshit? How could it be improved?

        • jennifer626

          It could be improved upon by (a) not completely sucking, (b) not attempting to paint a horrible evildoer as someone who deserves empathy for his sad little confused mind, and (c) not having been written immediately after this act of terror, when even a poorly written piece of crap will still have a very hurtful impact on the true victims of the bombing who stumble across it and see that the man who killed their family members and mutilated their friends is now having odes written to him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/zscarlson Zach Carlson

    To everyone getting angry, please take a deep breath and read this:

    Everyone in the world no matter what he or she does deserves empathy. Empathy is understanding that people are the different from you. You can’t simply put yourself in Dzhokhar’s shoes and say “I wouldn’t have done this so how could he?” You aren’t him. Obviously what he did is tragic and sorrowful. But no one is inherently “evil.” People that carry out acts like these either have chemical imbalances like anti-social personality disorder or intense depression/anxiety/anger that is either genetically predisposed, the product of deep psychological trauma, or both. So to negate this and think of these perpetrators as normal healthy people choosing to destroy is ignorant. It fosters hate and distances “bad guys” from “good guys.” In reality good and bad is a spectrum and it is what allows people that “seemed like the most innocent nice kid in world” to do these things. So please, I implore you to have empathy for EVERYONE. Have empathy for victims first and foremost but also have empathy for the poor soul who suffers from a chemical lack of moral conscious that he or she can do nothing about. Have empathy for a man that lost his kids in a car crash and experienced such depression that he committed suicide. Have empathy for terrorists who have been brainwashed for a cause or witnessed such destruction to their country from a foreign presence that they feel an insatiable need to retaliate. And yes even have empathy for Dzhokhar because whatever the reasons for his committing this unbelievably terrible act of destruction. He is still human and one of us. And labeling someone as “evil” is childish. From what I gather Ms. Palmer was simply trying to start a dialogue like this.

    • lentower

      Well expressed.

      Thank you.

      Hopefully, it will help the haters.

    • SMH

      “tragic & sorrowful” would be him getting in a car while drunk & killing somebody in a DUI. Hateful & sociopathic would be closer to the mark

      • http://www.facebook.com/zscarlson Zach Carlson

        Yes but my whole point is that “sociopathic” does not equal “evil.” It’s a medical condition that people can’t do anything about. “Evil” doesn’t exist. I understand it’s cathartic to really demonize him and I think that’s warranted for a period of time after an event like this. People need to express their anger, grief, and frustration. I’m just asking how can you justify prolonged, intense hatred toward anyone when they have a chemical imbalance or have been subjected against their will to trauma (in the broadest sense of the word). Because these are the only two reasons people do things like this. And neither are within their control. There isn’t a race of evil people that go around doing evil things. Dzhokhar has a lot more in common with many us than most people would care to admit because it scares the shit out of them.

  • Patrick Francis

    Haha, you people have to realize it’s not the message we’re angry about. It’s totally unintelligible anyway. It’s just that this is terrible goddamn poetry. Rilke she ain’t.

    • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

      Every time I hear someone say that I hear in my head “It Doesn’t Even Rhyme!”

  • aaron embry

    please, teach me how it felt to be in the womb. it must have been at least a little warmer than this.

    please, teach me how intimately they’re recording our every move on
    closed-circuit cameras so we can see our faces reflected back
    through through the pulp.

    please, teach me banjo picking fingerings.

    please, teach me how little we’ve been paying attention to our legs.

    please, teach me how many times we can say we’re coming until we just stop believing ourselves.

    please, teach me how orgasmic the act of taking in a lungful of oxygen is while they give me head underwater.

    please, teach me how many vietnamese soft rolls to order.

    please, teach me (i really am dying to find out) how convinced our parents were that having children was, absolutely, without question, the correct thing to do.

    please, teach me how precious iphone battery time is before hiding in the bottom of the boat compromises my ability to appreciate hiding in the bottom of a boat.

    please, teach me how to reconcile with fucking parents.

    please, teach me how it’s possible to feel total compassion in one moment and total disconnection in the next moment.

    please! teach! me! how! things! will! so! inevitably! change! so!!! incredibly!!! fast!!!

    please, teach me how to make something, and put the instructions on the internet.

    please, teach me how to make sense of this massive parade.

    please, teach me how to believe in anyone.

    please, learn me how to tell that there witless creature in teh chair next to us that we’ve
    been peeking at her dissertation draft and there’s a grammatical typo in
    the actual file name.

    please, explain to me how we might explain ourselves.

    please, teach me about soy milk.

    please, teach me how claustrophobic our house is before you leave it.

    please, teach me to let go, not just in some bushes between cambridge and watertown.

    please, tell me where our friends went.

    we may never learn how to truly dance but let’s give it a shot anyway.

    please, teach me how our lives manage to move twenty six miles forward and twenty eight miles back.

    please, teach me how to pay my due in our debts.

    please, teach me how to integrate this partnership to finally escape and breathe.

    please, teach me how come us people run our goddamn knees into the ground anyway.

    please, teach me how to measure the value of the twenty dollar bill clutched in our hurting hands.

    please, teach me how we walked into this trap so obliviously.

    please, teach me how to adjust our rearview mirror.

    please, teach me how to mourn our dead brother.

    please, teach me how to drive this car.

    can anyone tell me the way to new york.

    I do not know the way to new york.

    I can learn the way to new york.

    you don’t know the way to new york?

    please, teach me the way to new york.

  • InnocentFishingBoat

    I want to start off by saying, you’re free to write whatever you please. Then I’d like to ask, why not write about an eight year old boy that just went to witness a race. Or about those whose lives were irreparably changed? Or how about how some people going to cheer on friends, family and even strangers were literally blown to bits because that monster chose to build a bomb an detonate it amidst the crowd? We all have choices in life, his were ALL WRONG. I personally don’t care how he feels and you can bet he doesn’t care how you feel either. Had you been in the crowd, he would have gladly killed you too. Why not write about all the Red Sox games Martin Richard will never see? Or how about how Krystal Campbell’s grandmother is going to miss having tea with her granddaughter. Maybe one about how Lu Lingzi will never get to realize her dreams after college because she was murdered by a cold and calculating piece of filth?
    Had your daughter been one of the victims, I wonder if your poem would be for jafar? (I know that’s not his name, but that’s all he’s getting from me)

    • cabbagesoup

      This is like asking why the poem isn’t about innocent Iraqi children blown up by American drone strikes. It feels like a pertinent point but it’s actually just a way of asserting some kind of moral superiority.

    • Ruth

      Because she is from Cambridge herself and trying to make sense of why someone from the same town can grow up to act out such an atrocity?

    • Danielm80

      I was with you until “jafar.”

      • InnocentFishingBoat

        So that’s dang near all of it. I’ll take it. I figured the Disney reference wouldn’t go over big but it was my risk to take.

  • Sven79

    He didn’t “let that guy go;” “that guy” escaped on his own initiative when the two losers went into a store together.

    You don’t know how to get the story right.
    You don’t care about the facts.

    Repetition talent

    • lentower

      Sven79

      Please get YOUR facts straight.

      Much of the media coverage has said that the brothers let the SUV driver go.

      So if you really have to BLAME someone.
      If you really have to HATE someone.
      Blame and hate the media outlets, and their sources in the police, FBI, and
      the governments.

      But I prefer you stop hating and blaming.

      • Sven79

        So the truth is now considered hate? Thanks for enlightening me. One should never take early reports from live tv as being completely factual; history has shown that more often than not, they get many things wrong. It’s nice of you to rationalize the errors, but they’re still errors. Where did I hate or blame? I think you are the one with issues, as I only offered constructive criticism. I just pointed out (correctly) that the carjack victim told the authorities that he escaped on his own.

        So since several news organizations reported (or hoped) that it was likely that the terrorists were right wing Americans, It would have been Ok for MS.PALMER to write a compassionate poem about the wrong group?

        Getting things correct is not considered as hate or blame by most rational people. I prefer that you stop trying to read minds and stop judging others

        • lentower

          The problems with both your posts here are:

          * Your language comes across as: Belittling. Berating. Unkind. Discourteous. Hateful.

          * As I already pointed out, you use this hateful language against someone whose is merely using an out-of-date version of this “fact”. Who, obviously, hadn’t had the time to get current with a complex, poorly reported news story.

          * It’s not at all clear, that the current version of this “fact” is any more true.
          The SUV owner might have changed his story to look less “stupid”.
          The media could still be misreporting based on bad sources.

          * It’s quite likely that the “truth” is somewhere in the middle. That one brother stayed with the SUV driver, but got distracted enough that the SUV driver got out of the car, and that brother decided to not gun him down there. We will probably never know the truth here. I suspect that Dzhokhar’s and the SUV driver’s versions of this incident will be quite different.

          * If you had calmly, politely, and kindly pointed out that the “fact” reported by the media had changed, we would not be having this conversation.

          • Sven79

            My first post could maybe be considered a bit snarky, but hateful? Come on, puh-leeeze!

            I was merely using the author’s use of repetition to point out the errors; I really don’t think anyone needs to call the ACLU. I asked several other people to read my second post and they found nothing hateful, nothing impolite and certainly no blaming at all. I guess some people are just looking to be offended, but I won’t ever let that tactic work on me. I won’t be censored by someone who doesn’t agree, especially when there was nothing offensive in my posts at all. If you have a concrete example, show it. I have been, and will continue to be polite and courteous, and you will continue to take any disagreement as hate.

            Those who see everything as hateful, rude, and discriminatory in some way do a great disservice to those who are truly affected by hate. Don’t take life so seriously; everything is not a battle

      • Sven79

        My reply seems to have gone missing? Quite strange, But I’ll enter it again. My facts ARE STRAIGHT. My info comes from the official police report. Please show my “blaming and hating.” Go ahead, I’ll wait. Nothing? I didn’t think so. I didn’t realize that facts are now considered hate.Thanks for enlightening me.

        Nice try at rationalizing the incorrect statements, but the media is often wrong in early reports; therefore their Statements shouldn’t be treated as gospel.

        I prefer that you stop trying to read my mind and judge me for things that aren’t stated.

        • lentower

          I also replied earlier, but it’s also not currently visible here.

          Might turn up in a few hours.
          Might turn up if you exit your browser, and restart it.
          Might turn up if you clear your browser caches, exit, then restart it.

          The reply is visible a few screens down,
          under the “Activity” tab at

          http://disqus.com/lentower/

  • Marionette26

    Everything here is making me ill. Except possibly the poem. What is WRONG with people? A) It is absolutely completely and totally not okay for anyone, hater or lover, to tell the other side the way they are processing things is wrong. ESPECIALLY if they were touched personally or closely by this tragedy – outright blatant hatred is a normal reaction. They may not move past that. They don’t have to. So please don’t tell them it’s poisonous for them, harmful, etc. (although please, haters, don’t hate on all muslims like I saw one guy doing). Those who react with empathy are just as legitimate. It’s another way to process. So long as they’re not talking about how it was alright for him to do it, or how he should be set free or some shit, there’s nothing wrong with what they’re saying. They couldn’t make themselves feel blinding hatred any more than a hater could make themselves feel empathy. Which is FINE. There are also those who are rather… neutral? Inbetween the two? The point is, we all process this differently. We’re all coping differently. So stfu and get off it. B) If Amanda was a huge star like Lady GaGa or some shit I would agree this poem was probably a bad idea. Amanda has a small and loyal fanbase. Amanda is an independent artist, who honest to god, is in love with the arts of it all. We’ve all seen time and time again that this is her method – she’s not a type A personality. She doesn’t hold back or edit. I thought that was part of why so many of us love her. I understand if you think this poem is in poor taste. I understand if you think she shouldn’t have posted it. It’s fine if you say that. I don’t understand a violent, visceral reaction. This poem isn’t hurting anyone except fans who are letting it hurt them. This is Amanda’s blog. No one made you come here. No one made you read this. If you are angry about the poem, attack the poem (which some people are doing, which is great and fine). Don’t attack Amanda – it’s a fucking poem. We’re all interpreting it differently, and you can choose to interpret it in such a way so that you don’t get completely brain-melting angry.
    Seriously. People. We’ve had enough terrible things happen. Fighting in our own little cult (err… community) isn’t going to help with the stress, or help anyone heal. Grow up.

    • http://www.facebook.com/LucyM121 Lucy Merriman

      “This poem isn’t hurting anyone except fans who are letting it hurt them.” I’m not sure you can really say that, though. You’re right, people definitely shouldn’t be insulting AFP or making threats. But some people who’ve been hurt by the tragedy are also feeling hurt by this poem, and that feeling is valid too.

      It’s Amanda’s right to write whatever she wants. But if what she writes is personally hurtful to someone who is also suffering, it’d be nice for her to acknowledge it. The problem with this attitude of “fuck the haters, I’mma do me, you don’t like it, leave,” is that you’re shifting the responsibility of what you create onto someone else. It’s not evil, it’s just unkind. I like Amanda and her music, and I’ve never had so many people tell me I should “leave” or” get over it” because I felt hurt before here. I like this blog, and it pained me to read the poem because I felt like it was callous, and that’s not usually what I feel from her.

      I’d like to be able to talk with her about it, but this whole comments section has become rather messy.

  • yvessaintdid@gmail.com

    We are the bombers!!!

  • 4onthefloorTom

    Not sure what I can actually add to this discussion other than this: Amanda is a writer. So when something happens that stresses her out, or makes he mad or sad or happy…she writes. In the same way that a musicians plays his instrument in order to gain a sense of control of his life when it is crazy, or an athlete goes to the gym to release stress. These are healthy releases of stress.

    Committing crime, being self destructive, or lashing out violently at other people are not healthy responses. How these two young men arrived at a place where “Let’s set off bombs and kill innocents” sounded like a good idea is something we may never know. We will find out HOW they did it for sure…but the WHY is more elusive.

    I’s venture to say that no one needs to be apologetic for how they process and deal with this tragedy…as long as they are HEALTHY RESPONSES.

    I feel for the victims…for their parents, their kids, and the kids some of them will never have. For the brave helpers who have seen things that will forever scar them. I feel for Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs but still is SMILING! I am sooo sad for the man who lost his little boy, and had his drt. and wife maimed. I feel sad for the parents of the bombers, who clearly are overwhelmed and in shock. These two were their babies…how did they turn into killers??? Imagine what they are going through. Of course the Mom is in denial. It is a natural response.

    No one wins in this situation.

    I submit that we each need to find our own way to deal with what we have seen, be it punching a punching bag, playing some REALLY LOUD OBNOXIOUS PUNK ROCK, or writing a poem. Whatever you need to do to get this angst out of you head. It will do no good there.

    Amanda did her thing, now you need to do yours.

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      this

  • Obamatheterrorist

    You are a stupid libtard commie piece of trash. I wish he blew your legs off

  • Iraff

    well uh to say nothing of the subject matter, i’ll say that repeating the last four lines is such a hamfisted fucking undergraduate-poetry-class way of trying to force poignancy. This reads like a bunch of lines you thought might sound good in a poem and then you just put them together without any thematic connection and without any notion of what you want to say. It’s like a parrot watched a poetry reading and learned how to perfectly mimic the cadence and vocal rhythm of someone reading a really good poem but the only words it knows are “piss” and “ass”.

    • http://twitter.com/cheesecake101 Bebhinn McInerney

      Repetition and refrain are huge parts of poetry, they’re one of the forms that people study when they’re learning about poetry. There are actually quite a few styles based on repetition; pantoum, villanelle, not to mention song writing, which, hey, is a thing that Amanda does pretty frequently.

      “but I have promises to keep
      and miles to go before I sleep
      and miles to go before I sleep”

      -Robert Frost

      • http://capnswing.tumblr.com/ Christopher Swing

        Yes, “repetition and refrain are huge parts of poetry,” but that doesn’t make this poem not bad. I think the problem here is that Robert Frost was actually good at it, and not trying to hijack a major event for attention. Frost didn’t *need* to do that to get his work noticed.

        • http://twitter.com/cheesecake101 Bebhinn McInerney

          People write about tragedies and wars and disasters and atrocities. It is how they deal with them. Famous people and nobodies alike.

          Your taste in poetry is simply that, YOUR taste. Like it or don’t, disapprove of it or not. It’s still poetry and it was written for, I can only guess, a vast number of reasons.

          • http://capnswing.tumblr.com/ Christopher Swing

            I guess you missed the point so I’ll reiterate from another of my comments:

            This may be a terrible, teen-angst-level poem, but it’s accomplished its goal: Getting Amanda Palmer Attention.

            Palmer doesn’t care about any entity involved here, aside from herself. Getting Amanda Palmer attention is pretty much the only thing Amanda Palmer really *does.* Positive, negative, it doesn’t matter.

            The best thing we can do is *never pay attention to Amanda Palmer,* unless it’s to point out that we should *never pay attention to Amanda Palmer.*

          • http://twitter.com/cheesecake101 Bebhinn McInerney

            I didn’t miss your point, I just don’t agree with it. That’s not the impression I’ve ever gotten from her.

          • http://capnswing.tumblr.com/ Christopher Swing

            If after this, the Twitter-limit plea, TED, asking musicians to play for free, and the Kickstarter fiasco you still don’t get it, it’s unlikely you ever will.

          • http://capnswing.tumblr.com/ Christopher Swing

            There have been enough critiques at this point that it’s fair to say that this poem is *objectively* terrible. Sorry you’re a fan of this person.

  • allegro2us

    The poem opens the door for me to be strong and take the hard path of empathy and forgiveness. It’s a good piece of work.

  • Guest

    Your poem, and the poem written in response to your have left me full of tears and chills. Thank you. Thank you both. I am a lover of words. A needer of words.

  • BrittNoelle

    Your poem and the one written in response have left me in tears. With literal chills. I needed so badly to hear all of these things. Thank you. Thank you both. I am a lover of words. A needer of words. I, apparently, needed these words without even knowing it.

    My heart is broken all around. For everyone involved. There is nothing easy about this situation. It’s horrific. It strikes me that so many felt the need to argue here….in my eyes this should be a time of togetherness. I guess I’m an optimist. I can hope.

  • Camel

    …Are you older than 13? What the fuck is this

    • wilder125

      The same thing it is elsewhere Pinky. Brain creating random thing that results in a

      smorgasbord of replies running the full spectrum… though I think someone hoping her legs would be blown off in a comment farther down the list, was a little over the top.

  • http://twitter.com/cheesecake101 Bebhinn McInerney

    Since when did poetry need facts or sources?
    Since when was art how you got your news?

    She can’t speak for him,
    I can’t speak for you

    Him being a person doesn’t lessen your pain
    Him being a person doesn’t change
    what he did

    But maybe understanding
    Breeds less blind hate
    Maybe compassion
    Can ease your own ache

    Because I see no monsters, no devils
    Only ghosts
    Of things that were done
    Being done again

    after all,
    People are just people
    People are just people
    People are just people like you

    (apologies to Regina for borrowing a line or 3)

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      this is one the best responses i’ve had the pleasure of reading on my own blog.

      i am so grateful to be connected

      with

      this

      in a world

      like

      this.

      • http://twitter.com/cheesecake101 Bebhinn McInerney

        It was just going to be a regular post, and then the first 2 lines happened. Thank you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000131841090 Michael Furie

      i love this. <3

  • carrie

    I love you so much ap. this is lovely.

  • RosalindFranklinFish

    I honestly dispute that commenters here are in a position to assert that Dzokhar Tzarnaev was a psychotic killer who was totally self-motivated – details of his mental state, the influence of his brother, his involvement with extremist sects have not been disclosed (equally I don’t believe people are in a position to portray him as a victimized 19 year-old who has been shot and hasn’t been Miranda-ized either, those details do not transcend his involvement in the murder of 5 people and the injury of many more). But that’s not really the point. The point is that the interpretations of single individuals regarding a peice of art cannot possibly be allowed to censor that art. I consider this poem to be a beautiful and moving account of the world’s response to the suspect of a terrible, terrible act of terrorism. Others disagree, and that’s fine, too. By nature art is reactionary. Art thrives on response. Art thrives on debate. But the accusations some are making are ludicrous and disturbingly censorial. From Page: ‘Amanda, has there ever been a media event that you didn’t hijack for your own media coverage?’ This is hardly publicity for AFP and The Grand Theft Orchestra. It is a considered, skilfully crafted, really, really beautiful in my eyes, commentary on something horrific. The point at which people are incapable of publishing their own responses to events with global impact without being accused of hungering for media attention is the point at which I sort of start to despair for the future of human creativity. This is how some people deal with things they can’t get their head round. They make art. They make songs, pictures, movies, books, poems. First they scream. They smash their fists against the walls. They can’t work out how to switch off their thoughts. So they WRITE. They write and they write and they write like motherfuckers and sometimes they produce something astonishing, they produce something which will still matter 10, 20, even 100 years from now. And I don’t know if this poem will be one of those that stand the test of time and manage to communicate the world’s response at this time to future generations, but I think it might deserve to be. Sorry for the essay…

  • Reznore

    I don’t like poetry…but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this.
    It’s just trying to put some humanity into some monstruosity.
    Because it’s humans like you and me who do this kind of stuff on regular basis ,putting bombs , school shooting…
    They are not a bunch of evil aliens from outer space.
    If we start to lack empathy , we’re just playing the same game .
    It does not mean that we should cry day and night for what’s his name , he had a choice afterall.
    He hurt people and he wastes his whole life , his brother is dead.
    But I feel sorry for him , what he did was senseless.He wastes his whole life for …probably some very stupid reason.
    If he was trying to say something , well I’m not sure anybody’s willing to listen now.

  • Jake

    The shit that comes out of your body isn’t art and neither is this poem. You suck as a poet and as a human being.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ona.mclaughlin Ona Luna

    “you don’t know how to make s̶o̶m̶e̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ a bomb, that will murder innocent people, but the instructions are on the internet.” There. Fixed.

  • http://capnswing.tumblr.com/ Christopher Swing

    This may be a terrible, teen-angst-level poem, but it’s accomplished its goal: Getting Amanda Palmer Attention.

    Palmer doesn’t care about any entity involved here, aside from herself. Getting Amanda Palmer attention is pretty much the only thing Amanda Palmer really *does.* Positive, negative, it doesn’t matter.

    The best thing we can do is *never pay attention to Amanda Palmer,* unless it’s to point out that we should *never pay attention to Amanda Palmer.*

  • marsbzlightyear

    and you thought Twilight was bad

    • wilder125

      felt like posting it again, or someone had the same thought? The wording’s exactly the same at any rate

      • marsbzlightyear

        same as what and who?

  • Tom

    For me it’s pretty simple.

    People deal with tragedy, miracles, love death, everything, life, in different ways.

    One of those ways is writing poetry. Others might paint, write songs, write in their diary, talk, cry, sleep, whatever. Amnanda wrote a poem.

    If you are against her writing poetry as part of her own individual method of processing, ask yourself why.

    She could’ve wrote it and kept it to herself, or wrote it and publish it to her blog, as she has done. But I don’t think it makes a difference, because either way she would have wrote the poem. To tell someone not to write a poem is too similar for me to people who tell others not to cry when they’re upset, or discourage people to talk about things that have upset them. They’re two different ways of communicating. You can’t stop someone from writing a poem, and why would you rather she kept it secret that she wrote this, or published it months later? That’s lying to yourself about how people process things, it’s a covering of one output of freedom of expression in favour of another.

    And then what use is it to be accepting of this poem if it had been a dark and hateful message, but to reject it if it is anything else? I can think of a lot of great poems that I couldn’t sympathise with, but that gave me a different perspective and made me empathise. I think it’s childish to only want to hear one channel of thought or see one side of the picture. I’d rather be unsure of how I feel but to know I’ve experienced more of the truth than to be comfortable in how I feel but based only on a fraction of the truth.

    • http://twitter.com/Hermit_Thrush Hermit Thrush

      She could also have rhymed, but she chose not to. Why?

  • http://twitter.com/cedarlili Cedar Sanderson

    Thank god he didn’t know the way to New York. And that we know where he is now, and will for every last day of his life. He gave up his rights when he took the lives of others, both those he ended, and those he maimed for life. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for glorifying a psychopath.

  • Dolph

    This makes me cringe. Terrible poetry above a link to the Boston fund above a link begging for $5 donations. Just shameless.

  • http://www.theunexpurgatedpress.tumblr.com/ Chester Whelks

    What’s more offensive, the title or that you call it a poem? Neither, it’s the donation button below it. Really Amanda? Haven’t you had enough money from your sycophantic fans? The only talent I will commend you on having, is a knack for making tenuous links between what people give you, and what you give them. You always seem to get the better end of the stick to me.

    • http://twitter.com/cheesecake101 Bebhinn McInerney

      As far as I know, that donate button is always there, she didn’t add it to the end of this post. That’s just part of the website.

      • http://www.theunexpurgatedpress.tumblr.com/ Chester Whelks

        It never crossed my mind that the donation button was was unique to this particular post, I was just shocked to see it at all after the Kickstarter furore. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone ask for contributions toward the upkeep of their site, unless it’s a communal site like a discussion board.

        • http://twitter.com/cheesecake101 Bebhinn McInerney

          Well, I don’t think it’s for the upkeep of the site (but I could be totally wrong here) I think it’s just part of her ongoing crowd sourcing for further music events and tours. Crowd sourcing as a way of continuing a music career so that everything goes back into producing more stuff rather than paying a big company to run it.

          • http://www.theunexpurgatedpress.tumblr.com/ Chester Whelks

            I followed the Kickstarter controversy. Saw the Ted talk. Still don’t buy it. I’m not naive about how little most Independent artists make these days, but I’m confident in going out on a limb and suggesting that Amanda has graduated from the gutter now. I had some respect for Amanda when she was a Dresden Doll, but everything since stinks of ego-masturbation. Even the act of her ‘giving’ her music away feels like just another way of her getting something out of this supposedly reciprocal relationship with her fanbase. At the end of the day, she gets all the adulation, remuneration, and opportunities to speak her piece and live her dreams. All her fans get, is the opportunity to be fans. To feed her ever inflating ego.

          • http://twitter.com/cheesecake101 Bebhinn McInerney

            As a fan, that’s not how I feel about it, I feel like I can contribute to something good that’s being made, and support someone I like. But I’m just one person, I’m sure there are other people who feel like you do too.

    • wilder125

      Funny, I thought the donation button existed on the whole site. In order to stop it for this post, she’d have to have it removed entirely. Then have someone recode the site for it to reappear later.

      • http://www.theunexpurgatedpress.tumblr.com/ Chester Whelks

        As I said in a previous comment “It never crossed my mind that the donation button was was unique to this particular post, I was just shocked to see it at all after the Kickstarter furore.” I don’t care. I read the poem, didn’t find it to be particularly offensive, just pretty poor and deliberately provocative, then I saw her ‘handing the hat around’. STILL. After that million dollars. Being given money on the street because you’re obviously down on your luck enough to need to make such an ass of yourself is completely different from an International alternative icon asking for money from your already paying fanbase.

  • http://twitter.com/bostonkas K

    Oh dear… Amanda, it’s much too soon for this. However you feel about this man, it’s too soon. There are still people in the hospital, still funerals to be held. If nothing else, this is incredibly insensitive and tacky.

  • http://twitter.com/TheWhaler Meg

    Someday you will need to grow up (or maybe you wont? who knows!). I don’t understand how you can write a poem like this, and then act surprised when people are upset by it. Learn to take criticism with grace instead of backpedaling and saying “That’s not what I meant, this poem isn’t about him” and then making a ted talk about it.

    For the record I do have some empathy for him. I just think this is a self absorbed bad way of expressing that.

    • wilder125

      Anyone who “grows up” has lost the ability to see wonder in the world.

      • Gregory

        Part of the magic of growing up is discovering that people who parrot these stupid, cliched ideas (“lost the ability to see wonder in the world”! – who are you? AP herself?) are full of shit. It’s so boring and limited to will yourself into perpetual adolescence.

        • wilder125

          Considering I saw my dad come down the stairs one night, say “Hi honey” to my mother then dive onto the couch. And only then did he realize I was there after delivering a big kiss. I think “stupid” doesn’t apply. But eh.

        • wilder125

          and being 36 when i saw it, that was an interesting feat of agility considering he has bad knees, arthritis, and a bad stomach

  • Sam

    Sometimes I think we all have to step away from our computers and get somebody to hug us. All sides of the discussion are killing each other here. It’s terrible.

    • wilder125

      I honestly can’t figure out why a suggestion to go get a hug would cause a dislike for you.

  • K Paul Boyev

    A Bambi-eyed Bomber named Dzhokhar
    Was known to be quite a pot smoker
    His brother expires
    As he squeals his tires
    His driving t’was ever mediocre

  • Bustr

    Sounds like an artist trying to understand a murderer in her own way. I don’t see what the big deal is. No worse than the speculations of media hacks.

    Never heard of you Amanda, but you seem talented.

    • Diane

      This woman asks her fans to pay all of the costs of her music and living like a beggar on the street, and then has the nerve to ask artists more talented but less famous than she is to open for her for free, because she feels that opening for her is payment enough. She has zero talent and you should probably look into someone more before giving them a compliment, you contrarian.

      • http://www.facebook.com/LucyM121 Lucy Merriman

        Compliments don’t hurt people. Like, just giving compliments to people is in no way a bad thing. Plus, you can like someone’s art and compliment it without liking their personality.

  • http://twitter.com/robotbacon Robotbacon

    This is the exact reason I hate “artists”. They make it embarrassing to even use the word “artist” to refer to oneself, even if you’re a professional creator of art.

    When you can’t make something good, make something loud, I guess. Stay tuned for my poem about the self-important sickness that is Amanda Palmer.

    • wilder125

      It was loud? Man, I should be careful about reading this at work. I wonder if my supervisor flinched any.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sg603 Supriya Gunda

    HAHAHA i thought you were at your worst when you played creep on ukelele at the Boston Music awards then i really thought you one upped yourself with your kickstarter campaign but… holy shit womyn… you’ve done it again….. you’re the next Tiger Woods and this is par for the course of shit right here

    • http://www.facebook.com/sg603 Supriya Gunda

      i
      hope she likes my comment i was going to slip in something akin to
      “isn’t neil gaiman ever like. chill out sweetie, you’re killing my
      career,” but i didn’t wanna reference the patriarchy even if she’s the
      one who signed herself up for it

    • wilder125

      The campaign resulted in the donators pretty much spending the same amount they would have for a cd unless they decided to be generous. And those who didn’t donate to the campaign wound up with a free download they were never generous to.

    • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

      haha, I was totally at the Liberty Hotel for that one. I went to get a drink during that performance. Must she copy my beloved album? Let’s stick with the reggae version. Because it does it no justice. It’s actually funny. we see right thru you, dude!

  • SPM

    this actually reads like a poem about yourself. You have very little empathy. that’s why most of your art is so bad.

    • Karina S

      Even if it was a poem about herself, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have empathy. Also, in case you hadn’t figured this out yet, art is SUBJECTIVE. It’s purpose, execution, and interpretation are never either good or bad. It’s fine that you don’t like the poem, but don’t call her a bad artist because of your own opinion. People, this is one woman’s exploration of the bombings. Palmer is brave to put her own perspective into the world, and just because you disagree with her mode of expressing empathy that doesn’t merit you attacking her as a person.

      Assuming a person’s morals based on their outward actions and then feeling validated for punishing them is the exact shallow-minded impulsive behavior that the Tsarnaev’s probably went through. In this day, of all days when the world has suffered so much recently, how about a little unconditional empathy and kindness, especially for those who express themselves publicly in hopes of helping others.

  • graymalking

    “you don’t know how to make sense of this massive parade.
    you don’t know how to believe anyone anymore.”

    Exactly, Amanda. Exactly.

    • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

      riveting.

  • SPM

    I reiterate. This poem is about you, not him, just like you said. You have no empathy. This is why most of your art is so terrible. You literally do not have the capability to speak in any voice besides that of a rich white person. The one who can’t get away from their parents is you.

    • wilder125

      If she was rich, why would she ask ahead for a place to practice and stay before a concert

      • The End

        Er, so she can gratuitously skim money from her fans, which is HOW she became rich. That’s how she rolls.

        • jennifer626

          That’s how she soft rolls.

  • Nameless

    Is anyone here actually surprised that AP is an opportunistic attention whore who is using this tragedy to draw attention to herself?

    • wilder125

      So, only those who are not famous, are allowed to have opinions?

      • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

        That makes no sense as a response to Nameless’ statement. If this poem seemed at all…. genuine…. or compassionate//// mmmmmaybe there wouldn’t be a slew of commentors tearing it to pieces. which is probably what she wants.

        • wilder125

          Or just a variety of replies. You can’t get the full spectrum of opinions on anything without all variety of opinions being expressed. Though I think one commenter’s wish down the list here that her legs had been blown off, was a little over the top.

          • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

            everyone is feeling enough already. The Commonwealth is enraged. Who knows if it was staged. I gave her a chance when I saw the link tweeted. But I didn’t want to start the morning being angry at a POEM, of all things. the fact that a POEM should invoke such anger is awfully indicative of its nature.

          • wilder125

            In my case. I read her tweets about the poem resulting in someone wanting her legs blown off, right after I woke up this morning. and decided to come and read the poem and the responses. I haven’t been ticked off yet. Though I must admit, that decongestants and caffeine are probably why I’ve got a giggle trying to dig it’s way out of my throat all the time.

          • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

            I nod my head. I just see this as definitely not creating any sense of oneness, it is doing quite the opposite.

      • Nameless

        She is not posting an opinion. She is using the shock value of her poem to draw traffic to her site, where she asks for $5 to support her art. I commented that we shouldn’t be surprised, because if she is willing to raise $1M and then ask musicians to play for free (which she only recanted after the backlash), then of COURSE she’ll write a controversial poem and ask for $5. I personally think it’s gross of her to use this tragedy for shameless and tasteless self promotion.

        • wilder125

          I thought the tweets from her about the variety of replies from people who already came to her site, resulted in people like me who don’t come here very often coming just for the sheer variety of the replies to her poem.

    • Diane

      No one is at all, hence the comments.

  • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

    I like how you appended a donate button, also for YOURSELF, with $5.00 conveniently entered for YOU. It’s true, you lack empathy, and are brimming with ego, you ugly thing. This, like your music, contains no message.

    • wilder125

      It’s hard not to brim with an ego. Everyone has one.

      • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

        stating the obvious? ooh ooh and an Id and a SUPERego tooooo. It’s easy NOT to brim with ego, it’s called selflessness

        • wilder125

          Funny thing about my post. I posted it, wondered why it sounded familiar, and pulled up a wiki reference. Never read the guy. Never heard about Id and Superego being 3 parts of the psyche until today. I think I tripped, rolled, and sneezed over a documentary in 1995 or something

          • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

            ta-da! thoughtful debate becomes learning experience. :) <3

          • wilder125

            all net conversations are. hah

          • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

            & every blip of your precious life

          • wilder125

            exactly

    • wilder125

      Without it, a person isn’t alive. Since an ego is one of the bare basic components of a human personality. Avoid having an ego, and you’re not a whole person

      • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

        ah, but when one brims with hubris… I speak of egoTIST. there’s a sense of humility that encapsulates the essence of an artist…

        • wilder

          Which, if you watched a podcast or read some things about her, you’d discover she does have that.. but eh, people have to come to their own conclusions from what they see and read. Which is proven in all the variety of replies to the poem. Everyone is coming to their own. And any author/song creator who doesn’t appreciate a variety of responses, is a stagnant author

          • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

            I’ve met her several times, I have friends that know/ have worked with her, I’ve read plenty of literature. I used to be a fan until she spiraled into a solo career/self-promotion, wringing everything I liked about the schtick of The Dolls. Currently she is exalting her popularity as if she is God’s gift to starving artists. let alone the TED talk.

        • wilder125

          I posted a response. and it disappeared.

          Basic boil down. An author who does not appreciate and enjoy all variety of responses to something he/she writes, is a stagnant author. Amanda’s actually doing right by choosing to love even the angry ones.

          • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

            Obviously. We’re not saying she IS one. Like anyone, we take compliments and criticism, even if the controversy is (probably) desired in this case. I’m sure she loves the haters more, which is why this poem is not written WITH THE RIGHT INTENTION. not to console, not to LOVE. none of the above.

          • wilder125

            Which intentions are right for a poem to have then. Right for the author or right for the reader. My poetry that I used to write was never good enough for publication, and never went beyond the format I was taught in 7th grade. Which would explain why it never published. However, one of them had a completely different intent read into it by a minister who told me that he’d hated me since the first second he met me. Apparently the concept that if he’d just told me the first second he’d met me, I’d have left, never entered his mind.

    • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

      ooh ooh! another way to make $$$$$$$$$$$$$ should we direct Sandy recovery funds your way too? gosh, the world just adores you.

    • Ay

      That donate button that’s for her has been there forever.

    • Tansy

      put a lot of time and effort into this blog and want you to have it and read it for free. if you want to give me some help for the time and effort, THANK YOU. you can either kick me back directly through paypal using the button below, or if you want to take some MUSIC TOO (even better, yay!) go to the store section and kick me back through paying what you want for an album or a song.

    • anonymous

      You do realize that the donate option is in the programming and will therefore show up at the bottom of every post, right? She doesn’t lack empathy, you just lack vision. If you cannot see what this poem is truly saying then you should not read it and comment on it like you understand. Also, if you truly believe her music has no meaning or message then you are the one missing every point she’s making. Amanda Palmer creates for the fans and doesn’t expect anything from us except that we’ll enjoy what she’s worked hard to give. If you can’t do that or don’t consider yourself a fan then it begs the question as to what you’re even doing here on her blog. It’s one thing to have a fanbase and let them all see what you do, write, and feel. It is another, entirely, to hide behind a screen and fake name and try to tear that person down.

  • Solveig!

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  • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

    she deletes

  • Uncreative

    I feel like this is supposed to remind me that at one time or another, I have felt something similar to Dzhokhar. My motives, intentions, and circumstances may be totally different but a feeling is a feeling. Feelings are common human experiences. Those experiences are varied. I feel saddened that someone became so confused, lost, enraged and hateful that they hurt other people.

  • http://twitter.com/metaphlame metaphlame

    He killed a little kid. You don’t get to be coddled and cooed over and told “oh, well, sorry honey, I guess you messed up,” when you kill a little kid. Or anyone, for that matter. Yes, he messed up, but it didn’t result in a mere trip to the hospital for a detoxification, or the end of a relationship. People are dead, and whether in his heart of hearts he wished for it or not it doesn’t matter. They died by his hand. Don’t fawn over him and pretend he should be mooned over as Just Another Confused Teen, when he sent screws and nails ribboning through people’s faces, and eyes and brains and bones. You don’t get to be Just Another Confused Teen when you do that. You get to be the murderer you chose to be.

  • Joe

    Don’t care. Rather buy donuts.

    • wilder125

      Oooh, donuts… oh wait, there’s a reason why I’m trying to level out my blood pressure so I may not have to take medicine anymore. By losing weight. Crap. Durn you temptation! *waves fist*

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1526059308 Paul L

    I think this is an interesting way of condensing and translating all perspectives of the event. It’s not supposed to be canon-worthy, just an expression of events that stunned the world.

  • ishmaeldaro

    Why doesn’t it even rhyme?

  • http://twitter.com/Hermit_Thrush Hermit Thrush

    What’s going on in this poem. It’s a little hard to understand. I think you could improve it if you made it rhyme.

  • poem liker

    how come it doesn’t rhyme?

    • wilder125

      Contrary to belief, not all famous, or amateur poets rhymed in all their poems

      • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

        Seuss, the good Doctor

        • wilder125

          Like I said, not all. lol

          • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

            ALL! LOL! i get it.

          • wilder125

            Good… now explain it. Because I didn’t get whatever you got when you read it. heh

          • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

            I don’t get his message. but at least he rhymed. possibly the opposite of Amanda’s agenda

          • wilder125

            Ah.

            I once put an amateurish (the only type of poem I can write. It’s in the form 7th graders are taught) onto a going away banner for a friend. Another friend created an Apple out of repitions of the word apple on the banner, then wrote below “this is a poem, yours is crap. Fuck rhyming and go eat lunch”

        • wilder125

          Then again, there’s also the act of repetition that can be key in the place of rhyme. All of the lines have “You Don’t Know”

  • Pippy Dingus

    Why does not this rhyme?

  • bighugeG

    this shit aint rhyme, yo wtf. you can’t even write poems and it even repeats wtf is you third grade or something? jeez, woman.

  • Arcturus Kirwin

    The rhythm and meter of this piece is awful. It wouldn’t even suffice as prose, let alone a poem.

    I guess if you sliced it up into individual lines, it might work as fortunes in fortune cookies, though. bad fortune cookies.

    • poem liker

      it doesn’t rhyme, either.

    • bighugeG

      yeah an it don’t even rhyme, yo. wtf

  • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

    Why didn’t you write a poem for BOSTON?

  • http://twitter.com/jamesgarside_ James Garside

    I don’t think this is a good poem. But I’ll defend until my dying breath your right to write it.

  • Infidel

    I guess we should all expect a poem about empathizing with Charles Manson next?

  • Geoff Bitch

    Why does this not rhyme? Would it really have been so hard to make this rhyme?

  • Tuck

    Hello this poem is not a poem in the fact that it does not have a rhyme scheme. A poem must always rhyme.

  • poetry guy

    you keep deleting comments but it remains obvious that this doesn’t rhyme and should really rhyme if you want it to be a good poem.

    • wilder125

      She deletes them? I’m seeing all of yours. try again

  • Pippy Dingus

    you don’t made these rhyme

  • bridget

    I don’t like this poem. This has nothing to do with my lack of compassion or my lack of empathy. I fully and totally agree that controversial events and people tend to be muses for terrific artwork.

    To be be quite blunt, this reads like a dresden dolls b-side that was kicking around where you threw in a couple lines about the bombings or things that could be relevant to dzhokhar. Nothing in this reads (to me) as honest, compassionate, or truthful. It seems very dispassionate, pretty much exactly -what- you’d expect anyone to write when trying to create a fiction for a person we know next to nothing about.

    Oh, I long for the days where hating disabled feminists, mock raping a Katy Perry look-alike on stage, or complaining about how unfair the public response to your decision to -not- pay back up performers were the most tactless or attention whoring things one could accuse you of.

  • Tony Ferino

    If this poem rhymed, it would be as good as any poem I have ever read. Unfortunately it does not rhyme and I find this to be the worst poem I have ever read.

  • Pippy Dingus

    There was a young man named Dzokhar
    He ran over his brother with an car
    Got shot in the throat
    Then hid in a boat
    He will surely pay for his terrible crimes, eg. bombing

    • professor

      nice limerick!

  • bighugeG

    serious this poem would be on my top ten list of poems that aren’t not bad if you would’ve have made this rhyme, yo. missed oppertunities.

  • poem liker

    could only read a few lines before noticing that no two rhymed together? tried pronouncing words in non-standard ways to no avail. i think this is not a poem.

    • wilder125

      Yet all the lines share the first 3 words

      • bighugeG

        lazyness at it’s finest. this just shows how the terrorists have won.

        • wilder125

          Or that some poems don’t have to rhyme

          • bighugeG

            yeah, bad ones. and that’s what they wanted

          • Chris

            Who? the terrorists? You seriously think they bombed people just to provoke (what you call) “bad” poems? Wow, that’s sad…

          • wilder125

            Or just the poets that write that way.

            Man, reading a little deep into his/her reply are ye?

    • rhyme appreciator

      “moment” and “went” are a sort of rhyme. also Ms. Palmer ends two non-consecutive lines with “anyway” and four consecutive lines with “new york” and these are a different sort of rhyme, perhaps.

  • In atlanta.

    To the hater: Who cares if it rhymes or not. Who cares if it means anything to you. You are here reading it, hearing what afp has to say. Maybe you don’t understand the poem, maybe you don’t understand yourself. Maybe you’ve got nothing better to do than make these comments pulling all the attention to yourself, needing the attention. Crying out for just one person to pay attention to you. Hello there hater. You don’t need to hate anymore. We all saw you. Love.

    • Anne

      it is a very bad poem, you have to admit

    • Blurry

      Or perhaps it is you who is crying out for attention… you’ve flooded her comment section with your own “2 cents”
      haha..
      lawl.
      you really must like her to spend so much time on here xP

  • http://twitter.com/derrekbgn Derrek Ord

    hey it doesn’t rhyme tho so might as well delete it.

  • Tuck

    I bet dzhokhar would love this poem.. If it was a poem.. Where are the rhyming patterns?

  • ishmaeldaro

    I was going to hit the button to send you $5 but then I noticed this poem’s rhyme scheme is a little off. Maybe when you make it rhyme I will send you that fiver.

  • bkami78

    the 8 year old kid wont know a lot if these things too, where’s his poem?

  • poem liker

    did you know that some words rhyme with other words? just a tip to incorporate into future poems

    • wilder125

      As the great and might Eminem (I laugh as I type that) put it in “I’m not Afraid”

      I shouldn’t have to rhyme these words in a rhythm, for you to know it’s a rap.

      Then again it’s about the only rap of his I like. It tells a story that doesn’t need the video.

  • Diane

    The poem reads like something Patti Smith would have written in middle school if she were born with FAS

  • http://twitter.com/Cara_1969 Cara

    There should be a sign saying: “Don’t feed the trolls” above the comment box ;-)

    I don’t understand how someone could read this and see it as a proclamation of love to a killer of many. I don’t understand how anyone could read this and see anything egotistical at all.

    I read this and see pain and confusion. I read this and see bewilderment at how someone can have so much hate in their heart that they become blind to everything else. I read this and feel sad.

    I can’t say I completely understand it – I can’t say I completely understand my own poems either for that matter.

    What I think I can say, with certainty, is that the poem is about love and not hate. It’s about understanding and not about accepting acts of terror as an answer. It’s about life being confusing, painful, difficult and not about giving into hate, destroying everything around you.

    How this can be viewed as insensitive, is a complete mystery to me

    I hope you don’t stop being your honest and loving self, Amanda. I love and respect you for it. If you put all of your poems in a book and publish it, I’ll buy it. And that is a promise!

    • Diane

      Her “poem” is pure narcissistic opportunism, that’s “how”.

    • Dennis

      If there’s one person you can trust to turn up with some ill-considered doggerel hoping to turn tragedy into $5 it’s Amanda Palmer. Her poetic insight (whether into mind of the bomber, herself or YOU) is nil. A terrible opportunist and a bad writer.

      • FiftyThreePercent

        “…hoping to turn tragedy into $5…” Classic

      • http://twitter.com/Cara_1969 Cara

        Opportunist?!? What are you, a leftover commentor from a crowdsource discussion who feel left out and overlooked?

    • ChelsieSutherland

      But she’s never used wrote a poem to try and convey the pain and confusion of any other major crimes, from either the side of the victims or perpetrators. Amanda has a history of (maybe unintentionally) stepping all over the people and groups she’s trying to help, and then telling those same groups they don’t know what they’re talking about when they tell her they don’t want her help.

      I’d be more impressed about what she’s doing if she only had the donation link to one fund Boston, and did not have her own personal donation link sitting right underneath it.

      • http://twitter.com/Cara_1969 Cara

        You must know Amanda personally, since you know all of this…

        Are you dissing on an artist for how the webdesign of the site is set up?!? That donation link you are referring to has little to do with uthis particular post and more to do with the fact that this is the site of an artist. I also doubt Amanda herself had much to do with how the site is built up.

        • ChelsieSutherland

          I’ve followed her career for a while. She’s done some pretty problematic stuff, not all of which can be easily explained away by artistic vision because of how she handled said criticism.

          Considering Amanda owns the website and hired the webdesigner, I’d trust her to know enough to disable the code for her own donation button, or to at least emphasize the text of her entries or have a much more eyegrabbing button for the actual charity so that it takes more precedence in her website design. She could have also included the link for the charity in the same space on the top of the page that she reserved as a warning for troll accounts, for example.

          This isn’t an official press release on the rest of her website, this is her personal blog. She writes the content and in effect controls how she is presented in her own blog. Any artist is responsible for content that appears in a website that they own and present themselves with.

  • delusions of grandview

    Dude, poems are SUPPOSED to rhyme

  • poem liker

    this is more like a repair manual or maybe textbook than a poem, because of the lack of rhymes.

  • Alex

    Lol where’s the rhyming scheme lol u suk

  • Carl poemliker

    It doesn’t rhyme? I don’t believe this is a “poem” by def.

  • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

    the soft rolls bit is so pretentious Lexington of you.

  • pome

    Would’ve been a lot more compelling in iambic pentameter. You should think about maybe taking an English or lit class or maybe going to a writing group or something to work on your structure.

  • RIP Jam Master Jay

    It’s Tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time
    It’s Tricky…it’s Tricky (Tricky) Tricky (Tricky)
    It’s Tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time
    It’s Tricky…Tr-tr-tr-tricky (Tricky) Trrrrrrrrrrricky

  • Estella

    All you haters are hiding behind something worse than terrorism. Amanda is a genius, actually better than Bob Dylan, Sylvia Plath and Cynid Lauper. This poem put’s the events in Boston in a new poetic perspective unheard of in the mainstream media. I tink thats worth something even if your too cool to see it.

    • wilder125

      You’re right. Our monitors are evil. You never know what they’re thinking. Damn shifty monitors

    • ChelsieSutherland

      She is not better than Bob Dylan, or Sylvia Plath, or Cyndi Lauper (although I wonder why you include Lauper, as her lyrics were very much manufactured pop and were never focused on poetry as a form).

      She is passable. And a pass with an actual editor would make it more passable. And trying to empathize with a man that recently bombed a public venue, when she’s never written poetry to empathize with any victims or suspects from other major crimes, is in poor taste.

      • wilder125

        All poems,songs/sonnets, and books are manufactured by the ones that write them. I know handwriting, or typing is a little old fashioned compared to modern manufacturing, but come on.

        • ChelsieSutherland

          Most Top 40 hits are written by separate freelance songwriters, and carefully watched and pushed by producers to make sure they appeal to as many listeners as possible. It’s just how the record industry works. Cyndi Lauper is a singer/songwriter first, and markets herself as such.

          In any case, grouping Cyndi Lauper in with Bob Dylan, who has published books of poetry between his records and been repeatedly nominated for a Nobel Prize in literature, or grouping her with Sylvia Plath, who has one of the largest legacies in American poetry and had nothing to do with the music industry, just doesn’t make sense.

  • TomTom Garmin

    Superb stuff!
    Hits hard.
    I’m in tears.
    Thank you for sharing this.
    Everyone should see it.

  • http://twitter.com/Hermit_Thrush Hermit Thrush

    I’ve reread this “poem” a few times, even aloud, but I’m still mystified by the lack of rhyming. Why won’t you address this?

    • David Fairbanks

      It’s 2013 and people think poems have to rhyme? Really?

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Clinkinbeard/100001527746459 Chris Clinkinbeard

        I’m more concerned with the content than the rhyming. Too “deep” for me I guess.

        • David Fairbanks

          Or it’s not very well articulated. Content is a great thing to talk about. Line breaks and word choices and how things look on the page are too. Rhyme is also a great thing to discuss, but being mystified by the lack of a rhyme to the poem? Yuck.

    • ChelsieSutherland

      Free verse poetry does not require rhyming. Walt Whitman, TS Eliot, Ezra Pound, and Emily Dickinson wrote free verse poetry that does not rhyme. They are all standard poets that are covered in highschool English class.

      • http://www.facebook.com/LucyM121 Lucy Merriman

        Hey, it’s okay. Let it go. There’s this troll account on twitter that pulls pranks to mess with people, and today they decided to prank AFP by getting a lot of people to ask her why her poem doesn’t rhyme. It’s a joke. People were getting too upset about the poem and the tragedy, so they decided to make a joke out of it. (Sorry to everyone else for explaining the joke, but some people seemed to be getting really upset).

        P.S. I love Andrea Gibson <3

        • ChelsieSutherland

          Ugh, trolls. There’s just so much else that Palmer does that is seriously wrong and problematic, and which I would love to see brought out repeatedly instead of “But why doesn’t it rhyme”, and which could actually turn her fanbase off of her.

          Also, yesss Andrea Gibson is fantastic, and I wish she’d get involved in an event somewhere near the Boston area again so I could see her live.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001164662661 Susan Daniels

      Are you serious? Poetry does not have to rhyme.

  • Poem Critic

    Can’t help but notice this doesn’t rhyme. Inexplicable artistic choice, IMHO. Really would have reached the public more with rhyming.

  • rikkitikkitavo

    really lazy writing here. everything starts with “you don’t know” which is NOT rhyming if its the same phrase. Don’t get the buzz with this piece. at all.

  • pome

    I wrote a poem about a boy.
    A tragedy I didn’t employ
    A rhyming scheme when I did write
    This travesty to words last night.

  • Poem Critic

    Date says April 21. Was wondering if you meant April 1, because you look the “fool” when you don’t rhyme poetry.

    • ChelsieSutherland

      Modern freeform, spoken-word poetry does not mandate rhyming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgALhKr4ZZo

      • Carl poemliker

        That just sounds made up

        • wilder125

          Funny, I thought all poems were made up

        • wilder125

          Or are they free range? Who catches free range poems. Do people have to be specially trained to wrangle them?

        • ChelsieSutherland

          Free Verse Poetry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_verse

          Walt Whitman’s work is largely free verse, and does not rhyme. Just read his poem 1861: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/1861/ or A Leaf For Hand In Hand: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/a-leaf-for-hand-in-hand/

          TS Eliot and Ezra Pound created modern free verse. Emily Dickinson used free verse for her smaller poems. Oscar Wilde used free verse, too. Wallace Stevens is a master of the free verse form.

      • http://twitter.com/BaronVonSnake Pokemon Otis

        lol, obviously you don’t know what a poem is.

        • ChelsieSutherland

          And you’ve obviously never heard of Slam Poetry, haiku poetry, or free form poetry.

          T.S Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land”, Ginsberg’s “Howl”, and Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” are all non-rhyming poems.

  • Shakespizzy

    ‘You don’t know how to’ rhyme one word with another lol weres the rhymes dawg ur killing us out here

    • Liz

      Why, just why are you so obsessed with the rhyming?

      Ever heard about the fact that modern poetry is free in form? and that it’s the artist’s choice whether to rhyme or use a verse pattern or not?

      • Diane

        “Durrrrrrrr” – Liz

  • ishmaeldaro

    Why compound the tragedy of the Boston bombings by not making the poem rhyme? Do you want to hurt the victims more?

  • A Poet

    BOMBER BUMMER

    Bomber
    Bummer
    Bomber
    Bummer
    A little boy who won’t reach summer
    What a bummer
    Piled up dead, so hard to number
    What a bummer
    Is my leg blown off or just a little numb-er?
    What a bummer
    A bomb at a marathon trying to kill the runners
    What a bummer
    Are you from around here or are you a newcomer?
    Could you even be a bomber?
    A bomber bummer
    Bummer
    Bomber

    Bummer
    Bomber
    Bummer
    Bomber

    (If you like this, please give me $5!)

    • Poetry publisher

      I would like to offer you a lucrative publishing deal.

    • Kirsten Petersen

      Yikes. *This* poem was terrible and offensive. :P

  • http://twitter.com/BaronVonSnake Pokemon Otis

    I tried to read this, but I kept getting to the end of a line and expected it to rhyme, but it didn’t. It really tripped me up. I thought it was a poem??? Sorry, couldn’t get to the end.

  • pome

    one two three i’m in a boat
    a wooden thing that is afloat
    i have my phone my name’s dzhokhar
    maybe i should be in a car

    or maybe i should fly away
    leave in a plane or maybe stay
    but if i stay then i might die
    after i made those people cry

    i hope if someone writes a poem
    or pens me in some lyric tome
    that they will have the sense to rhyme
    because that’s how poems work and i’m

    about to drift out to the sea
    the current’s changing under me
    and so for now i’ll take my leave
    but poems must rhyme, this i believe.

  • Poe-Guy99

    Seems to me like you are the real “Dzhokhar” (Joker) for writing a poem that don’t even rhyme!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1575722360 Joey Chang

    YOU ARE A TALENTLESS MORON YOU CAN ONLY GARNER ATTN BUY ACTING CONTROVERSIAL…YOU RENDER DESCARTES COMPLETELY IRRELEVENT

    • wilder125

      So… where can i Buy this “acting controversial”. Is it on Amazon?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1575722360 Joey Chang

        what r u talkin about Im referrrin to the psuedo intellectual who wrote this nonsense

        • wilder125

          By, isn’t Buy. in other words. you misspelled one word, and changed the whole thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Clinkinbeard/100001527746459 Chris Clinkinbeard

    Martin Richard was going to write a “poem” too. Unfortunately, his life was snuffed out at age 8. You are a sick individual Ms. Palmer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JustinCambria Justin Cambria

    I read and enjoyed this BEFORE slate!

  • eadtuff

    Why doesn’t the poem rhyme? This is confusing..i thought poetry rhmyed…is this really a poem

    • wilder125

      Some on here think that it doesn’t. Since whether a poem is good or bad is based on opinion, I’d say it’s a toss-up, or a tie. or even a free-range romp

      • ChelsieSutherland

        Free-form spoken-word poetry does not have rules for the form that require rhyming, as it is more about the flow. Her repetition in the first part of each line acts as a hook, instead of rhyming.

        Here’s another (much more accomplished) freeform poet that doesn’t rhyme, but instead creates beautiful visual imagery with her writing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgALhKr4ZZo

        • wilder125

          Sadly, I can’t. there are limits to being bored at work.

          • ChelsieSutherland

            If you can, bookmark it for later. Her website is all videos of her performances and an online store for her books, but she posts small poems and text on her tumblr blog: http://andrewgibby.tumblr.com/

          • wilder125

            lol tumblr is blocked by the firewall. I’ll try to pull the video up long enough to bookmark without playing it.

  • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

    From Twitter:
    Hermit Thrush ‏@Hermit_Thrush
    TWITTER EXPERIMENT: completely derail this publicity stunt by flooding the poem with comments about the rhyme scheme http://amandapalmer.net/blog/20130421/

    Hermit Thrush ‏@Hermit_Thrush
    don’t want to comment? do your part by “voting up” the rhyme-related comments. click the “^” below them

    Am I the only one who finds this really, really odd?

    • Diane

      Yes? Are you stupid or something?

      • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

        Apparently, because I think rallying people to send traffic to a site because you suspect it only exists to get traffic is about as silly as it gets! :)

        • Diane

          It’s called griefing. Don’t tell me you take this woman seriously?

  • rhyme appreciator

    “water” and “order” could rhyme, if you say them right

  • Túlio

    People read a beautiful poem full of “you don’t know”, and after that some of them make comments full of convictions and definiteness. Someday we’ll learn.

    • http://twitter.com/Hermit_Thrush Hermit Thrush

      I don’t know why it doesn’t rhyme.

    • Sleepy

      you dont know that

  • NOTHINGHOSTHOST

    “THE WORLD IS FULL OF HIDDEN DANGERS.

    REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE ONE OF THEM.”

    • wilder125

      Which means we’re all dangerous to each other, so we should all hide in a basement, never the twain shall meet. Resulting in the human race passing away because no new children will ever be born. Gotcha. I vote on the wolves being the next intelligent species to step up.

  • Emily

    this isn’t a poem, there’s no soundplay or insight or powerful imagery. you are talentless, narcissistic and irrelevant.

    • wilder125

      we also don’t have people in berets snapping their fingers in snapping approval. Damn internet

  • L

    i’m feeling a little confused — it seems like this “poem” doesn’t rhyme? do you speak a dialect that makes it rhyme, because if so i think you should put a note at the top or something

  • ChelsieSutherland

    I’d be more impressed by Amanda Palmer’s goodwill if she could find the heart in her to remove the personal donation paypal link from this entry, and keep it about donating solely to OneBoston.

    • L

      i’d be more impressed if the poem rhymed! as it is, it’s just … well, not much of a poem at all! because it doesn’t rhyme, i mean

      • ChelsieSutherland

        Freeform, spoken-word poetry does not have rhyming as a requirement, because the focus is on flow, beat, and creating visual or resounding imagery with the content of the text.

        Andrea Gibson is probably one of the best spoken word poets I’ve ever heard, and while she does not rhyme, the flow of her work keeps it cohesively lyrical. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgALhKr4ZZo

  • http://twitter.com/nelikli neilk

    hello I read this poem from the internet, but, something bothers me, specifically the poem does not rhyme. Is that really appropriate?

  • http://twitter.com/Eh_Palm A Cloud of Dogs

    I love the rhyming scheme you used.

  • bkyguy

    so freaking stupid – not art, garbage

  • Amy Macabre

    I think the true sadness of this poem is how many people fail to grasp the nature of poetry. It isn’t about being literal, it isn’t about condoning or condemning. It’s expressing something via an artform, and yes it IS about making assumptions about someone/something else’s emotions or thoughts. It’s poetry. That’s what it is. And it can be a tool to help us heal, or a tool to help us understand. And even if you do not agree with the sentiment Amanda has made, it does not negate the value of the poetry itself.

  • mr.e

    i guess these days every thing written can be considered a poem for some people…
    the internet gives too many untalented people a wide stage.

  • thoughtful

    I don’t understand. I’m trying to understand but I don’t. I have no idea if I like the poem, or what I feel about it, but…

    Is ‘you’ meant to be everybody? The reader? Is it about empathy? Is it about how everyone feels, at some point? I’d really value an explanation.

    However, this is poetry. It’s designed to make people think. It’s not designed for everyone to just instantly ‘like’. The very fact that it’s sparked such vehement discussion speaks volumes.

    • http://twitter.com/nelikli neilk

      sorry, no. ms. palmer is spitting on actual poets by trying to pass this off as poetry. the fact is, it does not even rhyme.

      • englishlitgraduate

        Are you actually serious? This has got to be a joke. Poetry does not need to rhyme.

  • bkyguy

    you don’t know how to write a decent poem
    you don’t know how to rhyme
    you don’t know how stupid you sound making a victim out of a monster
    you don’t know how dumb you are
    you don’t know how awful your writing is
    you don’t know what you are doing
    you don’t know what real suffering is yet you pretend to
    you don’t know what the real world holds

    you ARE a moron though, and a hack, and just another idiot who thinks that being artistic just means being contrary, but you don’t realize that art is beauty and your creation is ugly

    • wilder125

      Tell me did you know.
      That alcohol would
      Spawn little things like
      This prose.

      Tell me did you know.
      My decongestants are
      Making me see
      Shiny rainbows.

      Tell me did you know
      That caffeine is
      The only thing keeping
      Me sane away from home.

      Tell me did you know
      I don’t know what
      My point is

      Or where this does flow.

      Tell me did you know
      I should go

      And sit on my

      Shiny porcelain throne

      • bkyguy

        now THAT is a poem

        but the trite garbage that this amanda hack wrote is nothing more than trite garbage

        • wilder125

          Maybe… but it’s in 7th grade taught form which is all I know, and any college poetry class will throw it out.

        • wilder125

          Heck, I know for a fact poetry contests don’t let it in unless it’s a local version that never goes national

    • wilder125

      Considering this post. I think I’ll take back my appreciation of your compliment on my 7th grade poetry style.

    • wilder125

      And how mine suddenly appeared below my name, I don’t know. What the…

    • Tansy
    • Rage

      You….
      You don’t know that poems don’t need to rhyme.

      Fin.

      • bkyguy

        no I know that, but I used to have this discussion with my english teacher in high school

        its a cop out, its a total cop out and nothing will ever convince me it is not – just throwing words down on paper does not make something art

        if there is no rhyme and no rhythm to it, its just lazy throw up, no real effort into it – why label that as art? its just jotting down a bunch of BS and throwing the tag “poem” on it because you think you are deep when you are just a lazy POS who thinks people should give you money

        how do you like my poem? what I just wrote in this post was a poem!!!!! if you don’t believe me it is just because you are too ignorant to understand my art – see how stupid it sounds?

  • Emily Dickinson

    I wish I was a bar of soap
    Hanging on a string
    And every time you took a bath
    I’d see your ding-a-ling

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Teeboom/1095826502 Daniel Teeboom

    If you would show an iota of understanding for your conservative country men and women, this outpouring of understanding for a terrorist would not have been in such bad taste.

    But you don’t. You probably hate them which a vengeance. So this is just a pose. If you cannot show understanding and open minded towards the people most similar to you that you share your society with but whose opinions differ from yours, then this outpouring of understanding for somebody completely alien to your values is meaningless. It’s public moral masturbation. It’s telling the world how good you are.

    But we can see right trough that.

  • bostonian

    You should donate 5$ to everyone who read this garbage. Worst poem ever!!!!!!

    • bostonian

      I also said this and she deleted my comment. Dear Amanda, Good luck ever performing here in MA. Even the hippies in Northhampton will take offense to this.

      • WeAreTheMedia

        Actually, we were having a great, fairminded discussion with Amanda about the ethics of empathy before you trolls got here. You’ll get bored eventually, and we’ll get back to making art.
        Love,
        One of Amanda’s hippies.

        • amanda palmer’s pussy

          you dingus…I hope you’re 13 or else there’s no excuse

  • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist
    • TheREALHarvardSquareAhtist

      publicity!

    • wilder125

      Sorry.. but when it hits all the news stations I’ll finally think it’s major publicity. At the most right now it’s a blurb. And gawker isn’t even something a lot of people like to read except in passing before going somewhere more interesting. But that could just be my opinion and I’m the only one who passes by it.

    • http://capnswing.tumblr.com/ Christopher Swing

      “And also the poem adds Palmer, elbowing her way in to the
      conversation, insisting on her right to speak for a teenager she never
      met and to whose thoughts and feelings she has no access, demanding that
      we recognize her bravery for doing so, and then later telling us all
      that it’s our fault we misunderstood”

      “It’s not just about a basic inability to craft a compelling image, it’s also about Palmer’s own egotism. “A Poem for Dzhokhar” is not, really,
      “for” Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old college kid who, along with
      his older brother, allegedly detonated a bomb at the Boston Marathon
      last week. It’s for Palmer, a deluded and opportunistic narcissist who sells rhetorical snake oil
      to people too full of unearned self-regard to join an actual cult. It’s
      another way she can make sure people are looking at her, and we
      shouldn’t even write about it—if we write about it, she wins—except that in this case she has actually created something remarkable: a world-historically horrific poem. ”

      DAMN, I have to give it to Gawker this time.

  • Paul Daniel the magician

    Mary Mary quite contrary
    Shaved her pussy cause it was so damn hairy.

    • wilder125

      So That’s what the garden was they were talking about in the poem

  • ian twolan

    Amanda – you are dumber than dogshit !

    • wilder125

      Was that supposed to be insightful or insulting? Just curious. I’m seeing better insults to her in older comments

  • LaCreesha Shewundaful

    This poem does not rhyme

    • wilder125

      Really. didn’t guess. hah

  • William McGonagall

    The Tay Bridge Disaster

    Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
    Alas! I am very sorry to say
    That ninety lives have been taken away
    On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

    ‘Twas about seven o’clock at night,
    And the wind it blew with all its might,
    And the rain came pouring down,
    And the dark clods seem’d to frown,
    And the Demon of the air seem’d to say-
    “I’ll blow down the Bridge of Tay.”

    When the train left Edinburgh
    The passengers’ hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
    But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
    Which made their hearts for to quail,
    And many of the passengers with fear did say-
    “I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay.”

    But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
    Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
    And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
    On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

    So the train sped on with all its might,
    And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sught,
    And the passengers’ hearts felt light,
    Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
    With their friends at home they lov’d most dear,
    And wish them all a happy New Year.

    So the train mov’d slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
    Until it was about midway,
    Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
    And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
    The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
    Because ninety lives had been taken away,
    On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

    As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
    The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
    And the cry rang out all o’er the town,
    Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
    And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
    Which fill’d all the peoples hearts with sorrow,
    And made them for to turn pale,
    Because none of the passengers were sav’d to tell the tale
    How the disaster happen’d on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

    It must have been an awful sight,
    To witness in the dusky moonlight,
    While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
    Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
    Oh! ill-fated Bridge of thSilv’ry Tay,
    I must now conclude my lay
    By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
    That your central girders would not have given way,
    At least many sensible men do say,
    Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
    At least many sensible men confesses,
    For the stronger we our houses do build,
    The less chance we have of being killed.

  • http://twitter.com/bsdf asdf

    neil.

  • Granola Gaye

    There one was a girl from Nantucket
    Writing horrible prose by the bucket
    She thought she was cool
    Too cool for school
    Fuck you Amanda Palmer

    • wilder125

      You forgot all of it needs to rhyme. According to some quite sublime.

    • Granola Gaye
    • wilder125

      “My opinion will not be a face palmer” would probably work. But then I don’t agree with yours. so how would I know

  • A Poet

    BOMBER BUMMER

    Bomber
    Bummer
    Bomber
    Bummer
    A little boy who won’t reach summer
    What a bummer
    Piled up dead, so hard to number
    What a bummer
    Is my leg blown off or just a little numb-er?
    What a bummer
    A bomb at a marathon trying to kill the runners
    What a bummer
    Are you from around here or are you a newcomer?
    Could you even be a bomber?
    A bomber bummer
    Bummer
    Bomber

    Bummer
    Bomber
    Bummer
    Bomber

    (If you like this, please give me $5!)

    • JAne

      wow. you’re really enjoying this self-righteousness with which you can act like a troll and no onw would say anything to you? go do something useful.

    • JAne

      weirdo….

    • http://twitter.com/one2ohmygod COACH HUGHES

      i lolled.

  • Barry Stephenson

    Hi Amanda,

    This is sooo beautiful.

    Could you also write one for Hitler or Stalin? I don’t think there is enough empathy for these people.
    Maybe you could do one for the Sandy Hook killer. And what about all the child molesters? Maybe you could do an anthology for all of the poor people who have devastated other’s lives. Also, I hope the people who have been maimed or lost family in Boston get to see this – it will be so cathartic for them to read this. I’m so glad that you’ve written this, and that you’re brave enough to do something that other, less generous people would find completely disgusting and see as the sign of an insensitive, self-absorbed idiot. I definitely don’t agree with them.

    Love from Barry.

    • jobby-eater

      Only Amanda Palmer with her devastating imaginative and poetic insight would have a hope of explaining the enigmas that were Hitler and Stalin. I’d give her five bucks for sure!

    • lentower

      Godwin’s Law again.

      • Barry Stephenson

        Thank you lentower. Totally appreciate you misusing Godwin’s Law in relation to my post. Gold star for you.

        • lentower

          We obviously disagree about that.

  • Guest

    perhaps if this wasn’t about you than you should have a donation link for the Boston victims instead of managing to toss yours in there as well. Oppurtunistic spittle, half-assed attempt.

    • bostonian

      Don’t delete this comment. It is a VERY valid point.

    • slepy

      whats this ladies deal? did you love the poem or hate it? ps no matter what the answer, no one cares.

    • broken

      There is a donation link for the victims: “Click HERE to donate & find additional about The One Fund Boston…” Additionally, the donation link for Amanda’s work is at the bottom of each of her blog posts. As a primarily “pay what you like” artist, that is how she makes a living.

    • wiccabasket

      There is a donation link, right up there ^^

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alan-Fann/100000368571724 Alan Fann

    Did you really mean to type through through?

  • one of the three percent

    i believe it was a set up by the alphabet group as the sheep follow their undocumented dictator , for where does a chechnian profit from attacking what they are enjoying the u.s provides support and weapons to their people to offset russia for years, so why , no videos , no witnesses , no guns seen , so where is clear proof? scapegoats to provide cause so sheep follow to slaughter begging please please pediboma take our rights away to make us safe , make a diversion so we dont see the bitter truth or protection of saudis it all stinks and people are believing fbi and goverment till its them one day.

  • http://twitter.com/loriannstephens Lori Ann Stephens

    April is National Poetry Month. Palmer wrote a poem. She was clearly trying to do what people who write poetry do: make some sense of the world. The vitriolic response is frightening. The ad hominem attacks on her career choices are almost as depressing. Artists must self-promote to make a living. I don’t see this kind of hatred aimed at businesses who shell out millions to promote themselves via advertising during the Superbowl. People: spend less time spreading your hatred and more time spreading kindness. Life is too brief for blame and hatred. Over a poem? Go help someone carry groceries. Go open a door for someone whose hands are full. Ask your elderly neighbor how she’s doing, and actually listen to her response. Be a positive force.

    • ChelsieSutherland

      To be fair, those businesses are spending millions to advertise during the superbowl, not advertise after one of the biggest and longest-lasting international city traditions in a major US city was bombed and spectators killed. There is a time and place to self-promote, there is a time and place to have a personal donation button on the footer of your blog.

      The personal donation button is bigger and more eyecatching than the link (embedded in a tiny snippet of text in a large paragraph) to the actual donation site she says she’s trying to get traffic for. That says a lot to people.

      Amanda Palmer has a history of trying to use her music and projects to try to help various groups and people, and in doing so has often stepped all over or silenced the same groups she has tried to help. And, when those groups tell her where she has made a mistake in her attempts to be an ally, she has silenced them or shut them out of the conversation.