“He straightened up, roaring” by Julia at her desk

Friday September 27, 2019
6:21pm
5 minutes
Surface Detail
Iain M. Banks

There is a common thread that pulls his anger along
through the throw pillows and into my stockings I
have seen him bead the string

In lines at the grocery store he cannot hold his tongue
from thrashing around in his mouth and he lets out great
big howls from the guts

Hunger oh hungry man look at him he’s dying to get out
of this place and is the promise of food coming or is it
out of the question

His breath is wasabi now, only mad for a minute, no more, his
words laced in green paste and still I wait for this
to return to the middle

This is a Thursday, likely story, and if we’re not careful
the whole shop gets a blast, but it’s never pointed at me
even if I absorb some it first

I could know better by now but I am shocked as I was the
first time, a witness to a tiny explosion and poof, no
proof of it ever touching down

When he straightens his back to roar one out I know
to get ready

“As a consequence” by Julia at her desk

Saturday September 21, 2019
5:45pm
5 minutes
quote: Ferrucci

You’ve got to be kidding me! You’re the one in charge of a whole slew of people and you can’t even write your name without a spelling error? How do I work under you? No please, tell me, how is it that someone with your level of competence can be managing other humans and expecting those us of with actual talent to report to you? I have been nothing but nice! I even took the time to sign your get well card when you got a concussion last year and I haven’t even met you face to face yet! Because I’m fucking sweet! All you have done all year is cock-block me from getting paid, getting opportunities, promoting myself just the way everyone else is, and you want to know why I think that is? Because you’re jealous of me. Because those who can’t do, SIT BEHIND THEIR COMPUTERS ALL DAY AND REPRIMAND THOSE WHO CAN.

“If ignorance is bliss” by Julia at her desk

Thursday September 12, 2019
7:30pm
5 minutes
The Benefits of Ignorance
Hal Sirowitz

Pretend you don’t notice the ascorbic
acid plastered on all of my worst ideas.
I like it best when you don’t wear your
glasses during the day and can’t see
what I’m running from, or why I’m angry
or why I snap your neck between the
bite of my shame. Chomp chomp until
there is nothing less than apology.
Swallow till there is nothing left at
all.

Who teaches the class on letting things
slide? Are there any openings?
I don’t let anything fly under the radar
and I won’t give any free passes.
Only in dreams do I stop caring about
every last drop of you and what you’re
made of in relation to me. Only in dreams
do I chase the tail of other men who
don’t care about me one way or the other.

Last night you were waiting in the wings
to hear one more stupid decision I made,
a snap judgment with a whole lot of
consequence. You never showed your face,
but you were there, holding it over me
like you already knew.

“Spoons our fingers” by Julia on The Lost Chair

Sunday September 8, 2019
8:32pm
5 minutes
After Love
Maxine Kumin

Fine is the last thing I say in anger
and Bye is the last thing you say in jest
but you think I’m joking and I have no real
reason to be mad at you other than I have
stopped picking my face (okay yesterday was
the last time) and need to pick at something
so the control can lie to me a little bit.

I’m mad because I thought I made a good point
and you said you know what I mean and then
that was that. Spoons as fingers, we were
crossed wires and I caught you in the act.
You thought I wouldn’t notice that you didn’t
have any words to come back to me with, that
you shrank into a small hole and thought I
couldn’t see you there running away from me.

I am mad because I want to love you but
sometimes you say you’re here but you’re not
here and I don’t know where you go. I don’t
know where in your mind you are and I know it’s
none of my business and none of mt business
but I want to know where is better than here;
where is the place you’d rather be than in
this moment with me, with my good points,
with my nice legs.

I’m sitting here not waiting for you to come
back but angry at you for leaving and you better
know I know the difference. That I can feel you
drifting off from a mile away.

“more relaxed than how I think I look to people.” by Julia at her desk

Friday August 9, 2019
9:34pm
5 minutes
Descension
David Ly

There is a teacher with his dick in his pants waiting
to eat whoever dares to look directly at it. Him.

I meant to say him. I meant to say his eyes but. Fuck.
Fuck it all. He wears those tight jeans and he’s begging

anyone with breasts to prove to him that he belongs in
front of us all, laying down some hard lust disguised

as hard truth. Another hard-on reference. I get the
innuendo, I’m fully fucking aware of it. He knows too.

He yells at me when I’m listening because my face looks
like it’s pissed off and that’s not me that’s just my

face. He’s not the first to think I look angry when I’m
not but he is the first to call me out on it in front of

the entire room and try to make me feel like shit for
something I didn’t even do. He wants to prove a point.

Once when I’m up there not all the way in it acting but
trying to, he gets in the way with his big dick voice;

he gets in my head. I yell at him from the wall I’m
standing on and he gets off at how mad I finally am.

“an overdose, the fire hall repainted red.” By Julia at her desk

Monday August 5, 2019
5:59pm
5 minutes
Orography
Alison Braid

It’s never as bad as it feels in the brain
Until the day that it is worse
And expectations of forever look like this:
Swollen eyes and spine shriveled
Everything pointing toward the floor
Oh Lord, is there anything lower?
The clock ticking bruises
The warning signs begin to dart around
as if they had been there the whole time
As if it were you alone responsible for the knowing
I do not give you anything that sounds like blame
You did not deserve this
You did not miss the signal

I have wanted to take back what I said because
I am angry now more than ever for you and I don’t
know how to be that when you might not need that
But it’s true and it is constant and
I want to go to battle for you
I am ready
I will bring my tiny-hearted arrows and I will
launch them at whatever target you give order to hit
I will hit each one because I have spent my life
practicing my aim and my arm is steady
You do not need to walk this alone even in the
moments after you think you have asked for too much

When the Phoenix rises from the ashes she takes
all of her sisters with her and forms a flock
of fire born sky-dwellers who can see as far
as this world may reach

“shoved me into the bathroom” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday July 16, 2019
6:28pm
5 minutes
A Head Full OF Ghosts
Paul Tremblay

I am not going to tell you the details.
You don’t–you wouldn’t–God, stop trying
to see into me. You wouldn’t get it.
Or Me, capital M, Me. I am not what you
thought I was. I’m better, if I’m being
honest and you wouldn’t know honesty either
because you have not once told yourself
the truth. Not since we met, not since
you moved away and came back three days
later because it “wasn’t what you thought
it would be”, not since all the sadness
you went through. I’m sorry you went
through anything at to being with and all
I wanted was to be there for you so you
could talk about it but it took you 3 years
to talk about it and–I mean–I would
have gotten it. I would have gotten You.
That’s in my blood, that’s my design,
that’s who I was trying to be, and you
decided I was something else. Something
you couldn’t bear to look at because
you knew I knew what I knew about you.
I want to tell you everything and I think
that’s the straw. That’s the stupid fucking
straw. I would have let you see into me
then and I wouldn’t have thought twice
about it, but you–now that we’re–this?
I can’t even say what we are because
it hurts too damn much. Now I don’t know
how to be around you at all.

“shattered in a thousand pieces” by Julia on the 4

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
5:23pm
Sing to the Moon
Laura Mvula

I am not, if you thought maybe I might be. I think you think I already checked out, but I hadn’t.
I was afraid of saying the wrong thing. Saying the wrong thing has resulted in lashings before. Still have the scar of where you wielded the silent treatment.

I don’t have anger now and before if it seemed it, that was hurt wearing a little mask. A Little armour.

I knew you were done but I didn’t know it would come like this. I have an intuition about you and that might be because it’s been years, or because I’m listening to what you don’t say. You might be surprised to learn of how much I’m capable of. Change is the first thing. I’m glad you’ve come around to that.

“the moon hung full” by Julia at her desk

Saturday April 27, 2019
3:31pm
5 minutes
The Wandering Jew
David Slabotsky

she was bragging as she often does
her belly drooping over her jeans
as if she had stuffed something
down there, something she was
trying to hide
her anger was hard to ignore
since she liked making it other
people’s business
it was loud
and everywhere and fascinating
and severe
this time saying what she’d
managed to swipe from the
counter when that idiot
wasn’t looking
she got a box of Oreos and a bra
that didn’t even fit her
that seemed to make her the proudest
of all things, a thing that wouldn’t
even be useful
taking things just because she could
and because it would make more of a
story
A few of them were watching from nearby
making an assessment but they didn’t
see her life story so it felt natural
to be repulsed
they didn’t know the kind of home she
grew up in or that her first mother
didn’t want her very much

“The relevance to actual practice has been questioned” by Julia on M and N’s couch

Thursday April 4, 2019
9:06pm
5 minutes
Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Practice in College Mental Health
Stewart E. Cooper

I mean they say practice makes perfect right? Hi! I’m here to tell you that the only thing practice makes is you better at making messes. What’s the perfect thing? What’s the perfect thing I’m supposed to need anyway?

I practice not hating myself
I practice not destroying my face
I practice not jumping to conclusions
I practice deciding
I practice the ukulele
I practice patience
I practice anger
I practice not giving a fuck
I practice not stealing.
And yet.
I am still a pile of shit most days.
I am still regretting my pop and pinch and pick and pull.
I am a full blown mess and some days I know how to clean it up and some days I wish I could evaporate into thin air and live somewhere that doesn’t require a face.
I practice these five and this five and those five.
I practice telling the truth and still find myself lying.
I practice words lit by a nightlight in my bathroom.

“all past, present or future actions” by Julia at Amanda’s island

Wednesday December 19, 2018
11:11pm
5 minutes
From an application form

It’s about anger now. I’m about to let the lid off this house and cry to the high heavens.
Nobody wants me mad. Wants me dripping instead. Wants me nothing. I was nothing before this. I was very close to needing too much. You made me angry and now it’s about anger. Maybe that was your plan all along. I’m about to give over to it. It’s close to taking refuge in the soft spot of my nice. Nice no longer exists and hasn’t for a long time now. Have you been paying attention? It’s gone. I don’t think it ever was. Naive maybe. Spineless used to be here. You remember, don’t you? Nothing you said ever got a No from me? That was all the fear of being real showing through. Every other time I was real I got the boot. People disappeared like sugar being poured into a hot cup. The taste of desperation gets an addict hunting for her next fix. It’s not about feeding those demons anymore. It’s about the anger, like I said. I couldn’t be clearer. Things are going to change. You will be the first one to see it.

“We may not be able to accommodate” by Julia at the airport

Monday December 17, 2018
9:29pm
5 minutes
overheard at YVR

I’m worried that soon I will be alone. All these years of keeping up with every friend and staying in touch. It’s dwindling now. I either hate the people I used to love or they’ve forgotten about me. Usually I hate them because they’ve forgotten about me. Let the relationship fizzle out. I stopped contacting everyone and that’s all it took I suppose.
Soon I will be all alone. I will talk to myself. I will call my family on the weekend. I will not need the people who think they’re better than me or more woke than me. I already find myself angry. Quietly seething at some. I don’t trust the ones who lie to themselves. And I won’t miss them when they’re gone. I don’t have that bone. It wouldn’t do any good anyway.

“I’m old enough to be that girl’s mother,” by Julia in T’s kitchen

Friday August 24, 2018
7:11pm
5 minutes
My Mother’s Body
Marie Howe

we sit at the diner without speaking. Lulu is mad at me and I am mad at her. the drive was long, quiet, peanut butter stuck in the back of the throat. when I pointed out the horses grazing in the field she gave me the finger. Lu knows i loves horses. she even loves them more than me. I don’t know where I went wrong. i’m old enough to be that girl’s mother but I am not her mother. they don’t tell you that trying to parent another person’s kid will pulverize your heart into something you wish you could snort. Madelyne isn’t sending any instructions from where she is. how to handle a kid who hates me for not being more. when she was just my niece she used to beg Mad to sleep over in my truck. I guess that’s a hope worth tucking beneath the hip.

“he had this reputation because” by Sasha on her balcony

Sunday July 22, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
Under The Skin
Michel Faber

He deserves this reputation like he deserves the calluses on his feet and the chapped lips. He deserves the ridicule and the rundown. He deserves everything that’s happening to him. Forgiveness is a hoax. Compassion is a joke. He deserves to rot in the bottom of a well, like the fairy tales always say. He deserves sunburns, cancer, ulcers, dementia. Don’t look at me like I’m being a bitch. I am not being a bitch. I am being real, I am being powerful, I am being truthful and articulate and I am on fucking fire.

“It gave her a deep sinking feeling” by Julia on the couch at Alma Beach Manor

Friday July 13, 2018
9:27pm
5 minutes
Cujo
Stephen King

She spent an hour reorganizing the spices. Rosemary in front,
Chinese five spice in the back. Somehow she has more Chinese five spice than anything else. Well not somehow. She doesn’t like it. She’s only used it once.
After that she moved the sugars and honey to a different shelf. “Everything has its home” and now everything looks like company’s coming.
That was the plan all along
But really it was just the catalyst. She needs clean cupboards so she can see all the spices she isnt using.
She slammed the cupboards around as if he wasn’t sleeping in the other room.
She didn’t feel much like being quiet. Especially now that she had “exhausted him” into an early evening nap.
He said some things earlier that she rebutted well but the tears came as they always do, as the Niagara Falls always does. She wondered if he was right about one thing. Maybe two.

“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.”