“I want.” By Julia in Mt. Washington, LA

Sunday September 15, 2019
8:42pm
5 minutes
Prayer
Galway Kinnell

I want to shit
I want to shower
I want to swim in the ocean again
I want to wash the salt out of my ears
I want to go to Joshua Tree
I want to live in a place where it doesn’t get cold
I want to sit quietly
I want to inhale mulch all day long
I want to finish my song
I want to practice patience
I want to be brave enough to rent a car by myself and drive it in a new city
I want to find another taco
I want to buy those gold shoes
I want to get people excited about making things
I want to wave to an airplane and believe it’s waving back at me
I want to write the book
I want to be published
I want to go to Italy
I want to practice patience

“Any sense if Sunday can work?” by Julia at her desk

Friday September 6, 2019
8:24pm
5 minutes
From a text message

I don’t remember the day now because it was 4 years ago. 4 years ago you gave me the idea: we could move to a new city and start new lives. That was it. That was as far as it got. And I thought you were nuts. Out of your tree. Lost your mind. You were tired of living in a place that required a block heater but I was never good in the rain, so why did I let you explain what you were hoping to do? Too early to head back home because you weren’t ready to settle down. Too cold to stay where you were. Too small.

Maybe you told me on a Skype call while I was filming that TV show. Was it Providence? Was it the day I missed you so much I decided I would go where you go and stop putting up walls around all my soft, gooey, fleshy parts?

Tonight we celebrated some of our recent successes, one of them being living here for 4 whole years with new lives. You said you loved us as adults, and it hit me in that moment that when we met we were kids. Children. What could we possibly have known? This city has been good to us because we chose to fully be here. We saw ourselves rising and we did. We really did.

Finally, we go all out at the restaurant we’ve been meaning to make reservations at. Finally we manage it and finally we don’t limit ourselves by only ordering the cheapest items. We try things. We love things. We clink forks with every bite, every embrace of where we are. And then at the end…the beautiful man beside us pays for our entire meal. We don’t find out until he leaves. And we can’t believe it. How much this city has given.

“sometimes come last” by Julia on L’s couch

Thursday September 5, 2019
9:30pm
5 minutes
Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball
Vicki Churchill

I have done a lot today. I won’t list it here cause All I Am Are Lists Lately.
I want to talk about something important. Sometimes I don’t want to talk about myself but I start the sentence with I because I know I will be able to follow it. We. I also believe in what is powered by us, what we’ve built, who we are and choose to be. I could write a list about that too but I’ll spare you the details. Nobody wants details unless they’re in them. Like dreams. Like clouds for resting your chin on. You is something to be seen in. If I say You, you get to believe it really is even if the You I am talking about keeps changing. I know about You. I know about I. I know about We. I don’t know about It as much or The, but I know about This. And These. These five minutes, This heart lifting symphony, Those 3-dollar earrings I got in Chinatown that two people took photos of so they could try and make a pair themselves…

“I could not agree with those who called the autumn a decline” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday September 4, 2019
9:08pm
5 minutes
Earthly Paradise
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette

I will always recall the critique of my sixth grade teacher
in front of the entire class one afternoon as she made an
example out of me. The task was to draw three autumn trees
with pastels; the reds, the oranges, the golds.
I drew two reasonably lovely trees. I had spent so much time
getting those two just so and the bell rang. We were painting
on the hill outside our classroom and I was inspired by the
falling leaves, the perfect newness of September and all its
promise. Instead of quickly or poorly drawing one more tree,
or admitting that I couldn’t get it done in the time allotted,
I decided on the spot to rip the edges of the white paper to
frame the two trees I had drawn with an intentionality that I
was prone to back then. Such creative choices were so easily
discovered. I ripped it to give it a rustic look that would
mirror the trees and all their splotchy crowns: the dabs, the
finger tip strokes. When my teacher showed it to everyone she
said, This person was so lazy, they only did two trees and they
couldn’t even be bothered to use a pair of scissors.

“But he was never seen practicing” by Julia at her desk

Sunday August 18, 2019
1:38pm
5 minutes
Cato The Younger
Plutarch

He says he sets his alarm for 8:08am and that’s the earliest he ever gets out of bed on the weekdays.
Weekends? Jury’s out on that one. He says he wants to play basketball in a city that actually gives a shit.
He says the YMCA doesn’t have enough diversity. Not for what he’s used to.
Whatever that means coming from Ottawa.
When I ask him about the basketball courts near the beach he acts like he’s never heard of them.
I almost say but don’t: IF YOU WANT TO PLAY BASKETBALL YOU SHOULD GO TO A PLACE WHERE BASKETBALL IS PLAYED.
But he’s resistant to the thought of leaving his house.
In fact, I have never seen him practicing anything other than his litany of complaints about this city.
I too have traveled from away to get here, and I won’t be too judgmental since I used to talk shit
about everything and everyone and why don’t I fit in this, and why can’t I do that…
But I was homesick. So maybe he’e homesick. Or maybe he wants to say all the bad stuff to justify
his next escape move to another city. Tell them it wasn’t fulfilling, or the people didn’t meet
your expectations, or you couldn’t find any fucking basketball past the easy places to look…
I mean, if you were really that into something, wouldn’t you have searched high and low to find the right fit?

“Self-Portrait Image Dip” by Julia at her desk


August 13, 2019
9:08am
5 minutes
Self-Portrait
Lynne De Spain

Call me airhead, full of clouds, ideas, floating
The hummingbird visited me again this morning while

I laid on the patio with my book open to the sky and
she stayed, she stayed, she floated there with precision

And I let my swirled brain meet her in the suspension
call me airhead, cloud reader, dreamer

There is no feeder here, but sweet, sweet, she finds
me with my heart pumping like a flower blooming

I can stay here for years but I don’t and that is
fleshy leg, carrot stick bottom half, sturdy

I can dream minutes into moments and don’t you know
what kind of nectar that brings? Patience, potency

I rest my spotted soul on the ledge and teeter there
back and forth, do I fly or land, fly or land, fly

And what kind of ceremony do you bend a knee for?
Proofs and pouches spilling over, raining coins

Yes we can all bundle the bounty against the wish
for something off in the distance, but why, why, why

“A federal statutory holiday” by Julia on B and W’s couch

Saturday July 6, 2019
10:54pm
5 minutes
From a Wikipedia page re: Canada day

It’s hard to take the day off much less the whole summer.
SoMe
One
Told me that we need to take breaks
Just like the people who work the same hours every week or the ones who go to offices or places of employment outside their brains

This is a foreign concept to me:
I haven’t known the value of a weekend since I was in high school
It feels like every day there is something that needs doing
Especially if no one else is checking to see if it’s done or not
There is no paycheque on a Monday or a Sunday if I am busy sleeping in

This year I am trying-I mean embracing -summer and all its charms
The sunshine, the beach, the cycling, the road, the long walks, the long calls, the patio, the music, the playing, the throwing, the catching, the eating, the laying

I am and I am not because it takes a while to relax and when the relaxing comes it feels like a trick to knock me off my game and stay off

But the folding the laundry, the putting away the clothes, the reorganizing the closets is just as much me as the writing is; as the making
It is just as much me to walk around my house without bottoms as the me who puts on a bra and faces the edge of the street

“while whittling cedar” by Julia on R’s couch

Friday, November 30, 2018
2:00pm
5 minutes
Finnish Schooling
Kayla Czaga

I know a woman who is in the woods right now teaching other women how to wield an axe, chop lumber, and defend themselves against bears and maniacal cretins from the underworld. She is a close talker- a rub your shoulder with her shoulder and make your space smaller type. She is a wine woman. She has cracked purple stained lips and her teeth to match. She doesn’t know her breath smells like the combination of stale and obvious. She is the one in the woods. She also knows about authentic movement and healing through the art of not dancing and not nothing. She was nice and I could talk to her. She explained it once after she had some wine. I think she was wearing a fanny pack made out of a rabbit’s foot or the rabbit’s foot was hanging from it? She was the kind to be wearing either. For the story’s sake I’m succumbing to hyperbole but believe me I was there. I saw her stand beside the chandelier. She was bigger than a tree.

“Party in the house” by Julia on her couch

Sunday November 18, 2018
8:41am
5 minutes
Overheard at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

I told them when you were gone I smoked your weed. This time when you are gone I’ll clean the house and have a personal party. I’ll try on all my clothes and take a photo of the good outfits. If my hair looks right. I told them when you were gone I fell asleep on the couch. That will probably happen again. No chicken wings this time since you threw away our grill. I believed you when you said it didn’t work anymore but I wished I had tried it out myself.
I told them I did not cry and I did not cry over you. I will cry this time over me and that is the beauty of you being gone. The writing songs as soon as I wake up, the sleeping on your side of the bed. The silence will be all mine. I told them when you were gone I ate ice cream and that will probably happen again too. And I’ll miss you. And I’ll wish you were coming home soon. And I’ll wish you had never left. And I’ll watch a bad movie that I wouldn’t want you to know about.

“atmosphere is occasionally interrupted” by Julia on her couch

Thursday November 15, 2018
11:38pm
5 minutes
Old Patterns Fresh Beauty
Andrea Marván

I told you I was going to be writing in the bed beside you and you won’t stop talking to me and biting my shirt.
I don’t respond because I am writing about you but you don’t seem to think that is a good excuse to lay still.
After a shower I have songs in my head waiting to be recorded. You seem to always have one of your own that you need me to hear. It interrupts my ideas and I can hate you in those minutes. I know you don’t know that I am making something over here but I am making something over here. Should I be wearing a sign when it is this constant? Don’t you know by now the water brings me to my knees and opens up my skin?
Sometimes you interrupt the room and I am looking at you. Maybe that is the whole point: a person, living, alive, needing to be seen by the other alive. I don’t think you mean to get in the way. I think you need to. I think the same about me.

“The biggest personality among this trio” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday November 7, 2018
9:09pm
5 minutes
High Living
Jacqueline Ranit

I have to write about something positive. It’s been a long time and maybe some of you are noticing. Or not. Maybe none of you are noticing because none of you are reading these. You used to but maybe life got in the way which is to say got in the way of me. For you all it means is that you have one. A life. And that’s wonderful for you. I think everyone deserves that. I wonder if you’re out with your new family now that you’re not reading these. I wonder if you’ve ever thought to check in and see how I am doing. I might have been very honest in these and could have been giving you the real keys to my under belly but you might be busy is all. You might have other things to do, going to fancy picnics, ordering pizza on a Wednesday. Well in case you’re reading this, things are going really really good for me. They couldn’t be better.

“we have enormous power” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 10, 2018
8:48pm
5 minutes
Louder than Words
Starhawk

We have an enormous power. I think we’re supposed to use it to give love. Something about stopping the struggle today and giving love? I did that. I tried that. It worked. I played. I liked it. It worked. Dinner was joyful. Authenticity wasn’t strained for. I believe now in the power of giving love. Like for Christmas: you get things you wouldn’t buy on your own. Could buy. But don’t buy on your own and someone in your close circle of love gifts you the thing out of the joy of giving because if you really needed it you would have bought the thing yourself before Christmas anyway. If you needed it you wouldn’t have been able to wait for someone else to provide that. Negating the need for the gesture. So what we do is give love as gift without expectations or because it’s a requirement. And giving love is always needed. Everybody needs love. But giving love because you want to…now that’s the gift.

“we have enormous power” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 10, 2018
8:48pm
5 minutes
Louder than Words
Starhawk

We have an enormous power. I think we’re supposed to use it to give love. Something about stopping the struggle today and giving love? I did that. I tried that. It worked. I played. I liked it. It worked. Dinner was joyful. Authenticity wasn’t strained for. I believe now in the power of giving love. Like for Christmas: you get things you wouldn’t buy on your own. Could buy. But don’t buy on your own and someone in your close circle of love gifts you the thing out of the joy of giving because if you really needed it you would have bought the thing yourself before Christmas anyway. If you needed it you wouldn’t have been able to wait for someone else to provide that. Negating the need for the gesture. So what we do is give love as gift without expectations or because it’s a requirement. And giving love is always needed. Everybody needs love. But giving love because you want to…now that’s the gift.

“after every sick joke” by Julia at The Coffee Studio

Monday September 17, 2018
2:35pm
5 minutes
July, ’77
Jill Mandrake

In the night the sticky hot wakes you up and the ac robot beside you becomes a sleep villain. The edge of noise I can teeter on has become finer. The line a little less warning, a little more plummet. I remember you asking for permission but I don’t remember granting it.
My throat catching all the room particles and holding them there. I pull the sheet over my legs and up to my mouth. It’s been an hour in sleep years and in my dream I’m asking you if it can die soon? The robot closes its eyes so now I know you can meet me in my dreams. I know you’ll be able to hear me. In the morning the alarm clock is a welcome sound. No more begging for breeze in the dip of my back, the swamp of my neck. You say, Well that was the most comfortable sleep of my life. Even this joke turns to mud.

“whose eyes are a thousand blind windows:” by Julia in Amanda’s kitchen

Tuesday August 7, 2018
11:52pm
5 minutes
Howl
Allen Ginsberg

We wait for each other to stop speaking
silence drifting between us in our car seats
Sometimes saying nothing is saying everything
How shame lives in my cheeks when I can’t
“say nothing”
“say nothing”

We spend three hours staring into each others’ eyes
separated by green tea and a key chain
and some blurry tears streaming without warning
We don’t call me what I am but later I feel it
The reckoning of too much information shared
Too much honesty not yet checked in the echo

We both say how lovely it is and how sad it was
and how soon we will do this again
nobody is crying now
The summer night too hot for tears to puddle

“Of course we should postpone.” by Julia at the desk

Tuesday July 31, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I’ve been reading about community and how you don’t always get it without making one you fit into on your own. It brings me back to middle school. I was put with all the kids who weren’t try-hards or try-at-alls and I had to do the leading. I had to do all the deciding. I had to do all the work. And I still didn’t get anything out of it. I still didn’t get any respect. Didn’t get any thanks. Didn’t get any friends. Nobody surprised me. Nobody learned anything new about me. And those were the people I was getting. Were they the ones I was asking for by refusing to set boundaries or make my own rules? Maybe. Am I simply adverse to work? There are many maybes here. The point is, it’s not for free. It’s not a guarantee. So I have to learn to love myself instead. I have to learn to love myself so much so that the absence of community doesn’t destroy me. I have to be stronger than that. And it is more work than waiting around. It is more.

“The joy of bursting and bearing fruit” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday July 11, 2018
6:58am
5 minutes
Earth Prayers
John Soos

One day conceivable from here, from now, from everything that I know,
I will hold a tiny, living thing in my arms and I will feel this great love…
The one everyone talks about
the changing kind, the one that gently nudges, inspires, forces you into bearing witness

Each moment between now and then is a teacher
A dream
I will want this when I have gotten good at turning the love inward
At being a witness to myself
And there is much to see. This life has been long already, the one before this one longer still, I imagine, and it is going going
I would very much like to give a tiny, living thing, my heart beat in excess
I want to give everything away when I know I don’t need to hold onto anything I’ve gotten but a tiny, living thing
Everything of use to me is being shown to me from the inside out and the whole world knows it
At least it does if I give permission to the whole world to be within me

Last night I felt a connection with a tiny, living thing
that did not burst forth from my own joy,
but was able to recognize it
We rocked there, our heads touching
and that was enough for me to know

“I am not yours” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
10:54pm
5 minutes
I Am Not Yours
Z. Randall Stroope

I think I’m yours but I’m not yours.
I am mine. I am mine first and I forget
sometimes when you come into the room.

Maybe you don’t notice I stop
what I am doing and follow you around
to the blackberies and to the fridge.
I am not yours.
I was’t born attached to you. I did
that big thing all on my own (you know
what I mean. My mother is a saint and
the Lord blesseth her, Amen)
I can do what I am doing. I can love
you without wondering where I went.

“She actually cooks” By Julia at her desk

Wednesday May 16, 2018
12:16am
5 minutes
Overheard in the dining room

I read your poetry hoping to find a piece of me there
Maybe a big piece that cannot be mistakened for someone else
When I uncover the grave there is a body buried alive
barely breathing, but not dead yet
I weep at the beauty of those words–stiched together like a
quilt to leave hanging on the fraying loveseat
I find a way to see your heart in the hurt
And we are both bodies buried alive, barely breathing
but not dead yet
I have hooked up the tubes and wires and run you through
my veins delivering a kind of test to all my internal organs
It works
I am working
You can be my blood and I will keep pumping
pumping

“sometimes a pencil is an octopus” by Julia on her couch

Sunday February 11, 2018
10:11pm
5 minutes
Octopus vs. Pencil
Philip A. Miletic

Sometimes you know the answer and sometimes you don’t. You don’t know because no one knows and you know because everyone knows. It’s an exact science you can rely on. It’s called Life and everyone knows it because it happens to everyone. Sometimes a theory is a sword. Sometimes an accusation is a law.
Sometimes a lie is a punishment.
Sometimes a lie doesn’t know it’s being lied. But this scientific thing, this thing that everyone knows, called Life, is hard to prove because everyone who knows it knows it in their own scent. It’s a thing everyone knows but it’s a thing no two people know the same way.
Sometimes a Buffalo chicken leg is dinner.
Sometimes a Buffalo chicken leg is breakfast.
Sometimes a Buffalo chicken leg is punishment.
Sometimes a punishment is self generated.
Sometimes the body is trying to protect itself.

“Ninety pounds.” By Julia in Hanoi

Sunday February 4, 2018
9:47pm
5 minutes
T is for Texas
Derek McCormack

I met a woman in the museum today
She was 90 pounds and making things
Pushing through the thick
and then
more making, more things
She won the medal for
perseverance or something like it
Not a war hero but a woman hero
and a wall climbing metaphor
She didn’t see the wall and
think there was no other way

Can’t go over it
Can’t go under it
Can’t go around it
Got to go through it
(Going on a lion hunt)
(If the lion was accomplishment in spite of)

The angle of her made her body
look big and she seemed
so very unfazed
standing

“All my creative juices” by Julia at the bus stop


Wednesday June 7, 2017
6:10pm
5 minutes
overheard on the patio at Mercury Espresso Bar

squeeze me like a lemon
watch me ooze out all of this bright
pulling my skin apart to spill out
eager like a baby deer
bursting forth from her mother
ready to walk wrong and everything
use every part of me to help-
to decorate, to brighten
do not throw me away after the good stuff
transform all my busted flesh
into a body scrub for later

“wild horses” by Julia at her desk


Saturday June 3, 2017
10:45pm
5 minutes
from the microsoft home-screen

On the road trip, Marco presents the game called Animals.
It’s simple, really, when you see an animal, you yell out what it is.
My favourite one to yell is HORSES.
Marco’s favourite is GOATS.
We’ve been playing since the bad burgers and the overpriced fruit.
Marco won’t let me drive even though he’s nodded off twice. I told him
he could rest if he wanted, but he didn’t want me to miss all of the
waterfalls, happening exclusively on my side.
I try to present the game called Water Falls.
But only I can play. Marco can’t take his eyes off the road
on this mountain because every turn is very important.
After we stop for gas and retape the underside of our car,
Marco snapps at me for trying to put down his sun visor and blocking his view.

“As the vibrations release” by Julia on the 7


Friday June 2, 2017
3:26pm
5 minutes
Freeing the Natural Voice
Kristin Linklater


Theta waves on low hum, you don’t seem to notice, so I keep it on
under all conversation and creative thought
Later on, you tell me something strange is happening to my computer, a motor too big for a laptop that small
I debate telling you the truth, experiment interrupted, you can in fact hear it, and decide to give it up
You’re not angry, you think it’s funny but I am angry because vibrations are not funny
I am only embarrassed for a minute when you describe the motor sounds that you were wondering about for 6 whole hours
I am embarrassed for thinking your brain would understand

“it will be a tight squeeze” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday May 27, 2017
12:17am
5 minutes
http://www.onceuponachef.com

“It will be a tight squeeze, but we can fit you in over there by the window?” Mark yawns. He wishes he didn’t have to do this shit. He knows Gary would kill for a seventy dollar steak. He wishes that Gary could come and put on this charade. He wishes that he could rock the twins to sleep and then watch the Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.

“By the window is fine,” says Ken. It’s their third business dinner out this week. “Mr. Sanders will be here any minute.” The hostess – tall, black boots, white cocktail dress, pink lipstick – walks them to the table.

“Judging your early artistic efforts” by Julia at Trees on Granville


Thursday April 20, 2017
2:20pm at Trees Organic
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


The other day I found a note written on a teddybear notepad by my junior kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Beliveau. She signed her name with a heart in the ‘i’ and I remembered just how much I loved her-her and her soft nylons, and her “snot-free” desk (which I violated often and blamed on Justin Martens). The note was addressed to my parents telling them that I had a very nice first day of school: I painted a lot and loved story time (shocker), and sang a song for the class at Show And Tell (I remember this-I didnt bring something to show, like a doll or a toy I liked, so I made up a song and sang it for the class when it was my turn. Super shocker! Just kidding). I have always done this. Four year old me has always lnown this. Thirty year old me is grateful.

“I’m just so sad” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday November 19, 2016
12:07pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Oak St.

“I’m just so sad,” Phoebe has eyes like macaroni and cheese, deep pools of swamp. “I know you are, babe,” I say, and I wish that there was more comfort in those five words. They are just five words and words aren’t enough today. “I’m scared to live here,” she pulls the hood of her sweatshirt around her neck, cocooning. “I want to disappear.”

Inside the quietness of my ribcage, I talk to her about going to the desert and getting married, a klezmer band of lesbians singing to our love in ancient howls under a crescent moon. Inside the quietness, I whisper sounds that aren’t words that might hold her in a way English never can.

“dies in slow motion” by Sasha on the couch


Tuesday July 5, 2016
11:11pm
5 minutes
In Search of Agamemnon
Bruce F. Fairley


It’s the hottest day of the year and the air conditioning is broken. We’ve rehearsed the scene what feels like a million times and Mario says, “Ah! Yes! The deaths… The deaths are… they aren’t working, mes amis. Let’s try them both in, in…” We wait, bracing ourselves, willing him to call the day, “in slow motion!” As he says it he does a demo, as if we don’t know what slow motion means. Eric and I look at eachother and try not to scream/cry/laugh. Mario wonders aloud why we’re stalling. “It’s forty degrees. I’m sweating my balls off,” I say. Eric blushes. Mario gets up. He has his water bottle in his hand. He looks pissed. He pours a bit of water into his palm and then throws it at me, right in the face. Pour, throw. Pour, throw. Nicola, the stage manager, almost says something but Eric silences her with a glare.

“Professional photography” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, March 27, 2016
10:11pm
5 minutes
From a flyer

Holly grips her Minolta like an infant and looks at me, checking the light on my face, squinting her eyes. I’ve never done this before and I feel sick with nerves.

“Are you having second thoughts?” Holly asks. Her Australian accent still catches me off guard.

“Yes, I guess I am,” I say, looking at my feet. My toenails need trimming.

“You aren’t going to get my feet in the shot, are you?” I scratch my thigh and then my balls. It’s a nervous habit. Holly catches me and then laughs.

“Good!” She says, snapping a series of photographs. “I’m glad you’re relaxing.”

“the globally inspired” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday January 24, 2016
10:52pm
5 minutes
From the front of a flyer

Full moon brings out the wild
the smell of mushrooms and old leaves
the rabbit ear soft longing for comfort and
change no difference there just the swell of the waves and
the fingers in the sand

If I could I would binge watch you
and your evolution
Every moment a new stop motion picture
slow exposure
A few sun blasts

“winexpert” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday December 12, 2015
3:12pm
5 minutes
from a wine cork

When I opened my eyes and looked out the window, though, I
jus’… I lost it! I mean, all those little squares a earth an’ shit! An’ snow, all that white an’ the little cars and the little houses and my Ma was all, “What the fuck the matter witchu?!” But, I, I… We’re tiny, man. I know I’m a XL guy, but, like, we’re all this big.

I don’ know if I believe in God or what, man… I seen some
fucked up shit go down an’ I wonder about if this God would
really let that all happen… If this God is cool with Dad’s
runnin’ out, an’ kids bein’ hungry an’ on the street because
their Mama’s sellin’ themselves in their bachelor apartment,
like… Is that the God you want?! Is that the fuckin’ God
that everyone is prayin’ to? That’s a fucked up God, man.

“Don’t tell anyone.” by Julia at her desk


Sunday December 6, 2015
9:43pm
5 minutes
http://www.globeandmail.com/life/parenting

Don’t tell anyone but I love the smell of my own skin. Like the ooey gooey yeasty smell of the inside of my bra after a long day of support and entrapment. I like it like I like the smell of your hands after they’ve been down your pants. I don’t know why but they smell the same to me. Secret Skin. Hidden in plain sight. Terribly crass. Undeniably human. I love the human you become when I’m an animal sniffing the sweat off your thighs. I ache for you to want me like your body has no choice. You tell me you like the smell of my arms, behind my ears, my belly button. I tell you to describe the scent that you like so much. I beg for you to prove it to me that it’s worth risking everything for.
You don’t know what to say except that it’s spicy and reeks of the earth. I am lifted from my bones when I hear you inhale me.

“Shhh…..” by Julia at her desk


Saturday December 5, 2015
11:49pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kits Beach

I clutch the truth to my chest like a secret that is not meant for anyone to see but me.
It stings a bit, this truth. If I hold it too tight it starts to burn through my skin.
I don’t tell you because it might burn you too.
I can’t let that happen. I promised I would protect your heart. I promised I wouldn’t let even one bad thing get close.
You beg me for my truth. You try to sneak it away from me when I’m not thinking clearly. You bet you can take it from me to peak at its face in the place between asleep and awake. The place where I call out sometimes and tell stories in the dark.
You think it’s sweet that I grip it so tight. You laugh when I roar at you to back away. You call me your lion and you plant a kiss on the skin closest to my lips:close enough for me catch it…or close enough to bite.

“Junk Email Folder” by Julia on her couch


Friday December 4, 2015
9:56pm
5 minutes
from an email account

It’s been 5 consecutive days that I haven’t called you. It could have been 6 but one of those calls was out of my control and it would have happened no matter what. I don’t want to hear your voicemail again. I want to hear you. I want you to pick up and just say my name one last time.
I know it’s over. But I can’t help myself. I’ve checked your emails every day since you left. I know what you’ve sent, what you’ve said, what you’ve done, and how you feel. From some in the first few weeks, I knew you were unhappy too. But then…one day after I told myself to stop, I got this urge to log myself in…

“to achieve perfect personal silence” by Julia on her couch


Thursday December 3, 2015
10:15pm
5 minutes
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou


I don’t like to hear myself breathing; it makes me too self-aware of being alive that I start to think about death. The absence of breath. The absence of thought. Eternal rest, peace…silence. I realized that audibly yawning triggered these ideas when I woke up the man who shared my bed by doing it. I had never realized how loud the tiny second just after it peaks, after the soft pallet is fully open, was. That I was luxuriating in it without thinking about it, or questioning it. The next time I yawned after that, I tried to quiet the denouement and found that I could achieve an effective yawn, almost gratifying enough to suffice, if I stopped adding sound to it. It’s less enjoyable but it doesn’t make me think about dying.

“It’s already 10 o’clock!” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday December 2, 2015
6:00pm
5 minutes
said by Joe

Time is flying by and I wish he would just look up from that damned banjo of his for a second to notice that I am no longer interested in dicking around. When you meet the person your heart chooses to love and accept and be challenge by on a daily basis, why waste a single minute of that time after you’ve made up your heart to do something about it? I don’t think he believes that I love him and only him. I think he needs me to write it down and mail it in a letter! Maybe that’s what I’ll do, put it on some pretty pink stationary, spray it with my Eau De Toilette, then shove it in an envelope and seal it with a kiss! Telling him, you better hurry up and marry me quick before I change my mind about you, mister!

“depending on importance & urgency” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday December 1, 2015
6:00pm
5 minutes
from a To Do list in October

Meredith is getting breast implants and she is sure so don’t ask her if she is. She’s answered that question 70 billion times and she knows what she wants. Each time someone inquires if she’s ready she becomes a thousand more percent positive that this is what she wants, answering each time with a resounding YES! Christ! YES I FUCKING AM. The only person who hasn’t asked Meredith if she’s thought about her decision is her mother who gave her the idea in the first place. Meredith’s mother said to do whatever her heart called her to do, and she would support her no matter what. Meredith’s mother was good about keeping promises. But everyone else seems to think they know better and can’t believe that this is the choice she’s come to. Meredith knew she wanted implants since her first year of medical school. She did not decide it while getting chosen to be the captain of the cheer-leading squad in high school. She did not decide it when her first boyfriend broke up with her over Thanksgiving weekend.

“I really like hugs” by Julia on her couch


Monday November 30, 2015
11:00pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Vancouver Poetry Slam

I showered for this. I just want you to know that. It’s that level of important to me. You are that level of important to me. This is harder than I want it to be. I hope you won’t make me explain in different words cause I’m not too good at that part either. I am trying though. You said something to me the other day when you came over to my house with scones or whatever when my roommate was out? You said it’s nice to spend time together outside of work. And I wanted to tell you that I think so too and if I don’t seem like I agree, I just don’t know how to…meet you there quite yet. Not in the way that I want to. If you know what I–because I. You know. I’m sure you know. Also kick butt tonight. I know you’re gonna crush it. All the math and stuff.

“Rainfall warning” by Sasha on the couch at Pascoe Rd.


Thursday November 12, 2015
10:36pm
5 minutes
from the weather network

What you can do:
Be present.
Hold space.
Actually listen (ie. refrain from thinking about whether or not your lover just texted a sexy picture of their shoulders or what you’re going to have for dinner).
Breathe deep and feel your feet on the floor.
Bring Sleepytime tea and a hot water bottle with a dog on it. Even if there’s a rainfall warning or a blizzard or you really just want to stay in your pyjamas and watch reruns of Nashville.
Stay for a sleepover and rub her back until she’s sleeping even if you are also tired. Wait until she falls asleep and then you can follow.

What you can say:
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I believe you.”
“I love you.”
“I support whatever choice you make.”
“I believe you.”

“ASPERTAME CONTAINS” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday October 31, 2015
5:32pm
5 minutes
The pack of gum

Reggae bleeds out of Oli’s headphones and I take them off his ears. “What are you doing?” He looks at me like I smell of something putrid.

“I’m listeninggg.” He draws out the “g”.

“No music in detention, Oli, you know that.” He glares at me. I want to slap him but of course I don’t. Of course I say,

“I’m sure you’ve got some homework or something?” He doesn’t respond.

Oli transferred from a school in the West End at the beginning of the semester. Rosie said that his father was killed in an accident at work. “He was a roofer,” she said, lipstick on her front teeth, voice lowered as one has to do in the staff room at lunch. “He fell off a roof and apparently he just went, “splat”.”

“I wanna see it up close” by Sasha at Moii Cafe


Friday October 17, 2015 at Moii Cafe
12:35pm
5 minutes
from a text

A birch tree sheds her bark
The supermoon is forgotten as soon as it fades
It’s still super somewhere

I refuse to commend your drug trips or your laundry lists
I refuse to celebrate your exploitations of bodies and sisters and dollars and oil
I refuse to vote for a man wearing a mask who has a cheese-ball for a brain
mostly cheddar a little bit cream cheese nothing sharp
no asiago

A snake slithers over the bare feet of a boy whose eyes are glued to his father’s iPhone
Shame he missed that
Shame that tomorrow that species will be extinct
A monarch lands on my arm and I cry for my unborns
Who might not have that magic

The Conservatives (Cheese-ball) cut one billion dollars in childcare funding within three hours of being elected
That’s shorter than Titanic
There are over one thousand murdered and missing Indigenous women across Canada
and no matter how deep Cheese-ball digs his fingers into his ears
He can’t pretend he doesn’t hear the singing
I wanna see the madness up close
I wanna microscope that Cheese-ball
See the ventricles of the greed
Hear the beat of the bacon heart

A grizzly bear waves to a crow
Long lost lovers

“Elevated stress response” by Sasha at Prado Cafe


Friday October 2, 2015 at Prado Cafe on Commercial
12:37pm
5 minutes
Epigenetics
Richard C. Frances


My mother makes the bed with tucked in corners. That generation’s dying, right? No one does that anymore. No one teaches their children how to do that… Maybe nurses, or hotel workers, or… I don’t know. When she comes to visit she brings cake from scratch and flowers from Costco. She calls the week before to ask Lindy what kind of cake she wants. Lindy takes her time deciding – chocolate, or lemon, or pound cake, or strawberry shortbread. I let Lindy decide, without interrupting, or adding in my preference. The doctor says that it’s good for her to make choices without interference. I get on the phone after and ask my mother what time she’ll arrive. “I’ll leave Ottawa first thing so I should be at yours by afternoon?” “Yours”. Who says that anymore? “Sounds good, Mum.” I say. “Sounds good, Mum.” Lindy parrots.

“open 7 days” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Saturday, September 5, 2015
6:59pm
5 minutes
from the sign at the liquor store

When she begged me to forgive her there were tears in her eyes and I was wearing a red and green apron that made me look very Italian and very comical. I couldn’t take myself seriously, let alone take her, so instead of being an adult, I laughed. I couldn’t help it. I’ve always dreamed about these kind of moments where the lighting is just right, there’s the perfect amount of rain, maybe a bit of wind, and an underscoring of building music that sounds like it’s just far enough away to be acceptable. But instead we were both covered in gnocchi flour and our bangs were plastered to our foreheads cause in real life there are no perfect forgiveness temperatures. I laughed and she got very angry. I didn’t mean to offend her but I was angry too…that she couldn’t have picked a better moment for all of her guilt to add up. Instead, right as the tester gnocchi were rising to the top, she fell to her knees and buried her face in my Italian flag.

“I can go by myself” by Julia outside Whole Foods


Friday, September 4, 2015
1:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the library

I didn’t think I could stand another minute of Bryan and his “band” covering Bob Dylan or Bob Marley or Bob Seger. They didn’t seem like the type of “band” that could easily do renditions of such different styles of music. It’s like, just pick one, you know what I mean? Bryan was trying to impress me because I told him once I’d never dated a musician before. That was a lie, cause Joe in high school played the drums and we dated for 5 whole months before I realized I didn’t want to marry him. Also, Matt, the busboy at the tequila bar, was a very good kisser and he happened to play the flute during his elementary school production of The Snake Charmer.

“that’s a dumb simile” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Thursday, September 3, 2015
11:32pm
5 minutes
overheard on the street

compare her to the sky and she’ll melt before your eyes
with a softness in her curl
a smile unbeknownst to her

Draw her like the sea and she’ll grow until she’s free
with a calmness in her song
wisdom there all along

Dance her like the sun and she’ll be your warmest one
with a lightness in her face
shining in the world’s embrace

Love her like the night and she’ll always hold you tight
with a mystery in her touch
radiant gold-speckled hush

“The stress that I have been carrying around with me” by Julia at Barb’s house in Vernon


Wednesday, September 2, 2015
9:40pm
5 minutes
Teach Only Love
Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D.


Oh it’s like a sack of potatoes just weighing down my shoulders, you see? I never once thought of an image quite like that before! It’s actually thrilling to be creative in this way. Hmm. Let’s see, how else would I describe my stress? Well, I suppose I could say, if I’m really going deep here, is that it’s like a 4 year old who refuses to walk on his own and is nothing but dead weight because he’s desperate for attention or something like that. You know the way children act out when they’re not getting what they want, and they throw tantrums, and you can barely drag them around, let alone carry them? Oh dear, I’m afraid that one got a little further away from me than I was expecting. The truth is, I know a lot about these things and those memories that just sort of add up and when I let myself, they all come flooding back to the surface. I’m understanding now that all I needed to say was the refuses to walk on his own bit. The rest just seems superfluous. Either way, we were discussing what my stress feels like. It also feels like a cement block tied around my ankle right before I’ve been thrown into the water….

“Doll factory.” By Sasha at Vancouver General Hospital


Monday, August 24, 2015
12:11pm
5 minutes
a receipt

Sunday morning quiet while Nanny sleeps
Baking cookies with rainbow sprinkles and peanut butter bits
Bit a oatmeal
Oatmeal is a health food, yeah?
Molly’s got that look on her face, all
“Heyyyyy there!”
Steals a handful of sprinkles and before you know it she’s all green lips and yellow tongue and she’s all sugar sugar high
Molly’s keeled over and says
“I need to go to the hospital! My appendix is bursting!”
It isn’t true but whatever
Put her in her snowsuit and walk to the bus stop and then she’s fine
And then she’s a-okay
And then she wants to go back home and finish those cookies
Nanny woke up and is already into the brandy
“What are you girls up to?”
Slurred words like slug juice

“It has nothing to do with you” by Sasha on her porch


Saturday, August 22, 2015
10:31pm
5 minutes
Art & Fear
David Bayles & Ted Orland


When Moses comes home, you will reach for him like you once did. He will turn towards you but shake his head slow, like rain moving across the water. You will ask him what he saw, what he did, what he didn’t do. He will turn away, like summer does in September, and turn on the TV. You will be patient for days, for nights, for months, until one day you will reach for his hand. He will extend his open palm. You will put your cheek in it, a puzzle piece, and he will finally cry. A tsunami is often caused by an earthquake. You know this, and you will feel the ground shake. The tears don’t stop until the moon hangs drunk on the horizon. The wave comes in.

“”I wish to offer him no honour.” By Sasha on her porch


Thursday, August 20, 2015
3:11pm
5 minutes
A tweet by the Globe and Mail

She licks her lips. Dry. Unsure of what exactly to do, she ponders a glass of water, but she doesn’t arise to get one. She wonders if she’s horny, but the thought of finding non-offensive porn to masturbate to feels like an undertaking she’s not ready for. Is this boredom? “I’ve never felt bored,” she hears her own voice echo as if in the Bat Cave at the Museum. Oh, those were the days. Her stomach grumbles and she thinks about something she read once about how people become obese because they can’t tell the difference between boredom and hunger. Shit. She opens the sliding door and let’s a breeze wash over her like rain. She closes her eyes.

“Why do we do that?” By Julia at Christie Pits Park


Thursday, August 13, 2015
12:48pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the Spadina streetcar

So I met her on a subway platform. She was going to jump and I didn’t say anything. I just stood close to her thinking maybe she would feel something from me and decide not to do it. I don’t know what I was thinking. I can’t say it was my brightest moment. But I felt bad interfering. She had decided this would be how she goes and who was I? Someone she didn’t even know trying to convince her not to take her own life. I started humming. What else do you do when you’ve basically resigned yourself to assisting a stranger’s suicide? It was Chariots of Fire. God, don’t ask me why cause I’m still trying to figure that out. But it was like a movie. Maybe a badly written one. She started humming a long. I kept going. I could keep going with that song more than others. Maybe that’s why. Maybe not. I could see the light on the train coming toward us. She hadn’t looked up from her feet yet. So I just sang louder. She sang along with me, and then she looked me in the eyes, tears in hers. I smiled.