“in the present moment for” by Julia at her desk

Friday August 16, 2019
7:58am
5 minutes
Meditations
Marcus Aurelius

Right now we are fighting the comfort of our bed
fighting the snooze as if together we might be
more successfulLight enters the whole room but we trap it under
the pillows and right now we are on the same team

Tomorrow is another story
Tomorrow can’t be written yet

Right now you are sleep singing to me and yesterday
is not here in the bed, yesterday could not make it
to today’s meeting because yesterday has turned

In a babble we are speaking about the day that has
yet to materialize because right now is all we are
right now is what we have and if we stretch it

and if we let it leak into the next moment for a little
while longer while we sleep on the skin of each other’s
back, while we fight waking, it’s me and you

against the cloudy sky and sun trying to tell us something
We don’t listen if it means one more
configuration holding ease and comfort and promise

This afternoon is another story
This afternoon hasn’t wandered in through the
window yet and we don’t go chasing it

Right now we push the heels of our feet into
the soft of our arches, and whisper a couple mmms
into the hem of our sheets

“I always gotta comfort you” by Julia at her desk

Sunday June 23, 2019
5:40pm
5 minutes
Stronger Than Me
Amy Winehouse

I’m a little weary of men who ask for my advice on the phrasing of things.
Like, which word should I use to sound less aggressive?
This is a normal question but I resent being asked.
Here, this is how you pretend, is what you’d like me to say.
The truth is your instinct is aggressive and my words will
not change that from true to no longer.
I wonder why then, if women think so deeply on the correct words to feel,
are men as busy contemplating which word they should hide behind?
Is one of these the right way?
Is there an invisible punishment for failing to adhere to one way or the other?
I’m weary of men who ask for my heart as armour for their actions.
Ones who won’t think twice about changing their feeling
but will go to great lengths to avoid the consequence of that feeling,
who will employ my empathy but discard it upon use.
Always in use.

“a long, slow, squirmy moment for both of us.” By Sasha on her couch

Friday March 15, 2019
11:09am
5 minutes
Orange is The New Black
Piper Kerman

In the middle of the night
I’m listening to your rise and fall,
A breath I know by heart, tracing
the outline of your dreaming,
a sound in which magic thrives, a place
where the edges are soft, and there’s
good listening.

I walk to the bathroom, holding
my heavy belly in both my hands, tracking
the street lamp light with half-open eyes.

We found each other again in the tangle
of bed sheets and tongues, discovering
how to do this in all the Pisces
fullness. It’s taken patience.
It always does.

Back in bed I try to fall back to sleep,
turning from one side to the other, a pillow
between my leg, a pillow
where you were.

I write poems to our daughter
in the air with my pointer finger,
my counting sheep.

“Speaking of hosting!” By Julia on her couch

Friday February 8, 2019
8:47pm
5 minutes
from a Wordplay call out

In the middle of the night it starts to rain. We can hear it pitter patter on the rooftop. You had asked for that. For more rain. To hear it tapping off the wood of the cottage like that makes us both better. This is a quieter night than some of the others. It is easy to fall back to sleep and dream. I wanted it too: more rain; more reminders of living.

“skin hanging from a chicken soup bone.” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday January 9, 2019
4:51pm
5 minutes
Tuesdays With Morrie
Mitch Albom

I make chicken soup with the bones of the seasons before
Frozen in Ziploc bag
Stacked with
forgotten bananas
pumpkin seeds
pine nuts
containers of squash soup

I make soup for the parents of new babies
and bodies that are tired and grieving
Bodies that are growing
Bodies that are strong
I make soup for my own lonely heart
and the lonely hearts peppered here and away

There’s been a lot of soup this winter
and pretending that candles are wood stoves
There’s been a lot

“Our “new” or higher brain” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday November 21, 2018
2:25pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

Take me out to dinner
I say this to me
me says this to me
take me out of this house
and into the world
Order something delicious!
I say this to me as
if I might try to save a few
dollars like the last time
I had this conversation
Take the good out and let
the world see it so they can
see themselves the way they need to
It is not easy
It could be easy
Leave the house! Leave the house!
I say this to me when I have tricked
myself into believing that
inside will keep me from breaking
But it isn’t like that
I could lie and say I’d prefer
to stay inside where it is safe
but the truth is that is where
all the breaking happens
It is not safe indoors with all
the mirrors and all the couch
not asking me to leave it
Take yourself on a walk
I say this to myself when my body
feels like it has forgotten
how to move
Smell the fresh mountain air!
That’s why you live here!
I say this to myself when I catch
a bead of sweat pooling in the
elbow crease
This is today’s sweat in yesterday’s
sweater and this does not keep
you safe
I say this to myself so I can hear
it in the voice of someone
higher than me

“I’ll just call out the names and tell them to wait” by Julia at Pearson airport


Monday July 24, 2017
6:44pm
5 minutes
overheard at the airport

I asked the woman if I could have an aisle seat instead of the middle one they keep putting me on. Last time I got stuck between two giant men and their elbows locked me in while they slept. She told me it was full and likely not possible for me to switch. So in front of everyone I told her I have to go to the bathroom a lot. She didn’t care. Why would she, I didn’t go into details. I didn’t tell her that I
had explosive diarrhea because I don’t but maybe that would have made her feel something for me. I also could have said I’m a barfer but I am not that either. I feel like I let my sister down by saying I was going to declare IBS to get a better seat and then chickening out when the time came. I know this is not a big problem to have. At least I don’t actually have to shit everywhere.

“I’m on my way to Hammerhead” by Julia while walking home


Saturday June 10, 2017
11:49pm
5 minutes
overheard at Pearson Airport
<span style="font-family:Courier New;"
We go for beers and pour our hearts out, leave them on the coasters, then slap our pints down hard
many of us don't know each other's names but names aren't important here
No one seems to be interested in the arbitrary–it takes too long to sieve through anyway
After the first round our blood pumps fine: easier to pass through
leave a mark
After the second the bruises start to show up and we tip the bartender in advance for not kicking us out

“she barely ever wore dresses” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday May 16, 2017
9:54pm
5 minutes
from an interview wth Ingrid Michaelson
Jezebel.com


She barely ever wore dresses, mostly skirts.
She was great at piecing things together or
making decsions.
Seeking only and ever comfort as
resitance, and I can understand
when you feel like it
is missing from your earlier drafts
And no shadow has touched her lids
and no jewelry rescued from the discount bin

“bring it with me” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday January 17, 2017
9:19pm..
5 minutes
from an email

I don’t think I’d be able to leave it anywhere else. Not under the bed or in the closet. Not on the shelf or in the key house. I’d have to bring it with me because there is no place it belongs better than the place I’ve built. I carry it; the last thing you gave me. The world could shake me down till I were naked branch and still not be able to pry the light of you from me. I have stitched it on tight. I wear it when I cannot hold it. I wrap it when I need it bigger. I couldn’t leave that behind. Things already happen just so already…things already break too easy.

“hello sacred fire” by Julia on the 99


Monday December 19, 2016
10:59pm
5 minutes
from Hello Sacred Life by Kim Krans

I go over to Didi’s house and she makes me watch the fireplace channel. Says it gets cold in there if she turns it off. Says that she needs it on to keep her sane.
I go over to Didi’s house and she makes hot tea that’s so hot it’s too hot to drink even after waiting for hours. Says her tongue doesn’t mind it anymore. Says her bones sing for it now that she’s lost part of her Ship. Says her Ship stays afloat with hot tea steeped just right.
I go over to Didi’s house and she makes me listen to her new poem that she wrote about the sirens.
Says she can hear them in her sleep now. Says she dreams about them as if she was a siren herself and doesn’t know if the wails are coming from inside or outside her heart.

“The earth’s insomnia” by Julia at her “New York”


Wednesday March 16, 2016
9:04pm
5 minutes
Moonlight
Lorna Crozier


I have been out stealing rosemary again. Middle of the night. I am not sorry. But I do recognize the pattern. It’s not about much more than needing to have it in my home so I can touch it when I want to and it can calm me down. Some people do the very same thing with animals. I mean maybe they don’t go around at midnight and sneak into people’s front yards, but–I mean they feel comforted by the presence of a pet. So what? I don’t have one of those. I make do. I’m fine. Please don’t ever think my problems will be solved by a cat. They most certainly will not. I don’t need something like that. Thank you for the offer of your offer. I miss my fucking mother. I want to call her and cry and let her love me back to life. I want to tell her that after all that rosemary thieving I didn’t even put any in the roast potatoes. Because I wanted to keep it longer in a vase next to my bed. Because I wanted to hold onto her soft voice telling me for the last time that I was her laugh.

“It is such a relief” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday October 7, 2015
9:51pm
5 minutes
Wit
Margaret Edson


When they took my blood to see if I was a match I remember holding my breath for a very long time and thinking that if I could get through this, I would be a different person. Stronger. More…everything. I was not referring to getting through the needle part. In fact, the needle part was the only part that I was sure I would heal from if the rest didn’t…pan out.
I also remember praying, and I was not a prayer. I’m still not. But at the time, that’s what brought the most comfort. I don’t want to question why certain words came out of my mouth because it was such a relief to get them out of my head that I would have said yes to anything if it had helped as much as praying did. I don’t like needles. I never did. I didn’t have to have them until I did.

“all-day softness” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Monday September 14, 2015
9:19pm
5 minutes
from a tube of hand cream

Lounging around the house with my slippers on, feet up on the couch, and you lean in deep to kiss me.

-Whatcha reading?
-The Bible, what does it look like?
-Ohhh, recipes.
-Big surprise, huh?

You hunch your back and drag your right foot as you slouch back and forth in front of me.

-Would you still love me if I walked like this?
-No.
-Not even like this?

You start to flap your arms wildly by your sides, still dragging around your dead foot.

-Almost yes, but still no.

You grab my arms and you place them around your waist. You sway, and you shimmy hard under my hands.

-Wanna dance?
-Oh we are dancing.
-I’m dancing, you’re resisting.
-I’m reading!
-And she multi-tasks, everybody!

“We can help you” by Julia on Nicole’s couch


Sunday August 31, 2014
11:29pm
5 minutes
a TD bank envelope

We want you to feel at home, so take the robe, take it all! Make some eggs, make them all! Don’t feel like you can’t walk around freely. Walk around naked! We do it! We love it. You’re our guest, so please understand how genuine we’re being about keeping you comfortable. It’s our mission. We’re so genuine about comfort it hurts. It does! You need undergarments? We have those! Go through our drawers! You need any creams or lotions? All yours. If you’re feeling peckish there is a jar of gefilte fish in the fridge that we’ve all been poking at so have at it! We can help you shed your cloak of armour and guarded nature. We can help you love who you are because we love who you are! Wanna pick your nose? Go get that gold! Wanna read our diaries? Please do! Wanna nose bleed on all our white sheets? DON’T FUCKING DO THAT. BLOOD IS REALLY HARD TO GET OUT OF THOSE SHEETS. Anything else? Anything else at all? Go ahead! We want you to! We want you to open yourself up and get out of your own way. Judgement free. This is a judgement free zone!

“roasted fennel” by Julia at the Sheraton in Philadelphia


Tuesday April 15, 2014
11:09pm
5 minutes
A post on Instagram

Mama liked it when her drinks tasted like Italy. It reminded her of home, of her mother, of her doggie, Stella, and her doll-friend, Cicio Bello. When mama took a sip, she’d slip, then slide, then land back in a time where farm animals woke her up each morning, and where Figs grew as big as your face in September.
She stocked up on the stuff just in case they ever decided to stop making it. Not that anyone would, it was a beautiful thing. But just in case, she always said, just in case.
We knew she could say whatever she wanted and we’d never say a thing in return to her about it. We didn’t want Mama to feel like she had a problem. We didn’t want anyone to think she couldn’t handle it on her own, just the way she wanted to. Nobody mentioned a thing when we’d find bottles of her nostalgia hidden under the sofa cushions, or planted deep in the soil of her dying rosemary bush. Nobody said anything when Cicio Bello started appearing again in Mama’s life, her old friend whispering things to her no one else could hear; keeping her company through the storm.

“it’s okay” by Julia on the 506 going west


Friday January 17, 2014.
5:18pm
5 minutes
overheard on the corner of Spadina and Adelaide

Everything’s gonna be alright
The world will stop when it’s time
Everything’s gonna be fine
Don’t hide baby don’t hide
When the tide is resting
When the shore is calm
That’s where you will find me
That’s where we belong
Everything’s gonna be alright
The day won’t last forever
Everything’s gonna be fine
Don’t say never baby, don’t say
When the wind is sleeping
When the breeze is dead
That’s where I’ll take you
That’s where we’ll live instead
Everything’s gonna be alright
The sounds of the night are ending
Everything’s gonna be fine
A dream is just a dream is just a dream

“domestic assault” by Julia on her couch


Thursday November 21, 2013
2:08am
5 minutes
Toronto Star

Erin was crying for what felt like days. She didn’t even know why, but couldn’t stop. Not even for ice cream, or Saved By The Bell. Trust me, we tried. She was on one of those journeys…just…lost on the way to no where. I didn’t want to be the first to give up on her, but I was useless too. I was. I tried all my wisdom out on her the first day, hell, the first hour, and she didn’t stop so..Rachel tried employing some of her own brand but Erin was non-responsive. It was obvious. But still each of us took a turn. Auburn decided not to say anything at all and just hold her, but every time someone touched her she flipped out again. It made it too real. To painful. I tried to be understanding, trying to tell her it would be bad now, but not forever, and that worked for maybe a half second. Then she tried to rip her own eyelashes out. So we all had to restrain her, but she didn’t want to be touched, so…it was a long night. And that was just the first of many like it.