“How about just one email a week or month?” By Julia at Ocean Village

Thursday February 7, 2019
7:58am
5 minutes
from swimoutlet.com

There is a box of unopened envelopes in the bottom of a drawer somewhere. I remember it like that. You, I believe, think you left them in the alleyway with our old tables and laptops and extension cords.

I gave that box to you before I went away. It ended up being one whole year away. I didn’t see that coming either.

I even bought you stamps, I see now that was ambitious. Also a waste of money since I don’t think you thought to save those. To you stamps are miniature pictures of things you don’t need: a tiny boat, a maple leaf. To me they are freedom of communication, luxury items, covetable if I am without and in need.

I thought you could write me a letter while I was drinking an espresso at the bar. While I was sipping on Aperol Spritz or eating a tramezzino sandwich in Venice. I daydreamed about waking up to words thought up by you, about me, about us.

“to watch someone fall” by Julia at Starbucks


Monday June 6, 2016 at Starbucks
7:32am
5 minutes
Poetry Is Dead Magazine
Issue 01 Volume 05


There wasn’t a whole lot of proof that Ingrid and Raymond were meant for each other.
Ingrid preferred to eat outside, Raymond preferred to eat in.
Ingrid wanted to visit the kids in Vermont, Raymond wanted them to come to the cottage.
Ingrid told Raymond once that she didn’t have any idea how two people who loved each other as much as they did could disagree as much as they did. Raymond told Ingrid once that the only reason why they didn’t see eye to eye was because they were meant to be teaching each other.
Ingrid liked to write letters by hand and send them in the mail. When the two of them were young, Raymond worked overseas for two years and Ingrid asked if he would write to her.
Raymond didn’t like to write much; his penmanship was hard to read and that frustrated him. He told Ingrid that even if he didn’t send her a letter he would send her something and not to worry.

“Glottal stop” by Julia at her dining table


Friday, January 29, 2016
9:28pm
5 minutes
From an email

I remember his tongue like I remember my favourite song. His words were different when he was tired or when he was mad. I loved to see him mad. It made me wet. I want to explain that but I can’t. It just turned me on so fast I couldn’t hide it: flush to the cheek, quiver in my breath. He never knew that. I never told him. I didn’t want to ruin it, or put pressure on it. It was like my own dirty little secret, and you know what they say about two people keeping a secret…I sometimes think about his anger when I’m trying to get off with someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. It takes all my focus and I have to picture him saying the right words, pausing in the right places. It’s very difficult remembering something that happened 12 years ago. But I know I can count on it so it’s always worth the struggle. I think back on the way he spit out his Ks and cradled his Ss before unleashing them all, wild and loud.

“what you can expect” by Julia on her couch


Monday, January 18, 2016
10:21pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

So my cousin had a baby and for some reason I think she’s my spirit animal.
I haven’t even met her but I have this feeling that we know each other already and that she’s going to want to hold onto my finger so tight.
I don’t know why I think this for this cousin and not the others. I don’t know how this new little baby girl and I will even spend time together now that we live on opposite sides of the country, but if my cousin will let me, I think I want to be her pen pal.
I want to write this girl a letter every day. She’s the only one who doesn’t know me at all. I could tell her all the things I wish I heard when I was growing up. I don’t know how I’d get these letters to her unopened, though. If I were my cousin I’d be reading each and every thing that comes in the mail addressed to my new born daughter. But what’s good, and that I may be forgetting, is that my cousin expects me to be a weirdo and maybe, without thinking too much about it, will let me correspond with his kid because on some level he knows she’d benefit from that.
I will start my “clean slate personal representation” letter the same way each time:
Hello, you are good, you are enough.
Those should be the first words she reads.

“And for some reason these men fit the bill.” by Julia at Barb’s house in Vernon


Monday, August 31, 2015
10:27pm
5 minutes
Cowboy Poetry
(ed)Hal Cannon


Mama had a ranch and she lived a good life
With her dogs and her horses and her cows and her ribbons
Mama had a good life and she wrote herself letters for 45 years
Today we branded 20, yesterday Henrietta rode on Lyla for the first time
Mama made her own history and she changed into someone she liked more
With her spirit and her intentions and her sanctuary and her home
Mama made us meat loaf and made us take seconds
Cause we are family, eating like family, reminding each other of what’s important
Mama knitted life lessons in afghans and couch cushions
With her advice and her kindness and her generosity and her magic
Mama stayed up late walking outside under the stars
With her open heart and her open hands and her rain boots

“happens without words” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday February 11, 2015
1:07am
5 minutes
mysticmama.com

I’ve started this letter 4 times already. I don’t know how to address you…dear is close because you are dear to me but not in this current moment. I don’t remember the last time you were accurately dear to me. I don’t think people understand that when they write it in front of a name, substituting it for “to”. To you. Dear you. Am I missing something? I could just put your name but I don’t think that expresses my feelings well either. You,. I can’t start a letter with You comma; I’m not a complete idiot. You colon. Yeah I could do that. You: –because I could list all the things you are or that you do and the first couple would be aggressive but then I’d remember why I care about you and they would start to get good again.

“Let’s be honest.” by Julia in her hostel in Firenze


Tuesday September 23, 2014
8:12pm
5 minutes
Ecoholic
Adria Vasil


Let’s be honest? Yeah, let’s be honest. I’ve been hallucinating you, babe, on the backs of other women. Wanna get real honest? I STOLE THAT LINE FROM A REGINA SPEKTOR SONG BUT IT’S POIGNANT AND I LOVE IT. A little more honest. Yeah? More honesty. Yeah. YEAH. I haven’t been able to help myself when it comes to finishing full packs of sour gummy worms at least once a day. I haven’t been able to sleep because I miss feeling your skin. It makes me cry. I cry instead of sleep. I’m crying now. How honest do you want me? I’m thinking about sending you letters but it costs too much. I’m thinking about writing a novel based on the smell of your mouth. I don’t know why but it drags me to a place where I can only breathe in blues and browns.

“Select your inbound journey” By Julia on Nicole’s balcony


Monday September 1, 2014
3:38pm
5 minutes
raileurope-world.com

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the pillow case on my side
So you’d feel my dreams when you held it tight

And you could say goodnight to me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
On the back of a bottle of wine
So when you were toasting to us

You could take an extra sip for me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the drawer with your passport and socks
So when you got dressed in the morning

You could put on a piece of me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
On the bedside table where you’d see it
Right before you fell asleep

I left it there so you could read me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the case of your favourite film
And when you’d open it up to watch it alone

You’d feel like you were watching with me

I wrote you a note
And I left it there
In the basket of all your pens
With a box of envelopes, to remind you, dear

That you could write for me

“Try and make a few local friends” by Julia on her couch


Monday August 18, 2014
1:03am
5 minutes
girlinflorence.com

My motha, she calls me in the middle of the night. She tells me, Keltie, don’t be that girl. I am not that girl, whatever girl she thinks I am, so I say, motha, please, don’t lump me into that group, for the love of christ. She says, Keltie, I don’t want you to be one of those loser girls who sits on her computer all day checking e-mails and how to blogs about growing vegetables indoors but doesn’t actually buy the seeds to do it. I have to take a moment to think about that one, but she doesn’t stop talking. You know, Keltie, you’ve got to be ahead of the crowd and ahead of yourself. Don’t try and hide behind your looks because you’re not fooling anyone and one day someone other than me is going to expect you to actually do something. I’m sitting up in my bed chugging a glass of day old water, trying to watch the tiny fuzz particles as they hid my teeth. I’m staring at the mirror. I’m plucking out stray hairs on inner thigh, fucking Carla forgot to get those white ones we talked about. Yes, uh-huh, I’m still here, I tell her, but she’s hardly even listening. You want to be one of those sad girls who doesn’t make any friends? Keltie? Promise me you’re going to get drunk at least once so you have the confidence to talk to someone other than your vagina. Ma! My vagina? What fresh hell is this conversation right now? She doesn’t answer for the first time. Promise me, Keltie.

“Love rocks” by Julia on her couch


Thursday August 14, 2014
12:22am
5 minutes
from a girl’s purple t-shirt

Oh they say that when they have it, when they feel it, when they see it
Oh they say that when they know it, when they own it, when they free it
Oh they say those things, light on and good intentions
Oh they say those things, dreams out loud and good vibrations
Oh they, the ones who don’t have to do the missing
Oh they, the ones who don’t have to do the air kissing
Oh they, the ones who don’t need to pretend
Oh they, the ones who don’t need to wait
Love
Talking about Love
Talking about what everyone knows what I’m talking about
Paul Simon on the open road
Something about the loss of it and a window and the winds blowing
Talking about Love
Talking about the same old thing that poetry was built on
Hand-written letters in the mail, sent with two stamps and a kiss for good luck
Oh they say that when they have it, when they feel it, when they see it
Oh they say that when they know it, when they own it, when they free it
Love
Talking about Love

“I’m not doing this with you right now” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday August 13, 2014
2:01am
5 minutes
from a conversation

I’m
not
leaving
that’s not what I’m doing
I’m
not
leaving
you
We can talk every Wednesday
I’m
not
disappearing
I want to write you love letters by hand
I’m
not
leaving
you
Please don’t make this harder
I’m
not
going
far
away
If you don’t consider geography
I’m
not
going
far
way
from
you
If you believe me when I tell you I’m still here
I’m
not
going
I could stay inside this moment with you
I’m
not
going
at
all
Could we resume our puzzle pieced body formation?
I
will
never
leave
you
Take a second to promise me something
I
will
never
choose
something
over you
Distance is a word not a knife wound

“Courier Mail and Daily Telegraph” by Julia in her bed


Friday Aug 8, 2014
2:05am
5 minutes
http://www.taste.com

I had been waiting for Gina’s response for over three weeks. It was her idea to keep sending lovely hand-written letters to each other once a week but she was getting really bad at it. Her first letters were so open and raw and I could see her mouthing the words as I read them because they just felt so honest. Then they started getting shorter, she’d stop responding to my questions in a way that reminded me of unrequited love by means of questionless text messages. She started signing all her letters with a lipstick kiss, something I always hated having to return due to the inadequate, small, pursed shape my kiss marks made (not the luscious kind you think is the only kind that creates a desirable or kissable mouth when you’re young). By this point Gina was signing her letters with a modest “G” and that was it. Surely she was busy or distracted, or had found a new friend to spend all her time writing quirky opinions to. But what bothered me most was the waiting for her response. I was busy too, or so I liked to believe, and I was always able to write to her.

“founded in Cuba” by Julia on her couch


Friday June 20, 2014
10:36pm
5 minutes
from a sign at Queen and Abell St.

met a lovely woman and a lovely man
they were married
they met us there in the sand
came bringing mangos
gifts of the beach for us and for friendship
and we gave them all our soaps, our gum, our sandals
we could get more at home and they couldn’t get more in their home
and it was sad
but that’s the way it was
they met us there in the sand
showed pictures of their babies in braids beaching topless with bikini bottoms
young and free and didn’t know
and so we walked with them
hand in hand
and ate the mangos while the sun set
peeling back the skin with our teeth
taking photos of the moments like these
with people like those
and we held hands
met a lovely woman and a lovely man
I don’t know where they live now
I sent letters
I sent money
I sent the necklace she said she loved but felt bad taking when I offered it then
I sent love
I sent photos of my babies, straight, curly, straight
naked in the pool
splashing tiny drops and making big waves
and we haven’t heard a word
and we don’t know if they’re allowed to get the mail
or to see the mail
or to open the mail
and so maybe someone else has the money
and maybe someone else has the necklace
and maybe someone else has the photos of my babies
and maybe someone else has the love
we think of them often
the day there in the hot hot heat
we met a lovely woman
and we met a lovely man
they were married
they were the ones we hold

“novels, poems, journals, and letters” by Julia on her other couch


Sunday November 3, 2013
12:21am
5 minutes
The Birth Of Frankenstein program
Litmus Theatre


Oh I was trying to tell everyone while they were FUCKING UP MY VIBE that I was going to make it happen. It was vague, and yes I know this, but I was delivering it in such a way that would have CHANGED THEIR LIVES. And nobody was listening to me. They were busy looking up different time zones and seeing how many hours behind Alberta was. Who the fuck cares? Can I say that? Cares? Can I say that or will everyone automatically just stop, drop and die like a bomb went off. Nobody fucking cares. About Alberta. About me. And I was making it into something beautiful, I’m telling you. Make it happen. Like the tattoo on my soul sister’s wrist. She told the world in a quieter way. It’s intelligent, it gets your attention. But I don’t know any better. I wanted to use my words. I wanted to THROW OUT COLLOQUIALISMS and be a human with a mission statement, stamped, signed, sealed, and delivered. GODDAMMIT. It sounds so stupid now! I might as well just write it down in every novel, poem, journal, and letter, but these useless fucking creatures would probably skip over it because with my luck, something about pickles would spark their fucking interest instead.

“Canada Post” by Julia at her desk


Thursday, June 13, 2013
11:18pm
5 minutes
The mailbox on the corner of Annette St. and Quebec Ave.

Lost my letters and all my love, I sent it to you, dear, I sent it all.
I would have made sure to track them but I didn’t know how. I didn’t know love could get lost in the mail. But you didn’t get it so it went some place else. Now I hate to admit it, but what if my love is now in someone else’s care. What if a different address holds the letters I was writing to you, dear, what if my love is sitting on an unfamiliar foyer shelf. I’m afraid I don’t have any more to give. Wrote all those letters when I was in it so deep. And you never wrote to me, dear, you never sent me your love in a white envelope everyday for a year. Unless yours got lost in the mail too. Then how sad and beautiful it would be, if both of our loves found their way to the same person. Maybe the postman has enough love to get him through his entire life now. We did that. We did that.

“ho-hum classic.” by Julia on the 510 going north


Wednesday, January 9, 2013
11:40pm
5 minutes
Wellman’s Chrestomathy of 22 Answers

In a series of letters my father wrote my mother (in German) before I even existed, I have seen the beauty of the world the way it was meant to be viewed. My father, utterly and almost desperately in love with my mother, was the one who began their romantic correspondence. He sent the first letter and pressed a daisy into the pages for her. It was incredible. Not that it would be so out of the ordinary for a man to write to a woman, but my father, a man of seemingly few words, even at the best of times, was so eloquent and impassioned in these letters. So poignant, so brave.
Each one made me cry and that’s saying something. Perhaps I wasn’t seeing the world and all its beauty, but the way the inner workings of a man’s heart are so intricate and inspiring and through that, the world is seen in a different light. He was never a poet in the life time in which I knew him. But these letters would shock anyone literate into clutching their heart out of the sheer emotion and catharsis that he achieved through his muse: my mother. Her letters never seemed to intrigue me in the same way as his; her penmanship almost too perfect to be considered poetry..