“finally coming home” by Julia on Bec’s couch

Thursday September 21, 2017
1:45am
5 minutes
from a text

you keep telling me you’re on your way but you’re not. that’s cool. i’ll wait. just sit here by the beer stuffed chicken i made for you. cause you told me you liked it. cause you said you’d be home for dinner.
i get a text every 25 minutes or when you remember that someone is expecting you. things get carried away. timing is all wrong. you’re just caught up in the excitement. the roads are bad now, better wait. i thought about throwing out the chicken so you could see how you messed up, but i was raised way better than that. maybe i’ll put it on your pillow instead. tuck it way in there so you keep finding the juices dripping all the way down. my mother never said anything about bed chicken. you send a message saying you’re finally coming home and then an hour later i get the same message. i don’t respond. i don’t know how. if i write anything it’s going to be a lightening rod. if i write anything it’s going to be the end of me.

“The waters here” by Julia at 49th Paralell


Thursday August 10, 2017
2:56pm
5 minutes
The Lonely Planet Bali and Lombok

I scooped up the sea in my hand and drank at the thought of you.
“I wish you were here” might be carved into my belly.
Yesterday, the croon of the waves kissed my shoulder blade the way you used to. It’s nice to be touched by your memory when you are far away. I gave my salt right back to the source. We laughed a little at the impermanence of things that never belonged to us in the first place. our dreams, on loan from the sky and the breeze and the gentle hereafter.

“Way bigger than you think.” by Sasha on her bed


Wednesday July 12, 2017
10:01pm
5 minutes
A Ripley’s streetcar ad

When Maude pulls up she breathes a sigh of relief. It’s never felt so good to be home. It’s after midnight, so she imagines that Greg is asleep, curled up on his side as though she’s there. When Greg leaves, Maude sleeps like a starfish, taking up the whole bed. She also eats bowls of rice crispies for dinner and lets the dishes pile up. She wonders what Greg’s been eating… Eggs Benedict with homemade hollandaise, farmer’s market radishes on sourdough with salty butter, watermelon.

“This I wore when I met Margaret Thatcher.” By Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 17, 2017
5:17pm
5 minutes
Women in Clothes
Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 Others


We didn’t break bread until we had broken each other
into pieces
the stir before sunset set our dining room to
incubation, warming the alibis of forgotten promises
She was wearing sheer nylons with a tinge of lavender
She was wearing someone else’s face, not mine, not hers
Standing on opposite corners of our equally divided turf
we had to wonder, is this artifical power or are you really
stronger there by the kitchen and I better next to the balcony?
The show is going on outside our tiny terrarium of
heart ache and mishandled history
Our secrets, both undone and left spilling
onto the floor that seperates us
from forgiveness and missing
our reservation

“super slinky.” by Julia at her desk


Sunday May 14, 2017
9:47pm
5 minutes
from the pack of guitar strings

Keaton brings home a box under his arm, covered by his coat,
he hopes for the sound of running
Daddy’s home, the moment they’ve all be waiting for
Dawn usually hears the car door and knows
Delia sometimes comes outside if Iris lets her
there is a silence where the noise should be
there is a box for the girls but there are no girls
for the box
Keaton calls out, Daddy’s home!
no one responds
Iris!
nothing
He sets down the box next to the broken floor lamp
Iris says if we don’t trip over it every
day we’ll never think to take it out
He walks slowly, the house creaking with empty
Iris?
a wash of dread pulls him under
he doesn’t know what to do
Suddenly the peep peep of a toddler unable to keep
a secret
another laugh, then
SURPRISE!!
Happy Birthday Daddy!

“they fought amongst themselves” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 10, 2017
9:42pm
5 minutes
True Confessions Of Adrian Albert Mole
Sue Townsend


It took a long time for us to go back and visit
the pussy willow tree overgrowing the back deck
so much they chopped it down in all the impulsive
places
the gold stars sponge painted on the downstairs bathroom walls
the office converted into a nursery
the playroom now belonging to the boy who once
convinced me to show him my orange star underwear
They smiled sweetly at us like they weren’t responsible
for making us move to a better town filled with
worse people
they never apologized for the pussy willow tree
or the black berry bush
or the playroom
they volly whispers back and forth
about asking us if we’d like something to eat,
a danish or a banana

“All winter we went on like that” by Julia at her desk


Saturday May 6, 2017
6:30pm
5 minutes
After Birth
Elisa Albert


It was a tough one with all the rain seeping into all my dry
I think it’s safe to say that something was trying to be planted
Something needed care enough to sprout

I used to dread cleaning my apartment when the grey outside made the inside feel dirty
Today I swept up a spider and saluted to her as she crawled away and into a safe place
The light painted my home in a newness that I’ve been waiting for
Everything on the shelves, a choice, a decision, an opinion
Spring has signed the contract, says she can take it from here
I cannot wish for something better than feeling home in the home I live in
I give thanks for the cupboards that hold every envelope, every light bulb

“This is what you’ve been waiting for” by Julia at JJ Bean


Friday May 5, 2017 at JJ Bean
5:12pm
5 minutes
The Gate
Marie Howe


my family speaks poetry through me as I walk from my house to a place that isn’t
I am stopped on the sidewalk with the urge to take notes
They are dictating faster than I can write
The stories from our childhood, inspiration enough after the drought
I am greedy with rain and the secrets of our youth
the clues to finding solace in a memory built from our old garage,
the time we picked strawberries at the farm and made milkshakes,
the time we sang to Mariah Carey on the back porch and I made everyone
turn around to listen when it was my turn,
the time we got hats with the olympic rings on them at Mcdonalds,
the time we rode around on horses while they defecated,
the time I asked my older cousin if we could have a “talk” because I was feeling left out, the time they got the shots for whipping baby field mice against the brick

“Certified manager” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Friday April 14, 2017
10:19pm
5 minutes
from a business card

Undress me with your knowing of the type of tear on my cheek. We listen to music loud because words aren’t enough, we need the melody too. And the lyrics talk about how we’ll die, how we all die, how love is light and heavy at the same time and we don’t know if we’ll rise or fall. My heart aches when we’re apart, but I like it too, like she sings, like the world sings. The wisdom of each year, the wisdom to know all that I don’t know, all that you don’t know, the mystery of birthdays and water from eyes.

“living in the ordinary world” by Sasha in the Kiva


Thursday April 13, 2017
10:42pm
5 minutes
From a Way of the Heart info sheet

Living in an ordinary world
like we all are
like the sound of the streetcar rattling
like a city haunted with
bike rides and kisses
scratched palms and farmers markets
Here we all are
now now now
shaking hands with history
nodding at future
making eye contact with what could have been
falling backwards into what is
Here we are
dancing circles around the
house where we grew up

“update your voter information” by Julia on the 99


Saturday March 11, 2017
7:22pm
5 minutes
from Elections BC

Raise your hand in the air if you vote yay to Cinnamon Bun Sundays. Really? Only 1 of you? I thought you people would be over the moon about that. Okay all opposed? All of you now? What is this, Fake Out Mommy Friday? Let’s try again: all in favour of Topless Tuesday? Oh come on, Elliot, you know you’ve been trying to get me to agree to this for weeks now! There we go, thank you, someone is finally being honest around here. And we have two more! Motion granted. Topless Tuesdays for everybody! Ok anyone who wants to begin Monkey Mondays raise your chubby little hands. You’re all sheep. All four of you. You don’t even know what Monkey Monday means!

“improve life for their families.” By Sasha at her desk


Wednesday January 4, 2017
2:10pm
5 minutes
From a Kiva.org card

Kevin starts blowing glass in his sleep. Tom isn’t sure whether he should chain him to the bed or let him, which is a greater risk. At breakfast Kevin wonders how he has burns on his fingers. Tom pours more orange juice and kisses him before putting on his jacket and going outside to warm up the car.

“I’m not sure moving the studio into the house was the best idea,” Kevin minces garlic later that day, before dinner. Tom opens a bottle of Merlot. “Why’s that?” he asks. “I keep dreaming about work,” Kevin glugs olive oil into the cast iron pan. “It’s like I can’t escape… And then when I do go into the studio, during the day, my stuff is shit. Really. Total shit.”

“Can you please bring me my water?” by Julia in her childhood bedroom


Sunday December 25, 2016
11:52pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the kitchen

Young one is half laying beside me, nodding off and meeting sleep somewhere in the middle so it doesn’t have to come all that way.
Older one is propped up against the fire place, figuring it out pen in hand or holding space for the opportunity in case it comes knocking.
Fire starter keeps banging on the wood, offering silly comments, and roasting chestnuts even though they’d taste better if we were still hungry.
Happy heart is stuffed into the love seat, smiling at me every time something deserves an eye roll or a gut laugh.
You are on the other side of me, keeping my leg and my spirits up, holding my water and my elbow, lifting more up than you ever could hold in your two hands.

“Can you take that out of the oven?” by Julia on her couch


Thursday December 15, 2016
9:20pm
5 minutes
Overheard in my mother’s kitchen

-If Rachel is going to be in one of her moods–I’m gonna be honest–I don’t think I’ll be able to be around her.

-Quin. Come on. It’s not going to be like that.

-I’m not kidding, babe,like I’m not going to do well in a setting like that.

-So what are you saying then.

-I’m just saying.

-Okay. But that she’s what?

-I’m just saying that I know she will 100% be in one of her moods and it will 100% destroy my time there and maybe everyone’s. So I don’t want to go if Rachel is there. Not this year.

-I can’t believe you would ditch me and my entire family’s Christmas because my sister is going through her things.

-I need this year to be good. This new year of good decisions and good behaviour and good food and good drugs. I can’t truly embrace my year if I’m anywhere near the things your sister is going through.

“a supermoon in Taurus.” by Julia on the 2


Sunday November 20, 2016
3:02pm
5 minutes
From chaninicholas.com

The other night after hating you for loving me I left the house in my pajama bottoms to seek out the supermoon
You said I probably wouldn’t be able to see anything in this fog but if she was waiting for me to catch her she would probably be that-away and you pointed to the east
I half expected she would be there and willing and believed I would be found if I found her but I couldn’t track her down and that was one more thing to be wrong about that day
I came back up the stairs slowly and stood outside our apartment door for a minute longer than usual while I decided how to feel in front of you
I could hear you inside telling yourself that you deserved to be happy too sometimes

“RESET BALANCE” by Julia on the airplane


Sunday October 30, 2016
6:04am
5 minutes
from a Freshii sign at the airport

Things are slowing down
Down
We are finding our breath and our hurt and we are letting them kiss
I know how to find centre
I know now I know now I know now

Yesterday’s self portrait is unrecognizable to me today. The shapes are the same but the lines are different. Different good, different wise. I think in the last few hours I have grown new lines or old ones have morphed into something that holds my skin in place better now. I greet the mirror with the kind of warmth reserved for reunion; homecoming to the eyes of my mother.

“two complimentary movie passes” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday September 29, 2016
7:44am
5 minutes
cycleto.ca

I come home with a smile on my face and I kiss you on the mouth
You say you missed me
You say this day is better now that I’m back
You ask how the conference was
You ask if I got any swag
I bounce around my tote bag (swag) and pull out the pens (swag) and post-it pad (swag)
You are impressed and I am impressed with my ability to stock up on office supplies
I would otherwise refuse to purchase
Then I reach in and pull out two tickets
You ask me what they are and try to pull them out of my hand
I snatch them away and tell you These Are Not For You!
You try to get a closer look at them and I keep them at arm’s reach
You scowl and cross your arms when you see what they are
You Won Movie Tickets?
I smile again, being coy for some reason
Maybe I Did
Awesome Which Movie Are We Seeing?
I put them back in my bag
These Are Not For You

“the new thing in us” By Julia at Bean Around The World


Thursday July 28, 2016 at BATW
7:10am
5 minutes
Letters To A Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke


She hopped to her seat at the back of the aircraft and chuckled to herself as she heard the voice in her head refer to it as an aircraft. A craft that belongs in the air, she thought, how magical. Someone thought this thing up and then built a bunch of Popsicle stick models out of it before building the real thing.
She was anxious to get home for her brother’s surprise 30th that her whole family was apparently gathering for. He was the one who invited her to it in the first place, but they were close and couldn’t keep secrets from each other. Her brother had found an envelope in the garbage that had the details on it. She was excited to get back to her life as she knew it best for a little while. Familiar streets and faces, going strawberry picking with the family, spending quality time with her dog.

“Be wildly generous” by Julia at her dining table


Friday May 20, 2016
6:15pmm
5 minutes
from Julia’s notebook

My grandmother had been staying at our house after her hip surgery. She was sleeping in my room and she liked to spend her time organizing my bookshelves and my underwear drawer. One day she called me into our room to show me her latest clean-up effort. All of my underwear, she showed me, beaming with pride, were folded and stacked neatly according to size, colour, and functionality. I was 16 at the time and I had been wearing thongs for a couple years by then. My grandmother pointed to each stack reminding me “These ones are your nice ones, these are for staying at home only, and these ones are for your ‘holidays'”. She was pointing to the tiny stack of thongs and she was clearly referring to my ‘romantic encounters’. I remember, before I could defend or deny, she brought her finger to her lips, shushing the air as if to say “I won’t tell anyone, don’t worry.” I raised my eyebrows in relief and mouthed the words “thank you.” She smiled wide and squeezed my shoulder, thrilled to keep my business just between us. The truth was, I wasn’t, actually wearing thongs for my ‘holidays’ as I hadn’t had any ‘holidays’ yet, but I just never mentioned that to her. I could tell she needed my secret more than she needed my honesty.

“I’m flexible” by Julia at her dining table


Friday April 29, 2016
3:41pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

bend me pretzel and salt me temptation
I want dinner for breakfast
I want all the rules broken for me
I am magic and missing you
if given the opportunity
I would tell you that
you’ve been gone for 516 days
I am counting each one
not a single night falls
without me wishing you weren’t
find the flavour of my cheek with your tongue
lap me animal, gentle wolf
greet me at the door’s hinge
tongue eager
and qualified

“Textures” by Julia on her couch


Thursday April 28, 2016
8:52pm
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

It’s hard for me not to see you in the wallpaper and feel you in the tile. Your life danced on these floors. Your heart wept in this bed. I feel you in the counter grime, underneath the green dust that has formed a film on the island–the spot where you placed all those freshly picked wild flowers for me. I tell myself it is not over. That you are still here and that I am still here and that this is still our home, the living room still a place where we used to make music, the kitchen still a place where we used to make love. I hear you in the buzzing hallway light, and the hum of the furnace. They sing to me your laugh and I am held there by the beauty of this pain. In moments where I am completely quiet, I can almost even see you reading in your favourite arm chair by the window, legs outstretched and resting on the blue accent pillow.

“The earth’s insomnia” by Julia at her “New York”


Wednesday March 16, 2016
9:04pm
5 minutes
Moonlight
Lorna Crozier


I have been out stealing rosemary again. Middle of the night. I am not sorry. But I do recognize the pattern. It’s not about much more than needing to have it in my home so I can touch it when I want to and it can calm me down. Some people do the very same thing with animals. I mean maybe they don’t go around at midnight and sneak into people’s front yards, but–I mean they feel comforted by the presence of a pet. So what? I don’t have one of those. I make do. I’m fine. Please don’t ever think my problems will be solved by a cat. They most certainly will not. I don’t need something like that. Thank you for the offer of your offer. I miss my fucking mother. I want to call her and cry and let her love me back to life. I want to tell her that after all that rosemary thieving I didn’t even put any in the roast potatoes. Because I wanted to keep it longer in a vase next to my bed. Because I wanted to hold onto her soft voice telling me for the last time that I was her laugh.

“a couple annual holidays” by Julia at Platform 7 Coffee Brew Bar


March 4, 2016 at Platform 7
5:09pm
5 minutes
from Sasha’s play

And there’s no time to wait
For my health to come back
I have already planned a vacation
I’m going away
I’m going to go
I’m not going to stop
Until I get home
I don’t remember what my yard looks like
Cause I don’t remember much
Was there one tree or two?
Did the cornfields shoot higher than the pussy willow?
I don’t remember much
Time has run out
In the most respectful way it could
Reminding me that I don’t have to
keep living like I used to
I wish for courage
I wish us all courage
I’m going back home with my ball of yarn
Going to wrap it around each branch
Each trellis
So I can draw a map of where I used to live
The hardest part of that is remembering
how to remember
I think I’ll write a note
In red red string
On the gates of all my neighbours
to let them know I’m back
And I’m collecting memories
Shiny new ones that I can still see
Maybe they’ll have more than just the ones
of my sister and me
selling drawings for 6 pennies each

“the globally inspired” by Julia on her couch


Sunday January 24, 2016
11:49pm
5 minutes
from the front of a flyer

I heard on the news today that two more kids were shot in their front yard.
They were selling lemonade.
I don’t know how I’m supposed to wake up every morning, drink my coffee, put on my suit, go into schools and teach young people how to measure the angles of an isosceles triangle, or that just because our country allows people to carry firearms that it doesn’t make it okay to use them, or that these two smiling babies were still warm from their mother’s womb, being watched from the kitchen window by that same love–looking down for just one second to pull a splinter out of her thumb.
I don’t know how any of us do it. Keep living on repeat like we don’t see what’s happening in our world, right outside our houses, hitting closer and closer to home each time. I don’t know how any of us leave the safety of our sheets each and every day and find a new version of brave to wear for the day.

“You wanna build another house?!” By Julia at her desk


Tuesday December 8, 2015
11:46pm
5 minutes
overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can’t move in with you anymore, Kev, it’s not going to work for me.
What do you mean, we just signed the lease, both our names are on it and everything.
I know.
Okay?
Yeah but I know myself too and I’m not going to be able to get on board with a commitment this size right now.
This is unbelievable.
What is? That I don’t want to live with you? I think of all people you should know how hard it is to share a house with you.
What?
Don’t pretend like this is my fault, you’re a difficult housemate, even you said that to me!
But you still signed the lease, you signed up for this whole thing with me. How are you just figuring out now that this is…that you’re not…I seriously can’t believe this is happening.
It is happening, though, so we need to both accept it and move on or something.
How do you not feel bad for completely fucking me over?
Wouldn’t you rather know this before we try to build a home together? Like this is good news, we won’t be blindsided later.
Blindsided?
I don’t know, poor choice of words I guess, but I’m not going to apologize for changing my mind.
So are you saying you don’t want to be with me either?
No, of course not, I’m totally not saying that. I feel like we’ll be better off if we just live in separate houses.

“but also for the people in the neighbourhood” by Julia on her couch


Sunday November 15, 2015
10:12pm
5 minutes
from the Union Gospel Mission calendar

Karen sat patiently by the phone willing it to ring and wishing that it had already. She had, earlier that week, applied to be a member of Neighbourhood Watch and was told that all successful applicants would be contacted by Friday at the very latest. Karen didn’t have anything else particularly pressing to do since she fell ill two months back. She wanted to fill her time with meaningful activities since she wasn’t fit enough to return to the grocery store. Emirel said she might have overextended herself there anyway, coming into help stack and pack when she wasn’t even scheduled to work. Karen wanted to do something other than tend to the plants she had been growing in her laundry room. She didn’t think she’d have a very strong harvest the first time around, especially because she had been relying on various youtube videos to teach her how to grow a crop of marijuana properly. Karen got bored easily. She wanted to have at least two things to watch, if she could help it.

“It is such a relief” by Sasha in the bath


Wednesday October 7, 2015
9:56pm
5 minutes
Wit
Margaret Edson


It is such a relief that Joe and Kelly are out for the night and I have the place to myself. I’m too old to live with roommates. I’m too old, and too quiet, and too grouchy. I eat a slice of Kelly’s havarti and don’t even feel bad about it. I’m feeling ballsy. I’m feeling free. “I’m gonna take off all my clothes and be naked on the couch!” I say out loud. I wait for someone to object, but no one’s there so no one does. I take off my jeans, and my flannel shirt. I take off my underwear from Zellers, when Zellers was still in business. I take off my bra. I leave on my socks, because our floors are cold. I jump up and down a few times and then go into the living room and sprawl out. I smile. God, I feel so good.

“all-day softness” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Monday September 14, 2015
9:19pm
5 minutes
from a tube of hand cream

Lounging around the house with my slippers on, feet up on the couch, and you lean in deep to kiss me.

-Whatcha reading?
-The Bible, what does it look like?
-Ohhh, recipes.
-Big surprise, huh?

You hunch your back and drag your right foot as you slouch back and forth in front of me.

-Would you still love me if I walked like this?
-No.
-Not even like this?

You start to flap your arms wildly by your sides, still dragging around your dead foot.

-Almost yes, but still no.

You grab my arms and you place them around your waist. You sway, and you shimmy hard under my hands.

-Wanna dance?
-Oh we are dancing.
-I’m dancing, you’re resisting.
-I’m reading!
-And she multi-tasks, everybody!

“I wish to offer him no honour” by Julia on her bed


Thursday, August 20, 2015
11:19pm
5 minutes
from a tweet by the Globe and Mail

I have been wondering if I will ever leave this place. It does not feel like home (never did), and it is starting to weigh heavy on my heart. It sounds like an easy decision but it is not. Nothing is an easy decision for me. I am used to making bad decisions. Maybe staying here this long is one of them. Maybe I am trying to justify something. I think it is hard because I do not know what I want instead. I do not know where is better than here. So I must stay here until I know where there is. Must I not? It does not sound very adventurous of me (well aware of that), but does it not make sense?
I cannot decide this with the help of anyone else. I am torn in two but I am the only one who can mend the halves and make them whole. I am learning here. It sounds as if I am not but I am.

“it didn’t work all that well.” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, July 26, 2015
10:42am
5 minutes
From an email

When we go to sleep, I will whisper ten things I’m grateful for in your ear.
You will do the same to me, if you make it past seven.
I’ll know you’re asleep from the sound of your breath.
I’ll lie awake for awhile, thinking about when we’ll have kids, wondering if we’ll need a car, considering the carbon footprint of a child, or two.
I’ll lie awake for awhile and consider all the stuff we have, here, and all the stuff we have there.
Is where more of your stuff is home?
Or, is home where no stuff is and just where you are?
Where you and I are?
You will turn over and I’ll be the Big Spoon.
I’ll kiss you back and practise meditating on the in breath and the out breath.
It turns into –
I love you I love you I love you

“Our backyard garden plot” by Julia on her bed


Saturday, June 27, 2015
1:31am
5 minutes
From the back of a photo from Sarah

You and I
We found a spot
Built our home
And a backyard garden plot
We paid the rent
We made our space
Went to bed early
Slept face to face
You and I
We found happiness
Said our I love yous
Made our promises
We created a board
To pin up all our dreams
We envisioned our lives
Crafting behind the scenes
You and I
We stayed strong
Fought sometimes
Took turns being wrong
We remembered ourselves
When we were young
Our heads filled with hopes
Our home filled with love

“Rathburn Rd.” by Sasha in her bed


Thursday April 23, 2015
1:03am
5 minutes
from a street sign

Joe’s biggest complaint is that there aren’t enough windows.
“It’s dark,” he repeats, fiddling with a knob on a kitchen cupboard.
Alexandra reassures him that it’s going to be fine.
“It’s such a steal,” she says, grabbing his bicep for emphasis.
They walk up to the second floor and see flashes of what could be.
“Are we ready for this?” Joe’s brows are furrowed and Alex tries not to think about how he looks like a Great Dane when he does this.
“Joe…” She kisses him and makes it last a bit longer than she might’ve, had she not been on a mission.
He sighs.
Out the smaller bedroom window, they watch Leanne, the real estate agent pace the driveway, talking on her cellphone.

“the wisdom of the world” by Sasha on her porch


Sunday, April 18, 2015
5:34pm
5 minutes
http://www.onbring.org

I’m not sure about this place. I’m not sure about a city where pork is cheaper than chard. I’m not sure about boys in between home and school being stopped and carded and not given explanations and not being given whys. I’m not sure about some women sleeping under bridges and some women wearing jeans that cost five hundred dollars. I’m not sure about sending away the garbage we are too lazy to separate into recycling and compost. I’m not sure about cars. I’m not sure about unsafe bike lanes and people that don’t care about the people that choose to ride bikes. I’m not sure about dumping toxins into Lake Ontario. I’m sure that there’s a connection between the hormones in our dairy and the puffers in the backpacks of our young friends. I’m not sure about gender binaries and public bathrooms. I’m not sure about so many Starbucks.

“landed immigrants” by Julia on her couch


Friday March 13, 2015
6:39pm
5 minutes
from http://www.banffmediafestival.com

Touch down acquaint orient
Reorient
Find the water
Where’s the water?
Friendly Sir
Morning coffee spill parade
Left then left then left then straight
Breathe in this city
Ask all the hard questions
Where am I going?
Why am I going there?
Fear leads and buries
Don’t follow blind
Don’t assume
Ask all the hard questions
Can you help me?
Can you show me?
South then east then south then east
Home now, a strange word
Invented
Reinvented
Depending on the day
The time
The hour

“Let’s make a list” by Julia on the subway going west


Friday February 13, 2015
6:12pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Great Dane Coffee

We’ve got time and we’ve got flowers
We’ve got love and we’ve got hours

Let’s make a list! She squeals.
Let’s write down all the items we need for our home to be perfect!
Okay you start! He sees she’s excited.
I can’t! You go. You go!
Okay, he starts, Lights!
Mood lights! Around the bed?
Yes!
Yes!
A double sink!!
Oh my god. YES.
To say we’ve made it!
Double sinks scream success!
We’ve made it!
Yeah baby.
What else, you go!
Oh-a good couch!
One that pulls out for guests!
All the guests in the world will sleep on our perfect pull out couch!

“Titus and Louise” by Julia on the 26 going east


Thursday February 12, 2015
6:28pm
5 minutes
a storefront window on Dupont St.

Titus hopes for the days that Louise stops screaming in her sleep.
He wakes up every time and tries to hold her without touching her because usually touching her just makes it worse.
He breathes calmly, affecting her breath.
She breathes calmly, taking on his patterns.
Shhh, he kisses the air around her scrunched face.
Shhh, she exhales after holding it in for too long.
Louise sees the visions right before she falls asleep.
The close up shots of a butcher’s bloody hand chopping hunks of raw lamb flesh.
The bees that sting the inside of her eyes until she’s panicked again.
Titus caresses her face softly to soothe her.
He does this sometimes for hours.
His touch is gentle and cool on her hot cheeks.

“You’ll be an architect” by Sasha at the UBC Learning Exchange


Sunday February 1, 2015
6:02pm
5 minutes
I’ll Keep You Safe
A song by Sleeping At Last


You’ll be an architect and I’ll be an Interior Designer. You’ll wear square glasses and I’ll wear brightly coloured, impractical shoes. We’ll live in a square house that people will walk by and take pictures of and wonder how the roof works, where the rain goes. Mostly we’ll work separately but sometimes we’ll work together and there will be passionate fights and confusing make-up sex. You’ll splurge on high end stereo equipment. I’ll splurge on designer lipstick. When we go out to eat, you always order steak, rare. I sometimes order fish, I sometimes order pasta. We don’t keep it at home, so it just makes sense. You don’t want children and I don’t either. Except this month, when the moon is full and I keep feeling a phantom newborn sucking on my nipple.

“I might be” by Julia on Jessica’s couch


Monday January 19, 2015
8:40am
5 minutes
from a poster in Ricardo’s studio

I might be lost
I might be confused
I might be hurt
I might be sad
I might be broken open
I might be letting in the everything
I might be too naked
I might be too analytical
I might be too exposed
I might be getting infections
I might be growing
I might be expanding
I might be learning
I might be transforming
I might be forlorn
I might be overflowing
I might be expressing
I might be adjusting
I might be returning
I might be reliving
I might be remembering
I might be better
I might be worse
I might be stuck in my body
I might be breaking free of my old skin
I might be making assumptions
I might be transcending the space between oceans
I might be self actualizing
I might be developing a new form to exist in with a tougher shell
I might be more prepared now
I might be home

“bless his heart” by Julia at Laura’s kitchen counter


Sunday January 4, 2015
2:44pm
5 minutes
http://www.mynewroots.com

Oh what a kindness I have known.
A man with a full heart is a gift, is a treasure. It bleeds generosity, it pumps only gentleness.
Oh what a kindness I have touched.
A man with a deep well is a blessing, is a joy. It fills understanding, it echoes only admiration.
Oh what a kindness I have felt.
A man with open arms is a fortune, is a delicacy. They embrace home, they caress only calming.

“some of your visitors” by Julia in London Fields


Wednesday December 31, 2014
6:11pm
5 minutes
http://www.wordpress.com

Some of your visitors have been overstaying their welcome. They have still not brought you a nice bottle of wine and they somehow continue to forget to take off their shoes before going upstairs to the bedroom. What I will say to you, and you know to whom I’m referring, is that certain guests who don’t show appreciation for their hosts’ home will not be tolerated to remain visitors. Some of your visitors have contemplated stealing from you, taking your possessions hidden deep in the over-fridge cupboard when you are in the shower or out picking up items to make their breakfast. This might be a warning. I’d take it as such if I were you.

“element of courage” by Julia at Abney Park Cemetery


Tuesday December 30, 2014
2:58pm
5 minutes
from a crossword puzzle

I suppose it takes a lot of guts to tell you this. Me siting here on a broken tree root, trying to decide if I care about the Italian Poplar trees that are so blatantly marked, and staring into your new home, wishing you didn’t have to stay in that earthy place alone. You’ve been gone for 4 weeks now. I am counting down the days to when I don’t count down the days anymore. I am giving myself some time until then to come see you and talk to you, or not, or cry, or cry more than yesterday. But what the bravery is now is telling you that I’m going to be okay. Before I didn’t want to admit that that was a possibility; that I could ever manage to break through this heartache and live a full life without you. Now I know that that’s the only thing I can do. I don’t know if I’ll still feel this way tomorrow. But today I felt like I just had to let you know.

“you can power through” by Julia on the tube heading west


Thursday December 11, 2014
6:21pm
5 minutes
from a Nurofen tube ad

Dear Hannah,
There are lights in the trees here. It’s so nice to be around a place that cares enough to put lights in their trees. Really makes you feel like you’ve found a spot worth staying. They assure you with their details. With their simple adjustment of the everyday. No snow yet! Got a bit lucky there. I know, I know, grow up, buy proper shoes. Boots! I know, I know. You would hate how cold it is without even having snow. My ratty sneaks will live to see another week!(or at least that’s what I’ve been praying for 😉 …sorry!)
I’m finally eating vegetables and drinking more water. The probiotics are helping but I still dream of salted caramel hot chocolate. Today I feel less alone than yesterday. Something in the air I guess. Trying to power through, like you said.
Talk soon?
Miss and love.

-B

“Optimal health” by Julia on a bridge in Venice


Saturday December 6, 2014
5:49pm
5 minutes
The back of the chia seed bag

Mom got sick, mom changed her diet, mom stopped working, mom ate only air and self pity, mom waited for the mail everyday, mom bought a yoga mat she never used, mom began to juice, mom began to sing, mom began to smile, mom began to coach, mom saw her worth, mom hid her grief, mom preached without being preachy, mom reminded us of our lives, mom made sure we knew we were not too young, mom made sure we knew we could help ourselves, mom started saying I love you, mom started laughing at nothing, mom started seeking alternative medicine, mom started smoking pot, mom started sleeping again, mom started resting again, mom had a million phone calls, mom stayed home in her PJs.

“Welcome to Amsterdam” by Sasha at Vancouver General Hospital


Thursday November 20, 2014
2:21pm
5 minutes
A sign at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Welcome to Amsterdam
And Lethbridge
And Honolulu
Welcome to your grandmother’s basement
And the siren songs
And the back of the Chevy pick-up
Welcome to NeverNeverLand
And the rainforest
And my kitchen table
Welcome to yesterday
and under your covers
And the black sand beach
Welcome to the bus
And the clover field
And the lavender farm
Welcome to Athens
And Venezuela
And Whitehorse

“Castorland Puzzle” By Julia at her desk


Monday October 6,2014
1:26am
5 minutes
from the Castorland Puzzle box

Ok Go. You have. Yeah. Two. Two minutes. So what? Seriously. Do it. Do it. What? Do it! Ok. OKAY. Full words only. I will try. I will try! Describe the furniture. Shit. In the living room. No, shit! In the kitchen. K. I mean Ok. Sorry. Ok. Table. Brown. Wood. Wooden? Brown wood. Whatever. Four legs. Obviously. Yeah. I know. Ok. Wood chairs. Wooden chairs? Ugh! Three of them. One broke. Broken doesn’t count. So three. Yeah. Cushions. Don’t count? I don’t know! Do they? Ok. No cushions. Well, two cushions. No not three. One broke! Ok! Three wooden chairs. Wood. Whatever. Done. That’s it! I know. It’s small. It’s a small. Kitchen. Right. Ok. Living room now! One couch. Ummm. Shit. Grey. Cotton. No. That’s so stupid. Flannel? Ummm….. Fuck! What the shit. Is it ribbed? Materials. Ribbed? Like CORDUROY! Yeah. Sweet. Ok. One table! One wood/ wooden table. Coffe table, shit! One TV stand!

“It’ll be fine in a second” by Sasha at the Library


Thursday September 25, 2014
4:16pm
5 minutes
From Jess’ lamp speech

One of the girls shrieks and many of the women on the subway car (all of the women on the subway car, save one, who grew up in the country and never went through this particular phase in this particular way) who are over twenty five (and a few who are under, yes, wiser than their years, I was, in some ways, yes) feel a pang of agony at the loudness and the shrillness and the too-tight dresses. They see their former selves, yes. They see the train-wreck of youth. They see the plaid-shirt over white V-neck, clean-shaven guys they kissed, they will kiss. They smell the cologne, the perfume, the over-the-counter morning after pill. They taste the Malibu, the Diet Cola, the Salt and Vinegar chips eaten on the early morning ride homewards, a whole bag, a whole bag of guilt and sodium, a whole bag of pleasure and chapped lips.

“Select your inbound journey” By Julia on Nicole’s balcony


Monday September 1, 2014
3:38pm
5 minutes
raileurope-world.com

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the pillow case on my side
So you’d feel my dreams when you held it tight

And you could say goodnight to me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
On the back of a bottle of wine
So when you were toasting to us

You could take an extra sip for me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the drawer with your passport and socks
So when you got dressed in the morning

You could put on a piece of me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
On the bedside table where you’d see it
Right before you fell asleep

I left it there so you could read me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the case of your favourite film
And when you’d open it up to watch it alone

You’d feel like you were watching with me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the basket of all your pens
With a box of envelopes, to remind you, dear

That you could write for me

Total Control by Sasha on the 99 bus


Thursday August 28, 2014
7:32pm
5 minutes
The bottle of curl keeper

I’m not exactly sure how I got here but what I do know is it smells like fish. I woke up next to a little girl, curly hair, sucking her thumb. She kept sleeping. I found the toilet in the corner of the kitchen and peed, trying to keep my legs together. I heard a voice, “You’re home!” I heard a crash. I laughed because I didn’t know what else to do. I felt a tear trickle from one eye, to my upper lip. I licked it. The voice became a person, a woman, and she was wide and moustached. “You’re here! You’re home!” She smiled but it was more like a cat that got the cream. “This… is not my home… I don’t even know where I am…” She took my hand. She was cold. She began opening a can of tuna. She called, “Millicent! Sheldon! Bartholomew!” She tapped a fork against the can. I heard footsteps.

“the endless sky of Manitoba” by Julia at The Cabin Coffee in Bemidji, MN


Monday Aug 4, 2014 at The Cabin Coffee
11:18am
5 minutes
a quote from Joe Lawther


Oh I know I’m far from home
And I’ve got a long way to go
But I’ve been here a while and I say the same thing
There is so much to see
Endless possibilities
I have held on to the limitless feeling
Oh I’m under under under
Looking up to something bigger than me
Oh I’m under under under
Can’t keep my eyes on anything but
The endless skies of Manitoba
I can’t think straight
I just dream all day
I’ve been here for a while and I say the same thing
My whole life is this
Reaching for its bliss
I have held on to the limitless feeling
Oh I’m under under under
Looking up to something bigger than me
Oh I’m under under under
Can’t keep my heart on anything but
The endless skies of Manitoba
The endless skies of Manitoba
Stretched as far as I can go
looking each and every way and I can’t find my soul
Lost in some vast field under the bright calm blue
I’m far away from home but I’ve found my truth

“Call it what you will” by Julia in the motel in Sault Ste. Marie


Thursday June 12, 2014
9:55pm
5 minutes
A song by Joe Pug

Caroline and Eddy had been driving for what felt like days. Eddy had begun to smell, refusing to put on deodorant because he said he was on the “open road” and if he couldn’t smell like the earth here, then he didn’t want to be alive. Caroline was battling her car-colepsy and told Eddy that if he was going to take pictures of her sleeping with her mouth wide open facing the roof of the car then he better not post them online or she would punch holes in his tires and make him drive back to Sugar Lake by himself. Eddy didn’t care about Caroline’s sleeping habits, or her poor taste in music. He didn’t care about anything except for getting really far away from everything he knew back home, and finally starting over without anyone knowing who he was. Caroline didn’t know about Eddy’s friend, Liam, with whom he had helped burry a curious large sack that weighed as much as an elephant.