Taylor Swift Performing “Mean” at the 54th Grammy Awards
There is no feeling quite like writing a song about someone who is really mean to you, someone who completely hates you, someone who tries to make your life a living hell and winning a Grammy for it. Thank you!
You, with your words. I’ve slept with knives too, I’ve woken up to the sound of a nose breaking.
This isn’t unique.
If you pile up my garbage, all of me, I will stand upon it and tell you about yourself. A truncated accounting of the contents: Six tattoos, eighteen chicken pox scars, a single by the Stooges, a guide to the weapons of Middle Earth, a ticket stub from a concert in Milwaukee– I do not feel secure balanced here,
but at least I am finally tall.
When I tell you about yourself– you know this isn’t specific, right? This is not your coffee with clouds for cream, it is my pile of garbage and when I climb down– well. It’s a lot of cups of coffee to clamber down. And then someone’s gotta pick all that trash up.
I’ll pick it all up. Swallow without chewing.
What do you do with the things that other people throw away?
I guess I shouldn’t ask you– you’ve never been the type to get thrown away. This is supposed to be my moment, but now I’m just uncomfortably aware of this fucking trash-mountain, and that I’ve spent this time talking mostly about the many iterations of you.
I have all my words, but I want you to be most concrete in my scornfully pursed lips, in this moment where the music stops. There is more to sing,
but this quiet moment is an honest memory.
I want to diminish you. Instead, I find myself granting you this time. This award is dedicated to you.
So, to us.
Taylor Swift Performing “All Too Well” at the 56th Grammy Awards
There’s a payphone somewhere in Northern Wisconsin– I know there must be.
All the lights are off in my dorm room, and I am spilling myself into e-mail after e-mail. Building to a climax the same way the piano builds to the elongation of “all.”
The length of a night without sleep.
I’ve joined an apocalyptic cult. It’s selfish, but I’m not really in a place to be critical about that right now. The choir will obscure my voice. We’ll be united in our desire for endings.
As if all these voices will somehow make this less embarrassing.
Together, we will drown out my shame.
Taylor Swift Performing “Out Of The Woods” at the GRAMMY Museum
Just point and shoot. Easy.
It’s all in the inflection. Lean on a certain syllable, and everything changes. Watch the meaning slide.
In Los Angeles, while snapping instant photographs,
the graveyard peacocks,
the distant HOLLYWOOD sign,
a reflection in a Starbucks bathroom, there is anxiety about creating proof. History? Evidence. Photography reflecting a body.
Most of them don’t develop right. Just brightness and dark.
Did you know there are no trees in California?
At the end of the performance, fold your hands in your lap, buckle your seat belt low and tight across your waist, and wait for take off.
Wake up in the midwest, back in the flat green. You’ve changed
Taylor Swift Performing I Knew You Were Trouble (Live at the Jingle Bell Ball)
Here are some things I know:
We arrived in gold and black armor,.
Stepped off a train, three hours late.
I was hidden behind a face-mask and sunglasses and a stolen leather jacket. The mask was supposed to screen poison from the air. The jacket was a size too big, and you did not recognize my shadow.
I should have tried to eat.
I didn’t, though. Instead, I drank a can of Coke slowly and evenly, through clenched teeth.
After I got home, I kept my face covered for two months. There was a need to be unrecognizable. This is distinct from mourning. The cheap makeup ran into my eyes and matted in my eyelashes. I woke up on my friend’s floor at 3 AM, with my eyes glued shut.
I’m drowning in an air mattress as it slowly deflates and I know our future from the sound of your voice in my ear. All these places I’ve never been.
I will repeat these mistakes.