“lured into my childhood home” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday October 9, 2018
1:34pm
5 minutes
The Stray
Stephen A. Waite

Matthew and Mark used to watch scary movies at their house. I used to lay with my head in Matthew’s lap and my legs in Mark’s. I felt like my older cousins were taking care of me. We weren’t allowed to watch scary movies at our house. And after seeing IT with them when I was six, I figured out why. I have always been the dreaming kind. Pisces born on land, a vivid seer of worlds beyond my own. I knew the answers were there. I knew the questions were there. I knew I was making connections and being guided. Of course when nightmares are a regular occurrence, it’s hard to think they serve a purpose other than torture, punishment, torment.
I used to pray before bed to avoid the bad. Pray to override the scary images swirling around in my tiny body. What did Matthew and Mark have? Who did they talk to about their bad dreams? Did they just learn not to remember them? Was it easier to stay quiet and keep watching scary movies? Was watching scary movies less scary than the reality they had to face?

For a while I used to associate their dad with Beetlejuice. One time he came to Mark’s room to tell us to shut up and go to sleep. In the shadows, his eyes looked sunken in. I dreamed about him that night instead.

“Wild Birds Unlimited” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday April 3, 2018
9:42pm
5 minutes
From a storefront on West Broadway

On the T-shirts that Zia Nancy brought back
from Atlantic City were birds wearing sunglasses
Nothing is cooler than a bird wearing sunglasses
We were grateful for the oversized and bright
we did not know then how to ask for something better
How to wish we could be lucky enough for more
We were lucky enough then with two kisses and
a chili pepper
thrust into our hands like the lesson was in the
small bravery of turning our tongues on fire
The picture says a thousand things
Not including all of the comments made by
all the cool birds wearing sunglasses
on our T-shirts brought back from Atlantic City
We were built by each other’s dedication to being there
A wall of neon cousins smiling while
Michael cries into his birthday cake

“This is what you’ve been waiting for” by Julia at JJ Bean


Friday May 5, 2017 at JJ Bean
5:12pm
5 minutes
The Gate
Marie Howe


my family speaks poetry through me as I walk from my house to a place that isn’t
I am stopped on the sidewalk with the urge to take notes
They are dictating faster than I can write
The stories from our childhood, inspiration enough after the drought
I am greedy with rain and the secrets of our youth
the clues to finding solace in a memory built from our old garage,
the time we picked strawberries at the farm and made milkshakes,
the time we sang to Mariah Carey on the back porch and I made everyone
turn around to listen when it was my turn,
the time we got hats with the olympic rings on them at Mcdonalds,
the time we rode around on horses while they defecated,
the time I asked my older cousin if we could have a “talk” because I was feeling left out, the time they got the shots for whipping baby field mice against the brick

“We heard you loud and clear” by Julia in her bed


Saturday January 21, 2017
12:13am
5 minutes
from a text

I grew up in a cornfield
Nonna aproned in the backyard
Picking dandelions for supper
Knew all the kids on my block and sold drawings for pennies in groups of 2 or 3
We planted a sprig of pussy willow and it grew as wild and large as the entire porch
The people who repainted our bathrooms white with gold stars and moons had to cut it down because it was starting to grow into the house
We’d go for walks to the river in clusters of young
Not fully knowing which direction was the right one
The backyard was home to blackberry bushes and mint leaves
And to cousins and neighbours singing loud at the bonfire on summer nights

“I don’t have anything else…” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday July 14, 2016
5 minutes
overheard at The Tenant

I wish you’d stop staring at my cousin at our family dinner. You think you’re doing a good job of hiding it, but you’re wrong. I know she doesn’t interest you or stimulate you mentally, but I also know that she is exactly the type you go for when you’re thinking outside my box. She’s objectively better looking than I am even though her features are offensively small. When I picture her and her tiny eyes and gummy smile, I think sometimes that she might just be a bear with bangs. Except really pretty.

“No wonder” by Sasha at The Common on Bloor


Thursday, August 29, 2013
4:05pm at The Common on Bloor
5 minutes
Film Festival Preview
NOW magazine Aug 29-Sept 4, 2013


“No wonder,” you thought, the morning you found your younger sister’s journal. You’d spent the last three hours in your room, in the attic, reading it from front to back. The funeral was yesterday and you weren’t sure what to say, or wear, or eat. You’d drifted from the Church to the house, from the kitchen to the bathroom. You’d eaten a few pieces of cucumber dipped in ranch dressing; you’d tried to laugh with your cousins, nod with uncles when they said, “Such a shame. Such a young girl. Such a beautiful girl.” As if, that had anything to do with it. Eventually you ended up in your room, your old room, in the attic, with the slanted ceiling and Picasso prints and strips of photo-booth pictures tacked to the wall.

“Bollywood Chai” by Sasha at David’s Tea in Banff


Friday, July 19, 2013
7:17pm
5 minutes
from the David’s Tea cup

You’ve been picking at your scabs again; the ones on your arms from mosquito bites and the ones on your knees from falling off your bike and the ones on your face from your pimples. You tell me that you do it in your sleep, that you wake up with streaks of blood all over your sheets and red under your nails. I don’t buy it. “Have a little self-control,” I think. It’s as if you hear me, “I do it in my sleep!” you say, rolling your eyes like when we were thirteen. “It’s going to scar,” I respond, bitchier than I would’ve liked. “Why do you care?!” You look hurt. “You don’t need scars! You have enough shit on your plate!” She thinks I’m talking about the divorce, but I’m not. I’m talking about her Mom’s dementia and her brother in prison and how living off of Pringles and Fuzzy Peaches can’t result in anything other than scurvy. She drinks her tea and scratches her cheek. A drop of blood falls down like a tear.

“Impetus to write the play” by Julia in Baden


Monday, May 21, 2013
2:12pm
5 minutes
the Toronto Arts Council Playwright Grant guidelines

Something’s gotta give something’s gotta go everybody’s telling me what I already know it’s the answer to the question that I never even asked I don’t want to I don’t need to but I feel my heart is masked I can’t live it I can’t leave it things are getting jumbled fast if the future doesn’t help me ill just keep living in the past what’s the verdict what’s the help line should I call it will i be fine magic eight ball do your damage make me hate me take advantage I can prove it if I truth it tell the honest 1 and 2 it got to get myself all the way through it if It hurts me I’ll remove it dream in technicolor images and when I’m done I’m swimming in the same old place I was caged in and now I’m good no longer jaded I could tell you I could show you trust you farther than I could throw you