“The girl looking like Catherine Deneuve” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday December 4, 2018
9:33pm
5 minutes
Fall Is the Last Season of the Year
Nasim Marashi

I don’t want to say she had a pouty mouth but I guess that’s what she had.
Made it look like she was always trying to seduce her Cheetos.
Somebody in London once said that she was so beautiful some man
harassed her at the grocery store and she had to stop shopping alone.
All because of her face. I know a woman that beautiful and she once told
me that she never wanted that kind of attention. She never asked for it.
So the woman in London–even her friends talk about her perfect
face when she’s not around. They forget what else she’s good at, or which
jokes she’s told. They all wish they could be her. And she’s there wishing
she didn’t have to be. But no one would understand if she threw back a drink
one night and told everyone that she was tired of being beautiful. They would
all pause dramatically and stare at her, drinks in mid lift, until she broke out into
hysterical laughter. She’d see that she wasn’t getting through and remember
that beauty is not the right kind of sadness to have.

“Light becomes me.” by Julia at the desk

Sunday August 26, 2018
9:46pm
5 minutes
Here Be Monsters
Lisa Foad
I have friends sending me long distance healing. I am blessed beyond reason.
When I remember this love I am lift. I become light.
Earlier my lover told me he loves looking at my eyes naked. As if he could see me better without mascara. I used to look at other women who didn’t need makeup with reverence. How much love they had for themselves, how nice their eyes were naturally.
I wanted to believe him better. Let him love me the way he loves me.
I am sad at how radical leaving the house without filling in my eyebrows has become for me.
Why when I am this loved from across the world. Why when I am this bright and grateful and open? Why do I question the quality of my light? Why do I sit and wait for someone else to tell me that they see it. Feel it. Notice it.
If I believe I am light then light will become me. It will be the best accessory. The sweetest outfit. It will bathe me in its glow. And I won’t need to line my eyes in purple paint to draw attention.

“spilled cola, coffee, and cigarette ashes.” by Julia on her patio

Sunday June 17, 2018
8:44pm
5 minutes
The Best Lack All Conviction
Jacob Scheier

We have come out here to avoid our inside lives
the ones that get sticky on the couch
or forget to take out the recycling again
(mistakes and impulse decisions piling up on each other)
(A bitter taste from the cruel beach wind on your tongue)
The woman across the alley way is telling everyone the same story
“The government something and now he’s outta there”
Neither of us can catch it
But we watch like she is the movie keeping us silent and side by side
She knows she can be obnoxious and has repeated that too
The air is perfect
The sky is purple and pink and orange on my side and
blue and lime green and red on yours
We light up and pass the joint without words
I’ve got the ukulele and you have your guitar
It’s so nice here outside our inside lives
It feels like the sun is still kissing our shoulders
It feels like my body didn’t just give out on me an hour ago
I crave coffee now and I never used to
You love that about me and I love that you love that
Outside, looking down at the man trading his time for our bottles
the gas fumes wafting up through the patio floor
Inhaling our new air and some of the neighbours’ below

“climbing into theirs” by Julia at the studio

Monday June 11, 2018
12:45pm
5 minutes
Suburban Bitch Curse
Akhim Yussef Cabey

I think I want to justify anything and everything and I can because I do
I am I am
I can I can
And you can justify all my bad habits with a knowing smile
a smile that makes me wish I had waited to tell you the truth about me
I find myself climbing into their skin to have compassion
I was told that’s how to heal the heart
You tell me gossip is useful and I laugh because the sweethearts
in my past life have told me the opposite
but I am so glad that I have met you and you’re saying this
so I have someone to bitch to, moan to, try out some of my new jokes about humans existing alongside the flaw of one another
We are all existing alongside the flaw of one another and isn’t that so damn beautiful?
Anything we do can sound lovely when underscored properly
I would choose The Digger’s Waltz and you might pick a different one
My lens could be nicely rose coloured and you
are allowing the side of me flourish that I don’t think everyone should see
Flourish
Bloom
I am afraid of so much and being so little
How can I be better if I keep myself small
I will climb inside my own skin to find out and you will always be the platform
that I get to wonder out loud to
I wonder if anyone wants to climb into mine?
If you do?
If you already have

“I keep thinking about the night we spent in Rome” by Julia at her dining table


Friday August 26, 2016
6:50am
5 minutes
Super Sad True Love Story
Gary Shteyngart

I remember it like it was five minutes ago. You didn’t even want to go but I told you it was something to see. You were worried about not getting a good picture and I said Trust Me It Will Be Even Better. We stopped for pizza first and that put you in a better mood. It was thin crust and saucy and probably the best we’d ever had. You said it was too salty but you were just in a funk and I tried to wait it out. When we made it to the Colosseum, your face lit up like I knew it would. It’s Beautiful, you said, and you looked up starry eyed. There’s a peacefulness at night. Fewer people, but always someone. You wanted to get mad about the men selling the neon light sticks and the sound makers that shot way up in the air, changing colour on the way down, and making children go crazy with bright love but you couldn’t. You were very pleased even if you didn’t say it every ten seconds. I wanted to dip you low and kiss you under the night sky, our happy place in Rome.

“a sneak peek” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, January 23, 2016
9:49pm
5 minutes
A Facebook Post

You can’t help yourself. I get it. What with the swiping and the scrolling and whatnot? You’ve never met her in real life. (“It’s the way we’re going… Technology is more “real” than real, quite often…”) You follow her and she’s the first place you go when you get up, even before you’ve peed, even before you’ve put clothes on. She posts most frequently on Twitter. You’re disappointed when she gets that app that streamlines all the social media together. You learn to appreciate the repetition. She’s getting more risky in her posts – more swears, more cleavage, more opinions – and you like this.

“No not that fake smile!” by Julia on the subway going west


Friday, August 21, 2015
1:16pm
5 minutes
Overheard at a bus stop

Biddy and me make a pact to bleed each other’s blood and wear each other’s smile. I want to marry Biddy so I can be around her all the time and let her light wash over me and catch me in all the right moments. Biddy plays the violin and when she does the whole world stops. I do all the humming and Biddy plays so I can feel. She tells me that I’m most me when I open my mouth and let my heart sing out. She tells me she can see me growing into the person who’s taking better care of me. She tells me I’m the kind of woman who becomes more beautiful with age and experience and confidence and time. It’s my idea to combine our life force and Biddy smiles with her whole face because she loves all of my grand ideas. She snips a lock of her strawberry blonde curls and wraps it around my finger to remind me that we’ve got each other’s soul close by.

“Selfie?” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday December 7, 2014
11:04am
5 minutes
Overheard on a bridge in Venice

I’m not sure about this snap snap craze
I’m on the other side and I’ve been there for days
I dig the reclamation of representation of self
But there’s something about connection that’s up on a shelf
Looking up and down the row of face and phone
I wonder about reality, what’s here and what’s shown
Portraiture has always and forever been a thing
But the self obsession and preoccupation makes me wanna fling
My iPhone in the ocean and let it wash out to sea
I don’t need a photo to tell myself who’s me

“I don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars, but I did.” By Julia at Urban Post


Friday, September 5, 2014 at http://urbanpost.ca/
5:33pm
5 minutes
How To Make Love In America
Sarah Nicole Prickett



I don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars because I was too busy looking at him. He might have. That would have been nice in that moment if I wasn’t already overwhelmed by a beauty that I could name. That I could touch. That I could hold. I don’t remember if he told me to look up at the sky because I was too busy looking into the moment we created. He might have. That would have been nice if I didn’t already have plans to congratulate us on getting this far in the cold. Or in the rain. Or in the both. I do remember saying that I wanted my forever person to look just like him. I remember that part because it came from a place that I didn’t force. Or create. Or fix. I wanted my forever person to have his eyes. His smile. His eyebrow scar. I wanted my forever person to have the same mix of beard colours: brown, orange, white.

“you have been invited” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday Aug 11, 2014
12:15am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

You have been invited to the convergence of beauties
You will come wearing a blue cloak
The stars will twinkle
You will come in glass slippers
The earth will sigh
You have been invited to the convergence of beauties
You are one
No matter how you try to forget it
Sipping and smoking and snorting
You are one
I’ll remind you
Over jars of mulberry wine
Brewed by brothers
We will dance
When the moon rises high
When the darkness is at its most dense
We will dance

“I am not sure at all” by Julia at Dufferin Grove Park


Thursday July 10, 2014
6:34pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Erica Jong

From your shaky hand on my shoulder, marking the birthmark we lovingly call “Africa”, I can feel what you want even if it’s gentle and smooth. The touch, from another, in any shape or form always reaches the insides more than we think they will. You tell me you’re here now and that you will be here tomorrow. I love you for that, and for that alone if I didn’t already love you for all your other things. Your skin on my skin makes me feel rare and luminous and open and strong. You look me up and down and you say, “your beauty.” And you mean it. And somehow in this shared circumstance “your beauty” is better than “you’re beautiful” because you don’t think before you say it, and it comes from your truth place.

“saving me right now” by Sasha in her garden


Tuesday June 10, 2014
12:05pm
5 minutes
a text message

I had with breasts and awkward self-awareness and really really long hair.
I went to the Body Shop and got some cover-up, I think my Mom might’ve even taken me.
We matched it to my skin tone but… not really. Because nothing is the color of my skin, only my skin is…
Cover up what’s imperfect, what’s raised and red and angry. Accentuate what’s already there…
“Are you wearing contacts?”
“Your eyes are your best attribute…”
“Look at those eyes!”
“Like a husky…”
Line the line, spread black, curl and colour and wipe and HERE I AM! Do you love me now?
Your voice in my head is saving me right now.
Your voice (in my head) says,
“The robin in the garden doesn’t care about the redness of her chest”.

“Make a lasting impression.” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Friday May 30, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
4:40pm
5 minutes
L’OREAL ad in Flare Magazine
December 2011


Cool fingertips on my eyelids and that’s how we met
He said, you will change the world with your words
I said, tell me that again and again and again
He said, write me something beautiful–write me something that looks like you
And I died
And I died
And I died
He rocked his head from side to side to a rhythm I couldn’t hear
I said, what song is in your brain right now
And he said, the one you sang to me in your sleep last night
I said, the one about the moon?
And he said, you always sing about the moon.
Cool fingertips on my eyelids and that’s how we fell in love
He said, when you think that you can’t, remember this feeling, this calming
I said, will you come with me forever?
He said, I’ll try. I’ll try to stop time too if you need
And I died
And I died
And I died

“I’d known better” by Sasha at the CSI Coffee Pub


Monday May 12, 2014 at the CSI Coffee Pub
2:07pm
5 minutes
Stethocsope
A short story by Ben Mauk


I’d known better than to suggest a visit to the gallery. I was the one that appreciated art. “It’s your birthday,” Jane said, “It’s your choice!” She never said what she meant. Women were so strange like this. I’ve never met a woman that says what she really means. It’s like everything is a puzzle, needing an expert mind to solve it. “Let’s get take-out Smoked Meat Sandwiches,” I said and Jane grimaced. “Really? That’s what you wanna do for your birthday?!” I paused. I breathed deep. “Let’s go the Coney Island!” She furrowed her brows. “I heard that it’s really creepy there now. Like super duper creepy…” “Let’s go to the MoMa?” She smiled. “Yes. That sounds exactly right. You could live in that place and never tire of it’s pretentious beauty.”

“and the world steps in” by Julia at the Holiday Inn in Charleston


Saturday April 25, 2014
12:04pm
5 minutes
Revelation Must be Terrible
David Whyte


Right when you think it couldn’t get any better, that’s when the world steps in and reminds you that you’re a part of it. A part of the magic, the memories, the moving, the making, the creating, the loving, the living, the beauty of it all.
So you have to leave room in those kind of moments. Leave room for the world.
Dance with your arms outstretched and your eyes closed so you can let the world slide in and dance along side you. So you can feel alive today, tomorrow, and everyday.
Because what a better body guard.
What a better way to say, Yeah, I think I need to keep myself good because I’m a part of the bigger picture.
The world doesn’t have to be in the shape of a globe, in a blue and green Earth Day costume.
It’s just the gold flecks and the negative space between you and life. It’s everywhere. It’s not a circle. It’s not an object you can hold.
It’s big and getting bigger.
It’s got to hold a lot of love so it just keeps expanding.
And when you notice its presence, when you make way for your happiness to braid its way into your skin,
you won’t need something tangible to prove it all to you. Tangible no. There is no need.
It gets very positive around you when you start to breathe deep and choose love.
It gets very spiritual very fast and there’s no slowing down because the good keeps procreating with itself and causing more opportunities to be great.

“The thing is this, Eddie,” by Julia on her couch


Monday, July 29, 2013
12:00am
5 minutes
Jack Maggs
Peter Carey


Shelly wanted to flip her hair out the way she had watched Skyla do it a million times. Sky said it was so easy and Shelly just nodded her head and waited till she was alone to practice. Skyla was better at it. She was born that way, Shelly assumed. She wasn’t one of those people that when they’re young they don’t know about shaving their legs until grade 9. Skyla knew about all the stuff a woman is supposed to know about early on. Maybe she was even the first. She had everything that Shelly wanted. Shelly tried to wear pink lipgloss and tweeze her eyebrows when she saw that Skyla’s had a more defined arch than her own. She was told specifically that she was not to wear mascara until high school, so Shelly used vaseline instead, just the way Skyla taught her, and the way just being alive taught Skyla. She wondered if people like Skyla ever had to deal with acne, or even freckles. She didn’t even want to hear the answer to that dilemma as if the response alone would kill her dead in her knobby knees. Skyla was not above giving lessons, but even her beauty sessions came at a price. Skyla always told the girls, “You show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.”

“Physically he had changed” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 10, 2013
5:20pm
5 minutes
The Boys Of Summer
Roger Kahn


What makes a beautiful moment? He wondered, out loud, maybe.
Was it the way her hair softly fell into her eyes when you were looking deep into them…then the wind came, and you just had to smile? Was it the only time in the day where you felt true silence but that’s because your heart was buzzing so consistently that it felt like nothing at all?
He kept his eyes focused on his feet, shuffling back and forth, back and forth. If he lifted his gaze for even a second, he knew it would be the end of him. She wasn’t standing in front of him then, but he imagined her there. He got shy in his arms, his legs, his mouth.
I love you. He said, out loud, for sure this time. To nobody; to the soft breeze. To the sunset.
I love you more in this beautiful moment than I ever have.
His fingers formed a knot with each other, his knuckles popping out in all kinds of weird formations. He was different than he was before he met her. He was physically different, changed even, and he was very much okay with it.
You’re the only one. He sang, out loud, and internally.
Now that he knew her, he didn’t want to revert back to anything that he used to feel or think before this. Before this beautiful moment.

“Fingerman, saw this as a good thing.” by Julia at her desk


Monday, April 22, 2013
1:06am
5 minutes
Twenty Something
Robin Marantz Henig and Samantha Henig


Of course it was a good thing, it was the only thing. It shone like a red crescent moon that begged the question “are we even still alive?” It was his way of analysing me, of telling me that life is good and things in it are on a temporary wheel, just spinning spinning until they’re not anymore. He was vague like that. Like a sunset. Sort of beautiful in all its ambiguity. It was a good thing. The answers to life’s more tedious demands. It was a humour-filled narrative. Something like that. It’s all a dream now anyway.
He was resting his aching feet by the water, just dipping the bottom of his slacks into the salty edge to get wet enough to cool him. He didn’t mind his pants being ruined. He was sitting pleasantly in that moment. The one between sleep and awake, the one where nothing bad could touch him. He was on his own plain then, trying to convince me of my own beauty and my talent. I didn’t want him to know that I already believed him. His poetry beguiled me. Made me into a woman without difficulty. I was never anxious in his presence. He had a way with words back then…

Water glass, pint glass and a bottle of hot sauce (photo) by Sasha at her desk


Saturday, April 20, 2013
1:32am
5 minutes
Dip!

When I walked in you had your back to me. Your hair was a bit smooshed at the back, like you’d just woken up, or had been lying in the grass. I approached slowly. “Hey,” I said, and you turned, quickly, and I saw that you’d changed. You’d received a few crows-feet wrinkles around your eyes, your curls had a dusting of grey, your lips sloped ever so slightly downwards. You stood up quickly, to hug me, and I thought, for the first time, how strange this custom was – pressing two bodies together, heads over shoulders. Were you holding your breath? You held on. I had initiated the pulling away, but you were having none of it. “It’s been too long,” you whispered. I imagined that your eyes were closed and as I did, you moved your hand across my back, the way my father does. When you were ready, you pulled back and held me at arms length. You drank me in. “You’ve gotten more beautiful,” you say. “I always knew you’d be one of those people that grow into themselves, that get more and more beautiful as they get older,” you continue, red rising in my cheeks from way, way, down. “Stop,” I say, quietly. “No…” You respond. I sit down in the booth, opposite you. You’ve already ordered me a pint of beer. Yours is three quarters done. Only your face has changed, I guess. Your bad habits are rooted.

“from lips to hips” by Julia at Tarragon Theatre


Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at Tarragon Theatre
7:32pm
5 minutes
Sandpaper
Satish Verma


I broke the seal with these crackers that aren’t particularly good. I can’t have anything fatty, or oily, or good, basically. I’m starving and I have to eat every two hours but I’m trying to avoid chocolate! Ugh. How am I? Don’t even ask. I’m upset that my life is fading before my very eyes because my mother, AKA society, thinks that I’ll get ugly if anything goes wrong. From lips to hips. That’s what they say. How are you getting home James? Can I also get a ride from your father? And could we please stop by Timmy’s and like, get a doughnut? I know I’m not supposed to have a doughnut right now but that’s what I want. That’s what I really want. I’ll even buy you one, James! And your dad too if he likes doughnuts. I was thinking about the sprinkled ones. Those ones make me the happiest. Did you want one of these? Sorry I got so carried away I forgot to even offer any to you. And sorry that they’re not particularly good.

“cupcake” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Thursday, November 29, 2012 at Sambuca Grill
7:19pm
5 minutes
The Lawblaws ad
on the back of NOW Magazine


I am dreaming of you in lace and leopard print. You’re jumping from a tall building and you’re sprinkling your carefree glitter over all of us.
I miss you so much it hurts and when I think of your face, it’s lit with a halo or something, keeping it warm, warming my hands. I dream of you almost every night and you’re wearing this beautiful scarf that twinkles when you dance. You are always soft and you are always smiling at me through your eyes. I see you in the face of the sunset, in the face of a laughing toddler. I see you as if you were designed to lead me through life and keep me safe. I see you in everything that’s beautiful. Your legs, your arms.
I miss you so much it hurts.
You’re the thing that keeps me wanting. That keeps me wanting to want. That keeps me in search of pretty and wonderful.
To talk to you feels like a cupcake temptation when I’m off of sweets for the month. I’m trying not to go back to my old ways but it’s not easy because you make it look so good.
I almost did it yesterday. I was closer to the sky. I was closer to anything than I’ve ever been.

“which seems to include all persons present:” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday, November 8, 2012
9:22pm
5 minutes
The Art of Pantomime
Charles Aubert


I am looking at myself in the mirror and I am hating my old-new haircut. I am hating the shape of my face (round) and my stupid nose (big) and my fat cheeks (red). I notice a blackhead on my chin and try to squeeze it but nothing satisfying happens at all. I just leave a mark. I can’t believe that I’m this angry about something menial and simple like my face when… Fern got hit by a car when she was rounding the corner onto Jarvis. She was wearing a helmet and everything. It was a big car, a truck-car. There wasn’t even anything they could do. She was dead upon ‘impact’. What a way to go. Poor Fern. She was so pretty. She made the best banana bread. At the funeral everyone is going to talk about how she was the best samaritan this city has ever seen but the truth is… The best samaritan is me. I will hold my tongue, as it wouldn’t go over well if I was making interruptions and such at such an event but… I will know the truth. My face won’t even flinch, ugly that it is. Fern would get that prize because she was pretty and now she’s dead. I have no hope in hell. All persons present will remember her even better, nicer, more gorgeous, sweeter, kinder, ew ew ewwww because she’s dead. “Killed in the line of duty” heroic and romanticized.