“white supremacy is disseminated” by Julia on the 9

Thursday November 22, 2018
6:56pm
5 minutes
White Fragility
Robin DiAngelo

In the years before this one
Tiny beliefs were planted in the
fertile pockets of our earth
And twigged things sprouted forth
bearing the ugliest fruit imaginable
Somehow the farmers convinced
the people to eat the ugly fruit
They might have used something violent like the deepest kind of lie
They might have thrown god somewhere in there to be safe
And inside every body that ate the wrong fruit grew a hole that hurt so much it needed to be filled
The people with bellyaches were desperate to put something in the place of the void
They tried eating whatever they could to stop the empty
The limbs of small children at first
But that wouldn’t do the trick
And then someone heard from someone’s uncle that self-hate takes up a lot of space…

“the truth is” by Julia on B’s couch 

Wednesday August 29, 2018
1:03am
5 minutes
Close Encounters
Meg Torwl
 
I wish the inner me wasn’t so hurt. So confused. So left alone that I wasn’t able to summon some strength to say how I really felt about the whole thing. But behind the veil of this screen, the protection of “fiction” I can find some semblance of vindication. Thanks I’ll say. For inviting me to the party. Then for forgetting to tell me where the party is. Then for forgetting to welcome me. For forgetting to introduce yourself to me. Thanks for having me and not telling me I could eat. Thanks for having me and then leaving the room when I began to speak. Thanks for talking to your friends during the hard parts. Thanks for being more concerned with your phone. Thanks for blaming me for the guests staying too long. Thanks for forgetting to remind anyone I was there in the first place. Thanks for leaving me when I didn’t know how to find my way home.
And still none of this is the real truth. 

“as I grow old and my friends leave me.” by Julia on the couch

Thursday July 19, 2018
1:30am
5 minutes
Psalms For Praying
Nan C. Merrill
As I grow old my friends leave me wanting them more
I get cravings for their hearts to soar
And for their souls to laugh
I want nothing more than their rise
Their absolute and inevitable rise.
And my friends leave me.
They leave me when I have stopped needing them
They leave when I am no longer hunting them
They know I do not stay loyal on only one shoulder
Carry the weight of knowing them on both
I want to be your last leaving friend
And you can let me love you that way

“What happened to the women?” by Julia on the toilet

Wednesday July 18, 2018
11:37pm
5 minutes
A Warm Moist Salty God
Edwina Gateley

They all bled out

I know this

I was one of them

The insides twisting

The ache throbbing

No couch soft enough to hold us

No water hot enough to soothe

We all bled out

The way we once did

Hoping someone would come along and offer some supplies

Something to tend to the womb

Wound

Nobody came along

And we got good at smiling when one of the muscles spasmed

When one of our girls got some feeling back

We couldn’t complain about it

Who would understand?

Who would know what we know?

One day we would stop smiling on the inside

That’s when things fell apart

There is only so much

Unfolding

Unravelling

a pulse can take

“The process is afterall like music,”by Julia at the BC Women and Children’s Hospital

Friday April 6, 2018

9:54am

5 minutes

Käthe Kollwitz

Miriam Rukeyser

I am not over here laughing at you

If you think I am laughing at you

Not smirking at the thought of you grovelling, not turned on by your comeuppance

The memory of us swells like a song that is trying to teach me something

To ride the wave, go up, come down, stay down, stay down, and again

It is not one of those scores that gives it all away at the outset

You don’t get ahead of it because it keeps changing, twisting, turning, forcing me to touch each tendon, pulling and pressing

The resolve comes after the rise, the fall, after the shift, after the decision

And it is not the kind of music that I can dance to joyfully

It begs of me

It bruises

“ready for the feel of fire” by Julia at her desk

Monday, February 19, 2018
11:51pm
5 minutes
All Things Wasting
Mallory Tater

The last time I spoke to him I lied and said I had roasted his favourite shoes over the open fire. I told him I made chestnuts out of them. He believed me. I guess that’s saying something about me. About him, sure, but about me first because I must be pretty convincing. I suppose he has good reason. Once when we were laying in a sleeping bag somewhere in Tobermory, I said I’d stab him if he let go of me and when he did, so did I. Stab him, I mean. It was only a little, and he bled but not for long, but I said I would do it and I did it and that’s when he started to get a little scared of me. Even if it was only my thumb nail piercing his upper thigh. He’s entitled to his opinions. He can think I’m whatever he thinks, but I would never actually roast somebody’s shoes on a fire. I’m not a monster. He didn’t even respond right away when I told him I did it. He took a few long breaths and then said that was all he could take for right now. I think that was a tactic his therapist told him to practice. I don’t think he would have thought of those words on his own.

“telling about the poem” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Friday October 27, 2017

5:03am

I Was Reading A Poem

David Rutschman

I tell them about my hurt orange

the bad peel and the good one

How my thumb bruised innocent meat and over and over

How every pressed part cried out for someone to make it stop

Hunger has a funny way of bringing out the kill

And the spectator

And the sport

I tell them about my poor hurt orange

The rough edges and the ever soft

How my nail ripped open the creases

without apology

How the juice begged not to be spilled over carpets busy like these

How the skin deflated anyway

“My unexpressed anger at nothing in particular.” by Julia on Jessica’s air mattress


Saturday July 15, 2017
8:33am
5 minutes
No one belongs here more than you.
Miranda July


I throw my phone across the room, breaking the corner and exposing the LCD screen. I am now angry at myself for wrecking a thing I needed. I am always wrecking things I need.
I didn’t want to talk to him this morning in the first place but when he calls my heart double dutches just like it used to so I answer because I am a creature of habit and likely synchronicity.
I don’t know how I choose this terrible mood over all the other moods, but this is the one I’m wearing like a hazmat suit. It’s bulky and oversized and it knocks people over if it gets too close. I even use sarcasm when I can tell I have pierced him. I am nowhere close to okay with that.

“even if it was just an honest mistake” by Julia on her couch


Saturday May 20, 2017
10:48pm
5 minutes
Soft Taco
Fernando Raguero


he didn’t mean to hurt me
told me so after the dance
said the excitement got to him
said the music was too loud
a hundred I love yous and I’m sorrys
interchangeable and frequent
I never said it back
never wanted him to know that
my love was bigger than my hurt
that he could get away with
twisting the skin on my back
gently
until it popped
and then the explanations came
and wouldn’t stop
he needed to eat something
he needed to feel something
he wasn’t thinking about me it
wasn’t personal or punishment
even if it felt exactly like both of those two things
I wanted to stop crying but the tears told me what was real
not the other way around
release release go to sleep
release release go to sleep
told me I should be over it
by now
said that I say it’s okay but I don’t ever forgive anyone
not really

“Does this one need closure too?!” By Julia on the 99


Sunday February 5, 2017
11:34pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Quebec and west Broadway

“Does this one need closure too?” Lara bellowed, incredulous that she was getting another phone call after just exclaiming how “done” she was. Kya snatched Lara’s phone put of her hand and jogged a few feet away, leaving one of her hands up as defense against her ever fuming friend. “Ask her if she wants a reason! Ask her!” Lara was pressing her thumbnail into her forefinger to keep her from biting off her own tongue. She wanted to feel blood.
“Tell her that she’s not welcome in this friendship anymore-tell her that and to go love herself!”
Kya shook her head emphatically from side to side and turned her back.

“She sees light and shapes” by Julia on her couch


Monday January 30, 2017
8:28pm
5 minutes
from a text

She sees through me like nobody else has ever been able to. I feel like a string of twinkle lights wrapped in cellophane. She knows when my heart races. When my blood pumps. She knows when my hurt is anxious of when my hurt is lonely. She knows when my reasons are irrational or when they’re rationed just so. She knows when I am tired or when I’ve forgotten to eat. She knows when the silence I give her is because it is so loud inside me. She knows that my tears are not because of her but because of me. She knows when the moon is in control and when I am merely vessel. She sees the struggle cloaked in good intentions, cloaked once more in sand or tide. She sees me like a painting with all the sadness behind the eyes that cannot be quelled or released. She knows when I’m talking to fill the air with something that doesn’t reek of me. She knows when I am waiting for her to scold me or save me or keep me right where I am.

“I look forward to a random day” by Sasha on her couch


Wednesday November 23, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
from a Facebook comment

I see a man’s face through the ice looking up
his mouth contorted in salt water scream

I am standing on the thick part but still
wonder about safety and falling through

Many women are gathered here
some men too We all wear blue ribbons

I look forward to the day when this is not
the headline and the currency and the

reason I can’t sleep.

“the reconnection of a couple” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday August 17, 2016
10:31pm
5 minutes
roommagazine.com

He had been gone for a long time. I think he was fishing with his new wife, Amber. I hadn’t seen him after he left my mother with a hospital bill and a bag of rotting carrots in the fridge. I hoped he and Amber caught all the fish they could carry.

I was mad because of what he did to my mom. I mean even to this day it’s weird to say “did to” as if he did himself to her. He behaved himself to her. He was himself to her seems more accurate. I was mad because he would be so capable of disappointing someone who loved him that much.

I found out this year that my mother was horrible to him too. I didn’t know that before. I guess I needed someone to blame but I needed someone to stay more. I guess I chose wrong.

That’s when he called. He heard my mom wasn’t going to make it and he came home. He came back to what home used to be. He didn’t bring Amber. I respected him more for that. He didn’t bring any fish. I thought that was kind of rude.

“demonstrate power and courage” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday August 16, 2016
10:18pm
5 minutes
jinxiboo.com

I couldn’t say goodbye because I was worried about what that might have meant for him. What if he didn’t know how not to take things personally? What if he thought it meant I wasn’t willing to be there for him; to drop my life and commitments to be his witness. I said I was sorry. I learned that that’s the best thing you can say. I said I felt for him. I said I loved him. But I couldn’t say goodbye even though I wanted to go. At what point do you interrupt someone who’s grieving to go get yourself a sandwich? At what point is it a good point to make the point that you haven’t said anything aside from the things you’ve already said? I suppose they teach others how to demonstrate power and courage, how to own space, how to claim what is owed, how to say things without offending people because of intentions or something. I didn’t want to hurt him. Isn’t that a good thing? But there comes a moment in every missed goodbye where you stop fully listening anyway and I guess I’m wondering now: doesn’t that hurt maybe even more?

“I head straight to the office” By Julia on her couch


Friday August 12, 2016
10:19pm
5 minutes
Instyle Magazine
May 2015


For the third night in a row I have come home from the office and screamed into my pillow-I don’t know how much longer I can take it-I am starting to look forward to coming straight home from work—
I found his lies in the back pocket of his jeans. I asked him why it took so long for him to get lazy. Why now? Because I know he wanted to be caught because he wanted to tell me why and he wanted to tell me it was because of me. So. I asked him and he told me he was no longer happy. As if that’s supposed to erase 4 whole years of loving someone. Because to love someone for four years breaks your heart on the best of days. As if being no longer happy excuses the sneaking around and justifies the betrayal. It is a betrayal because I trusted my heart with him. It is a betrayal because he knew it would hurt me and he did it anyway.

“it would be like not listening at all” by Sasha at Simit and Chai Co.


Friday July 8, 2016 at Simit & Chai
5:15pm
5 minutes
When I Am King, Dilly Dilly
Don Cummer


lotsa hurt
this week mornings with
bowling ball lumps in dry hot
throat mornings spent
scrolling tears
streaming feet
tingling
what can i do what can i do what can i
can i do
can i
can’t i
ally alley ally
i want to choke
the fear and
ignorance
mine
yours
i am sorry for my
race and our horrible
terrible empty
fear
fear
fear grips a gun
tight like a baby
the baby watching
in her carseat
the father reaching
for a license
for a license to drive
license to shoot
license to bleed
license to break
we are breaking
we are broken
broken down
broken up and open
broken open

“A single breast winking,” by Sasha on her couch


Monday February 29, 2016
11:35pm
5 minutes
FWD FWD
Robin Evans


I don’t know how to tell you about
this body
that breaks open
seeds all over the place
dying your hands the colour of the hurt
I don’t know how to tell you about
the time I was grabbed on the subway platform
too young to know what this body even means
to a world obsessed
the time I was followed
fifteen
running up the stairs to
the house on the street named after a tree
heart pounding out of my ears out of my mouth
Thumbing through a phone book for the number to call
We are taught it’s not an emergency until someone
get’s hurt
I don’t know how to tell you about
the complexities of getting home alone
keys gripped one between each finger
glances over a shoulder that burden kisses
and has kissed since breasts sprouted
uninvited

“beyond borders” by Julia in the car


Tuesday February 9, 2016
6:57pm
5 minutes
from a Curl Ambassadors business card

I have pushed past the point of pain and now I spend most of my time lingering on regrets. What if, what if maybe, maybe if. They all sound the same. I know I have exhausted the semantics on this. It’s better, honestly, than trying to live in the hurt. Now I live in the past and keep myself afloat with dreams of what could have been. I am a master of this disguise. I am fooling everyone around me. I know how to dress to keep attention away from the truth. But I don’t know how long I can keep this up. It sounds great on paper but on paper you miss the whole, heart thumping out of tune thing, the deafening silence, the whimpering over hot tea turned cold every morning.

“I would like to invite you” by Julia at o5 Tea Bar


Friday October 9, 2015 at o5 Tea Bar
2:20pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Hi, how are you? Good? I’m good. I would like to invite you to something. An event. An important engagement. Not an engagement between two people who have agreed to get married. Not an agreed engagement. But one between two people and guess who those two people are? Me? And you? Yes. Both of us are invited to this engagement. Not that I want the two of us to be engaged, as in agreeing to marry. Not that I don’t, for the future, or for the possible future. But the two of us, are both invited to the something I am inviting you to and we will have alone time to discuss whatever we’d like, if you were concerned at all about what the allowances would be, and yes, if you so preferred, could discuss the topic of marriage or the topic of agreeing to marry someone, sometime, in some form or another. How are you? Good? I’m good. I’m very good. So I would like to invite you to a top secret meeting. It’s not in a top secret location, in fact, it’s a very obvious one. I don’t want to say it here because I prefer facts to metaphors, but it’s somewhere less factual and more feeling-based. I don’t know if you prefer facts to metaphors as well, but that is one of the reasons why I am inviting you to this one so you may be able to see for yourself if you do, in fact, have an opinion about it one way or another.

“I know I wouldn’t change much” by Julia at JJ Bean


Thursday October 8, 2015 at JJ Bean
9:09am
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, October 8, 2015


I am revisiting the spot in my brain where I first made the decision to love you. I’m trying to be objective here, so don’t go trying to insert your memories. I know when I told you. I said it first, cause I always do, and I knew you felt it but you were scared of me and didn’t want to be the one to risk it. That’s a pattern for you. I am always the one to risk it. That’s a pattern for me.
In this tiny shoe box in my mind, I can see very little around the moment. There’s no colour. There’s no music. It’s a rainy day and we’re sitting at a bar. I don’t know what we’re drinking. But I know I like you and I know you like me. I’m glad there wasn’t some showy fireworks display going off in my body. It was a simple and true moment and it felt like it had made a home for itself in all the soft parts of me. You said something easy like, Have you ever mixed BBQ chips with chocolate chips? And I said something easy back like, I don’t know how I haven’t done that already. It was somewhere between that and the way you kissed me on the street before you walked away.

“work its magic” by Julia at her desk


Saturday May 2, 2015
10:58pm
5 minutes
from seriouseats.com

Sometimes you just gotta wait and see, feel the earth steady under your feet, breathe in the moon, and wait. Last night I had an exchange with her. The moon. It was a silent, telepathic one. I went outside, I brought my favourite lighter, and I sparked up a conversation…among other things. I exhaled, dedicating the smoke right at her. She was cloaked in clouds and didn’t respond right away. I asked her, with my intentions only, if she wanted to join me. Couldn’t hurt to ask, even if the answer was no, it couldn’t possibly hurt me at all. She didn’t answer then and there. So I waited. I waited, I smoked, I sent my signals to her trying to tug her in my direction. Come get high with me, I willed. Take a load off. We don’t need the brightness of you every single second. Then suddenly, after all that patience I was practicing, she came out. She tossed aside her persistent body guards and she winked at me. I guess the waiting paid off.

“I’ve been catfished!” by Julia on the subway going west


Friday March 6, 2015
6:47pm
5 minutes
from a text from Sandra

I’ve been fully tricked
Half baked and eaten
Bowl of fruit and flies
Lights dimmed and lying kind of thing
It wasn’t easy to admit
In fact this is the first time
Felt too vulnerable and stupid
Felt too salty in all my gnashed out skin
Row of fakes
Tray of lies
Cup of deceit steeped to almost ready
And I drank it up gulped it down
Forgot all my faculties
Should have known it needed to cool before tasting
Donated all my wits to the charity drive on 8th
Wished I asked for a deposit on my self-worth

“You saw her bathing on the roof” by Julia in her childhood bedroom


Sunday March 1, 2015
11:56pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen


I’ve seen all your parts
Tarnished and familiar
Bruised from being too sensitive
And taking a world’s beating
You glow sometimes
under the proper light
When the pain is dimmed down low
And you feel safe in you skin
When you trust yourself enough
To thank your demons for their good fight
And to put a stop
to any future breakage
I’ve seen all your parts
Bathing in the haze of the moon
Your heart creaks
when it’s been walked over
That’s how you recognize the enemy
That’s how you know when to rebuild the wall
And the faint memory of it cracking
Keeps you far away from me
Even though I’m here to hold you
Even though I’m here to hold you

“Pain has been described as a gift” by Julia at her desk


Monday February 23, 2015
3:06pm
5 minutes
alive magazine
February 2015


I’ll be there when you need somebody
Hold you close when your heart’s been hiding
I will tell you what is inside my bones
Until you feel safe again again
I’ll be near when your strength is over
Pick up the pieces of your broken soul
I will sing to you until you sleep easy
But what do I do when you don’t come to me
Can I sit alone and wait for peace to be
You don’t always want something that you can see
You think you’ve got it covered
But that’s when I believe
You need me
I’ll reach out even when it’s lonely
On the edge of me waiting hoping
I will stay here all night if I have to
Do it again the next until you feel moved to
let it go and build a home again again
Don’t worry I won’t give up
Don’t worry I won’t let it hurt you anymore

“this is the best place” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday February 4, 2015
10:29pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

Shying away from the old heartache song
I don’t take too well to that kind of thing anymore
It hurts a bit in places that I didn’t know I had
So I let that tune play on elsewhere
I don’t tell it to stop cause I know it has to keep going
But I send it some peace so it knows It’s not personal
When I meet grace again, I’ll hum it softly
Maybe I’ll mouth the words
That’s when I’ll be able to have it quietly on repeat in the background
Underscoring my day to day
My dishes in the sink
My clothes on the line
My what ifs, if onlys
My midnight snack of whiskey and war

“Crisis points but also the potential for major realizations” by Julia on Laura’s couch


Saturday January 3, 2015
10:11pm
5 minutes
http://www.mysticmama.com

It’s been a hard day. Even just the taste of this minty ginger honey lime tea I’m sipping makes me cry. Sweet things hurt and hurt things flash in my mind like the worst bits of an unwelcome nightmare. Can I say I’m sorry? Will it do anything? Does it help me? Does it help my hurt thing? I don’t know when the last time my world shook like this. The last time it rattled under my feet making my bones knock against themselves. You there, me here–we live in different moments, in different hopes. To be honest, I’m not even sure if we can both exist at the same time. You’re bigger than me and I’m bigger than you. It doesn’t make sense. It won’t connect like we’d have wanted.
This day…this day….

“What will you do?” by Sasha in the Kiva


Wednesday December 17, 2014
11:49pm
5 minutes
From a Together For London bus ad

When your heart is heavy – take a bath. Fill the tub up high. Soak til you’re floating.
When your stomach growls – eat some almonds. Unless you have a nut allergy. Then eat a honey crisp apple.
When your soul is weary – see a dear friend. Even if you feel like you want to hide your head in a book or a pillow. She’ll be sure to rub your arm just as she did many moons ago.
When you’re questioning your purpose – read an old love letter. I know you’ve got one. Mine are kept on the bookshelf between Rumi and The Joy Of Cooking. It’s fitting, really.
When you talk to God – speak as you do to your feet when they’re walking. With humour. With irreverence. With love.

“She hasn’t been back since” by Julia at her desk


Thursday November 27, 2014
5:42pm
5 minutes
Summer Dress
July Talk


The city’s all lit up at night now
There are lights hung from the tree tips
There’s that feeling in the air
It was her favourite and everyone knows that still
It’s probably the hardest part of everything
Seeing her face in the snow
In the ice rinks
In the candy canes
So what do we do now?
Wait
Drink tea?
Coffee
She’s not coming back so we have to make a choice
Keep living
Trying
Keep smiling
Remembering
When it’s hard that’s when she’s closest
So with that we can make a fresh attempt
When it’s hard
When it’s hard and beautiful out
When people look happy

“Share with a friend!” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday November 26, 2014
6:45pm
5 minutes
from a thank you card

She stole my baby name and that’s why we’re not friends. I told her, I said, I’m really excited about this name, it means a lot to Philip and I, and I can’t think of a single better name for our future child. So I laid it all out. I was honest, I was candid. I made sure she knew the stakes were high for me. There has to be some sort of unwritten, or even written, fully and explicitly written rule about baby name theft. And how if it’s not illegal, should be. Even if someone isn’t pregnant, it doesn’t mean their baby name is not still something incredibly important. And Sheila was pregnant, sure, and fine, but, but, she took something from me. A million other names in the free world, and my best friend, takes my best name, and then acts like we never had that really clear conversation about what we would name our kids that rainy march saturday afternoon. The nerve. So obviously when I found out that I was unable to conceive, I withheld that information from Sheila because I learned to only share important things with real friends.

“going from being very quiet to being very loud” by Julia on the bus to Termini Station in Rome


Monday September 8, 2014
2:37pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Passenger on http://www.billboard.com

I didn’t know what to say so I went from being very loud to very quiet in a matter of split seconds. The timing was precious, and in it I vanished. It engulfed me, the silence. The utmost pretense. The inability to speak, to help, to heal, to advise. Nothing. Nada. Not even one single sigh did I utter. Couldn’t sputter a helpful Hmmm, or a pointed Ohhhh. I was speechless, bottomless, hollow and wordless. I thought I’d be great but I was instead worthless. So the only thing I thought in that very moment to do, was go from being very quiet to being very loud in a matter of split seconds.

“That really hurted!” by Sasha in her garden


Sunday, July 27, 2014
7:09pm
5 minutes
overheard at Gimli Beach


THAT REALLY HURTED! WHY YOU DO THAT? I WAS JUST SITTIN’ AND NOW I’M BRUISED!
THAT REALLY HURTED! WHY YOU DO THAT? I WAS JUST LAUGHIN’ AND NOW I’M NOT!
THAT REALLY HURTED! YOU’RE SUCH A MEANIE! I’M TRYIN’ TO BE NICE BUT IT’S HARD!
THAT REALLY HURTED! LOOK HOW I’M BLEEDING! YOU GOT MY GOOD AND NOW I’M DOWN!
THAT REALLY HURTED! WHY YOU DO THAT? I HATE YOU RIGHT NOW! BUT I’LL LOVE YOU LATER.
THAT REALLY HURTED! YOU REALLY GOT ME. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO MAKE OF THIS?
THAT REALLY HURTED!

“Even if she is feeling like the scum of the earth” by Julia at her kitchen table


Monday June 2, 2014
11:38pm
5 minutes
an Instagram photo

She told me herself she didn’t feel like herself when the rain fell and when her stomach fell
I heard her say it with a faint ringing in my ear
I heard her say it cause I saw her there in the mirror
She was alone and cold and a full-blown ally to the dark side, to the wrong side
She was something that I could only dream about
Or wish for
She told me herself she didn’t feel much like singing when the sun was out
She would be there, crouched in the mud, trying to taste her mistakes
Trying to make a waterfall from her eyes’ outpouring
The earth is a wet and cold place
I heard her say it with a faint longing in my bones
I heard her say it cause I was stuck there inside her ribcage when her heart started screaming
Take me away
Take me so far away from this
And the sky would open with her desperate kiss
And she would lay there holding on to the only thing she knew

“was just perfect” by Julia at her kitchen table


Thursday May 29, 2014
10:18pm
5 minutes
shutterbean.com

baby bruised me yesterday on my right arm. i said baby, it’s okay, it’s not your fault.
i said, don’t worry baby, it doesn’t hurt. baby didn’t mean to bruise me. i wanted baby to squeeze my arm as hard as possible because i couldn’t feel it in that moment. i wasn’t sure if it was still mine. i didn’t know if it had any blood left in it to keep it alive. baby squeezed and said, tell me when it’s too much. and i said, i will, i will. baby squeezed and i closed my eyes and felt connected to my body again. baby watched my expression and kept squeezing. i just breathed and breathed as if for the first time. i said, harder, or a little harder, and baby didn’t stop. baby pressed harder, my blood barreling down my veins again like the first day of spring. barreling down into my hand, my fingertips, flooding my limb with life and revitalized juices to keep me going. baby looked down and saw there was a mark. baby said, did i hurt you, tell me. and i said, you could never hurt me. you made me better. you always make me better. that was the feeling i had. like everything was perfect.

“Did you just say” by Julia on the 94 going west


Sunday March 16, 2014
9:18pm
5 minutes
from a status update on Facebook

Said that I would rather write blah blah blah at this very moment in time. Cause Joni’s telling me I have to write down my feelings so I don’t hurt somebody. And I won’t hurt anyone. I know that about me. But Joni thinks that it will help things. I tell her yeah right but she doesn’t let up. She’s tough on me. So I’d rather write nonsense, gibberish you know? Those thoughts don’t want to come out in pretty flowery ways. That’s all I’m saying. That if I had to sit my ass down and pound out a couple sentences about my emotions I might actually hurt someone then. Joni is good to me. She’s patient as shit. She’ll wait all day for me to come out. She wants me to be more free. And I think she thinks I have to let out some aggression or how the world makes me think or whatever. Blah blah blah. It’s more than that. She’ll see through it anyway. She know that Joni. She really knows. If I had to pick one thought it would be..
This pen is a reminder or my strength cause if I wanted to I could use it as a weapon.

“Last Goodbye” by Julia at Ossington station


Wednesday December 18, 2013
6:27pm
5 minutes
from the Charles Bradley record

I told him with my eyes and my gentle kiss, blown into the wind so it would follow him home. He heard nothing was expected of him. People can’t hear eye love or wind kisses. It was stupid of me to think he would. When he didn’t turn around, it ruined me for a while. Long enough to break, find the prices, and put them back together again. They were a little jagged and a little mismatched like a puzzle put together by an impatient person, or a cheater. Someone who cuts the edges so they fit the way they “should”. I examined them in the brief moment of loneliness I was in and I decided then and there to give away my poems to the homeless and my romanticism to the food bank. Surely they would need them more than I did. Surely someone in their lives would have a place for misguided ideals and hopes beyond reasonable doubt.

“The way we judge” by Julia on her couch


Monday, October 7, 2013
11:19pm
5 minutes
The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz


The way we judge hurts and flirts with all the good things. All the good things.
Closed eyes, hand on heart, sort of reaching in every which direction without knowing the destination. Knocking off every single mantle-piece, art installation, packet of stale crackers.
And things get in the way, like the people we love, like the people we trust. And we throw them into a pit filled entirely with piranhas.
We don’t know it yet but it isn’t very useful. We do it because it’s easy and it feels good to take the blame off of ourselves every now and again. Especially when the biggest critic there is lives inside our skulls and pounds every wall down just to be heard.
It sounds like humour but it’s a pretty little mask.
We can’t stand to be alone and we can’t stand to think that someone else was justified in doing anything at all. We pick at each other’s scabs because we don’t like the sight of our own blood.
Squeamish little fuckers.
Then we smile and laugh and sing and dance and pretend like we’re all best friends with each other.

“hopeful of making amends” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Saturday September 21,2013 at Sambuca Grill
8:50pm
5 minutes
the Fresh Meat 2013 program

I didn’t want to talk to Emily because I was scared of breaking down into tears and forgetting my original point which was that I was hurt by her. She some how always makes me feel inadequate, so I’ve learned to write my thoughts down and make sure I stick to my notes so she doesn’t derail me. That’s what she does! She manipulates me into thinking she’s done nothing wrong..or that I’m the one who should be apologizing instead of seeking an apology from her. So I was avoiding her in general. The first Wednesday we had plans to have coffee together, and I bailed because I was on my period and had been crying over things like bed sheets and olive oil and didn’t want to fall into a pit of uncontrollable water works. The second time we had plans my sister had just called with bad news about my childhood cat and I was not emotionally stable for the whole week. Then when I was seemingly out of excuses, I called her. Got her voicemail and even contemplated just telling her how I felt there.
I chickened out.

“I shook and then I licked” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 14, 2013
12:32am
5 minutes
Coffee Courage
Mark. R. Slaughter


I waited by the water for your truth to reach me. I told myself I wasn’t leaving until I found you there in some form or another; in the stars if nowhere else.
I wanted you to fight me on it all the last time I saw you. I wanted you to tell me I was wrong and to hurry up already with the tuna melts I was taking my sweet time in bringing to you.
It’s been a long time now. I’m not sure if you want to come back home or if you even notice how blurry the sky looks lately.
I thought if I shook off the night that you left and sort of held my head high, things would be fine.
Reverse psychology really works on me, did you know that? I told myself not to think of you and my brain just laughed at my gull.
Here’s the address of where we first kissed in case you forgot it. Or in case you want to keep it, maybe laminate it, and show it to our grandkids if you ever decide that we’re the thing you want to perfect.
If not, then at least I’ll know I tried everything I could think of to get you to want to be here on your own.
Your answer lingered in the air and hung on a couple clouds or so…taunting me with potential rain, or a big storm.
I closed my eyes so I could hear it better.

“What do we want?” By Julia at Belly Acres


Monday May 6, 2013 at Belly Acres
5:27pm
5 minutes
A sign on the blackboard

What do we want? Hard to say, I don’t know if I’d classify us as a ‘we’ anymore. See…when someone breaks someone’s heart, it’s really no longer ‘we’ territory. I’m fine without you, by the way. But that’s what it is: Me without you. There is no ‘we’. We–what we used to be– was weekends away at the cottage house in Grand Bend, and a bottle of red with a million re-runs of Scrubs. That’s what we used to be. Laura, you’re calling me too much. It’s hard, okay? We can’t–uh–there, I said it–you and I, can’t, keep doing this if the both of us want to move on, I mean, if you and I separately think it’s a good idea for personal growth or whatever. Maybe the friend thing you’re pushing could be real…12-18 months from now, yeah, I think I’d consider it. But–now is like–it’s like you’re allowed to still talk to me but you’re also allowed to still talk to him…and like, the best of both world’s thing, isn’t really my thing.

“Every time we drop our bombs” by Julia on her bed


Friday, April 19, 2013
2:18pm
5 minutes
A quote by Martin Luther King Jr.

You looked at me with sad eyes and told me, I’m over this. I said, Babe, babe, and you said, No, no. I was holding on to something that looked like you, sounded like you, smelled like you. It wasn’t you, though. You had already left, long ago, bags pre-packed and sitting in the hallway. You were a just in case kind of lover. You hoped for the best and prepared for the worst, just in case I disappointed you. I did, I guess, which is why you had sad eyes and tried so hard to tell me with as few words as possible. You said, I wish I wasn’t sorry about this. I said, Babe, babe.
You said, It’s not easy for me either. I said, Babe, babe.
You tragically pushed the watch I bought you into my lap and said, I can’t. I looked at you holding a watch that, in my mind, was yours even if I bought it, because how the hell is that ever going to fit me? To fit anyone ever again? I said, Please. You said, No, no. Every time I drop the ball, you decide to drop something too. One of those hurt bombs that explode in my face and get me thinking about society and how this whole world is going to shit. And I can think outside myself because I’m good that way. I don’t need any help. All I need is for you to stay here, talk it out.
I waited till you stood up and I said, Babe, babe. You looked at me again with sadder eyes than before and you said, No, No.