by Roxanna Bennett

Could I be crazy, amazing? My twisted
confessional is not slander if followed
by a question mark. I’m sick of saying
it’s crazy that I’m crazy, I’m a girl.

If I could just find someone who looked
at me like I’m a girl. Like a girl they want
because they don’t know me, I’m crazy.
Because of guys who write and say they want

to chain me up in their basements I have no
social life. It’s crazy, being scared in the middle
of a conversation on a bus, in the mall, or
an airport bathroom at four in the morning.

If I could find someone who just looked at me
like I’m a girl. Like a girl they want to be.
It’s crazy that I’m thought of as a weapon,
I’m a girl. The cartoon character most people

see me as is crazy, a rumour of a girl.
I never had a conscious decision to be
crazy, my actual life has no shocking
angles, my actual dimensions are not

crazy. I’m a girl. I need love everywhere.
If I could just find a guy who wants
to know the girl, the actual never girl,
like, a guy who wants to know stories

of who I was before this, and things that
didn’t happen on an awards show—
it isn’t true that I’m a rumour of a girl.
I’m a weapon of loss, loneliness,

sadness in a song. I told my mother:
do not complain about this life.
It’s crazy, amazing. You don’t know me,
I just look grown up. I’m a girl. Why

would you obsess over guys, they don’t
like it. Or me. Because I’m crazy. Just
a girl they never know. It’s ludicrous
to love a girl. They can’t have me.

SOURCE: “Taylor Swift’s Telltale Heart” by Nancy Jo Sales, Vanity Fair (April 2013).

PHOTO: Taylor Swift (Vanity Fair, April 2013).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am not Taylor Swift’s target audience and have heard little of her music, but, even so, have been aware of the way she’s perceived as being “boy crazy,” which is a stupid thing for anyone to say about anyone. Reading this interview, I was struck by how many times the word “crazy” was used and what that must mean to a young woman who really is working very hard and trying to have a life inside of a fishbowl. And how terrifying it is that because so many men have threatened to chain her up in their basements, who have tried to break into her apartment, who want to use her and hurt her, this woman they have never met, that she has to have a 24-hour security detail, is actually crazy.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Roxanna Bennett is a Canadian writer whose nonfiction and poetry have been published in numerous North American and UK journals. Her first collection of poems The Uncertainty Principle is available now from Tightrope Books.