“We rent a condominium together” by Julia at her desk

Monday October 30, 2017
9:11pm
5 minutes
Telling Time
Philip Kelly

We take a drive down a quiet road and when we stop to see the horses he takes a small box out of his pocket. It’s not an engagement ring. He knows I am not marrying anybody thank you very much. It’s a key. A little one. I mean, a normal sized one. Just not like a big key. And I take it in my hand and I tell him it’s the dumbest and smartest thing we’ll ever decide to do. And he laughs, because I am fucking funny and then suddenly we have place together. I have my things beside his things in a drawer we share in the home we live in. Together.

We are in a the car driving down a quiet road when I tell him I have a living gingerbread baby growing inside me. And he laughs because who ruins pregnancy news like this but gets away with it? Me. Prince Chamring. I do. And he puts his hand on my belly and he thanks me. He thanks all of our lucky fucking stars.

“he can sound like the rain” by Julia on her apartment’s lawn


Friday May 26, 2017
10:46pm
5 minutes
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
Dr. Seuss


there wasn’t any rain but I swear that I heard it
he’s been known to sound like thunder storm;
like flood
I’ve learned to expect his water
but not all learning is love

on days when he is clear skies,
and sunglasses,
and still,
I believe him to be the calm before
and the calm before
is never
calm at all,
is it

“there was a rubric” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday February 1, 2017
9:39pm
5 minutes
from a voice memo

He asks if I like it like he wants me to say no. Asking me at all automatically gets a no. Am I not showing you? Am I not putting my whole thing into it? I want to tell him that “no” I don’t, but keep making these sounds and see if he is listening to my mouth or to my body. If he were he wouldn’t have to ask–as if there’s some kind of rubric for me to fill out: The student was sufficient. The student was timid. The student showcased strong grasp of concepts. The student handed in his assignment early but did not get extra marks because, though he finished, it wasn’t done to the best of his ability.

“through the gateway of feeling” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday December 11, 2016
3:33pm
5 minutes
From a Pathwork card


If I was a man, I’d wear clear framed glasses and have a bit of scruff and a bit of a belly and I would wear sweaters that I’d found in thrift shops until they were threadbare at the elbows. I would unravel my sweaters when they could no longer be worn and I would roll the wool into balls and then I would knit myself new sweaters, on the subway. It would be important to me to knit only in public, a small creative subversive act of gentle masculinity. If I was a man, I would learn how to be a better listener, a better ally, a better listening ally. If I was a man, I would sing Christmas carols while walking down the street.

“We would not murmur nor complain” By Julia at The Marriott In Decatur, Georgia


Wdnesday August 3, 2016
12:17am
5 minutes
The Book Of Mormon

When you left her there blue on the bathroom tile for the first time, we knew we couldn’t love you anymore. We didn’t know how not to before but it was clear that after that, after her tooth got knocked out of her head and we couldn’t find it, after she opened her mouth to call for help and all that came out was a blood bubble popping on her lips and dripping down her chin, we knew. We were kids then and we wanted to love you both the same. You did a good job of buying that from us at the start. We got new books every week and sometimes you would read them to us in funny voices. You took us to the water park and let us pick the good ice cream or the waffle cones. You took us on secret drives when ‘mommy was having one of her episodes’ and you counted stars while we counted the dollars you slipped into our pockets. We tried to love you.
We really, really did.

“Hands me a shovel” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday June 29, 2016 at Starbucks
7:33am
5 minutes
Zen Poem
Jane Rohrer


Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Says Whatchu Waiting For?
Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Hands me a shovel and tells me I have to and if I won’t do then I won’t do anything else today, no eating, no running, no laying down, no reading. So I do because I want to do other things but I don’t want to dig. My arms are weak from all the lifting he made me do yesterday. He sits back and watches me work while he chews on a piece of straw and rocks back and forth saying, That’s Nice, and Good, and, Very Good. The last time I tried to run away he sent his dogs. So I don’t threaten to head to the fence anymore. He wants to keep me right where he can see me. I don’t want to dig but his face is sweaty and mean today. I have to. I have to.
Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Says I Like Watching You Drip
Says Thank You
Says I’ll Show You How Thankful I Am

“fumbling as she removes” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday June 11, 2016
9:58pm
5 minutes
from an assignment

It’s the second time they’ve fucked in 2 hours. She is eyes closed, veal roast in the oven, 15 minutes left, oven mitts on and panties down. He is grabbing, grinding, purring in her ear pushing pants down, hers, his, lower, lower. She is arched back, kicking off tight jeans, kicking tight jeans aside, making more room, getting better grip. He is neck kissing, hair pulling, t-shirt over head lead her from the kitchen counter, all the way to the living room floor. She is focused, free, committed. He is thirsty, licking, willing. She is sniffing his skin and sighing deep. He is groaning each second, spilling into her, spilling out of her.

“She wants to keep the baby.” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday June 10, 2016 at Starbucks
7:10am
5 minutes
from Facebook post

-So we’re going to do this then? Is this actually happening?!
-Well you’re not exactly doing anything, are you.
-Sam. What the fuck. This is my baby too.
-How do we know if this will even be a baby? What if I change my mind-aren’t I allowed to do that?
-Woah. Yes..I mean, of course you… But I thought we talked about it. I thought we made the decision together?
-Yeah, if I remember correctly, I told you I was pregnant and you said you wanted me to keep it. The end.
-That’s not true, Sam, you wanted the same thing! Where is all this coming from all of a sudden?
-Where is it coming from? How about there’s a living thing growing inside me right now and everyone around me seems to be an expert on the situation but when I say something, it’s “coming out of nowhere.”
-Okay. I… didn’t realize–
-No, you didn’t realize, that’s the first smart thing you’ve said.
-I’m sorry, babe, I really am…

“Freckles on thighs” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday June 8, 2016 at Starbucks
8:01am
5 minutes
Teachable Moment, 1986
Kellee Ngan


You spend two bucks to get a coffee and, you think, the right to sit beside me while I read the morning paper. You think you spend two bucks to get to invade my privacy with the stench of last night that you feel entitled to keep close. You spend two bucks to get a coffee and a seat at the window in between me and the man who has been here since before you were born, saddling up closer to me because, to you, “that guy’s a fucking weirdo torpedo.” You spend two bucks to “accidentally” spill your two buck coffee onto my knee closest to you, reaching into my privacy once again–this time to apologize, “instinctively” trying to “undo” the mess now pooling between my legs. You spend two bucks to make me wish I were dead when you tell me that you like the secret freckles on my inner thigh.

“What? What’s wrong?” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, March 28, 2016
10:17pm
5 minutes
from some sides

You ask me what I’m not telling you for the second time because my face looks like it’s hiding something from you. I don’t know why I keep saying,

Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.

If this were a year ago you’d have stopped questioning, whether you believed me or not, assuming you believed me, assuming you didn’t care to take notice when I said something I mean or when I didn’t.
Now you won’t let up and you won’t let me wallow and you won’t let me silently hate you or me if that’s what you think I think I’m doing. I should be grateful that you notice my subtleties now, that you inquire past surface level, that you don’t let me get away with the idea of performing perfect or unbothered or both.
But I guess I am holding on to that a bit so I won’t be held accountable to explain my feelings. To name them.
The only thing I want to say right now is,

Sometimes I don’t think you really love me.

Even though that’s ludicrous. I don’t want to say that to you now because I know how untrue that statement really is. I just want to hear you say

Always.
Always.
Always.

“the globally inspired” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday January 24, 2016
10:52pm
5 minutes
From the front of a flyer

Full moon brings out the wild
the smell of mushrooms and old leaves
the rabbit ear soft longing for comfort and
change no difference there just the swell of the waves and
the fingers in the sand

If I could I would binge watch you
and your evolution
Every moment a new stop motion picture
slow exposure
A few sun blasts

“It’s already 10 o’clock!” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday December 2, 2015
6:00pm
5 minutes
said by Joe

Time is flying by and I wish he would just look up from that damned banjo of his for a second to notice that I am no longer interested in dicking around. When you meet the person your heart chooses to love and accept and be challenge by on a daily basis, why waste a single minute of that time after you’ve made up your heart to do something about it? I don’t think he believes that I love him and only him. I think he needs me to write it down and mail it in a letter! Maybe that’s what I’ll do, put it on some pretty pink stationary, spray it with my Eau De Toilette, then shove it in an envelope and seal it with a kiss! Telling him, you better hurry up and marry me quick before I change my mind about you, mister!

“for a variety of reasons” by Julia in a car


Friday November 6, 2015
11:45am
5 minutes
Overheard at Moii Cafe

Carmen is sitting on the kitchen sink, banging her feet against the cupboard to the rhythm that she’s humming in her head. Boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
Ely stares at her with a sideways smile and his head cocked to the side. He’s in love with her. She’s the most fascinating thing he’s ever seen in his life.
Carmen feels his gaze but acts like she can’t tell. She pretends to be in her own world. She likes the attention Ely gives her. She likes that he likes her and that she could be bad, or better, and he wouldn’t even notice. She likes that he doesn’t hold her to a particular standard. She likes that he isn’t like everybody else.
Ely wants to kiss her but hasn’t felt like she’s invited him yet. His body remains tense and leaning against the counter. He casts his eyes down when it gets to be too much.
“Are you afraid of me or something?”
Carmen’s legs still going, boom badoom, boom boom badoom.
“Me? No I’m. I’m not afraid of you or something. I’m. I’m not afraid.”
“Well why are you way over there, then?”

“But it clearly manifests itself” by Julia at her desk


Thursday October 29, 2015
8:19pm
5 minutes
The Real Terror Network
Edward S. Herman


She was taking secret sips from her mickey of Beefeater and had herself convinced that nobody could tell. They don’t care about me. They’re not even looking at me. And though she was actively believing herself, she couldn’t help but wish it wasn’t true at the same time. She knew that gin was her body’s vice so she chose it on purpose. She couldn’t handle it in even small doses, so this, she concluded, was an experiment. A waiting game stretched out, or turned into Chicken. She wasn’t going to be the first to give up, to quit, to get scared off. As her sister got up to the podium to make her big speech, she had her fingers gripped tight around the neck of the bottle inside her purse, ready to go.

“I feel so dirty.” by Julia at JJ Bean


Wednesday October 28, 2015 at JJ Bean
8:10pm
5 minutes
A Thin Green Mist
Robert Shaw


He stands at the window. She ducks beside him.

Do you think they can see us?
No. Don’t even say that.
Well they could!
No they could not. Stop.
You know they could, come on, that’s part of the fun…

He slips his hand down the front of her blouse.

Adam.
What, I’m just participating. It’s what they want…

He nibbles on her ear.

Adam..
Mhm…
I don’t know if I can…
Mhm…
Shit! They just looked over here!
Good. Let them watch. That’s what we’re doing.
I don’t want them to know I’m watching!
I kind of like it…

She runs to turn the light off.

Good call.
They’re really going at it, huh.

He unbuttons her blouse slowly.

Mhm…

“coconut oil and coconut sugar” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday May 31, 2015
10:24pm
5 minutes
http://www.simplyquinoa.com/vegan-coconut-oil-chocolate-chip-cookies

down below the tell all tell tale there lives a man who wears a brown hat. it’s a bit too big for him. it sometimes slips down over his eyes (depending on his haircut). when he laughs you might catch a glimpse of the fact that he doesn’t have any eye teeth. it’s okay! he can still eat strawberry shortcake! down below the tell all tell tale, below the man in the brown hat, sits a calico cat, lean through the jowls and plump through the belly and hind legs. she licks herself clean (especially after dinner) and sings sad, edith piaf style songs until she falls asleep again. this is the cylce.

“It showed from the start” by Julia at Saving Gigi


Friday May 8, 2015 at Saving Gigi
3:10pm
5 minutes
Fat Woman
Leon Rooke


I could see he was angry at me-clenched teeth, fist pulsing at his side.
“Is everything okay?” I ask him, test him, provoke him.
“I’m fine,” he says quietly, not looking fine at all.
“Okay,” I tell him, “Let me know.”
I watch as his current anger subsides and he can see me with the soft eyes he first had for me again.
“I’m really scared I’m always wrong and the times I’m so desperate to be wrong, that’s when I’m afraid I’ll be right,” I tell him this with my eyes cast down at the broken green bottle at our feet. “That’s what I’m always feeling.”
He takes me in his arms and exhales into my hair. “It’s okay now my baby. I’m not mad at you. I swear.”
“Okay, good, ” I say, “And just FYI your beard is scratching the shit out of my forehead.”
He releases me.
“Jesus, Tara. Jesus fucking–”
“Don’t be mad,” I say, “I’m sorry.”

“scoop up all the trash” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Thursday May 7, 2015 at Higher Grounds
3:29pm
5 minutes
from http://www.ecokids.ca

Don’t pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess. I did, and look where it got me. Broke, broken-hearted, broken set of toes… Damn. Still got my cowboy hat and still got my pride, though. No one can ever take those two away from me. Look, Sandro, I don’t wanna freak you out, but, like, you pick a girl who wants you to treat her like a princess and you’re never gonna be happy. I mean, I don’t think life is really about being happy, but it’s about being, like, peaceful or something. It’s only when you’re scooping up the trash of your life that you realize – you did everything for her and nothing for you. You’ve spent almost a decade sucking up to someone who wishes she were royalty. She’s not! If you’d just stuck to your guns and told her that when you first got together, “Honey, you’re from Campbell River, you’re never gonna be Cinderella, get over yourself…” maybe things would’ve worked out a little differently. I want the best for your Sandro, I don’t want what happened to me to happen to you… I mean, what am I supposed to do now? I’m forty two. I’m supposed to start over?

“we were never meant to be admired” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday February 5, 2015
5:13pm
5 minutes
Stranger in a Strange Land
Robert A. Heinlein


There she is
All round wisdom
He was inside of her
Eight hundred years ago
It aches in my though
Still
It’s funny how the gut knows
The gut always knows
She’s good at what she does
She shakes my hand like it matters
I almost feel badly
She has no idea
She thinks I’m just another wordworker
There’s more light where she’s standing
In the know is out of the yes
I taste her poetry
Like he tasted
I lean my head in my hands
It’s heavy
It’s all heavy
She twists her lock
She fills the space with her-
self
Ourselves
We are
We are one
We are one womb-
an
Woman
Womb and
Heart
We are all the same
Her inside is my inside
We’re all outside
Anyway

“bless his heart” by Julia at Laura’s kitchen counter


Sunday January 4, 2015
2:44pm
5 minutes
http://www.mynewroots.com

Oh what a kindness I have known.
A man with a full heart is a gift, is a treasure. It bleeds generosity, it pumps only gentleness.
Oh what a kindness I have touched.
A man with a deep well is a blessing, is a joy. It fills understanding, it echoes only admiration.
Oh what a kindness I have felt.
A man with open arms is a fortune, is a delicacy. They embrace home, they caress only calming.

“What a liberty!” by Sasha on the couch at Bowmore


Saturday December 27, 2014
1:14pm
5 minutes
from Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren
edited by Giles and Victoria Coren


We climb in the bath and it’s like he’s never seen my breasts before. He starts pinching my nipples and I hate it but I let him do it anyway. The bubbles are foamy around my calves and I lower down, trying to suck in my stomach. He stays standing, watching me. I try to arrange the bubbles to cover up the places I wish weren’t so round. He smiles. I glare. Steam rises from the tub and he says, “Want me to wash your hair?” I say, “No thanks, I don’t want to get bubble bath – ” He pushes my head under the water and for a split second I feel like he might be trying to murder me. What a way to go. Drowned in a tub with a man named James.

“What a liberty!” by Julia on the train to London


Saturday December 27, 2014
12:22pm
5 minutes
from Chocolate And Cuckoo Clocks: The Essential Alan Coren
edited by Giles and Victoria Coren


I’m stuck on a train with a surprise murderer from Vancouver island. He’s reading right now, don’t worry. But he just spent the last half hour explaining the plot of his book that he’s trying to get published. He doesn’t have an agent. His protagonist just so happens to be a surprise murderer from Vancouver island. He lives alone. So does his protagonist. He’s a lumberjack. Has access to an axe. Knows how to wield one. So does his protagonist. Captures a traveling circus that’s moving through town. Don’t know how to prove that both of them do it. But his protagonist does. Told me he’d watch my bag while I went to the bathroom. Didn’t trust him. Didn’t go. He doesn’t know yet that I don’t trust him. Too big of a smile trying to reassure me he absolutely will never kill me. I think surprise murderers have to practice that smile. Over and over and over again.

“Smoking seriously harms you” by Sasha on Nadeem’s bed in Mississauga


Wednesday December 24, 2014
1:16am
5 minutes
A pack of Marlboro

We’re not sure he’ll make it
We hope you can take it
We don’t want to give you a start

We’re sorry to say it
We don’t want to relay it
We hope that we’re doing our part

He shouldn’t have done it
His lungs just couldn’t bare it
He wasn’t the smartest of smart

The nicotine sticks aren’t the worst of it
The drugs and the alcohol are it
Here’s a lemony tart

“you either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.” by Sasha on her couch


Monday November 24, 2014
9:17pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Charles Bukowski

In the darkness, it’s quiet. He takes off his blue suit, piece by piece, and if anyone were watching they might’ve thought it looked like a dance. Choreographed. The pants, draped over a wood hanger. The belt removed and hung on the hook in the closet. The vest, left on the back of the chair, a small white mark on the pocket to be dealt with later. The shirt, unbuttoned, slowly, and hung beside it’s brothers and sisters, all in a row. The sound of the bus going by. Undershirt. He looks at himself in the mirror. He think’s he looks younger with the new haircut, better with the bit of stubble. He smiles at himself. It’s the first time he’s done that.

“So sweet and so intense” by Julia at Katerina and Ben’s


Sunday November 16, 2014
11:19pm
5 minutes
from a text from Bec

There’s a little love left over in his pocket
He is saving it for later
He is waiting to need it
He told her on the phone, no I’m out of stock; there’s not much left on the shelves, I’m afraid
Because he didn’t want to give it away
He didn’t want to be without it at all
So he keeps it and holds it there
Loosely so it won’t get smushed
But tight enough to make sure it isn’t going anywhere
He is saving it for when he runs out
For when the grey skies are a little too cold and the radiator is broken
He is keeping it close by
A hand swipe away
For when it calls him
And he’s ready enough to answer

“oyster” by Julia at Katerina and Ben’s


Saturday November 15, 2014
2:49am
5 minutes
from a London Transport card

I hate that I care about it. What he’s doing. Wearing. Thinking. Wanting. That if it changed from one to another that I would be deeply interested in hearing what that was. What that would be. Should be. Must be. It sort of just exists in a way that tugs on my mind and keeps me actively asking questions and actively forgetting to think of something else to think of. I hate that I care more about this. About him. About the way his dark eyes make me feel. The way nothing about it is safe.

“Can you go away?” By Sasha at her kitchen table


Wednesday November 5, 2014
11:56pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Via Zamboni

I’m making small talk with a fucking Doberman, right, and like, I’m trying to look cool, but, like, probably failing. He just keeps wiggling his nose! And, like, licking his nuts! I’m like, “HELLO?! Could you just restrain yourself for two whole minutes!” I finally look up and talk to his dumb owner, this real dumb looking guy in a Blue Jays baseball hat. “How old his he?” I don’t even know why I asked that! I mean, why do I care how old this dog is? Baseball Hat looks, like, touched or something. He’s like, “Vernon is twelve.” VERNON?! Who the fuck names their dog Vernon?! I’m partial to Bud or Max or Larry. Vernon. Ha!

“Pumpkins are awesome,” by Julia at her desk


Friday October 31, 2014
2:55am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Carlos came over and he had this great idea to carve each other’s face in our pumpkins this year. He said it would be more fun, and I was like, Carlos, I already know how this is going to go, but sure, fine, let’s carve. So I sat behind my pumpkin like I would behind an easel…or what I’m assuming I’d be sitting like cause I don’t paint or anything. It was just an example. And I looked at him, I studied him and all his features. I wanted to carve his face perfectly, and for someone who doesn’t ever do things like this, it was going to take all my concentration. I looked at every part of him: his eyebrows, his slightly larger left ear, the groove in his chin, the scar near his eye from the fallen icicle 5 years ago. I knew this face and still I was like, who are you? Like not to Carlos, cause I didn’t want him to get weird. But it’s like that when you look at a face for a long time. New things appear. Old things too, but mainly lots of new ones.

“in the passenger seat” by Julia at her desk


Sunday October 26, 2014
12:33am
5 minutes
from the early draft of a screenplay

Anja sat quietly in the front seat, not wanting to disturb her father while he was lost. She knew she’d only have a few more calm minutes with him before he lost his temper, and she didn’t want to reduce them by saying the wrong thing, or breathing too loudly. Anja had wanted to go up to the cabin with her father ever since she was a kid, but for some reason they never did things just the two of them. Of course Pat got to do everything with their father, and he’d come home shining like the sun after a weekend alone with him. Anja knew she didn’t have much to say to her father, but always assumed that was because she never got to go on these trips like her brother did. If she had had the opportunity, she would have made herself known. She would have told a few jokes and proven how strong she was, and fearless. It felt like the two of them, finally spending some quality time together, had been driving in circles for at least an hour. Anja wondered briefly if this moment would be enough to bring them closer together.

“The realist canon” by Julia at her desk


Thursday October 23, 2014
1:14am
5 minutes
Realisms of Redress
Natalie Alvarez


saw that pretty little thing reading in the corner
the edges of her book tattered
the pages ripped and curled
she had a bookmark made out of a piece of toilet tissue
making me smile
knowing she likes to read in the bathroom
and why not?
why not read in the bathroom?
she wasn’t looking at anyone at all
not distracted for even a minute
the book was a good one
I couldn’t tell which one it was
the cover was a solid forrest green without any writing
but she didn’t stop even to sip her tea
probably purchased just to have something on her table
a place holder for the idea of multitasking
she was wearing a potato sack
or at least she could have been
I wasn’t looking at her outfit
I was busy trying to see inside her mind
wondering if she could see me seeing her
wondering if she was in fact so distracted by me
that she had to pretend to keep reading
to prevent herself from turning red
or if she was engrossed
in love
with the words on the page

“The realist canon” by Sasha on the 99 Bus


Thursday October 23, 2014
1:32pm
5 minutes
Realisms of Redress
Natalie Alvarez


She tells me that she knew there was something thick in that autumn air before he even asked her to stay late. She tells me that she could feel his eyes on her ass and her breasts, eyelashes to nipples to curve to skin. She tells me that she stayed late because she thought it might be about the deadline, the recent fire, the recent hire, or that she’d been sick last week. “Three days,” she said, twisting her ponytail. “Three whole days.” She tells me that when she went into his office, his tie was off and his shirt was unbuttoned. “Just past the collarbone.” She tells me that she felt that pit in her stomach sinking further into the earth, a Grand Canyon, an ocean, a Ground Zero.

“I remember needing nothing” By Sasha on her couch


Wednesday October 15, 2014
11:39pm
5 minutes
Minute Eternity
David Whyte


When I awake, you’re gone. When you’re gone, I’m dangerous. When I’m dangerous, I’m snooping. When I’m snooping, I’m full of shame. When I’m full of shame, I’m in the dark. When I’m in the dark, I’m still. When I’m still, I’m wondering when you’ll back. When you’re back, I’ll be shy. When I’m shy, I smile. When I smile, you see what I don’t know. When you see what I don’t know, you lean in. When you lean in, it’s beautiful.

It’s beautiful when I’m alone in your basement apartment, my underwear in a ball in my back pocket, opening your medicine cabinet and trying to decipher if you’re more or less crazy than I am.

“Thunderbird” by Julia on Jenny and Andrea’s lawn


Monday September 29, 2014
3:41pm
5 minutes
Jess’ imagineNATIVE tote

Roaring at me, this fucking thing. I’m like Beatrice, please, I can’t focus with your teeth in my neck. That’s what it feels like, this fucking thing, screaming so close that her gums might as well be rubbing my ear drums. I could slap her away but that won’t shut her up. Not even a little bit. And I’m not a bad guy. So fucking Yip Yip Yip, but she doesn’t seem to get what I mean. Too abstract, I’m being with her. But this little Chihuahua won’t let up and I’m not in the mood cause I smoked this thing and I don’t even know what it was, but clearly I needed it. Beatrice, I’m like, Beatrice—I think you either need to take a sweet shit or get fucking laid.

“not responsible for loss, theft, damages” by Sasha at Arbutus Coffee


Saturday September 13, 2014 at Arbutus Coffee
9:06am
5 minutes
A Schiaffini bus ticket

You know what I like about you? You dig the rain. There aren’t that many people that actually dig the rain. And it’s good you live here, like, it’s good you live in Vancouver, because rain is basically synonymous with winter here. You rock those rain pants… No, seriously! You really do… You look, like, pretty sexy in Gore-tex. You drink rooibos tea? Wow! Me too!

“I begin to understand” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday August 19, 2014
11:57pm
5 minutes
You Got It
Roy Orbison


Has anyone ever told you that you look like a young John Travolta? It’s a compliment, really. I mean, hey, it’s John Fucking Travolta. Who wouldn’t want to look like him? It’s true, he’s no Tom Cruise. Oh my God, have you seen Eyes Wide Shut? He’s a fucking dreamboat in that one, right? Oh my god, like a perfect little angel man. He’s got a nice casual condescension that he plays so easily, so effortlessly. I hate to admit I was attracted to him during the whole film, even when he’s acting questionably. Oh my good fucking god, it’s not a spoiler, who doesn’t act questionably in a movie? It’s a movie! But you! You’re a John. A good one, a good good one. And it’s probably, well mostly, because of that cute little chin of yours. You can just tell that you’re good cause of that. It looks like you have an extra space to fit the love in! That’s what my great grandmother always used to say. Well not always, I mean, I only knew her for like a year before she died and in that time I think we ever only talked about bum chins that once.

“Celebratory beverages” by Julia at Gimli beach


Saturday, August 9, 2014
3:23pm
5 minutes
from a text message


I have been saving a bottle of Veuve that was gifted to me by a man I thought was looking to be my sugar daddy 3 years ago. Turns out he was just insanely generous and sweet and wealthy and had already bought all the nice amusement parks for his kid and he didn’t know what else to spend his life’s earnings on. He also included a box of Earl Grey tea chocolate that taught me the true meaning of bergamot…and that I was too judgmental of people and things because of the superiority complex I began to nourish when I was in my early twenties. I was convinced that he wanted me to sleep with him and I was trying harder to convince myself that I didn’t, in fact, want a sugar daddy to take me on yachts and read me some dated poetry from the height of his teen years. I entertained the thought of running away with him for the weekends; flying to Paris on his private jet; feeling a weird fatherly yet romantic love that mostly just consisted of him calling me sweetie when we fucked and making sure I was always comfortable.

“No, that was so wide!” by Julia at Grand beach


Saturday, July 19, 2014
5:28pm
5 minutes
overheard a Grand Beach


So those two were shooting a soccer ball, right? Right at us, no less. But we weren’t worried, obviously, cause they were kids, you know? Just two little rug rats trying to have fun. But thennnnnn, I’m telling you, it all got weird. Cause Madelyn is laying beside me and she has no idea what could happen, and suddenly, without warning, that damn soccer ball comes flying right at us. Right at Maddy! And Mad’s asleep cause that woman can sleep through a tsunami, knock on wood. She has no idea it’s coming, but I know she’s still sensitive from that jaw surgery she just had. Okay, okay, you got me, it was still sensitive because of the lip injections she had over the weekend. She was trying not to tell anyone about it because she was worried people would start calling her names or saying she was fake. You know how many women get lip injections? More than you would even know, and you wouldn’t even know this one if I didn’t open up my big ass mouth just to tell you my wife’s little secrets. Anyway! So I dive right?

“Who names herself “Samantha”” by Julia at Assiniboine Park


Saturday, July 5, 2014
5:33pm
5 minutes
vulture.com


It was a gift from her father, naming all the pretty things he loved. Didn’t give her the name specifically, but didn’t take it away either. His name was Sam and he was a soul you couldn’t help but love. A lot of sweetness in that man. And then when his baby girl was born, we knew. We all knew: She would be an extension. She would be a reminder. He didn’t live long into her life. We all thought he’d have more time. One day he mentioned that he could feel pain in his bones; that they felt hollow. It was a sign, and we knew to listen, but we didn’t want to stop him from living. She, the little pretty thing, was a spitting image. Close ones called her Sam when they were feeling his presence in the room. She’d respond with a lightness in her face. She was lifted. And we made sure to tell her everyday that Daddy would have been so happy to know you and thank you for reminding us that he’s still here.
It was hard at first hearing the name and not seeing his face. But somehow over time, we managed to look past it without looking through 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

“Defeating death, embracing love” by Julia on the Greyhound heading to Toronto


Sunday May 11, 2014
3:10pm
5 minutes
Reader’s Digest
March 2014


What am I going to have to do to get you to come out of there?
He knocked gently on the bathroom door and waited there with his head attached to the wall.
She stared daggers silently through him, through the wall.
I’m not coming out. You can stay there all day if you’d like.
He swivelled in his spot, turning so the back of his head was leaning on the door.
She cocked her fingers like a gun and fired.
Can you turn down the fucking Feist, please?
He peeled himself off the door and went to his laptop sitting on the coffee table. He waited.
She waited.
He closed the lid and the music stopped.
K, thanks.
Yup.
It’s not about me, right?
Yup.
Yup it is, or yup it isn’t?
I need you to go away now.
She walked backward feeling the cabinets on her way to the window. When she reached the tub, she climbed in one foot at a time, then drew the shower curtain.
Please talk to me.
No thank you.

“Important Numbers:” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday May 10, 2014
12:02am
5 minutes
A 2013 calendar

Every morning when he awoke and every night before going to sleep, Benjamin Franklin would ask himself, “What good shall I do today? What good have I done today?” Every morning when he awakes and every night before going to sleep, James does the same thing. Sometimes, he feels as though he hasn’t done enough good, but he finds solace in the fact that he’s trying, in the simple act of trying to “do good”. Usually, when he wakes up, when he stretches his toes to the footboard, he thinks, “What good shall I do today? I shall give Joe, the homeless man who sits outside the Drugstore a club sandwich from the Deli. I shall ask Maria how her son is doing and if she needs help with organizing her garage for the Street Sale. I shall sign five on-line petitions for causes that I believe in. I shall take my travel mug to work and therefore not waste a take-out cup.” Usually at the end of the day, he’s done two of the four. Not bad.

“lust and power” by Sasha on the Lansdowne bus


Wednesday May 7, 2014
5:13pm
5 minutes
From the WorldStage program of Mies Julie

I catch your eye and there are all the unspoken things we wish we could capture with a camera, we try to, we try our best, but most of the time we fail.
You walk towards me and you hold my gaze and I look away because I know who you are and that scares me.
“You worked on the last Sullivan feature, right?” You ask.
Suddenly, things that were clear are blurry.
Suddenly, I’m naked and you’re naked and we’re laughing and kissing and moving like animals.
“Yes,” I sip my beer.
“Yes…” You smile.
You’re older than I’d thought.
You’re shorter than I’d realized.
You touch my forearm and I get goosebumps on my thighs.
“I’m staying at the Hilton,” you say, and I forget that I have to be on set at five tomorrow morning, and I forget that my dog has probably already peed on the kitchen floor.
“Oh?” I say.
We go there and we talk (you talk) and I open a bottle of champagne (I drink).
You’re less sexy when we’re naked.
You’re clumsy.
You say that you’re jet-lagged.
I think about all the women that fantasize about sleeping with you.

“rock ‘n’ roll-tinged bar chatter.” by Julia at Washington Dulles Airport


Thursday May 8, 2014
2:17pm
5 minutes
Washington Flyer
May/June 2014

Through the crowded space I could see her sitting at the bar with her sleeves pulled down right over hands. Hiding. Fiddling. I wanted to scoop her up right then and there and free her of her timid isolated prison and tell her, woman you don’t need to run away. The world wants you. She had two shot glasses lined up in front of her and was crashing them into each other, getting tiny splashes of the glass remnants onto her sleeves. The local band had started to play their set and everyone was moving closer to the stage. She didn’t move. She didn’t even turn. She ordered another shot of nondescript liquor from where I was standing and I could only assume it was vodka because she hated the way gin made her so volatile. She stared at her shot glass for longer than appropriate. I waited, thinking she needed to be alone. But I also felt like she needed to be saved from herself and having another body around just sitting in her silence might help.

“everyone is committed” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday March 18, 2014
3:40pm
5 minutes
An essay by Deborah Stein about collaboration
howlround.com


It isn’t a choice. It is a real thing, a non-choosing, a reality that has to be reckoned with like a cavity or a thunderstorm. I hate people that think everything is choice. Some things aren’t. Go suck an icicle and hum a bit of “om shanti” and goddamnit! I get really fired up about this. I do not choose to be attracted to Reese Witherspoon. It just is. I do not choose to hate pop music. I do not choose how angry it makes me when people stand on the walking side of the escalator. Geeze! I mean, come on, people. I don’t care how much spirulina you take! I don’t care how much you stand on your head!

Maisie believed in that kinda thing. That we choose our fates and that there’s some great-goddness-oh-oh-ah-ah power that makes it all okay. It’s ironic, right?

I can’t seem to bring myself to throw out her seeds and grains and… spirulina powder. I just… can’t.

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


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

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

“Hooded Shawl” by Julia at her desk


Thursday February 6, 2014
11:40pm
5 minutes
the Circle Scarf tag
American Apparel


I can remember her smile, her eyes underneath that hooded shawl. She was some kind of–don’t worry; I won’t say it. I won’t say that lame thing you expect. She was something, though. Her name was Wanda. What a name, am I right? Wanda with the big blonde hair and the face that matched her daughter’s identically. From all of the plastic surgery, obviously, but I didn’t care. I didn’t care about how she could have passed for her daughter’s younger sister, even. It just didn’t bother me at all. What bothered me was the scar on her chin that looked like someone had tried to remove the bone by going through the skin. She was beautiful in every way, including that scar, but it just made me sad to see it is all. That a thing like that could have even gone through pain at some point, some unstoppable pain completely and utterly beyond me, in her lifetime, was the single most troubling thought I could have. Wanda. Oh, that name! I almost hate it, it’s so awful, and yet, instead, I hear it, and I think to myself, That woman could be named Tree and I’d still love her with my whole being. Wanda, Wanda! I am transported back to a day where a name like that was a dream come true!

“Don’t stare at The Nude.” by Julia at Saving Gigi


Wednesday January 29, 2014 at Saving Gigi
12:20pm
5 minutes
God Loves Hair
Vivek Shraya


I had to revert my eyes. I had to force myself to think of things that deliberately grossed me out: polenta, mushy polenta, rice pudding, candy corn, creamed corn, any corn, vomit, cat vomit, parsnips, cigarette butts in water, sidewalk hork, discharge, eye gunk on a man, unroasted pig ears, food stuck in a beard. I was worried that if I even enjoyed him for a millisecond I was going to cum. I blame it on not getting my lady mane stroked in over 4 months and the first naked penis to make my acquaintance just so happened to be beautiful and maintained and directly in front of my eyes. Or my vag. It really could have been in front of either.

“LESS ORDINARY” by Julia on the 506 going east


Saturday December 14, 2013
3:46pm
5 minutes
Guinness Black Lager streetcar ad

Oh yeah I’d definitely define him as a curve ball? Sort of just your crazy man but without looking like that on the outside? Less ordinary than most people in his category and I’m sure I’ve seen my fair share of them. I think I noticed it first when he came over to my house to help Rodney with his math homework? He brought over a baseball glove and bat and the two of them played outside for hours. Rodney aced his test but I don’t remember them studying at all. I guess he has a way with explaining? Sort of never cared to question it further, cause we was seeing results and that’s all that mattered to Al and me. I think, no, I wouldn’t necessarily call him strange although he didn’t act like I ever expected. Strange sort of has a negative connotation and that’s not the kind of label I’m trying to give him. But different, maybe. Definitely special if you want to make sure he knows that I’m on his side? I never once worried when he’d spend time with Rodney. I think he liked being around kids cause they never judged him or nothin. They just sort of, let him be was all.

“He wants me out.” By Julia on her bed


Friday, August 30, 2013
1:38am
5 minutes
A Lie of The Mind
Sam Shepard


He wants me out
Told me so over slices of cantaloupe and prosciutto
After we made love for the first time in weeks
After we discovered that there is never a good enough excuse
And I agree with him
There is nothing perfect between us, just electric, which is different, and we’ve learned to understand what that means
Electricity doesn’t equate love, or happiness
He wants me out
Made it very clear that he was serious
That he wasn’t willing to put his naked self on the line for me or for us “just to see”
That he wasn’t ready to let me in

“I remember” by Julia at the TUA Artists’ Retreat at the Fringe Creation Lab


Sunday, August 25, 2013
2:02pm
5 minutes
From the writer’s workout warm-up

I remember the feel of your morning skin more than the taste of your kiss. It’s something that eases me, that keeps me from spinning into the unknown. You lay there, sleeping, mumbling something to me or yourself, about me, or yourself, and I know you. Your skin: cool from the ever-blowing fan because of the air conditioner we never ever purchased. Your skin, inviting and honest, cloaking your masculinity, your desires, your rage. I remember that feel, that cool sticky skin feel, when I hate you. When I wish you never told me you loved me. When you break my bracelet because you can’t help yourself but play with the dainty things that are strewn across the dresser we share. That’s when I crawl back into those pretty morning moments, and I’m still, laying there behind you, counting your freckles and believing that I could not want for anything but this.
Your heart, a beating, living thing beneath the skin. I’m intrigued by its rhythm and the secrets you hold close but only let me see when you’re sleeping away. I remember.