“she continued to cook into the early evening” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 31, 2018
5:33pm
5 minutes
A quote from Pasquale Cusano

there’s a book i’m reading
about a woman’s love affair with food and cooking
you gave it to me
it has all the lines you like underlined
you used pencil mostly
but sometimes pen
I think that’s bold of you
it makes me read it through your eyes
it makes me think of you read and what you think about things
material things-as in you don’t seem to care much one way or the other
I wonder if you take notes during phone conversations
or pause the movie a bunch of times to record your favorite lines
I wonder how long it takes you to get ready in the morning
if you’re the kind who owns a steamer because you need a steamer or if
you’re the kind who wears wrinkly shirts because you don’t have a steamer

“Mother stomps up” by Julia on the 20

Tuesday April 24, 2018
8:42pm
5 minutes
Says Mother
Laura Willwerth

Uninvited and flipping through the notebook left collecting mud on the patio.
Some things are not meant for mothers to read.
Did you mean what you said?
Did you say what you mean?
I would nod and tell her don’t you remember? You taught me well.
When we’d get mad about you smoking didn’t you know it was because it turned your lungs into yelling? Didn’t you know our anger was speaking for our fear that hadn’t yet collected its thoughts?
She would give me the bed off her back and sleep in a mold-heavy
yesterday so my boyfriend’s tall wouldn’t hang off the end
Nobody asked you to sacrifice yourself.
If she read that she would cry.

“I wish that we could talk about it” by Sasha at her desk


Monday April 17, 2017
11:46am
5 minutes
Someone Great
LCD Soundsystem

It’s the kind of morning that your mother
used to yawn about Laying in bed with a book
and a cold tea on the nightstand
The golf ball is in your throat again
but maybe this Earl Grey will wash it
down

It’s not a crisis of faith you hear yourself
say to your oldest friend It’s not anything
like that

“the wild nature teaches us” by Julia on her living room floor


Friday March 31, 2017
10:25pm
5 minutes
Women Who Run With the Wolves
Clarissa Pinkola Estes


when my insides echo
when the only thing that can fill me is silence
when the forest begs for a closer look
I may know no home like the moss-covered stumps
like the nurse logs championing life
or the quiet stream carrying the whisper of souls reconciled without debt
we are taught so little about where we come from
some stories are passed down but are not built for us
we are reminded that one size does not fit all
even if the tongue doing the telling is loud

“I need a reader” By Julia at her desk


Monday February 20, 2017
11:01pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

I need a reader.
Someone to read fiction from the tattered corners of the used book shop.
Someone to read stories that come from imagination and what ifs.
Someone to read their weight in other people’s words
to understand why we tell stories in the first place.
I need a reader.
Someone to read non-fiction and learn a thing or
two from the life of somebody that isn’t them.
Someone to read in between the lines when the tears come.
Someone to read the reasons why we write or why we feel we must.
I need a reader.
Somone to read me when I don’t want to be read.
Someone to read me when I need to be splayed open
heart on page after page.
Someone to read the furrow line in my forehead as
habit and not anger.
I need someone who loves flipping pages and
learning new things.
I need someone who won’t stop at the introduction
just because they can’t understand the trajectory yet.
I need a reader.
I need someone who will stay up late tracing
skin tags and face creases and bad dream mumble jumble.

“Your grandfather” by Sasha in the basement at Szos and Jenny’s


Monday January 2, 2017
9:20am
5 minutes
Overheard at Cowichan Bay

Grandfather hands me a book bound with lightning
and maybe it’s because I’ve just turned old enough
to travel by train alone Or maybe it’s because I’ve
only now realized the importance of the remarkable moment.

The book shakes in my hands and I open it only when
I’m alone in my bedroom amongst baboons and posters
of the Jackson Five.

The first page shows how the earth was born and then
how the dinosaurs really became extinct and on the
third page I rest because every Wednesday should
include a nap.

“not long before you get there with us.” By Sasha at The Arts Club


Saturday November 8, 2014 at The Arts Club
7:41pm
5 minutes
From serialpodcast.org

His eyes are sand
Swirling golden turmeric honey
His eyes are searching
Sky reach twisting to cloud
His eyes tell me how
Why and when and where
His eyes are the reason I come back
Come back and come back and come back
“I want to write a book” he says
I don’t believe it
I shudder and I bite my nail
“I want to write a book about my mother” he says
I stand up and open the window
Even though it’s below zero

“Destroy the evidence” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, July 26, 2014
3:20pm
5 minutes
Cards Against Humanity


Paper trail, burn it up, up in smoke, burn it up

-How’s your book coming?
-My what? I’m not writing a book.
-But I saw your receipts. The ones from the coffee shops.
-Well since when do lattes mean I’m writing a book?
-I know you don’t actually drink the coffee.
-Yes I do!
-No you just like the way it looks beside your laptop. That and I know you don’t write anywhere else.
-That’s not true. I write. I write at parks sometimes.
-Why are you hiding it, you never keep these things a secret.
-Oh my god, fine, it’s about you. Okay? Happy?
-You’re lying.
-What do you want, exactly?
-I just want to know what you’re working on. It seems very sneaky all of a sudden and it makes me anxious. It makes me anxious thinking about what it is you could be doing.
-I told you, it’s about you.

“A passionate hot blooded woman” by Julia at her kitchen table


Monday May 26, 2014
12:29am
5 minutes
from the ‘Julia’ candle

Then he looked at me and said, damn woman, that was the hottest kiss. I’ve never been kissed that passionately before. And I was like, well I was drunk so what do you want me to say? And he said, say you meant it, say you needed it. I was about to punch him in his face when he came up to mine and kissed me again. I didn’t even pull away. When we were done, he said, are you drunk now? And I said, no, and he said, so there we go. And I said, there we go? And he said, yeah, see? That was sober passion. I said, that shit doesn’t exist, and he said, yeah it does; I just proved it to you. You like me.
Then the world went dark and my eyes got fuzzy and I said, no these are all lies you tell yourself but now you’ve included me in the conversation too. He said, you’re seriously disputing that we just made passion out of thin air just a second ago? And I said, well yeah, passion comes from the soul, not from the lips. And then the world got light again and I could breathe and I could breathe enough that I started to walk away. He said, where are you going? And I said, I have something to do. And he said, more than being here right now with me in the middle of this moment? And then I couldn’t say anything at all that would encompass my disdain for him in “this moment” so I just scoffed and rolled my eyes all the way back into my head. He said, seriously? And I said, What? It’s a kiss. It’s how I kiss. I’m a good kisser, what more can I tell you, Christ.

“Income tax services” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday May 25, 2014
12:16am
5 minutes
A sign on Queen St. West

HI, my name is HOLLY and I will be your PERSONAL ROBOT. I’m a robot I’m a GIRL ROBOT.
Just kidding. I hate robots. Like hate hate hate.
I just thought it would be a cute joke, you know, those kinds that you tell over the internet when someone e-mails you and begs for your help and you’re like, what am I a freaking computer? What is this, New Years?
That’s something my boyfriend says. What is this, New Years? I stole it, whatever. No big D.
Taryn asked me to help her do her taxes and I’ve been doing her taxes since 2009 and I’m pissed about it because it would cost her $50 freaking dollars to go to H & R Block but she’s my sister and she has a pouty face and insecurity issues and inferiority issues and self-esteem issues so I help her because I would really rather she didn’t use not knowing how to do her own taxes as a personal excuse to stop living.
Like not in a suicidal way—she’s not depressed. Not that I know of. Not that everyone who is depressed offs themselves, but like, you know what I’m saying. Whatever I’m tired, I’ve been sitting at this computer for far too long and all the words are crumbling or disappearing and I’m on my way to sleep land anyway.
I don’t know when Taryn’s going to finally just do herself a favour and open the internet to research how to do this. It’s not like she has to read a book or anything.

“Develop the skills needed” by Julia at her kitchen table


Wednesday May 14, 2014
1:04am
5 minutes
A centennial college poster

I suppose it comes from reading a book in a way that you don’t actually ever read it because you’re too busy writing down the quotable quotes in a little notepad that sits beside your bed.
When you see all the answers to life’s great questions and you think, yeah, I have to write this down or I’ll never remember it and I’ll never be free.
Free of what, the unknowing? Because now that you know, you can’t unknow, but you can forget and that’s worse. Worse because you have the taste in your mouth but you can’t recall the flavour. It loses its power. So that’s why you spend hours writing down your favourite words in sequence. Even though you told yourself you’d reread them every now and again…you don’t because life gets busy. But at least you wanted to better yourself and learn something new and develop the skills needed to survive as a human in this day and age.
That’s the kind of rainy Sunday you tell yourself you’ll have only after you’ve made it. But when the light from the kitchen beams into your bedroom and tries to trick you into doing something else, you’ll have to find those quotes again and then instead of just absorb them, you’ll have to use them as a springboard. Focus.
Focus now.
Focus always.
And then the rest of the words you knew once will resurface, and you’ll find them popping up in your memoirs, and your poems, and your love letters, and your address book or contact list.

“Absolutely everybody gets a little something” by Julia at Bull Street Gourmet and Market in Charleston


Monday April 28, 2014 at Bull Street Gourmet and Market
1:23pm
5 minutes
Slaughterhouse Five
Kurt Vonnegut


Toni-Marie-Belle, she said with a crispness in her voice. She should be expecting me in five minutes from now. She sat down and pretended to care about the Garden and Gun magazine that was staring up at her from the coffee table. Ooh, she said out loud, in case someone was overhearing her moments of mostly silence in this waiting room. Love this one. She leaned back breathing out heavily, trying to suspend the air and she exhaled slower than she had planned. Toni-Marie-Belle, she said again under her breath as if she were trying to convince herself that that was in fact her real name. Someone approached her and asked if she wanted water or anything while she waited. She shook her head and at the same time asked, Sweet tea but mostly unsweetened? The small garden gnome lady cocked her head to the side and examined her for a brief moment in time. It means half and half, she told the confused lady. Right, the lady said. Right, yeah, okay.
The garden gnome lady walked away muttering something to herself in a way that was incomprehensible and yet totally audible.

“Sharks spotted” by Julia on her couch


Monday February 17, 2014
12:28am
5 minutes
the news feed at Ossington Station

They were in a tank, but still. I was like, DO NOT LET THEM SEE ME. I thought they were going to smell my fear. From the tank, like, I know. That’s how big my fear was! I wasn’t prepared for those faces. Like, angry, scary, sneaky, creepy faces. Those smiles? What are you smiling about, you know? Like, am I your next big meal or something? Will you be using me to make an example out of people who get too close? I had a heart attack. My heart was legitimately attacked! Like, with the pain and the blurriness? I couldn’t see a thing. I could hear the JAWS theme song in my head, though. That’s something that actually happened. I was told before I went to the aquarium that they look scary, but they’re not. That’s just their face. That’s just the way they look. Which I guess is fair, right? Not all humans who look like pedophiles actually are. Okay, bad example. Not all humans who look like they’re about to murder you painfully actually do…Wait. Is this the right type of comparison? Point is, I saw these sharks, and I was petrified. And they didn’t kill me, and they didn’t give a shit about me, really, but I think, goddammit, I still think they could sense me there. As an outsider. As someone not to be trusted because if I were ever alone with them, I would try to do some weird psychoanalysis shit on them. See what they really wanted…

“principle monetary unit of Morocco” by Julia on the Greyhound


Monday, October 14, 2013
3:17pm
5 minutes
The Pocket Oxford Dictionary

Don’t know what to say. Don’t want to say the wrong thing and have you be mad at me.
You know?
It’s hard not knowing how to read you. Think you were born with some tricky looking expression that makes it hard for people to understand.
But you’re just like me. Have to remember that sometimes. Especially when flying. Especially, especially then.
You never did end up reading that book I sent you. I know this because I inscribed it and it wasn’t just some Mickey Mouse message. It was one of those real nice and honest ones. One that makes you cry or laugh or both. And I know if you had read it, you would have told me so. You would have hugged me. That’s something I’m sure of.
But you might have just forgotten to, and that’s understandable, being on your way to a completely different country, and having to get sorted right away. Books take less of a priority. But that’s how we’re different, I guess.
Been thinking about that for a while now. See, I would have read the book, and if not the whole thing then at least just the inside cover. Just to see if there was anything written there for me.
Just my principles, I guess. What I value. What I hope for when it comes to the people I love a great deal.
I’m just crossing my fingers you didn’t read it at all..
Might be worse to have you read it and not respond well to it. To think it unfunny, or meaningless to you.

“Everything is all right” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, March 17, 2013
2:34am
5 minutes
Dharma Bums
Jack Kerouac


She sits by the window reading her favourite book this week for the second time. It’s about mystery, and passion, and deceit. Her book, that is. It’s a good one because it makes her stop to think about what it is she actually wants. Relatively speaking, of course. She wants daisies to be brought in bunches. She wants an impromptu car ride to the hill, or to a swimming pool where illegal night swimming happens every Thursday. She gets caught up in it all. Yearning for Mr. Abbotsford to casually ask if she’d like her lawn…mowed Or her sidewalks…shoveled. Mr. Abbotsford is the closest thing she has to The Gardiner. The Contractor. The Mailman. All of these dream-boat men exist in her book, but in real life she has to take care of her own yard. Not so glamorous when the fantasy gets squandered by reality. She keeps her nose buried deep in the pages, afraid to look up. Afraid to get anything done.