“and I will do you no harm.” by Julia at her desk

Saturday September 28, 2019
4:10pm
5 minutes
Robinson Crusoe
Daniel Defoe

I refuse to slice when you ask me for the blade
I will not cut you
I will not draw blood
Do you want my approval for a thing that you know I hate?
How can I do anything but weep when you tell me?

The truth is a funny edged sword
I thought I’d prefer honesty but maybe I’ve never had it pointed at me like this before
Is it better that you said it or could I live not knowing?
We all do a little coned living from time to time
You could have kept my opinion of you in the shape you left it

And you chose to say it, you chose to come clean
You say this is The Age of Truth and in The Age of Truth we confess things
I will not cut you
I will not draw blood
But I cannot shame you either because isn’t that the sharpest part?

I will hold silence before I hold a knife to your skin
I will wait until you beg me to speak
I will let my quiet tell you where I am

“stomach discomfort” by Julia at her desk


Thursday September 7, 2017
8:44pm
5 minutes
saje.com

It does this twisting thing it used to do after running
body’s way of kindly suggesing to stop taking hills like I’m in the army
respect the hill
walk the hill
or to please drink a glass of water today, okay, please?
It feels like birth and like preventing it
it knots me up so nothing feels good
not even breathing
no breathing can make this good
And the moon says it’s almost time
but the moon has never tried to be so in my life about it
there haven’t been warnings before
And in the middle of sleep sex it’s there, twisting
and you are sleep concerned
and I am sleep breathing in the toilet
so that nothing worse happens
like every reminder that I have done this to myself
because I’m the one who wanted the sleep sex
and to avoid the tap
and to run up the hill
and to hide the health card papers behind the TV
because no one ever looks behind the TV
nobody ever finds poetry ideas
or classical music scores
or the lipbalm that looks much better than it smell

“Solid colour” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 6, 2016
11:56pm
5 minutes
From a text

Had a dream I was trying to kill you again. I was coming at you with the blue knife Marnie gave us as an engagement gift. In my dream you’re not afraid or anxious. You almost have a calmness about you. You expect that I’m going to hunt you and you don’t even run. I think what I’m learning from this nightmare is that you don’t give up on me when I test you. You don’t run away when things get crazy. You don’t try to hurt me just because I’m trying to hurt you. This dream shows me how good you are. It makes me realize that one day, when I finally stop trying to sabotage us, stop making you prove yourself, we will be so obnoxiously happy. Until then know that this isn’t personal, that me trying to kill you says more about me than it says about you and that at least we’re getting our use out of that little blue knife.

“experience learn hear” by Julia in the car


Friday Aug 1, 2014
11:34am
5 minutes
from an expired TPL card

According to my brother, who can’t see out of his left eye and carries a knife everywhere he goes, you “really gotta listen to people and their body language.” That’s what he says when he’s trying to explain how to read people and how to protect yourself against “predators” or “criminally insane”. He knows these tricks because he’s been in a ton of fights with other people who also carry knives around. You’ve got to make sure “your eyes are open, your heart is calm, and your fingers are nimble.” Probably in case someone comes at you. But if you’re reading their postures before hand, you can avoid a brawl. That’s what he says. You can avoid getting into trouble if you’re just listening and hearing all the possible signs and all the signals that someone is giving out. My brother says that most people don’t even want the confrontation they seem to be inviting. He says it’s because deep down they’re looking for someone to stop them. He says that “deep down, they don’t want to do it.” So if you can understand the motives before you act on impulse, you could be saving yourself a lot of grief. You could be saving yourself a lost eye too.

“For their swim records” by Sasha at Brooklyn College


Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at Brooklyn College
4:55pm
5 minutes
Super Fish Thorpe
Kaci Tami


How are you being so fucking calm! What the fuck? I found your passport. I found your hiding spot. I found the letter and the blow and your stupid knife! Vinny! Listen to me! I, I… You said you weren’t going back there. You fucking promised. Now, I’m all, I’m all homeless and you’re… you’re fucking around with those dumb, cross-eyed brothers! I don’t care if it’s over and we’re, we’re… over! You made a promise! They’ve got nothing for you. All they’ve got is trouble, and that bubbly water that’s not even good for you. People think it’s fancy but I heard someone say that it’s not. It upsets your stomach. Vinny. Okay. I’m, I’m going to pick up Gio from swimming class. When I get back I want you to have some kind of cool and collected response for me. You’ve got, like, forty five minutes. Get it together.