“cleared brush from the trail” by Julia on the UP

Friday July 19, 2019
11:13pm
5 minutes
Simple Abundance
Sarah Ban Breathnach

It’s in the dream if you need a reference: remember I told you

how unsteady I was and how lipstick ready you were and how you waited

how you cleared the brush from the trail even though the work

was hard and you found thorns in your fingertips

This whole movie, magic, promise unfolded in front of me guided by

the pulse of a metronome keeping time for us since we had suspended

all knowings in the space between us and when I emerged from the

sea wrestling a shark 10 times my size I saw you there plugging in the

blender on the beach (in dreams)
to feed me breakfast, to combine

tastes in my mouth and prove that
you knew what you were doing and

have been waiting for me there or
here or wherever this catapult has flung me

“She heard a deeper vibration” by Julia on D’s couch

Thursday July 18, 2019
10:05pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Willa Cather

the windows keep banging back and forth or more the wind is filling

there is a lawn bowling party for the ages happening below me and every time someone whoops and hollers the doors thump I think it’s sounds like this that make a person really feel alone and almost intruded on

Its an almost aloneness then, deep in the vibration of obligation and commitment

It’s the one that rattles the creaks in the floor back to life after much deliberating

The music is finally quiet now because someone has won

I kept thinking about the wind and how it is aching me but they seemed to be able to enjoy themselves over the noise

The music might have been louder to account for Vancouver’s inconsistencies and here I am wishing I wore pants this evening

“She heard a deeper vibration” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday July 18, 2019
10:50am
5 minutes
From a quote by Willa Cather

She sits on the edge of my bed
her body different than ever
but this isn’t about her body
for once
this is about her transformation
not that body and transformation are mutually exclusive
just that too much attention has been paid to form
and now it’s about something formless
more important

She’s wearing a burnt caramel
three quarter sleeved shirt
it’s her colour
when I see this colour in the wild it reminds me of her
She’s talking about gratitude
like it’s her new guru
like it’s saving her life
and it is

Shrouded in white
glowing aura of wisdom and wreckage
gratitude leads her back
to the place that broke her
heart
the first time round

“The vast majority of people don’t want to do anything physical” by Julia on the 4

Wednesday July 17, 2019
5:16pm
5 minutes
Overhead on the 4

People this and people that and man I’m with you but then again no I am not

I was with you a year ago
Everything I was a year ago was with you

I wanted to bitch and moan about anything I could wrap my tongue around

I wanted to hate everyone and everything because that made it easier to accept that I wasn’t going to be perfect either

The opposite, really

I wasn’t willing to accept myself in any shape or form so who got my shit talking?

The girl in the alley with her shorts riding her butt crack all the way to next Thursday

The guy bringing his yippy dog into the glasses shoppe and refusing to remove him

The baby crying on the plane

I don’t feel good about that last one but it’s the truth, alright, and that’s something worth clinging too

Nobody can drive
Nobody listens
Nobody cares about their bodies these days
All generalization and no examination
All avoidance and no allowance
All them them them against me me me

But I was against me by being against them

These are things I’ve learned

“I do love his quips.” By Julia on her couch

Monday July 15, 2019
10:05pm
5 minutes
A Working Theory Of Love
Scott Hutchins

Réal makes dinner
for June at 9:30pm
It is too late to eat
but he says it’s
because he’s
European and it’s
true but also a bit
of a challenge
June used to eat
at 5pm before Réal
walked into her life
wearing an apron
and a smart watch
He says the best
things happen at
night and to him
that means sex
and food and wine
and massage
June likes all of
those things so
she is happy to
have them even if
she still hasn’t
gotten to bed
before midnight
since she met
Réal two months
ago

“special pings” by Julia on her patio

Sunday July 14, 2019
6:50pm
5 minutes
Tinnitus
Emily Osborne

High as a kite and no plans of coming down
Down is the place where all the dirt lives
The down and dirty, the hole, the pit
I’m going to fly high right over this town
Town is a place where all the small people
get together and wage wars against any one
who seems like they have finally learned to
love themselves

They don’t know anything about us
They don’t know anything about us

And oh what a war it already was, the lonely
people all huddled together with their ideas
and their weapons because the truth feels like
too much to fight
Oh the light, that glittering thing illuminating
all the inside from the bottom of the barrel
sending them a mirror to see themselves clearer

High as a kite and it could be on life itself
or life alone and you would never even know
think it’s a strain or a pill or a potted plant
a cheap kind of thrill that leaves the seeking
emptier than when they started

They don’t know anything about us
They don’t know anything about us

They could come if they wanted to but they don’t

They don’t know anything about us

“your teeth glint” by Julia on her patio

Saturday July 13, 2019
10:16pm
5 minutes
Next Time
Lucy Yang

In the moonlight I can see
your perfect teeth aglow
like chicklets

your perfect lips hold your chicklet teeth and you can do no wrong

I won’t tell you the story of my teeth and how the braces ruined everythig

this is about you and that million dollar smile that didn’t require any help

It’s dark but it is you and the moon that I can follow so I don’t hit a tree

You’re the one guiding me forward without knowing how powerful your mouth is

I don’t tell you about my teeth because surely they didn’t save any lives

Not the kind that get punched out by troubled kids or smashed by a moving car

“your teeth glint” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday, July 13, 2019
10:51am
5 minutes
Next Time
Lucy Yang

Your teeth glint
refraction of streetlamp
and truth
Your mouth is bigger than ever
fizzing future
foaming present
shhhhh past

It’s July and it’s not as warm
as we’re used to this time of year
The only smoke is coming from
the change
the fizzing foaming shhhh-ing
At least for now
We’re lucky
I suppose

Keep reminding myself of that

I wake sweaty from a dream
baby wiggling for my breast
sighing in her sleep

Someone left their kid
in the hot car and they died

Water is the only thing
that brings me comfort in this
strange and stinking desert

Tears
Showers
Room temperature from the jug
on the counter

“Forced Kate to go to karaoke” by Julia on L’s couch

Friday July 12, 2019
11:06pm
5 minutes
From www.grubstreet.com 

Kate doesn’t want to sing so she stays quiet
This is her usual approach

inside she knows it is because she just isn’t brave enough to try but
no one else has to know

she feigned being sick at Brett’s birthday party when Alistair suggested they go to karaoke after everyone had already gathered for dinner at Bar Nuovo

she also uses her phone as a distraction whenever possible: texts, pretend phone calls, “emergencies” or better known as “friends in crisis”

“contact the storage directly” by Julia at her desk

Thursday, July 11, 2019
4:32pm
5 minutes
From the Secure Storage website

In my dream you were there as if
it hadn’t been 4 years of silence
When our other friends left the room
I looked at you, still there, shrugging
Was this night more awkward because you
and I haven’t talked anything out yet?
You wait to answer because the answer
is yes but you are there waiting for me
I didn’t know if you wanted to talk…
And now it is my turn to wait, to ask
myself, floating above my body if, maybe,
I do

Things are said but mostly not and
by the end of the scene we are hugging
deeply and I have said I love you again
and you have cried and said I love you back

You didn’t look the same and your calm
was foreign to me from what I remember and
yet I knew it was you there, wondering if
anything is possible the way they say it is

I gave you my answer and then I woke up,
glad that in the dream, after drawing the
card of Mercy, I could see what that might
look like even if no real action
had yet been taken

“contact the storage directly” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday, July 11, 2019
10:14am
5 minutes
From the Secure Storage website

I wonder if a time will come when
we do away with all the past hurt
stored in boxes in the closet
stacked one on top of the other
amidst the cleaning stuff and the
cans of black beans and chickpeas
paprika from Hungary
oats in a paper bag

I wonder when you will not be tight
and I will not be sorry

what will be between us then
the lightness and dust of these corners
a decade of daisy chain evolution
some flowers losing their bright
some gaining new growth
measured in commas and almost finished
stories measured in scratches
measured in letting go

I wonder what will come of this
and where you’ll put your righteousness down
what will be born of the true new

who will you allow me to be
in your paper doll cut out clothes
of not quite enough
torn at the places where you
stick them to my body
pin the tail on the woman
doing her best

“shattered in a thousand pieces” by Julia on the 4

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
5:23pm
Sing to the Moon
Laura Mvula

I am not, if you thought maybe I might be. I think you think I already checked out, but I hadn’t.
I was afraid of saying the wrong thing. Saying the wrong thing has resulted in lashings before. Still have the scar of where you wielded the silent treatment.

I don’t have anger now and before if it seemed it, that was hurt wearing a little mask. A Little armour.

I knew you were done but I didn’t know it would come like this. I have an intuition about you and that might be because it’s been years, or because I’m listening to what you don’t say. You might be surprised to learn of how much I’m capable of. Change is the first thing. I’m glad you’ve come around to that.

“shattered in a thousand pieces” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday, July 10, 2019
4:24pm
Sing to the Moon
Laura Mvula

little tear little breath
little hurt little death
little heart little break
little give little take
little win little lose
little scar little bruise
little fear little hope
little raft little rope
little yes little no
little maybe little so
little story little poem
little grief little home
little moon little sun
little lesson little won
little dance little still
little call little kill
little blood little bone
little laugh little moan
little piece little whole
little part little role

“Taking a trip?” By Julia on her couch

Tuesday July 9, 2019
8:55pm
5 minutes
From a TD Bank envelope

some days I don’t have the space to dream about the future.
I try to be here and now and in it all very deeply.
some days I come home and you’ve been planning your next trip. you want me to join you but you also want to spend time with yourself.
how will I know what I want to do in october when I don’t even know what I will want to wear tomorrow?

you tell me we could leave for a month and then soon after I consider it you say 5 weeks. That’s close to a month but it’s also more. first you say we could fly into Hong Kong but you don’t know if that’s the best route.
I want to say you’ve already convinced me with your argument about our age. We’re not getting any younger, but we can still be as young as we are.

and still, I tell you to ask me again in the morning.

“Taking a trip?” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday July 9, 2019
12:02pm
5 minutes
From a TD Bank envelope

We talk three years in the future
a new language buried in our cheeks of
grandparents and long-haul flight snacks

We make promises that we know we can’t keep
but that’s what we all do right
that’s how we fool ourselves into the future
tumbling over and under
singing James Brown
singing lullabies

I’m always singing this song to you
especially on rainy days when the trying
gets tried and there’s nothing but
the birds on the balcony
trying to rustle up a seed
from the empty feeder

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” By Julia on the 99

Sunday July 7, 2019
5:06pm
5 minutes
Philippians 4:13

I can ask for what I’m worth
I can believe in what I’m worth
impact
impact
remember how I’ve changed
changed the energy in the room
changed the room
impact
after the fact
during, before
I’m doing what I came here for
connect to the guts
connect to the love
lead heart first and
fall at the feet of a
stranger saying
you are enough
you are more
and I am you too
I am the same
the might is gold
the light is green
I’m ths dreamiest motherfucker you’ve
ever seen
I’m the way things were
but not the way they used
to be
and I’ve got packets of
promise and hope for free
I can believe that I am good
I can ask for what I need
I can push boundaries I’ve set up if they’re no longer serving me
I’m the anthem I sing
I’m the naked floor dance
let them know I own
every last steady stance

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” By Sasha at her desk

Sunday July 7, 2019
12:15pm
5 minutes
Philippians 4:13

Oh my God! Hey! How’s it going?!

I’m glad that you’re happy. Really I am. I mean, that’s what I always wanted for you, I guess I’m just not really happy about what you being happy means for me. Does that even make sense? Shit, I’m rambling… how are you? I guess I should ask that, right? It’s been like, almost a year, right? Wow. TIME. Haha.

Good. Good. I’m glad to hear that. I guess.

Yeah, it’s been a weird time, to be honest. I finally got a dog! Her name is Carp. She’s a mutt. You’d love her. I love her. I mean…

I’m in therapy. How fucking typical… “I finally got a dog and I’m finally in therapy!” It’s good though. My therapist wears these glasses with different shapes, like, the left one is round and the right one is square. She’s a badass.

“A federal statutory holiday” by Julia on B and W’s couch

Saturday July 6, 2019
10:54pm
5 minutes
From a Wikipedia page re: Canada day

It’s hard to take the day off much less the whole summer.
SoMe
One
Told me that we need to take breaks
Just like the people who work the same hours every week or the ones who go to offices or places of employment outside their brains

This is a foreign concept to me:
I haven’t known the value of a weekend since I was in high school
It feels like every day there is something that needs doing
Especially if no one else is checking to see if it’s done or not
There is no paycheque on a Monday or a Sunday if I am busy sleeping in

This year I am trying-I mean embracing -summer and all its charms
The sunshine, the beach, the cycling, the road, the long walks, the long calls, the patio, the music, the playing, the throwing, the catching, the eating, the laying

I am and I am not because it takes a while to relax and when the relaxing comes it feels like a trick to knock me off my game and stay off

But the folding the laundry, the putting away the clothes, the reorganizing the closets is just as much me as the writing is; as the making
It is just as much me to walk around my house without bottoms as the me who puts on a bra and faces the edge of the street

“A federal statutory holiday” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday July 6, 2019
7:51pm
5 minutes
From a Wikipedia page re: Canada day

Mona is grateful for Canada Day because it means time and a half. She doesn’t know about colonization or the traumatizing effects of fireworks on refugees from countries where there’s war. She’s ignorant to the questionable politics. She doesn’t even know how much she likes it like that. Mona stocks tampons and pads, adult diapers and lube. She wishes she could listen to music, her own music not the bullshit they play in the store, but she makes due.

“Hey Mona, how’s it goin’?” Says Jeremiah. Jeremi-ahhhh.

“Hey…” She’s holding a box of ribbed Trojans.

“Are you going down to the lake for fireworks tonight?” He looks at his high tops.

“I don’t know…” She touches her braid.

“the stuff where the composition has a seduction to it” by Julia at her desk

Friday July 5, 2019
7:47pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Jeff Buckley

start with the eyebrow hair, gingerly plucked
by thumb and forefinger from their home there
above the eyes and do not look in the mirror

this will be your first mistake, but darling,
what is life, if not blindly ripping hairs
from your face when you begin to drift away

Write your memoir in the morning, and don’t
worry about hurting the feelings of your
loved ones, they will never read it because
you will never finish it

you will be enchanted by the possibility of all
things but your ground level conscientiousness
will prevent you from getting anything done
and you will want to blame your personality
type or your mother and both will be excuses

start with the melody, floating softly above
your cheek bones and open your mouth to catch
the drops of an almost song on the tip of your
tongue
it will feel good until it dissolves there

“the stuff where the composition has a seduction to it” by Sasha at her desk

Friday July 5, 2019
5:05pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Jeff Buckley

I used to tempt fate by riding my blue
bike with no helmet to houses uphill
where I would undress faster than I could
say “yes” or “no”

The stuff that hope is made of
caught between my fingers
the world thick with temptation
sticky with seduction

I would slip my phone number
written on receipts
in back pockets of men
who smelled like summer
who smelled like Brazil
who smelled like drumming

“You know how advice is.” by Julia at her desk

Thursday July 4, 2019
5:48pm
5 minutes
From a quote by John Steinbeck

It’s usually hot and swift like a shot
to the throat, rusty, at best, mistimed
And here I should be on my knees
swallowing
thank you for the wisdom, dripping down
into my guts
You mix with me until I can’t feel my
own hunger pangs
you’re the one speaking now, my stomach
the house you spread the gospel in

I did not ask for this and then again
maybe I did with a quivering lip the
way you’ve learned to decode as Somebody
Decide For Me, Make This Moment Stop
Hurting So much
Did I ask for this? Standing slumped
unworthy of my own back bone straight
and arrow into my lungs where the
breathing is supposed to go

It’s something you want to say but
I don’t need to hear, masked as a
kindness, the way new addictions
come in the prettiest of boxes
I learn to separate myself out
of the equation the whole time
wondering why nothing seems to
add up anymore

Me here with your hand up my
skull, flapping my face around
while I recite the script you wrote

“you need to do better, Kev.” By Julia in her bed

Monday July 1, 2019
12:10pm
5 minutes
From an instagram story

I am laying here a bit weak and helpless from the bleeding. It’s the first of the month and my period has arrived. Happy Canada Day. Red and white for me too. Wonderful.
The rumbling was loud and I thought by now I’d be staring up into the clear blue sky, but it would be too loud for everyone.
Meaning it would feel too loud to be around anyone.
A faint whisper of “you need to do better than this.”

The hot water bottle on my pelvis and sometimes on my upper right quadrant (a rib is starting to speak up now too, wants its turn) is also red. Look at the patriotism.

But I am grateful I didn’t feel this way yesterday while we were in a car for the last leg of our trip, wincing through every sparkling river, every endless mountain. My body is quiet until it is not. Now it is loud, as I mentioned, and I am here listening as it repeats the same story on a low hum.

“‘Gimme a whiskey’” by Julia on her patio

Sunday June 30, 2019
7:35pm
Fallon
Louis L’amour

Summer in my skin like the Mediterranean is whispering my name
Olive oil drenched and happy
Sun kissed and laughing

Whiskey on my lips the way
the good lord intended
Sweet rope and burn down my throat where the heat knows its home
I’m not coughing
I’m not sad

Gimme a shot and I’ll dance you moonlight, open my mouth wide
and I’ll house the whole sky
Use the Big Dipper to swallow the Milky Way and we’ll be living this
easy until the end of it
Whenever it comes
The second hand singing the chorus with the wind

“Llttle wallet multicolour has zip” by Julia in Kettle Valley

Saturday June 29, 2019
7:01am
5 minutes
from and old text from my dad

I look for this bag and you are Ocean far telling me there’s something in it for me
I look for this bag
What bag
I took this bag Out
I took another
I put the bag Away
I shelved the other
There is nothing new and you are Ocean away telling me
You are telling me it’s there and did I find it?
I am worried it’s money
I know it’s money and I’m worried because you snuck it in there
Where?
Where did you sneak it?
It, still a surprise
In the Bag, you say
Front Pocket
It’s been days and do I always take out my things and put them away without looking?
Wouldn’t it catch my eye?
Tell me where to find it again, I say
Ocean away, you say
Llttle wallet multicolour has zip
Little wallet
Must be money
I have no multicolour wallet but
You call it a wallet because I
had some money in there
Just in there
Because I do that
If you had looked in my book
you might have put it there too

“Yes, that’s what you’ve told me to do.” By Julia in Kettle Valley

Friday June 28, 2019
5:35pm
5 minutes
Dipped from a dream

I wait by the foot of the stairs because I hear your steps, softly
Beyond another life and yet
you do not make your way down
the hall and down to me
and maybe this is the last time I will think quietly that you might
I have been carrying you gently from year to year and not much has changed
Or if substantial is a measurement then nothing has
I wish to not be carrying you as if you might whisper into the cracks of my hands something I will remember
Something like the velvet of your ear lobe between my thumb and forefinger or the thicker skin on your neck that ties your skull and backbone together
Something I won’t even try to forget Something exactly like that

“It must be nice to hold” by Julia at the cabin in Galina Bay

Thursday June 27, 2019
9:45pm
5 minutes
Calypso
David Sedaris

Like the front scruff of a standard poodle, the soft of a blind dog’s ears.
There is more to feel than the fur or the bone. It must be nice to hold the trust of your companion–in a small dish, or a pocket. Safe there from the heartbreak of losing the other half of his soul.
We offer choice to a dog who has lost the ability to decide whether to stay in or go out.
A lap for a lay, will he or will he remain upright for the third day in a row?
Will he stop trembling?
Will he say yes? Or maybe?

“The ads were put on billboards” by Julia at the cabin in Galina Bay

Wednesday June 26, 2019
9:45pm
5 minutes
The Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell

I’ve been told recently that bats love mosquitoes and will eat a billion of them at once. Why did I grow up thinking bats were scary? Because they are doing the Lord’s work as far as I’m concerned and I could have been team bats my whole life. Also team swallow. Also team whatever else wants to eat them. There was no ad on a billboard anywhere with the information. There always seems to be the wrong information on billboards. More cleavage more money more perfect teeth for perfect existence. I just want to know who’s out there fighting the good fight. I just want to know which creatures eat mosquitoes and which animals to pray to. I want to know what kind of bones are good to give a dog (raw) and how to spot a pile of bear shit (berries), or that this feeling will one day be a new feeling and I will be okay.

“They backed off right away” by Julia at the Little Green Ranch

Tuesday June 24, 2019
9:19pm
5 minutes
From a text

We tell each other our personal stories so we can push against Big things like Big Pharma and in your words, Big Dental. Say no to flouride and do not let them talk you out of it. We now know that shit is way more expensive and the dentists can’t even give you a good reason why you should use it when you ask them, sunglasses on and everything.

You say what you learned and I say what I learned and then we bind it all together in a book for the future us or the future’s future.
We help prepare each other for battle in case anyone gives us push back when we assert our opinions.

One day if we forget the way we used to do things, we’ll consult the book and nod familarly at what we already know somewhere deep in the core of us.

“We’ll do exactly as it says” by Julia on the reading chair

Saturday June 22, 2019
7:05am
5 minutes
The Couple Next Door
Shari Lapena

If there is a map I haven’t seen it. I operate under the assumption that there is no guidance. I know about maps logically but in my bones there’s something different.

I can always trust the little push inside my stomach nudging me this way and that. I am often told to look at the map and follow exactly what it says but looking alone confuses me. Following it feels like another thing entirely.

It gets in the way of my experiencing things in the moment the way I like to. It makes me feel unsettled as if I’ve denied a great truth. It has something to do with letting somebody else’s route lead me. As if I’m not able to carve out a route of my own.

Maybe maps are there for those who like to compare and contrast notes. Or to see what’s availble first before choosing to follow a way off the beaten path.

“His unfinished symphony” by Julia on her couch

Friday June 21, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
Do Not Say We Have Nothing
Madeline Thien

It was nice there
laying on our backs
in front of the log
facing the blue blue
and seeing planes travel
in packs with their sound
close by

I have asked him at least
50 times how he is and
each time he answers as if
it were the first
I love him for that
if it were me I would have snapped by now for being asked the same thing all day

but he has always been better at responding to the best intentions of me and I have had to put him on trial for all the lack I invite in
there is no grudge and that’s due to him
I hold all of mine tightly-
I remember old days inconsistently, as if they were these days and could be referenced for emphasis

but today on the sand looking up
we saw it all
the same joy
the same flickering lights vibrating

“Well you have lost 3 matches in a row” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday June 19, 2019
7:20pm
5 minutes
overheard on an unknown internet compilation

there have been few fights
few fights, but still fights
small fights, few, but still
nobody is perfect
nobody is always right

the dishes in the sink
the ones that say I was home all day but didn’t do these
the ones, revealed later, were left on purpose for someone else because it was up to someone else to wash them

a little fight
a little snarl
a curl of the lip
a growl
a growl?
an almost hit
a growl?

one of us does some eye rolling and one of us catches it
one of us Calls The Eye Rolling Out
the other says no more talking about this is necessary because I am right

sorry because someone is right.

it does not feel good to be right.
it never has.
it does not feel good to be wrong but this stings.
and I am right.
I know it.
everyone knows it.
but it is not good when winning feels like losing.

I wish I didn’t almost hit.
I wish I didn’t growl.
I mean somebody growled and I wished that somebody was more patient instead.
if somebody were really right maybe they would have said less. growled less.

“We’re happy to accomodate you” by Julia on her balcony

Tuesday June 18, 2019
6:23am
5 minutes
from AirBnb

towels, here, for your bodies, for your long hair, for your face, wash cloths too.
toothbrush, if you need us we’ll be baking mini quiches.
you can try them, they’re for you.

breakfast will be served in bed unless you specify otherwise. we will leave a tray for you outside your door unless you allow entry.
We wish to honour your privacy. We are most willing to accomodate you during your stay. Anything you desire.
We will not engage in sexual communication unless invited.
We will not call you afterwards unless you leave your phone number in the drop box by the front desk.

lunch is available upon request. if lunch is being eaten on the terrace, there will be a time limit.

“Get an alert when the price drops” by Julia on her balcony

Monday June 17, 2019
6:41am
5 minutes
From FlightHub.com

dad wants to see me
pay for my flight wants to see me
I speak to him on the phone and I tell him don’t worry
about the money right now

but I dont think my narcisism will rest if I let it believe that he just wants us all there together.
I was just there.
Last month I was there and we saw each other for 3 Sunday lunches in a row and 3 Monday dinners.

I chose to live far away.
I didn’t realize how often I’d want to go back.

Summer in the city is packed with juice. I like to be there for that so I can suck it dry, let it crust on my chin.

I don’t want to say no because of money but money becauses me much more than I’d like it to.
It’s always more than it says and the deals come with an asterisk.

“Get $300” by Julia on the Expo Line

Sunday June 16, 2019
9:45am
5 minutes
From a Scotiabank bus ad

Are you rich?
Yes
Are you alive?
Yes
Are you happy?
No
Are you rich?
Yes
But you’re not happy?
No
Could you be happy?
Yes
But not today while you’re rich?
No
Tomorrow?
No

Are you a wisher?
Yes
Are you a breather?
No
Are you alive?
Yes
Are you a breather?
No
Will you become one?
Yes
Will you today?
No
Tomorrow?
No

Do they pay you?
Yes
Is it enough?
Yes
Is it more than enough?
No
Is it good?
No
Is it better than nothing?
Yes
Is it everything you thought?
No

Do you dream?
No
Do you daydream?
Yes
Do you believe?
No

Are you going on a boat?
Yes
Are you going to see the world?
No
Are you going to eat shrimp cocktail?
Yes
Are you going to see a whale?
No
Are you going to watch the show?
Yes
Are you going to drink?
Yes
Are you going to find an answer?
No
Are you going to take a picture?
Yes
Are you going to remember?
No
Are you alive?
Yes
Are you rich?
No
Are you alive?
No
Are you alive?

“Oh, good for you!” By Julia on her patio

Saturday June 15, 2019
12:44pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the alleyway

You’re a good little pet
I give you a pat on the head
Woman the size of a doll
Because the man doesn’t
Take her seriously
She doesn’t need to be taken
Seriously by this man who does not listen she wants this man to stop speaking so she can show him
She wants it
She wants it
All her life waiting for the chance to prove wisdom, look a little older
And open your mouth to say
And now she is older but he is still in the old way and congratulates her for doing her job as if it’s a feat of nature
As if she deserves a treat or an allowance
She doesn’t need it
But she wants it
Him to stop speaking
Him to start listening
Him to hear the good
Ideas
Him to actually deserve them
Then he starts talking about his son
His tall good looking talented and unhappy son looking for a doll
To marry him
A doll like her who smiles grace
But seethes underneath
Who waits
Who sits

“There’s a good chance I’ll be away” by Julia at BC Women and Children’s hospital

Friday June 14, 2019
8:32am
5 minutes
From a text

I’m going gone going
I’m moving on say you can’t
But you won’t and I know
I’m alive

Ooh I don’t have any second
Guesses
Ooh I don’t have any b plans
Ooh I have the shirt I’m dressed in
Ooh Maybe I’ll join a band

I’m going gone I’ve been wondering
How long is too long when you’re not
I tried to get your hand in mine
But you said another time
And I don’t want to waste my alive

Ooh I don’t have any second guesses
Ooh I don’t have b plans
I’ve still got the shirt I’m dressed in
Oh maybe I could make a few fans
Ooh maybe when I join a band

Singing
Singing
Singing

Singing
Singing
Singing

You’re never alone when you’ve got your own voice
Ooh maybe I’ll join a band

“you can’t feel nothing small” by Julia at her desk

Monday June 10, 2019
9:43am
5 minutes
Ophelia
The Lumineers

Whether the sun is out or not
I keep wondering where you went
Lots of pain in this medicine
I haven’t found it yet

Got a cool breeze followin’
picked the proper jacket
the pockets are deep and
the zipper works
a hood to keep my breath close

Where do you go
when the sky lights up
Are you ever thinking about me?
Summer seems to pass before it starts every year
And every season fades into memory

I don’t miss you, no that would be too small
I don’t keep your photo on my wall
I break my own skin
with every thought you’re in
making mountains out of molehills

Whether the moon is playing rough or not
I have you pounding at the door
A secret cave at the bottom of my well
And that’s what I keep you for

I don’t miss you, no that would be too small
I don’t keep your photo on my wall
I push and pull at my own skin
with every thought you live in
oh you keep on living
I can’t kill off the note that rises higher
I can’t dream another story into life
You’re the one I want today and forever
even if I never tell this story right

I don’t miss you
no that would be too small

“I have a tickle of a memory for no” by Julia at her desk

Friday June 7, 2019
7:32pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

We are saying the same thing
six of one half a dozen of the other
I didn’t know how close we were
but now I see it dangling there

Hold my face up to your mouth
I’m the mirror, you’re my doubt
I keep this anger locked and low
Where do I find the truth, your
reflection has gotten dirty again

We are saying the same thing
I thought we were on different teams
But now I know this in between is
where we always seem to meet

We’ve got to say it’s a no
if the answer is one we can’t ignore
We have to go back in time
find the memory that was right

You’re just finding me hard to digest
these days we have lost it and then
what do we do when we don’t have to
do anything all damn day

We are saying the same thing
six of one half a dozen of the other
I didn’t know how close we were
but now I see it dangling there

Six of one
six of one
six of one half a dozen
six of one
six of one
six of one

“Take it you guys are out” by Julia in her room

Wednesday June 5, 2019
10:11pm
5 minutes
from a text

I got scared when it was up to me to defend you. I didn’t know how to ask for what you needed. I thought of it though. I couldn’t stop thinking of it. I was worried you’d be angry with me or worse, her. I wanted to protect us both. I also would have rathered be with you. You and your soft skin in the bed. I could let you talk me into anything. And that could be a very bad thing.

“Frying Pan” by Julia on the 17

Tuesday June 4, 2019
3:16pm
5 minutes
From the back of a truck

I remember saying I would never write the kind of play that beats you over the head with everything. You know they have a name for that? Frying Pan Theatre. The kind that slams the message into your brain and leaves nothing to interpretation. And I have not actually written any play but I still say it. I don’t want frying pan lectures or conversations or even meals. SUBTLETY is beautiful. Let me wonder what the meaning is; let me consider all the options. Let me taste the secret at the bottom of the swallow, that pinch of something you knew would make me want more but without explaining why.
That is what art can do. It can embody a lifetime without prescribing one way to feel it.

“Many toothaches” by Julia on the 84

Monday June 3, 2019
11:16am
5 minutes
Antibioticwise.ca

I tell you I don’t trust life coaches the way I don’t trust my dentist. You might be a nice person but some people try to keep you sick because your money keeps them from worrying about getting sick themselves. When you have someone else’s sick money you can live a life of luxury. Is that what you do? And I have a feeling you’re not going to tell me yes, but I have to know: what do you get out of this work. Keep me sick and keep you from worrying or heal my sick because it heals yours too. I bet you’ll say the second one. I practically gave you the answer. I don’t hold onto anything if it might help someone else. Maybe we’re more alike than my cynicism would have me believe. Maybe you’re really out here trying to make the world a little brighter.

“please bring photo identification” by Julia at her desk

Sunday June 2, 2019
8:58pm
5 minutes
from an exam day info sheet

I don’t know why you want to see my photo ID. I told you it doesn’t look like me anymore because I’m a different person.
Or I don’t look like me then, you know what I mean? I’m no longer hating myself, and that’s the big difference right there. It’s hard to explain what that does to the face, but it changes it. You can ask Rene Zellweger. She wasn’t happy with how she was being represented in the world in her bodily form so she changed her life and then her face. Or maybe her face got changed first and then she felt she could change her life. To be honest it’s not really the same. But what I’m trying to convey to you is that I’m happier now and I no longer want to punish myself so the expression is different, my bloating has resolved, there’s a smile in my eye now.
Anyway you won’t understand what I mean, so I guess I’ll just show it to you.
It IS me. I just explained that to you. Ask me anything about the information on there, I can tell you those details in my sleep.
I didn’t have to memorize anything, they’re my details. They are. 67 Elizabeth street—Ugh, see I told you you wouldn’t believe me.
Why would I be trying to pass as a 32 year old? That’s not common!

“All skill levels” by Julia on the 17

Saturday June 1, 2019
4:10pm
5 minutes
From a sign on the street

You want to be inclusive, right, whip your hands into a circle, knot them twice.
Everybody here holds hands.
We don’t care who you are or what “level” you think you’re at or on or what have you, but we all play on the same turf here, and that’s called Right Now.
Right Now doesn’t ask you where you’re from or if you think you’re a part of a special club. Right Now doesn’t care what you did or who you screamed at or what you wished for.
Right Now has no expectations because Right Now changes every second. Right Now knows you and your right now is changing too.
So grab a patch of palm from your neighbour from another neighbourhood and close your freaking eyes all the way to the bone.

“how will I survive without you” by Julia on her patio

Thursday May 30, 2019
8:30pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the patio across from her

my sister is picking the poetry she’ll sing at my tribute concert. she’s gotten a composer to put my words to music. it’s going to be heartbreaking and strange. I never thought anyone was going to hear what i wrote and now I’m not even there to willingly give it. my sister means well. i’m glad she’s choosing the writing out of anyone who could have free reign on my books but I never wanted this. I wasn’t secretly hoping people would see them. that sounds like a lie but it’s not. I honestly wrote most of that for me. and if someone gets hurt by what I said, how will that bring me peace? I know I felt my own shit in the moment and it didn’t change my love after I felt it. how am I supposed to explain that to them now that I’m dead?

“More space to play” by Julia at the 84 bus stop

Tuesday May 28, 2019
1:33pm
5 minutes
from a window poster

break out break free break open break up
crack a hole crack a window crack a code crack a puzzle
release
let go
give
offer
light
light has room to enter
light has space to touch whatever it wants
whatever needs to be illuminated
whatever needs to be seen
whatever is over
oh well is over
what if is over
wish I would have is over
offer
give
let go
release
the no longer serving
the grown out of
the outdated
the old reason
light up the room
give room to light
to play
to dance around
to expose
hold on tight
let go light
let go of light so it
can glow

“Stock in the opinions of others” by Julia on her couch

Monday May 27, 2019
8:44pm
5 minutes
Meditations, 12.4
Marcu Aurelius

I can
Understand
If you are looking to make soup
After you grind the bones of your own worst nightmares living in your skin you’ll have enough marrow to sustain it.
I can help you strain it, stir in the stock of other people’s opinions telling you your own has such little value.
Add a couple disregarded feelings and a pinch of desperate validation.
I can understand it because it’s where I’ve been hanging out too.
Write everyday, hope someone is reading it, but write everyday even if they do not.
I act like I don’t need them to but I need them to I need someone to.
Star lovers tell me it’s all over my sign, stitched across the map, proof of flaws and tendencies.
When output comes at a cost and what am I willing to spend

“Proven ability to develop lessons plans” By Julia at her desk

Sunday May 26, 2019
5:24pm
5 minutes
allianceforarts.com

Hi I’m here for the workshop teaching position.
I have a shit ton of experience with kids and with teaching.
I have worked with some real piece of work asshole youth
in my time, but I find that if I see them as real people and not their
attitudes, I can get them to open up. It’s easy to be shitty
when you don’t believe you matter in the grand scheme of things.
Some of the lesson plans I’ve developed have really fucked
with my own understanding of writing, and taking risks.
I mean, they say the best way to learn something is to teach it.
And once in a workshop I got the kids to teach each other something
and that shit was the real deal.
They were so open, and chatty, and they had this light, you know.
They are a lot more willing to dive in than they get credit for,
so you know, I just filled the pool with shit they wanted to
swim in. It’s supposed to be fun but it’s also supposed to be
honest. I’ve been doing it now, for Christ, 10 years now? I
started leading them when I was just out of university, and I
got to work with a bunch of 6-8 year olds.
They didn’t even have a curriculum, but by the time I left
they were all so fucking thrilled to keep discovering.

Sorry, the position is already filled? Because I dropped the f bomb?

“O Dio, vorrei morir” by Julia at her desk

Saturday May 25, 2019
7:02pm
5 minutes
Gianni Schicchi
Giacomo Puccini

I have asked you before but you ignored it.
So I’m not asking anymore, I’m telling you.
I would like to die.
If I cannot see my son, because my son is
never coming back, then what is there left
to live? I mean, there is nothing for me if
he is not here. I am not asking anymore.

I see him sometimes as the butterfly
that has been visiting me every day since
he was taken from me. Does a butterfly
who is not carrying the spirit of a loved one
land on your shoulder, or the kiss of your knuckle?
No, I am not asking, I already know. It’s him.

I am telling you, God, I have nothing to
offer, contribute. I am no longer holding
all the pieces together, it’s too painful.
The grief pushes out all the cracks and
makes me want to sink into the floor.
I am not asking.

This gash is open for war and I welcome
the blade. Twist it. Twist it all the way.

“Fill those little spaces” by Julia on the 2

Thursday May 23, 2019
6:18pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the bus

I don’t have room for more feelings.
They say it you don’t let them out you won’t be able to make space for new ones and sometimes the old ones are what keep us sick. I thought I was releasing them but I’m feeling sick so maybe I was wrong. Feeling. I’m always the one feeling. Always considering how I might translate those feelings into words. There’s no room for new words. I have put so many in me that some of them knock around each other looking for a place to reflect quietly. They tend to fill up all the little holes and leave no air in the gaps. It’s very full inside. I don’t want to say too full because that seems ungrateful. I am grateful for it, whatever this is. I know it’s something good or necessary. I know there is no fighting it.
It is a practice, after all, this releasing. It needs attention in the morning, at night, on the bus.

“treats cognitive complaints” by Julia at her table/couch

Wednesday May 22, 2019
5:33pm
5 minutes
From a med school whiteboard

they always got the prescription pad ready
tell them you aren’t
feeling
like you and they write something that will make you feel like even less
what about sleep?
Doctors seem to
forget about
that one
Or someone to talk to
or listening to the underground communication network of an old growth forest
some birds have healed me before
yeah
birdsong in the morning
the slap of a hardball on leather
the crack of a bat
the perfect thumping sound a wooden spoon makes when it taps on the bottom of the pot

“still interested in babysitting?” By Julia on her bed

Tuesday May 21, 2019
8:01pm
5 minutes
From a text

I was just saying to Jam that it was out of sight, out of mind for three whole weeks and I didn’t miss it.
The way I don’t miss anyone.
I was saying good, cause you know, riddance, and I was saying now it’ll be easier to turn down since I’m already 3 weeks in. But it’s as if the universe has bigger ears than I used to and hears when you say that you are ready to level yourself up.
That’s all it needs when you think about it: strong decision making in the direction of your dreams. It sends road blocks right after it catches wind to see if you’re still interested.

“Invigorate with peppermint” by Julia in Amanda’s bathroom

Sunday May 19, 2019
11:42pm
5 minute
Trader Joe ‘s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo

so I was hungover, right, first day on set, fucking bush league. I didn’t think anyone would notice, right, I wasn’t puking or anything you know, just tired, bags under my eyes. The make-up artist asks how I feel. I say fine. she says she can smell my skin. I’m like, good for you. she tells me, do you need something for your head, and I’m like why do you have something? then she pulls out some peppermint oil, rubs it on my wrists. I feel it tingle inside my arms and i’m okay with it. then she puts some on my head and things start looking up immediately. I don’t know how she knows but she knows. and I’m glad she knows. and i know i’m not the only one she’s seen. she has it in her kit for a reason.

“The emotional sensory radar of the infant” by Julia on Amanda’s couch

Saturday May 18, 2019
10:01am
5 minutes
Scattered Minds
Gabor Maté M. D

smiling at him I am smiling
at him and he is smiling
at me and we are seeing now

I am sad on the inside I
put him down for a minute
I don’t want him to see my sad from the inside out
I want him to feel alive love, the process of reacting and being present

I respond to his tiny face and his tiny laugh and his
squeals

I try to heal my insides before I pick him up again It is lifelong

I want to love him but I am
diatracted by stress
I want to see him but I am looking somewhere else.
He knows
He knows me by my smell
by the impetous behind authentic smile
He knows when I am simply using the same mouth muscles to mimic a feeling and he is sad if I am sad and he is sad if I am there but not fully
This small heart
he is smarter than me
He is not yet scrambled
naive, easily fooled into a love that isn’t.

“me as an individual” by Julia on the GO bus

Friday May 17, 2019
10:46am
5 minutes
Overheard on the GO

see i’m going in, right
diving deep, losing sleep,
dreaming more, right
when i go in, i go all the
way in, trust my heart can
swim even if my legs never
learned how
see i’m on the hunt now,
gentle lion seeking shade now, tired tail and pink pawed, finding it within now
i want more pathways, more
sideways, more what ifs, more expansion, and i do this: little tongue kiss, inside out fist, i’m going all the way
if i can land myself at the bottom of the well then
i might come up with new eyes and
see you deeply too
cause i am myself an not individual, i am everything and you

“Alabama” by Julia at J and R’s kitchen table

Thursday May 16, 2019
7:17pm
5 minutes
http://www.thecut.com

I don’t know what to say. I screamed already. In the presence of my 7-month
old nephew. I didn’t realize until it was too late. I think I scared him.
We’re all scared. To think of a child having to go through more than she
already had forced upon her. This world. Why are we sliding backward? Why
is science and medicine and knowledge progressing and the only thing staying
the same, stubborn, stuck in the mud, is the law.
Alabama. Goddamn.
Heaven forbid our girls get their periods young. Heaven forbid our girls
find an adult worth trusting and who won’t expose their tiny human hearts
to a pack of wolverines, hungry from tasting all the blood they’ve already bled.
We are not moving toward the future with expansion. We are not moving at all.

I don’t know what to say.

“pretty sure I came that way” by Julia on the Megabus

Tuesday May 15, 2019
10:37am
5 minutes
Overheard on the Megabus

I didn’t think of her on Sunday, Mother’s day, which would have been the day.
She was here and there but I didn’t light the candle.
She enters the dining room on any given day. She doesn’t reserve her visits for media recognized calendar celebrations.
She’s been gone for 22 years and the missing doesn’t go away. It’s not always at full volume but I feel her without trying that it sometimes helps she’s so quiet.
She tells me things I need to remember:take the pills, leave the house, ask for help, ask for belp.
She would stock my fridge cause she knew I would starve if it were ip to me.
I taste her in evey linguni noodle. In every spoon of sauce.

“conducted his own laboratory experiments” by Julia at her mom’s dining table

Monday May 13, 2019
2:51pm
5 minutes
The Flouride Deception
Christopher Bryson

In the laboratory (kitchen) my mother is filling
the espresso machine with more beans.
She is on the phone with her sister in Italy,
speaking in dialetto and switching to English
when it’s easier to explain. I am conducting my
own experiment about which Animal is aligned
with my authentic essence and which medicine
I should take care to recognize as an offering
to the world who needs it. I am asking which
animals do I reject? I asked her earlier, and she
said snakes. In Italy there are snakes all over
the place. I saw my first one in the mountain town
where my mother grew up and where my nonna lived.
There are a few more experiments to participate in,
the animal of my family, the tribe that I belong to.
I’ll have to ask more questions, write down more
findings and one day draw a map with all the right
tree roots connecting. We all have a specimen to
study. Some inner worlds become one and when they
do I want to be able to notice them. I want to
vibrate buzz with the truth reflected around me. I want

to arrive and stay arriving with my heart out, collecting.

“You know you got the wrong ticket” by Julia on the Megabus

Saturday May 11, 2019
10:47am
5 minutes
Said to me by the bus driver

When mistakes are made it is often a result of lack of sleep, fury, or living in a dream.
I know this because I have made choices in all of these a scenarios and mistakes occurred.
I have been lucky to have kind people make room for my mistakes. They understand humans do this because likely they’ve done this.
Mistakes can be made and the outcome can stay the same.
That is when gratitude comes in. That is when I practice my thank you on the ride so the driver knows how much good he did by making room for my mistake.
In this instance, making the mistake did not hurt anybody.
It did not change the outcome.
It did, however offer perspective in the form of mild surprise and embarrassment.
It reminded me to be awake before making choices.

“Best Western Plus” by Julia on the GO bus

Thursday May 9, 2019
7:54pm
5 minutes
Best Western

Best Western
Plus good sex in a gross room
Plus funny story
Plus memories
Plus strange mattress stain
Plus cute bathroom spiders

Best Western
Plus affordable trip
Plus more weird walls
Plus a bible missing the book of Genesis
Plus chatty front desk
Plus ratty pillow cases

Best Western
Plus lucid dream
Plus the first time someone says I Love You
Plus the first time someone needs to go get ice
Plus the chair no one has a purpose for
Plus the pens they use to tattoo a heart on their ring fingers

“to inspire his team” by Julia in J’s attic

Tuesday May 7, 2019
9:41pm
5 minutes
From a text

well the first thing would be to see his team
see his team, learn their names
names learned? check
seeing team, know each one, can have conversation with any of them
about their families?
know enough about their home life?
uncheck, box currently empty
can smile?
yes, check
don’t need a family tree to smile at someone
smiling leads to inspiration
smiling leads to conversations about family
ah, okay, inspiration comea before family
see team, check, know names, check, smile, check, inspiration?
leads to
leads
okay lead by smile
no?
lead by example
be the leader
smile

“it is like a stage fight” by Julia on Amanda’s couch

Sunday May 5, 2019
9:09pm
5 minutes
The Book
Alan Watts

I do not like this. Stage fighting shouldn’t scare me to the point of distraction, nor remove me for being too fake. Who is in charge of the execution? Is it lack of fear, is it abundance of trust?
That’s what I don’t like about it. The absence of trust in front of all of us like it wasn’t wholly necessary. Good lighting sneaks up on you as the container for the room and if it’s good you won’t notice and if you don’t notice, then you’re in the moment, on the ride, following the thread, chasing the sequence because it becomes your only desire. Good stage fighting is the same. It is part of the story, it aids, it allows. If you do not trust and you show me this I will lose my light. I will watch as the part of me that wanted to join you, withers, pulling me out. It’s not my job to keep the thing together, only to follow it, to go with you, to be where you are. And where are you? What is the thing holding you away from this bravery? Why are you on stage in front of me if you left it at home this time? I want so many things but I want this now because I know the feeling. I know it so deep. I want to be where you are.

“calls forth one’s muse.” By Julia on the pullout couch

Friday May 3, 2019
6:19am
5 minutes
deepstorydesign.com

hello I am calling you!
from the depths of my soul
from the heart of my experience
from the flesh of my centre
where did you sleep last night?
in my wrist
in my mouth
in my womb?
I felt a pulsing in my dream
and all of my living
did you need more rest last night?
did you have an idea you wanted to share?
if you are waiting for me I am sorry I am late
I haven’t been myself
I’ve been lingering in the kitchen next to tired bodies
aching and i’ve been wearing them around
you may not recognize me with all this heavy in my bones

“it’s a space for lively discussion” by Julia in Rick’s studio

Thursday May 2, 2019
10:08pm
5 minutes
from a CBC e-mail

We’re in the circle and we’re all waiting
our turns to speak and I for one am happy
and I for one am excited to tell them

Yesterday something came up for me that
I will address and if I wait my turn I
will have the floor and when you have
the floor you have the room

Some of us aren’t speakers but some of
us have been practicing in the mirror
and all of this rehearsing is useful

If you are not prepared it’s best to
leave the circle speaking to those who
have taken the time to get ready

Yesterday something came up for me that
I will point out so that others can be
aware of it and so it doesn’t happen again

Yesterday something came up for me

The circle is where we get to share our
truths but if it’s not honest what’s the
point of opening your mouth to speak

It must improve the silence otherwise it
can not serve a purpose among others who
are listening with their ears wide open

Yesterday something came up for me
and now I am ready to speak about it

“we are called to act” by Julia at YVR airport

Monday April 28, 2019
9:11pm
5 minutes
A quote by Starhawk

we made the plan before we were in the system of things
sometimes you have to jump off the ledge you’re on without knowing what’s next. we say sometimes, but it’s always this way. you can what if yourself into a dark
cloud, should have, wished you’d, but still, you’re not where you started. You’re here, wherever this is.
one might argue that it’s
closer to the future, closer to the dream, the light, yhe answer.
we are called to act often before we are ready. but since readiness is a state of mind we are either always or never ready. when we put it that way, choosing to be always ready feels like the more fruitful option.

“Mom had written bad checks” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 27, 2019
9:20pm
5 minutes
What Little She Had
Doug Crandell

“Okay so we’re back together but don’t tell Mom. She’ll flip her shit and I don’t need to see that women’s shit anywhere, do you?”
Lise was screaming on the phone to her sister, walking with pace.
“Why would I tell her when she doesn’t deserve to know? Because someone who can’t keep their hands to themselves and their opinions on a need to know basis doesn’t deserve to know.”
She was making giant circles in the lobby way, not stopping to see how her yelling was being received. Why would she? She had every right to be there, pacing, having a dramatic conversation about something important to her. So what if Lionel wasn’t the most successful car salesman. So what if he didn’t see himself working up the ladder to challenge his skills. Her mother wouldn’t know love if it slapped her upside the head. Who was she to even dare open her mouth about it.

“becomes a junkyard beast” by Julia at her desk

Friday April 26, 2019
6:30am
5 minutes
Loving You Burns Like Shingles
Terri Kirby Erickson

In the swelter of August’s last days, Reid and Elliot bike their two speeds down to the lake.
Sirra and Jamie are already there, waiting.
Sirra is holding a blue bandanna, smudged with grease and soot.
Jamie isn’t looking up, and Reid starts to panic.
Elliot approaches slowly, worried about Reid who doesn’t usually show signs of fear.
Sirra passes the bandanna to Elliot, and there is a collective knowing.
Lusechee is gone.
Jamie start to sob, shoulders heaving, crumbling, heaving.
Sirra puts a hand out but nobody takes it.

“I still can’t see” by Julia on her bathroom floor

Thursday April 25, 2019
9:13pm
5 minutes
The Black Man Speaks
Langston Hughes

We got a professional to come in and I still can’t see my face in the mirror. It’s speculated to be a ghost situation. These are not my words but the professional’s. She thinks because I used to be able to see a reflection that there’s a ghost living in the mirror now. I’m telling her, maybe there’s something in me. And she says, yes like a ghost. And I’m thinking, no, more like a brick. Not a brick growing roses in the pit of my stomach. But a brick blocking everything in there from getting enough sun. Light is needed for a reflection. The professional doesn’t answer cause she’s tapping the pencil to her teeth and it looks like she’s busy making a clink sound. Clink clink. I think, she pulls it away slowly, you might be haunted by a ghost of your past self and you can’t see yourself because you don’t recognize someone so different.

We let other people fight their own battles.” By Julia at her desk

Wednesday April 24, 2019
6:24am
5 minutes
A quote by Roxanne Gay

Bless! The return of the original format! OF EASE.
Before we curse them, let’s thank those birds, they know who they are, for being so protective of their babies. Maybe they don’t know none of us are after crow eggs,
because we can’t really do anything with them, but they perch stalkingly.
Surely other animals are a risk, need a warning, but outside our window, we hear them forming the chorus of summer mornings. We cannot be angry, although, believe me, we’ve tried.
It’s lighter now than it’s been. We’re up too so this day is not only for them. The crows. Thank you. I should say that again before I forget.
I wonder if they’re trying to tell us something important that we don’t already know:
Spring is a lie!
Hurry up!
Come check out this sunrise!
Okay, SPEAK. You have my full attention, I say, lighting another cigarette.
My mother would be proud of how much I am like her
even after she cautioned me not to be.

“a moment of time” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday April 23, 2019
9:00pm
5 minutes
Stepbrothers
Don Shewey

This, my love, is for you: I want to acknowledge your life. What a great gift. Isn’t that funny, that even on your birthday, you are still the one giving? I love you. I want to say that first in case I run out of time. I LOVE YOU! I wanted to yell that once so you could hear it all the way where you are. Where are you now? Taking a moment out of time and stringing it on a long chain to wear around your neck? You could do that. I think you could do anything. If I were there I’d say this to you, but hearing it so many times would get old. Here’s a good place to make a joke about age but I actually don’t find that funny at all. I find it inspiring. I’m so glad you are growing and knowing and finding yourself inside. What’s to laugh at about that? I’m not saying no laughter, cause let’s be real, your perspective is never boring. It’s perfectly dark. Perfectly edgy. Perfectly you. Happy birthday! I love you. Ah see, I would never run out.

“no one can remember” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 21, 2019
8:03pm
5 minutes
Anthem
Terese Svoboda

We reach back into our skulls for candy or god or something that smiles at the past of us. There are no guarantees for this existence and no one can remember every single warning sign. I don’t think that’s how it works. If we could then hindsight would be out of a job. It would be sad to see something imperative for lesson learning rendered useless.
It, is, after all, everyone’s biggest fear. We want our lives to have purpose, to affect change, to be worth writing down.

We want our children to need us, our parents to see us, and our friends to rely on us. And in turn we rely on them. It’s a cycle of life we would be silly to ignore. We need each other. We keep one another useful by our belief that we cannot navigate this realm alone. We were never designed to in the first place.

“no one can remember” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday April 21, 2019
4:41pm
5 minutes
Anthem
Terese Svoboda

The worst of it has come and gone, or at least that’s what Norma says. When the virus spread across the state we knew that the world would never be the same. I was young then, twelve, barely a woman. Some can’t remember before the virus, before we counted our fingers and toes every morning, checked our bodies for marks and scabs. Who would be next? The government went down soon after, the virus reigning supreme. Norma says that God is still the highest power and that he has a plan for us, but I’m not so sure.

“because they don’t realize” by Julia at W and B’s table

Saturday April 20, 2019
8:57pm
5 minutes
Real Roger
Harold Ober

They’ll come home
Late
Shuffle the key in the door
and shush the boots crashing into each other

Shhh shhh
Go to sleep boots

They’ll fumble with the key house and the key ring and the key to the universe
At this hour, the key is water
They’ll fumble with the water
Pour it into a cup with the lights off

Shhh shhh this is gentle

And spill most of it onto the floor
They’ll sop up the accident
the almost
the not quite
Let the fridge door slam by mistake
They’ll tiptoe into the living room
remove their coat, floor,
bag, couch,
scarf, couch,
pants, floor

They’ll creak along the dead spots of hardwood and shift their bones around

Shhh shhhh almost

“because they don’t realize” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday April 20, 2019
4:53pm
5 minutes
Real Roger
Harold Ober

How will I teach you how to love your body
in a world where a choir of voices sing
BE SMALL
HOLD IT IN
DON’T
STOP
YOU ARE TOO MUCH

deafening crescendo
coming from all sides
every time you leave home

at least that’s how it felt to me
often
sometimes
mostly

How will I teach you how to love your body
when the lineage of women hating themselves
runs as deep as the lineage
of love and water

That is my work
my task from the very first day

Strength and wisdom
in your muscles and bones
blood like fire
burning up towards a sky
that forgives all the hurt
carried in cells
all the shrinking

We will not shrink

You will hear me praise
how my body carried you
and made you who you are
and fed you and carried you

You will hear me celebrate
the stretch marks and dimples
and you will believe me
because I will be telling the truth

You will hear me speak of the beauty
of all bodies
ones like yours and ones like hers
and ones like mine and ones unlike many
and you will hear me
sing louder than the choir

A lone voice
a mother’s voice
swallowing the many
with the power of the matriarchy
that only knew what they knew
and now we know more

“And you arrive light” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday April 19, 2019
9:08pm
5 minutes
Summer Lines
Judy McGillivary

you arrive by light
a kiss on your lips
from the other realm
a story in your veins
that i know and
i don’t know

you arrive bright

you arrive by light
full pink moon asks
to expect the unexpected
line up the crystals
on the window ledge
throw my head back
and laugh at all the
ways I thought I knew

you arrive bright

riding on the tail
of a shooting star
teaching me about
surrender and chaos
and letting go
ripening me to the truth
a sliver of mango
sprinkled with chilli and lime
holding my hand as i

arrive too