“Dice Sums” by Julia in the Writer’s Craft class at EDSS

Monday May 6, 2019
9:18am
5 minutes
from a math text book

I roll the dice and you are the answer
1+1= 2 and Beyonce said that so I think it’s good
I think she was right although she didn’t write that
She has a lot of people adding words here and there and
I believe in this gift. She employs 1+1+1+1+1 billion people
Thank You Beyonce. The sum of our rolling is you.

I roll the dice and the sum is you
Is me
I am the thing I want to roll the dice for-
I gamble on myself
I show up, I believe in miracles-and what if I’m the answer?
I might not wake up at 4am but I am still singing in my sleep
Last night I was swept up in the arms of a tree vine and I felt
like my whole life was added up in that
First breath+ last.

I am 1 part language
1 part body
1 part swear word
1 part teddy bear
Add me up
Roll the dice
See which me you get.

“silence flourishes sea-green.” by Julia on the 9

Thursday April 18, 2019
3:32pm
5 minutes
Overdose
Seamus Dune

It’s a flash of light and boom I’m in front of a bunch of humans and boom none of them are laughing and boom wasn’t I funny before this?

They say be a teacher, you’d be a great teacher, but I am too much like the dark side of my mother when teenagers are making me yell over them. I said a few times boom and again boom but nothing, they weren’t interested because, and I know, they were uncomfortable.

Teach! They say, as if boom it’s so damn easy.
The silence though, after a dreamy patch of vulnerability, is enough to
stitch my chest up ugly, leave a mark the size of my old me and keep me jagged, string hanging. My head is the only place silence won’t inhabit and the rest of me can’t handle it. I guess I have some core strengthening to do.

One kid did make me laugh today and that part was very good.

“no matter how uncomfortable staying has become.” by Julia on the 99

Sunday March 10, 2019
5:27pm
5 minutes
Devil With a Briefcase
Jan Janzen

Hey if you’re reading this, this is for you. I know you as a 14 year old girl with bruised calves and giant beaded necklaces. I know the you that regifted me a notebook with an angel on the front cover and a devil on the back. You didn’t know at the time I wasn’t the type to like that sort of thing or that my reasons were the same as yours were when you gave it away. I know you in the mouldy elevator singing at the top of our lungs, performing on the cafeteria stage wearing matching scarves, sitting in the student council office during 3rd period spare. I know you falling to your knees with joy the day I brought you back a crispy chicken sandwich after lunch.

“which are past their upright peak” by Julia on L’s couch

Wednesday February 27, 2019
8:46pm
5 minutes
Tulips for Barbara
Ann E. Michael

Casey was not the most popular in high school. She had friends on both sides which automatically put her in the middle. Her fiery red hair was a constant conversation; love it hate it, sorry you didn’t luck out you’re so lucky. People knew who she was and liked who she was and that seemed good enough. For a while.

When Casey ran for president of the student council, she put up posters of her dressed in funny costumes, a tutu, giant bows, an 80s ensemble courtesy of her mother (even though she didn’t need a reason to wear any of it). She played up her small town charm and people either loved it or hated it, of course keeping her right in the middle. She hoped to win so she could stand somewhere other than on the sidelines. Casey wanted to be big.

“It’s the nicest gift anyone’s given me” by Julia on her couch

Monday January 15, 2018
10:39pm
5 minutes
Fetters
Madeline Sonik

I still remember it even though I don’t really like to remember her.

I didn’t get into chamber choir when I was in the eleventh grade. I couldn’t read music but I could sing by ear. I was good. But I wasn’t good enough when it came to clapping out the bars. I had never felt more alone. Mrs. C had a look of pity on her face. I was sure I would never sing again. The next day K brought me a hand-bound booklet of music-reading printouts from the internet. She told me not to quit. I was moved beyond words. My friend believed in me even when I thought it was impossible to prove myself. The day after that I got the courage up to go and talk to Mrs. C and tell her that I would work hard and that even if I couldn’t read music, I belonged in the choir. She relented and let me in. I don’t remember now who gave me the idea to plead my case, but I will not forget that music booklet: the holes gathered by the cutest little sewing thread. When I think of her in my life I try and remember that version of her. I try not to let that part get swept away with the others.

“Felicia has a colourful aesthetic” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday June 25, 2017
10:59pm
5 minutes
http://www.squarespace/templates/clay

Elizabeth is smoking those stupid menthol cigarettes and it’s like she thinks she’s cool or something. I don’t get it. Her and Bram have only been dating for three god damn days and she’s already busting out the booty shorts.

“What is up with you?” I say, as she breathes out the passenger seat window. I think she’s trying to do smoke rings. Idiot. I’m driving her home, like I always do.

“Nothing?” She says. Question… everything is a question.

“receiving invitation” by Sasha on her couch


Tuesday June 20, 2017
11:19pm
5 minutes
From an email

Mr. Bolton sang at the open mic with his two sons. My sister and I did, too, and we were better, at least that’s what people said. He taught Physics. I wasn’t any good at physics. My sister was, so sometimes I copied her work from six years prior. He hadn’t changed his lesson plans. I still feel guilty about that sometimes and then I remember how hard I worked on the things I actually cared about it and I let it go. The open mic’s happened a few times a year, and my sister and I would practise for the weeks leading up, choosing songs, sorting harmonies, layering instruments.

“I miss you.” By Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Thursday February 16, 2017
10:23pm
5 minutes
From a text

In the tenth grade I had a crush on a boy who was tall and almost perfect looking. He played the guitar. He was smart. He loved his family. I was already drafting up wedding invitations. But during the summer there was another boy. He had curly hair and made me laugh. He also played the guitar but he was the biggest asshole I’d ever met. I liked him a little but he liked me more. We spent a night together on the couch in my friend’s parent’s basement. He talked me into making out even when I told him I was scared I’d be bad at it. It was not my first kiss but it might as well have been. He stuck his tongue so far down my throat I could have sworn he licked my stomach lining. My face was gooey from the slobber he left behind. He asked me if I liked it. I didn’t want to tell him the truth because of how proud of himself he was. Instead I told him I didn’t know since I had nothing else to compare it to. I wished it wasn’t him.

“One of the biggest challenges of learning” by Julia at Starbucks


Thursday June 9, 2016 at Starbucks
7:06am
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, June 9, 2016


Of course Freddie was trying to hide her smile, she didn’t need Mitchell to see his math tutor also not taking him seriously. He was telling her about his day and the traumatic experience of Ashley and Ashley tricking him into sliding a penny down the centre of his face during the lesson with manipulatives. They told him if a line appears on his skin it means he’s deficient in iron. Mitchell didn’t want to be deficient in anything in front of the Ashleys but he rolled the penny and sure enough, it produced one tiny grey line. He told Freddie how they snickered and caused such a commotion that everyone came to look. All day, apparently, Mitchell had tried to convince everyone to do the same. He didn’t know they had coloured in the penny with pencil.

“slow motion fireball” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 7, 2016
12:02am
5 minutes
from a thank you card

Kirby started playing basketball in the 6th grade. Mrs. Trenton told her she had something only the greats have and she mentored her all throughout junior high. Kirby won a lot of awards, most sportsmanlike, most valuable. She was a shoe in for her high school team, someone well rounded, talented, driven. When tryouts for the junior team rolled around Kirby felt like she’d have no problem, picturing herself making all kinds of new basketball friends and becoming a part of a real team that grew together on and off the court. She could see herself belonging in a place that held such fear and unpredictability. The night before the tryouts Kirby’s mom told her that Mrs. Trenton was in the hospital and suggested she go see her. Kirby agreed, not knowing what was wrong. She assumed it was something small like a broken ankle or a fractured toe.

“I can go by myself” by Julia outside Whole Foods


Friday, September 4, 2015
1:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard at the library

I didn’t think I could stand another minute of Bryan and his “band” covering Bob Dylan or Bob Marley or Bob Seger. They didn’t seem like the type of “band” that could easily do renditions of such different styles of music. It’s like, just pick one, you know what I mean? Bryan was trying to impress me because I told him once I’d never dated a musician before. That was a lie, cause Joe in high school played the drums and we dated for 5 whole months before I realized I didn’t want to marry him. Also, Matt, the busboy at the tequila bar, was a very good kisser and he happened to play the flute during his elementary school production of The Snake Charmer.

“I would have been an eighth-grader” by Julia at on her balcony


Sunday May 3, 2015
6:15pm
5 minutes
On Writing
Stephen Kingk


If I had stayed in class that day, I would have graduated high school, with just less than honours. Maybe less than less than honours cause I don’t know what graduating with just less than honours is even called. I would have been a person with a real diploma. I would have been a real person. But instead I skipped class with Erin cause she wanted to go to the aquarium and see what it’s really like to be trapped. I didn’t want her to go alone cause I was scared she was going to try to show them what it was like to be really free. We didn’t make it to the aquarium though. We weren’t even close…

“Jeff Jones, I’ll kill you!” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday April 1, 2015
2:36am
5 minutes
Bulk Basics

I have had it up to HERE with you JEFF JONES. Oh don’t smile at me you smug piece of shit, I will end you before you can even raise your eyebrows in that cocky ass way one more time. That’s right, I’m angry. I’ve said it and I stand by it. What were you thinking? Seriously, do you have an explanation or are you going to play the “This is just who I am BULLSHIT CARD?” Cause it is bullshit. You afraid or something? Is that why you’re so guarded and so resistant to help? Cause you secretly hate yourself? Well guess what, we all hate ourselves sometimes if not at all times so I don’t give a shit if you feel a little less self-love. It’s NOT AN EXCUSE, JEFF FUCKING JONES. Even your name makes me recoil. It’s such a pretentious name. You remind me of that two first names guy, Jeff David, from high school that everyone liked because he had spiky hair and a bad attitude. He was an asshole, Jeff. And just because you share the same name doesn’t mean you have to share the same behaviour. Now. Let’s discuss it. I don’t want to even HEAR any excuses!

“we are in a war to the death” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday February 18, 2015
2:30pm
5 minutes
The War of Art
Steven Pressfield


We have been at odds, all three of us, since that summer when Jenna decided to strip. We weren’t prudes, Angie and me, we just got angry that she didn’t want to finish college. “It’s to pay for college, you idiots,” I remember Jenna spitting at us. “Well what’s the fucking point of paying for it if you’re not going to keep going?” Angie got pissed at everything, but for once, her anger was justified. We had spent our entire senior year helping Jenna get her shit together. We worked in shifts at her house, Angie tutoring her in Calculus, me practically writing each of her English papers for her. Jenna was a smart girl but she didn’t want to try very hard. Yeah, yeah, likely story; it seems they’re all smart until they’re not. Jenna wasn’t stupid, but she did have a knack for making some pretty questionable life choices.

“a real nice desk-sofa” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday June 11, 2014
3:31pm
5 minutes
A quote from Ian

I hate everything about everything and the only thing I like in my life right now is my purple hair. That’s it. That’s all I like. And I don’t feel even a little bit weird that I only got this hair colour in my late 20s when everyone else my age started dying their hair crazy colours in high school. I needed to do it because I felt like I was losing touch with myself, so I did it, and I don’t regret it, but I hate everything about everything because I lost my job because I wouldn’t dye it back to normal. How stupid is that? Do I look any different with purple hair streaks than I do with brown straight hair that just gets tied up everyday like some cookie-cutter version of myself? I mean, yeah, it looks really different, and my boss was just confused with my life choice because I couldn’t explain to him my life phase, but I mean, I still have the same face. Or I mean, sort of. I did pierce my lip, and my nose, and my eye-brow. But whatever it’s the same face with just accessories! Nobody got mad at Janice for losing 73 pounds and now looking like a coat rack holding chicken skin.

“All the animals are laughing at us” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday May 4, 2014
9:23pm
5 minutes
Aeolus
Freelance Whales


By the time I was fourteen I was two hundred and twenty three pounds. I was five feet three inches. I was the kid who was probably the most intelligent in class, but never had the nerve to speak out, so no one knew it. Even my teachers seemed to be annoyed by my presence. My tenth grade geography teacher gave been detention for two weeks because she was convinced I’d cheated on the midterm. I got 98%. “There’s no way, Millie,” she kept saying. “No one’s ever scored that high and the first person to do so is not going to be you.” School days were agonizing. So much so that I’d eat my lunch in the downstairs staff washroom, shielded by white tiles and a double locked door. I’d listen to The Supremes on my Discman and count down the hours til I could be free from that hell. Saturdays were my favourite. It was that in-between relaxation – the comedown of Friday and the suspension before Sunday. Pure and utter bliss. My Aunt Rita and my Mom and I would make baklava and then watch The Price Is Right. Then, we’d have cheesebugers and fries at Delux, and then we’d go to Sebastian Point and watch the sunset. We’d sit on the bench in silence and watch as the sun sank below the horizon, an orange orb of possibility.

“32 “_____” get this party started” by Sasha at the CSI Coffee Pub


Wednesday November 6, 2013
10:20am
5 minutes
Crossword from NOW Magazine
October 31-November 6, 2013


They’re clapping. They’re stomping. They’ve drunk enough to no longer be self-conscious. They’re too young to know less. To know better. Someone might take off their shirt soon, and then another and before you can say, “Oh my God!” everyone is half naked and sweating and moving. When she wakes up it’s morning. There’s drool on her pillow. There’s a track and field guy beside her, his freckles catching the sun. She holds her head. She sits up. She steps over five people, passed out on the floor. She makes her way to the bathroom just in time. She throws up. There’s a knock at the door, “Hurry up! I gotta piss!” She opens the cabinet and is thankful when there’s mouthwash there. She swishes and spits. She opens the door. She smiles.

“Most Stylish” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, June 12, 2013
12:17am
5 minutes
the Cycle Couture business card

Sandy won the award for best looking when she was in high school and decided right then and there that she would never study another day in her life. If she could get by on her amazing good looks, then why bother wasting any time by trying to be learned. Seriously. She was asking that question. None of her friends thought she’d be capable of getting a masters, let alone an undergrad. None of her friends thought she even thought much at all. None of the faculty at school believed that she would amount to anything outside of modelling, so that’s what Sandy decided she’d do. Alberto Pacheco was voted most stylish, but that’s because he had imported pointy alligator shoes from Italy and was just ahead of his time when it came to fashion and dressing to impress. Sandy never once thought she needed two vain titles in the yearbook, but all of her friends seemed to think that she had been screwed over when she only won best looking. Sandy tried to tell them that she didn’t want to have both titles because it looked bad, to which her best friend responded, Sandy, are you being serious? It actually looks GOOD. Good looking, remember?

“Become a doctor.” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, January 15, 2013
12:41am
5 minutes
http://www.stumbleupon.com

Knew this guy from high school. He said he always wanted to become a doctor, or a medic, or something like that. I never saw the use in science classes or math. I assumed I would never be anything close to smart since I didn’t care about anything that proved one was. This guy I’m talking about, we used to have these debates. Mostly about God, and philosophy, funnily enough. We competed for grades but we were in completely separate systems. How could calculus ever be a thing to compete with Lit? It couldn’t. And yet, somehow, he was convinced that I was going to be a problem for him. Like I said, I never expected to become someone you’d associate with smart. I should mention now, I guess, that I am in fact a doctor. The guy from high school? He’s the manager of a Danier Leather and he hates his life. I hated math and science, and then one day, I just decided I didn’t want to hate them anymore. It sounds over simplified, but if you knew me you’d understand. I just get it. I get a lot of stuff so it just depends on what I want to get. Then it’ll be good. I love my practice, truly. I can’t picture myself doing anything else now. Back then the only thing I thought I was going to be was a bright pregnant teenager who taught her future children about bad choices.