“You could get lost there.” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday April 17, 2017
1:11pm
Up
Margaret Atwood

There are no signs and so they warn you before you arrive
to keep your hands inside the vehicle just in case something
falls out of the sky
you could take a photo of the sun setting
get it framed and keep it on a shelf or take the
picture with your eyes instead and lock it
for a lifetime in yourself and then there are all the moments
in between that might read like the spine of your dreams where
you got lost in the waiting so deep and when you surfaced
you had no idea which direction south was which direction you were
facing and how to force those next steps taken
toward the hill
that might lead you to the top of it all where you’ll be able to
see the vastness of it all and then after the work is done
collect those eye blinks one by one storing each in a perfect
corner of your mind for those lonely days where the glow is
harder to find

“something wonderful happens:” by Julia on the 84

Sunday, March 18, 2018
2:26pm
5 minutes
A Marriage
Michael Blumenthal

When the days go by without poetry
I am lost inside the labyrinth my own making has built for me to conquer
Busy relearning how to walk
with two new feet that have not yet carried this heavy
The hero’s journey has always been someone else’s movie
And I have not watched myself transform into grace from the sidelines
Inside out she is begging to be fed
That I may find my appetite for words the way I once did in the weeds and speckled laneways
She is the hero waiting
Outside is not safe and she knows that
She wants out anyway but there are more protectors at the gate
More worried hearts preoccupied with the consequence of light
First I must put her ease in plain view
Ask her if she’s sure and if she is how sure
Something wonderful happens when I let her speak
When she sees a door and calls it a wishing well.

“The only thing I can come up with” by Julia in her bed

Thursday, March 1, 2018
7:38pm
5 minutes
No Idea
Dana ID Matthews

Today I told them that I didn’t know
That I want to know and that I wish I did but I don’t
And NO ONE GOT HURT
No one asked to see my badge, my credentials
No one gave me a sidemouthed remark
I felt worried and then I felt honest
and the authenticity parade was loud for all to hear
Later one of them told me that they didn’t know
That they want to know, but they don’t, and isn’t that okay?
Later still one of them told me they thought it was
important to admit when we don’t know
and maybe others might want to hear that too
that life is not easy and no one knows everything
AND THE ONLY THING THAT BURST WAS MY HEART
Here, take this make-shift answer, this feather
falling itchy onto my lap,
Find my discomfort and amplify it
Always remember that I lied right to your face
to save my own
I am glad that for once the only thing I could
come up with was the worthy and unveiled truth

“Calls of guilty thrown at me” by Julia at her desk

Monday November 27, 2017
9:24pm
5 minutes
Cherry Wine
Hozier

If it weren’t for the husk of corn left in the sink
the distinct sting between us: barbed wire, fenceless,
I wouled have decided to stay.
Instead I left and gave you the buzzing shell
still hot from the guilt of not saying goodbye.
You didn’t know the absence well enough.
You knew the actor, she was brilliant.
On nights like Tuesday and 6pm
the space hung in the kitchen is never
big enough for the both of us.
On nights like these you mmm
too easily at the kiss of me.
You always start speaking right
in the middle
of my hand trying to write you.

“Orange County wild fire” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 26, 2017
9:25pm
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

Aunt Lisa calls my brother’s phone because she’s afraid of talking to me. I would be afraid of me too if I were her. But right now I want to talk to her. She doesn’t know what kind of mood I’m in; what kind of wisdom I’m tapping into. Keith puts the phone on speaker and Aunt Lisa, whispering, tells him, “You don’t have to tell your sister.” I grab the phone from his palm and I flip off the speaker phone. “I’m not doing this with you, Lisa. You will get the pendant dad wanted you to have and that is it. Okay? Stop trying to get your grubby hands on anything else.” After I hang up, Keith is staring at me. “Is that what dad would have wanted? Don’t you think we’re supposed to be coming together right now?” I almost feel bad for him. “She’ll take the skin off your back if you leave it open.”

“others take longer than expected” by Julia at the studio


Monday August 14, 2017
9:52am
5 minutes
from a greeting card

It’s hard to hold each other because we tend to be busy figuring out where to put our hands on our own skin. Where does this limb go? Tucked into the corner of self and hope? Where do we put this paper cut? I don’t know how to give you all of me if my wrists cry out in the night to be touched. Some things aren’t meant to be shared. I have stashed cookies all over this place. In containers above the sink, in baggies nestled in the secret pouches of the living room, in plain sight, behind the placemats. Some things aren’t meant for other people. Once I figure out just how much sneaking I need to do to feel like I haven’t given all of myself away, I move my spots. I stop for a while. I become satisfied with the memory of stealing opportunities that no one needs to know about. I get obsessed with wondering where to hide this hand; this ingrown hair.

“Let’s do choices” by Julia at 1st and Columbia


Tuesday July 25, 2017
5:51pm
5 minutes
The Home Depot ad

Mom chooses her body over every body else’s, she knows now what hers wants and what it sings for. I watch Mom turn into a butterfly after working so hard for so many years. I watch Mom leave the upstairs bathroom unfinished and the downstairs windows taped with green table cloth instead of curtains. Mom doesn’t wish for nicer things anymore. Mom doesn’t choose cheese over cheer. She doesn’t choose them over her. Mom tastes freedom these days with every “Fuck” and “Shit”. She doesn’t like when we laugh but we are not laughing at her. Mom didn’t know she was funny until five minutes ago. Mom makes the choice to keep learning. To keep educating all of us. To keep trying when she’s told she can’t. To keep growing out of her skin when she feels like it. To keep pushing out, rising up.

“living in the ordinary world” by Julia at her desk


Thursday April 13, 2017
8:58am
5 minutes
From a Way of the Heart info sheet

we show up to life sometimes jaded
sometimes living in the ordinary world
after living somewhere else with better windows
our windows here are covered in fingerprints
and year old messages birthed from
a New Year’s resolution
that we were too afraid to erase
our windows are as guarded as our hearts
which is to say
we haven’t drawn the blinds in ages
to exist in this place where
the sun rises each morning
no matter how shy
and sets each evening
no matter how bright
we must become fluent in gratitude
thank the stars for breathing us into belief
thank our mothers for smiling love into our bones
thank our fathers for being fathers when they could have been
anything else
thank our health for holding us
thank our souls in this life
for reminding us why we chose each other
in the first place

“Do not be dynamic” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday April 11, 2017
10:37pm
5 minutes
Microphone Lessons For Poets
Helen Guri


do not make any sudden movements
do not move your head or your eyes
do not express an opinion
do not engage outside of your peripheral vision
if you need to practice how to be still
how to feel less
then please do so
practice being unmoved by beauty
practice being unphased by magic
practice being unchanged by other human instances
do not be dynamic
do not vibrate too quickly
do not let them see you in motion
do not say anything
do not know anything
do not let your thoughts require air
do not beg the wind to carry you
do not write a poem
do not need to speak it

“with one hundred hands each” by Julia the VPL


Thursday March 16, 2017
6:20pm
5 minutes
Age Of Bronze Betrayal
Eric Shanower


Hold me like the sun is going down for the last time–
like the nights are long
like the mornings are extinct.
Keep me alive under a dead moon–
under a baren sky
under a hurt wing.

With one hundred hands you will know enough
how to close the door without waking me
how to prepare a tea without asking me
how to teach my skin what it’s worth.
With one hundred hands can you memorize my scars–
how the thick one reeks of curiosity,
how the raised one is a reward for the brave?

“rejection is deeply painful” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday March 14, 2017
10:00pm
5 minutes
Daring Greatly
Brené Brown


I am gutted when I realize how wrong I have been
I think a lot about the feeling of my guts being yanked out of me
My belly ripped open
My heart now more exposed
I didn’t know that you were also worried
I didn’t know that you felt pain in the same spot as I did
You are amazed I am still crying
I am amazed you are still here
A hundred years ago we met and we’re still fighting for ease
I didn’t know that you felt pain the same spot as I did
I’m sad for all the simplicity I’ve avoided
I have never been a speaker of few words
You don’t need my apology for that
It’s a nice way to distract you from my genuine fear of being alive and fully feeling everything sharp

“without a lot of fragmentation” by Julia on Bec’s chair


Thursday December 29, 2016
12:39am
5 minutes
Misery
Stephen King


I haven’t slept in a week. I asked my wrists if they wouldn’t mind staying quiet tonight for a change so I could heal. They remained restless. They don’t know how else to be and I don’t blame them for that. The pillows have ranged from perfect to perfectly fine so that’s not it. Alone or not, still can’t do it. Might want to stop eating so late at night. Might want to stop snacking enough to curb hunger and trick my body into perfect or perfectly fine. Might want to forgive myself for not forgiving you. Might want to keep screens to a minimum and stick to real pages for once. Might want to call you and tell you that you were right and I was wrong but now that I’m over the dramatics of this week I can admit my shit better.

“Hurry down the chimney tonight” by Julia at Vancouver International Airport


Saturday December 24, 2016
4:05pm
5 minutes
overheard on the radio

When we met you told me I had a sparkle in my eye that made you think we would get into some kind of trouble together. You liked that. You wanted to be bad. You said that I was vicious but you meant it in the way that suggested you couldn’t avoid it; that you saw yourself enjoying my corruptness even if you knew maybe you were too old for those kind of things. Those kind of things being powders and showers and going down on you in a public washroom. Told me you liked my sense of adventure and that it made you more adventurous. You suggested we get tattoos. You wanted something to remember me by. Something more than just an old tattered copy of Leaves Of Grass with some hearts drawn around the lines I liked. You wanted to keep me forever even after I told you I couldn’t stay. Maybe you saw that sparkle in my eye when I told you I was going-that our story ends here, and thought, maybe, just maybe, it meant that I didn’t mean it. Surely I had something else in mind other than a kiss and a long hug goodbye.

“hello sacred fire” by Julia on the 99


Monday December 19, 2016
10:59pm
5 minutes
from Hello Sacred Life by Kim Krans

I go over to Didi’s house and she makes me watch the fireplace channel. Says it gets cold in there if she turns it off. Says that she needs it on to keep her sane.
I go over to Didi’s house and she makes hot tea that’s so hot it’s too hot to drink even after waiting for hours. Says her tongue doesn’t mind it anymore. Says her bones sing for it now that she’s lost part of her Ship. Says her Ship stays afloat with hot tea steeped just right.
I go over to Didi’s house and she makes me listen to her new poem that she wrote about the sirens.
Says she can hear them in her sleep now. Says she dreams about them as if she was a siren herself and doesn’t know if the wails are coming from inside or outside her heart.

“gracefully tragic” by Julia on her couch


Saturday December 17, 2016
4:44pm
5 minutes
from the BOOKS section of NOW magazine

I hadn’t thought about them since New Years…as if I had released them with the magic of a fresh start. I don’t remember whose idea it was to each write a list of all our personal tragedies this year and then accept them somehow before lighting them up and letting them burn. To be fair (and maybe a little post-reflective) we were using the term loosely. Nothing was too small but everything seemed so big to not include it. I remember losing myself this year being on the list. It was traumatic because it kept happening. It kept happening in smaller places than a Walmart super store or a Costco. But when I found the list again and reread what I was calling my tragedies, I realized I had luckily lumped some truly graceful ones in there as well.

“test audience” by Julia on her couch


Friday December 16, 2016
9:41pm
5 minutes
from a recruiting email

My favourite herb is cilantro and I HATE when people call it coriander. I asked Jedene if she wanted me to stay and take notes but she didn’t think it was necessary-the first graders either liked the thing or not. They either thought it tasted good or like dish soap. I told her I would be happy to stay and record the data for her pro bono. Really I just couldn’t risk someone fucking it all up by writing “coriander” in any of the boxes, or heaven forbid two people shared the task and wrote the different words interchangeably. Jedene was hoping to get out of there by noon but I secretly projected 1:35pm as first graders are not highly cooperative and especially when in groups of other first graders. I know this because I was once, unlike Jedene, a first grader. Jedene skipped the first grade. She has no idea how stupid it was to do that.

“I was so annoyed with Wendy” by Julia on the 99


Thursday December 8, 2016
10:56pm
5 minutes
overheard at JJ Bean on Cambie

I had to act like I hadn’t just spent a year covering her ass every time she drank too much to come into work. Where’s Wendy? She’s sick, she’s stuck at the airport, she’s adopting a puppy, she’s at a doctor’s appointment, she’s at home waiting for Rogers, she’s at home because there’s a bat in her living room, she’s taking a personal day, she’s helping someone do something, she’s figuring out something for someone, she’s not coming in today, she sends her regards, she’s sorry she has to reschedule, she’s not coming in today. And part of me still felt bad that I couldn’t come up with a more convincing lie. Or that people probably knew because I had gotten lazy with my excuses. But what was worse was she was still so sad and there was nothing any of us could do. Or maybe there was. Maybe I could have said something. Or offered to take her out for coffee just so she’d remember people cared about her.

“Does anyone have any questions” by Julia on the toilet


Sunday November 27, 2016
7:33pm
5 minutes
overheard at BC Children’s Hospital

I shoot my hand up into the air slicing though immediate sky and most expectations
WILL THERE BE A TEST ON THIS OR WHAT?
The whole room is looking at me
like they did not plan or hope for this
as if they didn’t know the test would be so brazen and surprising and at the wrong time of the day
as if they wished they had prepared for being tested on someone testing their patience and their ethics
I laugh because I don’t know, isn’t this whole thing a sham?
WE ARE PAYING SOMEBODY ELSE TO DISAPPOINT OURSELVES. ISN’T THAT RIGHT DELIA AND OR ROBERT?
Nobody is clear on what this is now
some of them think it could be a gorilla performance piece and Trey starts filming me with his Iphone 6000 and something
I’M NOT YOUR ENEMY! I’M YOUR DEEP DARK TOMORROW MORNING!
Crickets have a way of sounding like revolution

“sky turned red then erased” by Julia on her couch


Thursday November 17, 2016
10:58pm
5 minutes
Penknife
Ellie Sawatsky


I wanted him to touch me on my thigh but he started talking to me right in the middle of me really wanting him to and then he turned me to stone. And I was lucky. Because I wouldn’t have really wanted to if he didn’t really want to but you can’t not want to…not to try a little. It was a passing moment. I don’t think the thigh would really get me afterall. I don’t know if anywhere would do the trick so I can’t be upset. I dont blame him. I am mostly lost on most days.

    “has been hurt on the job” by Julia in her bed


    Monday October 17, 2016
    11:51pm
    5 minutes
    from a Facebook post

    My cousin Matthew missed the Family Picnic that we started calling “The Reunion” even though it was really just a regular get together only with meals starting at 10am instead of 2. Italians love starting meals at 2pm. He missed it because he was in an accident at work and got a piece of led in his eye or something equally as dramatic. He would have liked to be there. He said he looks forward to the hour drive every summer, even if it’s raining. Matthew couldn’t even open his eye for a whole week. He had a very good excuse to miss the bocce ball and the badminton and the group photos and the cute little videos we make for the family members who also really wanted to be there but couldn’t because of very good excuses. We should have made one for Matthew. I’ll tell him we owe him one.

    “Exactly!” By Julia at her dining table


    Wednesday August 10, 2016
    11:16pm
    5 minutes
    Overheard in the Inside house

    I won’t ever fully know why
    not the colour of the moon that worries me
    the one that knocks me dead and vinegar
    not the salty lines left lining the walls in the room where you
    where you
    where you don’t know me
    where you don’t see what I think I would see your shoes
    where you don’t recognize
    me when I’m me. When I’m
    not the ache in my chest when
    I feel most unseen by you
    not the moments of triumph that feel so
    if only because the others were mercury and iron
    paling in comparison
    but I do know
    but what I do know in this place
    is that I am misery’s companion
    by choice
    by decision
    by the map of my mother’s tears
    and I unchoose myself at the speed of you

    “Take a day trip.” By Julia at her dining table


    Monday August 9, 2016
    10:25pm
    5 minutes
    odysseyonline.com

    Take a day trip
    remember the road and the smell of the car and the first song playing when you start
    Take a trip to a place you’ve never been and take photos
    that make you cringe to do in your own neighbourhood
    Sing each other your favourite lyric
    record yourselves in conversation
    forget that you’re recording
    lay on the grass
    Get a little bit dirty
    Take a trip
    Leave the disappointing
    and ridicule
    and pipe dreams
    and anxiety dreams
    aside

    “change has alway happened in the margins” By Julia on her couch


    Sunday August 8, 2016
    10:00pm
    5 minutes
    Becoming Wise
    Krista Tippett


    I can’t recall his clothes but I remember his hands and the way his neck smelled. I held him for longer than I would have if it were anyone else. I held him longer than I would have but long enough for him to feel welcomed. I don’t blame him for seeking us out, looking for a safe space to exist among us but not within us. I wanted him to feel wanted. And brave. But also I wanted to reward his bravery. I wanted to include him the way he so desperately needed to be included. The way I so desperately needed to be included instead of just passing. The way I would never have asked for what he asked for even if what he asked for was exactly what I needed. I can’t remember his drink, but I remember his face. And his voice. And his smile.

    “the life of his human counterpart” By Julia at The Deklab County Public Library


    Sunday August 7, 2016 at the Deklab County Public Library
    2:14pm
    5 minutes
    Unsaid
    Neil Abramson


    It was hard to see him through the rain but I didn’t have to see his face to know who he was. Michael kept his head down as if the stream of water cascading down his hair could shield his eyes. I knew that he was crying. I knew that stance anywhere. I hadn’t seen him in months and still knew he had gotten a hair cut too. I wasn’t sure if I should approach him first or wait for him to see me. I didn’t want to disrupt whatever praying he might have been doing. I didn’t want to interrupt his ritual of getting right with himself before he came to find me. The life of his human counterpart was just as complex, and he knew that too. Hell, from behind the heavy sheets of rain pouring down on us, I’m sure he could see that I was doing my work to get right with myself just the same as he was.

    “I like your bow tie” By Julia at The Marriott In Decatur, Georgia


    Saturday August 6, 2016
    3:17am
    5 minutes
    overheard at the NPS finals in decatur

    Wears a bow tie. Ties his hair back. Brushes
    His
    Teeth
    Before
    Dinner
    Checks his smile. Takes his hair down. Walks to the grocery store. Wears a bow tie. Buys a butter tart. Wears a bow tie.

    Want to tell me what you’re doing?
    I guess. I was borrowing this.
    This?
    Mhm.
    Okay.
    Okay?
    Yeah. I just want you to be honest with me. I don’t want secrets. I want us to have them not hide them. Is that okay?
    Okay. Yeah.
    Yeah?
    Yeah. Okay.

    “I do not lie to you.” by Julia on her bed


    Tuesday April 12, 2016
    9:51pm
    5 minutes
    from a text

    When you ask me for the truth I gladly give it. Not to everyone, but to you, I don’t how not to. I remember sitting with you in a dusty bar a year and a half after first meeting you and feeling like that was the first time I actually got to know you. You said some profound shit and you were as lucid as I’d seen you. I preferred you like that. I wonder if you noticed me opening to you too. If you noticed me sharing more secrets or more weaknesses or more dreams laced in marijuana and vulnerability. We are close now like a weird combination of two unlikely flavours that you avoid combining at first because the idea puts you off, but that no longer surprises you once they’ve been mixed together and tasted and enjoyed.

    So now. We’re both here: you in love with someone who loves you even more than you love him, and me in love with someone who loves me for reasons I will never comprehend, and we still have each other when we’re dying or when we’re thriving. You ask me if you think you deserve to be happy. I say yes. You ask me if you made mistakes. I say yes. You ask me if I’m happy. I say yes. You ask me if when the world ends, can we hold hands in a tulip garden. I say yes.

    “passionate artists” by Julia at her dining table


    Thursday March 17, 2016
    11:19pm
    5 minutes
    from a program

    There’s a group of people protesting outside my window. I saw one of their signs and it said “equal rights for all” and that’s how I know this country is going to shit. I’m being very serious. What’s a poet supposed to do with equal rights? I’m pretty sure that’s not how art is made and I can say that because my sister’s ex boyfriend was one of them and all his creation revolved around the worst feelings and circumstances in the world. I think these conditions exist so writers have something to write about about and painters have something to paint. Look at the statistics! Love isn’t going to get “bums in the seats” and valuing a system where hippies just hang out at the beach all day banging on drums and talking about their spirit animals is just going to create more bonfires on beaches!

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


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


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

    “Like when I need plumbing done” by Julia at her table


    Friday, December 25, 2015
    11:14am
    5 minutes
    Revolution
    Russell Brand


    I’ll call my Aunt Maureen when I need my taps to stop dripping, thank you very much. I don’t need to call some plumbing “aficionado” as you like to do. My aunt Maureen, she’s a self-made woman! She didn’t have to go to plumbing school to learn about the world in a different way than she was used to. Her man was a no-good and he left, or she kicked him out, and she taught herself how to fix leaky faucets, leaky pipes, floor boards, and window cracks. It’s amazing. She doesn’t need anybody but herself and some tools and a can do attitude. So that’s who I want in my bathroom if push ever comes to shove! At least I know my aunt Maureen would take her shoes off before she tracks mud through my entire house! And when she’s done maybe the two of us can sit down over a spiked ice tea and talk about the real stuff.

    “entirely free of the curse” by Julia at Kafka’s


    Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at Kafka’s
    12:49pm
    5 minutes
    a Wikipedia page

    It’s a nightmare when I’m alone with her. She torments me and she tugs at all my soft spots. She pulls until she rips, and then claws away at the raw flesh. I don’t know why she is never sated. Why she comes back for more when I have nothing left to give her. And she throws herself at me, through me, in me. She’s everywhere and nowhere and she creeps in like a ghost that is convinced her only purpose is to haunt me. She haunts me. When I’m laughing, those moments in the day where I am happy or believe that I am. She gives me no peace, sinking her teeth into me, sucking my bones dry, killing me slowly. Until I give over. Until I’m just an empty vessel for her to inhabit. Then she’ll be complete. She’ll destroy every good thing I have, plow over the life I’ve so carefully built, rip up the early seedlings of joy I’ve planted, and scorch the earth of me. To ruin me. To feed off of me. Because I am weak. Because I let her. Because I deny that she exists even when she bulldozes all the love I’ve ever known. Some people give up. Some people give in.

    “Are you free” by Julia on the 47 going north


    Tuesday, April 7, 2015
    11:57pm
    5 minutes
    From a text message

    Are you free of your anger and your blame? Or do you curse at the passing bus who forgot to show you compassion and pick you up even though you were waiting just two feet too wrong to board? Are you free of your expectations and your disappointment? Or do you wonder why some people operate on a different level than you do? I’m a bit of Column A, little of Column B. I ask these questions because I’m half hoping you’ll say no and half hoping to hear you say yes. Solidarity. For one. And inspiration for two. Cause I’m not there yet. Cause I really want to be but I don’t know how to to find it. Are they already inside? The releasing agents? The ones that set my mind and heart and soul free of all their burdens? For this one I hope you say yes yes yes so I can stop with these excuses.

    “You look terrible.” By Julia at Holy Oak Cafe


    Monday March 23, 2015 at Holy Oak Cafe
    5:01pm
    5 minutes
    Overheard at Higher Grounds

    Oh I can’t be seen with you. I can’t be seen with you. I told you not to wear that damn New Years shirt. I must have said it a thousand billion times. And now the only explanation for you wearing it tonight when it matters more than you’ll ever fully grasp, is that God is testing me. But do you know what the downside is? I don’t give a flying fuck if I fail God’s stupid little test because I don’t need his rewards. That’s right. I don’t need anything from someone who is going to dangle opportunities for success right in my face and then snatch them away with one touch of the world’s most hideous shirt. And he puts it on my boyfriend. To test and torture. I swear to you it would be better if you wore zero shirts to this fucking wedding than the God-awful, God-testing one you’re wearing right now. Please stand the fuck away from me. Just go over to the other side of the room where the haunting and painful pattern of your God-damn stupid fucking shirt can’t be seen or heard.

    “You look terrible.” By Sasha at Higher Grounds


    Monday March 23, 2015 at Higher Grounds
    11:10am
    5 minutes
    Overheard at Higher Grounds

    I choose my sweaters carefully. I only have six of them and each has a very particular role. The forest green one, purchased for my Engagement Party that took place around four long picnic tables in a huge park, has now become worn and over-washed. I refuse to get rid of it, though, as I so love the memories associated and the high neckline, perfect over a collared shirt. Does one need to hand wash sweaters? The black v-neck, one of those crosses between a sweater and a shirt, is tight and sexy. When I wear it I feel like I am a real woman. Gold hoop earrings and boyfriend jeans are it’s perfect partners. It has a hole in the left armpit that I’ve stitched up several times. I’ve had it since my early twenties. I’ve gone a year without wearing it, but choosing to keep it in the Annual Spring Purge means that I know a time will return when I crave it’s clinginess and slightly washed-out colour.

    “And now I know he’s not my soulmate” by Julia at Aroma Espresso Bar


    Wednesday March 18, 2015 at Aroma Espresso Bar
    8:00pm
    5 minutes
    overheard at aroma espresso bar

    The first thing I did was dance. Second thing was shove a Ham and Swiss baked croissant into my mouth. Still dancing. Still moving. Eating dancing moving breathing. Living. That’s what it was. Fear leaving the body. Pain released into a thousand tiny gold flakes, decorating the sky. The ham and cheese croissant was the only thing allowed in my stomach. No more knots. No more anxiety. No more burying my feelings so deep within me they could hide behind organs and slip under the radar. After the dancing eating moving breathing, FREEING thing I was doing, I threw my head back and I just laughed and laughed and laughed. The day felt warm again and I felt whole–like a hot, gooey pizza ready to be devoured by the hungry and the good.

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


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

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

    “When did we leave for thing there?” By Julia on Jessica’s couch


    Sunday January 18, 2015
    12:47am
    5 minutes
    Overheard at Julia’s aunt’s house

    Okay so there was this trip, right? We went together to thing there, what was it called? The Dominican! Never mind. We went with what’s his name, John there, and it was nice that he came with us because now we have photos together. We were on the dance floor one night just letting lose, and the next day he um, John, he shows us the whole night of us dancing and eating that good pasta there, you know at the nice italian place I was telling you about. So nice, I gotta tell you right, cause I didn’t know he was snapping away the whole time and capturing us, what’s that word there, candid! He captured us together all candid and they’re nice because I also have some of us standing by the fountain, but we both know it’s a photo and our smiles look bad. But the ones thing there took, John, look so nice and we look happy. It’s always better to have a friend come on your vacation so you can remember how happy you actually are.

    “Start a group play team” by Julia at her parents’ kitchen table


    Saturday January 17, 2015
    11:32am
    5 minutes
    from a lotto 649 ticket

    We’ve got a good team
    We fight the bad guys and we cuddle a lot
    We make jokes about the mean ones and we tap forks before we eat
    We make sure no negativity gets in and we play catch in the park outside our house
    We build barriers so no harm can enter and we kiss like two puzzle pieces that were meant to complete the other
    We don’t leave the bedroom cause it’s safer inside and we double dip our honey hands into the bag of liquorish chews
    We’ve got a good team
    We laugh and we live and we squeeze and we breathe
    We do it together and no one can stop us
    We do it together cause we know winning is really only happiness and happiness is winning

    “Feathers and flowers” by Julia on her parents’ couch


    Friday January 16, 2015
    5:19pm
    5 minutes
    from a 2015 calendar

    He got me a necklace with a feather on it. It was really pretty and made my eyes stand out. That was the first thing he ever bought me like that. I remember him saying once that he just wanted to spoil me but not with gifts or clothes or jewelry…But with touching and love and food and laughter. Probably because he really wouldn’t know where to start if he were buying me jewelry. And it made me happy to know that he knew me enough to give me what I needed and not what he thought I wanted. The feather necklace was beautiful because I was never expecting him to gift me something tangible in the form of something beautiful. My expectations for love are high. He promised me that. Now I want it forever.

    “made with real almonds” by Julia at Amanda’s kitchen counter


    Thursday January 15, 2015
    2:29pm
    5 minutes
    from the Earth’s Own Almond Milk carton

    So my brother got sick once and turned into the kind of guy who reads labels and won’t put anything into his body without a reason. Like a good solid reason, like “fixing” “helping” “improving” “nourishing”.
    All of these things are fine and I’m happy he does it cause he should do it. But I just got so bored about discussing this with you that I literally fell asleep for one minute there. I just went off to a distant land. And now I remember what we were talking about and I totally see why. The “point” is, sickness=health for some people and some people=boring life because of it. The “point” I was trying to make, was that you’ll be fine. You might even be better than you are now. But you have to start reading labels and being okay with not telling any more good stories.

    “laugh-out-loud funny.” By Julia on Amanda’s couch


    Wednesday January 14, 2015
    3:51pm
    5 minutes
    From the i ❤️huckabees DVD case

    Come on tell me a joke.
    Well what do you want, funny ha ha, or funny, ah-hah!
    I don’t know the difference. They’re the same, both funny.
    No, one will bring laughs, the other, realizations! In a moment you could be like, “ohhhh righhhhht” or “ha ha ha ha”.
    You’re ruining jokes for me. You’ve just put a structure on humour.
    You asked me to.
    No, I asked you to tell a joke and you just reduced it to types and shit.
    I’m trying to please you.
    I just wanted to hear a joke you thought was funny.
    I don’t know any good jokes.
    Well say that then. Don’t say, which type of moment are you trying to have, a good one, or a seemingly less good one. Who would choose the seemingly less good one.
    It’s not less good, it’s about preference.
    If I preferred the type of laughter I was going to have I would just type it into the internet.
    There you go ruining a perfectly good human moment.
    Ha ha!
    Really?

    “Walking and talking” by Julia on Amanda’s couch


    Tuesday January 13, 2015
    10:44pm
    5 minutes
    Brave New World
    Aldous Huxley


    Sometimes you feel your bones rattling in their cage when you walk down the sidewalk and your boots make a heavy thud on the pavement
    You ask them questions like who is the biggest, what would you want your last meal to be, who is your favourite spice girl, and what are your hypothetical concerns about global warming
    They don’t respond with words, but music, cling clanging, crash banging, humming the tune of yesterday, harmonizing with all the right underground quietness
    You feel them getting the urge to dance with their hope and their musicianship trying to free you with their freedom

    “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….

    “you either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.” by Julia at Camera a Sud in Bologna


    Monday November 24, 2014 at Camera a Sud
    1:10pm
    5 minutes
    from a quote by Charles Bukowski

    Ahh I’m falling. I’m falling. It’s a good feeling. You replace the A, the L, with two Es. You want to know where I’m going? To the place were my brow furrows…concentration and magic and old habits. You want to touch that spot on my face. Remind me not to clench my jaw, hold tension in my forehead. “Don’t get old before you have to.” And I have that falling feeling. It’s a good one. It’s when the inspiration breathes and lives and stays awake next to a roaring fire.
    You steal the wood off the side of the road for me.
    Stoking my pilot light with a little consideration, saying, “yeah, you need five minutes to get that beauty down on paper, I give you ten. Take a hundred of them if you want. A million minutes, even, and I’ll be here watching you and making sure you don’t loose that spark. And that you don’t get wrinkly from the thinking and the trying hard to focus right.”
    I remember you like that, rocking in your reading chair and sitting content in the million moments reserved for being apart but together in the same room.
    I tell you after this “I want to drink a bubbly white wine and I want to eat an oven-baked fish with the head and tail still attached.”
    You say you have the perfect one and it’s in the fridge when we’re ready.
    “How do you already have what I want?” And you smile into your book and say, “Cause we’ve been here before. We’ve done Sunday like this a thousand times already.”
    “Ahh,” I say, “You’re right. I guess it’s good this spot, this falling feeling place.”
    You chuckle quietly, reminding me, “You’ve said that before too…”

    “All of you come here” by Julia at the beach in Levanto


    Sunday September 21, 2014
    3:36pm
    5 minutes
    Overheard at the beach in Levanto

    And taste the salty hope of a blessing left out in the sun too long
    And wait for me there while the ocean devours your fears
    I’ll come to you in your dreams and whisper your fate to you
    Tell you you’re beautiful and soft and beautiful
    In those perfect dances no one is catching up with one another
    But allowing one to lead and then to follow when the sleep sets in
    And you will find your voice buried deep in your bones
    A cage left open for the birds to fly out or back in
    The song of your openness will caress the mountain’s top
    And the fog that started there will transform into calm
    A hundred gestures of kindness given in the second half of every almond biscuit I save for you
    Your mouth a heartache turned into the Milky Way
    Soothed by the light that emulates through you and then around you
    And you will be reborn into a morning rain

    “Have a good one” by Julia on the 18 bus south


    Friday August 15, 2014
    2:13pm
    5 minutes
    overheard on the 18 bus going south

    The old man in the ratty suit tipped his ripped hat to a small girl with a daisy in her pony tail. She smiled shyly, then hid behind her mommy’s leg.
    Poor thing, she’s shy!
    Poor thing, she’s just a wee little love bug.
    The old man had respect for his elders, his youngers, his same agers, his in-betweeners.
    He didn’t think one person belonged on this earth with any more right than any other.
    He might have been a dying breed; showing compassion to passers-by and loved ones alike.
    Shouldn’t this be the way it goes?
    Poor thing, he’s getting on!
    Poor thing, he’s just a crumpled old dying thing.
    He made everyone feel both good and bad at the same time. On the one hand he did a great job of including and inviting and making someone feel special. On the other, he was the only one who did this. He was better than the everyman.

    “You mustn’t lose it.” By Julia on Hugo Street


    Tuesday August 12, 2014
    4:49pm
    5 minutes
    a quote from Robin Williams

    He said it matter-of-factly as he gripped his miniature hand over my closed fist. This was a gift from a tiny god and I was being entrusted with it. He made sure I was looking him in the eyes when I promised him I would keep it safe. And never give it to any one else? Of course not. And never drop it on the ground that doesn’t have carpet? Never ever. And never forget where you last put it? Not on my life. And with that he scampered off getting distracted by the grass that he in that moment just had to bend down to dig up. I watched him playing in the earth with my fist still tightly closed. The magic of this gift was fuelling me from my hands and seeping into my bones trough my troubled skin. He didn’t even say what it was. I suppose he didn’t have to. I had believed in the importance of it by virtue of his stern instructions. He didn’t make me promise not to open it until he was gone. I didn’t have to open it to know that it was ours.

    “we chase our dreams deep under water” by Julia on her couch


    Sunday December 22, 2013
    7:52pm
    5 minutes
    Hold Me For Now
    Skinny Bitches


    There was a time when the days bled into each other and we could not hear the tide of the ocean because it felt like our insides were making the same sounds. We, the two of us, we’d dance until we were tired. In the kitchen. With a roast burning in the oven. We, the three of us, you, me, and life, would hold hands while we slept or touch bums when we weren’t. There was a time when your face was too bright to even look at, or when I wasn’t ready for a love so right, or both. When we’d get home early just to spend more time in bed laying at the ceiling and listening to The Beach Boys, or the hum of our ancient radiators. We could not hear the sirens of the road, the chaos of a slippery tree cracking because our love was telling us stories and we were desperately trying to listen. There was a time, as if assembled by a five year old, our pieces stuck together; to each other with glue, with gentleness, with strength.

    “PERFORMANCE” by Julia on her couch


    Wednesday, August 14, 2013
    10:33pm
    5 minutes
    from a business card

    one of those top tier things you hear sporting coaches say.
    they tell you
    EXCELLENCE
    they tell you
    BELIEVE
    they tell you
    GOLD
    you hear them better when it comes from them.
    From the people who see your potential in the most appealing light.
    they see you
    SUCCEED
    they see you
    WIN
    they see you
    PERSEVERE
    and it always feels right.
    it always feels like they have some crystal ball and can gauge your true capabilities.
    they make you
    FIGHT
    they make you
    DREAM
    they make you
    PUSH
    but you’re not playing a sport.
    you’re not long jumping, 200m sprinting.
    you’re not competing with nations, or for a title.
    you’re simply just trying to get from one day to the next so you can be
    PROUD
    so you can be
    POSITIVE
    so you can be
    ALIVE

    “Over the decades” by Julia on her bed


    Wednesday, June 26, 2013
    1:40am
    5 minutes
    Wineaccess magazine

    Over the decades and far away sat a little impish girl and boy did she play
    Not boy and girl because girl and boy, but boy as in boy! Or ships ahoy!
    Can the truest sentiment be? A hundred red apples with thousands of seeds. Will it keep the doctor away? One might ask, then you’d say: it’s only if you eat but one every day! Dr. Seuss you were born out of a loved joint stick, passed and pushed around a circle till you all got sick, sat down right then with your paper and pen or quill if you will since it happened back then, and wrote about the things you would pick! It’s okay to be different it’s okay to be you! You wrote all of those things because you were high too! And in your confidence you created all those inspirational quotes, unhated. Not one fresh faced grad, never had not deferred, from choosing your wit for their congratulatory word.

    “the Devil who touched my body” by Julia at her desk


    Friday May 3, 2013
    2:11pm
    5 minutes
    Aleph
    Paulo Coelho


    It was magic, rushing through me, telling all my limbs to be easy, quieting my veins as it poured all the way into my heart.
    The music playing in my mind was a beautiful electronic beat and kept me awake and dreaming.
    I couldn’t tell you what I was wearing. Probably nothing as I tend to dance in my own skin when I’m trying to change the world. I bobbed my head and shrugged my shoulders, shrugging off the ways of yesterday and trading them for something a little more specific. Magic. Gush… it had so much more than temporary release, it lasted and lasted until I was making dust angels on my hardwood floor. Spreading my wings into the grooves I walk on daily. Let’s fly where we walk, tread lightly lest we wake our downstairs neighbours.
    My headspace cleared and I knew what I wanted. From life, from God, from you, from books. Something tangible, something I could carry with me, enjoy forever. The change in tempo was nice. Not needing from others to feel alive. Pushing hard into a bruise to feel like it’s okay to get hurt. Using my cut finger to open a jar of pickles and let the scab peel off slightly just to watch the healing process all over again.