Taylor Swift as Guided Meditation Leader
by Lisa Mangini

Figure may be the most natural thing. Go,
question, and change with your past. How is it
reflected on the common interest? Think just
as a person; try to be open: walking on the street,
so affected by those the same. Be vulnerable

to new and painful emotions. Let those into yourself.
Experiment in becoming comfortable. You know
you comfort in weird ways, and that’s that.

You are dancing, and it’s a pleasure to dance – so
good – and quest on to be a deluxe version
of honest. There is “actually.” Maybe. Basically,
you know what happens when you get an idea.
The first thing is to sit on the edge and play.

Whatever. Gibberish comes first. Release
any of that before you hear a malady, and then
you’ll be able to go, and you’ll listen
to what it ended up being when it was hopeful.

Some insight into you: act on the secret
messages in the previous you. Keep on
liking, keep on doing. If you like, keep
doing it, but also thinking about the tangible

quality of a photograph. We have been taking
so many that time, in the physical, opened up
as little envelopes, in each hot and cool. Shy

as we meet each other, I am because I’ve been.
I’ve waited outside you; I waited outside
a whatever. I want to meet this person. We created
something alienated, annoying. It means that “giving
away” is just a lot of information, a lot of stuff:
Norway, sky, Pandora, you. Today.

We love you, beautiful. I’m so new when I’m there.
Surprise is the story: there’s a quest for years, manic,
all too busy – but we flew, played together; we start
talking about ideas in mind to tie to this metaphor,

metaphors and cats. My idea was life itself, greatly
reflected in your willingness, today, to inherent
dancing, projecting love into the middle.

SOURCE: “Taylor Swift Answers Fans’ Questions about 1989 (ABC News, August 18, 2014).

IMAGE: Cover of 1989 by Taylor Swift (Big Machine Records, October 2014).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I approach a poem with a found text or source, I usually try to think about what the secret life or thoughts or surprising “other self” qualities the author or original speaker may have. This is purely projection on my part based on a small sliver that can be seen, but it allows me to create a different character to stand in for that individual, while also weaving in aspects that might seem to remain true. I chose Taylor Swift because I find her shape-shifting and musical genre-bending intriguing (perhaps because I work in multiple genres myself, in writing). In this poem, I tried to imagine what this bubbly, often lovesick country-turned-pop star might sound like if she ventured into a Haight-Ashbury, mind-expanding phase next.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Mangini earned her MFA from Southern Connecticut State University. She is the author of the full-length poetry collection, Bird Watching at the End of the World  (Cherry Grove Press), as well as three chapbooks, all available or forthcoming throughout 2014. She is the Founding Editor of Paper Nautilus, and the Interim Editor-in-Chief and Faculty Advisor of Freshwater. She teaches at several colleges in Southern New England. Visit her at  lisamangini.wordpress.com.