“She actually cooks” By Julia at her desk

Wednesday May 16, 2018
12:16am
5 minutes
Overheard in the dining room

I read your poetry hoping to find a piece of me there
Maybe a big piece that cannot be mistakened for someone else
When I uncover the grave there is a body buried alive
barely breathing, but not dead yet
I weep at the beauty of those words–stiched together like a
quilt to leave hanging on the fraying loveseat
I find a way to see your heart in the hurt
And we are both bodies buried alive, barely breathing
but not dead yet
I have hooked up the tubes and wires and run you through
my veins delivering a kind of test to all my internal organs
It works
I am working
You can be my blood and I will keep pumping
pumping

“Intelligent, quirky, passionate” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday May 15, 2018
11:44pm
5 minutes
from Quill and Quire

Let them see all the good colours
the ones that the sky knows in the morning
and when the sun decides to sleep
Let them see them in me
Let me

I am too tired to write a lie
Everything is coming out neon green
If I had more time I would spin a web of almost truth
And you might get caught because it wil be beautiful
It will blow your friggen mind out of your skull

let them choose brains over braun
quirk over perk
passion over rations
Let them pick the harder one to be
Let them learn how
Let me

I wish the bed didn’t sink in the middle
I wish Chicago wasn’t trying to recruit me so persistently
I wish the edges of this soft made you cry for once instead of me
I wish I didn’t need to do everything in the same line format

BREAK THE FOURTH WALL AND DO NOT OFFER TO PAY FOR DAMAGES
DIP SUGAR INTO A SALTY THING AND BOW DEEPLY
VOLUNTEER TO GO FIRST
T
R
U
S
T
YOUR EMOTIONAL LIFE WHEN IT IS HOOKED UP ALL THE WAY DOWN YOUR SPINE

“I am weary” by Julia at The Cottage

Wednesday May 9, 2018
10:23pm
5 minutes
The Identity Repairman
Thomas Sayers Ellis

I told him I made a dinner out of scraps when he asked
said I used the butt of the broccoli and the kale that
had been in there for 6 weeks, wrinkling slowly.
Then I mentioned the bacon and he said Oh The Bacon?
And I said I’m still alive, AND didn’t have to leave
the house. He said he was going to stop off somewhere
and pick something up because he was hungry and I said
please help yourself to my left over left overs and he
said I Trust Your Left Overs. I Trust Them. And I knew
without asking that he did not trust them. He was weary
of them. And so I did ask, because of comedy, and he
said he was going to stop off somewhere and pick
something up because he was hungry. I am never weary of
the bottom of the fridge or the inside of a stranger’s
throat. I will peer in if I have the chance and take
a chipped mug from the shelves of unwanted nick nacks.
I am only weary of people who are weary of me for not
being weary at all. Now I will have left overs of left
overs left over to eat for lunch tomorrow. And I will
still be alive then too. Because it’s not a death
sentence. It just makes my farts smell impossible.

“The job wasn’t that bad.” By Julia in her bed

Tuesday May 8, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
Dirty Work
Nancy Matson

I stand by the water and admit out loud that I want the busier streets, the prettier graffiti, the taller buildings. If one day I have to throw myself off of one, at least it’d be a longer fall. And I could go home. He hears lump in the throat, Justify Janice. He thinks about childish gambino and how iphone is gonna start autocorrecting his name with capital letters. He waits for me to stop talking so he can kiss me. I do not stop talking. I let him kiss me on the walk to the other place we live in.

“not like you” by Julia at her desk

Saturday April 21, 2018
11:33am
5 minutes
From a quote by Carlos Fuentos

He asks you if we are the kind of couple who needs
to spend every second together
He asks this while you are living in another province than me
I think it is one of those questions that doesn’t need an answer
But you answer in full sentences and give a thought out response
I would not have thought about it as long as you and
I suppose that is because I am not like you
You say it has taken a long time to get here
that once upon a time we were too codependent
and once upon a time after that we were too independent
and now we have found this happy medium where you can
go away and I can go away and we can live our individual
lives but still miss the other person
I would have simply said No
we’re not that kind of couple
And yet I appreciate all the history of us you are remembering
You know where we’ve been because you are not like me
and have been paying attention to the arc of things
I sometimes pretend like half of of our lives toegther
didn’t even happen in the first place
It is good that you are not like me

“Near Middle: for “Devilish woman,” by Julia at her desk

Saturday February 17, 2018
7:04pm
5 minutes
Errata and Addenda
Rachaela Van Borek

Can’t tell her the truth even though that’s what we both promised we’d do.
When she tells me hers, she apologizes a month later and says, “Maybe when
you asked what I thought that night I shouldn’t have answered at all.”
I tell her “No, you should have, I want you to be honest with me,”
but I don’t know if that’s just because I don’t know what else to say.
I have some ideas about the questions she doesn’t ask me and
I know I can’t tell her what I think so I agree inside that maybe she is right.
A blanket gets thrown at me when I look cold but feel sweaty.
That’s probably on account of all the discomfort.
Some people sweat when they lie.
I put it on my toes and count the minutes before the pizza arrives.
Maybe when we’re eating we will have less time to peer into each other’s
souls and risk ruining a perfectly good family.
Suddenly her phone rings and she answers it in the middle of my good story.
She covers the receiver, tells me that our mother is frying shrimp dumplings again and asks if I want any.
I tell her to tell her yes.
She tells our mother we’ll be right over.
When she hangs up she shakes her head.
“Not sure what Mom is doing making dumplings at midnight.”
“Not sure what Mom is doing thinking we all still live in the same time zone.”

“famous for flying around”by Julia in her bed

Wednesday February 14, 2018

2:38am

5 minutes

Anthony’s Glass Eye

Billeh Nickerson

Today he was wearing a giant crystal dangling on a thin leather rope. It was so close to his Adam’s apple I thought he was going to slice it right off. He told us all that his ukulele was a lesbian and that he used to be a winged thing in the life before this one.

I know that feeling. Of wanting to share everything inside my skull. But I don’t do it because I’ve seen what happens when you’re candid with everyone. They can’t handle the honesty. It makes them squirmy.

The person beside me was breathing so consistently and heavily that it started to activate my anxiety. I had to keep catching my own breath and plugging my one ear. If I had been honest I would have gotten in trouble for asking them to please try breathing with their mouth open or not at all.

“I’ve been hiding who I am” by Julia in Hanoi

Monday February 5, 2018
9:57pm
5 minutes
Sisterly Love
Elise Pallagi

Not under the rug or anything-
in the wide wide open
in my laugh
in the unkind words I’ve used to describe myself
in the moments between dream and awake when I can’t tell what’s real
When I know what’s real and still send my brain to the night cave,
the haunted ride,
the hole in my three/almost four year old running shoes
When I say I don’t need more
When I say yes, let me settle for this;
watch how this small nothing
does suffice
And in the wretched mirror of our private elevator I have been hiding
my joy behind picked skin regrets named Lack
named Control
It takes everything I am to say what
I am not
It is worse work
It does not come with sweets

“hesitating to” by Julia on Amanda’s tub

Saturday December 30, 2017
2:08am
5 minutes
From a tweet

Tell you the truth

Telling myself first

Listening

Believing you’re right

Believing I’m wrong

Go to the bathroom

Leaving the moment

Leaving the bar

Say something I’ll regret

To let you get away with it all

To let you have the last word

To agree with you

Disagree

Cry in front of you

Tell you about the hurt

Relive the hurt

Let you see me hurt

Be hurt

Ask for clarification

To cry when you cry

To hug you

To tell you I love you

To relive the past

To share what I’m feeling

To apologize

Fight

Forgive

Order another drink

Let you leave in anger

Keep you there in anger

Fight

Forgive

Fight

Forgive

Ask you to write me something

Ask you to read something

Admit I don’t know

“The great task in life” by Julia at YVR airport

Sunday October 29, 2017

7:36pm

5 minutes

from a quote by Iris Murdoch

The great task in life is being kind when things don’t add up to nice or good or in your favour
Half of us are waiting for the world to turn down the bed
for the sheets to be clean
for the roads to be paved                                                        What kindness do we keep when the world is busy keeping bridges suspended        art and freedom in love                                                          What do we choose when we aren’t being so damn entitled

Sorry

I said kindness                                                                  I am figuring that out myself                                                    Honesty isn’t always butterflies
(In case anyone was wondering)
Kindness isn’t always weak                                                    And honest kindness sometimes cuts with a serrated edge
It shouldn’t always be easy                                                      Easy isn’t always good                                                          We don’t know what we don’t know                                                And sorry
I was talking about me                                                      I think the kindest thing I can do is be tell the truth                            The truth doesn’t always stay for tea

“being interviewed” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Tuesday October 24, 2017
6:38pm
5 minutes
From a tweet

Ask me whatever you want

I’ve said it before

I’m an open book

you just have to read between the lines

Don’t ask me anything when I’m writing

Or dumping out

I say dumping out instead of taking a sweet shit

I just want to be clear with you

I’m not interested in your nightly rituals

I don’t want to put your mouth in my mouth

So we’re clear

If you ask I will answer

I’ll go above and beyond

out of my way to figure it out so you don’t have to

Wanna know what I’ve been carrying?

Stale bread in the secret pocket of my purse

Just in case they don’t have what I need

A couple packets of raspberry jam

A Mickey of whiskey

Art for someone who loves me enough to buy it

Ask me

about my yesterday

and I will tell you everything

everything

everything

Might not apologize for leaving early

Might not fall down dead at the sound of sorry

Might beg for truth from you

if you’re getting it from me

“discussing something that’s totally wrong” by Julia at JJ Bean


Tuesday August 15, 2017
5:23pm
5 minutes
foverheard at JJ Bean

You could tell him that his toenails are too long
OR
you could gag everytime his foot rubs your leg

You could tell her that her breath smells like a jar of sleeping shit
OR
you could wear a hospital mask over your entire face

You could tell him there is lemon meringue gooping out of his eyes
OR
you could smash his face into a pillow, like a game, ha ha, wipe wipe

You could tell her that she’s being defensive
OR
you could put her attitude in the bowl of acceptance and underline TRUST over and over

You could say the truth
OR

“bigger than my hand laid out flat” by Sasha in the TA office at UBC


Monday March 27, 2017
2:12pm
5 minutes
From an assignment

You’ve never asked me about
my appetite
my one night stands
my musical aspirations
my stretch marks
my collection of cards and crystals
my hidden chocolate

I wonder about honesty
and where it’s filmy and where
it’s white
opaque
bigger than my hand land out flat

We’ve started drinking more
and eating more potato
chips and I’m not sure if
these are
good things or bad things

I’ve never asked you about
what you write about in
your morning page journal
your one night stands

“More money, like I said.” by Julia on her couch


Friday November 18, 2016
11:34pm
5 minutes
A Boy Of Good Breeding
Miriam Toews


Ida and Meryl met on a crowded subway car. Ida had lipstick on her teeth and turns out Meryl was the first person to have mentioned this to her. She fell in love with her instantly. Ida valued honesty in a person. She couldn’t understand why we’d waste so much of our time hiding behind lies. She thought it was too much work to live like that. Ida told Meryl that she was striking and that she liked her silver running shoes. Meryl covered her mouth when she laughed as if she was trying to keep a tiny gerbil inside. She fell in love with her instantly.

“the authors of our lives” by Julia on the bus


Monday October 10, 2016
7:55pm
5 minutes
The Rising Strong Manifesto
Brene Brown


I tell myself I am beautiful on days that I don’t wear makeup
On days that I don’t leave the house
On days that I wonder what it would feel like to kick a living thing that is smaller than me
I tell myself that outcomes are not reliant on incomes
That success is knowing that success is just a word
That joy can come from wondering about kicking a living thing that is smaller than me and knowing that I never really wanted to do it in the first place
I tell myself that if ignore my thirst it will turn into hunger
but if I ignore my hunger it will turn into regret
I tell myself that I am beautiful
on days when I forget that beautiful is just a word

“bore you with another list ” by Julia on her Couch


Sunday August 14, 2016
9:25pm
5 minutes
theestablishment.com

1.I can’t apologize enough; I am always sorry for something
2.I buy the cheapest toilet paper because it’s the only kind that doesn’t stick to your bits
3.If I pass by a basil plant, I will steal a leaf off of it
4.If I pass by a rosemary bush, I will pluck as many sprigs as I can carry
5.Sometimes I cry for no reason
6.Sometimes I take long showers when I’m trying to forgive you
7.I drink from the carton and jar and double dip knives and cross contaminate condiments
8.I make lists of ways to be nicer to you
9.I sleep really well all things considering
10.I don’t feel good about all the things I don’t know

“her demand of you.” by Julia at 49th Parallel


Saturday, July 9, 2016
11:43am
5 minutes
The Unsayable
Annie G. Rogers


To stay up late and watch a movie, she says, can you push on my feet just for a little, he says, I would do anything for you. Secretly there is resentment he wonders, how did I trust myself so little that now I’m here, rubbing feet, wishing I was anywhere else. I didn’t think love was an option for me. To wake up early and eat a sugar donut for breakfast, he says, can you sit with me and squeeze my hands while I read, she says, of course that’s all I ever want to do. Below the smile she is angry at the world for doing this to her. She thinks to herself, I shouldn’t have stolen those earrings from my grandmother when I was young and obsessed with the idea that if I didn’t take them she would leave them to my sister. Now I’m here, counting down the minutes that I can be alone.

“behind your kiss” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday July 6, 2016 at Starbucks
7:05am
5 minutes
When I touch you; Peter Ilyanov
Diana Brebner


Behind your kiss I can feel
the thing you’re trying desperately
not to ask me.
Did you do it?
Would you do it?
Do you still love me?
Am I enough for you now
that you’re bigger
than you used to be?
Don’t ask don’t tell;
maybe something I taught you,
maybe something you taught me.
But your lips leak your secret,
parting the seas
every open close pucker and smack.
Each breath
you take
parts the seas for the truth
to spill
out
into
my
mouth,
drowning me,
or begging me to swim.
I watch you sometimes
from behind my eyes,
searching for meaning
and a reason.
Do I need to answer everything
for you?
Have you never looked
inside yourself
for something you need?
Will you ever be enough
for you?
Your tongue licks and flicks
all the possibilities of honesty
to the roof
of
my
mouth.
Behind your kiss,
there is a flood coming.
Ask me no questions, I’ll tell you no lies;
maybe something you taught me,
maybe something I taught you.

“We’ve got your back” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday April 26, 2016
11:30pm
5 minutes
from a Suburu ad

Got a letter from Marie the other day. It was written on a series of post-its, unnumbered,disordered, and accompanied by a stack of photographs. She sent me a photo of her new belly button ring with a big “SORRY!” Written on the back in red lipstick. Another of her dog, Kate, and her just waking up. She looks happy in that one. She also sent a photo of her and Iris swinging a toddler between them. On the back she wrote “this ones a good one” and I have no idea what or who she’s talking about. Her post-its had her dreams scrawled on some but not all, a list of all of her current measurements, and a haiku about mint chocolate with a bunch of sparkly cow stickers.

“Not anymore” by Julia on the 99


Monday April 25, 2016
6:51pm
5 minutes
from a podcast

I don’t want you anymore
She says
Mouth full of corn flakes
Heart full of lonely
Are we going to discuss this
He says
Forehead vein pulsing
Forehead skin wrinkling
We are discussing it
She says
We are discussing it right now
No
He says
I mean don’t I get a say in this
Whatever you want to say will be too late
I don’t want you anymore
I don’t owe you a debate
You don’t have to be cruel
You’re already leaving me
He says
Eyes cast down
Eyes filling up
I think I’m being very nice actually
Being honest with you is the nicest thing I could do.

“We were two ships in the night” by Julia at her “New York”


Wednesday April 20, 2016
11:23pm
5 minutes
Capsized
You+Me


Arden: Elliot, where did you get that ring?

Elliot: Why, you like??

Arden: Yeah, I like it a lot. It looks expensive.

Elliot: What does that mean?

Arden: Means it doesn’t look like something you’d buy.

Elliot: What the fuck?

Arden: I don’t mean it like an insult, I’m just saying.

Elliot: Well why don’t you stop speaking in fucking puzzles? What are you getting at?

Arden: Woah, pump the breaks, I’m just saying I like your ring and I didn’t expect you to have something like that. Because you don’t have a job. And I don’t think you’re dating someone? I don’t know, Elliot, fuck, just forget it.

Elliot: You’re jealous.

Arden: No–

Elliot: You are. I fucking knew it. You can’t accept that I might have one thing that you don’t have.

Arden: That’s not true.

Elliot: No? Then I guess you won’t care if I tell you that Nanna gave me this ring.

Arden: What?

Elliot: Yeah. She wanted me to have it. She gave it to me before she died.

Arden: Why the fuck did she give it you?

“Let’s roll, babycakes” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday April 14, 2016
11:52pm
5 minutes
overheard on Arbutus

I want you to beg me to stay when I tell you I’ll be sleeping at my mother’s place tonight. I want you to get on your knees and apologize for being a dick so I can forgive you and then apologize for being a dick back to you. I’m angry but I won’t be later but I don’t know how to turn this thing around before later is later. I feel like I’ve pushed all your buttons and there’s no easy rewind let’s pretend that never happened one to press. Why don’t you come with one like that? I am at the door with my overnight bag and I want you to throw me a banana if you’re not going to try to keep me from going. Let me know you still care about my potassium intake even when we’re hating each other. Even when you’re secretly glad that I won’t be sleeping beside you tonight to remind you of this stupid fight we both engaged in when we were both enraged about the thing we won’t remember in the morning.

“Don’t turn off your computer” by Julia at Platform 7


Wednesday April 13, 2016 at Platform 7
4:47pm
5 minutes
from the update installation screen

For the first time in a month of coming here, the man with obnoxious voice and even more obnoxious ponytail is not working in the cafe that I am borrowing as my office. I don’t mean to say I miss him-I don’t- but I’ve come to expect him and now things feel a bit off.
I spilled coffee into my laptop bag, and into my laptop keyboard, and onto my table, and into the self-deprecating narrative that I’m the kind of person who spills liquids on all the things that should never get wet.
I waited in line for the single-stall bathroom for the duration of “Another Day” from the Rent soundtrack because I could hear someone doing a million weird things inside and I didn’t know how long was reasonable to wait before I decided to stop waiting.
Nothing else bad has happened. I don’t think it’s obnoxious ponytail accent’s fault for not being here- I was just trying to connect some dots that don’t need connecting while my computer updates itself and tells me not to shut off until it’s done. It’s done now. It doesn’t take long to restart or update but I always think it will. Maybe that’s a reminder for me when I make excuses for staying married to bad habits…

“No I’m glad you did.” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday, April 6, 2016
11:24pm
5 minutes
from a text


This cute 17 year old just offered me a toke of his spliff and then told me if I wanted he would buy me chicken wings and show me the place that will change my life. I took a hit and I said “yeah alright” to the wings because I’m no idiot. I think he knew I was older but assumed just by a year or two and not a decade + two but I’m not in the business of walking people through life. If you have a question, ask it, if you think I’m a radiant and sexy 19 year old who will still be taken in by a high schooler’s charms then that’s what you think. Who am I to tell him I’m a little too old for him or that I’m in a relationship? He didn’t ask maybe he doesn’t want to know. Maybe he doesn’t care. I’m not going to be presumptuous. Maybe I’m going to kiss his soft baby lips after he buys me chicken wings. Maybe I’m going to give him my phone number so he can text me how much he needs me.

“Seems stressed always.” by Julia at Platform 7


Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at Platform 7
5:12pm
5 minutes
from a text

You can find me in the poorly lit coffee shop scratching at my scalp, tiny flakes of dandruff floating into my keyboard as I type a letter to your mother that I will likely never send. I have escaped the confines of our bachelor apartment, spent the $2.75 on a coffee that reminds me that people are dying in places all around me, and have been here since the place opened. Miller is working a double and doesn’t ask me to leave or buy a sandwich. When he sees my crumpled forehead and my dandruff start to pile up in between the space bar and the track pad he knows to keep his distance. I am writing a letter to your mother and in it I am breaking up with you and I am breaking up with her. I am telling her why first so you can’t spin the story. I don’t want her to think less of you but I think she should know the truth. It’s taken a lot of my energy to think of the right words. I already have the right reasons. They’ve been living inside of me as long as your Taco Bell leftovers have been sitting in the fridge, collecting mold, being avoided like the plague.

“Won’t you please please help me” by Julia on the 99


Thursday, March 31, 2016
10:43pm
5 minutes
From the Beatles song


If I knew what to say to you I would already have a book filled with writing that’s beautiful
poetry that looks like you
I would have pockets filled with love notes and kitchen drawers overflowing with to do lists that have your name scrawled all over them
to love: you
to touch: you
to kiss: you
to be grateful for: you
If I knew what words to string together I would have yard after yard
like a decorative threaded popcorn line at Christmas
I would wrap you up in it
I would fill the day metaphors of you

“Shrimp only” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday, March 29, 2016
2:43pm
5 minutes
from a recipe in Cowichan Bay

I could live off of shrimp only and maybe some garlic. I really could. I could live off of a lot of things that seem simple like that. I could live off of sunsets and matchsticks. I could live off of olive oil and crusty bread. I could live off of my mother’s laugh and my father’s silly singing. I could live off of silent walks to the beach and quiet crying by the ocean. I could live off of his kisses and his squeezes and his eyebrow scar and his banjo playing. I could live off of people watching and star gazing. I could live off of understanding and connecting. I could live off of summer’s heat and throwing a baseball. I could live off of burgundy pens and graph paper. I could live off of peaches and hot peppers. I could live off of magic and synchronicity. I could live off of curiosity and fresh basil. I could live off of truth-speaking and patio writing. I could live off of my belly soft and my lucid dreams. I could live off of the perfect yawn and the perfect hug.

“WIN $5000” by Julia at Platform 7 Coffee Brew Bar


Thursday, March 24, 2016 at Platform 7
2:36pm
5 minutes
from a nofrills receipt

Leda sends me a photo of her vagina and asks if I have the same rose-looking ‘thing’ on mine.

I send her back an image of a desert and tell her there are no flowers blooming here. You don’t use it you lose it. Pft. Everything turns to dust.

She texts back a hands up emoji, praising my perfect timing and accurate representation of whatever my sorry situation is right now.

I text her asking why she’s asking about her rose-thingy and use many ellipses to demonstrate that I have been left hanging and my curiosity is in fact sparked.

She texts back a photo of our matching tattoos and says she wanted to know if she should be worried or if we were fine.

I text Leda saying that I’ll get back to her but if it doesn’t hurt, it’s probably fine?

She texts back asking for a picture of my vagina to confirm that our genes are fine.

I text back a photo of Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.

“always easier to leave it at home” By Julia at The Vancouver Public Library


Tuesday February 23, 2016 at the VPL
6:49pm
5 minutes
abeautifulmess.com

Been fucking trying to leave it at home. Been fucking trying not to swear anymore either but as you can see, things have been a little bit rough these days. My asshole of a manager has decided that not only are we no longer allowed on our phones during work hours, but now we have to write a fucking positive message about the “team” each night before AND AFTER our shift. FUCK. How do you not swear when your life is a complete fucking joke? Tad, his fucking name is TAD. And Fucking TAD has so many fucking brilliant ideas for community building, such as embodying bullshit in the most unappealing human way this century has ever seen, or for making us walk through the back doors before we sign our lives away for 4-8 hours in a “light” and “baggage-free” way. Fucking Tad likes to tell me, “Leave your bad attitude at the door, Tegan, this place is a “frown-free” zone!” I want to fucking punch him with a fork. In the throat. Repeatedly. Until fucking forever and ever Amen.

“that you already know and like.” By Julia at her dining table


Monday February 22, 2016
9:11pm
5 minutes
gnoosic.com

I am having a party
putting up balloons
decorating the whole house with streamers
and pictures
to celebrate the journey
to congratulate for not giving up
giving away loot bags at the end of the night
filled with moments of strength
examples of accepting imperfection
honesty
some vulnerability tossed in for good measure
I am inviting all my past selves
Like a reunion
But better
I will tell them
DRESS CODE IN EFFECT
And they will show up
wearing their sorrys
and their lessons
on their sleeves
carrying abundance and respect
in each jean pocket
I am saying farewell to fear
Sending her off on vacation
Killing three birds with one stone
honouring growth
A goodbye party for that which no longer serves me
And a good excuse to celebrate
Because the hill was high
but I’ve climbed it

“poetry got a mainstream reputation” by Julia on Michael’s old bed


Monday, December 28, 2015
10:11pm
5 minutes
LENNY letter no. 14

Gabriela is my mother’s first cousin but she was disowned by the family in 1977 because she was “spreading the lies of the devil through her evil written word.” My mother only mentions Gabriela by accident when I ask her if we have any writers in the family. I ask because my son, Warren, is working on his family tree for school and has to answer a bunch of questions about the jobs his relatives have had. My mother tells me by accident that Gabriela used to write poetry about things people were too afraid to talk about. In one she remembers well, Gabriela wrote a line that said “The Church is lying in the Church. The Church is hiding in the Church. We do not know what we refuse to see.”
“So, she was a poet?” I ask my mother.
“No,” she tells me, “She was a sinner.”

“Don’t tell anyone.” by Julia at her desk


Sunday December 6, 2015
9:43pm
5 minutes
http://www.globeandmail.com/life/parenting

Don’t tell anyone but I love the smell of my own skin. Like the ooey gooey yeasty smell of the inside of my bra after a long day of support and entrapment. I like it like I like the smell of your hands after they’ve been down your pants. I don’t know why but they smell the same to me. Secret Skin. Hidden in plain sight. Terribly crass. Undeniably human. I love the human you become when I’m an animal sniffing the sweat off your thighs. I ache for you to want me like your body has no choice. You tell me you like the smell of my arms, behind my ears, my belly button. I tell you to describe the scent that you like so much. I beg for you to prove it to me that it’s worth risking everything for.
You don’t know what to say except that it’s spicy and reeks of the earth. I am lifted from my bones when I hear you inhale me.

“Maybe we shouldn’t” by Julia on her couch


Saturday November 21, 2015
11:40pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Eastside Culture Crawl

Maybe we shouldn’t talk about the future, about how many kids you want, or how many pieces of artwork we don’t agree on. Maybe we shouldn’t.
Maybe we shouldn’t tell each other everything just in case we wake up one time in the middle of the night and realize there’s nothing left to learn. Maybe we shouldn’t.
Maybe we shouldn’t co-own anything unless that thing is a fruit and custard pull-away tart from the coffee shop on the corner where the barista is mean to you. Maybe we shouldn’t.
Maybe we shouldn’t wait for the other one to be honest about the things we’re afraid of first. Maybe there’s pain in the waiting. Maybe there’s disaster in the lie before it becomes the truth.
Maybe we shouldn’t tell our parents, when they ask what we did last night, that we didn’t leave our beds because we were too high to stand up. Maybe we shouldn’t.

“Your vision, values and needs” by Julia on her couch


Sunday November 1, 2015
11:59pm
5 minutes
An ad for a Life Coach

The back of my computer is covered in chocolate icing because…well fuck, because, obviously. It’s been a hard month, alright, I admit that. It’s been one of those times in my life that sounds great on paper–if you get off on misery and if you romanticize inadequacy. I’d like to say that I was surprised to find myself in this situation, but the truth is, I have expected it to come at one point or another because I have never really not been the type to somehow find ninety-nine cent frosting bits smeared across my laptop. Yes it was ninety-nine cents, yes I ate it with my hands, yes I ate it in under four days, yes I did this completely on my own, and yes I enjoyed it and felt that it was, at particular wee hours of the morning, a truly smart decision…
These are tough times.

“willing to launch an attack” by Julia at her desk


Sunday September 27, 2015
10:58pm
5 minutes
Dead Metaphor
George F. Walker


I tell her that I don’t approve of him and now she’s pissed because she knows I’m right but doesn’t want to admit it. It’s not my fault the signs are glaringly obvious that he’s not right for her, that she’s only staying with him because she’s blinded by her “feelings” which, I believe are madly out of touch with reality. She’s asked me once before and I said, I don’t know, Lara, I’m not inside your relationship, you are. You should know how you feel. She got mad then too because I was looking too objectively at her problems. So fine, I think, I won’t say anything at all, but then she asks me one day when I’ve had no time to prepare myself to stay out of it, and I tell her, I say, honestly, Lara, I think you’re better than him and that he’s sucking you dry in every possible way and if you’re serious about your own happiness then you really should take a look at the cause of all the feelings you have that aren’t that.

“You can live in Heaven” by Julia in Brooklyn


Friday, July 24, 2015
11:05pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz


I hear Bryan Adams in my head, playing a song I know I should love. Makes me wonder if I’m checked out or something. Makes me wonder if you’re the one. Makes me wonder if you’re not. I think because there aren’t angels in my version, or glitter bugs, or trumpets or whatever. There’s a couple things I do like a lot, but none of that Hallmark clownshit on your deathbed stuff. I guess I’m going to get a lot of flack for saying that. Don’t care. Not enough to retract it. It’s just been something on my mind for a while is all. You, me, what is perfect, if there’s a perfect, what’s forever, if there’s a forever, if Heaven is where we’re going, if it’s where we already are, if it doesn’t exist at all, thereby ruining everyone’s standards without fully knowing it. I don’t know. Bryan Adams or something.

“OH MY GOD I GOTTA GO!” by Julia at Propeller Coffee


Thursday, July 23, 2015 at Propeller Coffee
2:20pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the Street

I’m the person on the street that annoys you with my heavy walk That spits on the sidewalk
That answers my phone too loudly on public transportation
That lets my phone ring too loudly before I answer it on public transportation
That drops an earring in the parking lot and then is too shocked to offer sincere gratitude when it’s returned
That is obnoxious on a bicycle because nothing is oiled and it sounds like a David Lynch movie
That tries to make other people feel good about their bad choices
That would rather close a window than put on an extra layer of clothing
That orders McDonald’s fries without sodium just because I can
That falls asleep at the library
That takes a shit in public restrooms
That wishes on shooting stars which end up just being planes

“with special guests” by Julia on her patio


Wednesday, July 1, 2015
6:59pm
5 minutes
From a Baroque to Birdland flyer

Ever feel like you’re not even starring in your own life? Lately I haven’t even been guest starring let alone carrying the whole thing. I’ve been having dreams these past few nights that I’m doing the things, going on the adventures, but it’s not actually me. It’s somebody else, someone else’s face and hands, but it’s not me. I watch another human play my role in my own mind’s film and I’m bewildered about that. Why am I not controlling the action? What am I doing so wrong that someone else has to step in and take over? I think it’s obvious, I haven’t been taking initiative in getting things done. But in my dreams who is this other person? It’s not someone I recognize. Is it my alter ego? My true self? My active mind? My true personality? Is it the me I wish I was? The me I’m supposed to be? The me I will be? The me I am when I’m being honest?

“The audience is your partner” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, June 28, 2015
8:44pm
5 minutes
Conversations with Anne
Anne Bogart


Hi! Oh there are so many of you! Such a good looking group, and I swear I’m not just saying that. I don’t tell everyone that. I don’t think it’s fair to give people false interpretations of themselves. If it’s not a good looking group, I just avoid the topic entirely. But you. You are a stunning piece of work, and you should know that you are because everyone should hear it if it’s true. I don’t like when people go crazy for babies even if they’re not cute. Some people say the mothers always think their kid is cute but what about the truly ugly infants? I’m not trying to be cruel, but my friends, I value authenticity; I value reality. How does a mother look at her ugly kid and still make claims that he or she is adorable. Okay okay I know what you’re thinking, “she’s an asshole, she must be dealing with some childhood trauma, or self-image issues.” I can assure you, and maybe I should be lying here, that I do just simply hate people who won’t see the truth.

“new hipster beer” by Julia on her patio


Monday May 25, 2015
4:03pm
5 minutes
from a beer tasting

I didn’t want to go to Portland and see all the hipsters wearing their hipster gear and drinking their new hipster beer. I didn’t have a better answer for wanting to stay at home other than I just didn’t want to go, but Reilly was being such a nag about it, asking me a thousand times a day, “why, Elyse, why don’t you want to go? You hiding something, Elyse? You got better things planned, Elyse?”
My God she was such a rat terrier. I guess when you bail on a plan 2 days before you’re supposed to hit the road, people are bound to get weird about shit. I just never really wanted to go from the beginning but I didn’t admit that part out loud when we were all contributing our halves to the housing and the “unpredictable” fund. It doesn’t feel so good saying it now–Note To Self: Always be up front so that I never have to feel whatever it is I’m feeling now, again.
It just saves everybody a healthy dose of disheartened confusion if we all just say what we need at the very moment that we need it. And guilt too. It saves me guilt.

“evil, greedy, deluded, fatally flawed.” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 22, 2015
11:21pm
5 minutes
Talking Masks
Adam Seelig


After I wash my face at night, I don’t really want to see other humans until morning. It’s not that I don’t want them to see my face unmasked, without colours and expressions painted on, it’s more than that. It’s about time and space and holding that for me in a sacred way which for some odd reason at any other point in the day doesn’t feel as possible. Maybe I’m greedy. Maybe I want my born like this, woke up like this, go to bed like this face for me and only me. Maybe it makes me feel closer to the earth and to my mother and to my truth. It’s strange because this ritual has turned me into a monster. One knock at my door and I’m hissing like a cat with her claws out ready to pounce. I can’t say “Nobody’s home” or “Nobody that you will recognize is here”. Though I am good at it, I don’t want to lie. So I answer with my secret night time alone time me time face, and there’s a scowl where my lightness just was, a cold stare where my openness used to be.

“9AM-6PM” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 20, 2015
12:33am
5 minutes
from a parking sign

That’s when I’m awake and dreaming about being so much better.
Wishing I had taken out the trash.
Wishing I had eaten breakfast on the back porch.
Wishing I had cleaned my house last night so I could wake up with it ready.
That’s when I spend time thinking about what food I could eat.
How excited I’ll get when I plan a delicious feast.
But really just eat pickled eggplant and chili bean paste from the jar.
And call that a proper meal.
All day.
From 9AM-6PM when the rest of the world is out there making a living.
I’m in here thinking about how one day I’ll be making a living.
Instead of making a living now.
Instead of living now.
But there are other dreams too.
Of how tomorrow will be filled with positive and productive and persistent.
How if I can just get through this day.

“believe it or not” by Julia on the 72 going north


Tuesday May 19, 2015
10:45pm
5 minutes
A Ripley’s bus ad

believe it or not we’re here now together
you say you don’t want to believe that cause then it’s harder to let it go
but i’m telling you now that we’re here now together
and the harder you push me the farther i’ll get let go
why wouldn’t you just trust me?
when i say i have a heart built for two
when i say it’s like a bicycle and it carries the both of us?
why can’t you allow me to be exactly how i am
without getting scared of endings and losings and assumings
i’ve never been this happy before either
but i’m not running away
and i’m no trying to convince you that this is too good to be true
you have to listen to what your gut is trying to tell you
all those warm fuzzy tinglings?
they don’t exist there for nothing
and those happy pretty songs that you’re humming
aren’t just an accident either
they’re your feelings and they’re your truth
just the way i paint more when i think of your face
and i can’t help but smile when you cross my mind
i know it’s not normal that doesn’t mean it’s bad
you have to believe me when i tell you the truth before it all goes away
before you see exactly how much better us being here now together is
than what you’ll have when it’s gone

“If you don’t come with me,” by Julia on her bed


Saturday May 16, 2015
1:56am
5 minutes
Behind Sad Eyes
Marc Shapiro


If you don’t come with me, I’ll toss and turn each night
I’ll hold the space for you to join until you realize that you must
I’ll write you my feelings in haiku and limericks
I’ll dance with someone who may hold me closer
I’ll tease the mind of someone who may enjoy little games better
I’ll eat a tub of peanut butter before the week is through
I’ll take myself to the lake and I’ll be content alone
I’ll pretend you don’t exist until one day you do not

“That’s amazing, honey,” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 12, 2015
1:22am
5 minutes
Almost Unendurable Beauty
Jocelyn Evie


I don’t believe you, Brendan, how the hell am I supposed to believe anything you say? Not just what you say but how you say it. You never mean anything.
…Aimless pacing
…Wandering
…She does
…He watches
What are you even talking about, Maggie? I mean things. I mean what I say to you, of course I do.
…Veins bulge
…Slowly threatening to pop
…His do
…She watches
Because I feel like you’re pulling one over on me all the time. The way you say shit, like “That’s amazing, honey” when things aren’t amazing, or when I’m clearly upset about something and you tell me “well, there’s always tomorrow”. Like what the hell am I supposed to do with fucking tomorrow when today I feel like dying and you can’t even see that?
…Heart fuming
…Coat wearing
…She is
…He isn’t

“Summer road trip” By Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library branch


Thursday April 30, 2015
4:24pm
5 minutes
from a magazine article

Oh I’ve got that urge again to take off and just go somewhere that isn’t here. Been travellin’ every year now it seems and I do not want to stop that now. Got a good case of wanderlust, now that’s for sure. Been feelin’ that itch deep down for a while. Been keepin’ tabs on it, and it’s inchin’ its way on up to the surface again. I can’t tell you how anxious stayin’ put makes me feel. All these things I have to get done here because I keep puttin’ them off, seein’ the world, exploring myself. Some people might say that I’m runnin’ away but I can honestly say to you that for the first time, that’s not what this is. I think I’ve found what I’m supposed to do. I’m supposed to live outside this place and exist in a transient way sort of like a sailor or a thrill-seeker. But I also have plans to put my skills to use while I’m away. I’m not just spendin’ all my money on food or booze or whatever. It’s more calculated than that. It’s about makin’ that connection’ with other humans on a level that I can’t quite explain.

“a new relationship to the vagina” by Julia on the subway going west


Wednesday March 25, 2015
5:28pm
5 minutes
Vagina
Naomi Wolf


Yesterday I glanced down and I was surprised. Surprised that after all these years (31 if you’re wondering), I actually liked what I saw. Yeah get over it I’m talking about my vagina. Why can’t I? Don’t answer that, I don’t give a shit. I’m allowed to talk about whatever I want, especially when it’s something I love. You hear that, I don’t just like my vagina. I love her. With a thousand deeply regretted shitty comments I’ve uttered about myself, I take a stand today, mirror in between my legs, and facing the setting sun. I see who I am all over. Soft. Capable. Hungry. Open. Closed. Both. Alive. Strong. Resilient. Self-preserved. Willing to house others.
My vagina is my spirit animal.
I am she and she is me.

“I haven’t messed with or taken anything at all today.” By Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library branch


Friday March 20, 2015
1:07pm
5 minutes
Black Butler
Yana Toboso


Clean As a Whistle Wendy! That’s what they call me. Cause I can be counted on when it’s important (and when it’s not) to be fully present. And to drive people home when they’ve consumed too much! You can call my references, who are mostly my friends, because I’ve been nothing but a good one to them and they know it and they’ll tell you. If you want an example? Allow me to give one through a story. I was not my best self, one day, long ago, and I was finding myself easily persuaded. I would say yes to anything! I would say no to the consequences! But when I was asked if I wanted to put things up my nose like the rest of them, I said no! I said NO to that and I said yes to everything. So I made sure everyone arrived alive! Because It was a very clear choice! Say yes to everything but stand up for one thing. See, black heart and all, but my veins are clear as day! And that’s how I got my name!

“One male one female” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday March 11, 2015
2:38pm
5 minutes
from an online acting breakdown

It was everything and nothing
One male
One female
She cradled his heart gently in her palm
He unraveled his entire soul at her feet
Everything
And nothing
One male
One female
She held his sobbing head
On her lap
In the dark
He poured out his deepest secrets
To the folds of her jeans
To the softness of her thighs
Everything
And nothing
One male
One female
She waited until he was able
He held tight to her patience like a wounded bird

“can’t go a day without” by Julia on her bed


Monday March 9, 2015
9:27pm
5 minutes
from a comment on YouTube

thinking about bread
wishing i was better
praying to a god i no longer believe in
touching my hair
remembering
examining my fingernails
snagging my ring on the inside of my jacket
sighing deep and audibly
dreaming about chocolate
playing with my earrings
singing to myself
communicating with my love
apologizing for something
tricking myself into stillness
cracking my back
touching my face
biting my lower lip
smiling
holding space for pain