A Poem For Dzhokhar by Amanda Palmer

Poetry

Here’s a poem, I recently came across, by Boston-based Amanda Palmer that has caused a lot of controversy. It’s definitely worth reading the follow up blog too.

A Poem For Dzhokhar

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.”

I’m very interested in seeing other people’s thoughts about this so comment below!

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2 thoughts on “A Poem For Dzhokhar by Amanda Palmer

  1. Here are two things I read from the follow up post that made me immediately stop reading and take note:

    “fear happens.

    and when you feel the fear, you have many choices.

    you can take the fear and turn it into hatred, anger and negativity (WHO CAN I BLAME RIGHT NOW? HOW CAN I HURT THEM? WHERE CAN I HIDE? and WHO CAN I HIDE WITH?)
    or
    you can take the fear, unravel it, and try to turn it into deeper questions (WHY DID THIS HAPPEN? HOW CAN I UNDERSTAND? and WHERE ARE WE FAILING EACH OTHER?)

    sometimes i worry that more and more people are asking the first set of questions, and less people are asking the second.
    and i worry that even if people are asking THEMSELVES the second set of questions, they’re afraid to ask them out loud.”

    “the moment you choose to be empathetic only towards your family, only towards your friends, only towards your immediate neighbors, only the people who look like you, or think like you…
    that is the moment you fail to see that we are all connected, that we are all capable of feeling pain and all – every one of us – capable of empathy.”

  2. Wow, what an incredible poem. What really got me are the short, simple human images littered within like “you don’t know where your friends went.” I’ll have another read another time and get back to you on what I think

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