“And when the revolution frees me” by Julia on her bed

Sunday June 21, 2020
9:16pm
5 minutes
Because We Are Not Taken Seriously
Stephen Dunn

It is the second last night. The penultimate write. It’s the almost goodbye but not quite. It’s the faith of the fingers, or the might. I’ve been showing up alright. All these years and delights, all these tears and all fights, wondering if I’m doing this right, or if strangers share my plight

I was going to say that this revolution has freed me, this decision then, this year around the sun has been a turning one, and all the hurting I’ve done has now been spun into gold plated fun on the page stage all won.

It’s hard to put in words, woe be to the the self-proclaimed writer.

“not with legends and poems” By Julia at her desk

Saturday June 13, 2020
9:56pm
5 minutes
Frederick Douglass
Robert Hayden

The evening is spent licking fingers and staring
off into the setting sun

Vitamin D is absorbed through the eyes, she says,
daughter of a doctor, and mine stay open while I drink

The car alarm is inspiring a new song and if we
collaborate with it instead of resist it we might

make music instead of promises
Although there’s nothing left to comment on

I still drag myself on walks to catch ladybugs
kissing small leaves

Something new will come if the route is changed
and I veer right without worry

Let it be and then something is inevitably introduced
to the old way and signals go off

The poems always come when the muscle stops fixating
when the arm throws a ball for the first time in the season

“as darkness under your eyelids” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Tuesday June 9, 2020
8:59pm
5 minutes
how to get over (be born: black…”)
T’ai Freedom Ford

You are the plum tree spitting fruit
and leaves to the ground
when you’re tired and inconsolable
Raging at the tiers of injustice
Unsure how to move in your foliage
How deep the roots reach towards water

Darkness under your eyelids with the depth of night
Rather peel back the bark than say something
Wrong
Only now do you smell the rot of last summer
You didn’t even know you were plugging your nose
Relish the quiet of dawn
Aren’t sure if you’re ready to dare towards sunlight

The veins scorch and it’s a lucky turn of fate
That the network below sustains you
Lifts you
Keeps you from sinking
You don’t wish for lightning to strike
But you wonder when it will and welcome a bolt
A jolt
A shaking from the cling of soil

“Go home. Get some sleep” by Julia on the bed

Wednesday June 3, 2020
2:29pm
5 minutes
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Michael Chabon

In the last few days we have seen the focus become singular, and good, and finally, and I know I could have pulled up sooner. I know what it means to not have to think about it daily, and not think of my own skin as more than skin. Skin in the game, singular, sorries.

When a friend posts about responding verses reacting to racisim, when a friend posts about needing all lanes and not to worry if you don’t occupy all of them.
These are resonating bells that some rest is needed to show up better and stronger and with attention.

“give me advice!” by Julia at the desk

Thursday May 28, 2020
8:51pm
5 minutes
from an email

I’ve been forbidden from giving advice and there’s nothing I can do.
I was told I can’t give it unless it’s asked of me, so who am I to
argue the great horoscope writer of these days? Maybe she has a point
these unsolicited comments that might not be helpful even though I
think I might see the light.

Lord rest this urge to give words when the silence is sweeter than me.

I have been listening with a scrunched up face like I’m about to say
something but I don’t, like I hear an opening to give a small piece
but then I won’t, cause the listening tells me I didn’t hear the words
that set the stage for giving more words.

I’m getting better at it. I’m realizing how little I’ve done in the
flesh and Ghandi said it best-when a woman asked him how to get her
son to stop eating sugar for a week he told her “Give me one week
and I’ll get back to you.” What did he need the week for? To practice
not having any sugar himself before he could tell her anything.

“We think you’ll like it here” by Julia, standing

Sunday, May 10, 2020
10:42am
5 minutes
From an email

Carmello films himself sanding wood for a new armoir that he plans to put in the bedroom
“First you have to have a plan”
he says to nobody, believing himself a guest on a late night talk show that cares about woodworking or Carmello in all his deadpan humour

“I know some of you like to finish the wood so it looks uniform, but for me the best part is highlighting the pieces that don’t customarily belong. It’s more assymetry for me these days that really excites me about being in the shop”

Carmello’s bedroom was in need of a revamp ever since Lydia cursed him out for not having enough space for all her things

“Maybe it’s time for you to downgrade some of your shit”
was the wrong thing to say to Lydia and he hadn’t heard from her since

Carmello began like this, slowly transforming himself and his life into something that a woman like Lydia would be proud to share, maybe even brag to her tit mouse friends about

“He always thinks of the little things, the fine details, the sweet intricacies”
He heard himself say in Lydia’s voice

“The cost of rural housing” by Sasha in the trundle room

Friday, May 1, 2020
11:05am
5 minutes
Life After the City
Charles Long

So being here with the robins and the apple blossoms
the sloping fields and the red winged black birds

the swamp and the cedar forest and
the big chest freezer and the turning garden

I think about rural living and how good
it feels to wear the same fleecy six days in a row

And add a log to the wood stove
while the girls make a “show”

Wildflower heart blooms ripe
I catch my own eye while brushing my teeth

And see someone new
Someone who I didn’t know I needed

Didn’t know I missed

“You are something like” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
7:16
5 minutes
Earthly Love
Nathaniel Perry

Robbie and I would talk while our mother’s ran the fundraising garage sale at the school. He looked like a cherub – round cheeks, blonde ringlets, big loonie eyes. Sweatpants with elastics around the ankles. Who cares about fashion when you’ve got that smile, that charm. Who cares about anything. Always a goner for the art of conversation. He made me laugh. Rolling change, trading stories, touching sneaker toes. Robbie. I never thought about him in any real special way until I ran into Tara out of the blue, who I hadn’t seen in years. She was babysitting my neighbour, Freddie. Tara somehow got to talking about boys (of course) and said that she had a huge love-on for this guy Robbie and then I jokingly said “Robbie Jenkins?” And she said, “Correct!”

“Curious, maybe, you’ll turn to books.” By Sasha at the kitchen table

Sunday January 26, 2020
5:02pm
5 minutes
When You See A Skimmer
David Gessner

When you’re in the eye of the storm, you turn to books, to education, to the belief that your grandfather instilled in you that “knowledge is power”, and, “the more you know, the less you’ll hurt”. (Okay, maybe not that last one, but, almost.) You get out every book from the library on faith. You search for poems on doubt, on loss. You set up an alter on your oak bookshelf and carefully place stones and piece of birch bark, tarot cards and affirmation stones. You read every moment you’re not working, cooking, shitting, making love. The stack of books beside your bed grows, and you grow too. Armed with knowing, you feel you can handle the crisis, weather the flames burning shingles and Cheerios, ratting windows and toenails.

“Look to the notes, if you need to” by Julia at Amanda’s

Tuesday December 31, 2019
2:40am
5 minutes
How To Read Music
Roger Evans

In the same place as I have been
There is a good chance I could have been smaller

If not for the noticing I would be spending my time intellectualizing
But not this year, no, no

I will be looking to the notes if I need to and when that’s not making sense I will let the interruption be the new

The prompt
The passage

And then maybe I will do something that you could be a strong bear about

That you could write home to your parents for and tell them of the giant steps taken from such tiny feet

“You are going to have to give and give and give”

Wednesday November 20, 2019
9:41pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Anne Lamott

What you want to say is the truth.
And you don’t know who’s reading this now after all the times you’ve talked about it.
Here’s a place where you do what you do and then afterwards another thing. A new thing.
A new.
What do you want them to know?
How ready you are? How sure?
Or the thing that scares you more.
How desperately you want to be a part of the ecosystem and how afraid you are that it might take more than a day.
How you want nothing more than for them to hold you useful, for them to know you good.
Is this where you tell them you’re ready but you give a damn so you feel shaky behind the eyes?
Is this where you say that you asked for them and the universe was good to you and gave you what you needed?
When do you tell them the truth?
That you don’t know everything and that you’re willing to learn?
That this whole thing is messy but you’d rather spoil your shirt than sit around waiting.
You are going to have to give and give and give some more.
But you are going to have to receive some too.
You’re going to have to fill up on what they have to offer.
You’re going to have to let them evolve your heart and your hands and your mind and your soul.
That’s the fear. That you will be different.
But I promise you that you will able to handle that.
You have always done this.
You have always found a way.

“it was just sort of whispered around my family” by Sasha at Bowmore

Friday October 25, 2019
3:10pm
5 minutes
Choosing Happiness
Veronica Ray

Stories woven like rugs by fingers nimble and tired
You weave from your side of the loom
I weave from mine
and we meet in the middle
sometimes
Where the colours come together

I did a bad drawing of a rug a few months ago
A bad job actualizing a metaphor with coloured pencils
I offered it to you as an olive branch
Trying to make sense of the chaos
Parse the fury
Re
collect the pieces

The rug was ripped out
But here’s our rug
I believe in our rug 
We made our rug 
We get to choose where it goes

I said something like one of these lines
You were as generous as you could be
holding the piece of recycled paper
unsure of everything especially this

“We need to withdraw from impatience” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday August 28, 2019
9:21pm
5 minutes
Quote by Carol Antony

And yes the clock strikes again and we think it’s Time doing the hitting but
we are the ones who have created the gong. We are the ones who have made violent the existence of passing hours.
I am no longer taking part in the flogging of Time.
What did Time do other than heal all wounds?
And return our hearts back to a functioning shape?
Did Time cross off the calendar or was that us again, trying to prove the finality
of things, the endings of days and longings for new ones?
Time fluttered lightly in the wind and we are the ones who caught it,
who captured it in a ticking bracelet and strapped it to our wrists as if it belonged to us.
Time kissed the forehead of every mourning mother, of every brand new life,
and whispered gently that we might remember.
Why must we place our minds in moments not yet lived or ones that have already past?
Isn’t there space to breathe anymore at the raw and open sky,
expanding past our dreams and doubts and daring hearts?

“we should not trust the masses” by Julia at M and D’s table

Thursday August 15, 2019
1:03pm
5 minutes
Discourses
Epictetus

This tiny bug starts crawling on my arm
and I know I’m not supposed to freak out
about a tiny bug but I’m afraid because
my dad told me that they were going to
suck my blood and even though I have
never seen teeth on a bug this teeny tiny
I believe him because he is my dad and
why would my dad lie to me especially
if it’s about being bit or not being bit

I am going to the Philippines with my
mom and my dad told me there were
all kinds of bugs flying around there so
now I am scared of the Philippines the
way I am afraid of my backyard because
what if I get bit and then I never get to
see him again and I shouldn’t be going
in the first place if I know that there are
bugs that are always trying to land on me

I didn’t apply to university because my
dad said that there are so many people
all at once and he reminded me that I
don’t do very will with big crowds because
someone might step on me or hurt me or
stab me or steal my purse or push me or
take me and put me in their car and hide
me in their basement for 4-7 years while
I am forced to eat dust and have their babies

“The vast majority of people don’t want to do anything physical” by Julia on the 4

Wednesday July 17, 2019
5:16pm
5 minutes
Overhead on the 4

People this and people that and man I’m with you but then again no I am not

I was with you a year ago
Everything I was a year ago was with you

I wanted to bitch and moan about anything I could wrap my tongue around

I wanted to hate everyone and everything because that made it easier to accept that I wasn’t going to be perfect either

The opposite, really

I wasn’t willing to accept myself in any shape or form so who got my shit talking?

The girl in the alley with her shorts riding her butt crack all the way to next Thursday

The guy bringing his yippy dog into the glasses shoppe and refusing to remove him

The baby crying on the plane

I don’t feel good about that last one but it’s the truth, alright, and that’s something worth clinging too

Nobody can drive
Nobody listens
Nobody cares about their bodies these days
All generalization and no examination
All avoidance and no allowance
All them them them against me me me

But I was against me by being against them

These are things I’ve learned

“shattered in a thousand pieces” by Julia on the 4

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
5:23pm
Sing to the Moon
Laura Mvula

I am not, if you thought maybe I might be. I think you think I already checked out, but I hadn’t.
I was afraid of saying the wrong thing. Saying the wrong thing has resulted in lashings before. Still have the scar of where you wielded the silent treatment.

I don’t have anger now and before if it seemed it, that was hurt wearing a little mask. A Little armour.

I knew you were done but I didn’t know it would come like this. I have an intuition about you and that might be because it’s been years, or because I’m listening to what you don’t say. You might be surprised to learn of how much I’m capable of. Change is the first thing. I’m glad you’ve come around to that.

“Little wallet multicolour has zip” by Sasha in her chair

Saturday June 29, 2019
12:03pm
5 minutes
from and old text from my dad

You should see me – bouncing on a big blue ball, in a blue dress, my two month old blue-eyed daughter wrapped to my body, her little breath rising and falling against my breath rising and falling. We breathe together, her and I, did for ten months and still do now that she’s out. The soundtrack of sawing, as usual. The house across the street has been under construction since we moved in two years ago. Or was it three years ago? I don’t have a good memory for years. I do have a good memory for feelings.

This is me getting my fingers back in shape, my wordsmith tools sharpened. It’s been a long time… Why do I leave you, dearest and most loyal friend? I need you, but I leave you. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. Maybe that explains something.

“The ads were put on billboards” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday June 26, 2019
12:02pm
5 minutes
The Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell

I’m sorry that I’ve been gone. I’ve missed you. I’ve missed this.

I’ve missed setting my timer (not for the laundry or lentils on the stove).

I’ve missed writing, so so much. Oh my God, I’m crying like writing died. Writing rested. While I learned about softening into the small body of a being so fresh she smells like clouds and caramel.

But then the page calls, soft and unassuming. Could almost miss it amidst all the growing, all the bursting open. Almost.

Things are changing everywhere. All the time. There are years, months, weeks, days where the changing feels so big that it’s all around. Like night. Or lake swimming.

Home smells like this place.

“please bring photo identification” by Julia at her desk

Sunday June 2, 2019
8:58pm
5 minutes
from an exam day info sheet

I don’t know why you want to see my photo ID. I told you it doesn’t look like me anymore because I’m a different person.
Or I don’t look like me then, you know what I mean? I’m no longer hating myself, and that’s the big difference right there. It’s hard to explain what that does to the face, but it changes it. You can ask Rene Zellweger. She wasn’t happy with how she was being represented in the world in her bodily form so she changed her life and then her face. Or maybe her face got changed first and then she felt she could change her life. To be honest it’s not really the same. But what I’m trying to convey to you is that I’m happier now and I no longer want to punish myself so the expression is different, my bloating has resolved, there’s a smile in my eye now.
Anyway you won’t understand what I mean, so I guess I’ll just show it to you.
It IS me. I just explained that to you. Ask me anything about the information on there, I can tell you those details in my sleep.
I didn’t have to memorize anything, they’re my details. They are. 67 Elizabeth street—Ugh, see I told you you wouldn’t believe me.
Why would I be trying to pass as a 32 year old? That’s not common!

“All skill levels” by Julia on the 17

Saturday June 1, 2019
4:10pm
5 minutes
From a sign on the street

You want to be inclusive, right, whip your hands into a circle, knot them twice.
Everybody here holds hands.
We don’t care who you are or what “level” you think you’re at or on or what have you, but we all play on the same turf here, and that’s called Right Now.
Right Now doesn’t ask you where you’re from or if you think you’re a part of a special club. Right Now doesn’t care what you did or who you screamed at or what you wished for.
Right Now has no expectations because Right Now changes every second. Right Now knows you and your right now is changing too.
So grab a patch of palm from your neighbour from another neighbourhood and close your freaking eyes all the way to the bone.

“a stretch of road, a write, and birch trees” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday April 14, 2019
3:04pm
5 minutes
The Death Of The Partisan Girl
Tom Wayman

Grief has a way of tossing around the heart
a big ginger cat pawing
the beating thing
back and forth and down
by the curb
a stretch of road ahead
that’s sketched in the colours
of a face you’ll never stop missing

You’re not the only one
who wakes up with tears on her pillow
the words to a song you haven’t thought of in years
swinging from the branches of the
dawn mind

You see other people rushing and hustling
and calling and tripping
and a friend tells you that you’ve changed

I have changed
you say and your voice catches
because isn’t change the only thing
that we can count on?

“no matter how uncomfortable staying has become.” By Sasha in her bed

Sunday March 10, 2019
4:07pm
5 minutes
Devil With a Briefcase
Jan Janzen

You finally know what it is that you need to do
Now it’s just a matter of cracking open the outer shell
Scrambling yourself
Daring to be reborn

You sit with what it is that you need to do
for many long weeks
Sunday to Monday feeling like Winter to Fall
Time is a strange charade

A Sunday in March you dream about flying
your wings are the colour of the future
You can’t put your finger on the truth on your lips
but it’s there and it’s ready

You thought that staying with yourself
in all your stunning wretched you-ness
was just the practise of being alive
But it’s not and you’re not and now you’re

Pushing your fingers through the first bit of light

“such a confusing tableau.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday February 5, 2019
8:11am
5 minutes
How To Change Your Mind
Michael Pollan
readying myself for this has become
unclenching my jaw
resting
loving deeply and truthfully
being clear about when it’s
yes
and when it’s
no
my days are a journal entry
a devotion
my mind is losing her sharpness
her edge
my heart is wider than ever
i wonder how you’ll love me
now that i’m new
how the sisters i drunk and
danced with will bear the change
i read in my nest
in the bed where she landed
page after page
gorging on preparation
i drink more water
eat more dates
look for soft things
find soft places in myself
that i wasn’t sure would arrive
they have
i welcome them
oh sweetness
stillness
opening

“law of human psychology” by Julia at the bus stop

Thursday January 24, 2019
4:08pm
5 minutes
A quote by William Pickens

Lynn was excited to drop her psych classes and start taking theatre. She knew she belonged on stage, or with actors, or in a daydream maybe. She had never done anything for herself in her short life. Both her parents were doctors, one therapist, one orthopaedic surgeon. She was supposed to be a doctor too, and they said the field of medicine is up to her. That was all that was up to her. She started seeing the theatre kids around the halls, wearing black, singing in unison. Lynn didn’t remember the last time she let herself sing outside of the shower. It looked incredibly freeing! Maybe even spiritual. All this time she wished she could tell stories to audiences willing to hear them. She pictured herself being blinded by he stage lights and glowing from the inside out. If she left psych she would have to pay for everything else on her own. Lynn couldn’t wait to start working as a relief receptionist at the ESL centre to finally be in control of her own destiny.

“How are you feeling?” By Julia on her couch

Saturday January 12, 2019
12:27am
5 minutes
From a text

It’s been a year and some things are still buried in the yard alongside all the other bodies too cold to touch

I wonder sometimes if you’re waiting for me to wear an apology that doesn’t belong to me on my back—
Maybe thinking it’s owed to you or something. I have to try not to take that on at all because you can’t always get what you want.

It’s been a year and some days I think you don’t notice how much we’ve both changed. Some days feel like I’m right back where I started, eating lies around you to keep you up.

I don’t want to tell you how I really am. What I really think. I’m not sure if you deserve it.

“There is no rule that is true under the circumstances” by Julia at her desk

Sunday January 6, 2019
8:40pm
5 minutes
Synchronicity
C.G. Jung

We have to shift every time
it is not something we’ve done once
and always know now
We are reminding each other often
Today there were tears and maybe
that’s the only thing we can
expect after all these days

Walking along the beach today
you say that no matter what
you think it’s going to be in
your head, the only certainty
you can rely on, is that it won’t

I believe people can change and
retract their previous opinions
That’s what learning is all about
Knowing a thing you didn’t know
before and seeing through a different
perspective

We have to shift every time
We know nothing will be as
we think it will even if we want
it to be it with all of our heart’s
deep and steady longing

I suppose we have to get good at
believing in the great presence
of love unconditional
When it is there it is always there
and there is no need to question it

Walking along the beach today I do
not even think to question it
I have it in my skin
and I know it

“perhaps he really knew nothing” by Julia at Amanda’s

Tuesday December 25, 2018
9:30pm
5 minutes
The Trial
Franz Kafka

The night before is a blur now,
book-ended by so many sweet sounds
He tells me he admires me
Complex, he says, And damn good at it
I want to thank him for saying that
For putting words to that level of seeing me
I felt sorry the whole damn day
My eyelashes stung like Angel wings clipped at the tip
I can be so difficult to love when I am this repetitive
This growth of heart choosing the only way it knows how
I could say every year gets better
I could make sure I write that down
and read it back one night after tea

“all past, present or future actions” by Julia at Amanda’s island

Wednesday December 19, 2018
11:11pm
5 minutes
From an application form

It’s about anger now. I’m about to let the lid off this house and cry to the high heavens.
Nobody wants me mad. Wants me dripping instead. Wants me nothing. I was nothing before this. I was very close to needing too much. You made me angry and now it’s about anger. Maybe that was your plan all along. I’m about to give over to it. It’s close to taking refuge in the soft spot of my nice. Nice no longer exists and hasn’t for a long time now. Have you been paying attention? It’s gone. I don’t think it ever was. Naive maybe. Spineless used to be here. You remember, don’t you? Nothing you said ever got a No from me? That was all the fear of being real showing through. Every other time I was real I got the boot. People disappeared like sugar being poured into a hot cup. The taste of desperation gets an addict hunting for her next fix. It’s not about feeding those demons anymore. It’s about the anger, like I said. I couldn’t be clearer. Things are going to change. You will be the first one to see it.

“We may not be able to accommodate” by Julia at the airport

Monday December 17, 2018
9:29pm
5 minutes
overheard at YVR

I’m worried that soon I will be alone. All these years of keeping up with every friend and staying in touch. It’s dwindling now. I either hate the people I used to love or they’ve forgotten about me. Usually I hate them because they’ve forgotten about me. Let the relationship fizzle out. I stopped contacting everyone and that’s all it took I suppose.
Soon I will be all alone. I will talk to myself. I will call my family on the weekend. I will not need the people who think they’re better than me or more woke than me. I already find myself angry. Quietly seething at some. I don’t trust the ones who lie to themselves. And I won’t miss them when they’re gone. I don’t have that bone. It wouldn’t do any good anyway.

“face/integrate/deal with.” By Sasha at her coffee table

Sunday December 16, 2018
10:50pm
5 minutes
From a text

Face the reality that despite all the books read and classes attended and the very best of intentions (the very very very very very best), you will make so many mistakes and not know what you’re doing and be the person you want to be mostly and the person you don’t want to be sometimes and that’s all okay. Get really good at saying, “Whoops!” and letting shit go. Start practising that now. “Whoops!”

Integrate the knowledge that life will never be the same, that this is the biggest change possible, and that change is sometimes hard for you. It’s miraculous and mundane It’s good. This is good. It will be good.

Deal with the finger-waving ghosts in your heart, in your closet, in your suitcase, in your vegetable crisper. You won’t have the same kind of space to meet them and greet them and face them come Spring.

“I wonder if it’s the time of night” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday December 9, 2018
10:53pm
5 minutes
Tulips for Barbara
Ann E. Michael

Under the brush of this season
there’s a fire spreading across
the frost

You know it
I know it

Soup won’t help and neither
will twinkle lights

Sometimes there are times
when we have to fall deeper
into the unknowing

than we ever thought
possible

where purple and blue
make a new colour

where blood vessels
carve rivers in new bodies
held in old bodies
held in tree hollows

“take on any city” by Julia on the 99

Tuesday October 30, 2018
6:07pm
5 minutes
A Mercedes-Benz ad

got our bags packed
our walking shoes
makes no difference
to me where we go
with you I cant lose

the salty wind has
been kissing our cheeks
but maybe there’s another
hymn that wants to lull
us to sleep

you’ve decided every
single time but I guess
I’m not the arguing kind
I haven’t been kept up at night so looks like I trust
you babe

There we’ll lean in and
grow into our grandfather skin
treat wednesday night like
sunday morning until we
forget which year it is

cross the path that has
been stepped on many times
by boots of big decision
you and me are going
someday soon

“synonymous with yesterday” by Julia at her desk

Saturday October 27, 2018
10:18pm
5 minutes
Golf Nouveau
Conan Tobias

Old Me
Old you
Old self
Longings
Youth
mistakes
Me stuck
you falling
recipe for who I used to be
Old Me
Old You
Longing
Younger
Before Grace
High Horse Happy
Me, as Doormat
Me, as Blessed for Blaming
Something synonymous with yesterday
Old me
Old you
better judgement
trial by error
Belief against time
Yesterday
Yesterday before grace,
Me on high horse to
prevent me as Doormat
Something yesterday
Dream left lingering
Memory
Proofju
wishing
Lost
Yesterday
Yesterday

“Embrace Change” by Julia on the 351

Tuesday October 23, 2018
2:57pm
5 minutes
a BIRKS ad

I think the guts of me are changing
The literal guts of me and the figurative ones
The ones that weren’t there before are here now
You know when they say
It takes guts to do something like that
Well if you don’t have them does the thing every get done?
Now it feels like my guts are all happy to be in me
Knowing they’re going to be used for doing something
They are all on board and asking to be taken
Yes please take these guts and jump!
And my literal guts are different
Cause I give them what they need every day and they know that they’re not being used to filter out the wrong stuff
Before I think they did their job almost begrudgingly
It takes guts to do something like that
Fine I guess since we’re here we can but it’s really beyond our pay grade
Guts can’t work on everything for nothing
Now I know this
And I’m changing

“books about people living on the street” by Julia in The Loop, Chicago

Saturday September 8, 2018
10:39pm
5 minutes
Searching, results
Shawn Syms

I walked into a bookstore today. The shelves were lined with post-it-notes telling me which staff member recommended which book. The girl working the counter had a tattoo of a strawberry wearing sunglasses. She recommended the Miranda July and I thought she and I would be friends. Mariella, the store owner, had recommended a few books about the housing crisis and single room occupancies. When I asked the girl with the same lipcolour on as me if she had read Mariella’s recommendations, she got real quiet and said, Mar used to live on the streets. She built this place so it’d be here for anyone who might need it. That’s why we’re open so late.

“she died before age forty” by Julia at Wabash and Washington, Chicago

Friday September 7, 2018
12:44am
5 minutes
F*** Face
Amber Dawn

She didn’t know what she wanted. Thought she wanted to change some minds and open some hearts. Thought she wanted to tell the truth and free herself of the lies she told herself. Guess some
dreams never come true. Guess some hopes are too high to reach.

On a Friday she realizes she
needs to define her path. She cries about the roadblocks but doesn’t even know the road. Her friends seem to be making strides. Putting their hands in all the right collection plates, offering themselves to the highest bidder. Maybe God is a good excuse not to do anything. Maybe having a baby is a better one.

She didn’t know how much the lion’s roar would sadden her. She didn’t know how small a big thing kept would feel when she wasn’t allowed to be free. Guess some dreams never come true. Guess some hopes are too high to reach.

“Where every member is a minister” by Sasha at her desk

Monday July 9, 2018
10:03am
5 minutes
from a business card

She dreams of parliament. She dreams of platforms. She dreams of knowing how to articulate all the change that she wants to make and that everyone listens. She dreams she’s speaking to a cabinet of women. Some are stretching. Some are breastfeeding. Some are rolling their eyes. Some are interrupting. She dreams that they find their way. She dreams of a world where she might prioritize childcare, elder care, health care. CARE. She dreams of being allowed to fail and that failure won’t haunt her. She dreams of risk. She dreams of loss. She dreams of calling another leader and deciding she will unleash the tidal wave of wrong-doings.

“For the sea lies all about us…” by Julia on her couch

Monday July 2, 2018
9:38pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rachel Carson

The moment I decide I will love you forever you turn into a sea slug
It is my curse of course
I’m the one who made it happen
Earlier you are bright and light and good all over
You have the smile that makes me remember why I choose you
You smell lime fresh
Avocado sweet
And then the sun drops from his throne
The sky changing colour from orange to purple to earth pink
Suddenly you do not want me around
You are weary of me
You are wishing I was dead or asleep or a seagull passing over the ocean for the last time
This might be a truth
This might be a lie
A story that I tell myself when loving you as is feels too scary to do
I am scared of how easily the light can switch
How little weight my word holds

“Maybe it felt like too much power” by Julia in her bed

Friday June 29, 2018
1:37am
5 minutes
Motherhood
Sheila Heti

I might go into the open field and kneel down, cry into the open sky and calm down, drink from a stranger’s cup. I might tell someone I’ll never see again that the worst thing we can do is throw away the key to the cage we’ve put ourselves in. Forget to get out of our own way and start listening to time as reminder, not murderer. Not weaker than us. Time isn’t interested in hanging out with people who aren’t good at patience. At taking action, at promises. Cause when you say it, then you’ve said it. Once it’s left you, it’s left. And then what? We must?

“Rule # 17: Act a little stupid.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday June 14, 2018
11:32pm
5 minutes
The Queen Of Hearts
Kathleen Hawes

I’m not sure when I started playing dumb
started dumbing down
started acting a little stupid
started laughing when things weren’t funny
started seeing how far I could get
on eyelashes and witty words
How many drinks
how many drinks

how many drinkssss

Please

Was it when I needed an excuse for my body
needed to explain the sudden newness
needed a reason for all this extra?

Was it when I realized I could wield it
but it wasn’t power it was giving over
it was giving up
it was giving

Giving

Nostalgia turns the edge of memory up
flips the corners so that I’m just
not so sure about anything
not so sure about everything

“Someone has opened a giant map” by Julia at her desk

Monday April 30, 2018
9:09pm
The Wall
Bruce Guernsey

said he didn’t want the globe i had my eye on
said it would take up too much room on the table
and i said what else are dreams for and he didn’t
seem to get it and the discussion was case closed
then he left and i got a tiny globe that used to
be a tiny piggy bank of the world but the bottom
fell out and i got it for free so i brought it
home and put it on the table and i waited for him
to tell me to get rid of the damn thing taking
up too much space on the freaking living room table
but when he got home he saw the tiny globe and said
oh nice globe i’ve always wanted a globe and i
didn’t say anything because i’ve always wanted a
globe and now i had one and it wasn’t being thrown
away or talked about badly or hurled against me
i said that one used to be a piggy bank but the
bottom fell out so now it’s just a tiny globe
but it’s always been a place to put your change

“How could I predict” by Julia in her bed

Sunday April 29, 2018
8:45am
5 minutes
The Address Book
Louis Phillips

I wonder how I was supposed to know
how I was supposed to recognize you after all this time away
Your face changes every time you come back to me and my eyes are different too
Was I supposed to look for the switch of your skin
wait for the weight of your arm in my lap as you slept
and I wrote
Was I supposed to open the door and feel it
Maybe it’s in the hours collecting one by one in the bottomless hope of our pockets
Maybe after breakfast together one day or after lunch or after dinner

“hesitating to” by Julia on Amanda’s tub

Saturday December 30, 2017
2:08am
5 minutes
From a tweet

Tell you the truth

Telling myself first

Listening

Believing you’re right

Believing I’m wrong

Go to the bathroom

Leaving the moment

Leaving the bar

Say something I’ll regret

To let you get away with it all

To let you have the last word

To agree with you

Disagree

Cry in front of you

Tell you about the hurt

Relive the hurt

Let you see me hurt

Be hurt

Ask for clarification

To cry when you cry

To hug you

To tell you I love you

To relive the past

To share what I’m feeling

To apologize

Fight

Forgive

Order another drink

Let you leave in anger

Keep you there in anger

Fight

Forgive

Fight

Forgive

Ask you to write me something

Ask you to read something

Admit I don’t know

“Thank you for delivering your promise…” by Julia at her desk

Thursday September 28, 2017
6:41pm
5 minutes
from an email

I want to start by saying your work is very good. And I mean very good. You surprised me. I didn’t think you had it in you. I want to continue to be honest with you, and you have given me a lot to think about. When you first started here you had a hot head and your inexperience hung off of you. I don’t know if you were always this determined but whatever you’ve done to change your energy has done wonders for you. It actually makes me want to support your artistry. Before, I didn’t want anything to do with you. I didn’t like being in the same room as you. I found you entitled. And obnoxious. And when not checked regularly, slightly violent in your approach. I don’t see that anymore, but I do think it’s important for you to know what I did see before you decided to change your mind. I want to thank you for delivering your promise to me about “giving a fuck” as you put it. I am impressed by that and that now your work speaks for itself without your shadow lurking near by, ready to sabotage all of your light. I hope you know that I wouldn’t say all of this if it weren’t true.

“Woman suspended” by Julia in her bed


Monday September 4, 2017
10:58pm
5 minutes
from the BBC News app

I don’t want to get this one wrong. Tell me the events as best as you can remember them.

Hill stares at Joan, her eyes filling up.
I told you, I did it. I did it all. One minute I was against the wall and the next minute he’s against the wall. I don’t remember what happened in the middle but I feel different. Do you get that? I feel like there’s been a shift in my spine. My spirit. I am telling you it’s like I had a different one before.

Joan jots down on her graph paper legal pad. She looks back up at Hill.

“while the couple works out their troubles without distraction” by Julia on the 99


Monday June 12, 2017
5:00pm
5 minutes
Committed
Elizabeth Gilbert


My sister tells me she doesn’t want kids and it ruins everything. I know she used to but then she dated a man she didn’t want to have a copy of so she changed her mind and then things were better for her. I always thought if anyone, it would be her, and I would happily be the world’s best Zia to her kid, and even co-parent when I needed to. My sister breaks my heart accidentally when she breaks the news. I wonder who will give our parents grandchildren now? Isn’t she the one who has always done the right thing? Up till this I have been very lucky that no one expects much of me other than poetry and improvised musicals about my day.
How weird it must be for everyone that I’m the one who caught the bouquet at Stef’s wedding, and guessed the exact measurement of Cheryl’s pregnant belly at her baby shower.

“There is nothing here” by Sasha on her balcony


Thursday May 25, 2017
7:05pm
5 minutes
This is It
James Broughton


The movie theatre where I see Titanic in 1997
– clutching my sister’s hand
crying on the subway the whole way home –
it’s a drugstore now.

The house where I am born on Victoria Park
ravine stretching down the back
– treasure walks and birthday cake
and running through the sprinkler –
has a different coloured roof
and door.

There is nothing here that tells time
like the precise blur
of my nostalgia
a patina of fingerprints
marking grace
and doubt.

“they fought amongst themselves” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 10, 2017
9:42pm
5 minutes
True Confessions Of Adrian Albert Mole
Sue Townsend


It took a long time for us to go back and visit
the pussy willow tree overgrowing the back deck
so much they chopped it down in all the impulsive
places
the gold stars sponge painted on the downstairs bathroom walls
the office converted into a nursery
the playroom now belonging to the boy who once
convinced me to show him my orange star underwear
They smiled sweetly at us like they weren’t responsible
for making us move to a better town filled with
worse people
they never apologized for the pussy willow tree
or the black berry bush
or the playroom
they volly whispers back and forth
about asking us if we’d like something to eat,
a danish or a banana

“silent as the folds of the yellow” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday April 18, 2017
5:40pm
5 minutes
Up
Magaret Atwood


He held me last night while I wept
nimbus and grey “Transitions are hard for you
honey” He said and I denied it and I swept it
under the wool couch pillow that used to belong
to a stranger’s grandmother A stranger mother
haunting the beige and the brown

I looked myself in the eye like I would a
daughter this morning Right there into the
middle into the black
“You can do this, my love,” I said and I
felt the hot water rise again boil again
It had been quite some time since I spoke
to myself with such tenderness

“Is Mommy pretty…” by Julia on Quinn’s couch


Friday March 24, 2017
9:19pm
5 minutes
Is Mommy?
Victoria Chang


She wouldn’t like that I am telling you this but when I was young I would have said my mom made the best Caesar salads out of anyone because she used those bacon bits or those “facon” bits or whatever they were called. She would tell you she knows better these days. She might even say that it wasn’t true.
I would have said that my mom liked to yell.
She’d say she didn’t like it but she had to do it because we misbehaved a lot. Misbehaving meant bickering with one another. Misbehaving meant not listening to her.
I would have said that she smelled like vanilla and could whoop your ass in Tetras.

“First we marched” by Julia on her couch


Sunday January 22, 2017
8:18pm
5 minutes
from a tweet

And then we cried and
then we cried some more because the road, though paved with many,
is a long one and we will travel it far…
But then we wrote
and wrote and then
we wrote some more
because the pages were begging
us to:
new history books in the making
New essays to recount and remember
new letters to fight
to will.
New anthems to cling to
New poetry to heal by
We wrote out our deepest hurt
and bled the deepest
divide
We told ourselves in cursive or in print to remember

“Can’t wait to share” by Julia in her bed


Sunday January 8, 2016
10:28pm
5 minutes
from a card

Brought home some new ideas baby
Got those Hot Off The Presses-Can’t Wait To Share Ems and they’re burning a hole in my pockets
The walls are streaked too
See they’re so big baby
Can’t contain them in the realm of what if cause they’re so real and so hard to ignore
We can test some out tonight
Don’t have to wait until tomorrow
Cause I can’t wait until tomorrow
Love is one of them but my oh my that’s not even the surprise
Can’t wait to-
Thinking I shouldn’t have to-
Love is in all of them baby
All the ideas about bigger better brightest baby
You can feel it already can’t you?
You can feel it in the floor boards bouncing off each spiderweb
Until
Boing
There
The running in one spot
stops

“she honestly does not have those impulses” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday November 16, 2016
8:48pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio


I used to say no when I was younger
Labelled difficult
Used to feel everything so strongly
labelled irrational
emotional
sensitive
weak
My sister is 7 and I am 5 and she is having her first Holy fucking communion
I am 5 and she is 7 and she is wearing white, hair in a bun, dressy shoes, holding a rosary
holding attention
getting gifts
for being older?
For having hair that cooperates into a bun?
I am 5 and she is 7 and I have to smile in photographs because my dress is being cute and that is my only job too?
I say No to the photos and to the people fussing over her and to this stupid fucking dress that is not cute enough to keep me from scowling
Labeled younger sister
labeled difficult
irrational
sensitive
jealous
I am 5 and my sister is 7 and everybody loves her more than me
and no one explained this part to me
and nobody warned me about the shadow
and nobody told me I was allowed to feel anything
Nobody heard No and thought
that’s right
let’s not betray ourselves
let’s feel what we feel
and still love each other

“contemporary re-imagining” by Julia at Lindsay’s apartment


Thursday September 15, 2016
11:30pm
5 minutes
from an email from PTC

Couldn’t see past the glare of the sun
You were standing there dripping wet
You had just leaped out of a rainbow or something
And you were bright
and I wanted to love you.
Thought it best to keep you out of full view
I might have wanted to sculpt you better
More the shape and size that I know I would need later on
But if I couldn’t see you
I wouldn’t be able to find anything wrong
I liked your stamina
You stood there dripping colours that I had already promised myself
The ones I had proposed to
And you seemed to be smiling
I could have kept you happy in that perfect moment
I could have remembered to breathe deep and follow it into myself like the book woman said
I could have let you stand there exposed in all your offering
As a comfort to myself
And to you

“We’ll discuss some of the best” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, July 23, 2016
1:12am
5 minutes
vancouvertrails.com

On the walk home tonight you grabbed my hand so I wouldn’t tumble down the hill and told me you were seriously considering buying a camper van.
It was a nice moment.
I could tell you more about what I was thinking inside my head when you said it.
I could say that I wanted to know you forever right then and there. I could say I wasn’t sure all this time because I was convinced you would find a reason to leave me but then I was. And it felt different. It felt different than being weary of you. It felt different being so completely certain.
But I didn’t say any of those things. I smiled at you. I gripped your hand tighter. And I looked into your eyes with a deep sadness for all the moments before I doubted you. The moments before I doubted you could love me as much as I loved you and as much as I needed to be loved.
So I think that was enough.
I think that was all I needed to do.
And then we came home and baked some tortilla chips because why the fuck not.

“You change when you want to change” by Julia at her dining table


Monday May 16, 2016
10:35pm
5 minutes
huffingtonpost.com

Eden was on her way to change it for good. She had thought about keeping it, of course she had. But she also needed to listen to her spirit and stop letting her be trapped by a name that didn’t fit? Eden didn’t choose her name and most of us don’t change them, but Eden wanted something that felt more like the her she had become and gotten to know. Eden’s best friend, Jack said that we aren’t suited to name ourselves which is why we are given a name before we can see. Someone else takes away the pressure for us and we get to just be. But Eden didn’t believe that it was meant to be that way at all. That maybe if she just had more understanding and open-minded parents in the first place, they would have let her choose her own name eventually, and she would have made it clear enough to them what it would be through repetition and attraction. She was doing it today whether people agreed with it or not. She at least waited till her mother had died before she decided to do it.

“What? What’s wrong?” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, March 28, 2016
10:17pm
5 minutes
from some sides

You ask me what I’m not telling you for the second time because my face looks like it’s hiding something from you. I don’t know why I keep saying,

Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.

If this were a year ago you’d have stopped questioning, whether you believed me or not, assuming you believed me, assuming you didn’t care to take notice when I said something I mean or when I didn’t.
Now you won’t let up and you won’t let me wallow and you won’t let me silently hate you or me if that’s what you think I think I’m doing. I should be grateful that you notice my subtleties now, that you inquire past surface level, that you don’t let me get away with the idea of performing perfect or unbothered or both.
But I guess I am holding on to that a bit so I won’t be held accountable to explain my feelings. To name them.
The only thing I want to say right now is,

Sometimes I don’t think you really love me.

Even though that’s ludicrous. I don’t want to say that to you now because I know how untrue that statement really is. I just want to hear you say

Always.
Always.
Always.

“that you already know and like.” By Julia at her dining table


Monday February 22, 2016
9:11pm
5 minutes
gnoosic.com

I am having a party
putting up balloons
decorating the whole house with streamers
and pictures
to celebrate the journey
to congratulate for not giving up
giving away loot bags at the end of the night
filled with moments of strength
examples of accepting imperfection
honesty
some vulnerability tossed in for good measure
I am inviting all my past selves
Like a reunion
But better
I will tell them
DRESS CODE IN EFFECT
And they will show up
wearing their sorrys
and their lessons
on their sleeves
carrying abundance and respect
in each jean pocket
I am saying farewell to fear
Sending her off on vacation
Killing three birds with one stone
honouring growth
A goodbye party for that which no longer serves me
And a good excuse to celebrate
Because the hill was high
but I’ve climbed it

“imagining our future.” By Julia at her dining table


Wednesday February 10, 2016
10:19pm
5 minutes
CBC.ca/books

When I think of our children, we only have 2, you win, I see one with little curls, one with glasses, and both with big innocent loving smiles. How bad would it be if I pictured our kids frowning? They’re not, though. They’re so happy. They have your heart. They have your never ending optimism and your family first attitude. They have my temper, both hilarious and terrifying. I like that they snarl at things as much as they laugh. They don’t give up when enough is enough. They don’t understand “enough.” Maybe I shouldn’t be proud that they’re miniature versions of a trait I’m trying to eradicate. But I am. Anger is an emotion that creates change, carries it, lifts it up, and shoots it to the moon. I think Alanis said that. The part about anger being the vessel for moving forward.

“She didn’t need to tell me.” By Julia on her brother’s old bed


Wednesday, December 30, 2015
12:18 am
5 minutes
The Globe and Mail – Facts and Arguments
Monday, December 28, 2015
Yasmin Halfnight


She didn’t need to tell me I was being an asshole to her. I knew. I laid awake the whole night thinking about how kind my mom is and how short I can be when things don’t go exactly my way. Trying to prove myself to the woman who made me, sees right through me, detects my bullshit, and still loves me boundlessly anyway. In my mind I was just expressing myself, feeling impassioned by my need to be heard and understood, offering a lesson that otherwise might never have been found. But when I played back the sound of my voice, it was not compassion, though I believed it was, but the desperate attempt at impressing her, the woman who made me, sees right though me, hears my bullshit, and still loves me anyway. She didn’t need to say anything at all.

“good times” by Julia at her island


Wednesday, December 23, 2015
12:13am
5 minutes
from the back of a CD

Memories are being made in our perfect little apartment
I can see you from across the room and I like that I can take in every part of you now
Before I think I forgot to make eye contact with you
We sat side by side so we got used to staring straight ahead
It was more comfortable that way
Now I can see you from a distance
See your smile
Your strength
Your genuine desire to help me
Memories are being made here
We sit on our properly sized couch and remember how things used to me
We are learning to remember our hardships as the golden thread in our tapestry
The through line in our story
The magic of perspective and just-desserts
We can see the mountains from our bedroom window
We can see the ocean from our dining room table
We can see the future of our love expanding when it finally has the space to grow
These are good times
These are our good times

“Safety” by Julia at her dining room table


Saturday, December 19, 2015
11:02pm
5 minutes
from the back of matches

There’s a level of discomfort that follows a perfect moment. It’s perfect until it’s not, fading into something hard to sit in. That second after the joint decision to bask in the glory of said perfect moment is made up of tiny doubts, fears, deep-swimming insecurities-or truths that we usually find more grace to disguise. I think it comes from wanting the next moment to be as good as the one before but it can only be anything close if it were the exact same moment and no two moments can be replicated no matter how badly we want them to be. So I guess it comes down to choices. Going left or right directly after the experience of tiny perfection. Does it live in us as a thing we both just know now, or does it change every moment after it by being so tightly clutched that we start to live in debt of that particular instance? Trying to pay it back forever.
I want to know…

“technically I could be there by” by Julia on her couch


Saturday November 28, 2015
11:10pm
5 minutes
From an email

Alana has stopped dreaming in colour and can’t figure out why
Maybe ever since she started seeing Rich things have been different
Maybe ever since she started filling her prescriptions and taking her pills
Maybe ever since she stopped eating cheese
Nothing makes Alana more upset then to think of her head as a black and white pod of pain
She feels like Dorothy before the tornado
She feels like somebody who isn’t her
She feels like her imagination is being replaced with something sad
Rich wakes up each morning with obnoxiously detailed dreams
Rich dreams in colour
Rich tells Alana how crazy it all was every single day
Alana used to dream the way Rich does
She used to remember every bit of them and sometimes use them to write her music
She used to look forward to going to sleep

“Maybe we shouldn’t” by Julia on her couch


Saturday November 21, 2015
11:40pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Eastside Culture Crawl

Maybe we shouldn’t talk about the future, about how many kids you want, or how many pieces of artwork we don’t agree on. Maybe we shouldn’t.
Maybe we shouldn’t tell each other everything just in case we wake up one time in the middle of the night and realize there’s nothing left to learn. Maybe we shouldn’t.
Maybe we shouldn’t co-own anything unless that thing is a fruit and custard pull-away tart from the coffee shop on the corner where the barista is mean to you. Maybe we shouldn’t.
Maybe we shouldn’t wait for the other one to be honest about the things we’re afraid of first. Maybe there’s pain in the waiting. Maybe there’s disaster in the lie before it becomes the truth.
Maybe we shouldn’t tell our parents, when they ask what we did last night, that we didn’t leave our beds because we were too high to stand up. Maybe we shouldn’t.

“store solar power” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday November 18,2015
10:07pm
5 minutes
from a tweet by the Globe and Mail

When we’re alone after a full day of kissing my family and eating tortelli you tell me there’s this new game you can’t wait to play when we get home. I don’t know why, but this bothers me. I can’t tell why I’m upset by this. You’re not hurting me by playing. Or are you? I haven’t figured out why my insides are twisting and my veins are pulsing. Am I looking for a reason to be mad at you? I try to delay my response because I’m worried it’ll come out naggy, or pissed off. I would much rather come to the conclusion of my feelings before involving you in an outburst. Is it because I wish I had something to look forward to when we go home? Is it because we have plans when we get home and you’re blowing me off? Do we have plans at all? I’m mad at how mad I am without quite knowing why. I rack my brain for instances to refresh my memory about why it is I can’t handle this decision. It seems like one you’ve made before. I remember that. Or something like it…

“Rainfall warning” by Sasha on the couch at Pascoe Rd.


Thursday November 12, 2015
10:36pm
5 minutes
from the weather network

What you can do:
Be present.
Hold space.
Actually listen (ie. refrain from thinking about whether or not your lover just texted a sexy picture of their shoulders or what you’re going to have for dinner).
Breathe deep and feel your feet on the floor.
Bring Sleepytime tea and a hot water bottle with a dog on it. Even if there’s a rainfall warning or a blizzard or you really just want to stay in your pyjamas and watch reruns of Nashville.
Stay for a sleepover and rub her back until she’s sleeping even if you are also tired. Wait until she falls asleep and then you can follow.

What you can say:
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I love you.”
“I support whatever choice you make.”
“I believe you.”

“in response to” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday November 11, 2015
6:11pm
5 minutes
From Performing Site Specific Theatre
Ed. Anna Birch and Joanne Tompkins


my mother’s mother had a strong jaw
my mother has a strong jaw
i have a
strong jaw
women like foothills
hips that lead to knowing
women like water
shoulders that feel the weight

my mother’s mother
all interruption
all control
all strength
all smoke
all ash
all sun
all dust
all breath
all power
all shame
all grace
all cherry tree
all candle wax
all salt
all curve
all language

my mother’s mother
a legacy of cabbage rolls
chocolate worship
picked the scabs on her arms until she bled
i pick the scab on my arm until i bleed
the story spins a web of then and now
my future daughter
my mother’s mother
my mother
my sister
the story spins a dreidel
marking roots
marking laugh lines
marking tear tracks
marking what’s good
what’s bad
the space between

“really only happy when working” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday November 3, 2015
10:46pm
5 minutes
chaninicholas.com

I called him from the parking lot on my lunch break.
“Hi!”
“Hi? Is everything okay?”
“Yup! It is okay. It is all okay!”
“Okay….did you need something then?”
“Why, do I need to need something to call my lover in the middle of the day?”
“No…not exactly…What’s going on, seriously?”
“I’m just so happy. I wanted to be happy in this moment with you.”
“Oh.”
“You got cynical!”
“And you’re cured now?’
I kicked a giant rock at my foot toward the fence. I debated hanging up right there on the spot, calling back, and pretending to be in pain.
“I didn’t say I was cured. I’m just trying to be positive.”
“Oh.”
“If you’d rather I didn’t try to turn my life around and try to change my opinion, just say the word.”
“You know that’s not what this..that’s not what I mean.”
“No, I know, I know what you mean.”

“But it clearly manifests itself” by Sasha in her bed


Thursday October 29, 2015
8:30pm
5 minutes
The Real Terror Network
Edward S. Herman


Poseidon feels bad about the fish-sticks he eats. “They were on sale,” he whispers as we waits for them to crisp up in the toaster oven. He squirts ketchup on his plate in preparation. “It’s okay,” he says, biting down, the flaky white fish filling his mouth with saliva, a wave of flavour and crunch, softness and salt. “Yummm…” he sighs.

His parents were vegetarians, and Poseidon still feels shame and guilt when he goes out for burgers or shrimp roti. When his mother calls and asks what he’d like to bring for the Thanksgiving potluck, he bites his tongue. “Prime r-“… “What?” His mother laughs, astonished.

“I wanna see it up close” by Sasha at Moii Cafe


Friday October 17, 2015 at Moii Cafe
12:35pm
5 minutes
from a text

A birch tree sheds her bark
The supermoon is forgotten as soon as it fades
It’s still super somewhere

I refuse to commend your drug trips or your laundry lists
I refuse to celebrate your exploitations of bodies and sisters and dollars and oil
I refuse to vote for a man wearing a mask who has a cheese-ball for a brain
mostly cheddar a little bit cream cheese nothing sharp
no asiago

A snake slithers over the bare feet of a boy whose eyes are glued to his father’s iPhone
Shame he missed that
Shame that tomorrow that species will be extinct
A monarch lands on my arm and I cry for my unborns
Who might not have that magic

The Conservatives (Cheese-ball) cut one billion dollars in childcare funding within three hours of being elected
That’s shorter than Titanic
There are over one thousand murdered and missing Indigenous women across Canada
and no matter how deep Cheese-ball digs his fingers into his ears
He can’t pretend he doesn’t hear the singing
I wanna see the madness up close
I wanna microscope that Cheese-ball
See the ventricles of the greed
Hear the beat of the bacon heart

A grizzly bear waves to a crow
Long lost lovers

“I know I wouldn’t change much” by Sasha in Buchanan E


Thursday October 8, 2015
5:18pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, October 8, 2015


If you were here or
I was there
the sun would still be setting
all pink and gold
If you were here or
I was there
the leaves would still be falling
all rust coloured bold
If you were here or
I was there
the crows would still be calling
flying towards the west
If you were here or
I was there
The phoebes would still be curled
together snug in their nest
If you were here or
I was there
the night would still be coming
breathing dark on the sky
If you were here or
I was there
winter would still be on it’s way
and I’d still be asking “why”

“I know I wouldn’t change much” by Julia at JJ Bean


Thursday October 8, 2015 at JJ Bean
9:09am
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, October 8, 2015


I am revisiting the spot in my brain where I first made the decision to love you. I’m trying to be objective here, so don’t go trying to insert your memories. I know when I told you. I said it first, cause I always do, and I knew you felt it but you were scared of me and didn’t want to be the one to risk it. That’s a pattern for you. I am always the one to risk it. That’s a pattern for me.
In this tiny shoe box in my mind, I can see very little around the moment. There’s no colour. There’s no music. It’s a rainy day and we’re sitting at a bar. I don’t know what we’re drinking. But I know I like you and I know you like me. I’m glad there wasn’t some showy fireworks display going off in my body. It was a simple and true moment and it felt like it had made a home for itself in all the soft parts of me. You said something easy like, Have you ever mixed BBQ chips with chocolate chips? And I said something easy back like, I don’t know how I haven’t done that already. It was somewhere between that and the way you kissed me on the street before you walked away.

“The blonde of your dreams” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday September 30, 2015
10:29pm
5 minutes
A Guinness billboard

I’ve got issues with the word “blonde” and issues with the word “dreams”. I know that that’s a bit dramatic, but I’m a bit dramatic, so, take me or leave me, you know? I have wanted blonde hair for years. I almost think people would like me more. Not because people like blondes more than other hair colours, but because it’s like I’m in disguise, or playing up the good because it’s not what I was born with. A good friend once told me that I’m more interesting when I speak in accents. He likes my southern drawl, could listen to that all day, enjoys my child-like British, says it’s cute. Hell, I knew I had a problem when he said he’d rather listen to me in my half-assed and terrible Irish. That means, I’m not good enough as is, right? And I should have dreams to change the hair, the voice, the personality. Right?

“what kids want” by Sasha at The Elysian Room


Friday September 11, 2015 at Elysian
1:21pm
5 minutes
From the front page of the Globe and Mail Life and Arts section

Because these days she wants to crawl into a shell and become sand
Because she eats til she’s empty and the toilet bowl is full
Because she’d lied about her first kiss for two decades and that’s a heavy weight to bare
Because now that the leaves are changing she can’t deny that she is
Because when she’s alone she feels a hollow sternum further than the sky
Because she was a kid once with a fear bigger than the top bunk
Because around the corner is something she’s never seen before and it’s flashing neon
Because Toby and Gwen got married and she can’t stop looking and re-looking at the photographs of their first dance

“Cut to the chase” by Sasha at VGH


Tuesday, August 25, 2015
2:12pm
5 minutes
an in-flight magazine with Air Canada

I’m editing. Everything. Writing. Kitchen. Closet. Those were listed hardest to easiest. It’s a good way to go. I’d been wanting to do it for awhile – mostly with my closet. The other things just sort of fell into place. Editing is the most important part of creation, if you ask me. It’s not rocket science but it does take patience, dedication and a really good playlist. I divide my days into three sections, with breaks for meals and a nap. I start with writing, working my way through my pile of files. I edit in hardcopy. Just me. I grieve the trees but feel I can’t get in the groove on my desktop. Besides, it’s nice to be away from the luring Internet. Then, I make a cup of coffee, and move onto the kitchen. Who even purchased these cream of mushroom soups? Not I! They’ll go to the food bank. Did you know that spices go bad? They do! They don’t really spoil, but they do lose their strength. See you later, thyme from 1999!

“Why do we do that?” By Sasha on the Spadina Streetcar


Thursday, August 13, 2015
11:24pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the Spadina streetcar

Do you feel lost without your cellphone?
Literally?
Figuratively?
Do you long for the weight of it in your hand, your pocket, your purse, like you might long for a lover or a brownie?
Do you crave to look at it, to check it, to search with it, to move with it?
When do you put it down? Turn it off? Let it go?
Never?
Ever?
Do you shut it down when you shut down? Do you let it rest?
When do you say good morning?
Is it the first thing you look at? Speak to? Connect with?
One new Facebook friend, three new “Likes”, seven Twitter followers, two re-tweets, a text, five emails, a voicemail.
“Hi, it’s Dad. Just calling to say it was so good to see you and I love you.”
“Hey, it’s me. When are you coming over? Do you need dinner?”
“Hi! I heard you’re in town! Welcome back home! Wanna get coffee?”
A voice.
How does it work? No wires, waves, maybe, sound waves, web waves, waves like the ocean but in the sky, searching, searching, searching.
Touch screen, touch fingers, touch bellies.

“One day she made a mistake” By Julia on her bed


Monday, August 3, 2015
12:31am
5 minutes
overheard at 49th Parallel

suddenly the truth hits
boom
like a grenade
no time now
no time to think
good choices be damned
it takes everything inside
not
to
scream
again and again
but there is no unknowing
when the decision is made
to let it in
now it’s in
boom
like a truth bomb
boom
like a higher standard
today
and
each
moving forward

“with special guests” by Julia on her patio


Wednesday, July 1, 2015
6:59pm
5 minutes
From a Baroque to Birdland flyer

Ever feel like you’re not even starring in your own life? Lately I haven’t even been guest starring let alone carrying the whole thing. I’ve been having dreams these past few nights that I’m doing the things, going on the adventures, but it’s not actually me. It’s somebody else, someone else’s face and hands, but it’s not me. I watch another human play my role in my own mind’s film and I’m bewildered about that. Why am I not controlling the action? What am I doing so wrong that someone else has to step in and take over? I think it’s obvious, I haven’t been taking initiative in getting things done. But in my dreams who is this other person? It’s not someone I recognize. Is it my alter ego? My true self? My active mind? My true personality? Is it the me I wish I was? The me I’m supposed to be? The me I will be? The me I am when I’m being honest?

“Let me just check the mail” by Julia on her couch


Thursday, June 25, 2015
12:06am
5 minutes
Said by Nadeem

SOMETHING BIG is coming. I CAN FEEL IT. I have that tingling in my fingertips. It’s not pins and needles, it’s INTUITION. I once felt the VERY EXACT thing in the tip of my nose and it PROTECTED me from danger of the VERY WORST KIND. Can I get into that right this moment? No. Why? Because it would CHANGE YOUR LIFE and you must be very ready for that kind of SHIFT. The tingle, if you were wondering is almost the same feeling as getting splattered with VERY HOT OIL. If you were also wondering, I don’t enjoy the feeling of getting oil splattered on me, or candle wax dripped on me, or anything else that could SUGGEST SADOMASOCHISM. I am not speaking about ANYTHING EROTIC IN NATURE. This is all free from that zone, I’ll have you know. The tingling is a warning that I must heed. The outcome does not necessarily have to be life-threatening or even negative. But I’m asking you to trust me that THERE WILL BE A CHANGE HERE. THE EARTH IS SHIFTING ON ITS AXES AND THE WORLD WILL TILT TO OFFER CLARITY.

”you push into a new space.” By Julia at R&D Spadina


Wednesday June 3, 2015 at R&D
3:55pm
5 minutes
http://www.mysticmamma.com/the-theme-for-june-2015-is-creative-action/

Birthing the new you out from the old you is the hard part. Woman on the floor Legs spread breathing breathing life into this place. And you, the new you, a bundle of joy wrapped up in perfect pain masked as a blanket has suffered the trauma just as any new born has. And just like the old you with your primal scream caught deep in your throat, your nightmares of the fight you put up just to be here, just to enter this new world from your old one are playing over and over again. You have a hope, you have a dream but you don’t know it yet–cause you’re so new. But you look at this new place with wonder and awe and excitement for all the magic it holds. You don’t leave all the things you wish you weren’t behind, but you don’t know how to access them in this place yet—Which is a good thing—because the hard part—the hard part before birthing your new self—is the discipline of leaving the you that doesn’t belong here on the shelf.

“I made this cake” by Sasha in the bed a Horseshoe Bay


Sunday May 17, 2015
11:56am
5 minutes
http://www.epicurious.com

Let’s make a world where everyone has enough
Where everyone has what they NEED
When they NEED it
Not MORE
Not LESS
Where mother’s can feed babies from their breasts and where father’s can sing lullabies
Let’s make a world where trees are our priests
Where forests are our temples
Where dolphins are our recognized and respected sisters
Where computers and labs and scientists aren’t involved in food growth
Where governments champion children, art, the elderly, green space, democracy
Let’s make a world where we celebrate one another’s successes
Where we dive deep for our bravery and bring it to each interaction
Let’s make a world where we listen
With our whole being
Where we stop
SHUT OFF
TURN DOWN
POWER FAIL
POWER FULL
Let’s make a world where we dance in the street with strangers
Let’s make a world where anyone can marry anyone
Where love is the beginning, middle and end
Let’s make a world with less cars and more bikes
With less oil and more bio-fuel
With less guns and more sunflowers
With less plastic and more recycling
With less hiding and more showing
Let’s make a world where we are all different
And connected
Where we can smile at our complicated understanding about otherness
Where we can remember
Where we can remember
Where we can remind each other
One another
We all come from the same mother
She’s here
But we need to love her up
Love her down
Love her all around
We need to be more radical in our loving
More fearless
We need to embrace change
(it’s always here)
It’s always here
Is it?
Always here?
We are water
Water is polluted
We are polluted
It’s not complicated
It’s a simple story
Why can’t we understand?
Thank you for your bravery
Thank you for your attention
I made this cake for you

“scoop up all the trash” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Thursday May 7, 2015 at Higher Grounds
3:29pm
5 minutes
from http://www.ecokids.ca

Don’t pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess. I did, and look where it got me. Broke, broken-hearted, broken set of toes… Damn. Still got my cowboy hat and still got my pride, though. No one can ever take those two away from me. Look, Sandro, I don’t wanna freak you out, but, like, you pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess and you’re never gonna be happy. I mean, I don’t think life is really about being happy, but it’s about being, like, peaceful or something. It’s only when you’re scooping up the trash of your life that you realize – you did everything for her and nothing for you. You’ve spent almost a decade sucking up to someone who wishes she were royalty. She’s not! If you’d just stuck to your guns and told her that when you first got together, “Honey, you’re from Campbell River, you’re never gonna be Cinderella, get over yourself…” maybe things would’ve worked out a little differently. I want the best for your Sandro, I don’t want what happened to me to happen to you… I mean, what am I supposed to do now? I’m forty two. I’m supposed to start over?

“A rare chance” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Tuesday May 5, 2015
10:20am
5 minutes
A Friends of Chamber Music brochure

“It’s a rare chance, Al,” Clare says, painting the big toe of my right foot. “I think you need to go for it…” Her hands are cold and I think about when we met, tadpoles in overalls and baseball hats. “I just can’t imagine going so far away, it seems so extreme…” “You’ll be fine,” she blows on my toes and I laugh, pulling my foot away. “That tickles!” “Don’t jerk around! You’ll mess them up!” She furrows her eyebrows. “What time is the concert tonight?” “I thought you said you’d bought your ticket?” “I…” “Claire!” “I’ll get it at the door!” “You’re just waiting to see if something more interesting turns up. I know you.” “I am certainly not doing that… My credit card was cut off, I, I can’t book anything online and I didn’t want to ask someone to cover for me…” “Shit. Sorry.” “It’s okay.” “I’ll ask again about getting you on the guest list?” “I’m happy to pay…” “I’ll ask again.”

“I would have been an eighth-grader” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday May 3, 2015
10:15pm
5 minutes
On Writing
Stephen Kingk


I would have been an eighth-grader this year if they hadn’t held me back, if they hadn’t oppressed my rights and made me wait for it, made me beg for it… Graduation. I saw my classmates who I’d been with since the very beginning, since tear-away track pants and Pogs, get up on the stage in the gym in blue and yellow gowns and hats. I heard Davie Bernstein make the valedictorian speech. “Hey Davie,” I said later, side-by-side in the urinal, “Nice speech.” He looked at me sideways and said, “Go suck a dick, Howard.” He tucked his into his stupid dress pants, didn’t wash his hands and left, laughing and talking loudly with the rest of the class. They held me back not because I’m not smart, not because I can’t write an essay or solve an algebra equation. They held me back because I’m not a go-getter. “You’re just not a go-getter,” Mrs. Sherman said, purple lipstick on her front teeth. “We think you’ll do better with one more year in Grade Six. We think you’ll thrive with Miss Davidson.” “Who is this “we”?” I asked, scratching the scab on my right knee. “The faculty, your parents and me,” Mrs. Sherman said, blinking her cow-like eyes quickly, like the question caught her off guard.

“saying she is lost” by Julia on the 505 going west


Monday, April 27, 2015
11:49pm
5 minutes
from Hopelessly Hoping
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young


Do you remember those days we would show up to a concert wearing almost the exact same thing? I don’t know if you got a kick out of it but it was one of my favourite things. Did I not tell you that? I loved when we’d dress alike because it meant we were spending a lot of time together and our styles were merging because that’s just what happens when people are connected by heart strings. I liked most how it was unconscious or subconscious or whateverconscious because that was more proof that we weren’t even trying to be similar, we just were. Anyway, I guess all that to say I miss it. I miss you. I don’t even know where I am half the time and I’ve realized lately it’s because you’re not here anymore. You used to anchor me to the earth; to myself. I knew more about the world when you were around. I knew more about magic and wonder and rushing out of the house just to meet you at whatever corner so we could talk about writing or the painfulness of falling out of touch with ourselves.

“the wisdom of the world” by Julia at Jess and Rick’s kitchen table


Sunday, April 18, 2015
7:12pm
5 minutes
http://www.onbring.org

On my way to the edge of the world I found myself
dangling there
one foot over the part where it’s dangerous
too far to come back from
and one foot teetering on the earth beside it
that’s where I was
that’s where I found myself
Melting into my own choices
left alone to face this vastness
and my own devices
but what I found I started to like
what I found I started to love
what I found I started to nurture
cause she was lost before
and she was scared
and suddenly I heard her prayer
and her promise to make time a priority
not to waste or to kill it, but to welcome it
And I was her just days ago falling
Or wanting to
over the edge of the world where I didn’t recognize my own thoughts
My own gifts
nothing mattered at all
Then I took a drive by my old memories
and I conjured up the spirits of my past
asked questions like, oh, do you remember me?
And if you do, can you spare a hope or two?