When I wrote ‘Do What U Want’, I was on tour traveling around the world and my mother called me and she said, “You’re on the news…and you look really fat.” And I said, “What do you mean?” *laughs* She says, “I don’t-…are you okay? Did you gain weight?” I said, “What are you talking about? I’m on the news? For my weight? Really?” It’s so shallow and crazy, we live in a world where there’s wars and there’s famine and illness, but I’m on the news for my weight? This is so silly to me, I don’t believe you.
So then I saw that it was true and I thought about how sad this is. Not for me. For me with my body I’ve had a struggle since I was very young. Do I think that it’s insensitive? Sure. Especially since I’ve been so vocal about my body image problems and my addictions over the years. It’s a certain kind of person that I am that I think a lot of young people can relate to. And these sorts of statements can really throw you off and make you get lost in your mind into that dark place, that place of self-hatred, of sadness. So I wanted to release all of that. When I wrote this song I was writing about how my body is something that the public knows—my image—I am a vessel. But if I am treated this way, this is all I will give you. I will just give you my body. You will not have my heart or my mind, because you don’t deserve it. I give my heart and my mind to my fans. That is who deserves it because they receive it with love. When I’m on stage with them there’s this amazing spiritual experience that takes place where there’s a transfer of energy, of kindness and love and acceptance between us. But when this negativity starts to fly, this is not what I’m about. This is when I start to close as an artist, and I start to protect my mind and heart. And I look at the way that society has changed and I say, ‘Well this is a good time to show my ass.’ Because it’s all I choose to give you. I would rather be an ass than be real and give you what you don’t deserve."
You’re not doing well and finally I don’t have to
pretend to be so interested in your on going tragedy,
I’ll rob the bank that gave you the impression that
money is more fruitful than words, and
I’ll cut holes in the ozone if it means you have one less day of rain.
I’ll walk you to the hospital,
I’ll wait in a white room that reeks of hand sanitizer and latex for the results from the MRI scan that tries to
locate the malady that keeps your mind guessing, and
I want to write you a poem every day until my hand breaks
and assure you that you’ll find your place,
the world has a funny way of
hiding spots fertile enough for
bodies like yours to grow roots.
I miss you like a dart hits the iris of a bullseye,
or a train ticket screams 4:30 at 4:47, I
wanted to tell you that it’s my birthday on Thursday
and I would have wanted you to
give me the gift of your guts on the floor, one last time,
to see if you still had it in you.
I hope our ghosts aren’t eating you alive.
If I’m to speak for myself, I’ll tell you that
the universe is twice as big as we think it is
and you’re the only one that made that idea