“Get used to me.” by Sasha on Granville Island

Tuesday June 12, 2018
5:12pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Muhammad Ali

Walking through the snowy trails in big boots. Snow pants making steps feel strange and belaboured, intentional, my Mom, sister and I trudge across the beaver ponds. Many separate ponds connected by banks of shore, each trek took a similar shape – elation at the cold air biting my cheeks and feeling so warm in my pink jacket and pants, white boots and pink scarf that could be pulled up to make a hat. Joy at the rush of the endorphins – being with my family out in the ponds, especially after spending hours inside playing cards by the wood stove. And then hatred – too tired, too far, too long, too hot, need to pee, “I hate this!”, tears sometimes, fights sometimes. “See that cardinal there! Look, Sash, over there by the pointy pine! See the red?!” “Oh my gosh look! Look at what the beavers did to that tree!” Eating snow.

“I liked watching him BBQ” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday June 7, 2018
11:13pm
5 minutes
From a text 

Driving along the country road
The paved ones before the gravel ones
I stick my arm out the window
and play with the air

You’ve never been to Knowlton Lake before
and I am already excited about waking up tomorrow
The way that the quiet hugs
The way that the birds know
the tune to the songs in our hearts

I can do no wrong with you
except when I do and then it’s bad
And then I cower in the corner
and you use your size
And I say that this isn’t what I want
and you cry until we go to the bedroom

James Taylor on the tape deck
I realize that I don’t know if
corn is in season
if we have to turn on the water
if there’s a French press

“I take the streetcar alone to Nathan Phillips Square” by Julia on her couch

Friday, May 25, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
Demchanizing Our Politics
Maggie Hutcheson 

It is 2009 and I am living downtown for the first time. I am afraid of the streetcar and of this city. Its open heart a pulse I cannot yet dance to. Its screaming life, unimaginable still. I am sitting on the streetcar going east when I am supposed to be going west. I wonder how I got this wrong and why I am sitting this long going in the opposite direction. I learn everything the hard way: feet on the ground and running backwards, the feeling of being lost, an echo of who I am growing out of, slowly. I am riding the streetcar alone and I am in awe of all the people here who know where the water is without looking at it. Who weren’t born here the way I was but who know its secrets the way I don’t. I am home and I am back and I am unsure about how to get anywhere but I am sure that here is where I’m supposed to be. The stop names don’t mean anything to me yet. The voice calling out Nathan Phillips Square blends in with the sidewalks, the hotdog stands, the concrete rushing.

“I call to ask my mother the name of the street” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday May 2, 2018
3:44pm
Flight
Idrissa Simmons

I want to remember everything from that house before it gets lost
The long staircase leading into the living room where I’d watch
my parents watch TV when I was supposed to be in bed
The upstairs bathroom with the black and white tiles that I would
count at night where my father took me so I wouldn’t wet the bed
The night my own bed became a flood and me, the punished rain, a sadness
The closet in my bedroom where I unzipped the front of my overalls to
show the blonde-haired boy something that he wanted that I didn’t know was mine
The lilac dining room that I would stand in watching the trees in the yard,
pretending they were alive and waiting for me
the telephone I used when I dared my first prank call on the operator and
the pulse of it when she called me back
I want to ask my mother if there are things I might be missing
the moment she knew I was made of her
the times she watched me sleep on the floor with my ponytail spilling over the pillow

“You could get lost there.” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday April 17, 2017
1:11pm
Up
Margaret Atwood

There are no signs and so they warn you before you arrive
to keep your hands inside the vehicle just in case something
falls out of the sky
you could take a photo of the sun setting
get it framed and keep it on a shelf or take the
picture with your eyes instead and lock it
for a lifetime in yourself and then there are all the moments
in between that might read like the spine of your dreams where
you got lost in the waiting so deep and when you surfaced
you had no idea which direction south was which direction you were
facing and how to force those next steps taken
toward the hill
that might lead you to the top of it all where you’ll be able to
see the vastness of it all and then after the work is done
collect those eye blinks one by one storing each in a perfect
corner of your mind for those lonely days where the glow is
harder to find

“Wild Birds Unlimited” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday April 3, 2018
9:42pm
5 minutes
From a storefront on West Broadway

On the T-shirts that Zia Nancy brought back
from Atlantic City were birds wearing sunglasses
Nothing is cooler than a bird wearing sunglasses
We were grateful for the oversized and bright
we did not know then how to ask for something better
How to wish we could be lucky enough for more
We were lucky enough then with two kisses and
a chili pepper
thrust into our hands like the lesson was in the
small bravery of turning our tongues on fire
The picture says a thousand things
Not including all of the comments made by
all the cool birds wearing sunglasses
on our T-shirts brought back from Atlantic City
We were built by each other’s dedication to being there
A wall of neon cousins smiling while
Michael cries into his birthday cake

“connection as friends.” by Julia at the studio

Monday, March 5, 2018
3:53pm
5 minutes
I Know How You Feel
F. Diane Barth

When we first met I wanted to like you. I wanted to like you and I liked
you. I said “She and I are going to be friends.” I said we were, and we
were. I learned that If I wanted something, believd in the wanting, in the
why, then I would get what I wanted. I tried that out on other friends too,
just to see. It worked. I wanted to like them and I liked them. I said “We
are going to be friends and we were friends. Maybe you could make the
connection that I made us have the connection. You could infer that I was the
one who brought us floating together in the same orbit to begin with. Afterall,
if you wanted us to be friends, wouldn’t you have made us friends?
You might interrupt here and tell me that we are friends because we both wanted
us to be friends. We made the connection in tandem. Made, a verb, an action,
a choice. I know that this is not the case because I did all of the work. I
showed you my whole thumping heart. I bled out when it was not convenient.
You said yes. But you waited for me to go first.You didn’t want it as bad as me.

“The only thing I can come up with” by Sasha sitting on her floor

Thursday, March 1, 2018
10:07pm
5 minutes
No Idea
Dana ID Matthews

The only thing I can come up with is

us dancing in the kitchen in the country
getting drunk and making a fire

The only thing I can come up with is

taking a bath in the clawfoot tub
and you sneaking photographs

I wonder what happened to those photographs
I wonder if they are under your bed
or if they are dead in a hard drive somewhere
or are they just negatives in a memory
somewhere between then and now
you and I

The only thing I can come up with is

you running into a friend
of a friend at Lee’s Palace
friend of a friend says my name
and you tap her on the shoulder and say

“She’s one of the loves of my life”

“There is a dream I remember having” By Julia on V, J, W, and A’s couch

Thursday, February 22, 2018

10:01pm

5 minutes

The Wilds of Sleep

Kat Duff

I am younger than nine

I remember just fine

Not the age or the stage

But the people and the place

It’s not scary

but it’s a nightmare

I go down to tell my mom

Having a bad dream again

But it’s my dad shaving in the bathroom

And he’s smiling

And I ask where she is

And he says right here

And then my dad enters again

And my dad stands beside my dad

And my dad shaves besides my dad

As in, my mom is my dad

As In, my dad is my mom

As in, my mom has been absorbed by my dad

As in, my mom is turned into his copy

Two dads, as good as he is, is not

a substitute for one of each

My mom signs my report cards

My mom toasts my bread

My mom reads me stories

Let’s me sleep on her side of the bed

“we were in the same grade together” by Julia on the 99

Thursday February 15, 2018

9:43pm

5 minutes

Lesbian at a Bachelor Party

Amber Dawn

I remember him when I think about my front tooth. When i accidentally hit it with a fork, or a glass of water. The last time it was knocked out was half a decade ago by a guy turning his car when he shouldn’t be. The first time was on a snow hill when I was seven years old. This kid in my grade came at me with his rotten mitts and punched me in my mouth. I guess it was already loose, but there was still a lot of blood. When I went to the bathroom to rinse out my mouth the tooth fell down the drain. I remember I was more angry at him for making me lose out on the tooth fairy money than I was that he attacked me for absolutely no reason. How do you prove to the tooth fairy that you lost your tooth when you actually lost your tooth?

“Ninety pounds.” By Julia in Hanoi

Sunday February 4, 2018
9:47pm
5 minutes
T is for Texas
Derek McCormack

I met a woman in the museum today
She was 90 pounds and making things
Pushing through the thick
and then
more making, more things
She won the medal for
perseverance or something like it
Not a war hero but a woman hero
and a wall climbing metaphor
She didn’t see the wall and
think there was no other way

Can’t go over it
Can’t go under it
Can’t go around it
Got to go through it
(Going on a lion hunt)
(If the lion was accomplishment in spite of)

The angle of her made her body
look big and she seemed
so very unfazed
standing

“children dawdling to school” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday February 3, 2018
9:04am
5 minutes
Prazeres
K.V Skene

You forget what you came into the kitchen for. You don’t think much of it. These things happen. You have been working long days. It’s taking it’s toll.

You put the sponge in the freezer. You know that you have one and you can’t find it. This pisses you off. You scream swear. You’ll go for the frozen bananas tomorrow morning when it’s time for a smoothie. There it is. Frozen solid. Shit.

You forget why you got on the bus, and where you’re supposed to be going. Your heart sinks. You wonder if this is what happened with your mother, and her mother, and her mother before her. You wonder if you should’ve eaten more broccoli, less sugar. You wonder if this is your destiny, riding the bus across the bridge unsure when to get off.

“children dawdling to school” by Julia in Hanoi

Saturday February 3, 2018
10:20pm
5 minutes
Prazeres
K.V Skene

It’s over the hill and past the old abandoned ice cream truck.
The little ones don’t seem to
be afraid when they go by it
but I don’t like the feeling it
gives me. I don’t like what it
represents but then again I’m
old enough to remember what
happened. They skip and play
and sometimes pretend to steer
the wheel. They make believe
that they are just like the ice
cream man on a regular Wednesday in June.
The police say there might have been more than twenty bodies.
They say
they didn’t consider
digging so far back until
they had a reason to. When
you think of what all of us kids
knew back then, it makes you
wonder what their priorities were,
and what order.

“the holy monkeys and the colourful birds” by Julia on the bus to Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng

Tuesday January 30, 2018
8:39am
5 minutes
You
Anna Margolin

In the morning before we said goodbye to Ann, the tiny blue bird with the long beak that I had seen in my half sleep from the bus reappeared. It cradled a thin branch near the water with its feet and stopped the world from stepping. I tried to tell you that it was a sign. You couldn’t see the blue and told me it was probably some other bird. It was the same one and I knew by the way it sat. Its stillness was a perfect one. I would know it anywhere. I managed to quiet my heart beat long enough to hear. To sense the strength or the message or the absence of expectation. I heard it like the humming of my Nonna, her voice soothing while she used to mend my favourite sleep shorts. I would know that sound anywhere. I would.

“Said she’s comin’ back to stay” by Julia in Da Nang

Sunday January 28, 2018
7:08am
5 minutes
Gonna Have Love
Buck Owens

You are wearing black shorts and a white t-shirt. They might be your boxers. Your at home clothes. Your lounge wear. I don’t know that much about you yet. I don’t know that you love Buck yet. I know you’re funny. I know I’ve accidentally said your name while lying next to someone else. I know I don’t want to live with anyone but you. You are wearing black shorts and a white t-shirt. You knock on my door every night and when I say come in from my desk you come in with your guitar. You play a song. You charm the pants off of me. You make me laugh. You make me better. You are a one man show and I am your only audience. You and your black shorts, boxers, lounge wear. You and your perfect timing and your perfect face. You and your way of changing the room so the right light hits the right spot. I don’t know much about you but I am watching every part. I am studying your hands. Your knee caps. The way you don’t take anything personally. The way you sing to me.

“It’s the nicest gift anyone’s given me” by Julia on her couch

Monday January 15, 2018
10:39pm
5 minutes
Fetters
Madeline Sonik

I still remember it even though I don’t really like to remember her.

I didn’t get into chamber choir when I was in the eleventh grade. I couldn’t read music but I could sing by ear. I was good. But I wasn’t good enough when it came to clapping out the bars. I had never felt more alone. Mrs. C had a look of pity on her face. I was sure I would never sing again. The next day K brought me a hand-bound booklet of music-reading printouts from the internet. She told me not to quit. I was moved beyond words. My friend believed in me even when I thought it was impossible to prove myself. The day after that I got the courage up to go and talk to Mrs. C and tell her that I would work hard and that even if I couldn’t read music, I belonged in the choir. She relented and let me in. I don’t remember now who gave me the idea to plead my case, but I will not forget that music booklet: the holes gathered by the cutest little sewing thread. When I think of her in my life I try and remember that version of her. I try not to let that part get swept away with the others.

“stories superimposed” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday January 6, 2018
10:05am
Winter Watch
Jennifer Elise Foerster

stories superimposed over photographs
superimposed over memory
superimposed over nostalgia

photographs superimposed over
winter superimposed over
filled notebook pages

memory superimposed over
truth superimposed over
right here and right now

nostalgia superimposed over
eye contact superimposed over
wine stained lips

oh god

real superimposed over true
superimposed over
shopping lists

“where she curled, suspended, gathering” by Julia at her parents’ house

Wednesday January 3, 2018
11:55pm
5 minutes
the woman who married a bear
Anne Haven McDonnell

Nonna used to ask me if she could style my hair after I had already finished doing it. When she was young she used to curl my mom’s into sections by wrapping it around a pencil. I told her no sometimes. But on other days I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she was hurting me; yanking and twisting all the pieces wrong. I know it meant a lot to her to play with my hair. She’d sing quietly as she did, and I choked back some painful yelps so I wouldn’t interrupt her. She used to get her hair done for everything. Had one of her five daughters put her dyed blonde hair in curlers for the baptisms, communions, confirmations, weddings, funerals, barbecues, walks around the block.

“Wild nights-Wild nights!” By Julia at the studio

Thursday November 30, 2017
5:00pm
5 minutes
Wild nights-Wild nights!
Emily Dickinson

A steam of longing rises up,
possesses the space my thoughts
were busy occupying.

There, in the quick silence,
are your calve muscles, flexing.
The oven is loved on by you
and your desire to feed me
I could not say no to the offer
of home made lasagna at midnight
by a man in his perfect underwear,
leaning over the counter to grate
the cheese.
And I watched you close, desperately
trying to stay asleep in this dream
come true, dabbing at a lip every
now and again to collect the drool
forming. Did I mention it was midnight?
As if being made lasagna at any other time
of day would be any less wild.

Catching me in mid breath,
transported back to your
kichen with the bechamel stained
stove top, I am a mess of memory
gooey, liquid.

“beneficial to anyone” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Monday October 23, 2017

9:44pm

5 minutes

from an email

Can’t drink anymore. When I do I’m no use to anyone. Can’t remember simple words. Yes and no get confused. No looks a lot like yes. No gets put on the shelf as decoration.

She told me years ago it was time to trade in the bottle. Said my body didn’t like it. She was right. My mother replaced it with structured silver. Said to take a shot of that every morning before I make any other bad decisions. I always had a good memory. I could tell you the birthdays of all 30 cousins and at least 5 aunts and uncles. I could tell you phone numbers of friends and loved ones up until 2008 (I got a cell phone late). I could tell you what you were wearing when we met. How your hair was.

“All in your head” by Julia in her bed

Monday October 9, 2017
11:55pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Tim Hortons

Imogen and Harriet are grinding their hips and Imogen likes Harriet and Harriet knows that. The music makes Imogen want more than what she has. Harriet doesn’t want to waste the song. Imogen thinks arching backs and swaying thighs is proof. Harriet wants to be free and enjoy each second because she doesn’t know when she’ll get another one.

The two of them remember this night differently.

“Woman suspended” by Julia in her bed


Monday September 4, 2017
10:58pm
5 minutes
from the BBC News app

I don’t want to get this one wrong. Tell me the events as best as you can remember them.

Hill stares at Joan, her eyes filling up.
I told you, I did it. I did it all. One minute I was against the wall and the next minute he’s against the wall. I don’t remember what happened in the middle but I feel different. Do you get that? I feel like there’s been a shift in my spine. My spirit. I am telling you it’s like I had a different one before.

Joan jots down on her graph paper legal pad. She looks back up at Hill.

“lick your thumb and go to town.” by Julia in Amanda’s bed


Sunday July 23, 2017
1:03am
5 minutes
The Four Hour Chef
Timothy Ferriss


He puts the Sunday sauce on the table and dunks his forefinger into the bubbling red without a second thought. He tastes it, likes it, gives it a stir. His mother would be proud. His ribs slide off the bone like melted butter. He did well to remember how she did that. Sunday sauce growing up was what they’d call it when they actually had time to prepare a meal with as much love as they’d like to put in. Sundays are for dinner and for church on the little television and for home made bread. Now he Sundays on Thursdays or Tuesdays depending on the week. He makes a Sunday sauce and thinks of when he was a boy. When he came to Canada in January and saw snow for the first time. When his whole family liked being together before the sickness and the problems and the open wounds began to fester.

“Paragraphs of information” by Julia on Nicole’s balcony


Thursday July 13, 2017
12:15am
5 minutes
from a syllabus

Of course I didn’t ask for the ring with the gold flower when she died. I had wanted it since I was small enough to fit in her arms. But I got something better. When I spritzed her perfume in the bathroom I thought I was getting away with curiosity. Turns out my curiosity was too big to ignore. It was the first time she held me. She brought me out of the bathroom with love while I was embarrassed at being caught. Then she gave me the bottle of perfume I had tried on. Just gave it to me. You like it? Here, it’s yours. I cherished that bottle. I kept it in my closet. I didn’t know anything about her-there wasn’t a book about her, not paragraphs of information written about this woman. But I knew the smell of her young skin. I knew the size of her generosity. I knew the way her quiet was her prison. And how she wished she could have given me more.

“Remember that time” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday June 14, 2017
7:27pm
5 minutes
From an Instagram post

Remember the time we got caught in a lightning storm in the woods? It was just Dad and the two of us. Mum never came camping. It was the kind of storm where there isn’t rain, just thunder and lighting. But you know it’s coming. We stood under the tarp, strung up with bungee chords (it was before all the literature came out about how dangerous they are), and watched the storm move across the pines. Before the rain started, we brushed our teeth (peppermint Tom’s) and peed, squatting down and feeling the grasses tickle our bums.

“I tried to get Ben to go see it” by Julia on her couch


Friday May 19, 2017
1:55am
5 minutes
overheard at Alex and Charles’ place

On a Monday we asked him if he was coming with us or planning to and he said no
told us he had better things to do
said that we’d better forget about him all together since he’s more trouble than he’s worth
the next day we asked him again
he waved us off like flies, bothering his face
we begged him when he said no
we asked for a better reason
and he didn’t like that very much

On Saturday we swung by his place again and he said he didn’t know who we were
He said we were crazy for thinking
we were family
“why would I go anywhere with a bunch of spies!”
nobody had the heart to tell him
that Alma was breathing her last.

“it won’t matter what house I move into” by Julia on her couch


Friday May 12, 2017
12:09am
5 minutes
Love Warrior
Glennon Doyle Melton


under this roof you will
not lock the doors
under my roof you will not know something that I do not
do as I say, not as I do
do not correct my grammar
do not cry about every thing
do not forget that I would never let anything happen to you
do not raise your voicd to me
do not forget to mix vodka with orange juice
hi sweetie
Cut the garlic, fine
You’re going to be, fine
I love you

“All winter we went on like that” by Sasha on her balcony


Saturday May 6, 2017
6:07pm
5 minutes
After Birth
Elisa Albert


My brother Chris and Aaron became friends the summer of 1995. I would watch them playing outside from my bedroom window. It had the perfect view – straight out. We lived in a bungalow. If I didn’t have my bedroom light on, they couldn’t tell that I was watching. I liked Aaron okay, but didn’t trust him. Something in my belly knew that he wasn’t safe. It was a Saturday. Chris was in the kitchen heating up pizza pockets in the toaster oven. Our parents were across the street drinking palomas on the Hendrickson’s porch. I watched Aaron pull the legs off of a tree frog. He held the wriggling body in his hand, a small smile on his face.

“This is what you’ve been waiting for” by Julia at JJ Bean


Friday May 5, 2017 at JJ Bean
5:12pm
5 minutes
The Gate
Marie Howe


my family speaks poetry through me as I walk from my house to a place that isn’t
I am stopped on the sidewalk with the urge to take notes
They are dictating faster than I can write
The stories from our childhood, inspiration enough after the drought
I am greedy with rain and the secrets of our youth
the clues to finding solace in a memory built from our old garage,
the time we picked strawberries at the farm and made milkshakes,
the time we sang to Mariah Carey on the back porch and I made everyone
turn around to listen when it was my turn,
the time we got hats with the olympic rings on them at Mcdonalds,
the time we rode around on horses while they defecated,
the time I asked my older cousin if we could have a “talk” because I was feeling left out, the time they got the shots for whipping baby field mice against the brick

“There were times when nothing played back.” by Julia at the VPL


Wednesday April 25, 2017
6:13pm
5 minutes
What It Is
Lynda Barry


My sister and I used to make up songs about jello and school and Days Of Our Lives. We’d improvise them with our neighbour and choose funny nicknames and put on terrible accents. I still remember my big one. I am proud of the word play. I am proud that at 9 I was already writing songs.
wiggily jiggily wiggily jiggily wiggily jiggily wiggily jiggily
Jello can be very jiggily
jello can be very wiggily
jello can be very very cool
jello can be all sorts of flavours
jello can be all sorts of colours
Ooooooooh–
(here’s where I bopped my sister on the head and told her not to take a solo because this was MY song.)
Strawberry, cherry
lemon, or lime,
jello can be very fruity
or even the pudding kind
wighily jiggily wiggily jiggily

(I didnt say the songs I was writing were good.)

“when you sign up” by Julia on the bathtub


Saturday April 22, 2017
9:43pm
5 minutes
From the Aeroplan flyer

The flyers keep filling up my mailbox. I am waiting for your letter. I have to check everyday that the flyers haven’t eaten it.

The summer was filled with mosquito bites and eye licking. You let me lick yours after we did mdma. We took photos of your keys and wallet from underneath the glass table.

You said you’d write and then you never did. I wished I didn’t care. Then you moved. And now neither of us know how to find one another.

“Judging your early artistic efforts” by Julia at Trees on Granville


Thursday April 20, 2017
2:20pm at Trees Organic
5 minutes
The Artist’s Way
Julia Cameron


The other day I found a note written on a teddybear notepad by my junior kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Beliveau. She signed her name with a heart in the ‘i’ and I remembered just how much I loved her-her and her soft nylons, and her “snot-free” desk (which I violated often and blamed on Justin Martens). The note was addressed to my parents telling them that I had a very nice first day of school: I painted a lot and loved story time (shocker), and sang a song for the class at Show And Tell (I remember this-I didnt bring something to show, like a doll or a toy I liked, so I made up a song and sang it for the class when it was my turn. Super shocker! Just kidding). I have always done this. Four year old me has always lnown this. Thirty year old me is grateful.

“in her full out pyjamas” by Sasha in the bath


Sunday April 9, 2017
9:47pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the hallway

I want a pair of silk pyjamas. I feel very sophisticated when I put them on my Christmas list and ask my stepmother to buy me some – purple, with white pinstripes. I wear them the night I receive them. I feel like a queen, sliding into bed, the silk against my skin like a good dream. I fall asleep quickly and wake in the middle of the night in a sweat. What is wrapped around me restricting my movement suffocating my ribs and hips? Oh my god, get this shit off of me! I strip down, throwing my pyjamas beside the bed. When I wake in the morning I feel guilty. I promise myself that I’ll wear them on weekend mornings, to read and make breakfast. “They will be luxury loungewear,” I think.

“I can bearly remember a thing” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday March 25, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
From a fridge notepad

When this song comes on, it reminds me of you like that summer was last summer. It wasn’t. It was seven summer’s ago, and I didn’t even have a good time, mostly, but there’s something about you, there’s something about then, that catches like a bubble in my throat. I cough. Can I finally dislodge this? Can I finally blow you away?

I consider emailing you, with this song, in this coffee shop. But I don’t. I don’t need to write another chapter to that story.

“I can bearly remember a thing” by Julia at N and W’s kitchen table


Saturday March 25, 2017
9:45pm
5 minutes
from a fridge notepad

I can’t remember birthdays unless I write them down–or to buy onions, or to take out the trash. I’m terrible with names and with dates.
I love faces. I’m a faces person. I’ll never forget a face. I know a lot of people like me. We all joke about the kind of checklists we keep. My friend Bernice has a refrigerator notepad with a bear on it that says “I can BEARLY remember a thing” but I’m not sure she’s found the cure because I’ve noticed that every time I go over there the list is completely blank. My cousin Christina sets reminders on her phone, in her email, writes them down on graph paper, and puts sticky notes on her bathroom mirror. She’s very determined to remember. It’s not like she’s not trying. I don’t have a ton of methods. My preferred way of keeping on top of things is to sing myself songs about my tasks for the day that rhyme.

“It was ass-backwards” By Julia on her couch


Wednesday March 1, 2017
8:42pm
5 minutes
overheard on the Queen Of Cowichan

Meredith and Abbey were two kids I babysat when I was twelve. Meredith was five and she wanted to play pretend every minute of every day. She’d always start her role plays with “I’m the princess and you’re the baby and say you say ‘oh look how beautiful your dress is!'” I hated playing this game. How about I say what I say, Meredith? Okay? You say what you say and I say what I say, capiche?
Abbey on the other hand spent her two year life humping herself into the corner of the coffee table or the carpet, or the high chair every time I looked away. She’d stop as soon as she caught me seeing her. But then again sometimes she didn’t care that I was even on the planet.

“I felt stung” By Julia in her cabin


Sunday February 26, 2017
10:19pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio

I don’t have any memories of my mother’s father. He died when I was three, lived in Italy, and I only met him a couple times. The first time, they tell me, was when I was 3 months old. I had my ears peirced with gold studs (by my aunt Patricia, who was also travelling to Italy with us), I carried around a rainbow striped bunny that I would later name “Skittles”, and according to my mother, I was a very picky eater during the first couple months of my life. They tell me that he was a big man, feared by many. They tell me all the other grandkids ran away from him because they were intimidated by his size, or his mood, or his silence. They tell me that when he walked by my crib I begged for him to pick me up. They tell me that it was strange for a small thing to reach out to him. They tell me that he lived for taking me out into the fields to pick fresh figs. They tell me he smiled a lot when we were there.

Sixteen years later I went to Italy for the second time. I found his gravestone. I listened to the air between my life and his. I still can’t say I ever knew him. But I missed him then.

“soothingly soft” by Sasha in the bath


Saturday February 4, 2017
12:31am
5 minutes
From the facial tissue package

driving to the silver’s farm
peach juice on my shorts from
wiping sticky fingers
and the pit in my pocket
cozy with a white shell
and a black stone

my mother
takes the winding road
slow because i get car
sick like she does
and our ginger cat too

pile out of the minivan
named athena and run
over the hot gravel
run run bare feet
tip toes

picking corn with
a careful eye watch
out for worms or
shrunken kernels

“She sees light and shapes” by Sasha on her couch


Monday January 30, 2017
9:21pm
5 minutes
From a text

When I was a child, living in a big house on a tree lined street with a yellow door, I would build tiny worlds out of branches, moss, a shell from a visit to Florida. I saw things differently then, in different colours, with different textures. I didn’t know fatigue. I knew heartbreak.

When I had friends over – Sarah, Katie, Charlotte, – I invited them into the worlds. Sometimes someone brought a pinecone or a piece of string. Before bed, after brushing my teeth, washing my face and saying goodnight to my mother, I would take the tiny world apart, bit by bit.

“We heard you loud and clear” by Julia in her bed


Saturday January 21, 2017
12:13am
5 minutes
from a text

I grew up in a cornfield
Nonna aproned in the backyard
Picking dandelions for supper
Knew all the kids on my block and sold drawings for pennies in groups of 2 or 3
We planted a sprig of pussy willow and it grew as wild and large as the entire porch
The people who repainted our bathrooms white with gold stars and moons had to cut it down because it was starting to grow into the house
We’d go for walks to the river in clusters of young
Not fully knowing which direction was the right one
The backyard was home to blackberry bushes and mint leaves
And to cousins and neighbours singing loud at the bonfire on summer nights

“what he did before fame” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday January 18, 2017
6:30pm
5 minutes
from a Google search

He was selling used cars on his uncle’s lot
working the graveyard shift at Tim Horton’s
crossing his fingers
dotting his eyes
dressing up as a Smurf for a promotions company
working as a phone sex operator on his sister’s landline while she was at work
selling cannabis products at the dispensary near his house
raking leaves at the cemetery
hosting murder mystery dinners
taking photos of his feet and selling them on Craigslist
building radios
teaching creative writing to the elderly
selling lemonade on the side of the road for 25 cents a cup

“bring it with me” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday January 17, 2017
9:19pm..
5 minutes
from an email

I don’t think I’d be able to leave it anywhere else. Not under the bed or in the closet. Not on the shelf or in the key house. I’d have to bring it with me because there is no place it belongs better than the place I’ve built. I carry it; the last thing you gave me. The world could shake me down till I were naked branch and still not be able to pry the light of you from me. I have stitched it on tight. I wear it when I cannot hold it. I wrap it when I need it bigger. I couldn’t leave that behind. Things already happen just so already…things already break too easy.

“rub your largest organ” by Julia on her couch


Saturday December 10, 2016
12:27am
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

Marti came to my family in a time of great reducing.
She saw an opening in our fragile hearts, starting lives over in unexpected places, and she burrowed deeply enough that hers leached into ours. She was kind and she was good so it made it more tolerable but she was still implanting her life on ours. She comes to mind when otherwise she would be lost in prayer, when the others were lost to us. After long days and nights she surfaces again. Her kids covered in macaroni, her good intentions folded up in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

“With a couple of girlfriends” by Julia at BC Children’s hospital


Saturday November 26, 2016
12:52pm
5 minutes
overheard at BC Children’s Hospital

I imagine her carrying her black bag, (bottomless, gold hardware, disgusting) to the gym and then the bank. She fishes around: hand plunged into crusty zipper pockets and crumbled Nature Valley Granola Bar lining. She doesn’t know what she’s looking for and what she’s hoping to find but she knows the answer is deep down somewhere between the Revlon Matte Lip Stain and the broken bronzer pallet staining her receipts pumpkin. I don’t think she’d ask a man to carry it for her when she gets tired of it, but maybe when she has to bend to tie her shoes. She knows in one of the pouches there is a yellow hanker chief that her grandmother gave her and laughed at when she told her she would wear it in her back pocket (peeking out just a bit) as a fashion statement. I imagine she tells her this joke during one of her grandmother’s coughing fits, but not that she will miss her when she’s gone.

“the channeling of heavenly love” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday November 8, 2016
7:51am
5 minutes
sunnyray.org

But of course he’ll leave before we resolve anything because he wasn’t meant to stay. He didn’t pack anything for overnight. He didn’t bring a toothbrush or his stamina to fight. He didn’t want to get cozy in the curve of me because he was afraid he would want to stay and he couldn’t stay. He had already committed to his other life and I was not welcome in that one. I had to ask him, Why Did You Come Back Then? And he told me, I Felt A Pull On My Heart Like I Was A Puppet and I Couldn’t Lead My Own Way. I asked, What Kind Of Pull? A Cosmic One? The Kind You Have In A Dream? He told me, It Was The Channeling of Heavenly Love And It Made Me Want To Find The Source. But of course he’ll leave before we both understand what that means, and of course he won’t consider that the source is quite obviously me.

“Nothing ever ends poetically.” by Julia on her couch


Sunday September 4, 2016
9:26pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Kait Rokowsky

Reese couldn’t believe her luck. She used to play the lotto crosswords with her grandpa every Sunday after church. They never won anything. Reese’s grandpa made sure not to show her how upset he was when they missed yet another chance at “hitting the big time” and she had always gotten an ice cream out of it anyway. It was their thing. Their ritual. Before each scratch he’s rub his hands together like he was about to roll the dice. It had been a year to the day since he passed away. Reese couldn’t keep herself from buying a scratch card in memory of him. She rubbed her hands together just like her grandpa did. She smiled down at the scratch card as tears filled her eyes. She had won three dollars.

“Who taught us to embrace life” by Julia at Kits Beach


Monday May 30, 2016
5:08pm
5 minutes
from a bench memorial plaque

There was a gleam in his eye as he let my brother put a cold grape into his hand. He was looking at me with a challenging look like he was about to do a trick and wanted to make sure he had my attention. I started to shake my head, smiling, telling him I knew he was up to something and I didn’t like whatever it was. He put the grape into his mouth and chewed it around for a second. Then when I looked away, he spat it out onto my leg. I looked up at his smug face and it broke my heart. Maybe that’s what the last visit between us was supposed to be like. Jokes and silliness. Him trying to make me laugh. Even at his least self, he managed to let me remember him exactly as he was when we was his most.

“Textures” by Julia on her couch


Thursday April 28, 2016
8:52pm
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

It’s hard for me not to see you in the wallpaper and feel you in the tile. Your life danced on these floors. Your heart wept in this bed. I feel you in the counter grime, underneath the green dust that has formed a film on the island–the spot where you placed all those freshly picked wild flowers for me. I tell myself it is not over. That you are still here and that I am still here and that this is still our home, the living room still a place where we used to make music, the kitchen still a place where we used to make love. I hear you in the buzzing hallway light, and the hum of the furnace. They sing to me your laugh and I am held there by the beauty of this pain. In moments where I am completely quiet, I can almost even see you reading in your favourite arm chair by the window, legs outstretched and resting on the blue accent pillow.

“American singer-songwriter” by Sasha on the 99


Friday April 15, 2016
6:52pm
5 minutes
From a Lenny Kravitz Google search

I’m not sure about much right now
just the look of spring in your eyes
Glint like water of Salmachain pond
We spent the whole summer there
1979
The year your father re-married and mine
smoked his last cigar
We’d meet when the sun was just above the big willow
You’d bring the frisbee and I’d bring the lunch
We’d stay until the dock was empty
Everyone gone home for barbecued ribs and bath time
1979

“a couple annual holidays” by Julia at Platform 7 Coffee Brew Bar


March 4, 2016 at Platform 7
5:09pm
5 minutes
from Sasha’s play

And there’s no time to wait
For my health to come back
I have already planned a vacation
I’m going away
I’m going to go
I’m not going to stop
Until I get home
I don’t remember what my yard looks like
Cause I don’t remember much
Was there one tree or two?
Did the cornfields shoot higher than the pussy willow?
I don’t remember much
Time has run out
In the most respectful way it could
Reminding me that I don’t have to
keep living like I used to
I wish for courage
I wish us all courage
I’m going back home with my ball of yarn
Going to wrap it around each branch
Each trellis
So I can draw a map of where I used to live
The hardest part of that is remembering
how to remember
I think I’ll write a note
In red red string
On the gates of all my neighbours
to let them know I’m back
And I’m collecting memories
Shiny new ones that I can still see
Maybe they’ll have more than just the ones
of my sister and me
selling drawings for 6 pennies each