“Thunderbird” by Julia on Jenny and Andrea’s lawn


Monday September 29, 2014
3:41pm
5 minutes
Jess’ imagineNATIVE tote

Roaring at me, this fucking thing. I’m like Beatrice, please, I can’t focus with your teeth in my neck. That’s what it feels like, this fucking thing, screaming so close that her gums might as well be rubbing my ear drums. I could slap her away but that won’t shut her up. Not even a little bit. And I’m not a bad guy. So fucking Yip Yip Yip, but she doesn’t seem to get what I mean. Too abstract, I’m being with her. But this little Chihuahua won’t let up and I’m not in the mood cause I smoked this thing and I don’t even know what it was, but clearly I needed it. Beatrice, I’m like, Beatrice—I think you either need to take a sweet shit or get fucking laid.

“we can remember everything” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday September 28, 2014
6:11pm
5 minutes
Writing Down The Bones
Natalie Goldberg


we can remember everything
not only what happened to us
what happened to the ones that came before
what burned their hands
and their wonder
you tell me about smelling the train
the sounds outside
bombs and lightning
not knowing if the bursts of light
were from one
or the other
you tell me and i know you know it’s
impossible
nothing is
i’m sorry
nothing is
she wears a nun’s habit because she thinks it will save her
she’s a religious woman
it’s not bad
no one is judging her
i was there the night the car crashed
dead on impact
dead on the spot
stopped in the tracks
and
i remember the naked sky
no stars
i remember
but i wasn’t there
and neither were you
but we remember

“Tutti liberi!” By Sasha at Culprit Coffee Co.


Saturday September 27, 2014 at Culprit Coffee Co.
3:00pm
5 minutes
Street graffiti on Strada Maggiore in Bologna

Remember when people used travel agents? That was cool. That was a real thing. Like, it was someone’s job organize your travel. WOAH. This like, permed lady, wearing a turquoise necklace and brown zippy boots would just sit there and wait for whenever you wanted to take a vacation! She was on your team, man! I mean, whatever happened to those people? Expedia came in and put a whole industry out on the streets… It’s sad, really. Like, if it was still a thing, I might hop on that train, man! Googling exotic beaches all day and calling it a job?! Sign me up!

“we can remember everything” by Julia on the train to Parma, Italy


Sunday September 28, 2014
5:05pm
5 minutes
Writing Down The Bones
Natalie Goldberg


We can so we don’t think we have to try.
We do, though.
We have to try.
We don’t get memories for free.
We think we do, but we don’t.
Just a little work first…
Just a little active listening.
Someone says “with the whole body”.
Someone says that someone says that.
That’s why when we’re young we hold it all.
Because we don’t know how to turn our bodies off.
We don’t know how to disconnect our hearts and minds yet.
And we carry the trauma and we remember without trying and we have a reservoir of moments.
But now it’s different.
Now it’s harder to let it all go but keep it all close at the same time.
So we must.
We must try.
We must try to remember by listening with everything.
And slowly slowly, the images will come.
And when they do, the feeling will be complete.

“Tutti liberi!” By Julia in Piazza della Mercanzia, Bologna


Saturday September 27, 2014
5:41pm
5 minutes
Street graffiti on Strada Maggiore in Bologna

When the missus takes my hat I fall in love with her hands and the silky smoothness of her fingertips as she lightly grazes mine. I fall in love with her in this instance and in all her past instances-her befores, her before thats. Her shadows following closely behind her-I see them and I love them too, for they know her intimately from the back, even though she barely turns her head.

She doesn’t say a word to me but with her silence I can tell she senses me more than she’d like to. She won’t meet my eyes but her skin is lit up and it radiates a heat that comes from fear disguised as indifference. She’s done this before and I’m aware that she knows this too, but old habits die the hardest. She doesn’t wish it were different, she doesn’t try to kill the thing that eats her. I wonder what the missus would have looked like as a girl and I picture her strawberry blonde curls frizzing in the midsummer’s heat.

“Really cute, bright (near markets)” by Julia on the train to Bologna


Friday September 26, 2014
2:21pm
5 minutes
Julia’s apartment research

Hi, I’m looking for this tiny little human? She’s the size of someone’s nonna but in a super cute way not a shrivelled way? Like, she’d be the type to put olive oil on her skin as a moisturizer and as perfume and you’d be in love with her because of it. Only this tiny human I’m looking for is not someone’s nonna, she’s just small like one. And cool in the way that she gave her last fuck away to someone who wanted it more than she did–the way you throw away crusts from a sandwich–like, fuck this sandwich! When you just don’t care anymore? She’s cool and tiny and I met her once and she was carrying this neon tote bag so I thought she’d be easy to describe but clearly you’re not getting it. Oh! And I’m pretty sure she’s a Scorpio. It’s weird cause I always seem to meet Scorpios and then right away I fall in love with them. I’m not sure what it is but something magic, I’m assuming. That’s all I know about her–I wish I could just draw you a picture but I don’t think I really even saw her face. I was obviously too busy looking inside her.

“Really cute, bright (near markets)” by Sasha at Higher Grounds Coffee House


Friday September 26, 2014 at Higher Grounds Coffee House
5:12pm
5 minutes
Julia’s apartment research

When you go to school, look people in the eye and question authority. In that order.
When you go to camp, send letters home with findings from your hikes – leaves are easier to mail than pinecones or bird skulls.
When you go to the ocean, find a shell and keep it in your pocket, even when you go back to your place far from the sea. Shells are made of dolphin dreams. Dolphin dreams are really nice to carry in your pocket, close to your hip, where you might keep some fear.
When you go someplace that’s new, relax the muscles of your heart. In the unknown, it can tense up and that makes your eyebrows furrow and it makes it much harder to laugh at jokes you don’t think are the most funny.
When you find a new friend, be honest from the very start. Once, a long time ago (not that long of a time ago), I made a beautiful friend named Maria. She was from Mexico. The first time we went on a walk together, she asked me what I did and I told her. “I’m a writer,” I said. “Have you been published? Where can I read your work?” Instead of reaching into my backpack and reading her one of my most recent poems, I said that I’d been published in a literary magazine out of Saskatoon. I instantly regretted lying to her. I kept her at arm’s length because I did. I felt bad. I couldn’t get passed it. She might’ve been a treasured sister, but I got in my own way and didn’t let that happen.
When you listen to an elder, learn from her trials, learn from the rocks she stumbled on.
When you drink water, give thanks. You are water. The earth is water. Water flows. You hope to flow.

“It’ll be fine in a second” by Sasha at the Library


Thursday September 25, 2014
4:16pm
5 minutes
From Jess’ lamp speech

One of the girls shrieks and many of the women on the subway car (all of the women on the subway car, save one, who grew up in the country and never went through this particular phase in this particular way) who are over twenty five (and a few who are under, yes, wiser than their years, I was, in some ways, yes) feel a pang of agony at the loudness and the shrillness and the too-tight dresses. They see their former selves, yes. They see the train-wreck of youth. They see the plaid-shirt over white V-neck, clean-shaven guys they kissed, they will kiss. They smell the cologne, the perfume, the over-the-counter morning after pill. They taste the Malibu, the Diet Cola, the Salt and Vinegar chips eaten on the early morning ride homewards, a whole bag, a whole bag of guilt and sodium, a whole bag of pleasure and chapped lips.

“Below the church is the crypt” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday September 24, 2014
11:21pm
5 minutes
Lonely Planet-Italy

Okay. So. We’re going to do a word association exercise. Please don’t over-think it. Leo, I’m looking at you. I’m going to give you a word and you’re going to write from there. Just go. Keep the pen moving. This isn’t hard. Don’t make it more complicated then it is… Okay… Here we go. We’ll write for five minutes. A nice, round amount of time. And the word is… CRYPT.
Crypt. Tomb. Ghost. Halloween. Zombie. Horror movie. Owl magazine. Life. Death. Haunt. Grave. House. Garden. Peonies. Lavender. Aromatherapy diffusers. Sensitivity. Dreams. Moon. Calendar. Menstruation. Cramps. Breath. Asthma. Fear. Hospital. Rain. Sun. Waves. Blue sky. Nap. Cumulus clouds. Daydream. Nightmare. Crypt. Tomb. Shit. Hate. I. Hate. This. One. Word. At. A. Time. I’m. Paying. For. This. Class. Shit. Toilet. Newspaper.

“Let’s be honest.” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday September 23, 2014
11:03pm
5 minutes
Ecoholic
Adria Vasil


Don’t get married. That’s what I’d say. You’ll sacrifice things that you’ll wish you hadn’t. You’ll sacrifice yourself, your time, your goals, what you want to have for dinner… Life is about sacrifices, I get that, but on this day-to-day basis? There are lots of things you can’t control and there are a few things you can. I bet you a million dollars that out of all the unhappy people in the world, at least eighty seven percent of them are married. Unhappily. Please don’t let this offend you. I’m grateful for you, and for Dawn, and your father helped bring the two of you into existence. But… I gave up a lot. I really did. I have regrets. I hate to say it, but I do. I regret never going to South America. I regret not eating more cheese. I regret never having a cat because of his damn allergies! I love cats! I think a cat would’ve really helped me through menopause!

“a rebirth or maybe a leap” by Sasha on the bus


Monday September 22, 2014
6:12pm
5 minutes
from Jess’ email to her family

When we find him there, he’s shaking
But not from fear
Don’t worry
Not from fear
When we find him there, he asking
But not questions
Don’t worry
Not questions
When we find him there, he’s mumbling
But not prayers
Don’t worry
Not prayers

A text message:
We’re leaving now. Should be there by noon.
A text message:
Traffic on the 401. Won’t be there til closer to 1.
A text message:
Goddamnit. Sorry. Flat tire. Looks like we won’t arrive before 3.
A text message:
Are you okay? Haven’t gotten any response and Max is worried.

“It’ll be fine in a second” by Julia in her hostel in Firenze


Thursday September 25, 2014
12:50am
5 minutes
From Jess’ lamp speech

When you leave the room you leave the happenings that are going on and things get weird when you’re not there for all of it. They don’t mean to but they just have to change when someone goes and if it’s you it’s a real shame cause you normally control your bladder splendidly.
You miss out on stuff and you go to the bathroom and you see if there’s any pasta left inside the communal cupboard so you don’t have to buy any more before you leave for good but then you’ve given up on the moment and sacrificed everything that you could be part of just to be a part of your own existence.
Is that so wrong? Is that so bad? I don’t know. You’re the one wishing you wore adult pampers.

“Below the church is the crypt” by Julia in her hostel in Firenze


Wednesday September 24, 2014
8:32pm
5 minutes
Lonely Planet-Italy

Marjorie invites Bradley over for a swim. She notices every time she sees him that he breathes with his mouth open and wonders if it’s dry in there. Bradley shows up wearing a rubber yellow poncho and calls it his cape. He doesn’t bring a bathing suit because his parents are progressive and don’t believe in societal pressures on the youth these days. Marjorie brings out a bowl of sunflower seeds and places them in front of Bradley, his yellow poncho, and his mouth breathing. Bradley asks Marjorie if they are pizza flavored and Marjorie says that no, they’re sunflower seed flavored and then Bradley says that it’s not a joke and that pizza flavour exists and can next time she bring those ones out instead of these.

“Let’s be honest.” by Julia in her hostel in Firenze


Tuesday September 23, 2014
8:12pm
5 minutes
Ecoholic
Adria Vasil


Let’s be honest? Yeah, let’s be honest. I’ve been hallucinating you, babe, on the backs of other women. Wanna get real honest? I STOLE THAT LINE FROM A REGINA SPEKTOR SONG BUT IT’S POIGNANT AND I LOVE IT. A little more honest. Yeah? More honesty. Yeah. YEAH. I haven’t been able to help myself when it comes to finishing full packs of sour gummy worms at least once a day. I haven’t been able to sleep because I miss feeling your skin. It makes me cry. I cry instead of sleep. I’m crying now. How honest do you want me? I’m thinking about sending you letters but it costs too much. I’m thinking about writing a novel based on the smell of your mouth. I don’t know why but it drags me to a place where I can only breathe in blues and browns.

“All of you come here” by Sasha on her futon (on the floor)


Sunday September 21, 2014
10:43pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the beach in Levanto

Hey,

I’m writing because Skype is bullshit. When your face freezes I feel like I’m losing something I never truly had and I can’t bear it. So, what I was saying when we got cut off is… I’m glad that you’re taking care of yourself but I worry about Bubble Syndrome. You know, that thing that happens and is awkward to talk about when you forget to call your father and you forget to text me and you end up in the bubble of your own head, of your own Halifax and it’s… painful. It’s painful the most, it’s the most painful for you, I think. You have this notion that you’re taking care of yourself, that you’re holing up with your work in a good way, but, be careful. Sometimes it’s not good. Sometimes it’s nasty and you smell like a hedgehog. Eat spinach and stuff, okay? If you only eat beef jerky and barbecue chips you will get scurvy. That’s not even a maybe. That’s a for sure.

“UNION” by Sasha on the bed in Whistler


Saturday September 20, 2014
10:12pm
5 minutes
from a flyer for a yoga studio

It’s that time of year again. When she gets restless. When she starts picking at her scabs and calling out the reindeer names in her sleep. It’s that time of year again. When she starts winning. When she walks down the street singing Born To Run like she is Springsteen. It’s that time of year again. When she forgets how much she likes ice cream. When she makes promises to the leaves that like them, she’ll change colour.

“The flavours are so simple but they’re so good” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday September 19, 2014
6:19pm
5 minutes
from Jess’ phone conversation

Nice spaghetti, sweetheart, you’re really nailing the sauce. When he looks at me like that, Liza, I wanna punch him right in the nose. Imagine what he’d do if he got blood all down the front of his shirt. Phew… And he’s going and telling Henry that he was the one to come up with “Joe Schmo”… I mean, come on! I was the one who introduced that! That’s mine! I don’t wanna be petty, you know that, Liza, but I feel like I need to fight for what is mine and “Joe Schmo”? That’s mine. Man, honey, the flavours are so simple here, but they’re so so good. You really are a catch, Liza. Enough about Henry, he can keep lying to the whole lot of them. He doesn’t have you making him dinner and that’s what really matters. But, damn it, the guy drives me crazy.

“a rebirth or maybe a leap” by Julia on the beach in Levanto


Monday September 22, 2014
12:20pm
5 minutes
from Jess’ email to her family

I wanted you to know (ocean air)
That I’m doing some growing
That I’m doing some growing but not away from you
In the distance of Here to There I have laid down tiny cut outs
Of my heart for you to follow
Trace back to me when you need
Or when you can’t sleep
If the letter written in my hand
The one I write for you (mountain springs)
Never reaches you
There will be another route
For you to find your way
Back to me
And this space has a fullness
Because I am making sure I water it
Swelling with the blood that pumps my joy to yours (sky eternal)
A tiny river that you can swim through
If the road around it gets too rough

“All of you come here” by Julia at the beach in Levanto


Sunday September 21, 2014
3:36pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the beach in Levanto

And taste the salty hope of a blessing left out in the sun too long
And wait for me there while the ocean devours your fears
I’ll come to you in your dreams and whisper your fate to you
Tell you you’re beautiful and soft and beautiful
In those perfect dances no one is catching up with one another
But allowing one to lead and then to follow when the sleep sets in
And you will find your voice buried deep in your bones
A cage left open for the birds to fly out or back in
The song of your openness will caress the mountain’s top
And the fog that started there will transform into calm
A hundred gestures of kindness given in the second half of every almond biscuit I save for you
Your mouth a heartache turned into the Milky Way
Soothed by the light that emulates through you and then around you
And you will be reborn into a morning rain

“UNION” by Julia in her bed at a hostel in Levanto


Saturday September 20, 2014
12:57am
5 minutes
from a flyer for a yoga studio

They tell me not to join it they tell me not to avoid it they tell me not to come inside they tell me not to be alive
I waited till the sun went down and broke a flower’s petal. I had it in my back pocket when I was little and now I’m big. It’s been in there a long time. It’s been in there a long long time.
They tell me not to fight the fight they tell me things they cannot hide they tell me not to join it they tell me not to avoid it
I waited till the rain poured in and stole a flower’s centre. I had it in my front pocket when I was in the middle and now I’m on the side. It’s been in there a long time. It’s been in there a long long time.

“The flavours are so simple but they’re so good” by Julia on her bed at oZu


Friday September 19, 2014
11:38pm
5 minutes
from Jess’ phone conversation

Sometimes it’s tricky, you know, because you’re staring at an entire counter covered in makeup. You’re following? It’s a metaphor but it doesn’t have to be so keep that in mind. And you’re looking at it, right, this whole table top lined with lipsticks and mascaras and eyeshadows, and you’re thinking, but how am I supposed to choose which colour I use? You ask that to yourself because you’re going out for a special night or something and it’s totally acceptable
if you dress up more than usual and get creative. So you’re with me? You can’t help yourself but you don’t want to help yourself. You just want to indulge. You don’t even choose a couple colours to narrow down. You instead, now stay close, put them all on. You layer the greens and the purples and you mix the turquoise with the gold. Your face is a blank canvas and you’re in love all of a sudden with how you look in excess. You know? You+you=worried that you’ll never have that chance again.

“Questions about living” by Julia in the oZu Theatre


Thursday September 18, 2014
12:49pm
5 minutes
a Word document

Oh those are the big ones and the best ones and the hard ones and the important ones. Those ones that keep you up at night… “When will my mind grow an extra pair of hands?” “When will my soul sprout wings and soar?” “When will true silence stop breaking my heart?” “When will the truth stop stirring my spirit?”
Those ones with the capital W and the agonizing honesty. Those ones with the empty lined paper begging to be filled. Those ones with the armour melting at the seams.

“Questions about living” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday September 18, 2014
11:15am
5 minutes
a Word document

Sometimes I have pretty serious questions about living. Often, they concern Instagram. Okay. I apologize in advance if this turns “rant-y” cuz that’s not usually my style but sometimes girl’s gotta preach… AMIRIGHT?

Okay. So. I’m considering taking a ‘Gram break. (That sounds like a drug break. No way that’s happening! Haha! Just kidding! I’ve been clean since May, bitches!) I’m sick and Rick (I don’t know what that means but it’s strangely humorous to me) and tired of all you fakers posting picture of your fucking SALAD. Like, I know you be eating all the Smartfood! And your slices of cucumber?! And your half an orange?!!! LIKE, REALLY?!? And then, as if that fruit and vegetable isn’t annoying enough, what you write underneath really puts me over the GD edge. “#healthy” “#myskinisglowing” “#LIVECLEAN” GAG ME. GAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGG ME.

Not to be like, negative, cuz that’s not what this Tumblr is about, yo. Also, not to be gangsta, but that’s just, like, how this is coming out today. Funny, right? I don’t want my words to be empty so I’m gonna take a break from it. From the scrolling and the trolling (basically I’m Shakespeare) and the, like, liking shit I actually think is dumb! I’m gonna stop getting stuck in a vortex of all the photos by ex-boyfriends step-sister liked! I can’t get that time back, bitches!

“Stufo (agg) fed up (with)sick (of) ” by Sasha at Great Dane Coffee


Wednesday September 17, 2014 at Great Dane Coffee
1:32pm
5 minutes
Availiardi Dizionario Italiano-Inglese

You keep asking me what I wanna be for Halloween and I’m all, “It’s more than a month away! I have no idea!” And you’re all, “You should be a sexy lumberjack!” And I’m all, “What the fuck?”

Sometimes there’s nothing to say and we’re eating cereal and staring into our bowls like they are Crystal balls with all the answers.

“You should be a witch!”

Should I be offended by that, you guys??!

I’m sitting on the toilet, trying to dig my Diva Cup out of my cooch and it’s like a fucking terrible birdsong – “What do you want to be for Halloween?” Sung, by you, tone-deaf, to the tune of Nobody Solves A Problem Like Maria. I’m all, “What?!” And you’re all, “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens! Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens! Brown paper packages tied up with strings!” And I’m all, “Are these… costume ideas?! WTF!”

“You steal the water from the valley” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday September 16 2014
11:35am
5 minutes
Screenplay
Sid Field


I would pickle you if it didn’t mean you’d have to be dead. I would pickle you, just as you are, and you’d keep your shape like the best cucumber does. I’d leave out the garlic and the dill. I’d want you just as you are. I would pickle you if it didn’t mean I’d have to stop hearing your songs. See, those songs are the key to my unfolding. When you play that banjo my heart breaks and is whole and breaks and is the most whole she has ever been. I’d pickle you with your hat on, because I love that hat, I bought you that hat at that stand in Brooklyn.

“The professional sailors” by Sasha on her couch


Monday September 15, 2014 at Ozu
9:42pm
5 minutes
from http://www.capri.net

I’m trying to be honest about the things that I’m not good at. I want to get better. I want to be better, I’m trying. I’m trying to be honest and I’m trying to be better, and I’m trying to stop repeating myself so much.
I’m not good at having forty dollars of gelato in the freezer. I just want to eat it. But, like, I love it, so I don’t want to tell you not to bring it home because that means no one wins…
I’m not good at math.
I’m not good at actually reading the “Classics”.
I’m not good at jealousy.
I’m not good at being sick. I’m a huge baby. I whine. I degrade myself by reading People magazine online and watching romantic comedies on Netflix.
I’m not good at communicating when my heart is in my throat and you’re there, with your eyes like deep pools of knowing, with your direct way, with your face, that face.
I’m not good in boats. I’ll puke or cry or both.

“For the Canadian Girl!” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday September 14, 2014
10:02pm
5 minutes
From a note from a new friend

He hands me a glass of wine and says, “for the Canadian girl!”
I smile because this kind of thing doesn’t happen to me.
I smile because he’s the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen and the subway doors aren’t closing between us.
I smile because he looks at me like I am his secret.
We cheers.
He says, “How long have you been here?”
I forget, but say, “Two weeks.”
He says, “You like?”
I do, and I say, “Yes!”
He smiles because he’s never seen someone with darker skin than his in the flesh.
He smiles because he’s been waiting for the moment since the day Lucia Marzano refused to kiss him.
He smiles because I am here, now and we are both ready.
There’s a silence, but it’s not heavy, it’s buoyant like a red helium balloon.

“Stufo (agg) fed up (with)sick (of) ” by Julia at Il fiume in Monetelone


Wednesday September 17, 2014
4:11pm
5 minutes
Availiardi Dizionario Italiano-Inglese

After my nap I wake t the three cats in heat moaning to be let inside. I begged Mira not to feed them the very first time they showed up at our door and she refused to listen, claiming I was an insensitive product of my own eternal cynicism. I told her I had heard that cynicism would change the quality of our lives and she shook her head while pouring milk from the height of her hip into two tiny yogurt containers on the landing. Now these cats, thought I could have predicted it, are outs and we have to love them or it might, heaven forbid, breed more insensitive cynicism. I don’t love these cats. I don’t love most cats. I tried to give them a piece of my heart but in their eyes I see a great manipulation and a hunger that can’t be trusted. I think they see that in me too, even though I reluctantly feed them now and sometimes throw bits of yarn their way when I feel like attempting my good deed for the day. Mira never seems to be here anymore–always working late nights at the factory. I’m left here with these little gypsy cats more than I’d like.

“You steal the water from the valley” by Julia at Bar Roma in Monteleone


Tuesday September 16 2014
5:35pm
5 minutes
Screenplay
Sid Field


An abstract painting is stuck in my mind-I think it’s an artist unknown and I think I dreamt about it this morning. It has lines across it like a grid and speckles of what I’m interpreting as gold or light are all winding around the thick grid’s lines. I think I’m happy to be in this memory but I can’t tell because I’m trying so hard to peace it all together to figure out what it means, and I know you’re not supposed to do that with abstract paintings. I know you’re not supposed to do that with abstract paintings. I know you’re supposed to just look at them and feel something, usually lifted or weighed down, happy or sad. When I see this painting in my head, I see it perfectly and I calculate it imperfectly. I become obsessed with the measurements, the directions, the reasons. I don’t know if I feel anything because of it other than confusion and attraction and my wondering of this angers me because then I’m stuck figuring out my feelings instead of just feeling them. I put down my guard for a second and a taste of honesty slips through. I can’t catch it in the air–I don’t dare welcome whatever might change me.

“The professional sailors” by Julia in her bed at Ozu


Monday September 15, 2014 at Ozu
12:16am
5 minutes
from http://www.capri.net

Those boys in their tiny hats
Choosing dance from the inspiration in the stars
The big dipper sings
The Milky Way hums
They close their eyes tight when they actively want beauty
Bringing the excluded ones
All the way from their wall beds
To the centre of the moment
So they can laugh steady and bright
Little ones cheer as if in an arena
The whole team rooting for the single silver thread that binds them

“For the Canadian Girl!” by Julia at Parco Delle Energie in Rome


Sunday September 14, 2014
5:26pm
5 minutes
From a note from a new friend

When the light in the room was enough to make out who was who but not distinguish any defined features, we traded partners after the daze of wine had begun to take shape, and the after effects of the powder we dropped into our glasses started to tingle our skin. I had wanted him from the beginning but I never let on because it felt unfair to her. She had no idea that he had wanted me too, so I pretended not to notice that our looks across the pool the night before had lasted longer than they maybe should have. Tonight when it was her idea, in love with the drug and the moonlight giving her courage, none of us said no for fear of complicating an easy reward. We moved slowly, finally to each other’s lover and sat slowly down beside the new arms and legs, the new heartbeat, the new pulse. She wanted mine and I wanted hers. I always always wanted hers.

“not responsible for loss, theft, damages” by Julia in the Poet’s Room


Saturday September 13, 2014
8:33am
5 minutes
A Schiaffini bus ticket

Of course we felt bad for guessing the wrong costume. Who doesn’t feel bad about that? Who doesn’t always wish at a Halloween party when asked to guess in the first place about an obscure costume or concept or poorly designed idea, that they’d just said, “I’m drawing a blank!” “I Can’t seem to put my finger on it…!'” The whole, “I’m so bad at these things” thing. We wished we’d been smart enough to fake it-quick enough to shove a devilled egg in our mouths and feign complete ignorance about the magnitude of it all. When Ry guessed an elephant, she almost started crying. She looked to me as if to salvage her image–one desperate hope in her eye so effective I couldn’t help but suggest an alternate. I said “Rhinoceros?” And I truly meant it as a question because I had no idea either and I was already surprised I was even there in the first place. Her eyes welled up-her skin flushed-and she started to wail in a way that made me regret even pushing through my mother’s birth canal 40 years ago.

“Our human lives seem to unravel” by Julia at Pigneto 41


Friday September 12, 2014 at Pigneto 41
1:22pm
5 minutes
from Thunder and Lightening by Natalie Goldberg

In any given moment Talia will be coming home. Talia likes butter on toast, then orange marmalade. When Talia’s dad isn’t looking, she sneaks the spicy nduja spread that he likes so much. She sticks her finger in the jar to lick it quickly in case he emerges from the TV room and sees her taking his favourite snack without asking. Talia will be coming home soon and she will tell us the news of Sofia–she will remind us of what we already know and that’s not to get our hopes up about her memory. Talia always tells us the same thing about Sofia but we wait for her the same, with bated breath and fingers crossed that today Sofia will remember something new. Talia isn’t even Talia to Sofia but she gets to see her because Sofia thinks she is her imaginary friend from childhood. Sofia called her Naya and used to say Naya was a trouble maker with a beautiful singing voice. Talia doesn’t sing at all but she hums to Sofia and Sofia believes. Talia hasn’t been the same since she started pretending to be Naya. But she does it so she can see her sister every day.

“not responsible for loss, theft, damages” by Sasha at Arbutus Coffee


Saturday September 13, 2014 at Arbutus Coffee
9:06am
5 minutes
A Schiaffini bus ticket

You know what I like about you? You dig the rain. There aren’t that many people that actually dig the rain. And it’s good you live here, like, it’s good you live in Vancouver, because rain is basically synonymous with winter here. You rock those rain pants… No, seriously! You really do… You look, like, pretty sexy in Gore-tex. You drink rooibos tea? Wow! Me too!

“Our human lives seem to unravel” by Sasha at Momento


Friday September 12, 2014 at Momento Coffee House
8:04am
5 minutes
from Thunder and Lightening by Natalie Goldberg

I hear you giving advice and I wish you’d take some of what you give. That was mean. I apologize. You do, you do take some. You take a lot… I just wish you took one particular thing that you give, one particular drop of… You know what, nevermind. It’s dumb when I talk when I’m mad. It never ends well for any damn person. Especially this one, especially me. You come home and you look at me like “Where’s dinner?”/”Why are you so fucking sad all the time?” You look at me like you didn’t have a good day. You look at me like you might want sex later but you might not, especially if we eat big plates of pasta. Nothing worse than pasta sex. Please don’t pour yourself a drink. That complicates things further.

“It’s almost like cheating.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday September 11, 2014
6:02pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Emma Healey in papirmasse

She peels the avocado, bit by bit. She thinks she’s alone. Henry is home from his job in the stock room of the grocery store. He’s brought a bottle of sparkling water. The cap is dented. “Can’t sell it,” he says. “There’s an easier way of doing that, Mom,” says Henry. She jumps. “Jesus! I thought you were downstairs!” He smiles. He walks into the kitchen. “Why are you doing it like that?” “Because it’s slower.” “That doesn’t make any sense..” “Why not?” “Because… we’re hungry!” She smiles, now, such a similar smile. Both Henry and Amelia got her smile. Sylv’s nose and her smile. It’s nice. “Dinner will be ready by six thirty. I’m taking my time. I like doing it like this. It’s satisfying. Now leave me alone or… help.” Henry takes another avocado and cuts it carefully in half. He scoops on the flesh with a spoon.

“most honour you” by Sasha at Great Dane Coffee


Wednesday September 10, 2014 at Great Dane Coffee
2:02pm
5 minutes
King Lear
William Shakespeare


Let’s not pretend we’re above low blows like “I hate your face!”
Let’s not pretend that we’ve actually figured out how to get out of a bed without making it messy.
Let’s not pretend that we like those Internet slangs like “FML” and “LOL” and “OMG”.
Let’s not pretend we don’t go through our cigar box of trinkets when we’re feeling particularly alone.
Let’s not pretend if someone knocked on our door we wouldn’t invite them in for leftover pancakes and a talk about the Arctic and performance art.
Let’s not pretend that we like taking the bus.
Let’s not pretend that we can afford organic cucumbers.
Let’s not pretend that we like making small talk, making tiny tiny talk about things like neighbourhoods and preferences in music and wine.
Let’s not pretend that we’re comfortable.
Let’s not pretend that we’ve let go of things we haven’t – I see what you’ve got there, chained to your waist and you see what I’ve got around my wrists.

“in the realm of realism” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday September 9, 2014
11:02am
5 minutes
from Theory/Theatre
Mark Fortier


A: I’m not sure how to respond to her because she’s looking at me with wolf eyes. You know, those eyes? Light blue and gazing right into your colon?
B: Your colon? This is supposed to be realism –
A: Shut up. You don’t even have a fucking name, okay?
Silence.
A: That was mean. I’m sorry.
B: When you apologize you really undermine the dramatic action.
A: Why are you so fucking concerned with the rules of this whole thing?!
B: What else is there to be concerned with? That’s our one true purpose!
A: I want more than that.
B: What?
A: I. WANT. MORE.
B: You always want more and then you’re disappointed when you get just enough.
A: It’s not about “enough”!
B: Says who.
A: Me!
B: You’re… nothing. I’m sorry to say it, but it’s true. And you’re harping on about Wolf Eyes like you have any say in the matter! You don’t! It’s time you accepted that.
A: I refuse.
B: Welcome to a lifetime of sadness, then.
A: Welcome to the revolution, then!

“It’s almost like cheating.” By Julia in the Poet’s Room


Thursday September 11, 2014
12:15am
5 minutes
from an interview with Emma Healey in papirmasse

You don’t know who’s watching in a place like this
In an open space surrounded by people who seemingly don’t care one way or another
You can never be sure
You can never really know if you’re interesting enough to just one person
Or if your actions can go unnoticed
And your lips go unread
You might wear a smile just in case
You might bite your thumb nail in an attempt to look pensive
You might be completely naked
Loneliness written right across your forehead like a stamp
Extreme longing dripping from the nape of your neck as you pass your hand through your hair
Someone might see those things
And how beautiful you’d be if in those instances of unedited sadness
Having someone catch your soul in the air when you think no one’s looking
Those seconds of hiding behind nothing at all

“most honour you” by Julia at Parco Del Colle Oppio


Wednesday September 10, 2014
4:08pm
5 minutes
King Lear
William Shakespeare


A man I can see from the corner of my eye has gone from one side’s fountain to the other side’s fountain back and forth for over an hour now. Sometimes he has his shirt off, sometimes he has it on. He carries a plastic bag with him so I’m assuming from that alone that he stays here most of his time. The first moment I saw him, he was drinking the water and wetting his hands. The second time he was dunking his whole head in it and pouring water down the back of his pants. The third time he washes under his arms. He must have been just trying to keep cool, but he seemed more obsessed with the baptism of something deeper–the purifying of what’s under the skin.

“in the realm of realism” by Julia at a hostel in Rome


Tuesday September 9, 2014
1:37am
5 minutes
from Theory/Theatre
Mark Fortier


I am not in the realm of realism, she said, I dream in technicolor and all my thoughts have pretty vines growing on them the way side streets do in Rome. Rome is not even real, she said, it’s built on someone else’s stories, on someone else’s bravery. She stood there a moment, head cocked to the side-deep thought crossing all around her face. Her eyebrows danced a curious routine before she looked back up and winced. I am not in the realm of realism because I choose to be in Rome, she said, where men have perfect faces and women seem more beautiful when they’re angry. A place that I made up, she said, that someone made up before me, cannot be real at all. Her eyebrows calmed down and her face softened instantly. This world, she said, can only exist in my wildest imagination.

“going from being very quiet to being very loud” by Julia on the bus to Termini Station in Rome


Monday September 8, 2014
2:37pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Passenger on http://www.billboard.com

I didn’t know what to say so I went from being very loud to very quiet in a matter of split seconds. The timing was precious, and in it I vanished. It engulfed me, the silence. The utmost pretense. The inability to speak, to help, to heal, to advise. Nothing. Nada. Not even one single sigh did I utter. Couldn’t sputter a helpful Hmmm, or a pointed Ohhhh. I was speechless, bottomless, hollow and wordless. I thought I’d be great but I was instead worthless. So the only thing I thought in that very moment to do, was go from being very quiet to being very loud in a matter of split seconds.

“going from being very quiet to being very loud” by Sasha on her couch


Monday, September 8, 2014
10:09pm
5 minutes
an interview with Passenger on www.billboard.com

Ella reads aloud.

An old man
He turned ninety eight
He won the lottery
And he died the next day


I don’t want to be mean about it but… this is pretty blatant plagiarism. I want to be supportive of your work, Ramona, but… Look, you’re a talented writer, you really are. You have a voice, a distinct voice and… what happened here? If you were around in 1995, you know the lyrics to this song!

Ramona is quiet. Eventually she says,

I’m exploring puberty. I’m exploring what it’s like to go through fucking hairy puberty.

They are both looking at their shoes – Ella’s are Australian Boots and Ramona’s are rubber boots from Canadian Tire.

“We invite you to relax” by Sasha on her porch


Sunday, September 7, 2014
5:41pm
5 minutes
from some bullshit air transat “discount” lounge voucher

It’s hard for me to take myself seriously anymore. My writing is shit. I got a tattoo that is lame and predicable and offensive and awful. I’m eating bags of chocolate chips. I’m fatter than I’ve ever been. And yet… I have hope. You know why? Because there’s a man sleeping over there and I love this man and underneath all the chocolate and the fat is a baby that is his and mine. We made this little tadpole. We made it like a pizza, but with more sex and less (a bit less) mozzarella. Maybe I’ve been taking myself too seriously. Maybe that’s the joke.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH

“Auditions for the part of” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, September 6, 2014
10:03pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

He has a scar on his hand
the kind where you can see the stitches
the kind that looks like someone drew it there
with white-out

He has lady hands
which undermine the scar
I guess
His nails are longer than I’d like
But no one asked me

He has pock marks on his face
I wonder what it says about his teenage years
I wonder if they hurt
I wonder if he stood
bloody-faced
Wanting to shed his skin

He scratches under his left eye
I follow his fingers
His eyes are brown
Darker than when he first arrived
Darker than his childhood
Darker now that time is heavy
and the moon is full

“We invite you to relax” by Julia at Toronto Pearson International Airport


Sunday, September 7, 2014 at Pearson International Airport
7:41pm
5 minutes
from some bullshit air transat “discount” lounge voucher

I was eating an eight dollar red quinoa salad (don’t worry, I didn’t buy it. My cab driver, Irfan got it from the grocery store for me because I personally requested him to take me to the airport. The only thing is, I can’t give anyone his car number because he gets really weird about “sharing the love”. But, you know, whatever.) and I realized how easy it is to just mow down on something refreshing and light. I ate the entire tub of it (it was eight dollars, remember. But I always tip Irfan well so I pretty much did pay for it. Whatever whatever,) and I didn’t even feel bad. Except for when the man with the pink tie watched me lick the lid. That was not my finest moment. But then I didn’t care because I was just one person at the airport and so was he, but we weren’t connected in any way at all, and I didn’t owe him sensible table manners. But the point of all of this is that you should make yourself red quinoa salads in advance because they will feed you (and oh so happily) for days.

“Auditions for the part of” by Julia on Nicole’s couch


Saturday, September 6, 2014
1:01am
5 minutes
from a tweet

She smiles at me because she’s trying to figure me out. She says, you’re leaving but aren’t you just starting your career? Don’t you want to be on TV or something? I smile back because FUCK YOU, I’m leaving cause I’m leaving. End of Story. Everybody back off. You know? And she’s still so sweet because she’s not trying to offend anyone, she’s just remembering the two conversations we’ve had in our entire lives and making attempts at small talk. Well it’s not SMALL. It’s my life we’re talking about. My life CHOICES we’re talking about. Which I’m not opposed to doing but I guess when one doesn’t have the answers one expects to have, it’s all just a little bit overwhelming. I’M GREAT AT BULLSHITTING. I blurt that out as a sort of “reason” even though it was meant to convince me more than her. She wasn’t supposed to hear that at all. I’LL BE JUST FINE. I blurt out again. But this time she’s not smiling. She’s sort of looking at me with concern and probably pity. Guess that TV thing is over then?

“I don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars, but I did.” By Julia at Urban Post


Friday, September 5, 2014 at http://urbanpost.ca/
5:33pm
5 minutes
How To Make Love In America
Sarah Nicole Prickett



I don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars because I was too busy looking at him. He might have. That would have been nice in that moment if I wasn’t already overwhelmed by a beauty that I could name. That I could touch. That I could hold. I don’t remember if he told me to look up at the sky because I was too busy looking into the moment we created. He might have. That would have been nice if I didn’t already have plans to congratulate us on getting this far in the cold. Or in the rain. Or in the both. I do remember saying that I wanted my forever person to look just like him. I remember that part because it came from a place that I didn’t force. Or create. Or fix. I wanted my forever person to have his eyes. His smile. His eyebrow scar. I wanted my forever person to have the same mix of beard colours: brown, orange, white.

“Sure thing sugarsnap” by Julia at Nicole’s table


Thursday, September 4, 2014
11:22pm
5 minutes
a text message

daddy used to call me sweetie and it used to make me laugh
daddy used to call me sweetie and now it makes me cry
he stayed with me on the night my monsters kept me
he stayed with me there when i got lost in the sheets
he stayed with me just outside the bathroom while I counted the tiles
daddy used to call me sweetie and it used to make me laugh
daddy used to call me sweetie and now it makes me cry
he stayed with me on the day i spent 4 hours in the hospital
he stayed with me there when my face blew up like a balloon
he stayed with me until morning so i wouldn’t wake up in the middle wondering
daddy used to call me sweetie

“I don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars, but I did.” By Sasha at Higher Grounds


Friday, September 5, 2014 at Higher Grounds
12:44pm
5 minutes
How To Make Love In America
Sarah Nicole Prickett


I don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars, but I did. They were singing a Ray Lamontagne song, but only for me. For him, they were quiet. We were both still lost, still younger than we wanted to believe, still looking elsewhere for what we really wanted. It’s hard to find stars in the city. I do, though. It’s more important to me than a good book on my bedside table, but I won’t easily admit that. My mother is good at naming constellations. She can spot Orion and Cassiopeia and gives directions as to where to look. The stars sing Joni Mitchell to her. Even though she doesn’t say so, I know it. When I’m with her, and the stars, I hear Big Yellow Taxi.

“Sure thing sugarsnap” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday, September 4, 2014
7:18pm
5 minutes
a text message

The morning after we fight I wash the sheets. Especially now that we have in suite laundry. Stripping the bed feels ritualistic. Grinding coffee beans to the hum of the washing machine feels melancholy. Peeling a banana and dolloping peanut butter on it, taking a bite, and then doing it all again is the only thing that feels good. Love is a tent pitched in the sand. Love is a house made of toothpicks. Love is a bad haircut that you get compliments on and then convince yourself is actually a good haircut. I believe in unconditional about as much as I believe in your “harmless” attraction to drag queens.

“Last date to withdraw” by Julia at The Common


Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at The Common
5:18pm
5 minutes
The UBC student services handbook

You can look inward and find the buttons. Press the buttons and look inward. Something there you want? Something there you don’t recognize?
Press the buttons.
Look inward.
You know how to play the game already. You don’t need to relearn anything. Maybe you went away too long and now there’s nothing left to know. Maybe what was inward travelled onward and outward and maybe there’s no room left for what was there and for what is there now.
Is that so horrible a thing to believe?
That time changes inside?
That time changes insides?
And if you go away too long you need to think of what you’ll find to replace what you had because otherwise there’s a lot of empty space and it doesn’t do well there inside. Emptiness is meant for the bottom of a picnic basket after a successful day at the park. That kind of emptiness will do just fine.
But inside yourself, looking inward, you must fill that space with something that you love.
Otherwise you will miss your before you and you will not learn to love your new you.

“Last date to withdraw” by Sasha at the UBC Library


Wednesday September 3, 2014
1:02pm
5 minutes
UBC Student Servies website

These places, educational institutions, are funny places.
Everyone shuffling – new shoes, new backpacks, new pencils sharpened and ignorantly poking holes in new pencil cases.
Herds and herds of people, few making contact with eyes, or fingertips, or smiles.
We’ve come here for what
For learning
Okay…
We’ve come here for learning.
We’ve come here to further know ourselves.
We’ve come here for time.
I
I’ve come here for time.
For this, for words, for understanding of the why and the when and the who has come before.
I catch a glimpse of you,
also feeling like a fraud,
also feeling lost,
clutching your iPhone like your life depends on it.
I catch a glimpse of you and you catch me
catching a glimpse of you,
Confident and alone and one of millions.

“do something which both parties desire but are unwilling to do” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday September 2, 2014
9:46pm
5 minutes
from the English translation of mamihlapinatapai

I woke from a dream that was worse than the ones that I used to have
When nightmares reeked heavy
And my mother was sleepless for a whole year too
You were there
With the two of them
The women you desire
The women who desire you
The women you would be with if you hadn’t chosen me
Am I the only one that has that list?
The women you would be with if you hadn’t chosen me
Should I be ashamed of it?
Should I store it under the mattress
Or
In the drawer by the stove that only I open
Or
Buried in the sand for another woman to find when the tide goes out
Or
Comes in
My stomach in my throat
My throat in my mouth
Tears and gulps
and
Salt water
You’re not home yet
You’re on the bus
I imagine you
Travelling closer to me
The one you’ve chosen
I imagine you
curling against my naked body
I imagine you
I imagine them
I see myself
floating above
Laughing like a crow
Sobbing like a beluga
Your key in the lock

“Select your inbound journey” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday September 1, 2014
3:38pm
5 minutes
raileurope-world.com

He keeps clicking his tongue. You know how people do that? It’s hardly a special skill… It’s annoying, really. That’s what it is. It’s annoying. He keeps clicking his tongue and acting like it’s not a big deal to be distracting everyone. I want to shout, “You’re distracting everyone!” But I don’t want to add to it… I don’t want to make a fussy.

He keeps cracking his knuckles. You know how people do that? Drives me absolutely up the wall. And it’s not good for you. It gets air in there and that’s sure to cause arthritis and cancer and probably even dementia. I keep shooting him looks, like, “STOP THAT!” but he doesn’t seem to see them/hear me.

“do something which both parties desire but are unwilling to do” by Julia on Nicole’s couch


Tuesday September 2, 2014
11:45pm
5 minutes
from the English translation of mamihlapinatapai

It was a look. It started out that way at least. He saw her standing in the rain with a broken umbrella at her feet and melting ice cream cone in her hand. She was letting it drip down her wrists and arms. It was sort of beautiful. Like an abstract oil painting of a feeling or a sentiment, captured by circles and lines and bright colours all winding into each other trying to tell a story of life and suffering.
She didn’t notice him there because that would have diminished her moment. She didn’t see anything but the rain falling around her so hard it looked like there was none coming down at all. She didn’t see the look he gave her which came from not his eyes but his chest. A heart beating wildly inside and for something he couldn’t quite explain or express. It wasn’t a quantity he could estimate or a dream he could decipher. It was her in all her perceived loneliness, in all her pain that he was adjusting to. Without moving, careful not to disturb her; careful not to disrupt the catharsis that was forming in his throat.

“Select your inbound journey” By Julia on Nicole’s balcony


Monday September 1, 2014
3:38pm
5 minutes
raileurope-world.com

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the pillow case on my side
So you’d feel my dreams when you held it tight

And you could say goodnight to me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
On the back of a bottle of wine
So when you were toasting to us

You could take an extra sip for me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the drawer with your passport and socks
So when you got dressed in the morning

You could put on a piece of me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
On the bedside table where you’d see it
Right before you fell asleep

I left it there so you could read me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the case of your favourite film
And when you’d open it up to watch it alone

You’d feel like you were watching with me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the basket of all your pens
With a box of envelopes, to remind you, dear

That you could write for me

“We can help you” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday August 31, 2014
8:28pm
5 minutes
a TD bank envelope

She says, “What are you doing?” I say, “I’m cleaning the kitchen…” She says, “It wasn’t even dirty to begin with – ” I say, “It doesn’t get dirty because I clean it every day and that way nothing can get out of hand.” She says, “You’re paranoid. You’re pretty much a paranoid schizophrenic.” I say, “That’s a really mean thing to say…” She say, “I’m not saying it to be mean. I’m saying it to be real.” I say, “I’m not even cleaning the fucking kitchen! I’m watching Game Of Thrones! I did’t want you to judge me because it’s two in the afternoon and I should be doing something productive!” She says, “It’s Sunday! What the fuck is wrong with you!” I say, “Why did you even call me?” She says, “To see if you wanted to have sushi tonight…” I say, “So?” She says, “Do you want to have sushi tonight?” I say, “I guess…” She says, “Great! New Gen?”