“What beauty, friend, grows in your darkness?” by Julia at her desk

Thursday August 22, 2019
8:37pm
5 minutes
Freeing The Creative Spirit
Adriana Diaz

I am asking some of those tender spaces
those in between here and now places
if i love myself and if the answer is
yes, 100% yes i do then what am i willing
to commit to

I must leave the dirt on the floor, i
must stop eating out of garbage cans
and stop expecting to be filled up, i
must wait patiently at the tooth-edged
sword that wants to jab and hit and poke,
i must close my eyes more and find some
softness in the hidden drawers

In my darkness there grows a beauty
it first comes from rage and from pain
and then it blossoms into something i
can’t name or won’t name in case if i
do it blows the petals off in a fury
there is a quiet and there is a small

i must share my darkness with myself
so i can name her and then forgive her
and hold her and let her sleep in my
bed and give her chewy biscuits

I must love her the way i would a
daisy or a snail; slowly

“What beauty, friend, grows in your darkness?” by Julia at her desk

Thursday August 22, 2019
8:37pm
5 minutes
Freeing The Creative Spirit
Adriana Diaz

I am asking some of those tender spaces
those in between here and now places
if i love myself and if the answer is
yes, 100% yes i do then what am i willing
to commit to

I must leave the dirt on the floor, i
must stop eating out of garbage cans
and stop expecting to be filled up, i
must wait patiently at the tooth-edged
sword that wants to jab and hit and poke,
i must close my eyes more and find some
softness in the hidden drawers

In my darkness there grows a beauty
it first comes from rage and from pain
and then it blossoms into something i
can’t name or won’t name in case if i
do it blows the petals off in a fury
there is a quiet and there is a small

i must share my darkness with myself
so i can name her and then forgive her
and hold her and let her sleep in my
bed and give her chewy biscuits

I must love her the way i would a
daisy or a snail; slowly

“shoved me into the bathroom” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday July 16, 2019
6:28pm
5 minutes
A Head Full OF Ghosts
Paul Tremblay

I am not going to tell you the details.
You don’t–you wouldn’t–God, stop trying
to see into me. You wouldn’t get it.
Or Me, capital M, Me. I am not what you
thought I was. I’m better, if I’m being
honest and you wouldn’t know honesty either
because you have not once told yourself
the truth. Not since we met, not since
you moved away and came back three days
later because it “wasn’t what you thought
it would be”, not since all the sadness
you went through. I’m sorry you went
through anything at to being with and all
I wanted was to be there for you so you
could talk about it but it took you 3 years
to talk about it and–I mean–I would
have gotten it. I would have gotten You.
That’s in my blood, that’s my design,
that’s who I was trying to be, and you
decided I was something else. Something
you couldn’t bear to look at because
you knew I knew what I knew about you.
I want to tell you everything and I think
that’s the straw. That’s the stupid fucking
straw. I would have let you see into me
then and I wouldn’t have thought twice
about it, but you–now that we’re–this?
I can’t even say what we are because
it hurts too damn much. Now I don’t know
how to be around you at all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t know what to say.

“we minimize our vast social problems.” By Julia at Bean Around The World

Wednesday March 20, 2019
3:57pm
5 minutes
Filling the Void: Bruce K. Alexander on how our culture is making us addicted
Jari Chevalier

1. How are you? GREAT, AMAZING, NEVER BETTER, !!!!

2. Do you need anything? NOPE, NOTHING, I CAN HANDLE IT ALL BY MYSELF, !!

3. Is there anything you would change about yourself? I’M A PERFECTIONIST SO I GUESS THAT’S MY WEAKEST STRENGTH IF ANYTHING, …

4. What do you think we’re lacking? VULNERABILITY IS SO IMPORTANT AND IF MORE PEOPLE WOULD BE EMPATHS LIKE ME IT WOULD TAKE THE LOAD OFF CAUSE I FEEL SO MUCH THAT I HAVE TO SLEEP SO MUCH AND HONESTY AND COMFY BEDS AND MELATONIN AND AUTHENTICITY ARE SUPER NECESSARY,!!!!!!!!

5. What do you want more than anything? NOT POWER NOT FAME NOT MONEY NOT CONTROL NOT LOVE JUST FLOWERS, !…!

“exhale passively” by Julia in her living room

Tuesday March 19, 2019
9:44pm
5 minutes
Physiotherapy Instructions

Yesterday you asked me why I had given such a deep sigh. I thought it was self-explanatory: I needed it. But why did you need it? Cause you are exasperating. But you didn’t like that answer. You don’t think you’re exasperating. Sometimes I blow out air that’s keeping me angry at you. Sometimes it holds the place of my longing, my crying. I do not exhale passively around you since I decided I was going to give you the full range of me. Here, this is me existing without alterations, reservations, or tiny lies.

Yesterday I shook my hips around while we were laying in bed. I didn’t stop to apologize and you did not ask me to stop. The body sometimes needs permission to be alive. To exist.

I like it better this way. The breathing more intentional the view in front of me tangible, clear, echoing.

I shake and breathe and you ask me why and I tell you why. I’ve always wanted an intimacy like that.

“The road ends at a washout” by Julia on her couch

Sunday January 27, 2019
11:13pm
5 minutes
Nomads
Poe Ballentine

I think all good things must come to an end sooner than we’re ever ready for them.
Why would we want the good things to end?
It’s hard enough getting the good things to start.

We were never really friends although I believed us to be.
I thought you liked me and I liked you in the same way and we were…good for each other.
It only took a thousand messages left without reply for me to figure it out.
You’re the kind of person who thinks offering yourself is all you need to do.
You’re the kind of person who thinks I would be lucky to receive your invitation to the land of zero follow through.
There can only be room for certain friendships now,
not whatever it is we’re doing.
We don’t need anything from each other and we never did.
I thought I did but then I got to know you and realized the
only thing I need from you is for you to stop pretending like
any of your empty promises mean something.
I won’t be around for that kind of shit anymore.
The next time I might not be as kind about the whole thing.
Maybe if you were as honest with me as I am with you we could save a whole lot of energy.

“Till the only word your mouth remembers” by Julia at her parents’ table

Sunday December 23, 2018
11:52am
5 minutes
Milk and Honey
Rupi Kaur

my mouth knows how to repeat the same thing over and over until it loses meaning
until it turns into dust

my mouth knows how to curse the ones I love the most because their mouths say what my mouth could

my mouth eats itself more than it doesn’t
twisting the almost rebellion into quiet
cheek sores, taking up space

my mouth hums the tune of the earth that keeps me grounded when the noise is trying to lift me out of my skin

my mouth coos the sweet-lipped words of admiration and gratitude with ease and with abundance

my mouth remembers being shut violently and told that this is not violence but love and history and justified

my mouth knows a lie like a pang in the gums, a bell dinging endlessly under the tongue

“three boring facts about yourself” by Julia on R’s couch

Thursday, November 29, 2018
12:41pm
5 minutes
Two Truths and a Lie
Alicia Elliot

Okay number one is that I pick my nose. Nothing exciting about that, nobody cares, everyone does it, and the only people who think it’s bad are parents to toddlers who are embarrassed of everything they do. Once I said that I do it in a job interview and the whole room fell in love with me. I knew not because I did it and they do it but because I said it and had no shame.

Number two is that I sometimes watch Grey’s Anatomy even though it’s no longer good or fun, and I still cry my eyes out every time. I watch it when I need to turn off my mind completely. I don’t care about the characters when I’m not watching. I don’t tell anyone I watch it. It’s a boring thing about me. Now you know.

Number three is that I can sit in silence for a long time with my back in a weird position. Not on purpose like a life model posing for painters. Not like a Yogi who is meditating or a regular person who is meditating. Like a person who finds a position and then doesn’t move even though the spine is probably breaking. It’s just a thing I do.

“atmosphere is occasionally interrupted” by Julia on her couch

Thursday November 15, 2018
11:38pm
5 minutes
Old Patterns Fresh Beauty
Andrea Marván

I told you I was going to be writing in the bed beside you and you won’t stop talking to me and biting my shirt.
I don’t respond because I am writing about you but you don’t seem to think that is a good excuse to lay still.
After a shower I have songs in my head waiting to be recorded. You seem to always have one of your own that you need me to hear. It interrupts my ideas and I can hate you in those minutes. I know you don’t know that I am making something over here but I am making something over here. Should I be wearing a sign when it is this constant? Don’t you know by now the water brings me to my knees and opens up my skin?
Sometimes you interrupt the room and I am looking at you. Maybe that is the whole point: a person, living, alive, needing to be seen by the other alive. I don’t think you mean to get in the way. I think you need to. I think the same about me.

“spaces for writers to meet” by Julia in her bed

Friday October 19, 2018
12:03am
5 minutes
from litmaglove.com

what would I tell them
if I met the table of writers
would they know I was lying
like she did
would they have any respect at all
I see that now she wanted to like me but I wasn’t brave enough
I wouldn’t respect that either
so much for honesty and writing what you know
if it only causes you pain
why would any of us want that
but here we are going through it
here we are finding the love in the lousy

“Light becomes me.” by Julia at the desk

Sunday August 26, 2018
9:46pm
5 minutes
Here Be Monsters
Lisa Foad
I have friends sending me long distance healing. I am blessed beyond reason.
When I remember this love I am lift. I become light.
Earlier my lover told me he loves looking at my eyes naked. As if he could see me better without mascara. I used to look at other women who didn’t need makeup with reverence. How much love they had for themselves, how nice their eyes were naturally.
I wanted to believe him better. Let him love me the way he loves me.
I am sad at how radical leaving the house without filling in my eyebrows has become for me.
Why when I am this loved from across the world. Why when I am this bright and grateful and open? Why do I question the quality of my light? Why do I sit and wait for someone else to tell me that they see it. Feel it. Notice it.
If I believe I am light then light will become me. It will be the best accessory. The sweetest outfit. It will bathe me in its glow. And I won’t need to line my eyes in purple paint to draw attention.

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

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

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

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

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

“Happy Monday Lovers” by Julia at the desk

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

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

“Angel texted” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday July 4, 2018
12:26pm
5 minutes
V.I.P. Tutoring
Vanessa Hua

Angel texted, told me to look where I was going and to read while sitting down. It made sense. The text was very much related to a thing I was about to do carelessly. It came right on time.
Angel is always watching over me. I think she thinks she has to. She thinks she has to cause her name tells her she should. I tend to listen to what Angel has to say. If she tells me to wait until the next morning to make a hard decision, I listen. Angel knows how to get me right in the soft. She sent me an e-mail yesterday after waking up at the crack of dawn. She said the sky was “milk-blue” and it melted me. I love when milk is used to describe things, like the sky. I picture Angel knowing more about the sky than anywhere else. Maybe I think she’s from there and her name was given because her mother was a clairvoyant and there’s magic and stardust in her smile. I might name my kid Sunshine so she brightens up people wherever she goes and everyone thinks she’s ‘of the sun’ because her name makes them believe. I could name her Honesty so people are reminded to look inward. But that might be too heavy a burden to carry. What if there is shame? What if she reminds people they have lived in this life with secrets? Maybe she’d remind everyone that we have all lives our lives with secrets.

“climbing into theirs” by Julia at the studio

Monday June 11, 2018
12:45pm
5 minutes
Suburban Bitch Curse
Akhim Yussef Cabey

I think I want to justify anything and everything and I can because I do
I am I am
I can I can
And you can justify all my bad habits with a knowing smile
a smile that makes me wish I had waited to tell you the truth about me
I find myself climbing into their skin to have compassion
I was told that’s how to heal the heart
You tell me gossip is useful and I laugh because the sweethearts
in my past life have told me the opposite
but I am so glad that I have met you and you’re saying this
so I have someone to bitch to, moan to, try out some of my new jokes about humans existing alongside the flaw of one another
We are all existing alongside the flaw of one another and isn’t that so damn beautiful?
Anything we do can sound lovely when underscored properly
I would choose The Digger’s Waltz and you might pick a different one
My lens could be nicely rose coloured and you
are allowing the side of me flourish that I don’t think everyone should see
Flourish
Bloom
I am afraid of so much and being so little
How can I be better if I keep myself small
I will climb inside my own skin to find out and you will always be the platform
that I get to wonder out loud to
I wonder if anyone wants to climb into mine?
If you do?
If you already have

“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.