“Llttle wallet multicolour has zip” by Julia in Kettle Valley

Saturday June 29, 2019
7:01am
5 minutes
from and old text from my dad

I look for this bag and you are Ocean far telling me there’s something in it for me
I look for this bag
What bag
I took this bag Out
I took another
I put the bag Away
I shelved the other
There is nothing new and you are Ocean away telling me
You are telling me it’s there and did I find it?
I am worried it’s money
I know it’s money and I’m worried because you snuck it in there
Where?
Where did you sneak it?
It, still a surprise
In the Bag, you say
Front Pocket
It’s been days and do I always take out my things and put them away without looking?
Wouldn’t it catch my eye?
Tell me where to find it again, I say
Ocean away, you say
Llttle wallet multicolour has zip
Little wallet
Must be money
I have no multicolour wallet but
You call it a wallet because I
had some money in there
Just in there
Because I do that
If you had looked in my book
you might have put it there too

“And we never talked about that.” by Julia on her couch

Friday August 31, 2018
11:38pm
5 minutes
A Love Letter To Lost Sisters
Hywel Tuscano

we never talked about the way he mishandled me and the way I let him. we never talked about how it was weird he didn’t mention that we’d be sharing his bed. we never talked about how early he wakes up and how late he’s banging around for. not about how I was feeling about my stuff. not about how I was feeling about him. we never talked about how he kept using my towel and saying he wasn’t. we never talked about the fruit rotting in the car. we never talked about the lines he crossed or tried to. the ones we both said we’d be mindful of. we never talked about how many times he told me the same story. how many times he’d break the pattern of the room by injecting a silly pun.

“the thin woods and across the highway” by Julia on Amanda’s couch 

Sunday August 19, 2018
10:00pm
5 minutes
November 1968
Brian Doyle

My best friend is a deer whisperer. She is pen pals with at least three of them and one doe with her faun. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was a deer in a past life. She knows exactly how to breathe around them. She knows exactly what to hum. This month she asked one of them for protection and she granted it. She said her grace when she realized how  steadfast it all was. Nothing else in life is this sure. I hope when she writes them she tells them about me. Maybe they will love me by proxy. Maybe they will send their Forest Friends to keep me safe too.

“plush and pregnant into my palm” by Julia at her desk

Saturday, March 3, 2018
12:16am
5 minutes
Ode to a Desiccated Olive
James Cagney

I catch myself being more ready for the things I used to avoid
Motherhood
True Love
White Cheddar popcorn topping
In the span of a few months my chest has expanded:
my heart has grown three full sizes
I know you are to blame
as you always are for changing my mind
as you always are when you are the next thing in the room
I have never wanted you closer
Even after all the undecided books
or old tables put in new places
It is medicine when our worlds spin in the same direction
It is better this way
On the street you ask me if things are okay when they don’t feel okay
I tell you now before they turn into unswept corners, spiders crawling out

“Re posting it” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, January 17, 2016
9:55pm
5 minutes
from a text

There are a lot of young girls hanging out at the corner store with their ripped jeans and their big black eyeliner.
My mom thinks those are the girls I’ll want to hang out with so she gives me run around warnings like, “Beth, don’t take any shortcuts home from school.” Or, “Make sure you don’t walk with your face buried in your phone in case someone wants to steal it out of your hands and you don’t have the time to stop them.”
I guess she has a point or something. Better to pay attention.
I can tell she’s saying anything she can that doesn’t sound controlling or narrow minded about other people. She doesn’t want me to know that she knows what girls like that are like and only has her gut instincts as a barometer. There’s no proof, no real reason other than she’s deathly afraid of me getting hurt, or falling into the wrong crowd and changing all my core beliefs.
I can’t begin to talk to her about what’s going on in my life.
So I tell her, “I will not take shortcuts home from school.”

“Imagine having fantastic sex with him or her” by Julia in her bed


Wednesday, January 13, 2016
11:58pm
5 minutes
Instant Enlightenment
David Deida


I am giving couple’s counselling to my parents. Well to my mother. My father is in the other room and we are pretending he doesn’t hear us or know that his kid and his wife are “discussing” him. This is partially on purpose. If he thinks we think he can’t hear us he might listen harder and think to himself, “hmm, I’d like to try that so when I do, it will seem like my idea and things will be better without needing to talk about it.” It is also so it looks like the advice is being given to my mother alone, when really my father can take from it what he needs, even if he doesn’t act on it. My mother nods her head and says, “You’re right, you’re right” a lot. I am not having this conversation so I can be right, and usually when someone says that it means they just don’t like the response they were given. But she is still listening and I am still talking so either way, we’re having this conversation whether things change or not. I am inside my head and well outside my body at the same time. I am separating myself from being her daughter and talking to her like I would my patients. Or my would-be patients. I am practicing my skills on someone who is not paying me yet, because I need to get good at telling all kinds of people to “imagine having fantastic sex with him or her.” So far I have said, “love is your only objective,” which seems to be working.

“You have to love” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, January 12, 2016
11:17pm
5 minutes
Monecristo Magazine

If it’s in you to give, give it. I’m talking money, magic, moral support, listening, love, loyalty, life, kindness, time, patience, understanding, food, empathy, encouragement, hope.
That’s all we can do, give it when we have it, receive it when we don’t.
And that’s how the world goes round. Or that’s how the world wants to go round. It wants us to need each other and help each other. Its ON button is the scratched out CARE button. But we forget that sometimes because it’s not always easy to care, or to give, or to help, or to wait. We want what we don’t have now and we want to give what we have later. But I’m telling you, it’s not worth it. Immediacy is our biggest killer. We need to play the long game with ourselves and with each other. Giving chances and getting them.

“everyone can help themselves” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, January 11, 2016
5:43pm
5 minutes
thestonesoup.com

Mind Body Connection:
Deep breath
Okay, good
Good?
Breathing, breathing
I don’t need to be told to breathe
Well you stopped
Because I was thinking!
NO THINKING.
Are you serious?
Yes, very serious
Fine, deep f–
No swearing
Come ON, how did you know I was even going to?
Because you’re very transparent and stubborn and I’ve been observing you
Ugh
Focus
I am
Okay then do it
breathe?
Yes, breathe
okay, Deep Breath
Mhm
Breathing
yes, good, continue
I am alone on a rock
Oh, good, rock is good,
I am alone and I am breathing—
Breathing
I AM, I told you I don’t need you to tell me
I am breathing
You?
breathing in and out calmly, slowly, to encourage you
Is this even about me?
Yes, very serious.
WHAT THE FUC–
NO SWEARING.

“A small suitcase” by Julia in her bed


Sunday, January 10, 2016
11:28pm
5 minutes
Trailer Park
Jenn Grant


He left a note in the front pocket of her smaller suitcase. It was full of all the stuff he didn’t know how to say in her language without a translator just in case he sounded like an idiot. He of course used google translate but agreed to bite the bullet about the 40% that would unavoidably lead to miscommunication. He wrote the note as patiently as he could, careful to say how he felt and not just what she expected him to say.

“work its magic” by Julia at her desk


Saturday May 2, 2015
10:58pm
5 minutes
from seriouseats.com

Sometimes you just gotta wait and see, feel the earth steady under your feet, breathe in the moon, and wait. Last night I had an exchange with her. The moon. It was a silent, telepathic one. I went outside, I brought my favourite lighter, and I sparked up a conversation…among other things. I exhaled, dedicating the smoke right at her. She was cloaked in clouds and didn’t respond right away. I asked her, with my intentions only, if she wanted to join me. Couldn’t hurt to ask, even if the answer was no, it couldn’t possibly hurt me at all. She didn’t answer then and there. So I waited. I waited, I smoked, I sent my signals to her trying to tug her in my direction. Come get high with me, I willed. Take a load off. We don’t need the brightness of you every single second. Then suddenly, after all that patience I was practicing, she came out. She tossed aside her persistent body guards and she winked at me. I guess the waiting paid off.

“And it’s taking me a second so I’m sorry” by Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library


Friday February 27, 2015 at the Bloor/Gladstone Public Library
12:50pm
5 minutes
Lungs
Duncan MacMillan


I’m trying to fix it, that’s what I said I was doing.
Well why do I feel like you’re a balloon filled with unkept promises, floating out into the big big sky.
Because you read a lot of garbage and your head is filled with fairytales–
Or maybe because you can’t hold anything tight enough to keep.
That’s probably true.
Impermanence scares you.
No, that’s not it. I’m not a quick fix over a night of deep question-asking.
You don’t like thinking things end, and I see it in you, and you know it in you.
I’m sorry, this mumbo jumbo, this psycho analytical bullshit is making it really hard for me to think of anything else. It’s taking me a second to wrap my “clouded” head around.
Not everything has to end with a commitment. That’s very limiting. If you understood that the end goal is not important, you would find that much needed peace you’re always searching for.

“Truth is what works” by Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library


Tuesday February 17, 2015 at the Bloor/Gladstone Public Library
3:35pm
5 minutes
Man Seeks God
Eric Weiner


I’ve always thought so. I’ve ALWAYS said that haven’t I, Aims? I live for that shit. When someone just tells you like it is. How is it, one might ask? LIKE THIS. BAM. Like a roundhouse kick to the face! I have always appreciated roundhouse kick honesty. I value that shit over my entire LIFE, dude. So when I was sitting there at that stuffy, pretentious, God-forsaken shit hole of a restaurant on Bay, I was internally like, WHERE ARE ALL THE FUCKING STEAK KNIVES BECAUSE I AM ABOUT TO STAB THE ENTIRE WORLD. Externally I was sitting there quietly wishing I could just be honest. Then he goes, You know what? This place is not exactly what I was expecting. Kind of not my style. And I BREATHE again for the mother-fucking first time, Amy! I was like, I mean, externally I was like, YES. I KNOW, BRO! I’m so glad you said something cause I was thinking that I need to either set this place or myself on fire and I’m totally not prepared to ruin this outfit. And he laughed, dude. It was so fucking refreshing.

“happens without words” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday February 11, 2015
1:07am
5 minutes
mysticmama.com

I’ve started this letter 4 times already. I don’t know how to address you…dear is close because you are dear to me but not in this current moment. I don’t remember the last time you were accurately dear to me. I don’t think people understand that when they write it in front of a name, substituting it for “to”. To you. Dear you. Am I missing something? I could just put your name but I don’t think that expresses my feelings well either. You,. I can’t start a letter with You comma; I’m not a complete idiot. You colon. Yeah I could do that. You: –because I could list all the things you are or that you do and the first couple would be aggressive but then I’d remember why I care about you and they would start to get good again.

“Celebrating those who had died” by Julia at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library


Monday February 9, 2015 at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library
12:22pm
5 minutes
The House Girl
Tara Conklin


Maggie, are you listening? I can’t tell what this thing you’re doing is because usually you’re a lot less interested and you make much more noise than you are. You find something in the room to fall in love with, to flirt with, to hold, to help, to push, I don’t know, whatever it is inside your brain that communicates with your body to do anything but pay attention to me when I need you to. Usually, Maggie, I have to repeat myself a day or two later because I know full well that you hadn’t received a word I’d said. I have gotten used to using the first time I say something for my own good only, you know, to hear it out loud, bounce it off the walls cause you never give me anything. But now it’s very strange. You could be truly hearing me. I think the only other way you’d be this still and this quiet is if you were dead. Maggie? Are you listening or are you dead?