“Mother stomps up” by Julia on the 20

Tuesday April 24, 2018
8:42pm
5 minutes
Says Mother
Laura Willwerth

Uninvited and flipping through the notebook left collecting mud on the patio.
Some things are not meant for mothers to read.
Did you mean what you said?
Did you say what you mean?
I would nod and tell her don’t you remember? You taught me well.
When we’d get mad about you smoking didn’t you know it was because it turned your lungs into yelling? Didn’t you know our anger was speaking for our fear that hadn’t yet collected its thoughts?
She would give me the bed off her back and sleep in a mold-heavy
yesterday so my boyfriend’s tall wouldn’t hang off the end
Nobody asked you to sacrifice yourself.
If she read that she would cry.

“sometimes a pencil is an octopus” by Sasha by the water

Sunday February 11, 2018
1:41pm
5 minutes
Octopus vs. Pencil
Philip A. Miletic

News coming in on the radio
and I’m boiling eggs.

I didn’t go to the march
because I had tickets to a play
where one brother shoots
the other brother dead.

No irony.
No excuses for inaction.
For silence.
For being afraid of the rage
in the bellies of the First People.

Third generation settler
I’m sick and sorry and grieving and

Can’t shake the guilty feelings.
Can’t shake the feeling that my
whiteness is an affront and what
am I even doing here anyway.

Social media activism feels grimy
ineffective inefficeint fucked up.
I don’t know what else to do.
Give money.
Give love.
Give freely.
Ask of myself how I am a part.

Is the act of my sharing
violence? Listen. Listen?
Listen. Listen listen listen.

I’ve got everything I need here
including the sun today.

“continues scheming to win” by Sasha at Elysian

Saturday December 23, 2017
3:36pm at Elysian 5th and Burrard
5 minutes
From a Bard on the Beach program

It’s all about winning for you
Being the best of the best of the best
It’s all about competition to you
Whose got the highest score
The best lines
The searing jokes
The this the the this that that

It’s all about rising to you
And that’s easy to glorify
I did I do I did did do
But when I look closer
I see the oozing self consciousness
The fear
The smallness small small tiny smallness

It’s all about anger to you
Not even sure what the difference is anymore
Being or being angry
You dump all over all all over over over
Until it’s all red all best all small all fear

Only in distance can I see it
Up close it’s ha-ha yes yes okay um maybe sure
Up close it’s feel good
Far away it’s oh oh tastes metal tastes burned tastes cheap

It’s always been about winning for you
So hard to give a compliment
So hard to give a something something real something good

“My unexpressed anger at nothing in particular.” by Julia on Jessica’s air mattress


Saturday July 15, 2017
8:33am
5 minutes
No one belongs here more than you.
Miranda July


I throw my phone across the room, breaking the corner and exposing the LCD screen. I am now angry at myself for wrecking a thing I needed. I am always wrecking things I need.
I didn’t want to talk to him this morning in the first place but when he calls my heart double dutches just like it used to so I answer because I am a creature of habit and likely synchronicity.
I don’t know how I choose this terrible mood over all the other moods, but this is the one I’m wearing like a hazmat suit. It’s bulky and oversized and it knocks people over if it gets too close. I even use sarcasm when I can tell I have pierced him. I am nowhere close to okay with that.

“I thought you had it” by Julia on the 99


Monday July 3, 2017
4:49pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

Kelsey can’t find her wallet for the third time today and the next person who walks through the door is going to hear about it. Loudly.
She’s late, as usual, and thinking of Type A Andrea who always tsk tsks tardiness as if she has zero human flaws. Maybe it’s not easy for everyone to be on time, Andrea. Maybe some of us are burying a deceased bunny rabbit or deciding to floss for the first time in a year!
Andrea never says anything to Kelsey but her disapproval is as present as that fucking mole next to her nose. Kelsey can tell when she’s misplacing things: money, keys, glasses, blame, when she starts digging at her own friends.Your mole is adorable, Andrea, everybody fucking knows that.

“capacity for self-control.” by Julia at her desk


Sunday June 11, 2017
8:17pm
5 minutes
From an interview with Maia Szalavitz in The Sun

In the space between two o’clock and safe and sound, the ideal smell of me is masked in cream cheese smeared eyebrows. The baby I thought would be sweet is bigger and more violent than I want her to be. The other one, thank god for him.
Who says you are what you eat?
Am I nothing today and yesterday?
Am I impatience and knotted hair?
She says help yourself to the fruit in the fridge or the yogurt. Says this is the most rested she’s felt in a long time. I am supposed to be generous and glad to help out a woman who didn’t mean to be a mother.
Instead I want to rip her precious book in two;
remind her there is also only one of me.

“you might think she was an angry woman” by Julia on the fun chair


Thursday April 6, 2017
12:49pm
5 minutes
The Birth House
Ami McKay


don’t hide your teeth
this world is due for a lesson
woman with fangs
woman with blood
the soft spun into a breastplate
of armour
is not made to protect weakness
woman with impusle
woman with growl

whoever decided to paint her
holding a flower
and said that
she wouldn’t hurt a fly
was hoping everyone would
be too stupid to question
whoever decided to paint her
mouth closed
was wrong about her weapons

“You know I will oh baby” by Sasha on her couch


Friday March 17, 2017
10:46pm
5 minutes
Never Had A Dream Come True
S Club 7


“It’s fine, I’m not mad,” Louise says stirring a sugar cube into her coffee.

“I hear you, it just sounds like maybe there is anger in there somewhere, and I want to address it before it becomes resentment…” Yaris squares his jaw and pouts like a puppy.

“I’m irritated, but I’m not angry. Or mad.” Louise drinks. “Shit!” She says, “it’s hot.”

Yaris goes to the bar to get her a napkin.

“You have a lot of repressed feelings, Lou… I just want you to experience the release of sharing them.” He sits, and she rolls her eyes. “Resistance is normal. Change is hard.”

“Who died and made you Deepak Chopra?!” Louise is yelling now, even though she wishes that she weren’t.

“Let it out, let it out!” Yaris puts her hands palm up on his thighs.

“We barely know each other!” Louise hisses.

“I’m striving for intimacy, my dear. You are putting bricks on a wall that’s already so high.”

“Fuck you, Yaris! Is that even your name?! It’s a brand of a car. A car! Fuck you!”

“I need a reader” By Julia at her desk


Monday February 20, 2017
11:01pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

I need a reader.
Someone to read fiction from the tattered corners of the used book shop.
Someone to read stories that come from imagination and what ifs.
Someone to read their weight in other people’s words
to understand why we tell stories in the first place.
I need a reader.
Someone to read non-fiction and learn a thing or
two from the life of somebody that isn’t them.
Someone to read in between the lines when the tears come.
Someone to read the reasons why we write or why we feel we must.
I need a reader.
Somone to read me when I don’t want to be read.
Someone to read me when I need to be splayed open
heart on page after page.
Someone to read the furrow line in my forehead as
habit and not anger.
I need someone who loves flipping pages and
learning new things.
I need someone who won’t stop at the introduction
just because they can’t understand the trajectory yet.
I need a reader.
I need someone who will stay up late tracing
skin tags and face creases and bad dream mumble jumble.

“Does this one need closure too?!” By Julia on the 99


Sunday February 5, 2017
11:34pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Quebec and west Broadway

“Does this one need closure too?” Lara bellowed, incredulous that she was getting another phone call after just exclaiming how “done” she was. Kya snatched Lara’s phone put of her hand and jogged a few feet away, leaving one of her hands up as defense against her ever fuming friend. “Ask her if she wants a reason! Ask her!” Lara was pressing her thumbnail into her forefinger to keep her from biting off her own tongue. She wanted to feel blood.
“Tell her that she’s not welcome in this friendship anymore-tell her that and to go love herself!”
Kya shook her head emphatically from side to side and turned her back.

“a seagull just horns his way in.” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday October 6, 2016
6:47am
5 minutes
twentytwowords.com

We went down to the water because the house had turned into an inferno that was trying to steal our souls. Those were your words. I think I called it Hell On Earth and you tweaked it so it would apply more to our situation as individuals and as atheists. Before we found a place to sit on the sand, you told me you needed a chocolate swirl or you were going to fucking kill somebody. I paid the little boy who was so proud to be working at his dad’s shoppe for the summer selling aggravated and overheated people their necessary fix. He smiled like this was the best job he would ever have the great pleasure of holding. But that little moron was so busy joking with the swarm of people also ready to fucking kill somebody that he didn’t give us a spoon. By then it was too late. You had already cried once. You sucked the top layer off, shoved the rest in my direction, and walked ahead of me, kicking the sand up at a seagull that had come to watch.

“special thank you” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday October 1, 2016
9:11pm
5 minutes
a Vista print ad

Today Corinne told me to look into his face and tell him what I appreciate about him. I was like, Corinne, I don’t have anything to say that he hasn’t already heard. And she told me I was resisting because I didn’t like that I was being told what to do and not to let the work I have to do on my control issues and ego get in the way of making my partner feel loved. I told her that maybe if she was staring into her husband’s face she would get it and that to do it on command isn’t natural and that he won’t be offended if I save it for when the moment is more organic than this curated experience. Then she told me that every minute I spend resisting her, I spend double the time resisting myself and my feelings and the truth that I might actually have some that I’m too afraid to visit.

“We got a good surge” by Sasha in the Kiva


Thursday, July 21, 2016
11:14pm
5 minutes
Overhead at The Rickshaw

When you got to prison, you missed the smell of your home pillow – the one with the blue paisley design, worn from so many years of face and head and hair. You called your brother and cried and cried until your phone card ran out of money. You learned the rules, but it took time, and you goofed up enough that the guards kept their eye on you. This went against the plan to remain invisible. This went against who you always were – a well mannered wallflower whose anger was buried beneath layers and layers of fear, whose visions of knives and train tracks and fingernails only came at night, in the safety of your basement apartment bedroom.

“the jeans have not been washed yet” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday July 20, 2016 at Starbucks
7:16am
5 minutes
Grasshopper Jungle
Andrew Smith


I invited Elliot back to my apartment after drinks because he tied a cherry stem in a knot with his tongue and I wanted to see if he was a one trick pony or if his tongue could tie other things into knots…
When we got back to my place I told him to make himself comfortable while I poured us some scotch. But then I remembered he was wearing dark denim, and I had to rush out to see if he had plopped his Abercrombie & Fitch ass down on my new white couch. He had. I tried to act cool, but I could practically see his jeans forming a navy puddle underneath him. Was he sweating or something? Didn’t he know you have to wash new jeans before you wear them? Didn’t he think, oh I might ruin this sweet Norwegian couch?

“okay okay okay” by Julia on the reading chair


Sunday, July 10, 2016
1:57pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the street

It’s the eleventh time (maybe the twelfth) that he’s told me he loves me today and it’s not even noon yet. I think he’s covering up for something. Overcompensating like he does sometimes when he becomes afraid of me. I catch a glimpse of myself being hugged in the mirror, (bent low) by his unavoidable embrace. I say, okay okay okay and he lifts me up, hurt on the inside, and in his eyes. You don’t want me to love you? I catch reflection again and there is hurt on me too. I do, I say, just not parallel to the floor like that, not crumpled up in a ball that makes my back ache. Sorry, he says, I didn’t mean to hurt you. Okay okay okay, I say, I know, no one ever means to. I give myself a time out so I can be far away from him and his love that doesn’t know how to feel rejection. I don’t want to be the thing that twists his insides when he’s happy and makes him drift off to sleep dreaming about my funeral. I tell myself, in exactly five minutes (maybe six), I will go back over there and squeeze him with the honest love I’ve been keeping from him.

“it would be like not listening at all” by Sasha at Simit and Chai Co.


Friday July 8, 2016 at Simit & Chai
5:15pm
5 minutes
When I Am King, Dilly Dilly
Don Cummer


lotsa hurt
this week mornings with
bowling ball lumps in dry hot
throat mornings spent
scrolling tears
streaming feet
tingling
what can i do what can i do what can i
can i do
can i
can’t i
ally alley ally
i want to choke
the fear and
ignorance
mine
yours
i am sorry for my
race and our horrible
terrible empty
fear
fear
fear grips a gun
tight like a baby
the baby watching
in her carseat
the father reaching
for a license
for a license to drive
license to shoot
license to bleed
license to break
we are breaking
we are broken
broken down
broken up and open
broken open

“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…

“Let’s roll, babycakes” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday April 14, 2016
11:52pm
5 minutes
overheard on Arbutus

I want you to beg me to stay when I tell you I’ll be sleeping at my mother’s place tonight. I want you to get on your knees and apologize for being a dick so I can forgive you and then apologize for being a dick back to you. I’m angry but I won’t be later but I don’t know how to turn this thing around before later is later. I feel like I’ve pushed all your buttons and there’s no easy rewind let’s pretend that never happened one to press. Why don’t you come with one like that? I am at the door with my overnight bag and I want you to throw me a banana if you’re not going to try to keep me from going. Let me know you still care about my potassium intake even when we’re hating each other. Even when you’re secretly glad that I won’t be sleeping beside you tonight to remind you of this stupid fight we both engaged in when we were both enraged about the thing we won’t remember in the morning.

“always easier to leave it at home” By Julia at The Vancouver Public Library


Tuesday February 23, 2016 at the VPL
6:49pm
5 minutes
abeautifulmess.com

Been fucking trying to leave it at home. Been fucking trying not to swear anymore either but as you can see, things have been a little bit rough these days. My asshole of a manager has decided that not only are we no longer allowed on our phones during work hours, but now we have to write a fucking positive message about the “team” each night before AND AFTER our shift. FUCK. How do you not swear when your life is a complete fucking joke? Tad, his fucking name is TAD. And Fucking TAD has so many fucking brilliant ideas for community building, such as embodying bullshit in the most unappealing human way this century has ever seen, or for making us walk through the back doors before we sign our lives away for 4-8 hours in a “light” and “baggage-free” way. Fucking Tad likes to tell me, “Leave your bad attitude at the door, Tegan, this place is a “frown-free” zone!” I want to fucking punch him with a fork. In the throat. Repeatedly. Until fucking forever and ever Amen.

“imagining our future.” By Julia at her dining table


Wednesday February 10, 2016
10:19pm
5 minutes
CBC.ca/books

When I think of our children, we only have 2, you win, I see one with little curls, one with glasses, and both with big innocent loving smiles. How bad would it be if I pictured our kids frowning? They’re not, though. They’re so happy. They have your heart. They have your never ending optimism and your family first attitude. They have my temper, both hilarious and terrifying. I like that they snarl at things as much as they laugh. They don’t give up when enough is enough. They don’t understand “enough.” Maybe I shouldn’t be proud that they’re miniature versions of a trait I’m trying to eradicate. But I am. Anger is an emotion that creates change, carries it, lifts it up, and shoots it to the moon. I think Alanis said that. The part about anger being the vessel for moving forward.

“Glottal stop” by Julia at her dining table


Friday, January 29, 2016
9:28pm
5 minutes
From an email

I remember his tongue like I remember my favourite song. His words were different when he was tired or when he was mad. I loved to see him mad. It made me wet. I want to explain that but I can’t. It just turned me on so fast I couldn’t hide it: flush to the cheek, quiver in my breath. He never knew that. I never told him. I didn’t want to ruin it, or put pressure on it. It was like my own dirty little secret, and you know what they say about two people keeping a secret…I sometimes think about his anger when I’m trying to get off with someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. It takes all my focus and I have to picture him saying the right words, pausing in the right places. It’s very difficult remembering something that happened 12 years ago. But I know I can count on it so it’s always worth the struggle. I think back on the way he spit out his Ks and cradled his Ss before unleashing them all, wild and loud.

“communication and community” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, December 13, 2015
9:53pm
5 minutes
Dispersing Power
Raúl Zibechi


In the middle of the night I am shocked awake by your fist bruising my left cheekbone. You have been attacking me in your sleep since September but this is the first time it leaves a mark instantaneously.
I am livid in the moment because I am stunned and confused but I know you don’t know what you’re doing so I don’t wake you up to tell you what just happened like you want me to. In the morning you are concerned about my face and beg me to tell you what you’ve done. I say, it was an accident this time, I know it was. But you don’t believe me. I am not a good liar. You ask me to tell you what you’ve said but I don’t want to upset you so I stick to my guns and say I don’t think you said anything at all. The truth is, you’ve been calling out my name each time but I can’t bring myself to confess that you’re not just remembering your days on the battlefield. Once you yelled that I was keeping you a prisoner. Another time you told me that I didn’t deserve to live.

“make strong choices on the fly” by Sasha at Horseshoe Bay


Sunday November 8, 2015
11:16pm
5 minutes
from nativeearth.ca/w28series/

A: Are you even listening to me?
B: Of course I am –
A: What did I just say?
B: “You want to quit.”
A: NO!
B: Something about quitting…
A: Why is it so hard for you to just pay attention to me? Why are you always looking at the clock?
B: Do you really want to know?
A: Yes!
B: We ordered that pizza exactly twenty seven minutes ago… And, if it’s over a half hour, we get it for free. We could really use a free pizza.
A: Grrr…
B: I’m just excited about the pizza!
A: I want to quit my job of ten years and you’re thinking about pizza.
B: Tell me you aren’t thinking about pizza?
A: You love pizza more than you love me!
B: Not true.
A: True.
B: Not at all true! That would be so so sad!
A: You do love pizza…
B: I really do.

“it brings out the deliciousness” by Julia at her desk


Sunday, October 18, 2015
10:09pm
5 minutes
The Ayurvedic Cookbook
Amadea Morningstar & Urmila Desai


Mia is close to tears. She is cooking mac and cheese while PJ dances around the living room. His pants are down below his bottom. He looks ridiculous.

“Ooh girl, shake it, shake it, let me take you to the PROM, you so perfect I want you to meet my MOM. BAM. Now tell me that’s not a good rhyme! BAM!”
“It’s nice PJ. It’s a nice rhyme.”
“You’re fucking joking, right? That shit was so tight, don’t act like you’re not impressed right now! ‘Nice’. Seriously!”
“Sorry, PJ, I forgot that there were more important things for me to be thinking about at this very moment. It was fucking awesome. Okay?”
“You’re mad, then? Like what the fuck did I do?”
“See it’s just that you keep thinking it’s about you and it’s not about you but I don’t know how to send that signal any clearer. You’re a rapping genius. You should have your own show.”
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Mia packs up her bag. She takes off PJ’s sweater and throws it at him. She leaves the mac and cheese on the stove, element on high.

“I wanna see it up close” by Sasha at Moii Cafe


Friday October 17, 2015 at Moii Cafe
12:35pm
5 minutes
from a text

A birch tree sheds her bark
The supermoon is forgotten as soon as it fades
It’s still super somewhere

I refuse to commend your drug trips or your laundry lists
I refuse to celebrate your exploitations of bodies and sisters and dollars and oil
I refuse to vote for a man wearing a mask who has a cheese-ball for a brain
mostly cheddar a little bit cream cheese nothing sharp
no asiago

A snake slithers over the bare feet of a boy whose eyes are glued to his father’s iPhone
Shame he missed that
Shame that tomorrow that species will be extinct
A monarch lands on my arm and I cry for my unborns
Who might not have that magic

The Conservatives (Cheese-ball) cut one billion dollars in childcare funding within three hours of being elected
That’s shorter than Titanic
There are over one thousand murdered and missing Indigenous women across Canada
and no matter how deep Cheese-ball digs his fingers into his ears
He can’t pretend he doesn’t hear the singing
I wanna see the madness up close
I wanna microscope that Cheese-ball
See the ventricles of the greed
Hear the beat of the bacon heart

A grizzly bear waves to a crow
Long lost lovers

“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…

“This is fantastic!” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Saturday September 19, 2015
9:25pm
5 minutes
http://www.food.com

I’m scratching my wrist too hard for comfort but it’s itchy and I need to.
You look down at my red flesh and you say, “remember when you used to scratch your hands raw? Remember that summer you did that? What a nervous tick that was.”
There’s a permanent furrow line on my forehead that deepens when you say things like this.
“It was a hot summer, my skin got itchy, and so I scratched it. It wasn’t a tick, Remy.”
“Well you did it almost unconsciously! Look! You still even have the scar.”
You go to reach for my left hand but I swat you away. I don’t need you making a circus out of me.
“Stop it, Remy.”
“Oh come on,” You say, “I’m not being mean to you, I’m just saying–”
I stand up from the couch and storm off to the studio room. “I think you should go.” I say, not quite knowing why.

“the stakes couldn’t be higher” by Julia at Melriches


Wednesday September 16, 2015 at Melriches
11:45am
5 minutes
from an article from Maclean’s

Okay so these two idiots have been staring at me for a total of 17 minutes. I know they think they know me, but they don’t. Not the first to make the mistake! I know I have the hair, but I am not who they think I am and I will NOT give them the satisfaction of looking up and saying so. Come and ask me, fine, but don’t sit there, whispering, shhmush shmusshing about me, going silent, then staring some more. I suddenly wish I could throw up on command. I would just stand up, lean over, and barf right at them. Then without wiping my mouth, I’d maintain eye contact, and sit back down. My best friend Treena used to make herself vomit all the time. When she was little and she didn’t get what she wanted, she’d just stand on an expensive carpet, or over a pile of clean laundry and she’d throw up. I think that’s hilarious. The only things stopping me from pulling a Treena are a) the fact that I know staring is not a crime, and b)that I physically cannot make myself hurl in less than 30 minutes.

“Distant, tired, but holding her hand” by Julia in the car


Wednesday, September 9, 2015
5:06pm
5 minutes
http://lennyletter.com/lena-dunham-first-short-story/

He coughed into the crook of his elbow and tried not to make too big of a deal of it. She glanced at him from the side of her eye, the way she did when she was trying to read his e-mails without him noticing. He was growing tired of her testing him and she was growing skeptical of his patience.
Maybe if you didn’t worry so much about EVERYONE else for a change, you’d be—
He hadn’t prepared himself for a blow out. Had been priding himself on containing it all and picking his battles, in fact.
Forget it. He walked a bit in front of her.
What would I be? JUST. FUCKING. SAY IT. She was shaking now, trying to make direct eye contact. She realized when she asked him if he still loved her earlier she didn’t look him in the face when he gave his response.
How fucking easy I make it for him to despise me, she thought. I never look to see if his eyes are lying.

“open 7 days” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Saturday, September 5, 2015
6:59pm
5 minutes
from the sign at the liquor store

When she begged me to forgive her there were tears in her eyes and I was wearing a red and green apron that made me look very Italian and very comical. I couldn’t take myself seriously, let alone take her, so instead of being an adult, I laughed. I couldn’t help it. I’ve always dreamed about these kind of moments where the lighting is just right, there’s the perfect amount of rain, maybe a bit of wind, and an underscoring of building music that sounds like it’s just far enough away to be acceptable. But instead we were both covered in gnocchi flour and our bangs were plastered to our foreheads cause in real life there are no perfect forgiveness temperatures. I laughed and she got very angry. I didn’t mean to offend her but I was angry too…that she couldn’t have picked a better moment for all of her guilt to add up. Instead, right as the tester gnocchi were rising to the top, she fell to her knees and buried her face in my Italian flag.

“a boy like me calls his mother.” by Julia on her patio


Monday, July 20, 2015
6:19pm
5 minutes
http://www.howlround.com

I HAVE A DOG! Daddy saved a little black one from the shelter and brought him home for me TO KEEP! Mom said play nice with Joseph. Daddy thinks it’s better to call him Joseph than mom’s name, Peanut. He laughed when I picked it and looked at me with big Daddy eyes. Peanut is not the winner! I tell mom this and she storms back into the kitchen with the dish towel over her shoulder and tears in her big mommy eyes. Don’t worry about it, she likes to make things about her, Daddy tells me. She’s just mad you didn’t like her name, but guess what, Joseph didn’t like it either. Daddy goes into the kitchen after mommy. How could you, I hear her yell to him. Dammit, Karen, I hear him say back.

“There’s something I need to explain to you.” by Julia on her bed


Sunday, July 19, 2015
1:14am
5 minutes
Sputnik Sweetheart
Haruki Murakami


I’m not the light you thought I was
I am the cloud
The dark one
I am the cloud
The dark one
I am the cloud
The dark one
There is hate in my heart
There is anger in my belly
I feed them
I nourish them
I grow them inside me like a backyard tomato plant
I choose them over bravery
I choose them over peace
I don’t have excuses for this anymore
I would have once tried to explain
Why I am or why I have them so close
Some excuses
Some lies
Some carefully constructed reasons
Some backtracking
Some omissions
Something tangible to give you
So you can take home and look at it
To remind you that I tried
But I’m not the light you thought I was
And you should know
Before you count on me to glow

“Can I get you anything?” by Julia at her desk


Monday, June 8, 2015
3:12pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Culprit Coffee Co.

Then suddenly I was at his funeral and his mother had asked me to say a few words. I didn’t want to say any words at all, maybe for the first time in my entire life, even. I was angry at her for even suggesting it, as if she knew I couldn’t say no even though I feared that saying anything at all would break me into a million pieces, beyond repair and reassembly.
So I started to write out a dedication to my fiancé and realized it would take years to truly honour him properly. The way I was headed, I was lucky if I could get past writing his name without weeping uncontrollably, no matter where I was or how much I had just cried over him. I didn’t want to seem weak, but what if I couldn’t read anything when it was time? What if the only thing that came out was a pained shriek or a wimper?

“That’s amazing, honey,” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 12, 2015
1:22am
5 minutes
Almost Unendurable Beauty
Jocelyn Evie


I don’t believe you, Brendan, how the hell am I supposed to believe anything you say? Not just what you say but how you say it. You never mean anything.
…Aimless pacing
…Wandering
…She does
…He watches
What are you even talking about, Maggie? I mean things. I mean what I say to you, of course I do.
…Veins bulge
…Slowly threatening to pop
…His do
…She watches
Because I feel like you’re pulling one over on me all the time. The way you say shit, like “That’s amazing, honey” when things aren’t amazing, or when I’m clearly upset about something and you tell me “well, there’s always tomorrow”. Like what the hell am I supposed to do with fucking tomorrow when today I feel like dying and you can’t even see that?
…Heart fuming
…Coat wearing
…She is
…He isn’t

“It showed from the start” by Julia at Saving Gigi


Friday May 8, 2015 at Saving Gigi
3:10pm
5 minutes
Fat Woman
Leon Rooke


I could see he was angry at me-clenched teeth, fist pulsing at his side.
“Is everything okay?” I ask him, test him, provoke him.
“I’m fine,” he says quietly, not looking fine at all.
“Okay,” I tell him, “Let me know.”
I watch as his current anger subsides and he can see me with the soft eyes he first had for me again.
“I’m really scared I’m always wrong and the times I’m so desperate to be wrong, that’s when I’m afraid I’ll be right,” I tell him this with my eyes cast down at the broken green bottle at our feet. “That’s what I’m always feeling.”
He takes me in his arms and exhales into my hair. “It’s okay now my baby. I’m not mad at you. I swear.”
“Okay, good, ” I say, “And just FYI your beard is scratching the shit out of my forehead.”
He releases me.
“Jesus, Tara. Jesus fucking–”
“Don’t be mad,” I say, “I’m sorry.”

“I would have been an eighth-grader” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday May 3, 2015
10:15pm
5 minutes
On Writing
Stephen Kingk


I would have been an eighth-grader this year if they hadn’t held me back, if they hadn’t oppressed my rights and made me wait for it, made me beg for it… Graduation. I saw my classmates who I’d been with since the very beginning, since tear-away track pants and Pogs, get up on the stage in the gym in blue and yellow gowns and hats. I heard Davie Bernstein make the valedictorian speech. “Hey Davie,” I said later, side-by-side in the urinal, “Nice speech.” He looked at me sideways and said, “Go suck a dick, Howard.” He tucked his into his stupid dress pants, didn’t wash his hands and left, laughing and talking loudly with the rest of the class. They held me back not because I’m not smart, not because I can’t write an essay or solve an algebra equation. They held me back because I’m not a go-getter. “You’re just not a go-getter,” Mrs. Sherman said, purple lipstick on her front teeth. “We think you’ll do better with one more year in Grade Six. We think you’ll thrive with Miss Davidson.” “Who is this “we”?” I asked, scratching the scab on my right knee. “The faculty, your parents and me,” Mrs. Sherman said, blinking her cow-like eyes quickly, like the question caught her off guard.

“always more for less!” By Julia on Jessica and Rick’s couch


Thursday, April 15, 2015
12:12am
5 minutes
A Food Basics store sign

Shondra decided to leave a half drunk bottle of Trapiche right beside my computer. It was a nice thing that she did until the contents of the bottle found its way in all the cracks of the keyboard. I was mad at Shondra for being so thoughtful, cause if she had just finished the bottle, there would have been no spillage, or ruinage of my very expensive new laptop. However, she is a good person and it’s not her fault, per-say, that now my life is in shambles. No, that’s not fair. It’s not the worst thing to happen to me. It’s not like I lost a limb or a loved one. Just all my pertinent information, work, and browsing history. I hear how it sounds. I’m the dirt-bag for even saying it. I spilled the wine. It was me. I can’t be trusted. I can’t do anything. Shondra, I’m sorry. I’m not mad at you. I’m mad at me. I’m always more mad at me than anyone but.. I guess I like to first put blame elsewhere cause I’m so fed up with being so bad.

“Bitch better have my money” by Julia in a taxi


Wednesday, April 8, 2015
3:21pm
5 minutes
Better Have My Money
Rihanna


Went to the mailbox today. Noticed all my letters were soaked right through. Holes. I chalk it up to holes. I expect this shitbox house I am living in with its shitbox buzzing refrigerator and its shitbox screaming radiators and its shitbox location right beside not one but TWO railway tracks to also have a leaky shitbox mail collector. I have no more hopes for myself. I’m at what you would call, rock bottom. And no, though you think it might, it doesn’t feel good. Sorry I get sarcastic when I’ve slept for only 3 hours because my shitbox neighbours were up until sunrise playing a death metal rendition of The Itsy Bitsy Spider. I LOVE MY LIFE.

“Are you free” by Julia on the 47 going north


Tuesday, April 7, 2015
11:57pm
5 minutes
From a text message

Are you free of your anger and your blame? Or do you curse at the passing bus who forgot to show you compassion and pick you up even though you were waiting just two feet too wrong to board? Are you free of your expectations and your disappointment? Or do you wonder why some people operate on a different level than you do? I’m a bit of Column A, little of Column B. I ask these questions because I’m half hoping you’ll say no and half hoping to hear you say yes. Solidarity. For one. And inspiration for two. Cause I’m not there yet. Cause I really want to be but I don’t know how to to find it. Are they already inside? The releasing agents? The ones that set my mind and heart and soul free of all their burdens? For this one I hope you say yes yes yes so I can stop with these excuses.

“Jeff Jones, I’ll kill you!” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday April 1, 2015
2:36am
5 minutes
Bulk Basics

I have had it up to HERE with you JEFF JONES. Oh don’t smile at me you smug piece of shit, I will end you before you can even raise your eyebrows in that cocky ass way one more time. That’s right, I’m angry. I’ve said it and I stand by it. What were you thinking? Seriously, do you have an explanation or are you going to play the “This is just who I am BULLSHIT CARD?” Cause it is bullshit. You afraid or something? Is that why you’re so guarded and so resistant to help? Cause you secretly hate yourself? Well guess what, we all hate ourselves sometimes if not at all times so I don’t give a shit if you feel a little less self-love. It’s NOT AN EXCUSE, JEFF FUCKING JONES. Even your name makes me recoil. It’s such a pretentious name. You remind me of that two first names guy, Jeff David, from high school that everyone liked because he had spiky hair and a bad attitude. He was an asshole, Jeff. And just because you share the same name doesn’t mean you have to share the same behaviour. Now. Let’s discuss it. I don’t want to even HEAR any excuses!

“we are in a war to the death” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday February 18, 2015
2:30pm
5 minutes
The War of Art
Steven Pressfield


We have been at odds, all three of us, since that summer when Jenna decided to strip. We weren’t prudes, Angie and me, we just got angry that she didn’t want to finish college. “It’s to pay for college, you idiots,” I remember Jenna spitting at us. “Well what’s the fucking point of paying for it if you’re not going to keep going?” Angie got pissed at everything, but for once, her anger was justified. We had spent our entire senior year helping Jenna get her shit together. We worked in shifts at her house, Angie tutoring her in Calculus, me practically writing each of her English papers for her. Jenna was a smart girl but she didn’t want to try very hard. Yeah, yeah, likely story; it seems they’re all smart until they’re not. Jenna wasn’t stupid, but she did have a knack for making some pretty questionable life choices.

“there’s nothing to switch on” by Julia at Pearson Airport


Thursday January 22, 2015
4:10pm
5 minutes
enRoute magazine
January 2015


The girl overreacted. I watched her do it. Someone cut in front of her in line at the dollar store. She reacted. It was over the top. An overreaction, you know. She looked like she was searching for answers-as if they’d come by opening and closing her eyes rapidly. I wanted to yell at her, “Hey! There’s nothing to switch on!” But it wouldn’t have been worth it. It wouldn’t have meant anything to her. I think she was just one of those empty birds, desperate to hold onto something. The type of girl who says, “I’m not much of a reader. I don’t have the attention span.” Or “I prefer audio books cause then your eyes don’t get tired.” Or “Each to his own. Each to his own.”

“there’s nothing to switch on” by Sasha on the 99 going East


Thursday January 22, 2015
5:19pm
5 minutes
enRoute magazine
January 2015


I’m glad that you’re living your life, Bets, but there are some of us that don’t have the privilege of touring around the the God damn world for two years! Some of us have to W-O-R-K! I know you’re pretty into being radical and telling us stories about when you stole, or ate three pizzas in one day or when you had a threesome in Venice… But, like… Do you think we actually care? I’m going to spin class and giving tired blow jobs to Ken and trying to forget about the fact that this is just the beginning of a VERY LONG WINTER. I’m really happy for you that your Instagram feed is more important than your dignity. Good for friggen you. I’m not jealous. I have no desire to abandon every single person I love for a two years of a selfish “me” party. Gag me! Gag me, Bets!

“It was probably so hard not to slap him” by Julia in Lozzola


Monday December 1, 2014
12:45am
5 minutes
A text from Katerina

Turned around with a fire in my face and I knew that if I did not leave in that exact moment I would be facing criminal charges for the rest of my life. I get like that sometimes. Blinded by rage. Can’t see straight. Impulse impulse impulse. It’s like a movie I’ve already seen is playing in the background of my mind, distracting the rest of my brain from figuring out what I’m about to do. It’s fuzzy, there are a lot of colours, but the moment right in front of me is clear. I’m not sure when it started. I was told to focus on my breathing by more than one person. My sister tries to send me links on how to deal with anger, how to channel my inner black cloud, how not to kill a man who has accidentally brushed up against me at the supermarket while rifling through vine tomatoes.

“BAM” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday July 30, 2014
11:54pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Trinity Bellwoods park

BAM! he says it loud and he means it.
SCRAM! she says and she looks away.
WAM! he wishes that he had a better way to show how much he loves her but he doesn’t.
BAM! she shakes her head and she wonders how she got here, so far from where she started.
SCRAM! she wishes she could laugh the way that she used to.
WAM! he makes the best omelettes she’s ever had.

“That really hurted!” by Sasha in her garden


Sunday, July 27, 2014
7:09pm
5 minutes
overheard at Gimli Beach


THAT REALLY HURTED! WHY YOU DO THAT? I WAS JUST SITTIN’ AND NOW I’M BRUISED!
THAT REALLY HURTED! WHY YOU DO THAT? I WAS JUST LAUGHIN’ AND NOW I’M NOT!
THAT REALLY HURTED! YOU’RE SUCH A MEANIE! I’M TRYIN’ TO BE NICE BUT IT’S HARD!
THAT REALLY HURTED! LOOK HOW I’M BLEEDING! YOU GOT MY GOOD AND NOW I’M DOWN!
THAT REALLY HURTED! WHY YOU DO THAT? I HATE YOU RIGHT NOW! BUT I’LL LOVE YOU LATER.
THAT REALLY HURTED! YOU REALLY GOT ME. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO MAKE OF THIS?
THAT REALLY HURTED!

“I’ve breathed the mountain air” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, July 22, 2014
10:49pm
5 minutes
I’ve Been Everywhere
Hank Snow



I’ve been so angry. I have been, it’s been a mercury is rising sort of thing, and I swear, that if the real me doesn’t happen, I’ll be your worst nightmare. I’ve been that way. Blinded sight, twisted light, couldn’t write that way. Where the only thing that calms me is the fight, that way. I couldn’t control it, I wouldn’t, shouldn’t, didn’t but I sold it. And it’s too late to try and get on its level just to scold it. It’s out of me and gone, the anger, the angry, the anger, the angry, the anger in me. That one we’ve seen. That thing I’ve been.

“Marvellous convenient place” by Julia at Small Point Cafe in Providence


Saturday May 3, 2014 at Small Point Cafe in Providence
6:52pm
5 minutes
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Wiliam Shakespeare


Tori found her gold locket, the one she thought she’d lost forever, in the basement of her best friend Jane’s house. She yelled at Jane for a whole two minutes because she couldn’t believe that someone who called themselves her friend would ever think about doing that to her. Tori’s grandfather gave her that locket and inside was a photo of her when she was just a little thing with two hairs on her head, holding both her hands on either side of her grandpa’s face. It meant a lot to her and when she’d lost it, she was in a real state. To her it was like losing him all over again and through teary eyes and sobs she’s say, I can’t go to another funeral. I can’t. Jane tried to explain that she didn’t take it and that Tori must have accidentally left it there–or, she tried, Maybe you weren’t paying attention and forgot to fasten it properly…
That set Tori off into another dimension and she said, I would NEVER be careless with this. And with that she stormed out of Jane’s house and vowed to never speak to her again. Jane was telling the truth. She didn’t care much for Tori’s locket in the first place.

“Heavy duty” by Julia at the Marriott in Providence RI


Friday May 2, 2014
11:45pm
5 minutes
from the sponge wrapper

Papa used to get so mad at me when I’d track mud through the house–told me, Deirdre, could you for once stop playing like a little piggy? And I’d say, Papa, I’ll just take them off, it’s easier. He’d smile and say, Sure, sure, Dee Dee, and I’d smile back and say, You’ll miss me to the moon when I’m gone.
I didn’t quite know what that meant but I had heard Lucy-Bell say it to her boyfriend when they were having a big fight out on the veranda. She’d run in screaming just to scream and told me to stay out of her way or she’d yank every blonde hair out of my head one by one. I’d sit by the front window and watch her boyfriend, Dillon, with his hands in his jean pockets and his eyes closed, just sighing at the night and all its bigness. Probably at Lucy-Bell in all her bigness. I didn’t want Papa to think I wasn’t good at listening, I just always forgot to do what he told me cause I’d get so caught up in the fun of it all.

“Return for redemption” by Sasha on the Keele bus


Saturday April 12, 2014
6:10pm
5 minutes
A can of Magners

When he makes his way back into the classroom, the letter “F” has fallen from the felted alphabet that’s pinned up above the blackboard. He wonders if its a sign. “F” for “Failure”. “F” for “Fucked”.

He hadn’t meant to do it. But he had. The rumours circled faster than vultures to a dead deer.

“He’s a fat fag! Look at that fat faggy nasty ass face!” He’d walked in, just before Jay punched Alfonso in the nose. More blood. More broken. He’d seen it since September, one thirteen-year-old picking on the other, bullying the other, rallying the other eighth graders with the power of an army general. He’d been patient. He’d dutifully given detentions and sent home notes. He’d even called in Jay’s father for a meeting. He’d been stood up.

He moved faster than he knew he could. He pulled one boy off of the other, face covered in tears and snot. He threw all one hundred and three pounds of Jay Eiserman up against the wall. The inspirational quote calendar fell to the floor. “You lay a hand on Alfonso again, you little shit, and I’m gonna kill you.” Jay dropped to the floor, rage shooting from his eyes. He ran to the Principle.