Amanda Palmer courts controversy with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev poem

Poem attempts to understand the 19-year-old by piecing together bits of information from the news

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Posted 22nd April 2013 in News, The Dresden Dolls | By Clickmusic News Desk
Amanda Palmer courts controversy with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev poem

If anyone was going to write a poem about Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, it was going to be Amanda Palmer.

Amanda uploaded the poem late last night on her official website and titled the post 'Poem for Dzhokhar'. Written in a series of 'You don't know' statements, the poem focuses on the shortcomings of Dzhokhar through the countless attempts to understand the man behind the Boston bombings. It's not meant to be read as Dzhokhar or anyone else; more a condensation and translation of confusion surrounding the events.

Some of the most controversial lines:

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 it’s possible to feel total compassion in one moment and total disconnection in the next moment.

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 explain yourself.

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 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 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 adjust the rearview mirror.

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


Her poem has attracted a slew of complaints and trolls in the comment section of the blog post, but Amanda has defended her post as being about "everyone".

AmandaHugenkiss [Alejandra] had a simple response: "Actually, it's shit."

Jade V [diggingellen] quoted Joss Whedon in her reply to the article: "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."

You can read the full poem on Amanda's website.

Amanda ends the article with a link to donate to the One Fund Boston.