“What beauty, friend, grows in your darkness?” by Julia at her desk

Thursday August 22, 2019
8:37pm
5 minutes
Freeing The Creative Spirit
Adriana Diaz

I am asking some of those tender spaces
those in between here and now places
if i love myself and if the answer is
yes, 100% yes i do then what am i willing
to commit to

I must leave the dirt on the floor, i
must stop eating out of garbage cans
and stop expecting to be filled up, i
must wait patiently at the tooth-edged
sword that wants to jab and hit and poke,
i must close my eyes more and find some
softness in the hidden drawers

In my darkness there grows a beauty
it first comes from rage and from pain
and then it blossoms into something i
can’t name or won’t name in case if i
do it blows the petals off in a fury
there is a quiet and there is a small

i must share my darkness with myself
so i can name her and then forgive her
and hold her and let her sleep in my
bed and give her chewy biscuits

I must love her the way i would a
daisy or a snail; slowly

“What beauty, friend, grows in your darkness?” by Julia at her desk

Thursday August 22, 2019
8:37pm
5 minutes
Freeing The Creative Spirit
Adriana Diaz

I am asking some of those tender spaces
those in between here and now places
if i love myself and if the answer is
yes, 100% yes i do then what am i willing
to commit to

I must leave the dirt on the floor, i
must stop eating out of garbage cans
and stop expecting to be filled up, i
must wait patiently at the tooth-edged
sword that wants to jab and hit and poke,
i must close my eyes more and find some
softness in the hidden drawers

In my darkness there grows a beauty
it first comes from rage and from pain
and then it blossoms into something i
can’t name or won’t name in case if i
do it blows the petals off in a fury
there is a quiet and there is a small

i must share my darkness with myself
so i can name her and then forgive her
and hold her and let her sleep in my
bed and give her chewy biscuits

I must love her the way i would a
daisy or a snail; slowly

“gathering the medicine you need for re-birth.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, April 4, 2016
10:32pm
5 minutes
Mosaic magazine
Spring 2016


Voices in darkness.

“Wake up! Wake up!”
“Can you hear them?”
“No one’s there! It’s the echo of your own voice!”
“Wake up! Wake up!”
“Shhh…”
“You’ll wake the children!”
“Wake up!”
“You’re dreaming again… Go back to sleep. Go back to sleep!”

Darkness wakes me. Puts me to sleep. Wakes me. Puts me to sleep. Darkness makes takes no prisoners. Darkness shakes my bones til they rattle.

Water drips. A bat’s wings brush my leg. Where’s my blanket? It’s cold. A hand reaches out into nothingness.

Voices in darkness and then a match.

“Shhhh…”

“And she put her arms around me,” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, July 7, 2015
12:12am
5 minutes
A Complicated Kindness
Miriam Toews


My mother hates to see me cry. She doesn’t hate to offer me money, or sneak a 50 in my coat pocket when she thinks I’m not looking, even though she knows those exact things will make me cry, but when I start with the tears, it breaks her abundant heart. She doesn’t want to make me feel bad. She just wants to love me. But I feel bad because I’m self-hating and dramatic, and I cause trouble where there doesn’t need to be. She wishes I could see me how she sees me and that only means so much since I’m her baby and she’d look at me and see Mother Theresa even if I burned an entire nursery school with the children still in it to the ground. I know this because when I told her I had deep, steadfast, secret thoughts about poisoning Auntie Ellis because she scolded me in public one time, she put her arms around me and she squeezed me with so much love that I started to cry. Then she wiped my face with her kisses and said, “I would want to do the same thing if I were you.”

“Confronted issues of racism, identity and social tension” by Julia on the 47 going South


Sunday February 8, 2015
8:14pm
5 minutes
http://www.ago.net/basquiat

We were at this line, standing on a cliff looking out into the entire world. We could see all the sadness, because of all the possibility. We could feel the stars shedding their light for us to soak up if we had enough space left inside after all the room we made for darkness. Deep down we had a fixed price for what we’d pay for happiness. We were told that we needed to buy it. We were told we needed to hide it. And at the same time we could hear all the first laughs of every perfect infant. We could paint courage and intimacy with a brush so soft we could swear it didn’t even leave a mark… And that’s why we stood there. On the edge of everything– and not knowing one single thing to do.

“I won’t leave it this late again” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday August 23, 2014
2:46pm
5 minutes
In The Long Run
The Staves


I won’t leave it this late again.
The moon’s howling and the wind is glowing red.
I won’t be coming back again.
Your grin was like butterscotch and sand.
I won’t leave it this late again.
I’m sorry for all the bad I’ve done.
The mountains are screaming banshees.
The ocean is rough.
When we said goodbye, you wouldn’t look at me.
I thought maybe it meant something.
I thought maybe it meant that you weren’t who you said you were.
I thought maybe when we said goodbye
You would hold my pointer finger and aim it right where you hurt.
The sand is cold and the bugs are loud.
It was dark.
It is dark.
Darkness is the ghost of knowing what we know and keeping quiet.
Darkness is light
Dressed up
Or down.
Darkness is the universal shroud of grief
of knowing there’s so much still to do.

“mostly tiny sungrazing comets” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, July 16, 2014
11:46pm
5 minutes
from the Sun Wikipedia page


And we lay there in the grass, picking bushels of it out of the earth to sniff them, or to play them like flutes in the middle of the night. We waited for the sun to pop up again. We were waiting on its predictable rotation. The way we wait for a mother’s call, a friend’s best wishes when we’re near the death of someone close. We wait in the stillness gazing up at the sky, wishing for the night to retire gracefully to its bed so we could watch the warming of the sky take over. And we lay there in the grass, picking moments to kiss each others’ hands and necks and lips. We played those moments over and over again in our heads, recognizing the opportune times to touch one another not out of obligation but out of necessity. The orange was peeking up from beneath a distant hill as we wished.

“safety matter to us” by Sasha on the Bathurst bus


Tuesday, February 11, 2014
1:07pm
5 minutes
TTC subway poster

Sometimes she becomes a sloth
She sits
Warm computer on her thighs
Cup of lukewarm tea on the windowsill behind her
And she travels
Via screen
To places she might not get to before she wins the lottery
Mostly other women’s kitchens
Mostly women with children and nice cameras and gardens with fresh herbs
She’s embracing her sloth-dom
She used to fight it
With the “rush” epidemic
With the “yes” curse
She used to fight it
With coffee
And chocolate
And bagels
Not today
Today she rubs her sloth-body
She slow roasts tomatoes with garlic and rosemary
She let’s the darkness of the setting sun
Pull the brightness from the room where she sits
Where she’s sat
And she let’s the couch hold her
Like a friend
She let’s the screen take her
to islands and mountains and risotto and dragonfruit