“A good traveller has no fixed plans” by Julia in her bed

11:27pm

Sunday December 17, 2017

Tao Te Ching

Translated by Stephen Mitchell

We did it. We’re going. Bought the ticket, told the parents, brought up the suitcases. Shook hands. Went exploring. Went learning. Got lost. Got overwhelmed. Got hungry. Got quiet. We found ourselves in different cabins. Waking up to unbelievable. Got lost. Found each other. Soothed each other’s tired muscles. Laughed out the tension. Decided on some things like desires, geography. Dreamed about not knowing. About figuring it out. How we’ll figure it out. Sharing strengths. Trading off who gets to lead when a trade can be made.

“It’s not fair, after all, to lick tigers so small.” By Julia at D and A’s house

Saturday December 16, 2017

9:47pm

5 minutes

I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!

Dr. Seuss

When I’m lucky enough

to feel lucky about my tongue

I think of her.

I think of how

all gums no teeth

she could hurl a yell

at any one of us;

have us quaking

in our boots.

Her tongue was a whip.

A weapon.

She used it and the

chorus did sing.

I got mine from her.

I borrowed it once

tried it on

liked it a hell of a lot

and then kept it

in my mouth

like a hard candy

turning it over

against my cheeks.

She could lick a tiger quiet.

She could hum a baby

back into the belly

of her mother.

She could break my

heart and crack it open

in the same breath.

When I’m lucky enough

to think about the origins

of my loud,

when I’m lucky enough

to think about my tongue,

the light in the room lifts.

I am soothed, tender lion cat

nuzzling in the neck

of her sister.

Calmed, the way

an anchovy might.

“Can’t tell if that’s funny or really scary.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday December 15, 2017
7:46pm
5 minutes
Calvin and Hobbes
Bill Watterson

I must’ve done something right when I was a blue whale
I must’ve shared my fish and breastfed other whale’s babies
(I don’t know very much about whales so am not sure if that is a thing
they do but)

When I was a blue whale I wrote a column in the seaweed newspaper
about love and injustice and gave away the secret chords to songs
no one could ever find

I cleaned the seafloor with my tail
and not for the glory or the high fives
but because it was crowded and messy

I comforted strangers when they were sad
sleeping into the day
crusty-eyed and moaning
a cousin caught in a fishing net
oh sweet Cecilia
day by day by day

“And we’re looking for a few more faces” by Julia on her couch

Thursday December 14, 2017
7:23pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Be a seagull swimming with the ducks.

Watch as Little Buddy does not let not being a duck deter her from being with the ducks. Watch as she casually lands amidst the them, plunging, gliding, squeaking. She looks around, not hurting anyone. Not asking for anything. Then slowly she swims closer to them. She joins in, hello, hi, how are you, just another sweet duck here, hello just another regular duck like you, swimming in the pond.

Be a seagull swimming with the ducks. All out of what ifs and better nots.

Maybe we’re waiting for an unlikely friend to be made. A new way of searching for tiny fish to catch.

We’re looking for a few more faces like that. Like the ones who don’t hide theirs to fit in with the others. The ones who risk difference in a pond of same.

If you believe it has been lost, stolen or compromised.” By Sasha at her desk

Wednesday December 13, 2017
10:14pm
5 minutes
BC Revenue Services

Bernie isn’t sure which way is up and what, “everything happens for a reason” even means. Kim keeps saying that to him and at first he really tried to understand what it might mean, and how it might help him, but now he just thinks it’s a crock.

It’s been a bad month.

Bernie got fired at the end of November. He’d worked at the same paper mill for twenty three years. It’s closing. It isn’t personal. “Everything happens for a reason”. Kim says that “when one door closes another one opens,” and Bernie agrees but what he thinks should be an immediate follow-up is that who knows where that door is going to lead. It could be a basement with rats and mould.

If you believe it has been lost, stolen or compromised.” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday December 13, 2017
6:11pm
5 minutes
BC Revenue Services

There’s that ring in the ears…

When a thief fears being stolen from, or a liar paranoid of being lied to.

We all find our cells interlocked with the cells of the mirror. The truth scares us because we have not told it. The worry of someone who is capable of taking something that doesn’t belong to them is because we know we have already waited for the perfect umbrella to be left behind. The perfect chance to live, risk, live.

There is no scolding.

No judgement.

No scorn.

No blame.

“The Best And Worst Of” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday December 12

12:16am

5 minutes

from uproxx.com

And now since you asked I don’t know what to say. Do I love you, yes, do I want you, yes.

Do you see me.

The best part of me was I could write circles around you. The worst part of you was that you could pretend that wasn’t happening. We didn’t feed each other proper toast. We didn’t call down the chimney in a rotting feast of anger. I can’t answer you safely. I don’t trust my own tongue in a game of truth of dare. I don’t let her speak if she’s quivering.

I once thought you were minnow, me a whale, and I’d swallow you whole. I’d take every skin on your knees and hold them.

“One day you finally knew what you had to do,” by Julia on the 99

Monday December 11

6:54pm

5 minutes

The Journey

Mary Oliver

You decided to wear those jeans. Those light washed jeans with the holes in the knees and the music note above the left pocket. You knew what you needed to do. You always knew. I realized you were serious when you wore those jeans. And I don’t know if I would have been supportive if you had asked me first. I might have told you it was a bit too on the nose. Or maybe infantilizing. Admittedly I’m not the best one to ask for my opinion about jeans. I have been told that my cynicism gets in the way of true happiness. But you didn’t need me to tell you what I thought. You already knew. You were waiting for your insides to know; to match the outside. And when we went into that funeral home and sat down a few rows from the casket, it all added it up anyway.

“The randomness comes from atmospheric noise” by Julia on the 2 bus

Sunday December 10, 2017

6:46pm

5 minutes

random.org

Yesterday I came home and I heard a buzzing. I stopped. I looked around. You had eyes on me like you were worried. Like I was smelling burnt toast. Or listening to satan sing. I swear I heard it. You said you didn’t and that messed me up. You tried to get me to come to the couch and sit near you but I was rhythmically attached elsewhere. When you tried to tell me about your day I didn’t respond. I heard the buzzing and the room shifting on its axis. I was listening the where it was originating from. The television had never buzzed like this before. The floorboards made me suspicious. We’ve been finding a lot of dead spots lately and for a minute it made sense. But in between tuning in and trying not to make you think I had lost my mind, it lost a little bit of strength. I felt sad then. As if I had lost my chance. Or my baby.

“Teach a man to fish.” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday December 6, 2017
8:13am
5 minutes
A Hologram For The King
Dave Eggers

I’ve got no words
I’ve got no spit
I’ve got no honour
I’ve got no heart
I’ve got no wisdom
I’ve got no balls
I’ve got no learning
I’ve got no no’s
I’ve got no shame
I’ve got no morals
I’ve got no fucks
I’ve got no love
I’ve got no water
I’ve got no blood
I’ve got no nonsense
I’ve got no heart
I’ve got no heart
I’ve got no tears
I’ve got no nothing
I’ve got nothing
I’ve got this dumb fucking bird on a wire
Looking in like she knows this
Like she knows me
I’ve got no birdseed
I’ve got no language
I’ve got no sorry left
I’ve got no birdseed
I’ve got no warmth
I’ve got no more Mercury Retrograde uunderstanding
I’ve got no reputation
I’ve got no broken glass
I’ve got no heart

“Orange County wild fire” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday November 26, 2017
9:41pm
5 minutes
From an Instagram post

Vivian isn’t sure if anyone will remember her name. This is a big fear, taking up the space between temples, up neck, across shoulders. Fredrick suggested that she take some sort of weekly class, and at first she said that they didn’t have enough money and then she came around. Fredrick is virtuously patient. That’s the main reason she married him. She also very much likes his hands and feet. She parks near the entrance and checks her face in the rear view mirror. She isn’t sure what she’s looking for – salad in her teeth? She hasn’t eaten salad since last Tuesday. Fredrick was surprised when she chose a pottery class because she doesn’t like getting dirty. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.

“Can we burn something, babe?” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday November 23, 2017
11:29pm
5 minutes
Love On The Brain
Rihanna

Larry drinks a macchiato sitting at the bar drawing hangmen on a napkin waiting for Liz to arrive. She’s notoriously late. He’s spoken to her about it twice and each time she says that she’s sorry and that she’s trying to change. Maybe it’s because his father was in the army and if he was ever late for anything he’d get a slap on the side of the head maybe it’s because his father loathed him most of all more than his three brothers and one sister. He fumes. He checks his phone again and nothing from Liz nothing from Liz only the same old time and date and three unread emails he’s avoiding from work fucking Cathy and her meeting notes fuck fuck fuck.

“We emailed back and forth” by Sasha at JJ Bean

Monday November 20, 2017
6:10pm
5 minutes
Overheard at JJ Bean

we emailed back and forth a bit
you sent me jokes
i laughed into my screen
like an idiot

you asked if i knew where salamanca was
i said no
it took you thirteen days to reply
i waited and waited
every time the ding came
i thought
there it is

i could have googled it
i know that okay
but i wanted it to come from you

you invited me to the dominican republic
you said you’d pay
i got cold feet
i wasn’t sure what you maybe wanted

“Your nanny today was” by Julia at S and M’s house

Friday November 3, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
from a receipt

Sabryn is smart. Like her mother. Sharp, rather (According to the book Drew Barrymore is quoting). Apparently you’re not supposed to say smart. Or tell your kid that they are. I don’t know why. I’m not a mother. I’m someone’s replacement for the evening. I’m their “older sister” who lets them watch one extra show before bed. I’m the one who tells their mother that they’re smart. So their mother will feel good about her job as someone’s mother. Some have been at it longer than others. I’ve noticed that it doesn’t matter if their kids are one or twelve, mothers want to hear that their kids are smart. Sharp. And I only say it if it’s true. I only tell them anecdotes that will make them love their own offspring more when it is genuine. I’m not in the business of lying to parents about how great their children are. They do enough of that on their own. I simply provide a service in which I keep their kids from killing each other while their parents are at the Guns & Roses concert and maybe teach them the joys of MadLibs.

“The great task in life” by Julia at YVR airport

Sunday October 29, 2017

7:36pm

5 minutes

from a quote by Iris Murdoch

The great task in life is being kind when things don’t add up to nice or good or in your favour
Half of us are waiting for the world to turn down the bed
for the sheets to be clean
for the roads to be paved                                                        What kindness do we keep when the world is busy keeping bridges suspended        art and freedom in love                                                          What do we choose when we aren’t being so damn entitled

Sorry

I said kindness                                                                  I am figuring that out myself                                                    Honesty isn’t always butterflies
(In case anyone was wondering)
Kindness isn’t always weak                                                    And honest kindness sometimes cuts with a serrated edge
It shouldn’t always be easy                                                      Easy isn’t always good                                                          We don’t know what we don’t know                                                And sorry
I was talking about me                                                      I think the kindest thing I can do is be tell the truth                            The truth doesn’t always stay for tea

“telling about the poem” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Friday October 27, 2017

5:03am

I Was Reading A Poem

David Rutschman

I tell them about my hurt orange

the bad peel and the good one

How my thumb bruised innocent meat and over and over

How every pressed part cried out for someone to make it stop

Hunger has a funny way of bringing out the kill

And the spectator

And the sport

I tell them about my poor hurt orange

The rough edges and the ever soft

How my nail ripped open the creases

without apology

How the juice begged not to be spilled over carpets busy like these

How the skin deflated anyway

“seems plausible to me” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Thursday October 26, 2017

2:26am

5 minutes

from a quote by Susan Sontag

I love you impossible love song impossible time spent impossible rain storm

I dream of your home in the woods

where you held me without glue

and the hands of our freedom chose to wrap around each other’s

I love you impossible heart break impossible mud puddle impossible first day of spring

I keep your wandering parts in view

I know where your legs are itching for peace and where they are too big for your doubt

I know because you let me know

You let me see

You give me sight

All the eye lashes curled up

folding at the lid

making space for something impossible to get in

“She insisted I make no special concession” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Wednesday October 25, 2017

3:21am

Swing Low

Miriam Toews

Invited me over for tea and sandwiches

Said the sandwiches are going to be first priority and tea very much second

I didn’t know what that meant

I went over for tea and sandwiches

hoping for a few easy laughs

crusts cut off and tucked away

Opened the door and shushed me upon entry

Said the baby was sleeping

But there is no baby

Led me into the dining room and turned off the light

Turned off all the lights

Sat me down in the middle of the room and asked me all my thoughts on God and grape jelly

The tea didn’t make an appearance at all

The sandwiches might have only been a metaphor

Nobody was allowed to use the toilet

Take escape in the next room over

The only one that had a lock

“beneficial to anyone” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Monday October 23, 2017

9:44pm

5 minutes

from an email

Can’t drink anymore. When I do I’m no use to anyone. Can’t remember simple words. Yes and no get confused. No looks a lot like yes. No gets put on the shelf as decoration.

She told me years ago it was time to trade in the bottle. Said my body didn’t like it. She was right. My mother replaced it with structured silver. Said to take a shot of that every morning before I make any other bad decisions. I always had a good memory. I could tell you the birthdays of all 30 cousins and at least 5 aunts and uncles. I could tell you phone numbers of friends and loved ones up until 2008 (I got a cell phone late). I could tell you what you were wearing when we met. How your hair was.

“research purposes only” by Julia on the Canada line

Sunday October 22, 2017

9:23pm

5 minutes

from an Air Canada survey

I’m really good at guessing the time about things. This includes travel time (on foot) and what time exactly I’m going to be starting on the next thing after this first thing is done. I think it has something to do with always managing to glance at the clock (or stove, microwave, etc) when it’s 12:34. Every time. I know a lot of people say they see stuff like this (5:55 or 11:11) but I swear on my life I do. I always try to see if there’s a message in it. It’s 12:34, is there something I’m missing? Is there something I’m supposed to be doing and the clock is giving me a hint? So anyway I guess times and I notice time and I try my very best not to kill time or waste time but to hold time and love time and ask for its forgiveness every now and again. I try but I’m not perfect so sometimes I catch myself killing time and then I feel all kinds of bad about that. I have to think, what did time do to me that I want to kill it so slowly?

“I wanted to go on sitting there” by Julia on the 84

Friday October 20, 2017
6:10pm
5 minutes
Rebecca
Daphne Du Maurer

Kenneth and I haven’t spoken since last winter and he knows why. I don’t like it when people call me sensitive when I’m just feeling my feelings. I don’t go around telling everyone who seems to be under reacting that they’re insensitive. They’re entitled to their own way of expression. Obviously. I’m not trying to take that away. But Kenneth knows how I feel about the word and how I don’t like being labelled emotional when I am simply being alive. Yes, of course it goes back to high school. The girls thought I was a loose cannon, fine, that’s what I became. I put on a real show for them too. Throwing pencil cases and screaming, crying a lot. They thought I was a nut job. And to hear someone say that I’m sensitive after knowing that the word only sticks a knife into my heart, really makes me whirl. I wish I could have stayed still, sat there without bubbling up, but I’m not that kind of person. And yet I am a kind person. And he was wrong to try to tell me how to respond. He was wrong to even put me in the position. Anyway he’s probably enjoying Gran’s oatmeal crisp right now. Sitting happy and quiet without me.

“I wanted to go on sitting there” by Sasha at the casita

Friday October 20, 2017
10:47am
5 minutes
Rebecca
Daphne Du Maurer

Mama’s talking about the spaceship’s coming and Papa’s yelling at her to “SHUT UP, CLARISSA!” Petey reaches for Mama and flings his glass of milk off the table and he wails and wails. I take him upstairs and change him into his PJ’s. Mama and Papa yell a bit and Mama cleans up the mess. Kimmy still isn’t speaking and we’re all worried about that.

“The aliens are coming tonight, Phil!” Yells Mama and Papa rubs his temples like he always does.

Petey looks so cute in his one piece red number and I make faces at him so he doesn’t hear the strangeness. He smiles his big toothless moon smile and for a moment everything feels alright.

“Better questions to ask are” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday October 18, 2017
5:11pm
5 minutes
You Can Heal Your Life
Louise Hay

Do you love yourself

Do you love anything

Where were you when you first liked your body

Where were you the second

What’s your favourite Tom Petty song

Do you love yourself

Will you tell me if my breath is bad

Will you hold the door open for someone who has hurt you

Will you notice when to switch the towels

Will you keep my plants alive when I’m gone

Is there a food you miss because of me

Is there a good you hate because of me

Can we get sushi for dinner

Will you rub my feet

Do you love yourself

Do you know what you want

Do you want anything

Have you ever wished I was dead

Have you ever wished she didn’t break your heart

Do you love yourself

Are you happy

Do you love yourself

Are you listening to your arms

Are you good

“Show them yourself, your highness” by Julia on the 99

Monday October 16, 2017
10:39pm
5 minutes
from a dream

She opens the door and stands back as she gestures for me to enter. The door is covered in cobwebs. I’m supposed to be impressed? She clears her throat and then starts down the foyer. Her heels are click clacking and I imagine what her tongue looks like when she’s disappointed in someone. I don’t want her to see me looking around so I don’t but I clock everything. Listen for grandfather to signal me the hour. Even time is shrouded in mystery here. She brings me to a tiny room and shows me in. She waits at the door while I put down my bag. I think I’m meant to gasp or cover my mouth in honest surprise. She glares at me with anticipation and I’m still not sure if I’m allowed to speak. Suddenly the door slams shut and she is nowhere to be found. I am acutely aware now that she was waiting for me to leave. The lock thuds in the door. I understand how it looked like I was staying. She sealed the deal for me.

“Show them yourself, your highness” by Sasha at the beach

Monday October 16, 2017
3:32pm
5 minutes
From a dream

A girl, maybe seven or eight, Moana bathing suit, high bun. She crouches in the water, making pancakes with white sand. Her mother sits nearby on the beach, a carbon copy older version, metallic silver bathing suit, high bun. She plays on her phone. A stray dog approaches, mangy, skinny, the colour of caramel. The girl’s back is to the dog. She doesn’t know he’s coming. He jumps on her back and she screams, glass shattering, bone breaking, primal fear. Mother jumps and runs before we can and kicks the dog off. Daughter cries. Mother holds her. Calms her. In three minutes she’s okay, back to making pancakes, back to play.

“Space Womb” by Julia at Kits beach

Sunday October 15, 2017
3:49pm
5 minutes
YouTube.com

Galaxy inside me oozing star dust and making plans

Staining my finger tips Milky Way

So when I stamp myself on the backs of all the envelopes I leave a trail of meteor magic behind.

My body amazes me every time I think about it. She is busy holding another human in her space womb. Making space for something good to come, preparing the introductions.

Hello world, this is tiny human and she is going to be a force of fresh air and binaural melodies. She’s going to change the planet and I’m going to be her keeper until she’s big enough to see. In this space womb I am weaving a promise through the umbilical cord and into her tiny soul. I play the music, everybody’s favourite song, and she dances inside me till she sleeps.

“She is giant and bossy and funny as hell.” By Sasha at the casita

Saturday, October 14, 2017
2:10pm
5 minutes
From a text

Darla, you gotta meet her. She’s giant and bossy and funny as hell. When you get her going she will not stop. She will make joke after joke until you really have to say, “Darla, you must be quiet. You must stop talking!” She must be close to six feet, and she’s got the biggest breasts anyone has ever seen. It’s problematic only for those of us that come up to her nipples and have a bard time seeing her face. She has this great bit about how both her parents are half a foot shorter than her, her father being shorter than her mother and how maybe her Mom actually fucked the big friendly giant.

“It was a wild weekend” by Julia on her couch

Friday October 13, 2017

5:33pm

5 minutes

cnn.com

Holy balls I can’t hear out of my left ear and I am not even mad. I thought I would be devastated if I lost my hearing but I’m fine. I think that’s what happens when you get older. When the real things matter. Anyway I’m not even bragging just trying to make peace with the things that are out of my control. Been cleaning more these days. Been organizing everything I can. They say it’s best to organize things that don’t have a heart beat. Cause you can’t control anything with one but sometimes you still need to put things in their perfect order. I’m upset that Lara is sick. She won’t tell me how bad it is but I know she’s been going to the doctor’s office more and more. At first I thought she was just pregnant. That would have been a whole different jar of worms and I think it’s safe to say now that a baby would not be the solution.

“a friend, and all around super amazing person” by Julia on the 84

Thursday October 12, 2017
9:44pm
5 minutes
from the bunz faceboook page

I’m

Vouching

For you

Like you deserve it

Like you’ve earned

some kind of love

like this

Thank you

is something you

can say to me

if you’re looking

for words after

all this is over

Thank you

will never get old

I can’t say I’ll

forget that if you

weren’t who you are

I wouldn’t be thinking

twice about helping

you but you’re lucky

I already love you

You get the friend

discount of me not

slapping your ass all

the way to next Tuesday

Some people would

be through with you

Some people would

ask to see your

transcripts

and driving records

“I’d be fucking rocked if I were you.” By Julia on the 4

Wednesday October 11, 2017

8:54pm

5 minutes

From a text

He forces my wrist until it is twisted up and screaming quietly. He wants me to get into the bathtub. I don’t know why. I let him hold my arm and push until I am kneeling beside the tub and looking in. He keeps pointing. I keep imitating him. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do but he is strong for six and this is the first time we’re in a bathroom together. He looks at me like he’s trying to tell me about his pain. His face is contorted and his eyes are loud. I look back at him with as much heart as I can muster. Tell him with my smile he’s not alone. That I’m here. That I’m sorry he’s trapped inside his head with so many feelings and not enough words. He grabs me by the wrist when I try to open the door. He brings me back to the tub. I am breathing loud enough so he might hear it in his skin. I want to save him but I don’t know what from. He is crying without tears. I tell him, it’s okay. It’s okay.

“Trying to comprehend” By Julia on her couch

Tuesday October 10, 2017
9:36pm
5 minutes
from emmadawn.com

I am writing this with my bad hand, Amy. I am trying to see how my thoughts differ. Where my bad hand has always wanted to go. My stomach has grumbled three times in a row. One for the refried beans. One for the salty beef. One for this guidance. I let everything happen as slow as it means to. Images dance sweetly, pirouetting across my eyes. I can see something clearer like dreams or the next good idea. I think you should try it. I think you will find it thrilling. What’s not moving too fast to catch. What’s the whole point of documentation. I write it to get it down. To keep it here. I like it enough to make it stay.

“your name is the strongest” by Julia on L’s couch

Sunday October 8, 2017

10:55pm

5 minutes

milk and honey

Rupi Kaur

They tried to call me everything but my name to keep me small. Nicknames that referred to me as Other. As too smart. Too different looking. Too unlike them. But big spirits don’t stay trapped in small towns just because everyone else is.

They learn early which opinions to keep and which to let slide. Sometimes they don’t even know how much they already know about themselves. They don’t realize they’re bursting at the seams but they are. They’re not changing to conform. They’re not easily bent. They’re busy trying to stay loud while being silenced.

“how on earth an idiot like that could be trusted” by Julia at the bus stop

Friday October 6, 2017

10:19pm

5 minutes

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou

Wally took off work early again and decided to pick up Dallas and Dax from school even though they still had two periods left. Of course the school doesn’t think to notify me since one of their “guardians” is given my permission. I don’t like him going around there trying to be the hero for two teenage boys who are desperate for their father’s time. He buys them double cheeseburgers and milkshakes while I have whole chicken thawing on the counter. I told him he can keep his privileges if he keeps his drinking under control. I really didn’t want to drag my kids through court to prove to them that their daddy is a fuck up. So far he’s been okay, but I know he’s still polishing off a 24 every two days. That may seem like a small amount compared to some, but these are my kids.

“how on earth an idiot like that could be trusted” by Sasha on the dock at Knowlton Lake

Friday October 6th, 2017
7:32am
5 minutes
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou

Jack is a namecaller and I know it to be true because the walls are thin in this God-forsaken house. My mother only knew Jack for thirteen weeks before they got married, and yes it was because she was pregnant, but she’s not pregnant anymore. Jack was drunk on their wedding day, even before breakfast. Louelle and I brought them boiled eggs and sliced ham in bed and I don’t know how he did it but he’d definitely already been drinking. Jack calls my mother “idiot”, that’s his favourite one. He calls her “cunt”, which I’m not entirely sure about the meaning of, “twat”, which I think means “cat” like “bitch” means “dog.” Louelle just frowns when she hears it and shakes her little curly head.

“Protect the blood from attack” by Julia on the 72 bus in Victoria

Thursday October 5, 2017
10:19am
5 minutes
Chinese Tonic Herbs
Ron Teeguarden

My blood is you and I will never not know this. You are my heart beat, pulsing, thriving, keeping me alive. I am yours. I am always yours. The only gift in this life that I can take with me is being carried into this world by the same love as you. In the same room. With the same light.

When the hail comes, I will know it by the stretch of my skin over yours. You will know it by the warmth of protection that comes without doubt. You are my blood and your blood is me. The only true thing that I love. The only pure thing that I know. You have always known me and I will always find lift because of it. How blue the sky tastes when the eyes are river reflecting. You will know it by the thud in my chest.

“before we found our planet” by Julia at Ocean Island Inn

Wednesday October 4, 2017
11:52pm
5 minutes
The Enemy Stars
Poul Anderson

No chips no fruit snacks no picking your nose in the stairwell
No stepping in dog shit
No touching it thinking it was a leaf attached to some gum
No hopping on one foot around the bathroom while you clean it
while you eat the chips
And the fruit snacks anyway cause whatever about you, this is vacation
No watching a face fall after the body attached to it was two seconds too late
No apologies for being less observant than usual
No maps
No getting lost
No carrying around your thong in your pyjama pockets
No wondering about how your mother pronounces the Pea in pyjamas

“Vampire bats also appear” by Julia on the 84

Tuesday October 3, 2017
6:52pm
5 minutes
Dust
Charles Pellegrino

Kinney and I are taking her boys trick or treating tomorrow night. They refused to go with Chet and I don’t blame them. He looks like Beetle Juice to me too. K thinks we should dress up as vampires or something. She doesn’t want to go as Mom for Halloween when she goes as Mom for everyday. I’ll wear your clothes and go as you, I tell her. I don’t want to be a bat. Fine, she says her eyes dead in thought, you give me your fishnets and I’ll go as you. I don’t wear those anymore, I say, but Kinney doesn’t care. She’s dreaming up a costume that has less to do with me and more to do with her enacting some fantasy of me. In her mind I’m the fun one. In her mind that means wearing fishnets. I don’t want to burst her bubble.

“Water music” by Julia on the 84

Monday October 2, 2017

10:03pm

5 minutes

Major Orchestral Works

Felix Mendelssohn

On the night I saw my reflection I was wearing a wolf mask

I looked into the lines of my face

(of the faces that have howled before mine)

And wept for the good me that was left behind

Sorrow mixing with salt

Forgiveness twisted into wave

I opened my throat to give

something that swung

at the pit of me

I did not ask why happiness had been so cruel

I did not beg to be understood

“Water music” By Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Monday, October 2
6:59pm
5 minutes
Major Orchestral Works
Felix Mendelssohn

I take a bath in the tub where I learned to swim
My sister across from me
Peppermint soap in our ear’s
The hum of our parents voices rising through the floorboards
Fluffy comfort that we don’t know can be broken

I think about writing this
How my appetite’s returned
Words haven’t satiated or helped or healed
But now they can
And they will

I lather my head with shampoo
And fill an old yogurt container with warm water from the tap
I rinse and rinse and rinse
A blue jay sits on the branch right there outside the window
Sings for awhile

There are stains where the drain is
And my love makes dinner downstairs
My parents live in different houses with different loves
My sister rocks her baby to sleep and sings the
Lullaby we heard
Here

“COLD PRESS BRIGHT” by Sasha in the Kiva

Sunday October 1, 2017
11:32pm
5 minutes
from the EPSON box

I will cold press your brightness like orange juice
We’ll drink it together like moon shine
The Milky Way will guide the walk to the jungle
Where we’ll dance naked with parrots and palms

I will kiss every inch of your hurting
Where you didn’t get enough or got too much
I will love every place where you’re burning
And slow your heart with a lullaby like this

I will give you the goodness that you need now
I will waterfall into the unknowings
I will write poems after hours of loving
And chart futures on the bed sheet tangle

“COLD PRESS BRIGHT” by Julia at the studio

Sunday October 1, 2017
6:22pm
5 minutes
from the EPSON box

Cold press bright
button baby button
we are living in pink
hues and baby blues
baby baby will you
want to watch me grow
another human inside
me and then love someone
you’ve never met
but always known
button baby button

Conversation paused
on the problem
Nobody has written down
the plan for us
the three of us
nobody knew there
would be three
unless you knew
without telling me

Bright press cold
button baby baby
witness this magic
of me carrying a
peice of us both
in my body tell
the ocean we are
ready to cross it
all three of us
rock and wave it
all the way to
the shore to save it
baby button baby

Letters written in
father to be cursive
and mamma to be
subversive
you tell the
jokes and I’ll
tell the truth
you tell the
jokes and I’ll
tell the truth
We have not
always wanted you
but you were baby
worth the change
my mind made

“so you can focus on work at that time” by Julia on the seabus

Saturday September 30, 2017

10:17am

5 minutes

from a text

He’s been getting up early to work on his novel. I think there’s a big plot twist that’s been keeping him going. He leaves me in the bed, kisses my shoulder, and closes the door. I’m awake but asleep. I like knowing that words are calling him from slumber into the most awake he’s been in months. Later, he smiles over at me while he types away, croissant in mouth. I am on in the breakfast nook sipping coffee and reading the paper. I smile back.

I get an opportunity to travel across the country for a conference. When I tell him he gives me a confusing look. Bittersweet eyes.

“don’t go” he says, but I can see that he is excited about me being gone. Eliminating distractions is on his list.

“Are you sure you have to?” he tries once more, a dream or the cure rushing across his brow.

“Know this place?” by Julia on Fa Fa’s couch

Friday September 29, 2017

9:12pm

5 minutes

from google maps

There’s a light that keeps switching on by itself. Demi said not to worry about it cause it was just the spirits entering the space (????????). It is bad enough that a light goes on by itself but one that’s delivering ghosts to my living room? No thanks Tom Hanks. Demi has a couple crystals. She says they help. Help what, I don’t know. The light just went out again. If you had to hazard a guess, would you say that means they’ve left or they’ve fallen asleep? I’m referring to the spirits obviously. I don’t know what’s worse that one is coming and going

or many are coming and staying. How many spirits can this place hold anyway? I’m wondering about capacity, like how much can my own spirit handle. How many before I have to call the fire department.

Demi says they won’t bother me unless I invite them to. She did not mention how to avoid doing this.

“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.

“Thank you for delivering your promise…” By Sasha in Mississauga

Thursday September 28, 2017
6:51pm
5 minutes
From an email

When Mona calls she sounds stressed. More so than usual. She always sounds stressed but today she sounds wired. I ask her what’s up and she says that she lost her prescription and she’s been off her meds. I ask her if she wants me to drive down and she says absolutely not, I’ve got the kids this week and… I tell her it’s no trouble, that I promised Aunt Barb that I’d look out for her. There’s a long silence. I ask if she wants to come to dinner. She says, “Yes.”

“Did you try to reply to my email about confidence?” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday September 27, 2017
10:12am
5 minutes
from an e-blast

Krista: I know this seminar will suit you, Jeanie. I specifically designed it with you in mind and you’re not getting any younger so I–

Jean: No I’m not getting any younger. And believe it or not, that is not one of my concerns.

Krista: Oh sweetie, of course it is. It’s everyone’s concern.

Jean: I don’t know how staying young will serve me.

Krista: It’s a figure of speech, relax.

Jean: Well you used it, and you meant it, so. I’m not interested in discussing this with you.

Krista: Fine, but all I meant was that you could use some of what I teach and you’re only running out of time–

Jean: See! Again with the absolutism! I swear to Christ you do not listen.

Krista: Jeanie. Stop this blaming behaviour and own your life. You seem mighty hostile for someone who has nothing to prove.

Jean: You’re driving me upside the wall, okay? How am I supposed to respond.

Krista: Well you could come to my seminar. Respond with your actions not your attitude.

“making a retreat into self-protective cynicism” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday September 26, 2017
9:10pm
5 minutes
Fighting the Cowardice of Cynicism
Caitlin Moran

I suppose it makes sense: refusing to see someone’s good qualities so you won’t be decimated when they let you down. Some of us know which stake to hammer. Which part below the belt hurts. I’ve never experienced no as weapon like I do with you. Your no, I suppose, and it makes sense, is shaped like a gnarled hoof. It makes it hard for you to walk. For anyone to want to get close to you. I wish you could trust me a little bit. I wish you trusted yourself enough to trust me a little bit. I carry around shivs and rope too. I know what it’s like to wait for an attack.

“what it means to have light” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday September 20, 2017

10:52pm

5 minutes

from the LIT call for artists

I think what it means is to be glowing from the inside out

I think that’s what it means to have light.

Also feathers have light. I’m not sure if you can say that, they are light, of course, but they have light too if we can let certain words slide

Fireflies have light too. They give light, they cast light, they are light, they have light.

Other earthlies that have light are candles, guitars, lace, and pixie sticks. These make sense to me. But then again, I’ve never been good with words.

You have light too. What that means is you are lit up. From the inside out. Where a brick could grow, you sprout sunflowers. That is quite beautiful. And you do it by holding on to the flame.

“After the Flood” by Sasha at the kitchen table

Sunday September 17, 2017
9:39pm
5 minutes
The cover of NOW Magazine

By now it’s all happened. By now your hair has dried even though the city is broken and bandaged. By now you have socks. It’s funny when people call you a name that I don’t know. It smells like seaweed and rain. Today will be known as The Day After The Flood.

When we roast marshmallows and eat the sticky bits slowly pulling them between our fingers, sixteen years from now, you’ll look at me sideways and say, “I thought you were going to drown.”

“Also, there’s more to life than power, you know.” By Sasha in her teenage bedroom

Friday, September 15, 2017
12:18am
5 minutes
Vader’s Little Princess
Jeffrey Brown

Sometimes I worry
I worry a lot
Sometimes I worry that
I don’t think more about
Power and who has it and
That it’s a sign of my
Privilege that I don’t
Have to think about
Power

My mother tells me that
She’s worried
That she worries a lot
I come by it honestly
This unrelenting
This unshakable
This courage
This power

It’s hot here and it
Doesn’t smell like salt water
My name is carved in big wood letters
Sat atop stacks of CDs that used to be
My prized possession

I worried less then I think
Or maybe it’s just rose colored glasses nostalgia
Maybe I worried just as much
Just as wide and deep and blue and red