“10-year anniversary” by Julia at her desk

Saturday November 10, 2018
7:54pm
5 minutes
Into the Raven’s Nest
Curranne Labercane

This is the third time I’ve tried to say what’s real.
Stop, start, think about the deadlines and the
people who don’t know me but will get the chance to see.
Isn’t that stupid of me? Here, find a vein, stick a fork in it.
Some words live lower than the other ones. I don’t know what’s
in there and what wants to come out. What wants to stay low.
I have to say I’ve been quiet but I don’t hear anything.

I have to say I’ve been running and I haven’t moved.
I don’t know what is happening inside me. Time to celebrate
the 10th year of me not fully feeling anything at all.
When I told my dad I went through long phases where I never
felt hungry and then ones where I never felt full, he told me
it would pass. But it hasn’t passed so is this something
I need to save up to talk to a therapist about?
Is there some kind of emotional x-ray I can hook myself up to?

“In front of a full crowd” by Julia on the 9

Friday November 9, 2018
11:10pm
5 minutes
No Place Like Home
Monika Markovinovic

If I am being honest with myself I don’t need to see anyone for a long time. I wonder why that is, if maybe I’ve been seeing enough of something else that makes the solitude taste so good.
I wonder too if maybe it’s because I don’t have anything to say since the lie of saying a thing sometimes makes doing a thing feel unnecessary. I probably need to read more. I don’t know enough big words. Can’t leave the house and see somebody and use too small of a word.
That might break the system of expectation. That might really teach me something.
I don’t need a full room or anything, maybe because these days that kind of room scares me. Might send me up to the front of it with not just the wrong words but the wrong feelings.
It could have something to do with not knowing if thirst is that tickle in the throat or the one just below it. It could be about listening.

“for young students who can’t sit still” by Julia at her desk

Thursday November 8, 2018
11:32am
5 minutes
From the Beginning
Chelsey Burnside

I have a couple cures up my sleeve
for those days with the knocking knees
Where you can’t sit still even if you please
cause the mind is a buzz with a billion bees
I know what to do when you can’t cut through
the noise that’s been making you feel annoyed
so listen up here it’s the answer it’s the key
for those bumping hearts that are bursting free
Keep moving then if the calm won’t stay
it’s the right time to run if your legs shaped that way
there’s a river to be imitated
if your hunger got you far from sated
you can roll in and out
till your bones get tired and eventually
your nerves will expire
so run like the wind and kiss like the moon
the silence will be there when you’re
ready to tune in your inner ear to the inner light
and until then just keep growing your bright.

“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.

“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 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

“Food is more than what we eat” by Julia at her desk

Sunday October 28, 2018
10:09pm
5 minutes
Dishing on Destinations
Sarah Musgrave

I have been saying it lately, feed me something that will stick to the ribs
let it be meat-thick and full of lessons I could keep my shelves lined warm

I have been asking for more and taking less
Telling them what they put in their pill casings ends up at the bottom of the barrel anyway
the bottom of your best intentions

I have been eating less and craving more, making room for lessons that aren’t going anywhere
And saying to my guts don’t worry this is worth tasting
hold on for dear life and try not waste it

What we put in our bellies to keep us going, food for thought
are we thinking?
Soul food to bring the soup to boil and simmer there
simmer simmer there

“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.

“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

“I recommend starting your day off with” by Julia on L and J’s couch

Monday October 22, 2018
8:05pm
5 minutes
a quote by Chris Cahill

Since you asked, I’d say with a couple hundred words on paper, written by hand.
I recommend starting your day off with a big love letter to yourself. Tell your heart you’re listening and that she is welcome.
Tell your inner child that it’s okay to be here and be loud and be herself.
Tell your current self how brave you are and how happy you are to see yourself showing up in writing, creating a legacy, keeping a promise to exist.
Feel free to draw hearts all over everything. There is no such thing as too much love, only spaces too afraid to hold it. Here, in the beauty of this moment, alone, quiet, dedicated to discovery, you will find your voice. It may change from line to line but life is full of surprises. Don’t be surprised if you surprise yourself.

You don’t have to do any of this if you don’t want to. It’s all up to you to decide what you need. It always is.

“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.

“This report contains confidential information” by Julia on her couch

Saturday October 13, 2018
10:48pm
5 minutes
From the lab report

burn after reading
or it’s the kind of thing that will burn you
every top secret insight
every thought secret kept tight behind lined pages
the letters adressed to eyes that were never meant to read them
this is the kind of private you’ll wish you never craved quiet turned public rage
inside voice blasted on the hallway speakers arent’t you glad you came
but if anyone should see it it’s you
if anyone should know me

“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.

“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

“in the blue plastic chair” by Julia at her desk

Sunday October 7, 2018
5:28pm
5 minutes
Illness and Literature
Tony Hoagland

I’m not going to sit here and pretend I know what you’re thinking.
I won’t stand and do it.
Kneel and do it.
Won’t close my eyes and picture you saying it.
All I can do from here, from outside your skull
from across the world, is invent a story that might explain.
I might tell myself that you think you’re right.
That you believe I should be working on my apology.
That everyone you know thinks the worst of me now.
I might try to understand why you’re desperate to control things.
But what it all means, that is something I’ll only be able to dream up.
No proof.
No facts.
You’re probably not sorry.
And there I go again.
I don’t know what you are thinking but I know what I am feeling.
I want to scream it out but the wisdom says, the source says, the sister says:
I should practice being still and if I know I am right, let that be enough.
But I don’t know now.
I don’t know what is good.

“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

“difficult for the Western mind to understand” by Julia at her desk

Thursday October 4, 2018
9:36pm
5 minutes
The Heart of Understanding
Thich Nhat Hanh

Did I luck out living here or did I land in the wrong place?
You might say that I am exactly where I need to be.
And you would be right. Or you would just be, in that instance.
Total harmony with the universe, not convincing; not pushing.
Here where all these scales lead me further away from happiness.
The belief in others’ approval and allowances. I wish to only seek
my own decision. For the last time leave my importance on the weight
of shoulders balancing on one wheel. I will not dip low and find
comfort there. I will question my trapped animal and learn to pack
a wound. I will face the demon head on and I will make the thing anyway.
I will keep myself and throw away the key.
Who wants a body you can love in a place where they
won’t let you love it.

“silence that voice.” By Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 3, 2018
9:41pm
5 minutes
Sitting in the Fire
Pema Chodron

She doesn’t whisper anymore
she begs
she wants me to be loud
that’s my goddamn mantra anyway
Yell Woman, Yell As Loud As The Moon
But the pull of this river is telling me something different
That I should quiet the voice quaking
that I should walk in silence and observe the wind moving
I am being tested every second and there are so many seconds
which mountains I’ve made and which I’ve climbed
I am fairly certain there have been no molehills worth dying on
I know that is what the pull is saying
the one that doesn’t whisper anymore
The one that doesn’t say anything at all
Wisdom is knowing you are right and not beating a love
over the skull with how right you are
and how wrong they have been
It is about knowing deep within and underneath bone
that sometimes saying less is saying more
and saying nothing is saying nothing

But what about the Yell Woman.
The Women of Yell that I have built all my bridges on
They rumble sometimes
and still
I must sit

“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.

“Three hundred years” by Julia at her desk

Friday September 28, 2018
9:51pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Barack Obama

Tonight I walked by a raccoon party. There’s some symbolism already, K tells me, and I should probably start looking this stuff up. It’s 3 raccoons at first and then I look to the left and there are 3 more in on it. One skunk. There is symbolism about skunks too, I’m sure, and I take a photo cause I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do. K tells me to look up skunks and raccoons and snakes. Together? No, K, says, just when you get a moment. Don’t make it your life’s work or something. Like you? I joke, but K isn’t laughing at all. K has drank most of her blood red wine and is asking if she can have what’s in my glass. I give it to her cause she bought the bottle and I care more about looking up the goddesses and whatever associated with the little lawn party I feel like I was a part of. No snakes on the lawn, mostly in text books and on medallions, and in stories. K wants me to write the story of my first day on earth. I don’t want to tell her that it might be pretty boring. It’ll start with Cold Cold Cold and then maybe lead into Cry Cold Cry. K isn’t impressed with my comedy. She says I am wildly talented but have a chip on my shoulder and sorry for saying so but it’s true. I think she might be right. I wish I didn’t give her the rest of my wine.

“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.

“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

“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?

“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.

“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

“still dangerous,” by Julia at Millennium Park, Chicago

Thursday September 13, 2018
1:48pm
5 minutes
Soft
Sarah Pinder

He whistles his love from the bathroom with the door closed
She is supposed to whistle back to signal that she heard him
She never learned how to whistle
It hasn’t been a major set back
except when everyone else was whistling in the
first scene of the show but her
She pursed her lips together and
raised her eyebrows to fake it

When he whistles from the bathroom
She is supposed to answer him but
she doesn’t know how to fake it
Whatever song comes out, comes out
Whatever noise, faint or otherwise
He takes it as a symbol of her love for him
But she does not know how to whistle
She does not know how to fake it
She has never been good at lying
He has never been good at detecting it

They say you can teach yourself how to whistle
The placement of the tongue in your mouth is everything
The space left for air to flow through

One day she tried to teach herself how to whistle
She put her mouth the way they say to
she made sure her tongue was in the right spot
One sad little note slipped out
And she was glad that she could learn to do
the thing that everyone seems to know how to do

When he whistled his love for her behind the bathroom door
She whistled back one flat note
She never learned how to change the tone
Or make it sound more alive

“and a quiet evening sipping whiskey” by Julia on the Brown Line

Wednesday September 12, 2018
7:16pm
5 minutes
Mr. Bright Eyes
John Barton

Who had the bright idea to go to Target and buy a 12 pack of Miller Lite? Must have been you since you’re the only one drinking Miller Lite these days. Me, I can’t swallow the stuff. Not just Miller Lite, but beer. The only thing they drink here. Not beer as in here take a sip, take a load off, take the edge off. Beer as in, here, here, here, and here, and more, and more, and more, and here. I can’t do it like that. I was told not to. My body has been trying to remind me that. You wouldn’t want me that way anyway. Those days when I used to drink beer and beer and here and here I wouldn’t know where here was or me, or my desires. I don’t recognize the person who used to drink in the shower, before the comedy show, before leaving the house. I could ask us to stay in one night, have a quiet evening sipping whiskey but, you are not the kind of person who sips anything. You like the feeling of being tipsy with me, but I can’t seem to get there anymore without losing myself. I don’t like the action of sipping things when I am simply not thirsty.
My guts have been full since I got here. You had a Miller Lite in the closet yesterday and I had one more reason to stop. The dreams come worse when I’ve been filling all the holes with the wrong kind of gold. The kind that costs four dollars at Target.

“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.

“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 love the internet” by Julia at the desk

Wednesday September 5, 2018
11:09am
5 minutes
The Experimental Boy
Mat Laporte
Did you know that ladybugs are actually beetles? Where would we be without the internet? Without online check in. Without Google Chrome crashing every time I use it because of karma, likely. You can find out all the most important information: Am I going to die if I’ve eaten the same seeds for a week and today I found a tiny worm in them? How do I remove this wart on my foot using home remedies? Can I put a wool skirt in the washing machine? How do I wash my dishes if I am out of dish soap? Cloves is the answer. Did you know that?  I love the internet for watching my every move and tracking my routes traveled. I love that the internet knows where I live and who I see often and can recognize their faces in my photo apps and can suggest other e-mails when I’m writing to a certain group of people. Isn’t that what we’ve always wanted anyway? Someone to see us and know us and help us? Or some thing. Or someones. I wonder how many people know I care about what a ladybug actually is or that I’ve searched for the kind of porn with “gentle hands”.

“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.

“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.

“I’ll quit smoking when God admits he fucked up.” by Julia at King Street Station

Thursday August 30, 2018
9:57am
5 minutes
Nigh
Chris Emslie
 
I could ask God for some help here but God has been fucking up a lot lately. You know the God in the sky, the God in my chest. I can’t ask that God for help cause that’s the God that has been making things hard for me. What am I supposed to say? Thank you? To myself? Oh. Maybe I am. So I could say thank you to myself for fucking up? I see what you’re doing. Use my own mistakes as information. Gratitude for the fuck ups because they’re the real teachers, the mentors, the believers and the seers. They’re the ones who think I’m capable enough to handle the mistake and learn something.  Thank you fuck ups. Thank you God in me for fucking up and showing me what I need to adjust. I am grateful. I am responsible. I am the one in charge of leading this whole damn thing. So you’re saying if God is in me then I can ask myself for help? Believe that I already have what I need, and if I can ask the question I can certainly answer the question?

“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.

“Light becomes me.” by Julia at the desk

Sunday August 26, 2018
9:46pm
5 minutes
Here Be Monsters
Lisa Foad
I have friends sending me long distance healing. I am blessed beyond reason.
When I remember this love I am lift. I become light.
Earlier my lover told me he loves looking at my eyes naked. As if he could see me better without mascara. I used to look at other women who didn’t need makeup with reverence. How much love they had for themselves, how nice their eyes were naturally.
I wanted to believe him better. Let him love me the way he loves me.
I am sad at how radical leaving the house without filling in my eyebrows has become for me.
Why when I am this loved from across the world. Why when I am this bright and grateful and open? Why do I question the quality of my light? Why do I sit and wait for someone else to tell me that they see it. Feel it. Notice it.
If I believe I am light then light will become me. It will be the best accessory. The sweetest outfit. It will bathe me in its glow. And I won’t need to line my eyes in purple paint to draw attention.

“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

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

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

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

“Bible under his arm,” by Julia at the Chelsea Hotel 

Saturday August 18, 2018
2:06am
5 minutes
The Unbreakable Thread
David James Duncan
She tore the stickers from my sister’s bible. Said the devil would get in easier that way. We tried to stop her but she wouldn’t listen. That’s what happens when teachers take students to Christian conferences outside of school hours. The guy who was praying over us said one of us should tell our testimonial to the guy with the headset and maybe we’d get to go on stage. I didn’t have a good story. No decayed turned golden tooth or a broken turned perfect leg so I didn’t go up. My sister was still sad about her troll stickers being destroyed by a tiny troll woman in track pants wearing a giant cross around her neck. I think I wanted to believe it so I did. The place was buzzing with people speaking in tongues and swaying with their eyes closed. I swayed with my eyes closed too. It was the only thing that came natural to me.

“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.”

“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

“the splendid ugliness of this disguise.” By Julia in Jess and Rick’s nook

Sunday August 12, 2018
11:10pm
5 minutes
Ode to Invisibility
Ellen Bass

behind this mask is a person afraid
of not living up to the hype she bestows upon herself
to the hype she gets from others
it is ugliest when she lies to herself
big dreams and cotton candy promises
do this then you’ll…
be this then you’ll feel…
one day you’ll wish upon a star and
find yourself among the wreckage
little lives left losing
little hopes laid to rest in the fields
filled with shoulds but didn’ts
knows but won’ts
the mask looks confident
the mask looks like a lot of things

“play the role of devoted son.” By Julia at G and C’s house

Saturday August 11, 2018
1:33am
5 minutes
Tincture Of Mother
Alan Craig

you can call them while you’re walking home on the busy bridge and tell them you love them.
you can ask them if they can pick you up from the airport or have the bed made ready.
you can tell them what you’re afraid of and that you need their help.
you can bring back their phone charger so they don’t have to spend the money on a new one.
you can make them laugh and get a good reaction when you try out your jokes.
you can be honest about the pot you’re about to smoke on their porch after midnight.
you can make as little noise as possible so you don’t wake them up.
you can take them to the best sushi place in town.
you can make them dinner for the first time and show them the sunset.
you can thank them for the good advice, the good company, and the good food.
but you cannot ask them for the toothpaste.

“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.

“full of tenderness” by Julia in Amanda’s kitchen

Wednesday August 8, 2018
11:36am
5 minutes
Chant
Wang An-Shih

I sleep in your bed when you’re away and I toss and turn and have nightmares about people breaking into your apartment because I’ve done something wrong in a past life to ruin the trust you have in me. On a different night I dream of having to find an outfit for prom. 13 years later and I wonder what I have accomplished since then. Still trying to fit in. Still worrying if I will be perceived by them as I perceive myself. On the night with the nightmares I am landlocked to the bed. I can’t rise. I can’t wake up. Sleep paralysis plays a slideshow of disturbing footage and I’m not allowed to leave. I’m not allowed to leave. Your bed used to be softer. I think you gave that one to our parents. I think your heart full of tenderness gives everything to everyone. I’m sorry my body heavy with jet leg and self-doubt can’t ease into the gift. You’d be sorry if you knew it was hard, and it shouldn’t be hard. It should be soft. You’re sleeping on the cold ground right now and I pray that your bones aren’t wet all the way through. I hope you’re sitting on the garbage bag instead of a damp log. I hope you find peace in the stillness of the wilderness. You impress me. Someone who knows when to say yes.

“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

“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.