“art remains a potent weapon” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday November 6, 2018
10:05pm
5 minutes
When The Beat Takes Over
Robert Collins

maybe I said it in my sleep-
walked to a notebook with decision-bowed deep to an excellent sentence.
maybe I didn’t hide the tears when you told me that I was brave.
you knew it meant something. not a guy scoring points with just anyone by doing rollups. you had to have been listening then. to the language my eyebrows speak. to the worry walking from room to room sort of moving things to the right.
and part of me still held your motive under surveillence. even asked point blank if you meant something by it and what did you mean.

“There is much discussion about the colour” by Julia on the 4

Monday November 5, 2018
4:06pm
5 minutes
Blushing
Daenna Van Mulligen

the art show application says its prioritizing certain colours and certain lifestyles and certain lives. The word prioritizes indicates that some are valued more. in the past there may have been priorization but it was not in the mandatory mandate. the trouble is no one is allowed to argue it. this is not a blind submission although i’m not sure the mandate would like the usage of that word. unless that is what they are priortizing. when I priortize my work I tend to doll out levels of importance to them. I say to my work, “you are the least important and therefore you are not important. some of you are not worth anything at all.”

“the hell days” by Sasha at Olive & Ruby

Saturday November 3, 2018
12:02pm at Olive & Ruby
5 minutes
Soil, Sun, and Soon
Daenna Van Mulligen

“Mom?” Mimi is braiding Felicity’s long red hair, the doll that Oma made for her when she was just a baby.

“Mmmm?” Mom is looking at her phone.

“Mom?” Mimi holds up Felicity so that Mom can see how good she is at braiding now, how much she’s been practising.

“What Mimi? I’m busy, can’t you see that?” Mom rolls her eyes, but unfortunately they don’t make it down to Felicity’s level.

“Never mind.” Mimi goes into the living room where Dad is reading the newspaper.

“Dad?”

“Mmhmm?”

“Look at Felicity’s beaaaautiful hair!” She punches the doll through the newspaper, and her father gasps.

“Monika?! Could you please come and deal with your daughter?!” Dad shouts very loud.

“the hell days” by Julia on the 99

Saturday November 3, 2018
9:52am
5 minutes
Soil, Sun, and Soon
Daenna Van Mulligen

I thought daylight savings was yesterday. I was worried I missed out on that one feeling a year you get when you realize you had an extra hour of sleep. When I woke up I still felt tired. These are the hell days. When 7am looks like 4am and there seems to be no real good reason to leave the bed. Except for all the reasons that catch up before noon. The ones you should have written down the night before. The ones you should have already internalized.
Some of this grey has seeped into my good intentions. It’s like a drop of water landing perfectly in the dry speaker of your phone. Everything sounds blurry. You want to throw the whole thing away and start over. But the hell days don’t let you start over. They make you travel to the bottom of the bottom to show you just how deep this sadness lives. They want you to look it in the face and apologize or something. For what, I’m still not sure. It wants you to see what you’re getting good at avoiding.

“never stop bringing hope to humanity” by Julia on her walk home

Friday November 2, 2018
11:27pm
5 minutes
More Than Cooking
Marla Cimini

Today my sister lights a spark in me from across the country
we act like we never left our childhood bedroom
her side painted with the hope of blue and
mine dwelling pink
we didn’t know each other until later but I think we always knew

Takes one to no one
I tell her after she has told me that so many times
I wonder how bright we can get when we trust that the light inside us is made of love
I call her on my walk somewhere hoping she’s free after school
neither of us expect to have a life-changing conversation and every time it is a life-changing conversation
her philosophy
tender hearted curiosity
She is the reason I am able to do anything for the rest of the day
The morning begins like a siren reminding me that I have bodies to bury in the backyard
She listens with the kind of patience you can only get from Barbie dolls
but she is not poking her head into somebody else’s blouse
She is the strongest thing I can lean my head against
In her company I am the most uniquely grounded me
it comes on a day perfect timing for both of us to remember that the light can be seen from far away when it is turned on
So she flips the switch on for me
And I flick the switch for her
We plan a trip to Europe in the year 2024 like it were already here.

“I get a lot of praise for the work I do” by Julia on her couch

Thursday November 1, 2018
9:04pm
5 minutes
A quote by José Andrés

do you find that when you know the answer to something and you do the opposite, you tend to get pretty down? Nina tells me I’m hard on myself for what I think is taking responsibility. but she shakes her head and sucks her teeth like she caught a burn in her mouth. maybe she’s right but I don’t want to admit that.
I want to get there before anyone else can. Tell them I’m so bad and I did a bad thing so they can say well at least she’s self-aware.
in the same breath Nina tells me I’m talented and there’s a light on inside
me that she believes is love. I’m glad I heard both things that Nina had to say. I don’t want to keep myself down.

“she continued to cook into the early evening” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 31, 2018
5:33pm
5 minutes
A quote from Pasquale Cusano

there’s a book i’m reading
about a woman’s love affair with food and cooking
you gave it to me
it has all the lines you like underlined
you used pencil mostly
but sometimes pen
I think that’s bold of you
it makes me read it through your eyes
it makes me think of you read and what you think about things
material things-as in you don’t seem to care much one way or the other
I wonder if you take notes during phone conversations
or pause the movie a bunch of times to record your favorite lines
I wonder how long it takes you to get ready in the morning
if you’re the kind who owns a steamer because you need a steamer or if
you’re the kind who wears wrinkly shirts because you don’t have a steamer

“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

“The sunset was worth it” by Julia in her bed

Thursday October 25, 2018
11:24pm
5 minutes
From a Roots ad

It had been at least six months and one week since they had seen the sunset. A hundred plus a hundred nights of missed opportunity. Beth had begged (a risk that didn’t look good on her) him to walk down to the water with her. He kept saying yes with his mouth and no with the rest of him. She could have gone on her own but she didn’t see that as an option. How is one supposed to see anything when the light in the room has changed. Hero stopped asking Beth to go down to the water with him. As if he was punishing her for wanting it so badly. After all, she could have gone on her own if she really wanted to see the sunset that badly. But it wasn’t about the sunset and both of them knew it.

“a symbol of luxury” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 24, 2018
9:50pm
5 minutes
Fairmont Magazine

Time is a thing I do not want as luxury. I have never been very good at using it wisely and who says what wise is except the wisemen.
I don’t want more than my share. Don’t want more than I have in case I can’t treat it properly. And I can give myself more if I say no more. I could say no more. Amy says it could be called NOvember. She’s said no to six things she’s already said yes to. I’m going to start calling it that, myself. Might be a nice way of telling time that I am grateful for what I have and I’m not greedy for more. I will love the time I already get to know. Don’t want anyone thinking this is a one way street.

“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

“the function and aesthetic of the neighbourhood” by Julia on her couch

Sunday October 21, 2018
9:20pm
5 minutes
Room For Passion
Fairmont Pacific Rim

I don’t want to live in a place where everyone dresses the same but that’s where I live
All the dogs look the same
All the families
All the blonde women

In my neighbourhood there are a series of types of people:
1. The exhibitionists (us)
2. The peeping toms (us)
3. The laundry on Sunday (us)
4. The brunch on Saturday
5. The long walks(us)
6. The coffee shop (us)
7. The musicians (us)
8. The view lovers (us)
9. The porch (us)
10. The dog park
11. The wait in line
12. The Lululemon
13. The year round volleyball bod
14. The couch sitters (us)
15. The tv watchers (us)
16. The go to bed early (us)
17. The wake up late

“It received glowing praise” by Julia on the 2

Saturday October 20, 2018
12:13am
5 minutes
a quote by Gordon Campbell

So the other day I decided I will become ambidextrous. Right now I’m binging on my right hand before I dive deep into my left. Currently typing with one hand only. I’m sending off my dominance in a big way. And the idea came to me when I started to have wrist pain. What if I can’t write with my right all my life? What happens to a writer who can’t write? Anything? Do they just become regular people again? Regular people who read other writers words?

My left hand is going to make me a millionaire. The work I’ll end up creating will receive glowing praise. “New!” “Raw!” “Purposeful”

“spaces for writers to meet” by Julia in her bed

Friday October 19, 2018
12:03am
5 minutes
from litmaglove.com

what would I tell them
if I met the table of writers
would they know I was lying
like she did
would they have any respect at all
I see that now she wanted to like me but I wasn’t brave enough
I wouldn’t respect that either
so much for honesty and writing what you know
if it only causes you pain
why would any of us want that
but here we are going through it
here we are finding the love in the lousy

“I am science.” By Julia at her desk

Thursday October 18, 2018
10:41pm
5 minutes
From a text

I have been reborn so many times
And what is that?
Spirit or dream or science?
Cells regenerating
Rebuilding
Becoming strong
Becoming soft
Who do I thank for the new eyes,
New hands, new voice?
Me?
Do I thank me? Thank me for being here and all the in between?
I am here because of me and yes
I believe that but I believe in
so many things
The power of distance
The strength of a good night’s sleep
A heart ache that takes a year to stop aching
I am nothing and I am time
Infinite tomorrow
And a million yesterdays
I thank time for being here
And for being me
I am everything and I am
Science and spirit and dream

“I thought that I could take it from here” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday October 16, 2018
8:41pm
5 minutes
Falling Water
Maggie Rogers

It fell firmly from
the ceiling as if
it were made
of maple.
This idea of you:
I caught it in
my arms and held
you there so no one
could touch you but
me. I know about
secrets. I know when
to hide the chocolate
and where. I considered
you then, this detail
of you I mulled over
like a promise.
I decided with the
smell of your shirt
painting pastels
of your arms across
the room that you
were the right one.
This idea.
This weight.

“Worries are the most stubborn habits” by Julia on her couch

Monday October 15, 2018
10:31pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Vicki Baum

isn’t it funny how heavy worry is when we haven’t put the work in and believe popping sentences.
two different things but you know what I mean.
I could fall asleep while blow drying my hair and here and during an epiphany storm and yesterday. all this to avoid myself. all this to find some control that doesn’t come with the reaponsability of making a decision. but brains sometimes over-spin. and here while I sleep. and yesterday.

“Thinking of you.” By Julia in her bed

Sunday October 14, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
From a text

I’m not thinking of you.
I’m not laying in bed eyes closed picturing you.
I am swallowing all my body’s enemies
and all it wants is to release them
I’m not thinking of you.
I’m not scrolling eye rolling not considering you.
I am up to my eyeballs in decisions about me and my own eyeballs.
there is a lot left to know
about everything
about nothing
about silence
but I do not need to know about you.
not checking your latest falling for your taste tests
I’m not tonguing about you.

“not even debate” by Julia in her bed

Friday October 12, 2018
11:06pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Richard Wolff

why are all the midnights mad at me? no fight, no debate, jury’s never left. what did I do? to a family of twinkling possibility. what twisted corner did I take? today they gave me discernment. never a straight answer out of anybody. I don’t want to let them think I’m too afraid to notice what’s going on here. I don’t want
them to know how much I need them to change their minds.

“I married Dave” by Julia at her desk

Monday October 8, 2018
8:30pm
5 minutes
Plants Don’t Have Birthdays
Andrea Gregor

I married Dave
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted
I am happy with Dave
He is the one who makes me happy
He is the one who
He is the one who makes me
I am in love with Dave
He is the one I wanted to love
He is the one I loved to want
He is the love I wanted
I settled for Dave
He is the one I wanted to leave me
He is the one I wanted to leave
He is the one I wanted then didn’t
I am still with Dave
He is the one I regret
He is the one I didn’t expect
He is the one I was too afraid to question
He is the one I can’t see myself in
He is the one who was there
He is the one who had a car
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who had a problem
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who lied
He is the one who kept me small
He is the one who I let keep me small
He is the one I married

“My friend Joe” by Julia on the 4

Saturday October 6, 2018
5:57pm
5 minutes
His Hands
Mary Jane Nealon

My friend Joe became
my boyfriend Joe at the end of the 12th grade. I liked the way his arms looked while driving. I liked that he knew how to use the barbecue.
when I went to university I stayed with Joe even though I no longer wanted him.
One of the first days there I made eye contact with the coolest guy I had ever seen. His name was also Joe. I wanted this Joe instead. I wanted to know everything about him.
There were a couple others I started to like before I told the first Joe that we needed to break up. There were also a couple of crying episodes in my dorm room. Not me. Him. This was the same guy who knew how to use the barbecue.

“you are more than your drama” by Julia on her couch

Friday October 5, 2018
10:18pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Ram Dass

call me up in the middle of the night and question my integrity I double dog dare you. I’ll be the first to hold up my own mirror and accept responsability
cause I have gotten good at apologies and I have gotten good at slipping out of rooms unnoticed. you go ahead and pick up the phone to wield your insecurity at me and I will answer with grace manifest
manifesto
manifest
manifesto
manifest
I will stand calm in the rumble and dig my roots down deeper
you can believe whatever it is you would like
but I will always choose stillness in the face of it

“Hard as it may be to believe” by Julia on S’s couch

Tuesday October 2, 2018
8:40pm
5 minutes
Beneath Our Feet
Redfern Jon Barrett

when you trust someone you don’t catch all the warning signs that float in and out of consciousness
you believe everything they say and do and prove
you don’t look for reasons why they should be hunting you
not in the folds of the couch or buried deep beneath a compliment

when you trust someone else more than you trust yourself
you don’t think their help will hurt you
you don’t think their generosity will silently strip the screws from your chair and watch as your backbone slowly caves in
leaving you defenceless
when they tell you they think you an equal
you will consider it a kindness, a gift until you realize the fact that they tell you that at all
kicks the level playing field out from your feet

“My mother told us” by Julia on her couch

Sunday September 30, 2018
9:10pm
5 minutes
Waiting For My Rape
Jessica Anya Blau

she says “just do your best” and no matter why she says it, she always sounds close to (if not battling) tears. I don’t think she likes crying. but it’s in her like she’s made of sand. a billion moving particles loose under her skin, washing. she says “bye” at least three times. she has to be the last one to say it. it’s an italian thing. like goodbye is the saddest most beautiful world they could think of. and her goodbye keeps me calling. I don’t want to be this far away from her. this daughter’s body a river of sand just like her. a milky way. starlight.

“what day she was born,” by Julia on her bed

Saturday September 29, 2018
11:18pm
5 minutes
The World’s Oldest Person
Elizabeth Onusko

i’m doing that thing where I’m waiting for the first of the month to come again. permission to be bad until then. permission to be born anew and with readiness.
goodbye bad choices and to a cruel time user.goodbye to avoidance and laziness. goodbye to an empty fridge and full days of not leaving the fridge. and full days of
not leaving the house. and full.

“thinking maybe you threw it all away” by Julia in her bed

Thursday September 27, 2018
1:04am
5 minutes
When A Guy Helps You Out
Cary Tenn

it takes ten years for either of us to notice.
ten years of never realizing
fully seeing.
when I see what takes ten years to see, I am changed.
ten years to notice that these eyes belong on two different faces. how do you go back from that? you noticed it too, ten years later, only you thought it was something about the pupils. Something scary.
or did you think it before and now you have the guts to say it? Now you’re what’s making me clock it?
I know you might see what I see: two forceless halves tricking you into believing me seamless like
this whole body is a map to one destination
catch me in my good eye and see my young heart
catch me in the other and see a lion or a truth

Did you always love a hybrid?
Did I?

“The first time you park your car” by Julia on the 7

Wednesday September 26, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
The Cure for Racism is Cancer
Tony Hoagland

Nobody can watch me maneuver this stupid car in this stupid spot and yet that is what everybody is doing. What, did all the world’s best parallel parkers get their cars impounded today? Is that why all of you PEDESTRIANS are such fucking experts? Fucking judgmental pieces of—you know what? I am a good driver. I was the only one out of my friends to pass my test on the first try. I got my graduated licence first too and there I was driving everyone around every single day. So yes, sometimes parking’s a bitch, but I only ever hit another car when I was BACKING OUT because it was dark as hell and the car was CAMOUFLAGED by being blue and parked in my BLIND SPOT. Parallel parking should be taught all the way from kindergarten so everyone gets really comfortable being stared at by a bunch of people who probably don’t even know how to get on the FUCKING HIGHWAY.

“the serpent coiled around the pillar” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday September 25, 2018
9:55pm
5 minutes
Come of Age
Stephen Jenkinson

I have been casting out the devil since I knew he could break into my bedroom at night while I slept.
Lord knows I have stomped my little heart out on the floor more than once to rebuke that son of a bitch.
They do not tell you, when you are just starting to welcome Jesus into your heart, that atheists don’t get possessed by the devil. Why would they? The Christians are stacking their team with the impressionable. The talented. The eager.
Mostly I had to curse his name after watching a scary movie. I believed he could get in easier through my nightmares. I prayed for god to please not let me see anything bad, hear anything bad, or dream of anything bad. Because once I saw Jesus’ shadow on the wall and when he started laughing maniacally,
I knew.

“you should have asked me nicely” by Julia on the 4

Monday September 24, 2018
7:22pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 4 bus

A fallen chestnut narrowly misses the baby’s head I am in charge of protecgjng.
It comes directly after thinking how if a chestnut fell it would gash a chunk out of her head. Good thing that won’t happen. As if mother’s aren’t pushing their babies down chestnut tree lined streets. When it falls and bounces off the rim of the stroller instead of her it feels the way stopping an inch short of getting shat on buy a pigeon toremnting in the rafters feels.
All luck and karma and universal flow rolled up into a warning.

“survive and maybe be heroic.” by Julia on her couch

Sunday September 23, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
Loud, Unpleasant Noises
Norbert Ruebsaat

please stop asking me
how my day was
no matter what I do
I am not equipped
to answer in a way
that absolves me
of the truth
if you’re asking
because you want
to know how easy
it is to put a hand
on a hot burner
and wait for the scream
then ask me
if you’re asking
because you want
to know how long
a mirror can stay
clean until it is
bloody from the
face reflected back
then ask me
ask me why the roof
of my mouth is a
pocket of worry
or why the kettle
screaming does not
rouse me from the
closet
ask me if you want
to hear denial dripping
dripping
drip

“This is an obituary.” by Julia on V’s couch

Saturday September 22, 2018
9:30pm
5 minutes
Empty Condolences
Joey Comeau

You live in the walls I hang my new life on
all the hooks drilled into your grooves
thank you for not whistling
I
don’t
think
I
could
handle
that
You could be watching me but I know you’re not
Never really cared about the minutia of things
the quiet worries spent hiding my tears in the bathroom
the enevelope of cash in my bedside drawers
beside the envelope of letters adressed to me that I had to write to convince myself I was good enough without you
I wonder why you never read my journals
you would have learned so much
And now you’re here and nestled underneath
when I remember to remember

“If not dead, dying.” by Julia on the 99

Friday September 21, 2018
4:55pm
5 minutes
Nothing Like It Was
Mark Wagstaff

today you are the farthest from dying that you will ever be. you have more life in the wiggle of your brow than you even know. so far the room is changed by you. the building. the women. the men.
you are the farthest from unloved. the farthest from unwanted. you are the closest thing to god and even god knows it.
today you are born on the cusp of beauty. you’re already causing poetry and melting heart ache.
though we are on opposite ends of the country, you are the farthest from being far away from me. you are right here in this pocket of joy pushing through my chest. you are right where you belong.

“what would happen if we moved to Vancouver?” by Julia in her bed

Thursday September 20, 2018
12:31am
5 minutes
Crystal
Gillian Wigmore

nobody saw it coming
not me
not you
not the ones we were leaving behind
i suppose some deep place made known only to me in my dreams and
i guess in my mother’s
it was expected that i would make it
we both knew somewhere that i would twist silk into roots
and sink them in
she always knows the limits to my reach better than me
which is funny
since she doesn’t think I have any
but maybe vancouver gave me the pocket of soil to grow myself out of
she said that to me today
and here i am talking about leaving or staying or what in the world should I do
what would happen?

“They must have math class” by Julia in her bed

Wednesday September 19, 2018
10:47pm
5 minutes
Wakaranai
Hanako Masutani

The class watches as Ms. P puts the quadratic equasion on the board. she doesn’t have a ring on her finger and so they wonder why she might be unmarried. Someone as good at math should surely be a Mrs. Someone as nice with the right kind of floral shirts should know about weddings. Ms. P whips around and tells them she can hear them-that being behind her doesn’t make them suddenly invisible. Nick decides he wants to ask if she’s ever farted on a man. Nick is smart enough to do the math but his social skills are stuck in a tree in third grade.

“It is a highly awkward effort” by Julia on the Brown Line

Sunday September 16, 2018
5:55pm
5 minutes
How to Unthink (In Two Movements)
Jill Boettger

The bedsheets wake up bloody and somebody’s name gets cursed for choosing white. Not my name, I’ll tell you that. The first tears are muted into the pillow at 6AM. The second at seven. The stomach starts talking to me around ten after eight and starts yelling at nine. So far universe: 5, me: 0.

When the deep weakness punches back from the reflection in the mirror I know I am on an up-cliff climb without a rope. The first person to get hit in a street fight is usually the one who loses.

Somehow the angel card that gets flipped up from the pile by no one with fingerprints is
Acceptance.

It wasn’t me, I’ll tell you that. You said it wasn’t you.

Acceptance.

“people are still listing reasons” by Julia on the Red Line

Saturday September 15, 2018
7:55pm
5 minutes
Collaboration: Visual/Written Poetry
Sarah Leavitt & Jen Currin

When the subway ascends and we can see the city, you nudge my shoulder, point my body in the direction of the skyline and the tail lights of all those cars
glowing up the street
You say, look at that.
You’ve been giving me reasons why I should stay and what we could do if we decide to and who we would be if I decide to
They sound like good reasons
The good Mexican food being at the top of the list
You tell me this doesn’t have to happen and I believe the sweet in your eyes when you say it’s not going to move you if we don’t move here
Move lives
Move dreams over to a bigger city that we will surely get lost in
You are good at drinking slowly
Waiting for me to finish swirling the straw and ice around in my glass
But if we move here, you tell me, we will also find ourselves

“a multitude of mouths” by Julia on the Blue Line

Friday September 14, 2018
8:52pm
5 minutes
SWITCH/CHASE
Ben Rawluk

Got me dripping drooling thinking about the next mouth of yours I’ll kiss
Morning mouth afternoon mouth or after that. The one that tastes the most like you
I could sip it lick the flavour trick myself into saving it won’t forget it when I’ve savoured it and morning afternoon goodnight goodnight goodnight.
Got me craving itch-mouthed waiting for the mouth you make me want you with
The one that sucks the cold from my lips the one that steals the beat from the mix make the room fall silent
Make the flies on the wall get violent
Give me the mouth you need mine for
Give me the mouth you swish my name in.

“a few drops of peppermint oil.” by Julia on the Red Line

Tuesday September 11, 2018
4:27pm
5 minutes
The Incense of Those Rooms
Jen Currin

Misery loves Company so Misery keeps inviting Company over. Together they sway in the dark and call it romance. Call it pretty.
Misery asks Company to stay a while and talk to her while she cries. And she cries Niagara Falls. Sometimes on the inside where her sandwich drowns a thousand deaths. Company loves Misery and keeps telling her she’ll be there. That she’ll never leave her. Company draws a bath and sprinkles in a few drops of peppermint oil. All this running water and nowhere to go. Misery wants to be who she is, find someone who will love her this way. Company keeps Misery from changing. Keeps bringing her baskets of hand picked sorrow. Calls it unconditional. Calls it sweet. Calls it forever.

“like slivered almonds in the bulk section,” by Julia in The Loop, Chicago

Monday September 10, 2018
10:38pm
5 minutes
Parsley
Listen Chen

Jessie keeps her handkerchief in the secret pocket of her purse. Nobody knows it’s there but her. A tiny reminder of her tiny grandmother who left a big hole in her life when she passed away. She has never been the type to use a handkerchief but knowing that it’s there makes her feel better. It is yellow and white and sweet and floral. It makes her feel lavish. Abundant. Like all those slivered and blanched almonds in the bulk section. Nothing else goes inside the secret purse pocket. It has to stay clean and folded there where all the memories live.

“We made sure you could still heal” by Julia at Washington and Wabash

Sunday September 9, 2018
9:45pm
5 minutes
Day Thirteen
Adrienne Gruber

there is an old saying
let yourself be loved
and you
will love those who
love yourself better

okay those are
my words
I said them
I’m saying them

someone could have said these words before me
maybe not in their exact sequence but life is art
and art is theft

I’m glad we’re choosing all the right things to copy
all the good things to stand up for

these are all the words we heal by:
the ones that sound off in the echo of our own hearts
the ones that bridge the gap between lonely and understood

I could keep a tally of good dreams that mean something
that tell me I am collaborating with the energy of every good place I’ve touched

“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.

“books about people living on the street” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday September 8, 2018
7:12am
5 minutes
Searching, results
Shawn Syms

In a good bookstore (I think you know what that means) I wish I was a better writer I wish I was a better reader I wish I was a better person. Books make me want to do better in every inch keep things clean keep things open keep things real. I admire how my Dad reads. I wish I read like my Dad. I wish I spent way less time with a screen and way more time in pages and pages and pages and words are the way of the future they are how we become who we are how the future breathes life into the present.

“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.

“Grid of Polaroids” by Julia at Vancouver International Airport

Thursday September 6, 2018
6:15am
5 minutes
Sinuous
Lydia Kwa

When I first met you, you lived with two dudes who didn’t know what cleaning was. Or order. One of them waked and baked everyday. The other one had a weird thing with dogs. Your apartment was falling apart. You didn’t have proper wine glasses but you had wine. There was a wall of polaroids by the front entrance. You partying in those photos looked so cool. You had to bathe like an ape because the shower head was broken. You made that joke the first time I came over. Those thin walls. The corner store condom runs. The 28 hour day. The food poisoning.

“I tell him how a blimp once hit my head.” by Julia on the 7

Tuesday September 4, 2018
7:26am
5 minutes
DADDY
Prathna Lor

I used to tell everyone that I was struck by a truck when I was little. Story goes: I was on my tricycle and the truck smashed me and I was very badly injured and everyone came running because they were so worried. Story is: I was on my tricycle and the truck backed up slightly and bumped me and I was fine.

Maybe the real story is better in the first place. The one that has me up against a monster truck and being saved in the 11th hour. The way I was saved in the 11th hour when I was 18. Swerved in the ice slush, totalled my parents’ Corolla, suffered back and wrist pain, but was still alive enough to get my charges dropped down to “Failure to Share The Road.”
Their car was a write off. they ended up getting more because of me.

“These are the demons you wanted” by Julia in her bed

Monday September 3, 2018
5 minutes
11:47pm
FtM
Kierst Wade

you called for these, right? these back spasms, hole in the heel of our feet, night light, better dreams? these are the demons you asked for. the ones who lie about comfort. the ones who throw you onto the pile, fire, fire, but won’t give out the punishment. they are just looking for abandoned hopes. they are looking for hoplessness. that is their favourite snack. amuse bouche at midnight.

and all the sheets drift jazz” by Julia in her bed

Sunday September 2, 2018
10:51pm
5 minutes
Bad Boy’s Slut Song
Nick Comilla

I told him I didn’t like jazz. Said the music made
my brain feel like a loaf of bread left sitting. He wanted to convince me that there is some good jazz. He said he knows the kind I’m talking about: elevator, supermarket. I said yeah but it disrupts me on a cellular level when it’s bad. I don’t trust people who say they like jazz. Like why.
He told me he liked jazz and I would have to stop generalizing. Like do you leave someone over jazz? As in can’t support someone who loves it or can’t be with someone if they can’t get with it?

“she would rub her clit to her bed post,” by Julia on her couch

Saturday September 1, 2018
11:14pm
5 minutes
Nocturne v: c
Marie Segolène

Kinny would think of being pushed up against the wall in the basement of the hospital. She pictured finally having that blonde woman all to herself. People would be around, but they’d both be turned on by that. She thought about her until her clit begged. That blonde hair made her want to tug. And that sexy fitted button down. With her eyes closed she saw herself undoing each one until her black bra pulsed. A little lace. A little bow. She wondered if the blonde woman ever knew she was into her.

“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 truth is” by Julia on B’s couch 

Wednesday August 29, 2018
1:03am
5 minutes
Close Encounters
Meg Torwl
 
I wish the inner me wasn’t so hurt. So confused. So left alone that I wasn’t able to summon some strength to say how I really felt about the whole thing. But behind the veil of this screen, the protection of “fiction” I can find some semblance of vindication. Thanks I’ll say. For inviting me to the party. Then for forgetting to tell me where the party is. Then for forgetting to welcome me. For forgetting to introduce yourself to me. Thanks for having me and not telling me I could eat. Thanks for having me and then leaving the room when I began to speak. Thanks for talking to your friends during the hard parts. Thanks for being more concerned with your phone. Thanks for blaming me for the guests staying too long. Thanks for forgetting to remind anyone I was there in the first place. Thanks for leaving me when I didn’t know how to find my way home.
And still none of this is the real truth. 

“And we created a hybrid,” by Julia on D’s chair

Monday August 27, 2018
1:38am
5 minutes
Poetry Is The Song Of The People
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Altogether in the forest
I remember us walking in a line linked like breakfast sausages
It wasn’t cold or I had on a good coat, I can’t exactly recall. But Illiah was wearing a red rope around his neck with a hangy medalian. a piece of wood with a stamp on it maybe.
and as we gathered around the mother tree, Jara started to sing and we all started to sing too. as if we knew the song. as if our bones were already in tune.I remember feeling like warm water was being poured over my head, cascading down and blanketing my spirit. I never wanted to leave. I never wanted to wake up.

“But fuck that kid. He was a shitty poet.” by Julia on D and M’s couch

Saturday August 25, 2018
9:53pm
5 minutes
A quote from Alex Leslie

I want
to tell
you that
you are
so damn
good
but I
can’t cause
I don’t
like to
lie if
the truth
saves
don’t get
me wrong
I still
think you
deserve love
and all
the nice
things in
life
but you
can’t write
cause you
refuse to
see your
own heart
even when
it begs
you to
bleed
look you
are so
damn good
at so
many things
and one
day you’ll
find your
peace
paper and
pen and
pencil and
ink and
blank page
will love
you better
if you
know it’s
how you
see the
world

“I’m old enough to be that girl’s mother,” by Julia in T’s kitchen

Friday August 24, 2018
7:11pm
5 minutes
My Mother’s Body
Marie Howe

we sit at the diner without speaking. Lulu is mad at me and I am mad at her. the drive was long, quiet, peanut butter stuck in the back of the throat. when I pointed out the horses grazing in the field she gave me the finger. Lu knows i loves horses. she even loves them more than me. I don’t know where I went wrong. i’m old enough to be that girl’s mother but I am not her mother. they don’t tell you that trying to parent another person’s kid will pulverize your heart into something you wish you could snort. Madelyne isn’t sending any instructions from where she is. how to handle a kid who hates me for not being more. when she was just my niece she used to beg Mad to sleep over in my truck. I guess that’s a hope worth tucking beneath the hip.

“if you fed your neighbours” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday August 22, 2018
8:39pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rebecca Solnit

you should feed them the bullshit
hi how are you good I’m good we’re good she’s good
no we can’t hear you coughing no we didn’t realize we were so loud
no we don’t have any sugar for you to borrow
you should tell them you are practicing a scene for acting class when they catch you screaming your lungs off
spilling your own secrets
about who you really are
you should tell them the thing they want to hear
i’m happy we’re happy he’s happy we’re good we’re staying together we’re really good actors we’re really passionate people

“the freedom to do as we please” by Julia on the plane

Tuesday August 21, 2018
10:51pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Wendell Berry

The place of more freedom is waiting for you.
And me.
Together we will see.
Hand over heart swear to the sun and the moon.
You say me and I say you
and you say you
You say this and I say true.
You choose me and I
choose me and I choose
you and you
choose you.
You keep leaving me babe.
And I keep coming home to you.
The heart knows how to
grow: slowly slowly.
It pumps what I use.
It gives it back to you.
I don’t want them anymore.
I don’t need them either.
You’re the only thing I’m after.
In your arms I find my freedom.
Come take this piece,
this experimental page.
Walk beside me walk me up to your lips and wait.
You will always see me, babe,
so you say, so I believe.
And I will always see you, babe.
Underneath.
Underneath.

“Be a lamp,” by Julia at Paul’s place

Monday August 20, 2018
11:13pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rumi

Be the light in the room

Set yourself to bright and go

I know about the seeing

About the illuminating

Walk into a dark place and

Turn the switch

Then how bright the room will be

The glow will be from you being the light in the room

The whole house will be a beacon

For airplanes passing over head

Or be the fuzz in the room instead

The complicated thought

The blur that keeps lines unapproachable

If it is easy then be the fuzz

But if it is good

Then be the light

“trying to pry one of them” by Julia on the 505

Friday August 17, 2018
2:37pm
5 minutes
Ship
Tony Hoagland

The smallest one didn’t speak very loudly. Brandan started calling her “Small One” and she liked it so much that she stayed small. Even after a game where she spent most of her time smiling at dandelions, you had to pry Small One off the field. She didn’t want to go home to Bad Dale or Claudia, Bad Dale’s chihuahaha. Small One tried to sing to Claudia once and she bit her square in the cheek. The next time Brandan saw Small One at practice with a band-aid on her face she whispered to her, “I bet you’re not so small afterall.”

“My miracle is not that you can’t knock me down” by Julia at G and C’s house

Wednesday August 15, 2018
9:01am
5 minutes
Monday Night Class
Stephen Gaskin

weak knees she said
she didn’t want to marry someone who had weak knees
what about running?
does that just go out the window? I know how she feels. when indigo’s shoulder slipped out for the eleventh time in three days, I got worried too. how will we play catch for the rest of our lives? timidly? it’s worrisome. And it’s so very mortal. I suppose nothing lasts forever. we are, at best, temporary. I guess I’d choose an unexpected shoulder pain over a partner who can’t even take a night walk. I’d rather good shoulders though too.

“Hey, man, fuck that.” By Julia at The Common on Bloor

Tuesday August 14, 2018
11:44am
5 minutes
A quote by Elvis Presley

I have never been to florida and now addie is planning to have her wedding there. she says it’s so dean’s family can drive there and some of them don’t handle flying very well. when we were young she used to invite me but I was never allowed to go. my mom said there was something she didn’t trust about florida but she had never been there either. addie wants the resort to plan the wedding because she plans events for a living and wants a day off where friends and family can drink and eat and tell her how awesome she is. if people give her a hard time about not doing a tradional (stupidly expensive) wedding at a hall she usually flips them the bird and tells them to fuck off.

“have another cup of coffee” by Julia on the 511 going north

Monday August 13, 2018
10:34pm
5 minutes
A quote by Joan Didion

in the days before these ones I was waking without assistance
the sun bright enough to light the room
the birds bright enough to sound the alarm
he wished I drank coffee
he begged
his headaches kept him from peace
his breakfasts too small to count
I would shake my head fuzz slowly
I would sometimes wonder at the fridge
but I did not drink my alertness
I did not know how to work the machine
which buttons to press
how long to wait at the foot
of an appliance

“it has been six and a half years since you died” by Julia in her sister’s bed

Friday August 10, 2018
10:48pm
5 minutes
Welcome to the Club
Marion Winik

I don’t remember the day you died but I remember how you lived. Your chest was an open x-ray. Here, the place where love scarred you. Here the place hope left. You smiled through your eyes, through the pain, and we knew we were getting the best of you left in you. We knew you were telling the truth when you said you wanted us to find what makes us happy. I remember how you sang Elvis at New Years and Easter and my dad’s birthday. You left every room you entered brighter. You entered every room.

“You should always be sure” by Julia upstairs at Amanda’s

Monday August 6, 2018
10:55pm
5 minutes
The Law of Success
Paramahansa Yogananda

you won’t always be sure. some things take learning and living. some opinions need to be deconstructed and rebuilt and seen with new eyes. this happens for me and it makes me unsure. because if you must always be sure then where is discovery? were we born sure and lost it? will we ever even be? other people’s shoulds make me unsure. they can’t be taken as gospel when we all have a unique pattern to follow. we’re all stitching our hearts up with different yarn. how can we be sure about anything? unless we’re sure about being loved. this one, no matter who or what, is something true. and I am sure.

“all-new, feature-length” by Julia at Amanda’s place

Sunday August 5, 2018
7:24am
5 minutes
Teamsters and Tutus
Simon Lewsen

it’s the movie of our lives
the stop and go the faraway
the you call me in the morning on your way to buy peaches from the market
the me call you back before the family reunion and the butter tarts
the mesaages of sweet when I wake up and you still asleep
in another time zone
the missing you from here
and I point to my heart so you know exactly where here is, where here lives in me, where I carry you
it’s the meeting at a wedding two summers in a row
a new suit and a new pair of heels to show our loved ones
look, we’ll say, we’ve done all this growing
and the credits won’t because the movie isn’t over yet
it’s only just beginning
it’s only taking shape even after all the years and tears and open wounds
and still we both look at each other and say, I’m into this so far
this is going to be a good one
I can tell

“Hear splash blue” by Julia in Amanda’s bed

Saturday August 4, 2018
1:53am
5 minutes
Here Room Sleeps
Dale Smith

She’s the colour of the sky

You’d think I meant blue but

I mean lime green

It’s that line that hovers in between the pink and the purple

It does a good job of loving me there

She does

Oh I’m the sunset then I guess

And sometimes she’s the whole sky

And sometimes she’s the sun too

I don’t know what colour I am to her but she is the lime green to me because she is the in-between

The always centred

The glowing line of equilibrium

She is subtle and yet she makes the whole picture sing

When she’s not the whole sky she is the reason the whole sky wakes up

She is the sun and the lime green and the sky and I am happy she is above me and she is above me

That’s where she should stay

“But when he reached the age” by Julia at YVR airport

Thursday August 2, 2018
9:07am
5 minutes
Atheist at the Pulpit
Larry Krotz

Elliot, Romy’s kid, had a wine stain birthmark on his hair line. It bled out a bit toward his eyes and cheeks but framed his face in a sweet way. He smiled at me when I caught his eye. It made me feel good. then I watched him smile at anyone he looked at and realized he was not in love with me alone but with people. With life. That made me me feel good too. he pointed at the man on his bluetooth next to me. As if to say “you’re the one that I love the most.” I liked his birth mark. I imagined the skin kissed red to be extraordinarily smooth and squishy. My best friend in high school had a wine stain birth mark on her arm. Her skin was so fun to press myself into. She used to get teased but she was so beautiful. People really suck the life out of you when they dont understand something.

“a family house can remain empty” by Julia on the couch

Wednesday August 1, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
The Highest Bidder
Kerry Gold

My sister answers the phone when I call even if she is with her friends. My brother did the same a few days ago when I called him on his birthday. He was at Montana’s eating a burger before going to the Falls. I felt bad for calling but it felt like he would have chatted all day. That’s the home I’m going back to. The house emptied of the three of us years ago. I was the first to leave and stay gone. I keep boots and books and pictures there. I like going back if we watch the old home videos. We all keep saying we should turn those VHS tapes into DVDs so we can keep our memories longer but no one ever does. If I can find my old glove in the garage I suspect we’ll hit the field behind the house and go long.

“a couple in a living room” by Julia on the 99

Thursday July 26, 2018
12:33pm
5 minutes
From audition sides

I see this couple get out of their car, walk up the stairwell, into their apartment, turn on the lights, sit on the couch, flip on the tv, get up, walk around, close the blinds, get up, walk around, steep a tea, come back to the couch, turn off the light, leave the room. They do this on Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Thursdays. I dont know where they go on Saturdays but I suppose that’s not for me to know seeing as though I’m not a part of their couple. I am a part of my own that does all the same things and none of the same things. And yet, I watch them but I don’t think they watch me. We are always moving but they are never looking. When I see movement, I look. Maybe it’s just a crow, or the guy from upstairs throwing his couch cushion by cushion from his patio into the bin. Maybe I don’t catch them looking when I am in my living room because I am busy living.

“I want to walk with you on cloudy day” by Julia on the 7

Wednesday July 25, 2018
9:29pm
5 minutes
Come Away With Me
Norah Jones

I walk out of the council woman’s house and stare a mountain square in the eye.
My jaw drops. The sky cartwheels. The pink drips off the clouds and into my veins. I drink, greedy, like a humming bird first to the bloom.
I tell her I would like to bring you here for an urban hike so you can see this pocket of the city we live in but don’t even know yet.
I think of taking you to the Rosemary sanctuary. I know if I do you will have to pull me away with some force.
The council woman says nobody knows about this place. She knows all her neighnours.Loves Carla’s garden.
Down the road a teenager lighting a joint under a tree asks me if that guy’s okay.
I ask what guy.
That guy down there, she says, the one who just got shot.

“he had this reputation because” by Julia on the 7

Sunday July 22, 2018
8:05am
5 minutes
Under The Skin
Michel Faber

Because he was good
Because he was kind
Because he was thoughtful
Because he was sweet
Because he was playful
Because he was funny
Because he was grateful
Because he was honest
Because he was forgiving
Because he was generous
Because he was happy
Because he was smart
Because he was curious
Because he was willing
Because he was respectful
Because he was adventurous
Because he was unique
Because he was listening
Because he was trying
Because he was athletic
Because he was vulnerable
Because he was hard working
Because he was loved
Because he was love
Because he was true
Because he was different
Because he was strong
Because he was light
Because he was committed
Because he was disciplined
Because he was musical
Because he was mine
Because he was real

“Brady and Rix” by Julia at the desk

Saturday July 21, 2018
11:40am
5 minutes
Fever Pitch
Nick Hornby

Brady and Rix are the names of my imaginary kids.
They’re both neutral names but they’re both boys.
I am seeing my life with boys. I am allowed to see
what ever I want. God made me a writer. This is what
that’s for. Dreaming. Going there. Writing stories.
Brady is the older brother. My first. I love him like
an avalanche. Falling over myself every day. Knocked
down by love for the kid who can fit inside my pocket.
He holds my hand and calls me mama. He loves bubbles
and laughing and me. And his dad. He loves his dad so much.
He thinks everything he does is amazing. And everything
he does is amazing. Rix is the baby. He’s very serious.
He looks at everything with curiosity. He wants to know
my soul and does not let go. He is learning with a bit
of discernment. He loves being in the water. He pours
out of me and into things and into light. The whole room
loves him.

“as I grow old and my friends leave me.” by Julia on the couch

Thursday July 19, 2018
1:30am
5 minutes
Psalms For Praying
Nan C. Merrill
As I grow old my friends leave me wanting them more
I get cravings for their hearts to soar
And for their souls to laugh
I want nothing more than their rise
Their absolute and inevitable rise.
And my friends leave me.
They leave me when I have stopped needing them
They leave when I am no longer hunting them
They know I do not stay loyal on only one shoulder
Carry the weight of knowing them on both
I want to be your last leaving friend
And you can let me love you that way

“What happened to the women?” by Julia on the toilet

Wednesday July 18, 2018
11:37pm
5 minutes
A Warm Moist Salty God
Edwina Gateley

They all bled out

I know this

I was one of them

The insides twisting

The ache throbbing

No couch soft enough to hold us

No water hot enough to soothe

We all bled out

The way we once did

Hoping someone would come along and offer some supplies

Something to tend to the womb

Wound

Nobody came along

And we got good at smiling when one of the muscles spasmed

When one of our girls got some feeling back

We couldn’t complain about it

Who would understand?

Who would know what we know?

One day we would stop smiling on the inside

That’s when things fell apart

There is only so much

Unfolding

Unravelling

a pulse can take

“Age is a work of Art” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday July 17, 2018
11:40pm
5 minutes
from a Banyen Books bookmark

It is an ever changing thing today I got older and younger during the same conversation

I see myself reflected sometimes so young in her eyes

And when I see her as wise and older and let her be, she is kind

Remarkably kind

And generous with her heart

And that is age painted pretty

That is the poster child the reason why, the trailer for the good show kindness is age and love is old

Love is young

Love is ever changing

I hear myself laughing the way she does and I know we are born from the same legs, mixed in the same sky

“There are no edges to my loving now.” by Julia in her bed

Monday July 16, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
Quoted by Rumi

there are nothing but edges
I see that
you see that
we have perfected the dance of walking on pins and needles
the bed lays flat
the floor a running river
it is easy on the tile as if the room should know better
but nothing is soft
nothing is without conditions
or consequence
I know I am supposed to love you like a circle
like a knot
undoable
I’m meant to give much more over than I do
but I do not love anything like a circle
except for the idea that I do not

“Are we able to live simply,” by Julia on her patio

Sunday July 15, 2018
9:26pm
5 minutes
Living Buddha, Living Christ
Thich Nhat Hanh

Every time this poor dog howls you look up at me from your book with those eyes that are trying to make a connection with mine.
I think you’re hoping that I will want one just as bad as you do; as if this three hour howling dog is helping your case.

How can we live simply with a dog suffering? Think of how much work it’ll be to love something who is always distressed.

And then I think about how you love me extra when I am visited by sadness, three hour tears streaming down my cheeks. You have some magic touch and a resevoir of love overflowing. You don’t even hide it. You give generously. You are there when I get thirsty.

And maybe we aren’t meant to live simply. Maybe some things are supposed to stretch us wide.