“Lipstick on your arsehole” by Julia at her desk


Thursday July 6, 2017
11:33pm
5 minutes
Dry Lips Oughta Move To Kapuskasing
Tompaon Highway

Tamara Matthews you better have a good reason why you’re late.
I do, but you definitely don’t want to hear it.
Sounds like an excuse to me.
Alright, my butthole was bleeding this morning and I wasn’t sure if I was going to die or what.
Oh.
Yes. So. It’s fine now thanks for asking. I’m not, as it turns out, dying. I just wiped too hard, you know?
Thank you. I get it.
I mean it’s happened to me before, but less. I thought this was a hemorrhoid which is no picnic because when my ex-boyfriend had one once, sitting down made him cry.
Okay, okay, go sign in.
Will do, sir. Will do.


“Good girls wore miniskirts but not hot pants” By Julia at her desk


Sunday June 18, 2017
9:56pm
5 minutes
They Used To Call Me Snow White…But I Drifted
Regina Barreca


I wish we didn’t have to fight so hard for our bodies. How can one opinion be the ignition behind so much devestation. All these lies we told ourselves because of the lies we heard first from someone else’s head. It must have been a group. There must have been a threat lobbied at enough of them to cause a movement. Why hold some bodies back if nothing is at risk? But what was at risk? What could it have possibly been to mean so much? What is the small bone we must find before breaking all of ours instead?

“the authors of our lives” by Sasha at her desk


Monday October 10, 2016
4:44pm
5 minutes
The Rising Strong Manifesto
Brene Brown


I’m sorry for my chin hairs – – –
my legs \\ my armpits \/
my belly >
“my” is pejorative
none of these parts are mine
TRUMP CARD
I laugh because the cry is too big for my one bedroom apartment

I’m sorry for the unpalatable opinions
on the table between us
swirling squash and shit and sex and
squash

My dreams of motherhood don’t betray my dreams
of taking over the world
with stories of chin hairs
legs armpits bellies

Shred the TRUMP cards and recycle them
Maybe they will end up
paper that you’ll write me a letter on

“In just 10 months you have come a long way” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday May 3, 2016
10:53pm
5 minutes
From the Twitter account of the woman sitting in front of Julia

Grief looks good on her. At least that’s what people keep saying. Not directly, but that’s what they’re saying, under the tight lipped smiles. Mostly other women. Sometimes men, but it’s quiet, it’s less direct. She’s running every day, because she can’t sit still. Her feet shuffle when she’s at the table, opening the mail. She tries to write in the journal that her sister sent her from the New Age gift shop, but the pen won’t move. Meanwhile, her knees jump. She runs in the ravine, where the trees haven’t really changed since she was a child. She starts drinking all of her meals, unable to chew, almost unable to swallow.

“Textures” by Sasha at the Green Beanery


Thursday April 28, 2016
5:52pm
5 minutes
From an Instagram post

my back the topography of the himalayas the andes the rockies
my insides the colour of the deepest places of the sea
it just keeps getting harder
mom is in the kitchen gorging on chocolate chips and
betrayal sister is dancing circles
in the living room
dervish of wonder of bewilderment
i’ll wait for you on the corner the moment the sun sinks
below the horizon

“Your hands are cold” by Julia on the 14


Friday April 22, 2016
8:51pm
5 minutes
Scars
James Bay


You’re sweet. You let me put my cold hands in your armpits when I need to warm up, when my teeth are chattering and I’m complaining excessively. You squirm the first few seconds and you dance around but you don’t make me take them out. That’s one of my favourite types of touching. I feel taken care of by you and your overheated underarms. You are always a furnace, kicking off articles of clothing in your sleep, ripping up sheets, opening windows in the minus 30s or 40s. The only time I ever remember warming you up was when we went skinny-dipping in your family’s salt-water pool. It wasn’t warm yet, but we were high and felt free, and so I cupped your nut-sack in my hands so they wouldn’t retract and we stood like that for a while, impersonating Ethel Merman and smiling big at each other.

“Professional photography” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, March 27, 2016
10:11pm
5 minutes
From a flyer

Holly grips her Minolta like an infant and looks at me, checking the light on my face, squinting her eyes. I’ve never done this before and I feel sick with nerves.

“Are you having second thoughts?” Holly asks. Her Australian accent still catches me off guard.

“Yes, I guess I am,” I say, looking at my feet. My toenails need trimming.

“You aren’t going to get my feet in the shot, are you?” I scratch my thigh and then my balls. It’s a nervous habit. Holly catches me and then laughs.

“Good!” She says, snapping a series of photographs. “I’m glad you’re relaxing.”

“A single breast winking,” by Sasha on her couch


Monday February 29, 2016
11:35pm
5 minutes
FWD FWD
Robin Evans


I don’t know how to tell you about
this body
that breaks open
seeds all over the place
dying your hands the colour of the hurt
I don’t know how to tell you about
the time I was grabbed on the subway platform
too young to know what this body even means
to a world obsessed
the time I was followed
fifteen
running up the stairs to
the house on the street named after a tree
heart pounding out of my ears out of my mouth
Thumbing through a phone book for the number to call
We are taught it’s not an emergency until someone
get’s hurt
I don’t know how to tell you about
the complexities of getting home alone
keys gripped one between each finger
glances over a shoulder that burden kisses
and has kissed since breasts sprouted
uninvited

“Bowl of acceptance” by Julia in the guest suite


Thursday, December 31, 2015
5:31am
5 minutes
Overheard in the Living Room

Honouring our mother we stare deep into our blood with a little wink and a hug saying “we can only go forward now.” Your heart rests just above mine like it was designed to. You came first, you reached up to the sky where you saw endless possibilities and I reached up to you because I believed you were as high as I needed to go. Now we lead each other, honouring our mother, giving her the gift we refused to when we were young.
“Please don’t fight.” “Why can’t you two be kind to each other?” “Tell me, do you treat your friends this way?”
We didn’t know it at the time that we weren’t treating each other like anything but ourselves and we both had a lot of figuring out to do. We threw self-blame and self-hate and self-wondering because we were each other’s mirror and we saw ourselves reflected back through shades of green in a way we couldn’t understand.
I let your heart shift around on mine to find its spot. I keep you there like a stamp of time and a promise of forever.

“Bowl of acceptance” by Sasha in Szos’ office


Thursday, December 31, 2015
12:10pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the Living Room

The house is cold in the morning
Frost kissing mandalas on the window above the sink
A dissonance to my warm belly and toes
I wash a lemon
Cut it into four sections
Fill a glass with water
Squeeze one quarter of the lemon into the water
A seed sinks to the bottom
I press the edge of the glass to my lips
and drink
Wondering
again about the
toxic acidity that the medicine woman said is heavy in
my body

We only get one

“a new relationship to the vagina” by Julia on the subway going west


Wednesday March 25, 2015
5:28pm
5 minutes
Vagina
Naomi Wolf


Yesterday I glanced down and I was surprised. Surprised that after all these years (31 if you’re wondering), I actually liked what I saw. Yeah get over it I’m talking about my vagina. Why can’t I? Don’t answer that, I don’t give a shit. I’m allowed to talk about whatever I want, especially when it’s something I love. You hear that, I don’t just like my vagina. I love her. With a thousand deeply regretted shitty comments I’ve uttered about myself, I take a stand today, mirror in between my legs, and facing the setting sun. I see who I am all over. Soft. Capable. Hungry. Open. Closed. Both. Alive. Strong. Resilient. Self-preserved. Willing to house others.
My vagina is my spirit animal.
I am she and she is me.

“a new relationship to the vagina” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday March 25, 2015
9:41am
5 minutes
Vagina
Naomi Wolf


She mentions the book over pottery mugs of Earl Grey tea, cupped in our open palms. We’re perched in chairs that used to live in her parents house, smaller versions of their armchair grownup selves. She tells me that it’s changed her life, this book, and I trust her, this woman, and I promise myself that when I see it, I will buy it. I want a new relationship with my vagina, too.

The timer is running out of time because I’ve paused a bunch while writing this, feeling nervous, not wanting to overshare, but wanting to be very honest.

If you haven’t read Vagina by Naomi Wolf, please find someone to borrow it from, or buy it, or order it from the library. If you are a woman, this is for you. If you are a man, this is for you. If you are neither, this is also for you. No matter who you love or why you love them or what you have or what you don’t have, this book is for you.

It took me a long time to recognize the politics of my body. I want to understand them and I can’t simply from reading The Globe and Mail.

“the waiting place” by Julia at Mosaic Cafe in Clapton


Tuesday January 6, 2015 at Mosaic Cafe
6:56pm
5 minutes
from An Incomplete Manifesto For Growth
Bruce Mau


Oh honey when I see you again, you’ll have flowers in your hair, you’ll have new cities in your smile. I’ll tell the world I knew you once, when you were wild and free. I’ll tell the story to my grandkids, about the day you stole my heart with your laugh and that ripped grey t-shirt you used to always wear. You’ll be older and I’ll be older still, but we’ll find a connection in the space between our bodies, where they once were, between our lips. I’ll know it’s you by the way you tug my hair. By the way you’ll still get mad at the moon for not hanging just your way. And you’ll recognize me by the way I hold your back and make you feel like even dying would be okay. It’ll be years that feel like moments and seconds dressed as decades. But one day, in the fields of light, quoting Leaves Of Grass, I’ll see you again.

“virtual environments” by Julia at Katie’s flat in London


Tuesday December 9, 2014
12:20am
5 minutes
from the MLA research guide

Okay so Jordie got a tablet for his birthday and he says there’s an app for literally EVERYTHING. I believe this cause he’s not allowed to tell a lie or he won’t be able to have KD and hotdogs for dinner and that’s his favourite so he always tells the truth. Jordie says that you can watch yourself in an alternate reality if you really wanted to and see how your face looks and how your mind thinks in a different dimension. He says that if you are ready for it, you can also see others there. Jordie says that in a matter of years we will all have a space brain and a human body but we won’t really need our human bodies cause space brains don’t need anything at all but time and mystery. He said mystery but what I think he meant was magic. He gets those things confused sometimes. Mostly because he thinks they’re the same thing.

“Heart hugs” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday December 3, 2014
6:49pm
5 minutes
A text message

I have those butterfly shakes
The ones that are constructed inside my heart
Born there out of all the leftover love
The love that gets left behind when I squeeze out all my need for you
There’s too much to fit trough the tiny holes
But it still beats for you
And so it turns into the perfect feeling
Of loving and needing and wanting and breathing
And it paints the inside of my rib cage
Lots of reds lots of orange

“Heart hugs” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Wednesday December 3, 2014 at Culprit Coffee
10:02am
5 minutes
A text message

A: Hey.
B: Hey!
A: How’s it goin’?
B: Okay… I got in a fight with Bobby last night so I got no sleep and now I’m really tired.
A: What was the fight about?
B: He keeps checking out butts! When I’m right there! And I’ve had it! So, I called him on it and he freaked.
A: You have a great butt. I don’t know why he’d ever have to look at someone else’s butt when he has yours all the livelong day!
B: RIGHT?!
A: I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a thousand more times, you are too good for Bobby!
B: But… I love him.
A: And that is what I simply don’t understand.

Beat.

A: I, I… I have something that I want to –
B: And, like, when I even bring you up to him he gets that jealous look and his forehead gets sweaty!
A: Really?
B: Yeah! Which is ridiculous because we’re JUST FRIENDS!
A: Ridddiculous…

“It was probably so hard not to slap him” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Monday December 1, 2014 at Higher Grounds
5:04pm
5 minutes
A text from Katerina

It was probably so hard not to slap him when he turned to you and said, “I’m in love with her. What do you want?” It’s not even a question. Rhetorical or otherwise or whatever. It’s not even a question. If you knew what you wanted you wouldn’t be here, popping peanuts like happy-pills and trying to unbraid and re-braid your brain. Your fingers are cramping like the history teacher you had in eleventh grade who’d had to retire in his forties because he couldn’t grip chalk anymore his hands were so arthritic. You watched him watch her, all bounce, all vapid face, all out and in and out again. He approaches her and she shrugs him off like a spaghetti noodle and he takes his seat again, at the bar, beside you, and he curses you for finishing the peanuts.