“hence it is important that you DETERMINE” by Julia at the desk

Sunday July 29, 2018
6:24pm
5 minutes
Snark Tuner Instructions

You must be able to read the language of your personality with care
Know how to take the truth and swallow it
Understand how to protect yourself
how to avoid swallowing too much air along with it
You must get good at asking yourself the right questions:
Am I hungry?
Am I Lonely?
There are others
They can work for all of us
You must be able to determine which thing is occurring
You must be able to listen to the answer as if it were a
new born baby crying with reckless abandon
As if it cannot be ignored
And then don’t ignore it
Pick up your baby (You)
rock your baby (you) with love
Kiss your baby’s (your) cheeks
And wait there for a miute
to be informed

“Modern medicine clashes” by Julia at her desk

Thursday May 17, 2018
10:16pm
5 minutes
from The Observer (UK)

The lady with the floppy hat tells me that I should not let the doctors give me anything.
Don’t let them try to make you take more than your body needs.
Rely on homeopathic remedies.
I tell her my mother will flip her shit when she hears this.
The lady is concerned about my mother flipping and I have to tell her, out of joy.
My mother has been researching pills.
I think she thinks she has to prove to my sister that she knows what she’s talking about.
My sister will not take one wikepedia page as Gospel.
She used to take gospel as Gospel and would tell you that she is not that person anymore.
I didn’t want to take pills for my headache because the lady with the floppy hat
tells me that my body is too sensitive.
She tells me no alcohol either if I can avoid it.
I am about to tell her my mother will flip her shit again and then I stop.
I didn’t want to mess anything up but my head was already so messed up.
I took one of the white pills and swallowed the water.
I wasn’t going to take the second one because she said always take less than I need.
And then I took the second one.
Because I really didn’t want this headache.
I don’t know who to believe.
A faint throb quickens.

“The danger of tying your self-worth” by Julia on her couch

Saturday, May 12, 2018
10:18pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Brene Brown

Watch out for potholes
Dips in the concrete that make your toes do the work

Keep you upright

Can’t walk with your eyes down got to feel them quicker, know what your foot needs to recalibrate sooner

If you tie your self-worth to a perfect line you will be disappointed when someone else sees it crooked

If success is the only marker of success then you will always be walking in circles.

Tie your self worth to the spiral. Going in and out on itself, out and back again, outer world, inner world, beyond, down deep. Let the rise and fall be what they are.
Who are these lessons for? Me? You?
Is anyone listening anymore?

Was anyone ever?

“the hypocrites will teach.” By Julia in her bed

Monday May 7, 2018
11:01pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Suzy Kassem

All the voices I’ve been avoiding living inside me are more alive than I’ve been letting them be, more living than I’ve been thinking they are

I was right about you
it’s written in the stars and I’ve been right so many times but I’ve been scared and so I don’t say anything with words but with worlds of voices dancing around in my head

And they are so loud that my skin crawls and maybe you can see it so you ask me what is wrong and the truth is inside nothing is wrong everything is right but it is dangerous to say out loud

It is hard to believe that I know more than I think I do
That I am bigger than I think I am

“chimneys dress right with smoke” by Julia at Nguyen Shack homestay

Wednesday January 24, 2018
9:48pm
5 minutes
A Touch of Cynicism
Yannis Goumas

There’s a new chimney in my parents’ house. I’m glad because they use their fireplace a lot. They make decisions like this and then you never hear the end of it. I’m glad because they use their fireplace a lot. But then you have to hear them tell you about the guy who installed it. And then again. And then about the new handle on the new fireplace door. Because oh yeah, there’s a new fireplace at my parents’ house too. And people are allowed to be excited. That the first time in 20 years they are changing something in the downstairs area. Not the carpets or the windows. But the fireplace that they light every night. My dad even starts the fire for my mom before he leaves for work each morning. She can do it by herself but he still likes to make the house warm for her before he goes. If they tell me again about the fireplace, I will let them. I’ll ask about the guy who installed it. I’ll ask about the working chimney.

“I knew that sitting like that would bring me happiness.”by Julia on her couch

Friday January 12, 2018
9:07pm
5 minutes
How To Sit
Thich Nhat Hanh

I sat there, sitting, and a bird came and perched itself on my shoulder. Isn’t that incredible? I invited the bird with my stillness. I sat there, sitting, and a bird sat there, sitting on me. How fascinating. I am the inviter. The invitation. The inventor. I invent still moments for my body to sit sweetly. I give choice to my bones, I say “loud or quiet?” I say “moving or moved?” I like this new sitting style. I like knowing how much I used to avoid it. How much it used to fill the room with loud even when I did not say. I do not say loud if I can help it. I like hearing every part of my legs and every part of my stomach and they will speak if they don’t have to yell. And it is helping more than just the room. It is helping every house inside my skin.

“I’ve never been more absorbed in anyone.” By Sasha on her couch

Monday December 25, 2017
3:15pm
5 minutes
Elliot, Adam, Elly and Me
Charlotte Joyce Kidd

Heloise listens through the wall. Dan caught her twice last week so now she has to be much more stealthy.

“I’m going to the gym!” Dan calls, already half out the door, scarf pulled up over his nose.

“Bye, hon!” Heloise shouts back. She runs to the kitchen for a glass. She runs back upstairs and almost wipes out. Must get socks with grips on the bottom, she thinks. It’s not like she runs any other time.

She puts the glass to the wall. She can hear Liam typing. He must be writing again. Good for you, she smiles. Footsteps. He gets up. Maybe watering a plant? Maybe stretching? Writer’s block?

“Life Lessons From 100-Year-Olds” by Julia at the studio


Sunday July 30, 2017
8:59pm
5 minutes
Youtube

1)Don’t go to bed with makeup on
2)Don’t go to bed with strangers
3)Don’t go to bed
4)Tell him how you feel
5)Tell her what you want
6)Listen to your body
7)Listen to her body
8)Be gentle with his body
9)find the joy
10)Give thanks
11)Visit your parents when you can
12)Write the date on your journals
13)Leave if you want to leave
14)If you want to stay, then really stay
15)Spend the money on quality items
16)Speak to children with respect
17)Watch a sunrise
18)Kiss in public
19)Refuse to let other people decide for you
20)Save yourself
21)Don’t save the red ones for last
22)Kiss your own body parts
23)Take initiative
24)Practice your cursive writing
25)Give thanks

“I’ll sing til morning” by Julia on Khaleefa’s grandmother’s bed


Monday July 10, 2017
1:19am
5 minutes
Night, Mother
Marsha Norman


He says
I’ll love you forever
She says
forever doesn’t work for me
He says
I will always want you
She says
Always is a long time
He says
I’ll never leave you
She says
Never say never
She says
You can’t love me like this
He says
I need to
She says
you shouldn’t wait for me
He says
I will
She says
I won’t be able to return it
He says
I don’t need anything from you
She says
Then go
He says
But I love you
She says
I’m asking you
He says
Why won’t you let me hold you
She says
You don’t love me for me
He says
Isn’t this love
She says
haven’t you been listening

“I can’t really imagine” from an old journal” by Julia on Amanda’s bed


Tuesday December 27, 2016
11:07pm
5 minutes
from an old journal

That time you told me about the cops and highway 7-you know when you told me about when you got arrested or written up or ticketed or yelled at or blah blah blah? I listened to maybe half of it. Maybe 3/4ths because sometimes randomly they’d be different enough but for the most part you didn’t really care that you had told all your stories but didn’t hear any of mine. That’s okay. I’m not mad. I’m just thinking you owe me one. Cause I can’t imagine a time where you invite me over to your house and I end up just talking the whole time about me and all the times someone’s given me a dirty look or told someone they didn’t like me or something completely random like that time my friend Natalie pieced my ears in the 11th grade and the right one never really healed properly or blah blah blah. I don’t think you would have enjoyed yourself. I think you would have liked the chance to even interject maybe with an anecdote or a moment offering me something to drink to distract me.

“He’s horrendous tonight” by Julia on her couch


Thursday December 1, 2016
11:35pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Canucks game

We wished we had tried harder to get him to make his famous ravioli. Aunt Katherine said that’s the only thing that would have made him feel better. Because it reminded him of his late grandmother who first taught him how in her kitchen covered in flour.
He didn’t seem to want motivation anymore. He didn’t like being pushed.
How do you tell a man that doesn’t want to hear it? How do you carefully construct a space where he can decline but also maybe change his mind. That’s what we should have worked at.

“We have a Christmas cake box?!” by Julia at Starbucks


Monday June 20, 2016 at Starbucks
7:30am
5 minutes
overheard at Starbucks

Isabel calls me from the front lawn. I can see her pacing back in forth in front of my house from the kitchen window. I watch her kick a chestnut around, her feet shuffling on what appears to be a tightrope made of dandelions. I’m not coming anymore, she says, okay? I really can’t do it this time. She doesn’t know I am watching her. My curtains are drawn just enough. Is everything okay, Iz? What’s going on? I watch my sister kick the chestnut out of reach. She would have to leave her sacred shuffling space to go get it. She stands there frozen, staring at it. Oh, yeah, I’m good! I’m great! I think my stomach is acting up. Had chocolate again last night. I couldn’t find the right wrapping paper so maybe it’s all for the best anyway.
Isabel, I tell her, I have Christmas boxes here. Do you want to use one of mine?

“enables you to become the master” by Julia at her desk


Friday May 13, 2016
11:05pm
5 minutes
The Curl Keeper Bottle

I think it has to deal with inside learning. You know what I mean when I say that? Inside learning? The act of getting to know yourself from the inside out. It sounds a bit out in left field but it is quite an easy concept if you just put it into your own words. I’ll try to explain myself: you look at a mirror every single day right? You know where your eyes are on your face, you know where your nose is. You know how your hair frames your forehead. But you don’t know what emotions are friends inside yourself. You don’t know how hate likes to attach itself to confidence and how love is always being eaten by fear. We need to understand how these feelings connect inside us. So we can become a master of ourselves. So we can learn truths on our own. So we can keep studying our souls with the intensity of learning a new language. That’s all it is, really. Learning how to speak our internal language.

“In terms of expenses” by Julia on her couch


Sunday April 10, 2016
11:44pm
5 minutes
from an email

Mia and I have plans on the weekend. She wants to go camping and I want to go where Mia goes. So we’re going camping. She says it will be really easy if we just pack a tent in my car and then sleep in cornfields or daisy patches or whatever the fuck she actually said. I said yes. I said, I love camping, and I’ve been camping many times, and I am not afraid of getting caught by police or bears or raccoons or snakes. Mia wears an anklet that drives me wild. It’s a gold infinity rope thing and I didn’t know I liked ankles, but fuck hers are nice. She asked me recently if we could squeeze one more person in the back. I heard myself say yes but my whole body was screaming no. My body was too late to the party. It was distracted by the smell of her ponytail.

“World’s Greatest Dad” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday February 16, 2016
11:05pm
5 minutes
from a picture of Joe’s t-shirt

I liked him because he thought my name was Vanessa.
I liked him because he’d make excuses to talk to me.
Because he’d serenade me in the funniest ways and always show up in my doorway without a reason.
Because his smile hasn’t changed one bit since he was little.
Because he knows how to communicate me to me.
Because he can educate without agendas or judgments.
I liked him because he was charming.
Because he was funny.
Because he was the best looking thing I’d ever seen.
I liked him because he wore truth-manifesting, subliminal foreshadowing on his funny old t-shirts.
I liked that his favorite shirt used to be the one that read “WORLD’S GREATEST DAD”.
I liked him because I believed he believed he would be.

“Is the client’s wish achievable?” by Julia at the salon


Monday February 15, 2016
4:12pm
5 minutes
From a treatment plan at Black 2 Blond salon

I haven’t asked for permission since Charlie left. She used to make me feel like if I could just stop waiting for other people to validate me, I would start excelling in my own life, at work, in everything. Charlie knew how to get what she wanted, waltzing into corner stores and convincing the cashiers to give her something for free each time she went in. It was inspiring. But it also seems like it required a particular person to achieve such positive results. I didn’t think I could get away with it–just based on my demeanor, my fear of not being liked. Charlie used to say, it’s out there for the taking. Every single last bit is there for you, you just need to start acting like you deserve it. I’ve been doing that. I’ve been working hard and being free. It is almost better that she’s not here to watch the progression. I’m getting better but Charlie would be pushing me for more extreme results. She was good for motivating but she didn’t understand that everyone has their own pace. It feels good. To do what I’m doing. It’s faster than I thought I would..

“She said my mistakes made her feel confused” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 14, 2016
6:24pm
5 minutes
Dear Mr. You
Mary-Louise Parker


I braid my hair long down my back and I glance down to see which flower I want to put in. I let the blooms speak without forcing them to make themselves available to me. I feel the sun peaking out of the clouds just to watch what I do, see what I choose, why. Little purple one, I think. I don’t want to make the wrong decision. Marissa doesn’t like it when I choose wrong. She yells, stomps her feet, says I didn’t teach her anything and her whole life is a joke. I hate to think of angering Marissa or showing her that I haven’t been paying attention. I’m trying. I really am. I feel like she has her minions looking out on all corners of this place to see that I’m doing what I am supposed to. She’s blackmailed the trees, she’s sleeping with the whole sky it seems. Nobody crosses her. Everybody fears her. I listen to my belly, rumbling on luck near empty. Little purple one, woven into the base of my braid. I do not question myself in this moment. I hear wind chimes in the distance congratulating my bravery. Last time Marissa saw me right after a big decision, she scanned my whole body up and down looking for where exactly she might have failed me.

“I worry for a moment that he’s coming back” by Julia on the 4


Saturday February 13, 2016
6:10pm
5 minutes
The Valley
Joan Macleod


I have this spine tingling hair whispering feeling that I won’t be alone here for long. The way I know when my body needs to throw up: the cues, the signals, the deep understanding of when things are in order and when they are even slightly off. I read the room, literally, spiritually and I know that if I want it I have to move fast. I can do it safely if I do it now. I can avoid being caught in the act, avoid improvising a reason, response, defense, if I just focus and mind over matter everything. I scan my surroundings, two doors, one camera, three potential stations for pick up, four paths to and from said locations to confuse and distract. I choose route two and I walk with a clip to station one. I pick up necessary tools in completing future steps with most ease and comfort. I scoop my hands into the deep bag, careful to only pull out enough to fit in both of my hands when cupped.

“starting in the same spot” by Julia at Arbutus Coffee


Wednesday,January 20, 2016 at Arbutus Coffee
2:52pm
5 minutes
overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can’t write about someone else doing something interesting or brave or great or even good. I physically can’t. Mentally can’t. My body refuses to listen to what someone else is doing, how they’re feeling, who they’re talking to. I have tried, I have erased. I have wondered, I have stopped. I don’t know why other than the fact that I have no choice but to write about myself. I suppose that is a strong enough reason for a writer going through things of her own. Can’t pour from an empty cup or however the saying goes. Put oxygen mask on self before assisting others. Something like that. All these ideas wrapped up in a journal or diary or confession or voice memo. They don’t belong in someone else’s mouth, or phrased in someone else’s diction. I can only put myself on paper, hope it doesn’t bleed through every single page and tarnish the book I’m writing of me. Unclear but honest, I am city girl noise and small town heart, bursting.

“Imagine having fantastic sex with him or her” by Julia in her bed


Wednesday, January 13, 2016
11:58pm
5 minutes
Instant Enlightenment
David Deida


I am giving couple’s counselling to my parents. Well to my mother. My father is in the other room and we are pretending he doesn’t hear us or know that his kid and his wife are “discussing” him. This is partially on purpose. If he thinks we think he can’t hear us he might listen harder and think to himself, “hmm, I’d like to try that so when I do, it will seem like my idea and things will be better without needing to talk about it.” It is also so it looks like the advice is being given to my mother alone, when really my father can take from it what he needs, even if he doesn’t act on it. My mother nods her head and says, “You’re right, you’re right” a lot. I am not having this conversation so I can be right, and usually when someone says that it means they just don’t like the response they were given. But she is still listening and I am still talking so either way, we’re having this conversation whether things change or not. I am inside my head and well outside my body at the same time. I am separating myself from being her daughter and talking to her like I would my patients. Or my would-be patients. I am practicing my skills on someone who is not paying me yet, because I need to get good at telling all kinds of people to “imagine having fantastic sex with him or her.” So far I have said, “love is your only objective,” which seems to be working.

“Her face was like a spring sun halo” by Julia at Shaktea


Friday November 20,2015 at Shaktea
1:06pm
5 minutes
White Heat
M.J. McGrath


I scooped up her tiny face into my hands and I brought her close to mine so I could feel her nose and inhale her intoxicating smell. She smelled of cinnamon and felt comforting to be around. I liked that she didn’t have a sweet smell because when I thought of her defending herself against the world, it put me at ease to think that she’d be a little bit tougher, connected to her roots, fiery, quick.
She was sleeping still and I thought about leaving in that moment so I could remember her like that: peaceful, calm, perfect. I couldn’t bare the idea of her crying at the realization of my absence. I didn’t want to cause her any more pain than I already had.

“methodological, theoretical, practical” by Julia on her couch


Thursday November 19,2015
10:32pm
5 minutes
from the back of a theatre theory book

Belief isn’t strong enough on its own, she tells me, as the crumbs of her double baked almond croissant stick to the corners of her mouth.
You need to put beliefs into practice, Marnie. It’s all about practicality here.
I can’t stop staring at her lips. Encrusted in almond flakes, spewing some wisdom or advice that I can barely pay attention to.
Do you think you put your beliefs into practice, Marnie?
She notices where my eyes land on her face and instantly reaches up to swat the crumbs away. She looks embarrassed now. She keeps her gaze on me.
Have you been listening, Marnie?
Yes, I tell her quickly, before she tries to ask me if I’m sure.
Good. That’s good. Is there anything you’d like to add? I don’t want to be the only one offering ideas here. That’s not why I asked to meet with you, is it?

“ASPARTAME CONTAINS” by Julia on her couch


Saturday October 31, 2015
5:25pm
5 minutes
From the pack of gum

My mama told me from an early age that I was to stop drinking my diet colas and she told me it was because one day they would kill me. I would tell her from an early age that I did not like being talked to like an idiot and if she was going to tell me not to do something, she better bet her big behind that she isn’t doing it herself already. And I remember clear as day each time, my mama would say, “Do as I say, not as I do.” And I would say back, “Stupid is as stupid does.” From an early age my mama didn’t like me watching any movies with Mr. Tom Hanks in it if it was just going to “come back to bite her in her ass” each and every blasted time. I drank my diet colas whenever I felt like it, watching my mama guzzle back 6 pack before lunch. She didn’t want me to end up like her, and I knew that I wouldn’t because though I loved her, I didn’t respect her. She couldn’t get me to do what she said with a gun in her hand and a million dollars in her pocket.

“the Moon moves into harmony” by Julia on Joe’s couch


Friday, August 28, 2015
11:37pm
5 minutes
from the Gemini horoscope in Cafe Astrology

I can feel her calling
Tugging on my heart
Pulling me close to her
Dancing with me till the night’s song is over
And she flows through me like a light
Like a flame
And she gives me freedom like a flight
Like a dream
She brushes the hair away from my ear and whispers the truth so no one can hear
Cause it’s meant for me
And it has to be
This little thing called faith
Calm shore rocky sea
She spins me around before the morning wakes up
Twirls me unfurls me
Spreads me wide for the wind

“Knowing they can’t touch us” by Sasha on the porch in Horseshoe Bay


Monday May 11, 2015
4:43pm
5 minutes
Breathe Easy
Rachel Sermanni


Bud’s got more to say now that the whales are singing. His hands are open and he isn’t hitting his head against the wall. “Don’t touch me, Molly. Don’t touch me,” he says, smiling. I massage his palms, the muscles harder than concrete. He spends his afternoons on the porch, overlooking the ocean. When he hears a whale he calls, “Songs! Songs!” He dances and I say, “careful not to get splinters!” He lifts his feet higher. When his mother comes home from work she says, “How was the day?” She pours herself a glass of white wine. She kisses Bud on the forehead and he wrinkles his nose.

“twists the whip” by Julia at her desk


Friday April 3, 2015
8:17pm
5 minutes
The Zurau Aphorisms
Franz Kafka


Twists the whip
Gets it ready
Practices in the mirror
One, two, Go on three
Takes one for the team.
His own team
He’s the captain and the coach
Ready
Ready
Ready
Today’s the day
The song sings in his head
Right now is the only thing that matters
Manic energy
Checking his watch
Tick
Tick
Boom
He’s off
And running
Twists the whip
Cracks it in the air
No more practice shots
It’s real now
It’s real life
Dangerous
Destructive
But he has his weapons
He has his tools
Don’t forget to breathe
He hears his mother’s voice in his ears
Don’t forget to feel
The magic urgency fuels him
It’s exactly as he imagined
Only nothing like he hoped
Twists the whip
Gets it ready
Now he’s ready

“A woman staggered into” by Julia at her desk


Thursday April 2, 2015
1:12am
5 minutes
Focus
Daniel Goleman


A woman staggered into a room filled with people locked in their cages. She was reluctant at first but when she arrived, she decided to follow through with herself.
She glanced around at all the bars, and ropes. Sad. Sad. Helpless. Sad.
She went about her business, gliding from one side of the room to the next, opening jars of jam and tasting her fruit-dipped fingers. She made eye contact with every single one of them. What are they doing here, what do they need? Why. Why. Helpless. Why.
Her freedom made them angry. And their hurt hearts thudded loud for all to hear.
Her self-awareness and self-love made them wish they could turn off their 80% brain.
You Are Not Good Enough. You Must Let Others Win. You Are Not As Important. Don’t Bother Trying To Achieve What You Desire. Forget Your Passions. Kill Your Dreams.
The smell of her lightness was pungent to the lot of them.

“How is one to know—with strangers?” by Julia at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library


Saturday March 14, 2015 at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library
3:10pm
5 minutes
The Midwich Cuckoos
John Wyndham


Caught her staring at me from underneath her sunhat. She was trying to catch glimpses of me incognito but I could see her there, plain as day, paying all her attention to me, avoiding everything about herself. In her slight defense, I would be sneaking glances at me too if I were her. From an objective perspective, I was talking about some fascinating things. People always seem to perk up when they hear the words “wild” “unbelievable” “mind-blowing” “freedom” “sensual” and “magic”. I didn’t want to shame her for watching. After all, it was my choice to leave my house and interact with other human beings. You can’t really blame someone for wanting to see how another person lives, talks, eats, breathes, shares, listens, reacts, lies, sinks, falls, achieves, succeeds. I was curious about her too; sad girl hiding behind her over-sized beach hat.

“And it’s taking me a second so I’m sorry” by Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library


Friday February 27, 2015 at the Bloor/Gladstone Public Library
12:50pm
5 minutes
Lungs
Duncan MacMillan


I’m trying to fix it, that’s what I said I was doing.
Well why do I feel like you’re a balloon filled with unkept promises, floating out into the big big sky.
Because you read a lot of garbage and your head is filled with fairytales–
Or maybe because you can’t hold anything tight enough to keep.
That’s probably true.
Impermanence scares you.
No, that’s not it. I’m not a quick fix over a night of deep question-asking.
You don’t like thinking things end, and I see it in you, and you know it in you.
I’m sorry, this mumbo jumbo, this psycho analytical bullshit is making it really hard for me to think of anything else. It’s taking me a second to wrap my “clouded” head around.
Not everything has to end with a commitment. That’s very limiting. If you understood that the end goal is not important, you would find that much needed peace you’re always searching for.

“Truth is what works” by Julia at the Bloor/Gladstone Library


Tuesday February 17, 2015 at the Bloor/Gladstone Public Library
3:35pm
5 minutes
Man Seeks God
Eric Weiner


I’ve always thought so. I’ve ALWAYS said that haven’t I, Aims? I live for that shit. When someone just tells you like it is. How is it, one might ask? LIKE THIS. BAM. Like a roundhouse kick to the face! I have always appreciated roundhouse kick honesty. I value that shit over my entire LIFE, dude. So when I was sitting there at that stuffy, pretentious, God-forsaken shit hole of a restaurant on Bay, I was internally like, WHERE ARE ALL THE FUCKING STEAK KNIVES BECAUSE I AM ABOUT TO STAB THE ENTIRE WORLD. Externally I was sitting there quietly wishing I could just be honest. Then he goes, You know what? This place is not exactly what I was expecting. Kind of not my style. And I BREATHE again for the mother-fucking first time, Amy! I was like, I mean, externally I was like, YES. I KNOW, BRO! I’m so glad you said something cause I was thinking that I need to either set this place or myself on fire and I’m totally not prepared to ruin this outfit. And he laughed, dude. It was so fucking refreshing.

“Celebrating those who had died” by Julia at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library


Monday February 9, 2015 at the Dufferin/St. Clair Public Library
12:22pm
5 minutes
The House Girl
Tara Conklin


Maggie, are you listening? I can’t tell what this thing you’re doing is because usually you’re a lot less interested and you make much more noise than you are. You find something in the room to fall in love with, to flirt with, to hold, to help, to push, I don’t know, whatever it is inside your brain that communicates with your body to do anything but pay attention to me when I need you to. Usually, Maggie, I have to repeat myself a day or two later because I know full well that you hadn’t received a word I’d said. I have gotten used to using the first time I say something for my own good only, you know, to hear it out loud, bounce it off the walls cause you never give me anything. But now it’s very strange. You could be truly hearing me. I think the only other way you’d be this still and this quiet is if you were dead. Maggie? Are you listening or are you dead?

“Awesome job!” by Julia on her bed


Sunday August 10, 2014
8:28pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

According to Raymond everyone could hear us in the bathroom, but I’ve learned not to trust Raymond because he gets off on lying and making people believe every thing he says. I always told him he should be an actor because he was so good at messing with people; people he loves, mostly. Part of me wanted to believe that he was just doing that to me this time and that he didn’t even know what Carter and I were doing in the bathroom. Hell, we didn’t even know what was going on. It was just nice to see him; to feel him again. I wanted to be reserved and respectful of his wife. I wanted that and then suddenly there he was, and there I was tangled up in him on the bathroom sink. I wanted so badly for Raymond to be testing me. I employed my best actor smile and told him “we have nothing to hide.” I learned that you don’t ever admit something without having a direct question asked about it first. I learned that hard and fast one night in August-like a baseball coming straight for my face without the reflexes to catch it before destroying my nose, or knocking out a tooth. As I walked back into the crowded room I took a deep breath and looked around.

“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.

“But we will judge you.” by Julia at her kitchen table


Monday July 28, 2014
11:40m
5 minutes
from www.winnipegpoetryslam.wordpress.com


She had a beautiful accent and I fell in love with her voice before I ever saw her face. I was lucky then. Oh I was so lucky my friends used to joke about me having a horse shoe jammed right up my ass. But the difference between me and some of those other lucky ones is that I know damn well how lucky I am. Maybe it was even just luck that the first time I got to listen to her it was at a poetry reading where she read the prose of her favourite poet. It’s luck when you get to hear something as intimate as a confession. That’s what I heard when she spoke and I could understand her. I could see her. I don’t think I ever saw anything after that that mattered as much as her.

“I am not sure at all” by Julia at Dufferin Grove Park


Thursday July 10, 2014
6:34pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Erica Jong

From your shaky hand on my shoulder, marking the birthmark we lovingly call “Africa”, I can feel what you want even if it’s gentle and smooth. The touch, from another, in any shape or form always reaches the insides more than we think they will. You tell me you’re here now and that you will be here tomorrow. I love you for that, and for that alone if I didn’t already love you for all your other things. Your skin on my skin makes me feel rare and luminous and open and strong. You look me up and down and you say, “your beauty.” And you mean it. And somehow in this shared circumstance “your beauty” is better than “you’re beautiful” because you don’t think before you say it, and it comes from your truth place.

“I watch a news clip of” by Julia at Jessica’s kitchen table


Wednesday July 9, 2014
8:43pm
5 minutes
We Should Do Something
Laurel Leigh


On the radio there is a big discussion about will we go to war or won’t we
I sit on the bathroom floor with a towel over my head and a stick of beef jerky in my mouth
I haven’t spoken to you in days
I haven’t spoken to anyone in weeks
The radio man plays the same songs and the same commercials and the same sound effects
He asks us about our days but doesn’t wait for a response
He asks us about our fears but
doesn’t give us a chance to answer
I haven’t spoken to you in days
I haven’t spoken to anyone in weeks
The war is on the war is off
I sit on the bathroom floor just thinking about it all.

“Heavy duty” by Julia at the Marriott in Providence RI


Friday May 2, 2014
11:45pm
5 minutes
from the sponge wrapper

Papa used to get so mad at me when I’d track mud through the house–told me, Deirdre, could you for once stop playing like a little piggy? And I’d say, Papa, I’ll just take them off, it’s easier. He’d smile and say, Sure, sure, Dee Dee, and I’d smile back and say, You’ll miss me to the moon when I’m gone.
I didn’t quite know what that meant but I had heard Lucy-Bell say it to her boyfriend when they were having a big fight out on the veranda. She’d run in screaming just to scream and told me to stay out of her way or she’d yank every blonde hair out of my head one by one. I’d sit by the front window and watch her boyfriend, Dillon, with his hands in his jean pockets and his eyes closed, just sighing at the night and all its bigness. Probably at Lucy-Bell in all her bigness. I didn’t want Papa to think I wasn’t good at listening, I just always forgot to do what he told me cause I’d get so caught up in the fun of it all.

“I was standing beside his bed” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday April 2, 2014
10:25pm
5 minutes
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald


1. I am standing beside his bed, watching the dreams escape from his ears, watching his chest rise and fall like the sun.
2. I am lifting a tablespoon of tea leaves in the green, pottery mug, waiting to hear the whistle of the kettle.
3. I am looking out the window, watching the construction change the house next door, watching a tall man saw a piece of wood. I wonder what he’s making.
4. I am reaching for the epsom salts to pour into the bath that’s running.
5. I am listening to him speak to his parents on the phone and tell them what’s moving inside of us and I close my eyes and feel the disappointment in his chest. I’ll make it better with sweet potatoes and coconut rice.
6. I am reading my younger self on lined paper, and I am laughing at my goodness.

“I might forget” by Julia on the 506 going north/south/west


Saturday February 22, 2014
10:51pm
5 minutes
overheard on Roncesvalles

So I’m on the streetcar and the conductor is like, so listen up folks, the next stop is Spadina, but here’s where I need your attention. After this light on the other side of this intersection, there’s a good hunk of rail missing so I’m going to go north on Spadina, all the way up through the station, then back down Spadina, and across college on the other side to continue going west. Anyone who wants to get off now please do so, anyone who wants to stay on there will be no stops from here to there so no one ring the bell. It’ll take a whole 4 minutes extra so don’t worry, I’ll get ya where ya need to go. Then after all that he starts driving up north on Spadina right? And then not a second later, a guy rings the bell. The conductor is pissed. He’s like. So what’s going on here guys? I told ya, no extra stops. Then like 14 people get off all saying they didn’t hear him. Now I was even reading my book and I heard him loud and clear.

“I never knew a poet personally” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, September 22, 2013
10:16pm
5 minutes
Away Alone
Janet Noble


My first instinct when I hear you talking to Old Mike on the front porch from our living room window is to call you and act like it’s some emergency. Talk like the sky is falling and you’re in danger, and it’s never been more important than it is right now for you to leave where you are. I think this because I want to save you the way I’d like to be saved if I got stuck with him. Which did happen to me about a month ago, and all I wanted was to fake my own death right then and there so he’d stop talking to me and let me just smoke my fucking cigarette in peace. I think how happy you’d be to hear from me, to get my call and pretend it’s some loved one from a place that isn’t only 5 feet away from you. I’d be so poetic in my description of the emergency, so that I’d be the only one acting, and you could just react. Just respond. Just listen, fully and honestly as if what I was saying was in fact the best or worst thing you’d ever heard, and as if it were the first time, because, of course, it would be.

My second instinct is to blast Cyndi Lauper from the stereo in the kitchen. So much so that you’d be able to just “what the fuck” yourself right out of your trap that you’re too nice to otherwise free yourself from.
Instead I sit here, and I listen to your conversation. It sounds, almost, like you’re having a good time with him. I’m tricked for a second, because you’re so good at fake laughing.

“from the ground up” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
3:29pm
5 minutes
PRODUCT magazine issue
5 February 2013


Building a life together, me and him, him and me. Asking to borrow tools like a hammer, a wrench. Never owned stuff like that. Never knew much the point. He was supposed to know. He was supposed to reassemble my bookshelf and couldn’t figure out how. He was supposed to change every light bulb but couldn’t seem to get the wattage right. He was supposed to be the one to build me a deck, or host a night of barbecuing, and shoot projections onto the garage door for parties and late night summer romance.
He didn’t know how to do anything. He was good at keeping me from ripping my own flesh off, but never did his taxes, never mowed a lawn in all his life. To be attentive, I suppose, is a very nice quality.