“A queen travels” by Julia in T’s car

Saturday, February 24, 2018

12:57am

5 minutes

Winter Watch

Jennifer Elise Foerster

A queen travels in the backseat of a Honda Civic. The front two seats have zebra print covers. The heat doesn’t work. She falls asleep with her neck jammed to the right. She is mushed up, her bones all squeaky.

A queen takes her shoes off because her socks are wet from the tiny hole in her boot. She spreads herself out when she thinks she’s earned it. After reminding herself how many conversations she attempted to start; how many thick silences she endured. At the border she smiles at the man on duty. She lets the others do the talking. She shakes her head from highway sleep.

“if she was obligated to say” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday January 9, 2018
10:03pm
5 minutes
Pamplemousse
Dominique Bernier-Cormier

When I asked her if I could pitch her an idea
her eyes rolled back in her skull like a whip and I waited there
patiently for her to nod her head or give some sign that
I wasn’t just wasting all the god given air in her lungs
Finally she motioned for me to keep speaking and I did speak
but she did not laugh and I waited again for it to click
and for her to realize suddenly how funny it really was
She didn’t do anything or she clucked her tongue
and let me know she had heard but
she didn’t say anything or offer up even a small smile
Of course she was not obligated to tell me how smart my
idea was but it would have been nice
It would have been nice if she didn’t need so many proofs
before suspending her disbelief
Of course if I were to tell her that she’d get angry at me
for suggesting that she didn’t have an imagination
but my real question would be regarding her funny bone

“The circle, not the line.” By Sasha in the Kiva


Thursday June 30, 2016
11:35pm
5 minutes
The Axeman
Shaun Cunningham


They carve out my heart and gasp and shudder and
someone faints with a small sigh that only
my heart can hear
“It’s shaped like a like a like a like a
it’s shaped like a hexagon…”
They don’t let me hold it or see it or
kiss it they take it away to a room on
the other side of the place
I wonder when I’ll get it back
I wonder when I’ll see it again
Will I see it again?
“It’s shaped like a like a like a like a
it’s shaped like a hexagon…”
The doctor wore white but my blood was all
over him and it was purple and blue
magenta and violet
azure lavender

“picked and consumed” by Julia on her couch


Sunday November 29, 2015
9:31pm
5 minutes
From the Wikipedia article on jalapeños

I love you more than I ever have
I picked you from the crowded place in my brain that tells me not to make rash decisions
I chose you from the pile of mistakes I had been sweeping to one side
I love you more than I ever have
I didn’t think I could grow to love you more but I’ve surprised myself
The way you’ve surprised me
Reminding me that people can change and that mistakes can be forgiven
And sometimes forgotten
Thank you for forgetting
Thank you for reminding me daily that I’m your favourite flavour of perfect imperfection
Sometimes I pretend I can’t hear you when you talk on the phone to your parents
And you tell them how proud you are of me
But in the other room, I am teary-eyed and feeling so damn lucky
And when you come in I act like I don’t know how sweet you are
Maybe it’s a little game
Maybe it’s self-preservation and keeping my feelings clothed so they don’t feel embarrassed
I love you more than I ever have
I picked you from the wall of beautiful artwork that hangs in my imagination

“suffers from a lack of imagination.” by Julia at her desk


Saturday, June 20, 2015
1:01am
5 minutes
from a quote by Oscar Wilde

Teeny had all her materials splayed out on the deck. She was painting her white canvas sneakers–had the idea to make them look like sunsets without actually being sunsets. She wasn’t allowed to actually paint sunsets. Just the feeling of sunsets. The essence.
Teeny’s paints were smeared across her face and neck. She was allowing herself to “get messy” and “stay messy” cause that’s what professor Islington told her she was missing in her life. “You need to let go and paint from that place of freedom and ease. Stop trying to control the product.”
Teeny couldn’t help herself, she wanted to control everything. Even this uncontrolled shoe painting that’s supposed to be free and easy was becoming work. Too meticulous and too formulaic. Professor Islington made Teeny feel like she lacked imagination. She would show him with these half planned and structured canvas shoe sunsets.

“We say our work” by Julia at her desk


Thursday May 28, 2015
12:18am
5 minutes
Overheard at Lansdowne Station

Our work is good when it’s good
And when it’s not
Because our work
is whatever we need to keep going
even when it feels pained and full of punishment
It’s still ours
It’s still ours
Out hands and our hearts
Our hands and our burning bleeding hearts
When we wake from a bad dream
We shake imagination from our backs
Do we listen to what the muse is telling us?
Or do we toss her recklessly to the floor
Where she can’t bother us anymore?
It’s there
Our work
even though it feels secondary
It’s still ours
It’s still ours
Our hands and our hearts
Our hands and our thumping drumming hearts
Say hello to her
pick her off the earth
And tell her that she’s welcome here
Tell her that she’s beautiful

“Grazie e Arrivederci” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday October 19, 2014
7:12pm
5 minutes
From a receipt

I had my own news show for a year. I cut out square in a microwave box and propped it up on a music stand. I glued a stick to the back of it and held it like a puppet. It was a real masterpiece. My 8 year old self would have been very pleased. Back then I didn’t have such elegant props. I had to improvise a lot. I had to rely on my imagination for everything. It’s really hard to produce a watchable television program without proper equipment and the right quality of cardboard. Try getting viewers with sub-par materials! I’m telling you, it makes you look cheap and no one will take you seriously, even if you’re reporting on relevant or exciting events.

“in the realm of realism” by Julia at a hostel in Rome


Tuesday September 9, 2014
1:37am
5 minutes
from Theory/Theatre
Mark Fortier


I am not in the realm of realism, she said, I dream in technicolor and all my thoughts have pretty vines growing on them the way side streets do in Rome. Rome is not even real, she said, it’s built on someone else’s stories, on someone else’s bravery. She stood there a moment, head cocked to the side-deep thought crossing all around her face. Her eyebrows danced a curious routine before she looked back up and winced. I am not in the realm of realism because I choose to be in Rome, she said, where men have perfect faces and women seem more beautiful when they’re angry. A place that I made up, she said, that someone made up before me, cannot be real at all. Her eyebrows calmed down and her face softened instantly. This world, she said, can only exist in my wildest imagination.

“Hope for summer heat in Ontario” by Julia on the 511 going North


Tuesday May 20, 2014
1:03am
5 minutes
The Weather Network

oh there are so many avocado recipes, i’m losing it, i’m losing all my mind fibres! you know, there have been sites dedicated to avocados for a long time now, and i know this, but these recent developments are really something that takes the green things in a whole new level! it’s wild to think you can bake an egg inside of an avocado as if it were a cupcake tray! i love that! my mind bits are seriously exploding and i am going a bit insane wondering when and how and when i can throw a bazillion parties just to make each delectable recipe for my loved ones and theirs! oh my goodness, the summer is really turning quickly into the best time of year for me. it used to be winter, believe it or not, but believe it cause otherwise the story just sort of peters off. it used to be winter because of squash! all squash, so many winter kinds and i got crazy for the soups and the roasted versions. i would have parties at my house all the time, for goodness knows what reason. one time i had people over to watch the Oscars which was fun, and i did a squash themed oscar extravaganza. another time the reason wasn’t as great but people still came over when i invited them for “tupperware exchange” night. any excuse at all to whip out the famous recipes. and this summer is going to be exactly that. i already have a “block party” party and a David Bowie’s greatest tunes tribute night. that one’s going to be a for sure hit. with avocados!

“Hair Design Inc.” by Julia on her couch


Monday May 19, 2014
12:41am
5 minutes
from insurance papers

I’m gonna go to a real nice school and learn how to cut all the nice ladies’ hair. I’m going to give them high status looks and sophisticated styles. Then they will tell all their friends that they know a girl who will make them look like a star. A real movie star. I have to get a couple clients. Then I’ll show them my skills and they will see I love cutting hair so much and they will come again to see me when they need an up-do or even just a blowout for a business meeting. I’ll give them my card and say okay this is for you, you’ve been a very good customer. And they’ll tell me I was the best they ever had in their life. In their life! They’ll repeat that part cause it’s important. And they’ll walk out smiling with love cause they look so nice and they feel the way they look. So first I have to find the right school. The right school for the right kind of hairstyles.

“And I like to surprise him with something sweet” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 9, 2014
1:33am
5 minutes
http://www.brooklynsupper.net

Putting on my black lacy thing, I’m like Oh yeah this is all for you. Let the back ties stay a bit loose so he can see my skin and the birthmark that looks like a map of Africa. Spritz and spritz and spritz some more. Get that sweet vanilla frosting scent he likes so much and make sure it’s everywhere, on my neck, my hair, my inner thighs. He’ll go wild. I dream of it. He’ll come home and my intoxicating smell will arouse him from the door. He’ll be like Oh baby where is that mouth. I need to put my mouth on your mouth. And I will emerge from the kitchen with my black lacy thing underneath a red apron, wearing oven mitts and carrying a tray of heart shaped cookies with little inscriptions thoughtfully detailed on each one. Got some D’angelo playing. Oh yeah. He’ll take one look at me homemaking in my heels and he will accidentally yell Beyonce?? And I will giggle as I walk up him with that perfect little walk I do that drives him so perfectly crazy.

“while the real work is done outside” by Julia on her couch


Monday February 3, 2014
2:08pm
5 minutes
The Essential Rumi
Rumi tr. Coleman Barks


Get on those steal toes, that hard hat, that tool belt. Get on outside where the real world fights its fights. Protected by the construction of our warm and cozy houses, we sit and we contemplate. We fear the windows when the blinds are drawn, we fear the callousness of strangers we have not yet had the pleasure of meeting. We fear the ambulance and its never-ending cries. We stay indoors, thankful for running water and a steady stream of television programs or movies ordered by e-mail. We don’t leave the couch to see the world in action outside of us. There is a whole big thing out there, and it looks just like your imagination dreams it does. Only worse. Only better. There’s no way of knowing if the dead bolt on the front door stays locked. Just a thought. Just a hunch. That we thank those pillars and roofs and hardwood floors for keeping us safe and sheltered and avoiding anything that might cause us even the slightest amount of pain. There are people living in their nightmares all around, and not in a house with books rescued from the streets. Not in a house with a pumpkin loaf baking in the oven. Not that we should choose sadness. Choose hardship. But we should not stay in our pyjamas until noon, just because our jeans are cold from the wind blowing in through the cracks.

“a woman’s body” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday October 16, 2013
12:09am
5 minutes
Alive Magazine
October 2013


i didn’t want to ask you
what you thought about my body
i didn’t want to know if
you preferred red heads to blondes to brunettes to whatever it is that i have
i didn’t want to ask any questions
none at all
none that would lead me to want you more
or hate you more because i want you more
i didn’t secretly need to hear
anything from your mouth
that indicated you thought i was beautiful
even if it was only a little bit
even if it was only sometimes
i’d rather stay out all night trying
to catch butterflies
in the perfect moment where
they realize they can fly
i didn’t want yo ask you
i didn’t want to know
what you thought needed improvement
or judgement
or more make up, just around the eyes, though
it seems i would be unhappy with
any one of the possible
outcomes
the ones where i melt in front of you
the ones where i desperately search
for a blanket to cover myself up
the ones where i forget to breathe
in case you’re watching my stomach
or my chest
or my mouth

“Negotiate with agents” by Julia at her friend’s table in Ottawa


Friday, October 4, 2013
1:09pm
5 minutes
What Is Dramaturgy
Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas


Waiting at the cross walk for you to come meet me at the corner of where our houses meet. It really is a wonderful thing how close the two of us live to each other. When I first saw you at the coffee shop we both like to go to, I just thought we had the same taste in espresso..I didn’t know we were neighbours. In fact, I didn’t know we were neighbours for a very long time. You didn’t ever seem to be leaving your place or entering it at the same time as me. It, to be honest, feels a bit like we’re meeting to go on a blind date, even though I’ve seen you so many times before and even had mini conversations with you at the coffee counter. Part of me keeps thinking it’s too good to be true, being so closely housed to you. I’m afraid that you’d rather keep me separate from your life, which is silly because I haven’t proven to be anything but pleasant yet. Not that you would find me unpleasant with time, or intolerable. I’m not clingy like that. I like my own space very much and just because we’re close to each other doesn’t mean I will be expecting to see you at all times, or expect you to invite me to every single one of your events that take place at your home. I’m really not like that. But if, for whatever reason, you want me to come to those things, I would not say no, don’t get me wrong. I am a good drinker. And I quite enjoy playing cards.