“Dice Sums” by Julia in the Writer’s Craft class at EDSS

Monday May 6, 2019
9:18am
5 minutes
from a math text book

I roll the dice and you are the answer
1+1= 2 and Beyonce said that so I think it’s good
I think she was right although she didn’t write that
She has a lot of people adding words here and there and
I believe in this gift. She employs 1+1+1+1+1 billion people
Thank You Beyonce. The sum of our rolling is you.

I roll the dice and the sum is you
Is me
I am the thing I want to roll the dice for-
I gamble on myself
I show up, I believe in miracles-and what if I’m the answer?
I might not wake up at 4am but I am still singing in my sleep
Last night I was swept up in the arms of a tree vine and I felt
like my whole life was added up in that
First breath+ last.

I am 1 part language
1 part body
1 part swear word
1 part teddy bear
Add me up
Roll the dice
See which me you get.

“okay okay okay” by Julia on the reading chair


Sunday, July 10, 2016
1:57pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the street

It’s the eleventh time (maybe the twelfth) that he’s told me he loves me today and it’s not even noon yet. I think he’s covering up for something. Overcompensating like he does sometimes when he becomes afraid of me. I catch a glimpse of myself being hugged in the mirror, (bent low) by his unavoidable embrace. I say, okay okay okay and he lifts me up, hurt on the inside, and in his eyes. You don’t want me to love you? I catch reflection again and there is hurt on me too. I do, I say, just not parallel to the floor like that, not crumpled up in a ball that makes my back ache. Sorry, he says, I didn’t mean to hurt you. Okay okay okay, I say, I know, no one ever means to. I give myself a time out so I can be far away from him and his love that doesn’t know how to feel rejection. I don’t want to be the thing that twists his insides when he’s happy and makes him drift off to sleep dreaming about my funeral. I tell myself, in exactly five minutes (maybe six), I will go back over there and squeeze him with the honest love I’ve been keeping from him.

“a little bit of this” by Julia on the overground


Friday January 2, 2015
6:34pm
5 minutes
from a St. Germaine song

A little bit of this reflective thing going on. Thinking about my year and how I’m a bigger person in every sense of the word now. A little bit of this inward gazing thing happening. Wondering about the me I was last year and how I would have written a list of resolutions and lists and things to myself so I would remember everything. Now I don’t tell myself what I’ve done, I apply it. I practise what I’ve learned by living in my real life and being true to myself moment by moment. A little bit of this active curiosity thing going on. Pressing myself and all my experiences into each page of every notebook I fill, like a soft flower being realized forever by its imprint. I have blossomed and discovered and challenged and overcome. It was what I had been waiting for my entire life.

“friends to build your community” by Sasha on the couch in Mississauga


Monday December 22, 2014
9:12am
5 minutes
from grooveshark.com

I want to tell you something small. And massive. And yellow. I want to tell you about moving across ice, fawn legged, and reaching up to catch a tired branch and missing. I want to tell you about the shame in my hips, tight and sepia toned, how she hums when the nights are cold, how she moans when the fire has turned to embers. I want to tell you how I see the tired in your smile, how I see the memories of before and the forgetting of now. I want to tell you to stop reading the Tabloids, that slow drip of mediocrity, and I want to tell you that I won’t judge you if you don’t stop, but I will keep shoving books of poetry under your bed in hopes that you’ll find them when you’re most filled with longing.

“a rebirth or maybe a leap” by Julia on the beach in Levanto


Monday September 22, 2014
12:20pm
5 minutes
from Jess’ email to her family

I wanted you to know (ocean air)
That I’m doing some growing
That I’m doing some growing but not away from you
In the distance of Here to There I have laid down tiny cut outs
Of my heart for you to follow
Trace back to me when you need
Or when you can’t sleep
If the letter written in my hand
The one I write for you (mountain springs)
Never reaches you
There will be another route
For you to find your way
Back to me
And this space has a fullness
Because I am making sure I water it
Swelling with the blood that pumps my joy to yours (sky eternal)
A tiny river that you can swim through
If the road around it gets too rough

“we pass the time very well” by Sasha at Dark Horse on Queen East


Saturday May 24, 2014 at Dark Horse Queen East
5:25pm
5 minutes
Sambuca Grill Drink List

I want you to think I’m a really good listener.
I nod my head.
I “uh huh”.
I smile and I furrow and I gasp.
I want you to see me as a compassionate person.
I want you to think I’m filled to the brim with dignity,
with grace,
with ease,
with love.
I want you to know me as a kind soul.
I’m a kind soul.
Okay?
I want you to look at me and see health,
see vitality,
see brightness.
I want you to know I’m smart,
and articulate,
and creative,
and sensitive,
but not too sensitive,
just the right amount of sensitive.

“Axe throwing league” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday March 9, 2014
9:43pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 72 pape bus

Those dark corners of our relationships where we’d rather not look? Where we’re happy to let dust settle and rarely vacuum? I learned that that’s not such a good idea in the long run. Sam is surfing Buzzfeed like a real animal these days. Right now. He’s on it. I know it’s bad that I look in the window reflection to see what’s on his screen. He doesn’t need to know the “10 Best Study Snacks”! He’s not studying for anything! “Read a book!” I shout. He laughs. So. Here’s the latest. I think Sam’s addicted to the Internet. Not in a funny/cute way, in a ‘Are you okay?” way. The other day, I get home from work, arms full of groceries and library books. He’s on the floor, sitting with his back against the couch and he’s reading a blog about an Axe throwing league. “Whatchu doin’?” I ask. Nonchalant. Totally cool girlfriend. “Looking into an exercise program so I can lose my gut,” he says, eyes glued to the screen.

“the railway that connects our country” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday November 30, 2013
9:07pm
5 minutes
the Local Heroes calendar

The railway that connects our country starts at the sea and ends at the mountains. If you were to walk alongside it, my guess is that it would take seven months to get from water to tip icy top.If you were to follow the railway, you might be able to jump on a train, speeding towards the tallest trees. Or, if you had great luck, you might meet a moose who would guide you to the mouth of the Big Dipper where you could both drink, side by side. In between the sea and the mountains are stretches of prairie with the widest skies you’ve known. You’ll see for miles and miles. There are waterfalls where you can find stones worn smooth over time. Perhaps you’ll put one in your pocket to handle when the nights are long. The railway snakes when it climbs, further west.

“80-minute discussion” by Sasha at the Epcor Centre


Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at the Epcor Centre
7:12pm
5 minutes
http://www.teamcoco.com

He sat me down. He pulled back the curtain and there was Mom and Dad, Devon and Bruce, Samantha and Ray. “Oh shit,” I thought. “You’ve got to be kidding me…” I said. I started to laugh, in that way that Devon tends to do at funerals. He called me on it. “Sweetheart,” said Dad, in the voice that he usually reserves for his delinquent students, “we’re worried about you.” I bolt to the bathroom and lock myself in. I run the tap and flush the toilet repeatedly. An eighty to ninety minutes discussion ensues between all of them. It’s hard to hear. They’re whispering because they think it will make me curious and come out of my self-imposed seclusion. At one point Mom comes to the door and does her usual tap – two short and quiet and one loud. She says, “Love-y, we don’t want you to feel shy. We want to connect…” I cannot believe that you’re in on this with them, like you aren’t part of the problem, like you aren’t the entire problem.

“I didn’t have a word for it” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, March 16, 2013
2:37pm
5 minutes
Everything Bad Is Good For You
Steven Johnson


I had a word for it. I guess I would have called it ‘Hate’ or something like that. It tasted of Ketchup chips and white grapefruit juice. It was sort of sweet and salty and bitter and refreshing and dangerous all at the same time. I thought of it when I thought of you. I was different then, when we first met. I had something unique and good about me that I couldn’t possibly still have. Now I’m dark lips, dark mind, and eternally pissed off that the TV stand collects dust directly after having been wiped clean. I see the world through a lens that doesn’t offer much hope. I learned to be a critic in school, and now all I can enjoy watching is the embarrassment and failure of others. I have a word for it. ‘Hate’s’ the closest thing it could be without telling you what word I actually mean here. It’s something cold, needs a sweater. Like a knit or a fleece. It doesn’t travel well in packs; it’d rather be left alone staring the wall and imagining a person staring back. It has no love, I think, which is why it is so grey. It colours itself in with a yellow highlighter, dying to be the type who can pass itself off as ‘blonde’. It’s not, though. Neither am I. I’m just a brunette with a typewriter, and the only keys that still work on it are H, A, T, and E.