“That’s what I like about disappointment:” by Julia at her desk

Sunday, March 29, 2020
6:57pm
5 minutes
Disappointment
Tony Hoagland

to fear a thing that hasn’t yet happened is the most normal thing we do. we humans. we us.

I want to put it out there. There universe. Universe us:
we don’t have to do it like that.

okay hear me out. Here me. Here you.

what if we left anticipation for the good stuff?

don’t give up on me yet. Me yet. Us.

what if I anticipate the good, I experience fear in the moment, but I do not anticipate the disappointment because I can not know any moment other than this one?

I you. You me. Me we. We us.
See what I’m trying to cultivate here on this grey clouded open night?

I never learned to tell the future. I have dreams that lead the way sometimes but it’s never exactly as it appears to be. Be this.
Be us.

“You wish you were in the woods” by julia on her couch

Saturday, March 28, 2020
11:19pm
5 minutes
To A Frustrated Poet
R.J. Ellmann

it is lucky we live in a rainforest

tonight we went out for a walk thinking it would be pouring rain
(you could hear it)
but it wasn’t and that was luckier still

we put one foot in front of the other until we found the water
saw the empty bridges
crossed the street between traffic lights
until we met a different hour
inhaled dripping trees

we didn’t see a soul on the sidewalks but we still walked
on the road framed by cherry blossoms

on the day that time wasn’t
we could see the city lit up
across itself

saturday night and every window glowing orange light

“The golden brooch” by Julia at her desk

Friday March 27, 2020
12:18pm
5 minutes
The courage that my mother had
Edna St. Vincent Millay

What’s strange is the passing hour
a molding from my hands and into this
I sat down with one thought in mind
and it floated on into the next the way
I think it was all meant to do in
the early place

It’s been a combination of moments and
avoidance and fear that keep an idea
stranded there on the tip of the tongue
waiting for someone to say the damn thing
already

Say the damn thing already

I want you to know that there is love
here for you even if you don’t recognize it

I want you to know that we can’t give up
on our joy even if we lay it down every
now and again

I want you to know that there will be
something different at the end of this
sentence and if you follow it till the
end or to the almost end or to the last
word you might notice something lingering
there that you never tuned into before

I want you to know

that the damn thing is this:

One day we will brush past each other
on a crowded street and it will be more
like a pinning to the chest or arm or
thigh and we will be stuck together as
if we never left this hallelujah
in the first place

“August is coming” by Julia at her desk

Thursday March 26, 2020
9:43am
5 minutes
Any prince to any princess
Adrian Henri

August is coming and we will welcome her with arms butter flake and cloud kiss
we will hold her in our blanket fort and pin the fairy lights all around her
we will wind up her train on the backs of our hands and twirl her about
we will weep at her feet and bathe her toes in a rose water blessing
we will sing at how far she has traveled
flown around the world in hope but flesh set in stone and sand and grit
we will honour her presence with a basket of fresh basil and rosemary braids
we will give her a cluster of moments to rest at the base of our skulls
or next to the balcony gardens or by the hummingbird feeder
we will listen to her tales of triumph after a journey fraught
and how she never dropped faith even for a second
we will seed her new life with a promise to be children again
delighting in the moonlight of her smile and how her open chest beats a dance
for us all to dream

“We want the suns and moons” by Julia on the couch

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
8:00pm
5 minutes
A Physics
Heather McHugh

inside these days we hear more of the neighbours jumping

there’s a lot of working out from home, which we hear and now understand what it must sound like to the people below us when we dance it out

There’s a lot of working from home, but that one’s not so loud
Most people are still, home, but not as loud as us

We’re the ones screeching to each other from across the apartment

we’re the ones banging pots and pans and spoons around

we’re the ones playing the guitar and the ukulele and the harmonica and sometimes the little egg shaker

we’re the ones singing
we’re the ones practicing our lines

we’re the ones sliding the coffee table back and forth

At 7:00 everyone cheers and we are not the only loud ones then

we are doing our inside things and if we hear anyone doing theirs we do not get angry but remember humanity above us and down the hall

we dream of warm nights playing music together on our patio, saying goodbye to the sun and welcoming the moon

“They’ll be able to describe it” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
12:17pm
5 minutes
Teaching a Child the Art of Confession
David Shumate

They’ll be able to describe it by the finches singing in the yard
the construction workers outside still constructing work and homes and noise
the old photographs now strewn across the coffee table and some on top of the bedside drawers
They’ll be able to paint a grey spring and remember what March felt like during this
The space held between people with great care, like a balloon blown up past its comfort
or an egg, last and lonely keeping the refrigerator feeling
They’ll be able to search their daily journals that all start with today, and end with now
that focus on the heathers brightening up every corner or the magnolia passing us a much needed bloom
They’ll describe it in belly moans and leg cramps
in chapped hand skin and swollen eyelids
in red cowboy shirts and purple lipstick warn at home on a day that feels like any other day and no day and this day
They’ll be able to describe it with a time capsule, a few items here and there from the house that they won’t miss too much
A reminder that right here and right now there are things to collect
and give us

“The deal is struck” by Julia on her couch

Monday, March 23, 2020
9:25pm
5 minutes
Seven Deadly Sins
Virginia Hamilton Adair

According to Angel it was nice getting to see her teacher at comic con. Mr. Rose wore his out of school clothes which looked a lot like his in school clothes and he had his wife with him.

According to Angel Mr. Rose was acting strange because he had seen his student outside of school but this was not the case.

Every time Angel saw Mr. Rose after that she would remind him of the day they saw each other at comic con. he would tell her he did remember and she would bring up the same part about his wife and her orange t-shirt.

“A marriage is risky business these days” by Julia at The Cottage

Sunday, March 22, 2020
9:23pm
5 minutes
Wedding Poem for Schele and Phil
Bill Holm

When the invite came in the mail I didn’t take it out of its envelope.
Marnie would have fainted if she knew. I just threw it straight into the trash.
It was hard not being able to tell her. I mean, if you were me you wouldn’t tell her.
No one needs their best friend telling you that they can’t trust themselves to make a better decision.
I couldn’t support it and I don’t think I should have lied to her about it.
If I had gone, she would have had me there but I’d be lying the whole time.
It’s not better to lie about stuff like that.
Guess you could say I avoided it, I lied, same same double same, but the truth is, Marnie didn’t get subtle wake up calls.
She didn’t take anything seriously and in a way I kind of hoped she would have this one time.
It was the end of our friendship, to be honest with you. Marnie wasn’t going to listen to me tell her after the fact.
It’s my fault though. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror after I let her walk down the aisle.
Some people think it was my job to say something, but I don’t know, if it were that easy…
Well. Anyway, all I can say is marriage is already a risky business these days. It doesn’t need
more doubt thrown onto the fire.

“No tits to pull” by Julia at her desk

Saturday March 21, 2020
6:03pm
5 minutes
Carnation Milk
Anonymous

In the shower I held my own tits while I cried.
I didn’t realize I was doing it but when I realized
I was doing it I didn’t stop and didn’t wonder at it.
I knew why. I understood why. I get why.
Why cry when there is love.
Why weep when there is life.
Why stand frozen under a stream of steaming water when there is chance.
Why this.
Why now.
Why us.
I know why us and now and this too.
I know why deeply but I can’t put words to it because that would undo the great knowing.

Earlier you said we should have sex on our patio to give the people indoors a show, “if it comes to that.”
If it comes to that will we be able to model free love and free loving when it costs
skin and bones and a heart full of hope to give it?

Earlier I said “You have to help me.”

Earlier I said “I dreamed that I was about to perform my spoken word on The Tonight Show. But I ended the dream babysitting two rich brats who only wanted to eat BROOKSIDE Dark Chocolate Acai & Blueberries.”

Earlier I said “Please don’t make me do this alone.”

Earlier I said “I’m still upset I didn’t get to perform on Leno.”

“The spring is compressed” by Julia on the floor

Friday March 20, 2020
10:11pm
5 minutes
A Brief Lecture on Door Closers
Clemens Starck

I wake today to a text but I’m not allowed to look at it until 7am. I am not in a rush. I lay back in the bed. I lay there laying. I make a coffee, read the text and a friend has asked how I spent the equinox, and I don’t want to tell her that I ate a Big Mac. I didn’t remember about the equinox until she mentioned it. She is not trying to make me feel bad because she didn’t do anything for it after all and also she would have respected my choice to have a Big Mac.

I wake again now after falling asleep on the couch and my book is open and I am exposed once more with all my swirly ls and inconsistent shadow-work.

I say I’m tired and then I write this. This makes me less tired. My hips need some help. My skin has endured so many broken promises. Someone else has waited for me.

“FEEL YOUR FACE” By Julia on the living room floor

Thursday March 19, 2020
9:32pm
5 minutes
Burma-Shave
Traditional poem

there are apps that I have chosen to go to sleep at a certain hour now. Today, yesterday, now. How long does someone wait to call it Now in the habitual sense, the sense of saying I Do This Now when it has become something to do

I hate using the word “apps”. I barely like saying cell phone but here we are unavoidable. now. on the moving picture show of their life that is also my life too, now.

Now’s floor is more fun to sit on
more time to experiment with something new, a hat, an eye pencil, a semi supine. Now’s fridge clangs both empty and full. Now’s pantry has possibilities. Open ended.

“I would have missed so many smells” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday March 18, 2020
8:31pm
5 minutes
Ode to My 1977 Toyota
Barbara Hamby

once there was a girl in my bunk at jesus camp who didn’t have any sense of smell. this worked out

for me because I was dealing with an unnamed dairy allergy at the time and I could fart around her with ease and dare

I say delight?
Me and my friends would make it into a joke. Farting was part of the joke, the girl, for the most part didn’t get any flack.

one night at worship or cattle call or you name it, everyone was chanting Happy Song Happy Song and stomping on the bleachers.

the song, to my dismay got sung, but the girl with no sense of smell passed out because there were a lot of people all screaming and yelping and invoking the light of christ.

so when the first aid team descended upon us and the circle we had made to congreate around the girl, they gave her smelling salts to bring her to

and this, as you can imagine, did not work out. For her.

“Permit me to add my first” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday March 17, 2020
5:20pm
5 minutes
Old French Fairy Tales
Sophie, Comtesse de Ségur

you will find a journal of unsent letters addressed to you
in each one will be our ending but you will never suspect that they are about you

you will find the truth of what was hurting and why

you will learn the code words based on the shape of my Gs and in the loop of my Zs

you will wonder why you never saw it first and if there might be proof of this reckoning coming somewhere down an earlier pipe

you will not think any of those Gs or Zs are about you until one day that is all you can think of and then you will see yourself all over everything

you will question why you couldn’t ask me better questions or why you assumed me one way

must have been the wild west in me, the untameable horse, the rulebreaker you always wished you could be

you will be shocked on the outside but on the inside you will know the truth and how you are responsible for more than you name

“Souvenir, n. Memento.” by Julia at her desk

Monday March 16, 2020
12:38pm
5 minutes
A New Primary Dictionary if The English Language
Joseph E. Worcester

Remember me this way:

laughing
filled with holes and holy
dreaming in colour
writing songs on cocktail-napkins
writing notes in the margins of newly discovered books
smelling like garlic
chopping garlic
eating garlic
with a good idea unraveling
with a lose curl hanging down my back
with an eye for fresh haircuts and new shirts
with a penchant for over dramatization in the name of comedy
laughing
open arms and long hugs
humming along to Mozart
dripping water across the bathroom floor
showering by candle light
in candle light, flickering, relentless
reading the funny labels of things not meant to be funny
with a leather-bound notebook from Firenze
wearing the blue Adidas runners from 2003 even though they’ve lost their tread

Remember me in your pocket, folded, going with you wherever you land.

“You will be very welcome” by Julia at her desk

Sunday March 15, 2020
12:26pm
5 minutes
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum

Here in our home we have a pull-out couch for visitors who need to rest their bones.
We are sorry that it’s old, but it does the trick, and should you need it, you won’t notice minor details like that.
Our cooking skills will make you forget you were tired, and if your muscles ache, Bunny has been going to school for massage therapy ever since her friend Mrs. Wang told her she had “healing hands”. Bunny always takes notes of advice like this seriously, and as her primary recipient for practice and development I can attest to the truth of Mrs. Wang’s insights. Bunny has always been able to find the places in my back that need rearranging or light touch and energy. Our guests will find themselves with the luxury of this extensive care. If one chooses not to partake in the massage therapy portion of our offerings, Bunny and her magic fingers, of course, will not be offended because she is also practicing the art of not taking anything personally.
If any one should require more information on our balcony garden, they can direct their questions to me as I’m the one with the green thumb. Guests can expect to enjoy fresh parsley, rosemary, tomatoes, basil, and chives. Guests can also opt out of any additional meals prepared if they are not in the mood for what we have. No questions asked.

“but what disturbed that idea” by Julia at her desk

Saturday March 14, 2020
5:29pm
5 minutes
The War of the Worlds
H. G. Wells

We were going to leave. Leave for a while, you know, nothing permanent, nothing too far out there, but things have changed since we said we’d do it. We told only a few people but that’s because we were trying to go off the grid in a casual, ghost-like way. If we left our current lives quietly, nobody would have any suspicions raised because there’d be no one sounding the alarm, and by the time they noticed, by the time they came looking for us we’d be far enough gone that they wouldn’t be able to interfere. Although we were worried about that slight possibility, we knew that most people cared about themselves more than what we were doing so the reality of us being persons of interest was not one we’d have to face. That being said, we were slightly concerned that Canada Post would be the first to realize that we had left. They tend to be the most aggressive about people especially when they’re trying to deliver your mail but can’t seem to do that if your mailbox is too full. That’s when they start keeping tabs on you to make sure this is, after all, your true address, and you, after all, are a true citizen.

We had rented a small cabin in a place I will no longer share, in case we can still access it. I shouldn’t have said cabin, but maybe that won’t matter either after any of this. What disturbed the idea of us going was the whistle from the morning bird; calling us, calling us, calling us.

“sap moves in the veins” by Julia on her couch

Friday March 13, 2020
8:17pm
5 minutes
The Day Dream
Nora Acheson

I move slowly like sap dripping out

I want to be a thing that absorbs

light
sound
love
skin
human
faith
time
growth
abundance
appreciation
patience
foundation

I am slow to goodbye these wonder souls now buried in my spine

I will write a song for them
and one for their love

if I run I miss the magic
the pen pal letter written in the dark
the candle light pushed down into the coffee table for a bit of wax to right the empty

I will breathe deeply, move mountains, and these things take time, did you know?

these things take a hammer and nail, hand building, hand writing, hand holding and why rush

why race when the sun is setting pink over the hill and there are people gathered to witness

why look all the way in only to speed up past the heart throbbing for the heat of another

there is a slow we can drink

“I knew I should meet you here” by Julia on her couch

Thursday March 12, 2020
6:42pm
5 minutes
War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy

ask me where you want to meet me in our dreams and I give you an answer that throws you off my scent. I don’t want to share my dreams with you. I want to go alone and go all the way and go to the point of no return. But if you come too what will happen? You won’t remember it the way I can. Let’s say we meet at the train station. I always say that, have you noticed? I don’t say “on the train” because I want you to get lost while looking for the bathrooms or the cinnamon buns and not make it on before departure! I want to go where my quiet train goes on my own and nobody should take that personally. I can say “let’s meet on the path” because what path? Chances aren’t high that we’d find the same path. And if we do, even after all that, we will deal with it then!

“Supposing the force of gravity in any similar medium” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday March 11, 2020
9:20pm
5 minutes
Newton’s Principia: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
Sir Isaac Newton

We all head south as the years pour out
Tonight, same as last, I made a choice
Not to take advantage
Not to rumble with someone else’s expectations
And I travelled down
because it hurt
the person who expected
And it begged the question
Was this decision made out of fear or out of truth
And trust it’s truth
I can always access it there in the fleshy undertones of my face and wonder if it was there all along

I ask the question
Measure twice
Cut once
Be a big decided sinking thing
And travel to the south of me
Gravity dragging me to my knees
And that is where humility can find you
Breathing in something like air only different
Transformative
Release maybe in the form of swollen ankles
Look at how long you have been holding yourself up
It says
And I listen
I don’t quake in my boots at the big decision but at the hurting hearts
The weight bearing hopeful hearts

“On the dank and dirty ground.” By Julia on her couch

Tuesday March 10, 2020
9:20pm
5 minutes
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
William Shakespeare

It didn’t use to be this way
There was more bowing down, bending,
licking the dank dirty ground if they asked me to
And they asked me to

A softer bone where the back should have been
I could have folded all the way if the tile was
underneath me
and if you’d ask me if I regret it
I would tell you that I don’t know who that floor kissing person was
who that brownie off the ground eating person was
who she was who couldn’t say no
who didn’t understand the word

It didn’t use to be this way

A quiet scream would find itself lodged
in the back of the lung and nothing would
surface for fear of disturbing the peace

Now peace is not considered
only sounding the alarm if the inside says so
It was so much easier then to let them all think
I had a hair to curl or a smile to lend

But it was so much harder to ignore what I needed
So much harder to draw the line and
choose a side

“The king’s daughter” by Julia on her couch

Monday March 9, 2020
9:09pm
5 minutes
The Frog Prince
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

pissed now I am pissed now because
I just wrote the thing and then poof it was gone
ask Daddy and his friends to get it back
princess asks Daddy and his friends for anything and everything

Pissed since Saturday morning anyway
swollen undereye because of the drink because
last time I thirsted
thirsted
Daddy fetch the hair of the dog
the cure
get me what I need

I won’t go to where I said I’d go
Daddy and his friends have talked to the people and they are no longer expecting me
so here I am writing this

writing this thing so you know that I do other things
than ask other people to do things for me
I do them
i always do them

But when something gets in my way I make excuses and I never take the blame
There is too much ringing in my brain
notify
notification
your storage is insufficient
Your security adviser is speaking to you
You’re still ignoring that friend
and that contract
It has been 6 days did you want to send a mother fucking follow up?

Maybe if I had a mother fucking mother I wouldn’t need to ask
daddy for all of it
or his friends
or tell you about it
or tell anyone anything about anything

But I am writing this still
And for right now
today
that is enough.

“And when I thirsted” by Julia at ‘the cottage’

Sunday March 8, 2020
10:03pm
5 minutes
Lines
Maria A. Brooks

I craved a real raw hunk of you and my mouth watered

my tongue bucked

my instinct kicked the earth
scuffed up the garden
winnied and then kicked again

i wanted to see you in the glow of surrender and love and letting the heart speak

I wanted to hear the truth drip from the corner of your mouth

i saw you then and your eyes were open too and we stood there panting and sending all our breath to our knees

and when I thirsted
I thirsted for that
and we could look at each other life long
like that in the gkow

“It is never too late” by Julia at her desk

Saturday March 7, 2020
5:17pm
5 minutes
Quote by George Elliot

to pick up the sweet of a scenario
a strawberry of a circumstance
and blow it orannnnnnge and another colour that sits well on glass

it’s not a race against time anyway because time is not competing
time is hoping to rock you gently as you learn to drop the heavy and swap it with a daisy
every once in a while
you will grow wider and longer
in the tooth

it is never too late to say you’re sorry for a thing you didn’t need to do to someone but did and it hasn’t been sitting well…

on glassssssssssssss

golden glassss stained and sorry

time will be there when you want to make the best use of her
time will be a thing that heals your new old wounds

“Our faces become our biographies” By Julia on the couch

Friday March 6, 2020
9:01pm
5 minutes
Quote by Cynthia Ozick

Biography is about me I can be about me except I’m not doing the telling

My story is mine to tell you can all retreat
you don’t think it’s my job to write it but I’ve been writing in my sleep
you’re not thinking and I am swept
this whole buried treasure in my chest you can write your own story
requires living though like a bird or a silken thing

say your own words spin your own ideas and tell it the way you see it I always tell it the way I see it I’ve been sleeping on it
resting on it
stalking it ready and easy on it
I will take my own word over anybody else’s

I will tell my heart on my face

“Why won’t my baby eat anything but grapes?” By Julia on the couch

Thursday March 5, 2020
9:15pm
5 minutes
Room To Write
Bonnie Goldberg

My baby is a weird one

She eats grapes and only grapes

And nothing but grapes you see just grapes

My baby can speak in tongues you see

And never mind she’s not yet three or two or even one years yet and soon she’ll be but not quite yet and she can do it anyway and I never ask her how but speak she does more than speakest thou

My baby is a strange one see

She fell straight from the sycamore tree

She didn’t cry or laugh for real

That slippery little banana peel.

“I know nothing about magic” by Julia on the toilet

Wednesday March 4, 2020
8:34pm
5 minutes
The Books Of Magic
Neil Gaiman

I know nothing about magic
and this is something you’d have to ask me to repeat
because if you know me you know
that I am lying through my teeth

“what was that you said? because I thought I heard –no, okay then, phew because–I thought you said ‘nothing’–okay phew”

I could write a long list about the sparkly stuff that seems to line the streets: where I saw it, how I got it, who I believe to be behind the gold

It’s things like gifts when you need them most or grace of god or getting to sleep in after weeks of burning the candle and no there is no physical proof

but physical proof is meant for other things like car parts and batteries and making sure there’s a banana in every lunch pail

I’m talking about the stuff that you feel or carry or reference but can’t name, the stuff trees in an old growth rainforest give off to warm you in February when you didn’t bring the proper jacket

“He’s a teenie, tiny picture” by Julia in Shuang’s office

Tuesday March 3, 2020
2:11pm
5 minutes
Who’s Zoo
Conrad Aiken

this tiny picture of a boy I PUT HIM IN A FRAME and then I put him on the shelf!

what a dream this TEENIE thing, to be so picture perfect and pristine

the rhymes are not here but in between
the dream the dream the dream!!

I need to keep him forever and a sculpture will not do
no a sculpture will not do
nor a painting or a story
I must frame him oh the poor thing
he’ll me mine forever and a day

the picture better be clear and
big but not too big because he’s TEENIE TINY like a stone on a beach, a pebble in the shoe, a freckle on the lip HOW CUTE and tiny he is and must forever be (and a day)

So pristine this dream of mine to love a boy for all of time and watch him grow but not an inch lest he upset the stitch!

“I can’t tell you” by Julia on her couch

Monday March 2, 2020
10:03pm
5 minutes
For my friend who told me don’t celebrate the dead
Andrea Potos

tonight we found out just how full our days are when we flow out and flood the remaining worries.

I can’t tell you how it started but I can tell you it wasn’t tonight. The camel couldn’t take it any more. tonight the camel gave in.

the night doesn’t sting, though, when our days are good and they are. they’re bigger than before. we have been caught catching sun on the bed on some afternoons. been caught up high in conversation about the night before when we danced together in separate rooms

“I overheard” by Julia on her couch

Sunday March 1, 2020
9:03pm
5 minutes
My Book Life
Sparrow

I overheard a young woman last night discussing her desire to go off the grid and learn how to survive off of corn-bread and tree sap.
I think she is onto something. She’s not the only person who mentions running for the hills. Although someone else I overheard said that everyone is going to rush to the mountains in a crisis. Tsunamis, earthquakes, he says we should be on solid ground, but that’s not what everyone will think about first.
I, myself, will not be rushing toward any one group of people, I don’t care which direction they’re headed. Sure, things are going to get hard in a state of emergency, you know, when disaster strikes, and you’re not necessarily going to want to be alone–but there are a lot of stupid people in groups and I don’t think that’s the time to follow the crowd. I don’t want someone panicked and stressed, and making bad choices out of fear take away from what my instincts are telling me to do.
I think it might be time to get an escape bag packed and near the door just in case. My friend Annah says she’s got a granola bar and a pair of socks in hers. A bit lame, she says, but she’s doing something at least. I’m with her. I don’t want to be cold or hungry either.

“the political danger” by Julia at her desk

Saturday February 29, 2020
6:01pm
5 minutes
Against the Current
Barry Lopez

Friend number one brings up the Coronavirus and friends two and three go silent.
Nobody wants to be talking about this right now but it comes up, here at the party to celebrate life and living and being born.
The political danger of bringing up the Coronavirus at a birthday party is, right now, the same degree as not bringing it up at a birthday party.
Here we are cheersing, toasting, clinking glasses, kissing each other’s cheeks.
In places where the people touch bodies to greet one another, or get in close to the skin of someone else are at higher risk. Being punished, it seems for being sweet and welcoming.
Friend number three is trying to change the subject now. He is too stoned to enjoy himself as it is, let alone try and push past the inevitable paranoia that is spreading almost as fast as the virus. Friend number one shows the photo of the type of mask her father is wearing in China. Just a regular surgical one, she says.

“I don’t make jokes.” By Julia on her couch

Friday February 28, 2020
10:03pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Will Rogers

I don’t make jokes
I’m always serious
a lot is said but
better not laugh
it must be nice to
have nothing to worry
about that you can
laugh with such ease
it must be nice
I didn’t come here to
make a scene or make
you laugh or say your
name not your name I’m
not afraid to know you
to let my guard down
and let loose you know
I’m most definitely not
aftaid of that we just have
stuff to do and stuff
to get done

“This and no other” by Julia in the fishbowl

Thursday February 27, 2020
4:32pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Plato

you don’t know this but I’m counting bubbles from inside the fishbowl
wondering
how long I can sit here without moving
the overhead light turns on
blasts a reminder in my eyes that I am being watched
if I don’t move the moving in me is the moving kept down

This and no other day is like a dream I wish it were
but that’s not the way it is

You don’t know this but I’m finishing your sentences from here
you walk with tongues of fire and blaze an easy trail
I follow with the thumb of my left hand tracing where you stand
and no other day
no other day
is like this

In the corner of my longing there’s a hungry bird picking out the trash
and hoping that it lasts there’s half a pizza in there anyway
some buddies don’t eat the crust
and oh they must hear my last poem about waste
and if they knew it at all they wouldn’t do it at all
but this is not for me
nothing is for me
this and no other

You don’t know this but I’m fixing my lips to the buzzing
and I’m with you as you think you’re alone and humming
I can keep time
I know the Britney song you’re singing at the top of your lungs
and I join in when it’s the right moment and you are shocked that
anyone was behind the glass

this is how it ends
this is a note from the fishbowl from the wet and watered down
from the staying late at night
from the crossed legs and holding tight
to the finite sounds of clicking keys.

“Because Wednesday” by Julia on the toilet

Wednesday February 26, 2020
7:54pm
5 minutes
Dirt
Camille Dungy

these days rub my thighs together like they’re trying to deter me

you tell me I have had Days these days and the capital D is not silent

yes, I add, the kind of days where I even have to reschedule my bowel movements

here I am, I have pushed it back as far in the day as it can go and thank god

I needed these five minutes to be in a room with a door that locks

I told someone recently that I can write anywhere and here I am. here I am.

I don’t want the weeks to launch past me like they’ve been doing, I like to cook my eggs slow and low

I like to spend an hour drawing a title page for the first day of the month

but this is full and I am filled and there is no empty to speak of and there is gratitude in naming that and there is enough time if we let time play with us instead of thinking she is trying to do us in

tonight we’ll use the big paper to chart out our next moves

after this movement

after Brahms’ Second

“You are something like” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
9:48pm
5 minutes
Earthly Love
Nathaniel Perry

you are something like mmm
I am something like blue
you’re the skin I’m walking in
can’t convince me to walk away from you
you are something like look
I am something like need
I’m the sorry secret and you’re what’s underneath

the water stops and your breath is audible now from where I’m laying
you said it was going to be the biggest decade yet you’re telling me but how can it not be
what did I even know a decade ago
besides you
besides you who looked like everything I always wanted
besides you who gave me a look I didn’t know how to hold but grabbed anyway
besides you

you are something like always.

“We try in a polite and partly exhausted way” by Julia in the fishbowl

Monday February 24, 2020
3:17pm
5 mintues
Gooseberry Marsh
Gretchen Legler

I hate everything until I don’t.
It is not the other way around.
It could be innocent till proven guilty.
But that’s not how it is given that I don’t trust anybody.
Later some people are coming over to my place and they signed their names up but I don’t know if they’re coming for them or for me and I wonder if they feel sorry for me.
I don’t trust people who feel sorry for me.
I don’t like people who think I need their stupid help.
Everybody needs help, I know this, and I am not saying I am not everybody, but you’re getting it all wrong.
You’re judging by the wrong hair.
You’re sensing some tightness.
You’re making assumptions about me because I’m being prickly and you assume it has to do with something else but you can’t quite put your finger on it.
And you’re sitting there trying to figure me out because you don’t like it.
You don’t like having someone be prickly to you for what you consider to be No Good Reason.
I guess I hate you until I don’t.
I guess I would rather you avoided me because I am sitting here avoiding you.
And I hate myself too in case you were wondering about that.
That seems like the only way to get so good at hating you.

“I nodded” by Julia at her desk

Sunday February 23, 2020
10:05pm
5 minutes
Bring You Apples
Cate Lycurgus

I nodded my head at the goings on in my brain and I let them bounce around.
A to do list so long it starts to eat itself but not from tail or head but right in the middle.
Sometimes it eats an item in half but doesn’t fight the others into stand alone beings.

I nodded at the idea of everything going to shit.

In the blink of an eye I saw the whole church, the congregation, the good book all keeping vigil.
There is about to be an explosion, a death, a rebirth we assume, but first, a noticing.
And I can see it the way I can the vibrations between two smiling faces, the way I can feel them when I rub my hands together or when I tell children about our internal energy and the power of our suspended belief.
I can go back and forth so easily you might think I was born a fish on legs, inching back toward the core of things after being washed up.
It looks easy, faith, and then, impossible.
It can seem pointless.

This is where another moment gets a nod.

“The stunning couple” by Julia in the bathroom

Saturday February 22, 2020
12:42am
5 minutes
The Tree Sparrows
Joseph O. Legaspi

hush as they walk by
did they come from sex
did they leave anything on the table

do they walk like they have a
secret
pressed between their palms
wax paper
hot seal
a label carrying a warning

they leave together
the stunning
the stunning couple
to use the restroom
to tell a joke
they leave each moment together
and when they come back
something new has happened again
and still we are on the outside

look at how beautiful they are
the lie is a good one
the whole room is fawning
wishing they were them
wishing they had what they
had and
if they could is there enough
of this to go around

be quiet as they enter the room
feel the burden and offer to
keep its feet from dragging
do the looking
there is more than meets the eye
and isn’t that what we’ve always been taught
to wonder at what we see and
assume there is something more
something else
something worth whispering about
when they leave again
the door revolving
for them to go out and in
seamlessly

“At times they cast themselves” By Julia in the taxi

Friday, February 21, 2020
6:48pm
5 minutes
My Love Feeds the Crows
Mark Sullivan

we haven’t promised anyone anything
see how it goes
wander into a dark room with a hope and a sigh
the kicker is the phantom voice
clinging to the lung of a newborn
we hear it
we doubt it
we hear it again
why does she want us so badly
why can’t we let her go

if we tell them we’re fine
that’s one more thing we won’t
be able to live up to
a sachel of condolence cards
sitting in the backyard
a tray of CorningWare and styrofoam plates
the bowls encrusted in
yesterday’s deliverance

praying becomes a hazzard here
praying becomes a buzzard here
a hassle
a hut

at times the memories cast themselves as ghosts and float
an inch away from our noses

we feel a little tickle
but we can never scratch it away

“When we love the earth,” by Julia on her couch

Thursday February 20, 2020
9:49pm
5 minutes
From a quote by bell hooks

we sit by the crow of sunrise and blow bubbles into the sky

we step our feet into mud prints squishing around and walking

a garbage can becomes a thing worth waiting for

a bee hive moves into the apartment complex community garden

we rescue two giant pussy willow branches from the corner of arbutus and 4th and walk them through the doors slowly

the water is dripping but we catch it in the kettle and find glasses to fill

“… let’s just see what happens.” By Julia on the 84

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
6:15pm
5 minutes
For as Many Days as We Have Left
Pam Houston

I am about to barf
Let’s just see what happens

Said nobody ever

The body knows
Deeply
Carries

Things in its pockets that
You have forgotten about

A travelling secret
Across decades
Buried deep in the palm creases
Or behind the ear

The body is particularly intuitive when it comes to barfing

Let’s just see what—

Is what someone trying to ignore the body might say

Trying being the operative word

I don’t tell you this but today I wonder what the point of it all is

Why this journey then and not another

Why this body rejecting something I’ve put in it or worse rejecting what I keep outside it

What is the point
But I don’t tell you this

You’d rather hear about vomit and
Stomach bile and the garbage can next to the bed

“Caley pushed her sandy brown hair” by Julia in the fishbowl

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
3:37pm
5 minutes
A Private Wild
Laurel Nakanishi

Ever since Magda told her that if she swallowed too much of her hair it would form a big ugly glob in her stomach that would start stealing the nutrients from anything that she fed herself, Caley was trying desperately to stop eating it. She sometimes heard Magda growling, or howling at night when she was supposed to be fast asleep. Caley didn’t want Magda to know she would spy on her and secretly believed her to be some wild wolf woman from another time. Or land.
She can’t remember know why she started putting her blonde braid in her mouth. Surely, Magda told her once, a handsomely paid and dressed person would one day be employed to help her with that. It was nice having someone tell Caley about the future and what to expect. Everyone knows her own mother couldn’t be bothered to give Caley the time of day. Once, Caley almost choked on her ponytail and her mother, reading a magazine, simply glanced up.

“In the moonstruck dusk” by Julia at her desk

Monday February 17, 2020
8:42pm
5 minutes
Wolf OR-7
Natalie Diaz

It has been over said but I will say it again:
I do not recognize that man, I’m tellin’ ya, Jerry,
I don’t know the guy from a can of paint!

These guys are tryna screw my lid so I can’t think
straight and if that’s alright with you, then you’re
no different than those bone heads.

I’m not gonna tell you what you should do, alright,
far be it from me to weigh in on how you should do
your job, Jerry, but I’m tellin’ ya, if it was up to
me, which I can honestly say, no disrespect, that it
is not, you’re gettin’ your berries stirred and it’s
not gonna be a fancy fruit salad, you understand?

In this moonlight, Jerry, it’s romantic, people got their
notions all tied up tight and they let them get yanked
around by a little dusk blindness. That’s all it is.
They pick a guy like me to yank the wool, you understand, Jerry?
A guy like me!

“like being naked with someone you haven’t been naked with” by Julia at her desk

Sunday February 16, 2020
11:53am
5 minutes
Hot Pulse
J. Jill Robinson

Remember yesterday that moment where you slapped
my ass and I was supposed to decide if I wanted that then
It turned into something
we both breathed in
we both waited a beat and then
then we found… it
dropped into… it
landed there at the pit and held it up with soft hands
we were soft hands and quiet
but we couldn’t hear the dripping faucet
couldn’t hear the alleyway rummage and dive
couldn’t hear the seagulls calling
and it was quiet like a theta wave still
singing in the space where words don’t dare venture

That couch looks different today
Almost prettier than before
And more of us now
of us in the way we don’t have to think

That moment before has felt like a century
and that deciding second passes slowly
But there is change in the air, hanging
we are awakening Osiris by surrendering to it
thumbing the pages of skin and ink and
wearing it like a fine cloth, transparent
over sweaty limbs and toothy kisses, pinning

“My new bedroom was an old kitchen.” By Julia on her couch

Saturday February 15, 2020
7:09pm
5 minutes
Waxy
Camilla Grudova

If you count the summers we went strawberry picking and made milkshakes you could say we had a nice childhood. If you count the times we got sent to our rooms without dinner you might say the opposite.
The one who gave birth to me wasn’t very nice. I learned later that nice was all I ever wanted and she wasn’t that. She hated me and I hated her and everyone knew it but nobody stepped in to do anything about it.
I might have loved my stepdad or the one after him if they would have. I might have known that it wasn’t some kind of divine punishment.
They didn’t know how to handle me let alone a new baby on the spectrum who would grow to run wild like a huskey anytime we left the door unwatched.
I wish I had the same tendency.

“a petite woman in her late twenties” by Julia on her couch

Friday February 14, 2020
6:01pm
5 minutes
Confidence Woman
Stephen Henigha

I was once a petite woman in my late twenties
I was once in denial about that
thought I was as big as a house
as tall as an evergreen tree
as lion as a lion

I used to roar as loud as my hair
and you called me your lion
I believed you when you said you liked me disruptive
not polite
not the word
distracting
sometimes unaware of the volume and the location and the audience

I was once a person who ran out instead of turning in
a woman in her late twenties with a chip on her shoulder
a secret in her tears and a confession
somewhere type-written in the nook of her bedside table
I used to beg the moon to take me with her
let me watch
let me learn from her and all that silky show

I used to hate myself for lying
when I was so hungry for the truth
I used to hate anyone for lying
because I was hiding the truth
I convinced myself I was the world’s best actress
and you were the one who couldn’t tell that this was all a movie
that every word spoken was screen tested
that every song hushed was the result
of so much bloodied shame

I used to blame other people for my dark Tuesdays
or Wednesdays and wished that someone would
find a new hole to haunt

I’ve never forgotten her bold suggestion” by Julia in the fishbowl

Thursday February 13, 2020
12:59pm
5 minutes
Once and Future Prairie
Lisa Bird-Wilson

Wisdom draped in scotch tape and fixed to a card-board cut-off of a cereal box
Wisdom is all around us
Inspiration is in every wall and speck and web of dust and racing silver fish

The ideas keep coming in the shower when it is too slippery to hold them
I remind myself of the words in sequence, repeating them to myself
like a choo choo train choo choo choo choo and hopefully my tongue
will find a place for them to live until I can open my mouth next and spill

I remember that these thoughts are not trying to kill me but help me
that to ignore them is worse than to stop the water, dry off the arm
and scribble down what’s left of this call, this conjuring

I remember that when they come knocking I better answer the door
and can’t use the excuse that they never visit anymore
because they do and I’m the one who doesn’t have cookies for them
I’m the one who doesn’t have a place for them to cuddle up under
a cozy blanket or a blank sheet of paper worth holding

Waves waves here and then again not and this will be what forever looks like
I can’t wait for a garden to plant all these biting seeds into
and the days to slow so I can learn to let them grow

“I left behind my unfinished thesis” By Julia in the fishbowl

Wednesday February 12, 2020
10:40pm
5 minutes
Who Took My Sister?
Shannon Webb-Campbell

I’m not going back to school
I’m not going to do it
Sorry, Leash, I’m calling it off
I’m going to work for the rest of
my life and wish I didn’t work
that’s all
I’m not feeling bad about it
I’m not giving it any second thoughts
you want me to feel bad
I won’t
school isn’t for everyone especially
not for people who don’t want to be there

All I have is a gut feeling telling me
that I won’t be better because of it
Leash, you have graduated and have noticed
some benefits, what are you doing now friend
I couldn’t tell you, I couldn’t attribute it
to anything you learned there
aren’t you fixing people’s teeth now
aren’t you living in your mother’s basement?

I don’t want to be wanted by the kind of
people who turn their noses up at someone
who lacks all the training
I know who I am and who I’ll be
and aren’t I already doing the things they
teach you in school? Aren’t I already
running out of paint and finding off cuts
of laminate in the recycling bin to
try out my thoughts?

Aren’t I killing time here anyway?

“a performance of about two and a half hours” by Julia in the fishbowl

Tuesday February 11, 2020
3:06pm
5 minutes
Nibelung
Devon Code

Welcome to the show.
Tonight you will be seeing the masks come off.
You won’t realize there were masks to begin with because they are excellently made.
Crafted by the very best internal monologue the theatre has ever known.
These masks are not the kind tied with string or easily removed.
They’re made of skin. It’s pretty freaky actually. They’re built to look just like us!
But tonight, we will be taking them off. Not right away, of course, because what
conflict are we even talking about then. Not right away or abruptly.
After you see us with the masks on a bit, after you see us reflecting your mask back to you a bit…
Oh you didn’t know? Our masks are visible if they’re similar to yours. That’s so funny, isn’t it? Curious, even, let’s make a show about it, ooh look we are!
Tonight we’ve gotten tired of wearing them. We’d rather let our true faces breathe because after all this time sporting them to every function, every event, every scary moment, it gets exhausting.
You’re tired too, I bet, from carrying it around on your cheeks.
It’s not uncommon, actually, for us to want to take off a thing that separates us from everyone else, but here we are keeping them close as if we can’t live without them.
Tonight, though..
We dance.

“They should not be ordinary words” by Julia in the fishbowl

Monday February 10, 2020
11:35am
5 minutes
What’s in a Name
Moez Surani

When you give someone your tongue you should not offer easy words
of comfort or the kinds that get the point across the quickest
Do not look for lightening to communicate
There is a more interesting journey voice could take

When you give someone your mouthful make sure you are steady
Hold on to the railing first but let go right before you send it
Words, not ordinary words, but the ones overflowing
Pour a river over the edge

Offerings from the guts cannot be tied up neatly with a string
Not left in the steel drum too long banging around the echo
They’re whole and good and singing so let them know that each
one of them belongs before it trickles off the sides

When you give someone your heart you should not expect a swiftness
a straightforward-to-it-ness, a target hit and reached with a spike
Do not turn it arrow from the start to the finish
Let it soak in the air between two possibilities, a drip of honey down the jar

“Yep, thinks Frank,” by juli on her couch

Sunday February 9, 2020
9:39pm
5 minutes
Nothing Like It Was
Mark Wagstaff

He’s bounding around the corner without eyes, eyes squeezed shut, not seeing. it’s his favourite trick, seeing without seeing. he is running full force lime a wrecking ball, no remorse, no consideration. Frank thinks this is hilarious. He thinks it’s incredible or people will say it is after they see him do it, after they see him make a perfect turn without being able to see. Yep, thinks Frank, they’ll all wonder at me then. They’ll all come leaps and clicks to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth! Frank would tell them he could see. He could see everything that was in front of him and nothing was in the way. It would inspire millions. It would reach beyond everyone’s wildest dreams.
This is his favourite part: this reveal of perfect imperfection; showing what the inner eye looks like when it is not afraid.