Poem for Amanda Palmer in Reply to “Ukulele Anthem”

© 2014 Leslie I. Benson

I took a cue from a girl I don’t know—
a complete total stranger.

For all I know, she could be deranged,
a red-haired demon-profit
spurring change with no eyebrows,
or a demi-god with angel wings
who fell to earth just to sell an album.

Her anthems reflect you and me,
all of us who understand what punk means.
She told me to play a ukulele;
so I did it, and now I feel better.

For all I know, she could be the Queen,
a real, live genius of marketing,
or a mannequin that’s come to life
to entertain whomever’s watching.

Letting cameras capture her
posed in awkward positions
without any clothes—
oh, to have her balls!

That brilliant, mad woman
who’d rather be naked
and seduce a writer
than work in a job—
a job that she hates
or comply with the status quo.

She’d rather burn down a building
or start a revolution
than sit at a desk
for hours on end
answering emails like it was
a profession.

Always chanting about making art
no matter how small—
just getting your shit out there,
it’s still all that matters.

She christened me
with a reTweet
that brought me 20 new followers.
What a treat to be a fan girl
if just for one day.

She may be a stranger,
or just strange,
but I’d like to call her my friend.

Thank you, Amanda.
I love you.

LIB with ukulele-1-21-14

Make Good Art — by Neil Gaiman

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.” —Neil Gaiman

Read the full transcript of Gaiman’s “Make Good Art” speech here as he addresses the University of the Arts Class of 2012—one of the best commencement speeches ever.

This is my inspiration for 2014, and my New Year’s Resolution: #MakeGoodArt.