“still dangerous,” by Julia at Millennium Park, Chicago

Thursday September 13, 2018
1:48pm
5 minutes
Soft
Sarah Pinder

He whistles his love from the bathroom with the door closed
She is supposed to whistle back to signal that she heard him
She never learned how to whistle
It hasn’t been a major set back
except when everyone else was whistling in the
first scene of the show but her
She pursed her lips together and
raised her eyebrows to fake it

When he whistles from the bathroom
She is supposed to answer him but
she doesn’t know how to fake it
Whatever song comes out, comes out
Whatever noise, faint or otherwise
He takes it as a symbol of her love for him
But she does not know how to whistle
She does not know how to fake it
She has never been good at lying
He has never been good at detecting it

They say you can teach yourself how to whistle
The placement of the tongue in your mouth is everything
The space left for air to flow through

One day she tried to teach herself how to whistle
She put her mouth the way they say to
she made sure her tongue was in the right spot
One sad little note slipped out
And she was glad that she could learn to do
the thing that everyone seems to know how to do

When he whistled his love for her behind the bathroom door
She whistled back one flat note
She never learned how to change the tone
Or make it sound more alive

“I need to buy some tango shoes” by Sasha in an airplane heading East

Thursday September 14, 2017
2:39pm
5 minutes
overheard at the airport

Marsha keeps talking about her fucking tango shoes. It’s driving me up the wall. She acts like she knows how to dance. What she does is not dancing, I don’t know what it is, but it isn’t tango. And besides, there’s no such thing as tango shoes! Put some leather on the bottom of your best lace up heels. There. Tango shoe. Marsha’s all talk. She talks and talks but nothing ever comes of it. She never actually does it. I wouldn’t be surprised if she hasn’t even taken one class. She’s off the rails.

“SUPREMEBEING” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday February 25, 2016
11:27pm
5 minutes
Treasures & Travels Blog

You yelled in the car ride over to Tessa’s gallery opening and I had to beg you to pull over so I could get out before you killed us both with your rage. When I got out of the car I wiped my eyes, reapplied the lipstick I had chewed off and walked so fast ahead of you it may have seemed like I was trying to lose you. For the record: I was. I forced a smile to peel onto my lips and I strut through the trendy studio space like I invented the idea of putting so many pillars everywhere. Tessa was happy to see me and she hugged me tight and said How are you though?! I lied through my teeth and said Your art makes me want to be a better person. She was thrilled and then she left me alone. You finally entered the gallery and by that moment I thought you had decided not to come at all. I was planning my way home in my head and how when I finally got back, if you were still awake, I’d just walk straight to the bedroom and close the door. You saw that I saw you and even when I turned my back to you, you came right over to me and kissed me so sorry I forgot for a second how scared I was just minutes ago. I didn’t mean it, you cooed in my ear. I didn’t mean any of it.

“Hear all year” by Julia at Burts Hill Provincial Park


Saturday July 12, 2014
5:21pm
5 minutes
from a banner at Winnipeg Folk Fest

That’s what they want you to say. They want you to say, no problem, no worries, it’s all good, blah blah blah. But really they’re right in the middle of taking advantage of you when they get you to utter anything like those stupid things they’re banking on. It’s like a weird tribe or cult that they obviously have training in and are therefore prepared for whatever answer you give, but I’m telling you, from experience or whatever, that you don’t have to feel tricked or bullied. Don’t let them get in your head and remember what you did when you were a kid and you got asked point blank if it was you who stole grandma’s perfume out of the drawer. Try and remember that exact response. The look of shock and maybe hurt that someone could even think of doing something so awful to your dear dear grandma, then the no that says, if you don’t find who did this, I will. That’s what I need you to summon from your bones cause I know you didn’t throw that feeling away. I know you still have it living inside of you for times like these. Don’t get soft and give in. I don’t want you running down the stairs crying cause the guilt of actually stealing her perfume made you feel so bad that you had to confess. There’s no room for that here, understand?

“resourcefulness and self-reliance,” by Julia at the Marriott in Providence RI


Tuesday May 6, 2014
8:45pm
5 minutes
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Of course you thought I was fine. I was smiling to myself, exhibiting all the qualities of a self-assured person, no indication that I was uncomfortable because of that head up walk that I perfected. You didn’t think to look beneath the skin. The skin that’s being stretched so tightly across the fear. Across the insecurities and the unhinged truth.
I learned to lie very early on. It didn’t help me. It still doesn’t help me. Not when all you want is someone to see your face, know you’re lying when you’re saying things are great, even when you look convincing. So that you don’t have to do so much work to uphold appearances and prove to everyone around that there could be nothing wrong. Not even a little bit. For someone to take your hand and look into your eyes and say, you can let that guard down now. You can let me in a little even if you don’t want to talk. You can be taken care of even if you don’t think you look strong when you accept that kind of thing.

“In all times and all countries,” by Julia at her kitchen table

Monday, April 8, 2013
5:32pm
5 minutes
The Three Muskateers
Alexandre Dumas


Someone’s laughing
Someone’s crying
Someone’s holding someone’s hand
Someone’s being born
Someone’s dying
Someone’s asking for help
Someone’s waiting to speak
Someone’s getting dressed
Someone’s answering a phone
Someone’s accusing someone
Someone’s celebrating something
Someone’s killing something…small…and with antennae
Someone’s swearing
Someone’s promising
Someone’s lying
Someone’s hoping
Someone’s yelling
Someone’s sleeping
Someone’s listening
Someone’s writing
Someone’s eating
Someone’s making lists
Someone’s remembering
Someone’s forgetting
Someone’s falling in love
Someone’s drinking
Someone’s needing forgiveness
Someone’s playing the whole day back in their minds
Someone’s creating