“whose eyes are a thousand blind windows:” by Julia in Amanda’s kitchen

Tuesday August 7, 2018
11:52pm
5 minutes
Howl
Allen Ginsberg

We wait for each other to stop speaking
silence drifting between us in our car seats
Sometimes saying nothing is saying everything
How shame lives in my cheeks when I can’t
“say nothing”
“say nothing”

We spend three hours staring into each others’ eyes
separated by green tea and a key chain
and some blurry tears streaming without warning
We don’t call me what I am but later I feel it
The reckoning of too much information shared
Too much honesty not yet checked in the echo

We both say how lovely it is and how sad it was
and how soon we will do this again
nobody is crying now
The summer night too hot for tears to puddle

“Happy Monday Lovers” by Julia at the desk

Monday July 30, 2018
10:25pm
5 minutes
from @a_belovedgreen on Instagram

It’s raining somewhere that isn’t here.
Somewhere deep and mysterious and easy
to get to but not here because here it
is not raining. Some us of are praying
for rain, and some of us are praying at
the alter of the sun god shining, staying
up, warming our bones, illuminating all
the things we might rather go on not
seeing. And isn’t that a risk in of itself?
And yet some of us are worshiping. Some of
us really like the truth. It is a day of
reckoning when all is lit up like a beacon
of hope or desire or loud. It is a Monday
for lovers of the light and lovers of the
afternoon. I am happy loving this seminal
summer from the inside out. Hazy sky and
all, blurred lines and everything. The
colour of my new skin would tell you that.
I am out there chewing ice cubes, singing
thank you through my teeth

“The sun has risen but gives off no warmth.” by Julia at the desk

Tuesday July 24, 2018
11:24pm
5 minutes
Waiting for the Barbarians
J.M. Coetzee

On days like these I rise heavy, rub the sleep heavy
from my eyes heavy, and nod off on the hot bus.
I carry the heavy thing I’ve borrowed in the heavy sun.
I carry all of it pressed in the furrow of my brow-
the one that confuses people, Is she okay? Is she mad?
This morning’s sun burnt a hole in my head and reminded
me of it every second after it. I could have moved my
face but I was smitten there, sitting there, luxuriating
in the imminent ache. I might say I know better but on days
like these I don’t know what I know, if anything. The heavy
is only heavy until you put it down. I could put it down
and catch my breath for a minute, write a song, say hello
to the man with no teeth, nodding at me from the passenger
seat of the helping van. Later, I will watch the sun set
inch by inch to prove that even this shall pass. When the
sun stops, I take off my pack and rest.

“You’ll do pants today.” by Julia in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Sunday January 21, 2018
9:19pm
5 minutes
Summer, Winter, War
Melinda Moustakis

As we got off the plane all I could think about was my jean shorts. How long it’s been since I’ve gotten to wear them and how I will wear them as soon as we get our entrance visas stamped. Entrance visas take a long time to get stamped, it turns out. We can feel the thick weighing down the airport from inside of it. I want my legs to see the sun. I want my jeans to return to my backpack and shut up about not being chosen. Hours and hours go by because the lineups are all over the place. The taxi driver takes us the long way, round and round, before dropping us off at our hotel. The hotel staff needs to get through their spiel. Today I’m doing pants and shorts. And gratitude. And abundance.

“turns up the heat” by Julia in Nicole’s bed

Thursday December 21, 2017
12:09am
5 minutes
a flyer from The Cultch

Her room, she says, is too cold to sleep in. Except when he’s here and he’s furnace and he’s dripping sweat in her sheets. I ask if I can turn the oven on tomorrow. She says it might blow up the whole place and better to put on a better sweater. I have a better sweater now. It was the only thing I told myself I’d bring and then I packed too many what ifs and accidentally forgot to leave some things behind. I forgot that I told myself I wouldn’t smoke so much.
She says we’ll have to make sure to look out the window. When I ask if there’s a meteor shower she doesn’t laugh. She says 10 somethings of snow will be falling tonight. I don’t remember the measure of snow she used. It wasn’t what you would have expected. He’s not coming by to warm the bed. She says I won’t be meeting him until tomorrow.

“a seagull just horns his way in.” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday October 6, 2016
6:47am
5 minutes
twentytwowords.com

We went down to the water because the house had turned into an inferno that was trying to steal our souls. Those were your words. I think I called it Hell On Earth and you tweaked it so it would apply more to our situation as individuals and as atheists. Before we found a place to sit on the sand, you told me you needed a chocolate swirl or you were going to fucking kill somebody. I paid the little boy who was so proud to be working at his dad’s shoppe for the summer selling aggravated and overheated people their necessary fix. He smiled like this was the best job he would ever have the great pleasure of holding. But that little moron was so busy joking with the swarm of people also ready to fucking kill somebody that he didn’t give us a spoon. By then it was too late. You had already cried once. You sucked the top layer off, shoved the rest in my direction, and walked ahead of me, kicking the sand up at a seagull that had come to watch.

“We hopped on bikes with banana seats” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday August 23, 2016
7:04am
5 minutes
parent.co

It might have been 40 degrees out. It felt like we had already sweat off most of our top skin anyway. The trees were dense with moisture. Heavy like they were holding in all of the rain we hadn’t seen. Jessie and I ate kiwis while we waited for Reid and Lucia to hurry up. Lucia told us we’d hear the owl signal and know we should take off on our bikes to go meet them. Jessie didn’t want to move. She said her thighs were rubbing. We sat beside the shed while we finished eating, kiwi juice dripping down into our shirts. I didn’t want to ask Jessie to do much else. I was glad she finally came with us for once. Usually she’d have an excuse why she couldn’t come. She even used “blow-drying her hair” one time and missed out on one of the best nights of our lives. We spent that summer in the cemetery conjuring spirits and memories of loved ones we had never met.

“It’s hot in here” By Julia at Bean Around The World


Friday July 22, 2016 at BATW
7:33am
5 minutes
Overheard at the No Frills

He tells me it doesn’t feel like there’s any oxygen in the air today. He tells me that ‘outside’ is trying to compress him, make him small. We round the corner by the Mac’s and see a dog squatting to relieve herself. See? He says. See what I mean?
I try to hold his hand but he only lets me take his forefinger. Something about energies and needing most of ‘them’ free. I don’t know if I’ve just never noticed before, or if it’s new. His voice trembles a little bit when he speaks. I want to ask him about it but now doesn’t feel like the time. We make our way to the coffee shop to get a couple donuts, dodging three (or “one hundred”) babies as we line up to order our espresso. It’s hot in here, he tells me. The whole world is on fire.

“spread the word” by Sasha at the table


Monday July 11, 2016
8:25pm
5 minutes
From an e-mail

This heat has got you thinking all crazy this heat
has got your thinking like stalactites and radio
waves bottom of the swimming pool bottom of the
forest floor crunch crunch
tread
crunch tread tread
treading water til you land on something familiar but your
feet don’t know the difference or do
they or do they?

Thirty six degrees and you’re wanting
wanting for something sweet salty sweaty
bitterness turns to calcium turns to
a face you recognize
but can’t name

“No need to wait until we die!” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday April 23, 2016
4:35pm
5 minutes
The Essential Rumi
Tr. by Coleman Barks


We’re both sitting on the roof of Geri’s cottage and everyone else has gone to sleep. We are smoking weed and sipping on Mike’s Hard Lemonade and all of it feels perfect in this summer heat. I don’t know who started it but we’re playing a series of “get to know you”/ “get to fuck you” games. Questions like “Would you rather” or statements like “Never have I ever”. I am having the time of my life. I am flirting with you. Hard. You are flirting back and it feels like we could have been doing this thing together all our lives by how easy it all feels. At one point, after we simultaneously down our intentional drinks after both answering that we have have both in fact had a sex dream about the other, you tell me to close my eyes and say “stop” when your finger tips tracing my inner arm get to my elbow crease. I don’t want to say anything that might make it end.

“Your hands are cold” by Julia on the 14


Friday April 22, 2016
8:51pm
5 minutes
Scars
James Bay


You’re sweet. You let me put my cold hands in your armpits when I need to warm up, when my teeth are chattering and I’m complaining excessively. You squirm the first few seconds and you dance around but you don’t make me take them out. That’s one of my favourite types of touching. I feel taken care of by you and your overheated underarms. You are always a furnace, kicking off articles of clothing in your sleep, ripping up sheets, opening windows in the minus 30s or 40s. The only time I ever remember warming you up was when we went skinny-dipping in your family’s salt-water pool. It wasn’t warm yet, but we were high and felt free, and so I cupped your nut-sack in my hands so they wouldn’t retract and we stood like that for a while, impersonating Ethel Merman and smiling big at each other.

“what he learned about fire” by Julia at her desk


Monday, October 19, 2015
10:01pm
5 minutes
from dramaturgical notes

The rads in our new place don’t work. Red has been trying to get them to function for the last two weeks. Every 5 minutes he checks to see if heat is coming, adjusting the only two knobs on the thing when it doesn’t. “Can you feel anything now?” He’d shout at me, a painful hope stinging the air. “Still nothing.” I’d say back as I wrap a blanket around my feet and another one around my shoulders. “Stupid fucking thing.” I’d hear Red mumble. “stupid stupid fucking thing.” The only way we find some warmth is when we’re using the stove. It’s hard to get it started but I’ve never looked so forward to roasted potatoes in my life. We dragged the little kitchen bench over to the sink so we can sit next to the stove and stop tensing our muscles for once. We can’t leave the thing on all day cause we can’t afford it. We find solace there, holding our hands out to the stove door like two little kids warming their frozen limbs by the fireplace after a long day of riding on a float in the Santa Claus Parade.

“open 7 days” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Saturday, September 5, 2015
6:59pm
5 minutes
from the sign at the liquor store

When she begged me to forgive her there were tears in her eyes and I was wearing a red and green apron that made me look very Italian and very comical. I couldn’t take myself seriously, let alone take her, so instead of being an adult, I laughed. I couldn’t help it. I’ve always dreamed about these kind of moments where the lighting is just right, there’s the perfect amount of rain, maybe a bit of wind, and an underscoring of building music that sounds like it’s just far enough away to be acceptable. But instead we were both covered in gnocchi flour and our bangs were plastered to our foreheads cause in real life there are no perfect forgiveness temperatures. I laughed and she got very angry. I didn’t mean to offend her but I was angry too…that she couldn’t have picked a better moment for all of her guilt to add up. Instead, right as the tester gnocchi were rising to the top, she fell to her knees and buried her face in my Italian flag.

“Those were the worst nights” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday June 2, 2015
12:44am
5 minutes
overheard at Higher Grounds

Trains pounding through the thin night air and landing directly beside us in bed
Mosquitoes trapped between the broken screen door and the hot summer sunset
Newborn babies trying to name their pain at every single hour
Flash floods and terrible eaves
Basement apartment and a new soggy sofa bed complete with rain-water swimming pool
Wasps building nests and forever homes in our nest and forever home
Staying up late fighting over who would get the window side
Staying up late fighting over who would get Tess and who would get Jinx

“heated rivalry and the jealousy” by Sasha in the Fredrick Wood Theatre


Friday February 6, 2015
9:35pm
5 minutes
http://www.mtv.ca

Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?

Warmer here but colder too, in the damp way.
In the down to your bones and souls way.
Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?

The crows know how to stay warm.
They caw with full bird breath.
They caw the warmth from the inside out.
Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?

Mama run me a bath and don’t let me out.
Don’t drain the water til it’s morning.
I won’t drown, I won’t fall asleep,
I’m thinking about the Spring.
I’m thinking about the Spring.
Winter is coming
Don’t look so blue
Winter is coming
What you gonna do?

“initiates sexuality” by Julia on Katie’s couch


Friday December 19, 2014
1:47am
5 minutes
Can Love Last?
Stephen A. Mitchell


Heat in the garage
Said meet me there said wait for me there
Crept inside knowing it would be dark
Said join me there said find me there
Cold cold heat
Cold heat cold
A note in the garage
Said ready for me here said ready for me here
A light touch grazing my arm
Said I want you here said I need you here
Silk robe hitting the pavement
Said I crave you here said I take you here
A hot kiss on my mouth
Said I eat you here said I drink you here

“founded in Cuba” by Julia on her couch


Friday June 20, 2014
10:36pm
5 minutes
from a sign at Queen and Abell St.

met a lovely woman and a lovely man
they were married
they met us there in the sand
came bringing mangos
gifts of the beach for us and for friendship
and we gave them all our soaps, our gum, our sandals
we could get more at home and they couldn’t get more in their home
and it was sad
but that’s the way it was
they met us there in the sand
showed pictures of their babies in braids beaching topless with bikini bottoms
young and free and didn’t know
and so we walked with them
hand in hand
and ate the mangos while the sun set
peeling back the skin with our teeth
taking photos of the moments like these
with people like those
and we held hands
met a lovely woman and a lovely man
I don’t know where they live now
I sent letters
I sent money
I sent the necklace she said she loved but felt bad taking when I offered it then
I sent love
I sent photos of my babies, straight, curly, straight
naked in the pool
splashing tiny drops and making big waves
and we haven’t heard a word
and we don’t know if they’re allowed to get the mail
or to see the mail
or to open the mail
and so maybe someone else has the money
and maybe someone else has the necklace
and maybe someone else has the photos of my babies
and maybe someone else has the love
we think of them often
the day there in the hot hot heat
we met a lovely woman
and we met a lovely man
they were married
they were the ones we hold

“That’s the point.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday January 27, 2014
7:11pm
5 minutes
The Grid Toronto, January 23-30, 2014

If you were to teach me how to knit, you might realize that I have the patience of a toddler. You wouldn’t be as impressed as you are by the words I know. I would drop stitches and curse in ways you thought only truck drivers and prostitutes knew how. You and I, feet tucked under our bottoms, cradled by the couches soft cushions, the hum of the radiator coo-ing us towards stillness, knitting needles clinking together, our balls of wool somehow, magically, not becoming tangled together. When I finally have something to call something, a tiny square without too many holes, you look exceptionally proud. I say, “it’s so slow!” You say, “that’s the point.”

“Her bedroom” by Sasha at Lit on College


Wednesday, September 11, 2013
10:49am at Lit on College
5 minutes
26a
Diana Evans


When she gets home she always changes into one of his undershirts and a pair of his boxers. Their seventh floor apartment is hot, but it's not even that, it's the cling of her work skirt and her pressed blouse, it's the stretch of her nylons across her belly, it's the heels digging into her baby toe. He's been asking her if she's seen his clothes, his underthings, and she shrugs. "I don't know, dude, probably that freaky guy at the laundromat stealing stuff from the dryer." By the time he gets home from work, the door to her room is closed, a fog of soft light whispering through the cracks. She hears him frying an egg and making toast. She hears him pop the cap off a bottle of Budweiser.

“Hottest day of the year” by Julia in her bed


Tuesday, July 2, 2013
1:41am
5 minutes
Overheard by Sasha on the Centre Street bridge in Calgary

On those nights where you can’t sleep, but you’re dreaming of me anyway, I say, hey there, how about sharing some of that insight? You can choose to keep fanning yourself with your make-shift breeze-pusher. The one you stole from Adam’s waste-basket when he told you there was something in there you’d like. Or you could tell me what exactly it is that you like about me. What did I do? Did I do anything? I think I’d like to know if you’re interested in what you think I am or if you’re just that good at seeing past someone’s skin and into their…well you know…their…stuff. You don’t say anything, say you’re used to the heat cause you come from the south.
I think that’s why I think about your sweat more than I think about your eyes; sort of part of you in a way I can’t explain. You told me once you wanted to run away together to the States so you could marry me and I haven’t stopped thinking about that since. Why. Why did you pick me to tell that dream to? I assume you know many people like me because that’s the only way you could ever know if I’m the best one…

“Hottest day of the year” by Sasha in the basement at Thom and Shelagh’s


Tuesday, July 2, 2013
10:34
5 minutes
Overheard by Sasha on the Centre Street bridge in Calgary

On the hottest day of the year, I decided to bury myself in the backyard, under the apple tree, as a way to escape. Bob thought it was a suicide attempt. When I came to in a hospital bed, with an IV drip and my mother breathing her white wine spritzer breath in my face, I couldn’t believe my attempt to cool down had gone so terribly wrong. Figures. Bob looked all self-satisfied for oh, about, three whole weeks following. I kept telling him “I’m not depressed! I so so content with my life! I don’t want to die!” But I don’t think he believed me. The funny thing is, when the man you’ve been married to for thirteen months and known since you were in Grade Four, thinks he knows something so fully, so wholly, you start to believe him. I started to believe him. I checked myself into a psych ward on September third and told the nurse, smiling, that I was having thoughts of self-demise of the sound of dirt in my ears, the taste in my mouth, I just wanted to be buried… Alive, maybe, but under the ground. “Maybe you should set up in the basement?” My therapist said.

“I feel your trace on my skin” by Julia at Pyrus Cafe


Sunday, December 23, 2012 at Pyrus Cafe
3:24pm
5 minutes
Your Body My Earth
Beth Murch


like a tattoo of i love you, i find myself remembering the beautiful laugh lines, the midnight escape lines, covered in cookie crumbles, covered in a deep baked pie crust.
you’re everywhere.
did you know how good your skin feels?
How could you know?
i want to trace the lies and years of bad decisions in the flesh of your hope, the window of your mind. i want the lies because they are you. the truth is nothing and never will be. truth is easy enough. like a cold night where your legs entangle mine, when you’re sleeping before me. so even when i’ve shed the day, shed my fears, my clothes, i stay warm from the heat of you. from the tattoo, crochet lines of i love you on your skin, imprinting themselves on mine.
permanence never felt so good. you are the infinite lines of everything i’ve always always wanted.
you know before i can tell you.
you’re the sky scape passing by me on a grey hound bus, the ever-present hum of the motor and the wheels.
The thing that keeps me up at night because feeling you when i’m awake is nothing short of your promise.