“Get used to me.” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday June 12, 2018
7:31pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Muhammad Ali

Thanks for the epiphany, timer.
I guess I’ll tell you about it?
Got only five minutes.
Better not f u c k i t u p.
Better not waste my time.
I haven’t impressed you.
I know this now, this very now.
I know it like it’s the first time.
I haven’t impressed you because I haven’t broken out of my skin.
You call me baby, call me potential in the same breath.
Hug my heart into beating the speed you believe in.
Lift me all the way over your head.
Step back to see where I will leap.
Watch where I will land.
If I’ll fly all the way there or if I’ll launch.
And then I sit back down on the easy steps.
And you have to get your hopes back down from the shelf you put them on.
I haven’t impressed you because I haven’t said yes to the sky.
Better not f.u.c.k.i.t.u.p.
All this wasted time.
All this almost decade for absolutely nothing.
Nothing new.
Nothing nothing.

“children dawdling to school” by Julia in Hanoi

Saturday February 3, 2018
10:20pm
5 minutes
Prazeres
K.V Skene

It’s over the hill and past the old abandoned ice cream truck.
The little ones don’t seem to
be afraid when they go by it
but I don’t like the feeling it
gives me. I don’t like what it
represents but then again I’m
old enough to remember what
happened. They skip and play
and sometimes pretend to steer
the wheel. They make believe
that they are just like the ice
cream man on a regular Wednesday in June.
The police say there might have been more than twenty bodies.
They say
they didn’t consider
digging so far back until
they had a reason to. When
you think of what all of us kids
knew back then, it makes you
wonder what their priorities were,
and what order.

“Can I ask you somethin?” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday November 29, 2017
9:34pm
5 minutes
Cities of the Plain
Cormac McCarthy

The ask from the humming bird’s wing came quick like a home run
There was an ounce of dread in it
a trill that caused the clouds to quake…

We were alone and now we are not.
I could have told you better if I didn’t see your eyes peeling away at me. I wanted to tell you about something beautiful. I wanted to share it with someone I thought would hold it reverent. I could tell you now the version that would ease you. The thought I had and not the moment it made. Like a dog jumping on a trampoline and then nothing. Stopping. Not everything needs to be talked about. I don’t know how to unask you; untell you. I don’t know how to cover up this new hole and pray that no one notices it pulsing here.

“The Movement project” by Julia at the studio


Thursday July 27, 2017
8:34pm
5 minutes
Sophie Spiridonoff’s artist statement

It all started when I was shocked awake by own heartbeat.
Yeah yeah, you want to hear how that managed to happen, well
get in line. You don’t have to agree with or
understand it, even. It’s more about respect, if I were to
choose something.
I had the urge to talk about the body-the relationship we have
to our legs or to our finger tips; our ingrown hairs
I always get someone like you who guffaws
at the underbelly of emotion. You are not an original
critic. All you haters are the same-you hate yourself
the most. I don’t have hate for my body and you’ve
decided you no longer trust me. It’s not unusual at all,
but it makes a movement impossible.

“I waited twenty minutes, then thirty.” by Julia on the skytrain


Monday May 15, 2017
3:27pm
5 minutes
GHOSTLY WOMAN
ZOË BOSSIERE


AJ: Jesus fucking Christ, Tannis, will you close your gaping mouth for even two fucking seconds?
TANNIS: Why are you being so fucking icy with me? What did I fucking even do?
AJ: NOTHING, JUST SHUT UP.
TANNIS: SERIOUSLY?
*silence
*silence
*silence
TANNIS: I’m going to go ahead and assume you need me to sit with you but you are too afraid to admit that you’re fucked up because you know that when you put it to words, it automatically becomes true, but just so you know, I have a teeth cleaning appointment in 2 hours so my support for you is going to be limited.
*silence
*silence,shuffle
*shuffle,silence, deep breath
TANNIS: Oh when the saints…go marching in…oh when the–
AJ: Okay, okay, I’m fucked up.

“periodic assessment” by Julia on her couch


Sunday March 19, 2017
8:54pm
5 minutes
from a contract

There was a scrawny boy, from my teaching days, who used to come into my office for extra help on his map reading at recess. He was very worried that he wasn’t picking up on the navigation unit as comfortably as the other children so I worked with him as best as I could and showed him plenty of examples. He seemed to always wear that same confused face even after I felt I had made things very clear. I tried not to get frustrated that he’d come in every day to work on the unit that everyone else had figured out with relative ease. I asked him one day if he thought coming in to see me was helping him. That’s when he told me he had understood the whole time but was afraid of recess because of Tyler, who sometimes tripped him while he ran.

“Clear eyes” by Julia on her couch


Saturday February 18, 2017
7:40pm
5 minutes
Friday Night Lights

When I pray I ask god to give me clarity so I may trust
what I see and be able to know it
I ask to be bypassed by nightmares like I did when
I was a child
twenty years of wishing I wouldn’t see the bad things because
I had glue for brains
terror haunting me like flies twitching on a sticky rope
I ask god to give me clear eyes so I can’t blame inaction
on blurry vision
I ask god to save me so we don’t get caught up in logistics
Tell her I’m tired now of specificty
mainly because it hurts
too much
When I pray I ask for something I can hold on to
something that won’t burn me in the night and leave a scar

“I’ll stop now” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday November 1, 2016
8:44pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

Every time I approached him with my arms out he thought I was going to hit him. It made hugging very tense. It made playful physical contact a struggle. I didn’t know how to convey to him that I was safe. That I wasn’t going to hurt him–that I didn’t want to hurt him. At first it was endearing. I had to compensate for his jumpy disposition. But then it didn’t dissipate. It didn’t quell with work. Eventually I thought, yes he might need me but I need to be touched. I need to be a comfort to him not a cause for concern. How can I be myself when I’m not allowed to act on my impulses? What if not being allowed to hug really is the deal breaker? And so I told him. As gently as I could. That this is me admitting. I’ll stop now but I won’t be staying.

“Door To Hell” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, August 30, 2016
7:31am
5 minutes
aplus.com

it starts with a whisper with a promise to be better
when you don’t really mean it and you don’t really want to
commit to process
it’s opened then
when you say anything that doesn’t sound like truth and when you think
everybody only hears sincerity when you are wrong but don’t
want to believe that yet
a little crack further
and you keep far away from it because it’s calling you
it knows you by face and you pretend it’s a different you a different you with
the same name
coincidence
that each day a little bit less is tried
a little bit less is wagered
and the pit beyond grace is surrounded by old flames that
you ran from because you didn’t have the courage
to snuff them out
it starts with a whisper with the song of wandering souls
you fall each day
further off the track you triumph over
unfairly

“It languished in the vault” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, August 29, 2016
7:08am
5 minutes
rollingstone.com

I put it there along with other things. I wanted a collection of all the lies I had been telling. In the secret parts of my understanding I like to believe they live in a garden on their own. But they are not thriving in their soil. I don’t water them. I have deep hopes that they don’t need it. The walls of this decision are dried and crumbling. They don’t fall or crack revealing light. They pile on top of the old ones and bury the new ones that were just put there for a second. Now everything is locked up. The idea that this is all I’ll ever be. I am the one languishing in the vault. I am the one wasted. And I only choose to visit the scraps of myself there when no one else is around. Stuck internal, asleep on a mattress that divides all of my bones into unusable groups, and keeps me from attending the day like they all expect me to.

“my drunken soul flies” By Julia at Bean Around The World


Tuesday July 26, 2016 at BATW
6:53am
5 minutes
from the write up on the painting “Ascend”

Heaven forbid I tell you how I actually feel. I say that under my breath because I’m too afraid to say anything about how I actually feel with full voice. What the eff. Where did that start? When I was a kid? As everything in this life does? I had to do what you did when we were young because I wanted to be you and the only way I knew how to be you was to do what you did or what you wanted. That made sense. I was looking for lightening. Wasn’t about to spend three to five years wishing I was you without trying to make it so. I still want to be you on most days. You were older than me then but now you’re a painting. I see you still: beautiful and still. You’re not going anywhere and I don’t have to run to catch up to you. I don’t have to hold my breath and count to three because you’re not running away from me. I am a mess. It makes sense that I would want to live your life and not mine. But I still can’t tell you how I actually feel. Because my soul is drunk on doubt and it flies high when it’s left to its own devices. You are still the moon, and I love you for that. The shiny thing in my sky that makes me want to open my eyes and see…

“She wants to keep the baby.” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 10, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
from Facebook post

-So we’re going to do this then? Is this actually happening?!
-Well you’re not exactly doing anything, are you.
-Sam. What the fuck. This is my baby too.
-How do we know if this will even be a baby? What if I change my mind-aren’t I allowed to do that?
-Woah. Yes..I mean, of course you… But I thought we talked about it. I thought we made the decision together?
-Yeah, if I remember correctly, I told you I was pregnant and you said you wanted me to keep it. The end.
-That’s not true, Sam, you wanted the same thing! Where is all this coming from all of a sudden?
-Where is it coming from? How about there’s a living thing growing inside me right now and everyone around me seems to be an expert on the situation but when I say something, it’s “coming out of nowhere.”
-Okay. I… didn’t realize–
-No, you didn’t realize, that’s the first smart thing you’ve said.
-I’m sorry, babe, I really am…

“round their throats” by Julia in her bed


Friday, March 25, 2016
12:23am
5 minutes
From lyrics in a song

i remember my father teaching me how to tie a tie. he told me it would be good for me to know.
i remember telling my father i didn’t plan to ever wear a tie. i told him that i would prefer to learn how to plant things and build my own garden. he told me that someday, even if i didn’t wear the tie myself, i could help someone out who needed to but didn’t know how. i asked him again about the garden. he told me that if i learned how to tie a tie he would teach me about herbs and tomatoes and hot peppers and garlic. i asked him who would need to tie a tie. he said anyone could need to know. i asked him if he ever had to tie a tie for someone. he told me that he was once that person in need. he told me that he had a job interview, two weeks after landing in PEI. he told me how he met a woman on the subway who took him aside and showed him how to do it properly because he had done it wrong. he told me he barely spoke English but that day he realized how important gesture is. he told me that it’s better to know as much as possible in case one day someone needs to be taught but is too afraid to ask.

“In an attempt to get around this problem” by Julia on the 99


Saturday March 12, 2016
5:24pm
5 minutes
Epigenetics2 Revolution
Nessa Carey


There’s a man staring at me from under a balaclava. I am scared but more than that- I am furious. I think if I show fear he wins. I am mad that he is winning. I am so mad that he is anything on this planet, but because I have to deal with this, I am angry that these stupid tactics are working on me. He is on my mind. At the front of it. I tell myself not to look up at him. I don’t want to meet the gaze of this ridiculous human being who’s growing harder in his pants at the thought of displacing me in my rightful position on this earth. I tell myself that if I don’t look at him, I will be the one in control. I am desperate for another human to get on this god forsaken bus so I can avoid eye contact with him or her as well so it doesn’t look like he’s getting to me, just seeming that I don’t look at anyone, that I don’t give a flying fuck about connection.

I am afraid.
And I hate him for that.

“I can never escape” by Julia on Amanda’s floor


Thursday, January 7, 2016
1:25am
5 minutes
The Reaper
Dan Fraser


There was a time I wouldn’t have thought to ask questions. I had questions. I had a lot of them. But in my history there was a time where I wasn’t comfortable giving them a voice out of fear that they might betray me; reveal me for the inposter I was, or the shaman, or the child. I couldn’t have anyone knowing what truly went on in my mind–I wasn’t about to give away a map to my soul and all my secret feelings. So I stayed quiet but I wrote them all out thinking no one would ever find them or be able to read them if I wrote messily enough. I couldn’t risk someone using them against me…but I guess I couldn’t hide myself from myself because looking back on those protected journals, all I see is the same curious heart I was then. And I’m still asking those same questions.

“see discuss contemplate” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, October 17, 2015
10:55pm
5 minutes
A Toronto Public Library card

Can I ask you something?
I say this to you right in the middle of a long and delicious make out.
Right now?
You ask, eyes still closed and hands still wandering.
No, I’ll wait a couple weeks, as you were.
I keep kissing you, a little more preoccupied than before.
What? What? You have to say it now.
You are no longer kissing me. Your hands have found a stagnant position on each side of my face.
Nah, forget I said anything. It was stupid! Where were we?
I shove my tongue down your throat and you reel away from me like I just tried to lick your eyeball or something.
Hey, hey, what are you doing? What’s going on with you?
You’re still holding my face, searching deep into my eyes, hoping to find something better than what I’m giving you right now.
I just wanted to ask you….If you…I wanted to ask you if you ever…fuck…just if you…
I am looking anywhere but your face. It’s harder than I thought it’d be.

“I put a little twist in my hips” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, October 15, 2015
6:37pm
5 minutes
Never Been In Love
Elliphant


I throw on the Sam Cooke cause I know that’s the glue that holds us together when we’re tearing each other apart. I let him sing out and I wait before I come near you. I’m not afraid of what you’ll do to me, but what we’ll do to all the love we’ve been keeping safe between us all these years.
You’re on the broken futon with disappointment shooting through your back and a scowl on your face.
“I hate it here” you say. “I know” I tell you. “How many more days–” I bring my finger to your lips to quiet your uneasy mind. Not right now, I say, but with my body. I put a little twist in my hips and I dance beside you and your furrowed brow. Come on, I say, but with my smile, encouraging you to forget your anger for just a second. Dance with me, I suggest to you with my eyes closed, arms overhead reaching for the unknown. I don’t open them until I feel your body sway with mine. The moment of pain between us slowly turning into dust…

“GOOD BOY!” By Julia at George Brown Theatre School


Tuesday, April 13, 2015
7:01pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits Beach

He strokes the skin right behind my ears. Tells me I’m soft, but I’m hiding it. He takes his tongue to the edge of where is expected. He lightly drags it up my neck to my ear lobe. He pauses. He whispers. “You taste like sunset.” He continues. My earlobe is in his mouth now, the softness being swallowed, chewed, ignited. Tells me I don’t have to be afraid of magic. I start to tell him I’m not–he devours me whole. “Shhh” he croons. “Don’t fight it. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.” I try again, “I’m not afraid. I’m fine.” He groans in a gentle way, holding my head up with his thumb and forefinger.

“I remember needing nothing” By Julia at her desk in Bologna


Wednesday October 15, 2014
11:33pm
5 minutes
Minute Eternity
David Whyte


I called him up after, I don’t know, maybe it was forever. Who’s counting, maybe he is. I’m not. I’m not counting anymore. I called him up after a year, could have been two, and I did it so I could hear the way his breath sounds. That’s all I wanted. Nothing more, and I swear it to you because I’m already spilling my guts here so you can trust that all of this is true. I was counting the days, crossing them off on a list like someone who gives themselves a gold star for every cookie they don’t eat, or a chocolate for every day until Christmas. I wasn’t eating my feelings this time because that didn’t interest me. It didn’t feel good to order two pizzas and finish them both without even a single flinch. That was the thing I knew I didn’t need anymore. But I was obsessed with trying to convince myself that I could keep going, one day at a time, without thinking of him. I was in withdrawal, or something equally as lame, and I had a problem. Either I would call him up and tell him all the things I shouldn’t, or count the days that I didn’t but wanted to.

“WANTED” By Julia at her desk in Bologna


Sunday October 12,2014
1:22am
5 minutes
from a gelato advertisement

past. it was then that i saw it. i was afraid. i breathed one breath at a time out of fear of waking it. him. the beast. horror. it was a film. it was made up of my own worst nightmares. i asked my head to stop. to please. it didn’t know how. it had gone too far. present. i am sitting in a cave. the night is loud with silence. i am shivering. i am empty faced, heavy hearted. you only get one try. one attempt to flee. he was growling deep inside himself. it made me awake in every part of me. my bones. quaking. my skin soaked. future. he will eat my softness. he will wound my earth. i will fight to bind him. i will hunt to be unhunted.

“That really hurted!” by Julia at Gimli beach


Sunday, July 27, 2014
4:00pm
5 minutes
overheard at Gimli Beach


Well, I told him not to go into the water but he insisted. He was afraid of it for years so I guess I didn’t think I’d have to worry about it, then one day, or one instant, really, he got up the nerve, ran into the waves, and a big one came and smacked him in the belly.
Not life threatening stuff. He was fine in minutes, really. But he was shaken up for a bit, that’s for sure. He wouldn’t stop talking about how big it all felt. How he wasn’t sure if he could do it again today, but maybe the next time we came. I don’t know what changed his mind. Could have been just the ways of growing up-or it could have been that cute little thing who was playing with her dinosaur floaty. She might have lured him in with all her joy if I had to hazard a guess. I told him, Bobby, those waves are choppy do you see? Might not be the best for your first time so you have to be real careful. He said, Gramma, I know! I have two eyes in my head just like you do! Then he ran off and within seconds he was right back on the blanket with me rubbing his tummy.

“Ballerina afraid” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday, January 31, 2013 at Starbucks
2:12pm
5 minutes
Metro News Thursday January 31, 2013

I’m clenching my teeth because when I get focused I really start to hurt myself. Only started cutting when I was finished university, so that’s something I’m truly proud of. Made it pretty far before they had to operate on the disgusting hair ball in my stomach too. That’s from the stress. It’s cause I have a lot going on. Who doesn’t, am I right? My jaw is a mess. My dentist tells me to wear a mouth guard to bed, but I don’t because back in the day, there wasn’t a fix to these problems and people got on just fine without any help.
I’m not saying I want to do this all on my own, I just mean, if my body is reacting to certain things, fight or flight, then I should trust that. Not everyone is meant to have a perfect set of bottom teeth, okay. Not everyone is meant to weigh 108 pounds and lift their legs over their heads. That’s my bag, I guess, I was just sort of thrown into it based on one experience as a child, expressing some vague interest in prancing around in a leotard. Now I do it, I’m not saying I don’t, but I do it, and this is my life. I maintain a low weight, I cut the places no one sees or thinks to see, and I don’t eat my hair anymore, but I want to. We’re all a little fucked up. I’m just worried that when my dad finds out about the cutting he’ll try and quarantine me again. It’s his way of doing a casual intervention.