“your inner rock collecting childhood self” by Julia on L and J’s couch

Friday March 9, 2018
5 minutes
BUNZ Trading Zone

draw a set of bunny ears on the front and the poofy tail on the back
collect enough flat rocks to draw all animals
cat whiskers and ears on the front
tail on the back
horse braid on the front
tail on the back
you get the idea
the tail goes on the back whenever there is a tail
like a coin
but you won’t be flipping these
they’ll be too heavy
you can skip them if they’re flat
there is room for some funny jokes in there
(cats not really liking the water, for a first idea)
(you can lead a horse to water…)
you can also give these rocks away
as little parting gifts
or put them in the loot bags at your child’s brithday party
they’ll think they’re getting something
like a chocolate
or an eraser
but they will get to display it on their mantle
forver reminding them
(their parents)
that you had time for your kid and then some
who doesn’t want more time
who doesn’t need more time
maybe we’ve jumped ahead and you do not have kids yet
you’re still a kid yourself
you’re still so damn young
(sorry, darn)
scrawl the name of the boy you like on the front
and write your name on the back
throw it into the water
and make a wish
they always go into the water


“If you want to go out with her or give her a bath” by Julia in the office chair

Thursday March 8, 2018
5 minutess
From a text

Lottie ain’t gonna fightcha, if ya’ll wanna take her out or give her a nice scrubbin’, be my guest, understand? She used to put up a stink, but I think the old gal has gotten tired and to be honest I think she likes the company different these days. When we first got her, boy could she kick a hole in all your hard work! The fences that Horace put up? Took him the whole damn summer. When he left for two minutes to fetch himself a congratulatory beer Lottie had already marked her exit route. You shoulda seen his face, my god. If he didn’t already feel bad for the poor thing, he mightta sold her that very day. Thing is, Lottie came from a bad group. The owners liked to use their animals for experiments in show business-Kind of impossible circus types.


“only four corals spawn” by Julia at her desk

Sunday, February 25, 2018
5 minutes
Sea Sick
Alanna Mitchell

Did you know that coral is not a plant? Everybody thinks it’s a plant because of its size and the way it hangs out on ocean floors. Corals are not plants. Technically, they’re animals because they don’t produce their own food. They actually have mouths. I’m not a coral mouth expert so I can’t really say much about them, but I know they’re there because they capture food with their tentacle-like arms and then sweep it into them. They have been around for millions of years. Did you know that? I know a girl who is named Coral but I don’t think she was named after THE coral because she’s sort of the opposite of amazing. She’s the type of girl you just want to roll up in a dusty rug and toss off your 6 story balcony onto your mom’s boyfriend’s parking spot. I’ve never heard her talk about the ocean before. What a waste. Anyway, did you know that coral reefs rival old-growth forests in terms of how long they can live? I don’t blame you for not knowing that. I didn’t even know that and I’ve read EXTENSIVELY about corals.


“wild horses” by Julia at her desk

Saturday June 3, 2017
5 minutes
from the microsoft home-screen

On the road trip, Marco presents the game called Animals.
It’s simple, really, when you see an animal, you yell out what it is.
My favourite one to yell is HORSES.
Marco’s favourite is GOATS.
We’ve been playing since the bad burgers and the overpriced fruit.
Marco won’t let me drive even though he’s nodded off twice. I told him
he could rest if he wanted, but he didn’t want me to miss all of the
waterfalls, happening exclusively on my side.
I try to present the game called Water Falls.
But only I can play. Marco can’t take his eyes off the road
on this mountain because every turn is very important.
After we stop for gas and retape the underside of our car,
Marco snapps at me for trying to put down his sun visor and blocking his view.


“what curious sense does it make?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday January 10, 2016
5 minutes
Mary Oliver

What curious sense does it make
the mouse nibbling the corner of
the book page, rice collecting at the bottom of
the bird cage
Tiny animals lined up in a row?

The majesty of monarchs
sending smoke signals up to the Gods
The killer whales sonar harmony
that’s just for the coral and
the lichen and the squid and the moss?

Pandora’s Box left open on the counter
tied in a red ribbon
wrapped in a green shawl
dusted with dirt and the smell of home.

You step closer.
You step closer.

You open it.

All of a sudden
it’s clear as the timer
as the coffee
as the inspiration!

All of the animals
aren’t in a row
They are in a circle
Stretching land and sea and sky!

They are in a circle
and they are singing
raising their calls.


“Does anyone have any questions” by Sasha in the bath

Sunday November 27, 2016
5 minutes
Overheard at BC Children’s Hospital

A: If you could be any colour what colour would you be?

B: Um, red? You?

A: Blue. Obviously.

B: Why is that obvious?

A: Because of my eyes and the colour of my sweater and jeans?

B: Oh. Right.

A: If you could be any animal, what animal would you be?

B: Hm… That’s a hard one –

A: Why, because you hate animals?

B: No. Because I’m a veterinary assistant. And I love animals.

A: Oh, right. I forgot that… So?

B: I guess a dolphin? Or a grizzly bear?

A: Those are very different animals. You have to choose one.

B: A grizzly.

A: Really? I was going to say a warthog.

B: That’s just mean.


“and lifted right up” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday June 18, 2016
5 minutes
All My Puny Sorrows
Miriam Toews

They found the squirrel on the side of the road, barely hanging on to life. Eyes open and feet pawing at the air, her stomach was split open and guts and blood were coming out. He tried to make a joke but it fell as flat as the soda in the back seat, rolling around on the floor. She held back tears, searching for veterinary clinics and animal rescue shelters on her cellphone. The reception was bad so she kept holding her arm up into the air like she had a question for a teacher in the sky.


“The animals leave the shores” by Sasha on the 99 going West

Wednesday May 27, 2015
5 minutes
Kimminkus Tuft
Kim Minkus

The animals leave the shores and all that’s left is the ebb and the flow
The sun slips like a salamander behind a cloud
Peeks out when the time is right
Five hundred ways to say “thank you”
And ten thousand ways to say “love”
The animals tread water when they’re lonely
and whisper comfort in a language we’ll never understand

Morning comes with the butterfly lightness
The animals stretch awake
Sunflowers opening
Reaching for fresh water


“The animals leave the shores” by Julia on her bed

Wednesday May 27, 2015
5 minutes
Kimminkus Tuft
Kim Minkus

The animals leave the shores
They pack their things and go
To where nobody knows
But they follow the pull
And when the night falls down
And blankets the day
Wraps it up in a starry shield
Protects it from going away
They sleep
With the little ones in the armpit of the elders’
They sleep
With the little ones curled up tight in the heart of the pack
They don’t hold back
From giving them everything that they need
They sleep
The animals they move along
Trying to chase the sun
Don’t expect anything from anyone
They know they’ll soon be done
Their travels
documented in the flesh of the earth
Their tracks
are paintings Mother Nature hangs up in her living room


“I’m on Prozac, did I tell you?” by Sasha on the couch in Horseshoe Bay

Friday, May 15, 2015
5 minutes
View From The Dome
Theresa Rebeck

“What are you eating?”
“You’re chewing!”
“No I’m not.”
“Stop lying to me – ”
“Leave me along!”
“I saw you.”
“You saw me doing what?”
“You know!”
“I don’t want to say it! It makes it real! It’s gross!”
“Get over yourself.”
“Eating your toenail clippings might be the nastiest thing I’ve ever seen.”
“Your judgement is toxic.”
“Your TOES are probably toxic!”
“It’s natural. All animals preen.”
“You’re a grown woman. You are not an animal.”
“We are all animals.”
“On my God.”


“Abundance” by Julia at her desk

Friday May 1, 2015
5 minutes
from a vintage matchbook

Daddy and little girl
Playing with new tricycle and puppy
Good man
Good good man
And the ball bouncing one two three
Happiness until the air runs out
Mommy comes with belly full of baby new
Big sister runs and jumps
Daddy pushes little girl on swing
Laughing and family growing
Tell me when you get cold!
Mommy and puppy new keep their watchful eyes open
Little girl dragging tricycle along
Can’t ride it if you don’t get back on!
Daddy kneels down next to little girl
I’m right beside you, don’t be afraid.
Mommy and belly baby new, Daddy and little girl smile


“Rathburn Rd.” by Julia at her desk

Thursday April 23, 2015
5 minutes
from a street sign

When I approached his body laying there in the middle of the street, I felt an overwhelming sense of dread–as if it were my little brother or my own baby, lifeless, helpless, quiet. Ever since I was a kid I’ve had a problem with overreacting to roadkill. I love all animals, I hate seeing any of them injured or dirty or unhappy. Seeing them dead is pretty hard for me. Even when it’s a skunk or a squirrel. Most people don’t care about those animals because they’re a nuisance. I don’t see them as that. I see them as these almost human beings trapped in a world of insensitivity. So I was walking up to this poor thing and it wasn’t moving. I’m glad I didn’t see the moment of impact. Really glad. But as I got closer I started full on weeping there, right in the middle of Rathburn Rd. Sobbing for a dead pigeon, and wishing there was someone I could call for him.


“I wish he would ask me out. But he won’t.” by Sasha at Studio 1398

Tuesday March 10, 2015
5 minutes
Julia’s Diary
September 1997

I wish he would ask me out. But he won’t. Because he can’t talk. Because he’s a horse. Because I’m a turkey. Because the world isn’t ready for inter-species love affairs just yet. Because feathers and manes might get tangled.

I wish he would look at me. But he won’t. Because I’m out of his eye line. Because he prefers Daisy, the thoroughbred mare. Because all I can do is cluck and that’s only on a good day.

I wish he would spoon me. Because I could fit right in to that place under his neck. Because then maybe I’d kick this cold. Because then my beak wouldn’t chatter as I’m falling asleep.


“People and shopping” by Julia at Dreyfus Cafe in Clapton

Saturday January 10, 2015 at Dreyfus Cafe in Clapton 4:03pm 5 minutes from a map of London So one time my dad took us, my sister and brother, and I, you know, all three of us, to the mall and we were supposed to meet Santa and whatever. But there was this huge line so we were being huge brats, you know, all three of us, my brother and sister and I. So my dad’s like, nope, not dealing with spoiled rotten apple children, so he yells at us right there in the line for fucking no good Santa and everyone in the world stares at us like we’re animals in a cage or something, fighting each other with teeth and claws out.. And then my dad looks around like it’s the first time he realizes he’s awake that day, and he just starts to laugh. He throws his head back and cackles so hard that all three of us, my sister and brother and I, all start laughing too. Just howling. Losing it. And people are still looking at us like animals in a cage only this time we look like possessed creatures who love each other. When we stop laughing my dad says, let’s go take a sleigh ride instead! So we go and we end up having to wait in an even longer line…but this time with much more enthusiasm.


“wrongfully convicted of murder” by Julia at her kitchen table

Wednesday August 6, 2014
5 minutes
Blog TO

I think you’ve made a mistake. Surely you could take a minute and think about what you’re doing here? What your “conclusions” will mean for someone. Someone other than you. Buddy wouldn’t have done something like that. I know him, he just wouldn’t have. He wasn’t mean to animals while we were growing up. He’s a bit…special…I know that, but he’s not a murderer.
He was framed. I’m telling you right now that has to be it. Buddy is a good person. He wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t…be able to. I’m not saying he wouldn’t be capable of killing someone, no, I mean if I’m being honest I think we all are capable aren’t we? I mean he wouldn’t be able to leave someone just lying in the street, bleeding to death. He has compassion, that’s what I’m trying to tell you. It’s not like he’s on the hunt for something twisted like that to give him pleasure. He gets pleasure out of collecting flat rocks that sparkle in the sun. Please. I’m begging you, don’t just throw someone’s life away on a hunch. Innocent until proven guilty. You have to at least give him that. All I’m asking is you consider the possibility outside your “irrefutable evidence”. Isn’t that your job’s sole purpose in the first place?


“If you want to change the world” by Julia at Second Cup in Winnipeg

Monday June 30, 2014 at Second Cup
5 minutes
from a poster at Second Cup

I guess stop talking about the elderly as if they’re barnyard animals? I guess don’t say “that chick is just skin and bones” or “that chick shakes when she stands cause she’s just all skin and bones.” I think that’s the first step; to give all people an equal chance at existing without prejudice. I don’t know from where I sand–from where I sit–it just feels like there’s more to talk about than the people we know and especially when they’re not in the room. I was taught that once anyway. “Don’t have conversations with people who aren’t in the room.” I guess that’s about breakups or asking for things, mainly, but it could also mean that it’s better to not talk about someone who can’t defend themselves. There are other steps too-you know–if you want to change the world. First I’d say carry a quarter in your pocket everywhere you go so you can give it to someone who needs it more than you if you have the chance. Second I’d say that praying helps.


“I’m really very mistrustful” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday June 4, 2014
5 minutes
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Edward Albee

If it hadn’t been for Artemis, the name she gave herself the day after her boyfriend dumped her and she decided that “Diana” was the name of someone who gets dumped, while “Artemis” was the name of someone who doesn’t need a man to feel loved, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here. I wouldn’t be talking to you about the moment I realized I was living a lie, or how if I had rebelled as teenager when I was supposed to, I wouldn’t be in this predicament now. Artemis made me do it. She encouraged me, she egged me on. She told everyone that it was happening and by doing that she made it so. I guess that makes me weak or stupid, or both, I don’t know. But it was because of her and all her running around unlocking cages at the pet store, trying to liberate all the animals that were being kept against their will, that I started to feel like I was the one who was trapped. She told me I didn’t have to release any of the animals myself, just be a look-out or be a decoy if I could manage it. I suppose I wanted her to think that I could do anything at all and not care about the consequences.


“Virginia” by Sasha in her garden

Thursday June 5, 2014
5 minutes
from a sign on the wall of the Antique Shop

Virginia buys soy sauce at the Seven Eleven and goes home, via streetcar, via walk from the fourth block to the tenth. She drinks it, once she’s safely in the walls of her own making. “Just half a bottle tonight,” she whispers to no one but herself who isn’t no one but someone, but forty three, but two breasts and a million greying brown hairs. She wonders if she could shoot it, through her veins, through her rivers. She wonders if she took a syringe from work if anyone would notice. One of the vets. Three share the practise. Do they notice her? Or, do they just notice the bunny face, the dog paw, the cry of the non-human. Sometimes, just to see, just to try her wonderings out on them, she’ll say something ridiculous. “I ate a whole watermelon for the protein,” or, “have you ever licked the inside of your fridge?” They smile. Funny Virginia, she’s a strange duck, she sees, behind those eyes, a layer of compassion, a layer of caffeine.


“All the animals are laughing at us” by Julia at the Marriott in Providence RI

Sunday May 4, 2014
5 minutes
Freelance Whales

It made me laugh that you told me, Sh shh, baby, don’t be so loud, the animals will hear you, and then you put your finger to your lips as if I must recognize the universal signal for Please Shut The Fuck Up.
I couldn’t help it. In fact I hoped they did hear us. In the meeting place for animals being animals to hear or even witness two other animals being animals. I can’t remember whose idea it was to do it right there in the forrest, but either way neither of us had ever done it and we were both pretty into it. I mean, you were very much consumed with the idea that we were intruding or that we’d be disrupting the squirrels or whatever. Who cares! I yelled out at the top of my lungs, just to bug you. You threw your hands up in the air and shook your head, looking around frantically for signs of life, nature, or punishment. Baby, get over it, we’re doing the nasty in a forrest! That’s awesome! Stop wrecking it! And then you laughed for the first time and held my face in your hands and said, We are the most adventurous couple that ever lived! I was like, Yeah, that’s the spirit, now push me up against this tree. You tried doing it but you then couldn’t get over the part where the tree might be a bit pissed off that we were using her as a sex post.


“Would you trust a mouse” by Sasha on the streetcar going East

Sunday November 10, 2013
5 minutes
alive magazine October 2013

“Would you trust a mouse?” Jack asks Alice. His glasses have spaghetti sauce on them. “No way!” Alice says. “Would you trust a camel?” Jack slurps a noodle. “Nope!” Alice says. She’s picking off clumps of parmesan cheese and putting them on her extended tongue. “Would you trust… a… tiger?” Jack looks very pleased with himself. Annie thinks for a second. She takes a noodles and stretches it between two fingers. “Yes.” “Why?!” Jack looks shocked. “Because of their stripes,” Annie says, matter-of-fact. That’s enough logic for Jack.


“at the door” by Julia at Ka Chi

Thursday, July 11, 2013 at Ka Chi
5 minutes
Blue Moon Girls postcard

There was a cat with a broken leg begging to get into my house. I told him to fuck off and to stop being such a creep. It’s not his house–the cat’s house is literally anywhere with moderate warmth and humans. Maybe he’d be wrong about me anyway, so I don’t feel bad. He’d come seeking refuge and some love and I just don’t have any of that to give right now. Not enough for a persistent cat, at least. Another day I saw the same pathetic cat begging for a hand out on the corner of my street and I looked at him and just said, “Get a job.” you know? Am I supposed to spend my hard earned money on baby mice and like tuna for this thing? I never a had a cat. I don’t know what they eat but I bet it’s expensive. Especially if they have a broken leg, just limping everywhere trying to tug on someone’s heart strings long enough to be pet and scratched. He’s there every day at my door. I think about letting him in and then the phone rings and I forget about that.