“what it means to have light” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday September 20, 2017

10:52pm

5 minutes

from the LIT call for artists

I think what it means is to be glowing from the inside out

I think that’s what it means to have light.

Also feathers have light. I’m not sure if you can say that, they are light, of course, but they have light too if we can let certain words slide

Fireflies have light too. They give light, they cast light, they are light, they have light.

Other earthlies that have light are candles, guitars, lace, and pixie sticks. These make sense to me. But then again, I’ve never been good with words.

You have light too. What that means is you are lit up. From the inside out. Where a brick could grow, you sprout sunflowers. That is quite beautiful. And you do it by holding on to the flame.

“it won’t matter what house I move into” by Sasha on her couch


Friday May 12, 2017
9:51pm
5 minutes
Love Warrior
Glennon Doyle Melton


Gramma takes us in after the house burns down. We move into her attic, me and Kate and Selma. Ma and Freddie McFly go to the Spencers’. Selma says that they might be swingers, but Kate and I say, “please don’t make us picture that.” Gramma never recovered after Gramps died. She doesn’t smile, or laugh, or do the crossword puzzles. She makes us toast with raspberry jam in a little bowl. No butter in sight. “We can just use jam from the jar, Gram,” says Kate. Gramma scowls. Sometimes, at night, when all the lights are out and we are three in a row in the king bed, we hear her whistling the Canadian anthem.

“hello sacred fire” by Julia on the 99


Monday December 19, 2016
10:59pm
5 minutes
from Hello Sacred Life by Kim Krans

I go over to Didi’s house and she makes me watch the fireplace channel. Says it gets cold in there if she turns it off. Says that she needs it on to keep her sane.
I go over to Didi’s house and she makes hot tea that’s so hot it’s too hot to drink even after waiting for hours. Says her tongue doesn’t mind it anymore. Says her bones sing for it now that she’s lost part of her Ship. Says her Ship stays afloat with hot tea steeped just right.
I go over to Didi’s house and she makes me listen to her new poem that she wrote about the sirens.
Says she can hear them in her sleep now. Says she dreams about them as if she was a siren herself and doesn’t know if the wails are coming from inside or outside her heart.

“with my fingers and lick” by Julia on her couch


Saturday December 3, 2016
6:20pm
5 minutes
from Cake Pops
Amy Roher


It’s going in the books as one of the best fights of my life. Probably won’t have a rival. I think because being able to be so articulate while so angry is one of those white squirrel moments. They exist but they are rare. They are unicorns. Unicorns that reveal themselves to only the lucky ones in this life. I haven’t seen one yet, but that’s okay because I had this fight and I will never be the same. We laughed. We cried. We fucked. We said it all. We screamed. We got what we wanted. We saw each other. We saw our problems. We accepted them. We accepted each other. But we were both still mad and it was beautiful. Truly. No one had to cut a piece of themselves off. No one had to step onto the coals while the other one held the gasoline. We both blazed. We walked through the fire together. We blew the smoke off each other’s backs. We flew.

“keep coming back” by Julia at Starbucks


Tuesday June 28, 2016 at Starbucks
7:31am
5 minutes
buddiesinbadtimes.com

I keep having the same dream–that I’m lying in my bed with my eyes closed, asleep, and in my mind’s eye I see fuchsia orbs coming toward me, flickering in the sky then disintegrating into nothing. I am in that paralyzed, meta state where I recognize that I’m dreaming but I can’t wake up or move or change anything. In this dream I always look past the flickering pink and can make out more colours in the distance. Flames. Outside my window the tall tree, the one that the crows perch in and caw in every morning at exactly 4:43, is on fire. The leaves are burning up and they’re going slow enough to wonder if this too shall pass…
In this dream, I scream to you to call 911 and you tell me it’s not necessary. I tell you it is because I can see it from my position and this fire will consume us if we don’t treat it with respect. You rush into the room and the sky outside is orange and red.
You stare out blankly and whisper to me, you were right…

“Alberta’s oil sands” by Julia on the 319


Thursday May 5, 2016
6:11pm
5 minutes
From the back of a pamphlet

Mauve and red and magenta and orange. Sky bright. Night hot. Night fear. Red blood pumping. Running. Running. Dreams interrupted. Sleep disrupted. Running. Running.
I want to go home where the fields were mine and where the sky guided me back. Nothing left now. No home. No fields. No fix. No fight. Night hot. Sky bright. Love out. Love in. Goodbyes painted flame. Least important importance stays behind. No one wins. Running. Running.

“Alberta’s oil sands” by Sasha at Platform Seven


Thursday May 5, 2016
1:50pm at Platform Seven
5 minutes
From the back of a pamphlet

the world is burning where all the oil lives
the grass is scorched and the trees with the treehouses are ashes
the houses with the photo albums and the calico kitten and
the painting from france from a great-grandmother
the jeopardy of prized possessions
an apocalypse of biblical proportions

true colours show when we’re in danger
fingers around a neck with “mine” over “yours”
cars driving on sidewalks to get ahead of other cars
the irony of politics
the irony of “how did we get here?”
dollar bill pilgrims drilling for gold

another headline another photograph another heart up in flames

“what he learned about fire” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday, October 19, 2015
9:49pm
5 minutes
Dramaturgical notes on My Ocean

What he learned about fire
standing beside his Papa in the thick of the birch and maple
fingers almost frozen from building up the kindling and scrunching the newspaper
what he learned is that it’s heat comes from the centre of the earth
it’s not the flint of the match striking against the small book
a bit of lint from Papa’s pocket
It’s the heat that inside all of us
waiting to escape
the kettle that sings on the stovetop
despite being empty
singing and singing and singing
until somebody listens
Standing beside his Papa in the stillness of the near naked trees
The brush starting to burn
reaching the kindling and the dried driftwood
always moving up up
Up
he is safe
He is the hand in his Papa’s hand
A spark jumps close to his left foot
A running shoe that once belonged to his cousin

“it’s been my pleasure” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday, August 12, 2015
1:22pm
5 miutes
From an email

My pleasure your pain
My sorrow your gain
We meet in the middle
Dance on the line
Decide to move in
Then we both explode
Can’t get close to you
You’re a fiery mess
Can’t get close to me
I’m a ticking time bomb
My sorrow my sorrow
My pain my pain
Your sorrow your sorrow
Your pain your pain
Made of the stuff I can’t touch
Too hot
Too dangerous
Get me into trouble
Too wild
Too cancerous
Keep me far from loving

“Truth is what works” by Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library


Tuesday February 17, 2015 at the Bloor/Gladstone Public Library
3:35pm
5 minutes
Man Seeks God
Eric Weiner


I’ve always thought so. I’ve ALWAYS said that haven’t I, Aims? I live for that shit. When someone just tells you like it is. How is it, one might ask? LIKE THIS. BAM. Like a roundhouse kick to the face! I have always appreciated roundhouse kick honesty. I value that shit over my entire LIFE, dude. So when I was sitting there at that stuffy, pretentious, God-forsaken shit hole of a restaurant on Bay, I was internally like, WHERE ARE ALL THE FUCKING STEAK KNIVES BECAUSE I AM ABOUT TO STAB THE ENTIRE WORLD. Externally I was sitting there quietly wishing I could just be honest. Then he goes, You know what? This place is not exactly what I was expecting. Kind of not my style. And I BREATHE again for the mother-fucking first time, Amy! I was like, I mean, externally I was like, YES. I KNOW, BRO! I’m so glad you said something cause I was thinking that I need to either set this place or myself on fire and I’m totally not prepared to ruin this outfit. And he laughed, dude. It was so fucking refreshing.

“You’ll be an architect” by Julia at her desk


Sunday February 1, 2015
1:09am
5 minutes
I’ll Keep You Safe
A song by Sleeping At Last


You’ll be an architect and I’ll be the moon…
You hummed those words to me like peach nectar dripping hot and sweaty summer morning.
I waited for you there underneath the pull of the skies and the heart of the perfect promise.
You said, I do, I do, I do, and I made sure you had enough daisies in your hair for the song.
You build it, I’ll come to you…
You sung it like a poem left in the rain dried by the fire, warm chestnuts basket and fill.
I held my tongue tight in my palms so I wouldn’t miss all the beauty slipping out of your mouth.

“People and shopping” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday January 10, 2015
10:05pm
5 minutes
from a map of London

I lit all the candles in the world
One by one
I used the same match for quite some time
You’re impressed
Thank you
I lit up the continents
The oceans
The sky
The valleys
The peaks
The snow
The sand
I lit all the candles in the world
I hoped you wouldn’t sneeze
Or sigh
I hoped that you would stand back
Beside me
And listen to the glow

“All of it, kid.” by Sasha on her couch


Saturday November 22, 2014
8:11am
5 minutes
From a first draft of a screen play

Clementines are out again, see that! Those big ones that fill your hand right up like a baseball! And those tiny ones that you just so easily putt with a golf club! Clementines are out again kid, and you know what that means? SNOW. The snow’s coming soon. When I get a crate of those clementines at the IGA, I save it and I use it as kindling. Best kindling you can find. Better than brush, or whatever they teach you to use at Cubs. I prefer my clementines right out of the fridge. Cold. Better than a beer in a chilled glass! Better than a popsicle!

“you either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.” by Julia at Camera a Sud in Bologna


Monday November 24, 2014 at Camera a Sud
1:10pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Charles Bukowski

Ahh I’m falling. I’m falling. It’s a good feeling. You replace the A, the L, with two Es. You want to know where I’m going? To the place were my brow furrows…concentration and magic and old habits. You want to touch that spot on my face. Remind me not to clench my jaw, hold tension in my forehead. “Don’t get old before you have to.” And I have that falling feeling. It’s a good one. It’s when the inspiration breathes and lives and stays awake next to a roaring fire.
You steal the wood off the side of the road for me.
Stoking my pilot light with a little consideration, saying, “yeah, you need five minutes to get that beauty down on paper, I give you ten. Take a hundred of them if you want. A million minutes, even, and I’ll be here watching you and making sure you don’t loose that spark. And that you don’t get wrinkly from the thinking and the trying hard to focus right.”
I remember you like that, rocking in your reading chair and sitting content in the million moments reserved for being apart but together in the same room.
I tell you after this “I want to drink a bubbly white wine and I want to eat an oven-baked fish with the head and tail still attached.”
You say you have the perfect one and it’s in the fridge when we’re ready.
“How do you already have what I want?” And you smile into your book and say, “Cause we’ve been here before. We’ve done Sunday like this a thousand times already.”
“Ahh,” I say, “You’re right. I guess it’s good this spot, this falling feeling place.”
You chuckle quietly, reminding me, “You’ve said that before too…”

“So sweet and so intense” by Sasha on the walk home


Sunday November 16, 2014
1:12pm
5 minutes
from a text from Bec

You write a decent pop song
But that’s not a mystery
You make a good cup of coffee
But that’s not rocket science
You sound a bit like Bruce Springsteen
But so do a handful of other guys
You have a moustache
It’s November
Big whoop
You burn good incense
I’ll give you that
Innocence and spicy fingers tracing trajectories on the window
You know how to make a fire
Helpful at the end of the world
Yes
You know how to make a fire
But I’ve got the matches
So sweet
I’ve got the matches tucked in my bra
Leaving small red stars on my breasts
Leaving imprints like veins
Like leaves have

“set yourself on fire” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday May 13, 2014
6:20pm
5 minutes
Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
Stars


It was out of extreme desperation but I was no longer happy with anything about my face. So I decided.
I decided to change the way I see myself. Change the way the world sees me because of the way I see me.
So I decided.
I didn’t tell anyone I was doing it. I couldn’t risk my aunt or my mother finding out. Of course not my grandma. They’d kill me before they let me do something like that. And that would then defeat the purpose of re-branding myself.
My grandma always loved my hair. My mom always did too. My aunt was a hair-dresser and thought I did something right in my former life to have the head of hair that I had.
And so I decided.
I lit a candle. One that smelled of fig and honey.
And it was nice, and I was enjoying myself.
And then I slowly dipped a strand or two into the flickering flame.
It sizzled. And I snapped my head back out of impulse.
Then somehow found the secret strength of carrying out plans to completion when it’s for nobody but me.
And I put more hair into the flame, smelling no longer like fig and honey, but like burning.
So I decided it would be dramatic.
Because I’m dramatic.
Because I’m so goddamn dramatic.
And I let the flames engulf my pretty hair until I could feel the heat deep in my scalp.
That’s when I smothered it.

“lead us not” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday December 25, 2013
11:18pm
5 minutes
from a Christmas carol

The stove burned a fire like a vision of what will come
The heart roared like the boom of the beat of a drum
We sipped wine from a cup that was passed down deep
We talked until our bodies were ready for sleep
Then we tucked into bed like wolves in a den
Until morning when we’ll do it all again
We’ll rise, bathe, be in quiet, drink what’s pure
We’ll plan and we’ll hope but we won’t be sure
We’ll scream and we’ll laugh, we’ll give love bold
Just like the story we’ve always been told

“a dirty joke” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday, September 7, 2013
11:23pm
5 minutes
Sometimes I Forget Completely
Rumi


You got that look on your face, because you caught me, guilty, stealing bits of you.
Your over-used razor, your rusty flask with an “M’ carved on the bottom, your green paisley teacup and mis-matched saucer, your shopping list, your James Blake record.
I learned it from you.
The tiptoeing, quick, barely disturbing the dust on the windowsill, the sunbeam making dirty jokes on the wall.
We all make mistakes.
I’ve packed those things into my backpack and I’m going to bring them all the way to the beach.
I’ll take the streetcar, screeching and calling all the pigeons, a gathering place.
When I get to the beach, I’ll wait til it’s dark, til the sun sets.
I’ll sip on your flask, unsure what’s in there, what was in there.
Don’t leave me room for the doubt and the thirst.
When it’s dark, when the kids with their pails have left, I’ll make a small pile of driftwood.
I’ll throw your bits on top. Except the record. I’ll keep that.
I’ll dump the rest of the flask contents on.
I’ll take the lighter from my back pocket.
I’ll set you on fire.

“catch fire” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday, December 12, 2012
12:20am
5 minutes
An ad in the subway

There was a great fear. There was a growing tidal wave, a waking mountaintop tip, there was a very huge fear. Sometimes, when she found herself in enclosed spaces (the subway, a tunnel connecting one underground place to another, a cave) she would try to reach out and touch the top, in order to see how far she could go upwards, if need be.

This morning, waiting for the subway (Main Street to Kipling) she had a sudden fear, a great fear, a growing tidal wave, a waking mountaintop tip that she might catch fire. She began to breathe more deeply, she tried her tricks taught to her by a medicine man she used to trust. But the fear kept growing. She stripped off her parka, sure that down feathers catch most easily and threw it down onto the tracks. The people around her snickered and stared. She wore a polyester sweater, a choice she couldn’t believe a short hour ago she thought to be a good one, a red one, even, this polyester red sweater. She quickly pulled it over her head and threw it, too, onto the tracks. She wished, momentarily, that she hadn’t worn pants that were unflattering without a shirt to hide the love-handles.