“Trying to comprehend” By Julia on her couch

Tuesday October 10, 2017
9:36pm
5 minutes
from emmadawn.com

I am writing this with my bad hand, Amy. I am trying to see how my thoughts differ. Where my bad hand has always wanted to go. My stomach has grumbled three times in a row. One for the refried beans. One for the salty beef. One for this guidance. I let everything happen as slow as it means to. Images dance sweetly, pirouetting across my eyes. I can see something clearer like dreams or the next good idea. I think you should try it. I think you will find it thrilling. What’s not moving too fast to catch. What’s the whole point of documentation. I write it to get it down. To keep it here. I like it enough to make it stay.

“COLD PRESS BRIGHT” by Julia at the studio

Sunday October 1, 2017
6:22pm
5 minutes
from the EPSON box

Cold press bright
button baby button
we are living in pink
hues and baby blues
baby baby will you
want to watch me grow
another human inside
me and then love someone
you’ve never met
but always known
button baby button

Conversation paused
on the problem
Nobody has written down
the plan for us
the three of us
nobody knew there
would be three
unless you knew
without telling me

Bright press cold
button baby baby
witness this magic
of me carrying a
peice of us both
in my body tell
the ocean we are
ready to cross it
all three of us
rock and wave it
all the way to
the shore to save it
baby button baby

Letters written in
father to be cursive
and mamma to be
subversive
you tell the
jokes and I’ll
tell the truth
you tell the
jokes and I’ll
tell the truth
We have not
always wanted you
but you were baby
worth the change
my mind made

“stomach discomfort” by Julia at her desk


Thursday September 7, 2017
8:44pm
5 minutes
saje.com

It does this twisting thing it used to do after running
body’s way of kindly suggesing to stop taking hills like I’m in the army
respect the hill
walk the hill
or to please drink a glass of water today, okay, please?
It feels like birth and like preventing it
it knots me up so nothing feels good
not even breathing
no breathing can make this good
And the moon says it’s almost time
but the moon has never tried to be so in my life about it
there haven’t been warnings before
And in the middle of sleep sex it’s there, twisting
and you are sleep concerned
and I am sleep breathing in the toilet
so that nothing worse happens
like every reminder that I have done this to myself
because I’m the one who wanted the sleep sex
and to avoid the tap
and to run up the hill
and to hide the health card papers behind the TV
because no one ever looks behind the TV
nobody ever finds poetry ideas
or classical music scores
or the lipbalm that looks much better than it smell

“Life Lessons From 100-Year-Olds” by Julia at the studio


Sunday July 30, 2017
8:59pm
5 minutes
Youtube

1)Don’t go to bed with makeup on
2)Don’t go to bed with strangers
3)Don’t go to bed
4)Tell him how you feel
5)Tell her what you want
6)Listen to your body
7)Listen to her body
8)Be gentle with his body
9)find the joy
10)Give thanks
11)Visit your parents when you can
12)Write the date on your journals
13)Leave if you want to leave
14)If you want to stay, then really stay
15)Spend the money on quality items
16)Speak to children with respect
17)Watch a sunrise
18)Kiss in public
19)Refuse to let other people decide for you
20)Save yourself
21)Don’t save the red ones for last
22)Kiss your own body parts
23)Take initiative
24)Practice your cursive writing
25)Give thanks

“The Movement project” by Julia at the studio


Thursday July 27, 2017
8:34pm
5 minutes
Sophie Spiridonoff’s artist statement

It all started when I was shocked awake by own heartbeat.
Yeah yeah, you want to hear how that managed to happen, well
get in line. You don’t have to agree with or
understand it, even. It’s more about respect, if I were to
choose something.
I had the urge to talk about the body-the relationship we have
to our legs or to our finger tips; our ingrown hairs
I always get someone like you who guffaws
at the underbelly of emotion. You are not an original
critic. All you haters are the same-you hate yourself
the most. I don’t have hate for my body and you’ve
decided you no longer trust me. It’s not unusual at all,
but it makes a movement impossible.

“I was speaking body-to-body.” By Sasha at her desk


Wednesday June 21, 2017
11:18pm
5 minutes
From an interview with Lidia Yuknavitch on http://www.bloom-site.com

We don’t have much to say to each other
with these things
with these words
with syll-
ables
broken and frayed
and drunk on vowels

We speak body-to-body
sweaty sheets wound round
thighs and arms and
you touch me with the
conviction I’ve always
wanted to be wanted
in this articulation

When we walk down the
street you are distant
one hand on the handlebars
of your bicycle
I’m not used to this
arrangement of hard
K’s and V’s and
you disorient me
with your vague
interpretations of
song lyrics of the
band I wish I knew

I am gutted when
you stop calling
because I’ve only known
this body-to-body to mean
something
something languid
something truthful
something gracious

It’s two years before I
know the true taste of sweetness
of gentle whispered w’s and a’s

“I was speaking body-to-body.” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday June 21, 2017
10:52pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Lidia Yuknavitch on http://www.bloom-site.com

Horay, you fixed the bed. Now our bones don’t crumple in at the meeting place. I never knew how much knee crawling I do until receieving the cease and desist.
It is bad for some reasons, but you don’t want to hear that because it would get in the way of you patting yourself on the back.
You don’t want to hear them but I am not built like a slow cooker. I make popcorn with my feelings. I burst through every single lid in this apartment.
I don’t like sleeping in and now I am more comfortable because my spine is no longer screaming at me. I am speaking body to body now. If you don’t want to hear how my silence stings, you better set your chest to ‘Listen.’

“don’t trip on the stairs” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday June 13, 2017
12:03am
5 minutes
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Neil Gaiman


Call me shaker Call me howler
Call me maker Call me feast
Call me famine Call me reverent
Call me simple Call me beast
Call me sing Call me frenzy
Call me chaos Call me great
Call me famine Call me bringer
Call me omen Call me fate
Call me shuffle Call me changer
Call me teacher Call me sin
Call me runner Call me muscle
Call me gold Call me win
Call me birch bark Call me tinder
Call me flint Call me steel
Call me engine Call me bullet
Call me handmade Call me wheel
Call me mother Call me lover
Call me woman Call me moon
Call me bear Call me elephant
Call me wolf Call me loon

“body painting” by Julia at her desk


Monday June 5, 2017
10:00am
5 minutes
A business card

The skin is smooth and ready for art. Kat slips off her robe, overrulling the knot in her throat trying to tell her to run.
“I am art”
“I am enough”

She is standing in front of a collection of new eyes. She reminds herself not to see them. Not to look directly at them.
“I am art”
“I am enough”
Kat lays herseld down on the cushions and waits. The instructor hasn’t said anything yet. No one has. Everyone watches. Nobody moves.

Finally a voice cracks in the back of the room, letting the light in. Kat hums her panic away, steady, low.
“I am art”
“I am enough”
The first brush tongues her hip skin upward into a smile

“ungratefulness” by Sasha on her balcony


Wednesday May 24, 2017
12:09am
5 minutes
English
Amber O’Reilly


On Sunday I’ll be thirty one
When I look at my hands
they are the hands I’ve
always had
Piano playing
squash cutting
keyboard typing
back tickling
finger knitting
busy small child hands

Swimming in the lake
as a girl
toes touching seaweed
and lake trout
diving down so deep
the temperature changed
popping back up
sunlight and gasp
laughing and falling
into dead man’s float

On Sunday I’ll be full
I’ll be lonely
I’ll be grateful
this is everything
this is nothing
this is

“When do we become adults?” By Sasha at JJ Bean


Monday May 8, 2017
5:22pm
5 minutes
http://www.intrepidtheatre.com

“Wise beyond her years”
she was also
the master of
the baby voice.
She shrugged her
shoulders and
giggled down
at painted toes.
Adult body came
too fast comes
too round.
“This isn’t what
I wanted,” she
whispers to
her pillow.
“Wise beyond her years”
a spell cast after
the wall fell.
“Wise beyond her years”
a blessing spoken
over dinner beeswax
candles lighting
changing faces.
“Wise beyond her years”
outgrowing jeans and
shoes seeing all the
noticing
growing
breaking

“I wish that we could talk about it” by Julia on her couch


Monday April 17, 2017
11:35am
5 minutes
Someone Great
LCD Soundsystem

Somebody once told me that in order to trust myself I have to get good at naming what I need out loud. It makes sense-you can’t heal what you don’t admit is broken-but you can’t admit what needs love if you’re too afraid to hear the answer.
I can think back on multiple occasions where I had a sense inside but I was nervous to seek out a second opinion. I wish that we could have talked about it. I wish there was more time to shed light on every single issue because there is still so much I cannot even see. Bodies, for starters: mine and yours; separately and together,
the image we project of the skin we choose to believe we’re stuck in…

“While I watched a yellow caterpillar” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday March 29, 2017
9:19pm
5 minutes
Standing
Shel Silverstein


Sometimes I forget how easy it is to listen to my body. I’ve been living under the impression that there’s some kind of decoding I need to do, some deep analytics about what signals I am feeling and what they mean.
Today I held the hand of a three year old while we ran him to the bathroom. I didn’t think he looked well but he was the one who told me he needed the toilet. I continued to hold his little hand as I watched this yellow caterpillar respond to what his body was telling him without questioning if it were true or right. As soon as it was over, he wiped his face and smiled. He felt better. He wasn’t going to keep thinking about his sick. His stomach had stopped speaking to him. It no longer needed to be heard.

“several thousand feet above sea” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday March 22, 2017
9:45am
5 minutes
Traveling Mercies
Anne Lamott

“Boy you best pray that I bleed real soon
How’s that thought for you” oh Tori Amos
my fourteen year old self did not know the
weight of this waiting my fourteen year old
self sang this line at full voice full wave
crest and now sixteen years later I wait
for blood and we talk about bank accounts
and moving thousands of miles home

We’re giddy on possibility and the sweetness
of spring in the air and you pull me extra
close as we cross the street

“So am I. So Am I.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday February 24, 2017
11:33pm
5 minutes
East of Eden
John Steinbeck


watching this woman
all back muscles and delicacy
all breath in taut places
all grace and elegance
all body
a hiccup
so am i so am i
watching this woman
all strength and intention
all motherhood and wisdom
all risk all insecurity
all body
a sneeze
so am i
so am i
a sob in my throat
i wonder how this
whole sex
generation after
generation comes to
despise their home
watching this woman
moving across a floor
in pink tennis shoes
carving air like cake

“free health care to” by Sasha at her desk


Monday February 6, 2017
7:21pm
5 minutes
From a #goodnews tweet

Below the freckle below the bellybutton below the clavicle below the hip bone below the knee below the baby toe below the finger tip below the eyelash below the calf below the small of the back below the forehead below the wrinkle below the earlobe below the sole of the foot below the belly below the sternum below the laugh lines below the scalp below the lungs below the liver below the heart

“Does this one need closure too?!” By Sasha on her couch


Sunday February 5, 2017
11:36pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Quebec and west Broadway

I’ve been drawing daily self portraits
the mirror’s been lying again and
besides I want
to document my waxing and waning.

Yesterday I had a sun face
and my teeth were wide as open arms.

I don’t know anything about poetry
except that it feels like the only
way now.

I was never good at my time’s tables
always needed to count on my fingers
under my desk.

Today I’m a small black dot.

“The circle, not the line.” By Sasha in the Kiva


Thursday June 30, 2016
11:35pm
5 minutes
The Axeman
Shaun Cunningham


They carve out my heart and gasp and shudder and
someone faints with a small sigh that only
my heart can hear
“It’s shaped like a like a like a like a
it’s shaped like a hexagon…”
They don’t let me hold it or see it or
kiss it they take it away to a room on
the other side of the place
I wonder when I’ll get it back
I wonder when I’ll see it again
Will I see it again?
“It’s shaped like a like a like a like a
it’s shaped like a hexagon…”
The doctor wore white but my blood was all
over him and it was purple and blue
magenta and violet
azure lavender

“Hands me a shovel” by Sasha in Trinity Bellwoods


Wednesday June 29, 2016
4:58pm
5 minutes
Zen Poem
Jane Rohrer


“Hand me that shovel,” Jeremy says. He’s sweating like a fountain, spurts comin’ out his forehead and chest. I don’t want him to be shirtless, but he is. Didn’t ask me my opinion. Oh, I guess I didn’t even tell ya what we’re doing. We’re diggin’ Tiny’s grave. It’s okay, I mean the tears are done for now. Jer said we had to bury Tiny in the yard by the plum tree and I said, “Isn’t that illegal?” but his mind was made up. Digging is harder than you might think. If you’ve never done it. Jer said we should make the grave deeper than six feet, that we should make it, like, eight feet. “What if someone moves in here after we’ve moved on and then they want to put in a pool and then they find a body?!” Good point, Jer. Good point.

“What’s wrong with my body?” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday June 21, 2016 at Starbucks
7:06am
5 minutes
Lesbian at a Bachelor Party
Amber Dawn


When I think about it
it doesn’t look good for me
old woman’s body trapped in a young woman’s skin
There’s the part where my neck pops for no reason
the part where my fingers go numb during hot yoga
the part where I bruise easy
the part where my thigh muscle…detaches?
the part where my side stitches when I run
the part where my uterus goes into contractions if I don’t drink enough water
the part where it hurts to take a deep breath for sometimes minutes
(yeah, plural, whoops)
the part where my feet get charlie horses
(is that even a thing? I don’t know anymore)
the part where my back spasms or pulls or gets thrown out
WEEKLY
I would throw it out for good if I could
and get a new and young one, Christ.
(you know what they say: back pain is just an old soul trying to escape…)
throw in some casual IBS?
Why the fuck not

“Who taught us to embrace life” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday May 30, 2016
5:13pm
5 minutes
from a bench memorial plaque

if I was born a dancer
in body in stead of
in words
i would move like i move
in water
in bed sheets
like i mov-
ed at twenty-three
on sweaty dance
floors kissing
strangers like
my tongue knew
things my gut
didn’t i’ve always
wished i were a dancer
dancing to teach me
to embrace the rhythm in-
herent in my womban-
ness my woman-
mess dancing teaches me
about my unborn daughter’s
heart
beat
a dj who knows what i
ache for
ate for
breakfast lunch midnight
snack picking up bobbi
pins from the women’s
washroom
womb
in
womb out
worn in
worn out
ring in
ring out
ring on

“Preach” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday May 26, 2016
11:27pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

my body
the wasteland
pockmark tumbleweed
a sigh
the unknowing of a memory
open mouth song
kiss
scream
tornado in ecstasy
fear in the cobwebs
varicose veins coming in like grey
an ache for the
next generation
bloodline urgency
the heavy clouds
a womb

“a dozen individuals aged” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday May 24, 2016
9:51pm
5 minutes
Harbor
John Ajvide Lindqvist


Across the street I spied a man who had been resting on a bench. He was sweating from his brow and was hunched over, defeated. He didn’t have a cane, or a walker, but looked like he could have used one. He was convincing himself he didn’t, surely. I quietly watched him from my bus stop. He didn’t know anyone was paying any attention to him. He tried to get up a few times without the help of the bench. He couldn’t seem to do it. The struggle in his face was clear even all the way over to where I sat pretending to read my novel. It looked like his body had been slowly betraying him for a while but that he had only just now started to deny it. I remember working with a man who told me once that when you get old, your body stops matching up with your mind and you can’t control yourself the way you used to. He told me that it may be frustrating for those of us who can still easily get to our destinations to have to always wait behind the ones who aren’t as mobile, but it wasn’t to be disregarded that it was far more frustrating for them.

“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

“a wacky one” by Sasha on the 16


Saturday, January 16, 2016
11:03am
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

He’s got that dancer body
He’s proud of it
Like lightning
Like trouble
He moves with grapefruit grace
With big hands and a bigger heart
With grace and assuredness that belies his
twenty two years
He inhabits every inch of himself like
a
proclamation
Like he’s arrived and we’
re late
I’ve never seen a body like his body and I don’t know
what to do with it
When I stand
naked
in front of him
nipples shy
hips like the winter grey moon
he
he looks
a shooting star in periferal vision

“Let’s have a toast to our goodbyes” by Julia in on her couch


Thursday, January 14, 2016
6:53pm
5 minutes
I’m Out
Ciara feat. Nicki Minaj


I have this idea one snowy morning memory clouded but it feels like a good one so I let myself wake up to it. I’m not quite ready for my life. This idea is supposed to help. I want to make a list of all the things I’m saying goodbye to, or goodbye for. I have made a lot of lists about saying hello or, a bunch of arbitrary ‘shoulds’ chosen from the parts of my body that don’t get enough of my positive attention. This one is different. It’s a goodbye list but not for negative things or habits or hurts or harms. It’s all about harnessing inner truth and guidance. I want to be ready for my life.
Someone close to me once told me that we need to thank our enemies. Enemies can mean anything, so I like to think of them as hard bits that have been let in at one time or another, but will be sent off in a joyful way. I think these are the things that go on a goodbye list when I am toasting to all the bad things that have ever grown me shaped me helped me shown me.

“A hundred tourists are caught” by Julia on Jess and Rick’s couch


Friday, January 1, 2016
12:35am
5 minutes
Coda, Etcetera
Amber Tamblyn


I am mad because I told myself that tonight I would sleep and even if I didn’t mean it, at least I would try.
I am no where close to sleep. I am not in a bed, my teeth are not brushed, my mind is not quiet, and my eyes are not closed.
I am mad.
Because I broke a promise to my immune system.
Because I broke a promise to my morning self who has to get up early.
Because I couldn’t manage the day in all the time that was allotted so I pushed it hard into tomorrow and am now trying to justify that sometimes this kind of sneaky maneuver is necessary.
I wonder if this is what the mind of a traveler always looks like.
I wonder if the brain of a tourist is mushed up and confused by all the maps, the plans, the routes, the tricks, the lists, the food, the uncomfortable beds.
I am caught here in my inbetween and don’t know if I should kill one half to let the other be born or forget about divisive lines and hurry up and create something already.

“A hundred tourists are caught” by Sasha on the couch in Cowichan Bay


Friday, January 1, 2016
11:14am
5 minutes
Coda, Etcetera
Amber Tamblyn


when you tell me my feelings i flush with earl grey tears and this is not a testament to your impact on me it is an homage to my mother and my mother’s mother before her and when i make breakfast and lunch and dinner i am not subscribing to our cultural magazine of gender roles my soul is fed by mashing an avocado on toast and by stewing broth and lentils all afternoon for us to dip crusty bits of red fife bread in and when i try to breathe into my pelvis and find this difficult it is not just my body it is every woman’s body the body of the great mother and i set the intention like a timer that will go off like a church bell whenever i am far away from myself be here be here be here

“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

“amazing work” by Sasha in front of the fire


Friday, October 23, 2015
11:12pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook post

I don’t trust his confections
his thick liquid syrup
I am squeamish with his
“Amazing work”
“Your eyes”
Cream cheese icing
is only good in small doses
Caramel poem is brittle
left out in the cold
“Your rhymes are elementary”
Oh
Ohhhh
Bitter melon
Bitter greens
“You think you’re better than you are”
“That’s your downfall”
That’s your downfall
Eyes lingering on nipples
Where nipples might be
The mystery
The promise of nipples

“I put a little twist in my hips” by Sasha at UBC


Thursday, October 15, 2015
4:43pm
5 minutes
Never Been In Love
Elliphant


I put a little twist in my hips just for you, when I got off the bus on Tuesday. In case you were looking. It was extra good because I’ve got an extra ten to twenty three pounds hanging out in my lower region. Even if you weren’t looking, maybe someone else was. Maybe the bus driver was. Maybe it made his day! I hope it did. Maybe he likes big butts even more than you do. Maybe he likes hips you can really sink your teeth into more than you do. I fully welcome the male gaze. I don’t value myself based on it, or anything, but I welcome the male gaze, I welcome your male gaze.

“Thin love ain’t” by Sasha in her kitchen


Monday, October 12, 2015
3:33pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Toni Morrison

Spread the butter on thick how I like it
We’re counting orgasms not calories
This love is bigger than pluto
Bigger than clouds
Bigger than the breath between the fall and winter

You’re grabbing at my knees
Tickling the space between present and future
Ear pressed against my belly
Listening for the rising moon

“A rare chance” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday May 5, 2015
12:35am
5 minutes
A Friends of Chamber Music brochure

Am I dying and I don’t know it because I’m crying and I don’t know it? I mean I know it. That’s something I know. But what I don’t, is, is it a threat to my living self if my body is crying but my mental awareness of that physical reaction to something happening in my life… is non-existent? Or delayed, I mean. For one whole hour? Is that too long to go without realizing that tears are pouring out of my face? I mean I know that’s too long, so maybe something big is happening. Maybe I’m releasing all the bad in my body, in my spirit, and then just that kind of peace after the bad is all gone feels like dying. Because maybe that kind of dying is the right kind.

“GOOD BOY!” By Julia at George Brown Theatre School


Tuesday, April 13, 2015
7:01pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits Beach

He strokes the skin right behind my ears. Tells me I’m soft, but I’m hiding it. He takes his tongue to the edge of where is expected. He lightly drags it up my neck to my ear lobe. He pauses. He whispers. “You taste like sunset.” He continues. My earlobe is in his mouth now, the softness being swallowed, chewed, ignited. Tells me I don’t have to be afraid of magic. I start to tell him I’m not–he devours me whole. “Shhh” he croons. “Don’t fight it. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.” I try again, “I’m not afraid. I’m fine.” He groans in a gentle way, holding my head up with his thumb and forefinger.

“Let’s make a list” by Sasha on the B-line


Friday February 13, 2015
5:36pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Great Dane Coffee

Let’s make a list of the places where you live in me
Equal parts below and above the bellybutton
Where you often stick your pinky finger
Amazed at it’s depth
When I put my nose in yours
It smells like summer
A small remembrance of yesterday’s sweater
I collect it
A pillow for a spider
The good luck kind

In the space where we feel
Below the sternum
The solar plexus
That fragile brave hollowness
You live there
Snuggled like a puppy
Curled around yourself

“made with real almonds” by Julia at Amanda’s kitchen counter


Thursday January 15, 2015
2:29pm
5 minutes
from the Earth’s Own Almond Milk carton

So my brother got sick once and turned into the kind of guy who reads labels and won’t put anything into his body without a reason. Like a good solid reason, like “fixing” “helping” “improving” “nourishing”.
All of these things are fine and I’m happy he does it cause he should do it. But I just got so bored about discussing this with you that I literally fell asleep for one minute there. I just went off to a distant land. And now I remember what we were talking about and I totally see why. The “point” is, sickness=health for some people and some people=boring life because of it. The “point” I was trying to make, was that you’ll be fine. You might even be better than you are now. But you have to start reading labels and being okay with not telling any more good stories.

A photo of Jack and Daisy by Julia on Katie’s couch


Sunday January 11, 2015
12:17am
5 minutes

Jack and Daisy

Held my hand out for you and I waited
Hours went by and I waited
Days turned into butterflies and I waited
Still
Like the night
Like the only moment between us that you wanted to paint
I stood there, facing the light
Hours went by and I tortured myself with thoughts of you
Of your smile
Of your depth
Of your tiny birthmark hidden in the crack of your upper lip
Hours
Days
Lifetimes went by and I waited
My arm got tired from holding onto an escaped hope
It had flown away into the wind long ago
My heart got tired from beating for both of us
My head got tired from trying to convince my body to have patience
To wait there for you until you were ready
And finally
I left
I left you there with the rain cascading down
All the veins of every heavy hearted tree

“Who wrote those poems?” by Julia at Parco della Zucca


Friday October 17,2014
3:18pm
5 minutes
Advanced Italian Grammar
Marcel Danesi


I might have been dreaming them. They seemed to fill my skin to the brim causing slight tremors and excessive use of metaphors. The sky was speaking directly to me and she was nudging me, trying to give me the answers without incriminating herself. She nodded. She winked. I couldn’t get the message because I was half listening and laugh-halfing and she gave up on me before I could say Ah, yes, I get it now. Laugh-halfing happens in between sleep and awake: a backwards place where the mind cannot meet up with the body. It tries, but wires get crossed and signals get lost. Sometimes I don’t hear the sky, I hear Nina Simone instead. But the body doesn’t know how to move. Just to describe movement with colours and poems.

“Writing is so difficult” by Julia on her bed


Monday October 13,2014
9:33pm
5 minutes
A quote by Jessamyn West

It’s like opening every vein in your body but not at the entry points that doctors use to administer needles. You have to dig around in all the uncomfortable spots where the vein isn’t prominent, and then open it up from the inside and let the blood pour out. It needs to gush and splatter inside first before you’re allowed to open your skin–unfold every layer, peel it back, the old and the new, and let it fill whatever canvas is closest. And you have to do it vein by vein, one by one. And you have to do it by yourself because no on else knows where these soft spots live like you do, and you have to do it every time you want to express something real, communicate your feelings, and go to bed feeling like a positive change has taken place. It’s not easy. It is so difficult. But the more you do it, the more you know you must keep doing it. You must.

“Auditions for the part of” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, September 6, 2014
10:03pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

He has a scar on his hand
the kind where you can see the stitches
the kind that looks like someone drew it there
with white-out

He has lady hands
which undermine the scar
I guess
His nails are longer than I’d like
But no one asked me

He has pock marks on his face
I wonder what it says about his teenage years
I wonder if they hurt
I wonder if he stood
bloody-faced
Wanting to shed his skin

He scratches under his left eye
I follow his fingers
His eyes are brown
Darker than when he first arrived
Darker than his childhood
Darker now that time is heavy
and the moon is full

“Hear all year” by Sasha at the International Plaza Hotel


Saturday July 12, 2014
6:25pm
5 minutes
from a banner at Winnipeg Folk Fest

I love the three blonde hairs on each of my big toes,
Marking the place where the under meets the world.
I love the strength of my calves,
Pedalling me from West to East,
Leading me to you,
and to God,
and to the lavender.
I love the width of my hips,
perfect for leaning,
perfect for holding,
perfect for stretching and carrying.
I love the round of my belly,
full of abundance,
full of arugula salad
and the legacy of the women that have come before.
I love the small hands,
able to stretch across piano keys,
across keyboard keys,
able to hold a pen like none other,
able to alchemize stories into gold.

“Was she already dead” by Julia in a van in Philadelphia


Saturday April 19, 2014
1:08pm
5 minutes
Her Room
Anja Garbarek


i knelt down close to her unmoving body. i wasn’t about to touch her just in case. i didn’t know why, but just in case seemed like the most appropriate reason. she had on the scarf i gave her. she thought she was borrowing it, but i was planning the whole time to just say, keep it, annie, it looks better on you. i never really got the chance to tell her. now she’s probably on her way to dying thinking that she was dying in my favourite scarf. i would have liked for her to go in peace; still haunts me that i didn’t let her know sooner. all the memories of us stealing earrings and toothpaste filled my head. i can’t remember now whose idea it was to take all that stuff but i do know that i haven’t felt a rush like that since. neither of us really wanted those shitty earrings. we just liked the idea of taking something with some kind of value. the toothpaste, i’m pretty sure we just needed. i reached out to let my energy sort of drip off my fingers and into her scalp just in case. i didn’t know why, really, maybe just in case that was the one thing keeping her from being already dead.

“your natural body” by Julia on her couch


Friday February 28, 2014
1:06am
5 minutes
the Cocoa-Shea Butter container

Before the worship and the punishment
Before the sacrifices and the indulgences
Before the fast food and the slow food
Before the fake stuff and the right stuff
You were a thing that needed almost nothing
You needed love
You got love
You needed water
You got water
You needed nourishment
You got nourishment
Somebody made sure you got what you needed because your needs were not bigger than you
Now they are
Now there’s a thing called “chocolate”
One called “wine”
One called “on sale”
One called “tomorrow I’ll be better”
The colorful images telling you now what you need
To be happy now is harder
It’s very very hard
We have to sift through the things
The things called “cars, goals, comparisons, delusions, medications, drugs, fantasies, corruption, impatience”
If we sift we might find a shirt that looks good on
Like a second layer of skin
Meant for wearing and being very happy

“The play you are about to see” by Julia on her couch


Monday February 24, 2014
11:15pm
5 minutes
The Laramie Project
Moises Kaufman


full of wonder, of joy, of mystery. opens her heart, her legs, her life. there he goes, skipping across the landscape of her body. does he notice her there yet? does he see that she isn’t present, not even a little bit? she shuts it off, shuts him in, and leaves him for dead in all that exploring. all that discovering. full of wonder, of joy, of mystery. little boy, he’s a little boy. he runs back and forth without a destination. he doesn’t care if there or here is the prize. his prize is in the running. and when he doesn’t know any better? he runs even faster. didn’t know what it would feel like. didn’t understand what it would mean. if she up and left her body there, took her mind, but left her body there. left him behind, didn’t ask if he wanted to come. didn’t seem like she wanted him to go with her anyway. when he notices, then it will be a day of hardship. when he recognizes what she did, he’ll fall a little inside his own body and wish so bad that he was not left alone there. those thoughts, too grown up for him to deal with. those dreams, too shattered for him to reassemble them all. full of wonder, of joy, of mystery. both of them started out that way. opens her heart, her legs, her life. both of them started there too.

“a woman’s body” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday October 16, 2013
12:12am
5 minutes
Alive Magazine
October 2013


I lie awake and I wonder about my mother’s hips,
What lives in there – shame beside cartilage, fear inside bone.
She wakes in pain, she tenses, she breathes, she prays, she remembers the freedom of youth.
Arthritis is a leech that sucks mobility like blood, that spreads to knuckles and toes.
I suppose I should say, what lived in there, in my mother’s hips…
She has new ones now – polished machinery, scars carving beautiful capital “C’s” into her upper thighs.
I was born of that body.
I watched that body.
I called that body “home” and “beautiful”.
I see that body now, sixty-three years on this earth,
and I see what the devotion writes on her freckled shoulders,
what the judgement writes on her sun-spot chest,
what this mother to us daughters teaches and knows,
and teaches and forgets.

“Qualified For: Video Blogger” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, June 25, 2013
12:58am
5 minutes
from a business card

Always liked my arms. Never had a problem with them. Never felt like they were disproportionate. Thought about getting liposuction once (Who doesn’t), and then realized that I just don’t care enough about that stuff. Never had a problem with my hands until a stupid boy named Brendan with bleach-blonde surfer hair told me they were too big for my body. I was 14 (fuck you Brendan). Thought my feet were okay. Not too big, not too small. Just right. one of my toes is ridiculously too tiny but do people care about toes these days? Thought if people were playing the game where they deconstruct themselves, then build the ideal human with all the best parts from them and their friends, at least two or three of my features would make the cut. Not my hair. Too scraggly in the wintertime. (Not my lips either.) Some friends would make it on for everything. They had better shaped eyes or noses or something. But if we were playing the game where we deconstruct all our skills and build the ideal human with those? I’d be up there for sure. Nobody can video blog like me. I even put it on my resume and business cards.

“The slip, Sir, the slip” by Sasha at Nova Era Bakery


Monday June 17, 2013
11:19am at Nova Era Bakery
5 minutes
Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare


The blue, the silk, the wave, hugs her hips, her breasts, the straps delicate over her shoulders. When she took off her dress, she had struggled with the zipper. It was caught, it was cheap, it would need to be replaced. “Help me with this?” She’d said. The blue, the silk, the ripple, over her body, sheer but covering. “When are you going to get your hair cut?” She asks, putting her gold earrings into her jewellery box and covering her face in Nivea Cream. “I’m not sure,” I say, not the right answer but the true one. “You look awful,” she says. “You look beautiful,” I smile. Her face is covered in the cream, white and thick. I put my socks in the wicker hamper. “Did you get more toilet paper?” She calls from the toilet, door open.

“On those grey days” by Julia at Second City Training Centre


Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at The Second City Training Centre
5:35pm
5 minutes
Running With Scissors
Augusten Burroughs


On those grey days where you just don’t want to get out of bed, I think to myself, dark room, dark walls, and try to get myself back to sleep. I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to do anything that involves other people. I want to sleep and sleep and give back to my body. Give back to my mind and just let it dream all day. Those grey days, the ones where the sky is even lovelier than yesterday, the birds only sing in harmony, and the lawn mower is taking the day off, that’s when me and me find one another after being separated, seemingly all the way from birth, and we hold hands with the idea that We Are Enough. I am enough. To get out of bed to even prepare a cup of soup would be a tragedy. To lean over the edge of the warmth and safety and potential imminent back ache to pick up the tissue that had been left there over night would be a disservice. For those grey days are not grey in colour, but in feel. In texture. In one world where ideas and solutions can’t multiply fast enough. It’s the in between, the place where my mind and body go to have a lie down; a rest. It’s the place where no other colour is invited because it would just ruin everything. It’s that.
So on those grey days, I sleep.