“I don’t want to sit” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday December 1, 2017
9:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 16

Listening to Karen Dalton and she’s singing about
something on her mind
I smell gingerbread which makes me homesick and nostalgic
December is the worst for that

The windows are sweating and my neck hurts again
I hear the neighbours sneezing
talking about parking
I ache for the quiet of the woods

The darkness makes
everything seem softer but
rougher too
darker

“He got a gun to his head” by Julia on her couch


Saturday September 17, 2016 at the Shadbolt Centre
11:43am
5 minutes
Overheard at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts

If there’s a reason why we’re meeting here, none of us know it yet. The sky is dark and ominous. There are casual signs promoting danger or intrigue popping up in shadows and creaky floorboards but we haven’t seemed to take heed because we are convinced that this is a dream and nothing bad can ever actually happen to us because bad things only happen to other people or to humans in movies. It’s dark and cold. We don’t speak much in case talking gives us away somehow. Ali and Strat have both cried into their paper bags. I have been inhaling and exhaling in mine, assuming that’s why we were given these to hold in the first place. Cece said she would be here by ten but since none of us can reach her we have already accepted that she is probably dead by now or swallowed up by the night.

“then gave it to his daughter” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 24, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
The Govenlock Hotel
Sharon Butala

He was out in the yard gardening, tending to his beloved cherry tree
Those damn birds…
He propped the ladder up and began to climb, explaining himself each step
Then we pick the ones that are good…
And pops a dark survivor cherry right his mouth
And we keep doing that until they’re all gone…
Or until our arms get tired…
And we wait until the warmer months for the sour ones…
Those ones drive your mother crazy…
He scoops her up little into his chest big, holds her with one strong arm, searching for one perfect cherry with the other.
This is why we come out here…
He presents the cherry like a prize for his little thing to take a bite, deep red squeezing out fast, splattering onto her chin and dripping down her canary t-shirt

“I balance unlaced shoes” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday June 23, 2016 at Starbucks
6:53am
5 minutes
Circling Before Landing
Mariene Crookshaw

Man puts on the radio, turns the dial so slowly
slowly
we hear bits and pieces of moments
and conversations
and music
and static
and we wait until he finds the station
he likes
he can put up with
that won’t make him crazy
He is responsible for us now
he keeps our spirits
in the switch of the dial
in the palm of his hand
In the corner
by the only
window
there is a bony girl in green and black
striped pants
who holds a paper
airplane up to the light
that was here yesterday
she is holding on
for
her turn
to dance
but the music doesn’t stay
the crackling continues
Her mother is lying two feet
away from her
her belly robbed in the
middle
of
the
night
the blood is slowing now
her eyes remain open
pointed at the ceiling
longing for
escape

“Her head is down.” By Julia on her couch


Thursday November 5, 2015
9:08pm
5 minutes
An assignment in the marking pile

Walking along the dirt road, she shines her new smart phone flashlight along her feet to light her path.
“Why are there no fucking lights on this street?”
She is so over this shit town, she can’t stand it. She never yelled to herself before. She never was one to talk out loud to nobody.
“Maybe cause this is a perfect place for me to get jumped and attacked and murdered so no one will ever hear me sing the fucking National Anthem at a home game ever fucking again.”
She’s scared because it’s dark and she’s mad because she’s scared. She didn’t want to be here in the first place, fought tooth and nail to avoid it.
“My Bonnie lies over the ocean..”
She clutches her house keys in her right hand, ready to stab the first thing that crosses her path. She hopes all the leaf-crunching she’s hearing is just a raccoon or a skunk. She prays it’s just the wind.
“My Bonnie lies over the sea…”
She hears a quick snap right behind her and stops in her tracks. Her heart is in her throat.
“My Bonnie lies over the o–“

“supremely a task of communication” By Julia in Brooklyn


Monday, July 27, 2015
11:24pm
5 minutes
Audition
Michael Shurtleff


You say I miss you
I say I miss you back
But we’re throwing daggers baby
avoiding all of our feelings
I can’t stand the silence
So I lie to you instead
You can’t keep score
So neither of us will win
You say
You say I miss you baby
You say
You say I miss you baby
I wait for you to come home
And you rush to me from work
You sit in your car a little longer
So we’re stealing each other’s time baby
Avoiding what is true
You can’t stand the sound of my voice
So you make love to me instead
I can’t play pretend
So it hurts us both the same
I say
I say I miss you back baby
I say
I say I miss you back

“it didn’t work all that well.” By Julia in Brooklyn


Sunday, July 26, 2015
12:01am
5 minutes
From an email

Leaving myself behind
Yeah
Thought it would be easy
Yeah
Thought it would be a walk in the park
Now I’m laughing
Yeah
Cause I know it’s a joke
Yeah
But before I didn’t
Wouldn’t have wanted to take it wrong
I’m stuck with this lot
Half wit
Quarter wit
I’m not going anywhere
No
Not anywhere but where I am
Didn’t work out so well
Had other plans without knowing it
Yeah
Stuck with this face and this body too
Can’t forget a truth once you learn it
Can’t un-hear a bell once you’ve rung it
Can’t pretend
No
Can’t keep all the lies close
No

“There’s something I need to explain to you.” by Julia on her bed


Sunday, July 19, 2015
1:14am
5 minutes
Sputnik Sweetheart
Haruki Murakami


I’m not the light you thought I was
I am the cloud
The dark one
I am the cloud
The dark one
I am the cloud
The dark one
There is hate in my heart
There is anger in my belly
I feed them
I nourish them
I grow them inside me like a backyard tomato plant
I choose them over bravery
I choose them over peace
I don’t have excuses for this anymore
I would have once tried to explain
Why I am or why I have them so close
Some excuses
Some lies
Some carefully constructed reasons
Some backtracking
Some omissions
Something tangible to give you
So you can take home and look at it
To remind you that I tried
But I’m not the light you thought I was
And you should know
Before you count on me to glow

“your your ene me” by Julia at Jess’ kitchen table


Tuesday January 20, 2015
11:21pm
5 minutes
from Hairspray Queen
Kurt Cobain Journals


You’ve got that “I have to win” look in your eyes.
You don’t know how to not have it. Need to.
Want to.
Get to.
You do.
You’ve got that thing.
And it’s not just a look.
And it’s not just an idea.
It’s a desire, carnal, tangy.
It’s deep down.
Deep deep down-
Ocean blue black, immaculate.
Where you keep all your truths-
Where you let them wear sea pearls and dance together in the dark.
Win it.
Win this.
Fighting to win.
Fighting to fight.
Cause if you lose it-
If you ever give up on that look in your eyes-
The one telling you to rise up and take it
earn it
deserve it
own it-
Then you’ll be dark, midnight waves.
You’ll be deep dark like the hidden-
And imagined.

“Image Dip” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday May 28, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
10:42am
5 minutes
Image from The Sun Magazine

I can’t tell if the sky is blurry-foggy-or if this is just my mind-blurry-fuzzy. I can hear you breathing-panting behind me-your footsteps trying to keep up.
I say, You okay? And it takes a second before you respond-
Yeah.
The road is shining so I keep my eyes down and I hum the song that I know calms you-I wait for you to sing along-start singing along with my calming song-but you don’t. You’re just breathing-panting behind me-and I’m navigating through the dizziness-trying to pinch my left arm hard enough to wake me up from this.
Almost there, I call back to you, but you don’t answer and I’m glad cause ‘there’ is a place that as far as I’m concerned I’ve made up.
I hope I’m not wrong. I pray silently that I’m not.
I reach back to see if I can touch your fingertips but I don’t feel you-I don’t stop, I know you’re still there. I don’t want you to feel like you’re holding me up-
I hum again-I hum louder-
You’re not singing along with me but you’re using my voice as a guide-
Under the boardwalk-I call-Down by the sea-On a blanket with my baby-
and you say, That’s where I’ll be.

“clean, soft” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Saturday December 28, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
8:12pm
5 minutes
HandiBac tube

Like a baby’s face,like a sky’s blank slate, like a call in the wild, like a fresh wall of paint, I’m your sinner, you’re my saint.
I can’t cause these power outages to last longer.
I just keep seeing myself in the mirror and I know it’s clearer than it was before.
With the lights out I know, that my problems are gone, so I keep myself in the dark dark until I can understand my mark.
On the world.
Just a big splatter of poetry. I put on to you so you can see.
My life is a coiled up wire that is exposed and could explode into a million sparks of gold if I let it. If I’m not careful.
Clean minds like to clean mine, all my troubles go and into the black hole they blow.
I know I know. I can’t keep the image staying untarnished cause I just like finger smudging and floor rumbling.
They try, they try. But I’m alone most of the time and I can’t hear, what’s inside, I can’t hear all the pride I store away.
They try to keep my anger at bay.

“I didn’t have a word for it” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, March 16, 2013
2:37pm
5 minutes
Everything Bad Is Good For You
Steven Johnson


I had a word for it. I guess I would have called it ‘Hate’ or something like that. It tasted of Ketchup chips and white grapefruit juice. It was sort of sweet and salty and bitter and refreshing and dangerous all at the same time. I thought of it when I thought of you. I was different then, when we first met. I had something unique and good about me that I couldn’t possibly still have. Now I’m dark lips, dark mind, and eternally pissed off that the TV stand collects dust directly after having been wiped clean. I see the world through a lens that doesn’t offer much hope. I learned to be a critic in school, and now all I can enjoy watching is the embarrassment and failure of others. I have a word for it. ‘Hate’s’ the closest thing it could be without telling you what word I actually mean here. It’s something cold, needs a sweater. Like a knit or a fleece. It doesn’t travel well in packs; it’d rather be left alone staring the wall and imagining a person staring back. It has no love, I think, which is why it is so grey. It colours itself in with a yellow highlighter, dying to be the type who can pass itself off as ‘blonde’. It’s not, though. Neither am I. I’m just a brunette with a typewriter, and the only keys that still work on it are H, A, T, and E.