“a very small quantity of mud” by Julia in Lozzola

Tuesday December 2, 2014
5 minutes
Cartapaglia notebook

A very small quantity of mud
A memory
A soiled vision of a past self
Could never get that dirt off
Could never scrub hard enough
Could never pray loud enough
Too many times told
“You will never be more than what you are”
Too many times heard
“You’ll never be worth much”
Too many times believed
“Nobody wants you”
And so the story is written
Etched into the shadow of yesterday
Remembering the washing
Attempting to erase past mistakes
Stuck there in that moment
The helpless youth
Left staring at herself in a broken mirror
With a wet cloth
And a tiny quantity of mud

“(Warning: This is going to be personal)” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday June 24, 2014
5 minutes

I start off by telling him to buy a broom. I say this because we’ve been without one for a week and 4 days and I’ve never been more acutely aware of how dirty floors get. We just keep carrying food bits and street crumbs around with us from room to room, from surface to surface. I tell him that I’ve tried to be okay with transferring the tiny dried up pieces of day to living around with me under my feet. I’ve tried to ignore how much was building up. I’ve tried to pretend it was kind of nice not having to worry about sweeping, and not being a slave to the system anymore. But then one minute on one day, enough is enough. It happens abruptly. The level of ‘here’ up to which I have had the proverbial ‘it’ is above my head as well as his, and though I am not tall, he is, so it is radically different than the moment before when it didn’t matter, or it masqueraded as such. The second thing I tell him to buy is a dustpan. He looks at me with those eyes saying why why why and I answer with mine saying because because because.

“Even if she is feeling like the scum of the earth” by Sasha on her couch

Monday June 2, 2014
5 minutes
an Instagram photo

Even when she feels like the scum of the earth, even when she feels like the worm, split in half and drowning in rainwater, she’s there. She shows up. The music, the lyrics are in a different language but they’re bubbling dreams inside there, beyond the understanding or the not-understanding. The pen keeps skipping, like a record player needle, but we’ll be laughing soon. Chin up. Chin up, old girl. We’re all good. We’ve all got more goodness than frailty, than dirt. The sun rises like a pregnant hummingbird. She can count on that. I can count on that

“With lots of ice-creams” by Julia at the Fleming Cottage

Saturday March 1, 2014
5 minutes
My Dream World
Parul Naveen

I had a really perfect moment the other day. It was Wednesday, not any other day. I always have my really perfect moments on Wednesdays. I don’t know how that came to be, but it’s something I have learned to be grateful for, and to count on. The moment I’m talking about now is the one that I will be talking about forever. I was walking across the grass at the little park near my house. I was thinking about investing in something. I can’t remember that part. It might have been a new vacuum cleaner, or maybe it was even just a broom. But it had something to do with tidying, and cleaning up messes, and collecting all the dirt we try and hide and putting it into one easily accessible spot to then throw out, or away, or suck up. I was thinking about something like this. The necessity of tidying. And then that really perfect moment happened to me. A little boy on a tricycle was licking the top of his ice-cream cone with such delight. It was beautiful. He was so young, and captivated, and innocent. And as I walked by him, I worried for just a brief moment that he might drop his cone, as kids sometimes do, and not get to enjoy it any more. And then, instead of that happening, he handed it to me. I only took it because I could see it in his eyes, that he truly wanted me to have it.

“work hard for their wins” by Sasha at Cafe Novo

Sunday, August 4, 2013 at Cafe Novo
5 minutes
Julia’s High School Yearbook

She’s counting grains of rice. She’s making a pile of one hundred.



He finds her like that – the table dotted with white ant hills.

“What are you doing?”


“Organizing what?”

“The tiny.”

He doesn’t get it.

She smiles, secretly in solidarity with the garbage man who told him to “fuck off” early this morning.

He doesn’t know that she didn’t take his side.

He goes out to the backyard and returns to digging.

They’re putting in a hot tub.

She wants it in the earth.

They fight for their wins.

He finally gives in.

He’s happy to have dirt to throw, to have a pit to stand in.

It reminds him of the mine.