“Take a moment to remember” By Julia on the 4

Monday August 12, 2019
12:55pm
5 minutes
the bus instructions

Well I have 5 minutes to remember my whole life and i know I have more memories than time.
I remember you sitting above me in the lecture hall with your swoopy hair and your cool glasses, confident, quiet, intriguing. My eyes landed on you and I liked you instantly. You looked like someone I wanted to know. Like someone I wanted to kiss. You stared a hole in the back of my head and when I turned to look you didn’t stop. We made eye contact for one whole minute at a time, and in those days one minute was like one complete lifetime. You were in my tutorial afterward but you barely uttered a word. So confident with rows between us and no real reason to speak. I got my claws in you then. I remember wanting you to be watching when you weren’t and I let you know I knew it. I could tell this story with more time and more juice but I know I’m running out.

“the shedding of lint” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday August 10, 2019
9:38pm
5 minutes
Laundromat
Carmen Pintea

Picking the lint out between your tiny bean toes is sweet satisfaction. Saying your name, a mantra, a call to dig deeper, go further, hold on, give it up, a wish. Burrowing my face in your neck – this love is eternal. This love is wilder than any love I’ve ever known. Words are strange weights, strange reaching, strange how things all line up and then don’t and then do. You see the truth of every moment, every interaction, know who to trust. God I hope you never lose that. You and me, I’d say quietly, those ten months, when things were the hardest. You and me. I can’t wait to see you in my sisters arms, my sister, my lifeline. I can’t wait for you to meet your cousins. I can’t wait to dance you around the first floor of the house in the woods, where I danced as a babe, where we all danced.

“retirement and investment savings” by Julia on her couch

Saturday August 3, 2019
9:34pm
5 minutes
From a piece of mail

It’s true what they say, the banks are out to get us.
Mine charges me for being self-employed by making me pay a fee every time I exceed 12 transactions in a month. I could look into options that don’t include throwing money away but this stuff scares me because it makes me feel stupid and being stupid is one of my major fears.
I wouldn’t be able to admit that to just anyone. I am afraid of feeling small and helpless and useless and dumb and this perpetuates the cycle. I let the banks get me. I let them keep me small. I have no plans for investments or retirement because my brain doesn’t know how to think any further into the future than the next word after this. Maybe that’s fear too, keeping me believing that.

“Come visit me in Halifax soon!” By Julia on her couch

Tuesday July 30, 2019
8:58pm
5 minutes
From a thank you card

I remember visiting Halifax for the first time and I thought your parents’ place was right around the corner. Nope. It was a few hours away. There were way more mosquitoes. And I loved it. Not the mosquitoes-those bites swelled up as big as golf balls. But your family? Welcoming me with a huge pot of fresh mussels? I was in east coast heaven. I could have married you right then and there.

Your mom showed me photos of your playing with a guitar when you were so small and it melted my heart. I loved you even more seeing you with them. They loved you with the biggest love I’d ever seen.

When we went to see the whales, everyone said that each time on the boat they’d seen them. I didn’t see any whales and that was the only disappointing bit.

I will always remember your mom razzing me about being short, like an elf. I really hope she’s well. And your dad. I hope your sisters are great. And their kids. I don’t know how many there are now…

We were so young back then. We were so open to everything.

“I’ll try to sneak across the border somewhere, somehow” by Julia on A’s couch

Friday July 26, 2019
12:29am
5 minutes
Summer Of My Amazing Luck
Miriam Toews

you’re on the other side of the country right now. Missing me, you say, needing me. I’m feeling it hard right now. I’m feeling you. Thank you for believing in my dreams even when you won’t get those 15 minutes back. You listen. You always listen.

I am writing so many things about you, yoy’d think we just fell in love for the first time this year. But I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve fallen in love with you. How many days are in a decade again? Somewhere around there.

Tonight I’ll find yet another bed to think of you in. I’ll meet you across the border of sleep and into the place we keep choosing. It’s nice there and it’s warm, and I know the breeze of you like the back of my hand. Even if I don’t see your face, I’ll know.

1234

“a time lacking in truth and certainty” by Julia on B’s toilet

Monday July 22, 2019
10:59pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Louise Bogan

When we were young we spent time hiding from each other in the mornings so we wouldn’t have to endure the small talk that had become of us.

I admit I was the one avoiding you because you could see into my skin and I didn’t like how I was treating you because of that.

I have already apologized and so have you but when we weren’t walking quietly on the kitchen tile, we were occupying the misunderstandings in the hallway.

You there in your fed up to here stance, hurling hardball truth to my jaw, me there mouth agape. Shocking how well the time we bottled knew how to explode in our faces.

I didn’t have excuses for my behaviour but I gave you my reasons and you didn’t care. You weren’t having any of it because you had had enough.

“She heard a deeper vibration” by Julia on D’s couch

Thursday July 18, 2019
10:05pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Willa Cather

the windows keep banging back and forth or more the wind is filling

there is a lawn bowling party for the ages happening below me and every time someone whoops and hollers the doors thump I think it’s sounds like this that make a person really feel alone and almost intruded on

Its an almost aloneness then, deep in the vibration of obligation and commitment

It’s the one that rattles the creaks in the floor back to life after much deliberating

The music is finally quiet now because someone has won

I kept thinking about the wind and how it is aching me but they seemed to be able to enjoy themselves over the noise

The music might have been louder to account for Vancouver’s inconsistencies and here I am wishing I wore pants this evening

“She heard a deeper vibration” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday July 18, 2019
10:50am
5 minutes
From a quote by Willa Cather

She sits on the edge of my bed
her body different than ever
but this isn’t about her body
for once
this is about her transformation
not that body and transformation are mutually exclusive
just that too much attention has been paid to form
and now it’s about something formless
more important

She’s wearing a burnt caramel
three quarter sleeved shirt
it’s her colour
when I see this colour in the wild it reminds me of her
She’s talking about gratitude
like it’s her new guru
like it’s saving her life
and it is

Shrouded in white
glowing aura of wisdom and wreckage
gratitude leads her back
to the place that broke her
heart
the first time round

“A federal statutory holiday” by Julia on B and W’s couch

Saturday July 6, 2019
10:54pm
5 minutes
From a Wikipedia page re: Canada day

It’s hard to take the day off much less the whole summer.
SoMe
One
Told me that we need to take breaks
Just like the people who work the same hours every week or the ones who go to offices or places of employment outside their brains

This is a foreign concept to me:
I haven’t known the value of a weekend since I was in high school
It feels like every day there is something that needs doing
Especially if no one else is checking to see if it’s done or not
There is no paycheque on a Monday or a Sunday if I am busy sleeping in

This year I am trying-I mean embracing -summer and all its charms
The sunshine, the beach, the cycling, the road, the long walks, the long calls, the patio, the music, the playing, the throwing, the catching, the eating, the laying

I am and I am not because it takes a while to relax and when the relaxing comes it feels like a trick to knock me off my game and stay off

But the folding the laundry, the putting away the clothes, the reorganizing the closets is just as much me as the writing is; as the making
It is just as much me to walk around my house without bottoms as the me who puts on a bra and faces the edge of the street

“you need to do better, Kev.” By Julia in her bed

Monday July 1, 2019
12:10pm
5 minutes
From an instagram story

I am laying here a bit weak and helpless from the bleeding. It’s the first of the month and my period has arrived. Happy Canada Day. Red and white for me too. Wonderful.
The rumbling was loud and I thought by now I’d be staring up into the clear blue sky, but it would be too loud for everyone.
Meaning it would feel too loud to be around anyone.
A faint whisper of “you need to do better than this.”

The hot water bottle on my pelvis and sometimes on my upper right quadrant (a rib is starting to speak up now too, wants its turn) is also red. Look at the patriotism.

But I am grateful I didn’t feel this way yesterday while we were in a car for the last leg of our trip, wincing through every sparkling river, every endless mountain. My body is quiet until it is not. Now it is loud, as I mentioned, and I am here listening as it repeats the same story on a low hum.

“Llttle wallet multicolour has zip” by Julia in Kettle Valley

Saturday June 29, 2019
7:01am
5 minutes
from and old text from my dad

I look for this bag and you are Ocean far telling me there’s something in it for me
I look for this bag
What bag
I took this bag Out
I took another
I put the bag Away
I shelved the other
There is nothing new and you are Ocean away telling me
You are telling me it’s there and did I find it?
I am worried it’s money
I know it’s money and I’m worried because you snuck it in there
Where?
Where did you sneak it?
It, still a surprise
In the Bag, you say
Front Pocket
It’s been days and do I always take out my things and put them away without looking?
Wouldn’t it catch my eye?
Tell me where to find it again, I say
Ocean away, you say
Llttle wallet multicolour has zip
Little wallet
Must be money
I have no multicolour wallet but
You call it a wallet because I
had some money in there
Just in there
Because I do that
If you had looked in my book
you might have put it there too

“It must be nice to hold” by Julia at the cabin in Galina Bay

Thursday June 27, 2019
9:45pm
5 minutes
Calypso
David Sedaris

Like the front scruff of a standard poodle, the soft of a blind dog’s ears.
There is more to feel than the fur or the bone. It must be nice to hold the trust of your companion–in a small dish, or a pocket. Safe there from the heartbreak of losing the other half of his soul.
We offer choice to a dog who has lost the ability to decide whether to stay in or go out.
A lap for a lay, will he or will he remain upright for the third day in a row?
Will he stop trembling?
Will he say yes? Or maybe?

“Frying Pan” by Julia on the 17

Tuesday June 4, 2019
3:16pm
5 minutes
From the back of a truck

I remember saying I would never write the kind of play that beats you over the head with everything. You know they have a name for that? Frying Pan Theatre. The kind that slams the message into your brain and leaves nothing to interpretation. And I have not actually written any play but I still say it. I don’t want frying pan lectures or conversations or even meals. SUBTLETY is beautiful. Let me wonder what the meaning is; let me consider all the options. Let me taste the secret at the bottom of the swallow, that pinch of something you knew would make me want more but without explaining why.
That is what art can do. It can embody a lifetime without prescribing one way to feel it.

“Proven ability to develop lessons plans” By Julia at her desk

Sunday May 26, 2019
5:24pm
5 minutes
allianceforarts.com

Hi I’m here for the workshop teaching position.
I have a shit ton of experience with kids and with teaching.
I have worked with some real piece of work asshole youth
in my time, but I find that if I see them as real people and not their
attitudes, I can get them to open up. It’s easy to be shitty
when you don’t believe you matter in the grand scheme of things.
Some of the lesson plans I’ve developed have really fucked
with my own understanding of writing, and taking risks.
I mean, they say the best way to learn something is to teach it.
And once in a workshop I got the kids to teach each other something
and that shit was the real deal.
They were so open, and chatty, and they had this light, you know.
They are a lot more willing to dive in than they get credit for,
so you know, I just filled the pool with shit they wanted to
swim in. It’s supposed to be fun but it’s also supposed to be
honest. I’ve been doing it now, for Christ, 10 years now? I
started leading them when I was just out of university, and I
got to work with a bunch of 6-8 year olds.
They didn’t even have a curriculum, but by the time I left
they were all so fucking thrilled to keep discovering.

Sorry, the position is already filled? Because I dropped the f bomb?

“still interested in babysitting?” By Julia on her bed

Tuesday May 21, 2019
8:01pm
5 minutes
From a text

I was just saying to Jam that it was out of sight, out of mind for three whole weeks and I didn’t miss it.
The way I don’t miss anyone.
I was saying good, cause you know, riddance, and I was saying now it’ll be easier to turn down since I’m already 3 weeks in. But it’s as if the universe has bigger ears than I used to and hears when you say that you are ready to level yourself up.
That’s all it needs when you think about it: strong decision making in the direction of your dreams. It sends road blocks right after it catches wind to see if you’re still interested.

“Is it the beginning of a poem?” By Julia in the bathroom

Thursday March 28, 2019
10:30pm
5 minutes
The Poet Always Carries A Notebook
Mary Oliver

I tell the woman my name after she asks and make a joke about my last name rhyming with wedgie so she’ll remember how to pronounce it.

She looks at me for a minute then I explain that it came from some unkind yet quite creative grade fours when I was the new kid in school. I laugh, she laughs, everyone sitting near us laughs. And then she begins to talk about how a pebble in a stream can change the course of a river and I’m going where she’s taking me. She uses it as a teaching moment to remind the class that even small moments can stay with us our whole lives and we don’t know which pebbles people are walking around with in their pockets.

It even hits me hard and I’m the one joking about it.

She tells me, maybe that’s the start of a poem. It already rhymes…

“Falling in love is appropriate for now” by Sasha on her balcony

Monday March 25, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Handy Tips on how to Behave at the Death of the World
Anne Herbert

today we called and told
you that we love you
and when i said it
you said “thanks, sister”

the tears were the
cord connecting my mother
and i across the mountains
the prairie
across the great lakes
a rocky expanse
full fledged
far flung

today we called and told you
that we love you
and you said hello
you heard us
you knew it was me and him
and this little one
nestled
and growing

today was a hard day
a soggy day
a heart on the floor
in the throat
in the guts day
soggy and heavy and
hurting

the only thing
left to say is
i love you
love is the only
word that holds
all the other words
in the bowl of the “o”
in the cup of the “v”

“as the cells of his scalp” by Julia on Kits beach

Thursday March 21, 2019
5:06pm
5 minutes
Candlelight
Tony Hoagland

It was disgusting because it wasn’t my filth. I guess you could make the same argument that it could be less repulsive due to my separation from it, but let me set the record straight: I threw up in my mouth the moment this woman left her apartment. Well, in her defence it was a short term rental and she was probably getting a cleaner with the deal or whatever her husband’s work was willing to pay. But in the meantime, to live with so much food on the floor it could feed a small family for days…I shouldn’t continue. You’ll get so grossed out. Okay but let me say one thing, her sweet 9 month old had extreme eczema and when he’d wake up from his nap or if he got upset he’d start ripping at his little head. There was bits of his scalp all over the apartment—on the back of his high chair, on the changing mat, on the carpet. I considered if his home were clean that he might be less upset at the things he couldn’t control and less hell-bent on destroying his own skin. I also know that these things aren’t likely connected. But I wondered.

“exhale passively” by Julia in her living room

Tuesday March 19, 2019
9:44pm
5 minutes
Physiotherapy Instructions

Yesterday you asked me why I had given such a deep sigh. I thought it was self-explanatory: I needed it. But why did you need it? Cause you are exasperating. But you didn’t like that answer. You don’t think you’re exasperating. Sometimes I blow out air that’s keeping me angry at you. Sometimes it holds the place of my longing, my crying. I do not exhale passively around you since I decided I was going to give you the full range of me. Here, this is me existing without alterations, reservations, or tiny lies.

Yesterday I shook my hips around while we were laying in bed. I didn’t stop to apologize and you did not ask me to stop. The body sometimes needs permission to be alive. To exist.

I like it better this way. The breathing more intentional the view in front of me tangible, clear, echoing.

I shake and breathe and you ask me why and I tell you why. I’ve always wanted an intimacy like that.

“This song.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday March 11, 2019
10:08am
5 minutes
Freedomland
Richard Price

We go for nachos before the breastfeeding class. I’m proud of myself for remembering that I should put the seatbelt under my belly, not across. I don’t spend very much time in cars anymore. We order the ones with smoked tofu, corn, pickled onions. We add guacamole, obviously. A good order of nachos feels like you’ve barely made a dent when you’re already starting to get full, and that happens, and I like it. We pack up the leftovers, pay the bill, and I go to the washroom. When I come out, our song is playing. I watch you as you put on your coat and hat, this being who I know so well, who is still such a profound mystery. I am transported back to our wedding day, swaying and twirling in your arms in the middle of a circle of so many that we love.

“breaks the silence” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday March 1, 2019
11:02pm
5 minutes
The First Treatise
Yara Farran

Sat by his bedside
day after day
The Don River moving
outside the floor
to ceiling windows
winter holds on
like holds on
How can we let go?

You astound me with
the openness of your heart
how it can break and bear
the greatest weight at the
same time
How you are capable
with your head in the
jaws of the beast

You both really like
the doctor this month
He’s honest
He reads poetry
When Death Comes

“the biographies of our heroes” by Julia at this the studio

Friday February 22, 2019
8:00pm
5 minutes
Political Paralysis
Danusha Veronica Goska

You know how they say we stand on the shoulders of giants? You know how they say that, Sash? I feel sometimes like I’ve got a couple sitting on mine. Maybe I read that in a book somewhere, like I can’t make anything great because I can’t live up to the fact that someone else has already done it better than me. Makes me want to email Miriam again and tell her she really makes it hard for me because she is so good. I would just be repeating myself though since I think I already told her that.
Do you ever think that someday your daughter might be a writer? You know cause you are, and your mom is, and it makes sense. She’d have a couple of giants of her own, you know? But I think she’ll write about you. The way you write about your mom. The way it’s meant to be. I know you’ve already written about her, growing there below your heart.

“to calm a stranger” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday February 19, 2019
10:02pm
5 minutes
Walking at Night
Elizabeth Poliner

A man is screaming in the alley behind the house. I usually avoid that place, where we used to find syringes and condoms. It’s not like that anymore, not usually, but I’m still wary. The man swears and yells, and I wonder what in me overrides the basic human call to comfort someone in need. What if this were a woman? Would it be different? What if I were a man? Would it be different? I peek out the window and see him, bike leaned against a garage, pants wet from the snow. He doesn’t see me.

“I just want a little privacy is all.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday February 3, 2019
8:11am
5 minutes
The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

You look at my face like you’re learning
every freckle every pore every hair by heart
and today I bury in the nape of your neck
unsure about the scrutiny
about the fullness of the love

I mash sweet potatoes and you hold
my belly through T-shirt and apron
growing bigger everyday
You wash dishes and we sing to
our daughter with us and also not
here and also there

It’s cold today and flurries chase
each other’s tails by the chickadees
on the balcony
It’s warm in here with the oven on
with the one-bedroom closeness of
this new season

“The coach was bullshit.” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 30, 2019
8:00pm
5 minutes
Created By
Richard Christian Matheson

So, it’s three days before the tournament, right. Everyone is freaking out, tensions are high. Nobody wants to lose, team is gearing up to represent ourselves as best as we can. So, we find out that fucking Brian is planning on putting his kid, Heather, in as starting catcher. Girl has caught a grand total of zero balls. Spends her time fixing her mask and trying to get up from a squat.
So all three pitchers, that’s me, Sara, and Cara, decide we’re going to meet with Brian to tell him we think he should start Christine cause she’s more experienced, and this is her last year before she moves up. It would be better for everyone. So we approach him like a flying V-determined. graceful. I’m in the front cause I’m the brave one.
Fucking Brian LOSES IT.

“making dinner for my family” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday January 20, 2019
9:43pm
5 minutes
The Other, Invented Man
Matthew Vollmer

I used to think that I’d be
keeping long hours in dank rehearsal halls
Poorly heated
Poorly lit
Weaving stories out of breath
blood bones
breaking beauty like bread

I used to think that success
was measured in letters
in selling out a run
in someone saying
“I saw myself on that stage
in that stranger”
“I know myself better now”

Now the sacred carrot
celery and onion
meets lentils and then broth
I spend Sundays in the kitchen
listening to Emmylou Harris and
This American Life
I lie down when I’m tired
and sing to my belly until
I drift off to sleep

Now I think that success
is having a fridge full of goodness
ready for the week
and that the stories we weave
at the table over steaming oats
the story of right now
is the greatest win of all

“he fell like the rain,” by Julia at the Rivendell Cottage

Friday January 18, 2019
11:22pm
5 minutes
In The Beautiful Rain
Tony Hoagland

Her eyelids sank, heavy with dust
collected in the creases
So
many
damn
intricate
feelings
Sleep stretched out like a cat before her and she put her hand out to scratch under its chin
The night and all its bigger shadows
loomed in and around, sort of stalking
Her mouth a steady waterfall pointing ground-ward
He, on the other hand warmed up another cup of tea in the microwave
Flipped the pages of his book like punishment
Pushed the bed so far away
it
turned
into
the
couch

“He was young and handsome” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday January 5, 2019
9:02am
5 minutes
The Elephant Vanishes
Haruki Murakami

It’s your birthday today
You’re young and handsome
bird-like and dying
empty and full
at the same time
“This too”
I whisper
“This too”
I wail

I saw the most wondrous thing
was there for the birth
of a star child on the first
day of the new year
this year of mystery
babies
loss
learning
breath

I don’t know if I’ll
see you again in the flesh
in the bone
bird-body
sun-shower

It’s your birthday today
the same week cancer took
both A. and D.
the same week a star child
was born
the same week
the same life
a birthday
a deathday
a new day
a new day

“tempted to encourage others with insincere praise.” by Julia at Amanda’s

Sunday December 30, 2018
11:31pm
5 minutes
Lying
Sam Harris

When I was nine we went on an overnight camping trip with our church friends. They were church people, not quite friends, to be honest. Jesus thought it would be good for us to be around all the right-hearted youth so we could learn something. I learned something. I learned I could pee in the middle of the night very quickly. I learned that I was a quick night pee-er when my tent mates told me so. I learned that I could walk in the woods and sing at the same time. I learned that some people are better than me because of their relationship with god.
On the last day our leaders gave out awards to the ____est camper. They gave me the award for “happiest camper”. I was thrilled until Julie Perna got “friendliest” camper and I realized that my award was total bullshit.

“face/integrate/deal with.” By Sasha at her coffee table

Sunday December 16, 2018
10:50pm
5 minutes
From a text

Face the reality that despite all the books read and classes attended and the very best of intentions (the very very very very very best), you will make so many mistakes and not know what you’re doing and be the person you want to be mostly and the person you don’t want to be sometimes and that’s all okay. Get really good at saying, “Whoops!” and letting shit go. Start practising that now. “Whoops!”

Integrate the knowledge that life will never be the same, that this is the biggest change possible, and that change is sometimes hard for you. It’s miraculous and mundane It’s good. This is good. It will be good.

Deal with the finger-waving ghosts in your heart, in your closet, in your suitcase, in your vegetable crisper. You won’t have the same kind of space to meet them and greet them and face them come Spring.

“a conversation unfolds” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday, December 2, 2018
7:32am
5 minutes
Conversation Across Languages
Derick Mattern

When I call
the conversation between us
unfolds open
reaches break
lily-of-the-valley
Rose-of-Sharon

Oh the grief is heavy
on my tongue
stretching down
to my throat
to my belly
to my feet

Oh this grief meets
the very core and
I hold you over long distance
airways over the Prairies
I hold you like you did me
when most of what I was
was daughter

“Whale, Seahorse, Narwhal, and Crab” by Julia on D and M’s couch

Friday November 23, 2018
11:16pm
5 minutes
A Whale of a Tail!
Illustrated by Jo Moon

I’m in the ocean now and that’s where I live
Somewhere in between the deep and the light
Been working on my swimming so I’m finally better
I’m better

What’s her name used to say I swam like a fish but she was being nice and I think she said that about everyone
I couldn’t keep my head above water
I wept on the diving board while everyone inside the pool tried to cheer me on
I was always afraid of doing what other people were doing easily
I didn’t understand how to trust a thing bigger than me
I failed Yellow
The way some people fail their driver’s test
But when I passed it the next year I skipped ahead into Maroon
That made me feel like a real fish
What’s her name wrote it on my card again

“Help yourself to some food” by Sasha at the kitchen table at Bowmore

Saturday November 17, 2018
5:48pm
5 minutes
From a text

I make food for you because it’s all I can do. I make fish, broccoli, mashed sweet potato. I add extra butter because you need the calories. Mom isn’t sure if you’ll be able to eat it, if you’ll like it, but it’s all I can do so I do it, and I don’t mind if you don’t like it, or can’t stomach it. Tomorrow I’ll roast a chicken and make stew, finely dicing carrots, onions, celery, potato, zucchini. No garlic. Only salt and pepper and love. I make food for you because it’s all I can do, but it’s better. It’s better being able to do this simple thing, this vital simple thing now that I’m here.

“his birthplace has now lost its charm” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday November 14, 2018
7:01am
5 minutes
Master of the Masterpiece
Anya Georgijevic

I am planning my trip to Italy
It is 2014. I will go stay with my Nonna and my Zia and my cugini in my mother’s town. Lozzola, land of parmeggiano, prosciutto, the famous Nocciole for the best tasting spring water you’ve ever blessed your throat with.
I ask my father if I should go to Calabria. San Nicola where he’s from. He says nobody lives there anymore. Everyone moved to Canada or to heaven and there’s no one left at the lemon tree. I want to see where he lived for the first 7 years of his life. Where he learned to run, eat crusty pane in warm cocoa milk.
He tells me there would be no point now. No one is there.

“A fresh perspective.” by Julia at her desk

Monday November 12, 2018
10:12pm
5 minutes
Montecristo Magazine

I haven’t been wondering about the same
Old things
Wondering about why like I used to now I’m more of a How kind of gal
Wondering about woman about man about god and about nothing
Some silences are radioactive
Some space between has medicine
The same old things kept me same young
And we are all so new on this earth but we act like we’re mountains
And Esme says she can’t sit still
And me either since we’re not stones or hard places
We’re soft and supple
Able to
Change
And if we do we might find more light
And if we are we might save more lives
I wondered about saving lives a long time ago
I’d ask god to keep my friends’ souls for me while I tried to convert them down by the lava rocks at recess

“never stop bringing hope to humanity” by Julia on her walk home

Friday November 2, 2018
11:27pm
5 minutes
More Than Cooking
Marla Cimini

Today my sister lights a spark in me from across the country
we act like we never left our childhood bedroom
her side painted with the hope of blue and
mine dwelling pink
we didn’t know each other until later but I think we always knew

Takes one to no one
I tell her after she has told me that so many times
I wonder how bright we can get when we trust that the light inside us is made of love
I call her on my walk somewhere hoping she’s free after school
neither of us expect to have a life-changing conversation and every time it is a life-changing conversation
her philosophy
tender hearted curiosity
She is the reason I am able to do anything for the rest of the day
The morning begins like a siren reminding me that I have bodies to bury in the backyard
She listens with the kind of patience you can only get from Barbie dolls
but she is not poking her head into somebody else’s blouse
She is the strongest thing I can lean my head against
In her company I am the most uniquely grounded me
it comes on a day perfect timing for both of us to remember that the light can be seen from far away when it is turned on
So she flips the switch on for me
And I flick the switch for her
We plan a trip to Europe in the year 2024 like it were already here.

“Worries are the most stubborn habits” by Sasha at her desk

Monday October 15, 2018
4:09pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Vicki Baum

Worries are the most stubborn habits. I know this by heart, like the songs we sing in the morning when we’re drunk with dreams. I have a bad habit named Worry. I count on her to visit when I’m least expecting, when I think I have a handle, when I’m still, when I’m flying. Worry is a loyal companion, especially when things are fucked up and fraying, delicious and beautiful. A habit is a thing that can be broken in thirty days. No. A habit is a thing that can be started in thirty days. Does it go both ways?

“Most families” by Sasha at the table at Terrace Beach

Thursday October 11, 2018
4:05pm
5 minutes
Poor and Poorer
Jerrold Ladd

I know how lucky I am and I don’t take it for granted. Really I don’t. I know how lucky I am when I become an artist and no one questions it or asks how I’ll pay rent; when I fail and rise and break and shed and am seem for all of it, for each of them, by each of them. I know when I see how she isn’t known by her family in the way she wants so badly to be, and she is known by mine, in a different way, but in a way closer to her craving. I know how lucky I am, when he has pie and tea with my father and can talk about how hard it’s been, how he doubts me, and us, and the future, and more so himself.

“My friend Joe” by Julia on the 4

Saturday October 6, 2018
5:57pm
5 minutes
His Hands
Mary Jane Nealon

My friend Joe became
my boyfriend Joe at the end of the 12th grade. I liked the way his arms looked while driving. I liked that he knew how to use the barbecue.
when I went to university I stayed with Joe even though I no longer wanted him.
One of the first days there I made eye contact with the coolest guy I had ever seen. His name was also Joe. I wanted this Joe instead. I wanted to know everything about him.
There were a couple others I started to like before I told the first Joe that we needed to break up. There were also a couple of crying episodes in my dorm room. Not me. Him. This was the same guy who knew how to use the barbecue.

“The first time you park your car” by Julia on the 7

Wednesday September 26, 2018
10:02pm
5 minutes
The Cure for Racism is Cancer
Tony Hoagland

Nobody can watch me maneuver this stupid car in this stupid spot and yet that is what everybody is doing. What, did all the world’s best parallel parkers get their cars impounded today? Is that why all of you PEDESTRIANS are such fucking experts? Fucking judgmental pieces of—you know what? I am a good driver. I was the only one out of my friends to pass my test on the first try. I got my graduated licence first too and there I was driving everyone around every single day. So yes, sometimes parking’s a bitch, but I only ever hit another car when I was BACKING OUT because it was dark as hell and the car was CAMOUFLAGED by being blue and parked in my BLIND SPOT. Parallel parking should be taught all the way from kindergarten so everyone gets really comfortable being stared at by a bunch of people who probably don’t even know how to get on the FUCKING HIGHWAY.

“still dangerous,” by Sasha on her couch

Thursday September 13, 2018
6:39pm
5 minutes
Soft
Sarah Pinder

Soon we will be spread out
different places
you here and her there and
me where we used to leave
the three of us

Different countries
Different worlds maybe
Or that’s my fear talking
She sounds like you
sometimes

I want to tell you everything
but I can’t
and that’s a first
kind of
and that’s strange
kind of

Curled up in my bed
watching the clouds
listening to jazz on the radio
dancing with my hands
until I fall asleep

My heart breaks for
who we used to be
The women on the corner
head’s thrown back
laughing

“I tell him how a blimp once hit my head.” by Julia on the 7

Tuesday September 4, 2018
7:26am
5 minutes
DADDY
Prathna Lor

I used to tell everyone that I was struck by a truck when I was little. Story goes: I was on my tricycle and the truck smashed me and I was very badly injured and everyone came running because they were so worried. Story is: I was on my tricycle and the truck backed up slightly and bumped me and I was fine.

Maybe the real story is better in the first place. The one that has me up against a monster truck and being saved in the 11th hour. The way I was saved in the 11th hour when I was 18. Swerved in the ice slush, totalled my parents’ Corolla, suffered back and wrist pain, but was still alive enough to get my charges dropped down to “Failure to Share The Road.”
Their car was a write off. they ended up getting more because of me.

“And we never talked about that.” by Julia on her couch

Friday August 31, 2018
11:38pm
5 minutes
A Love Letter To Lost Sisters
Hywel Tuscano

we never talked about the way he mishandled me and the way I let him. we never talked about how it was weird he didn’t mention that we’d be sharing his bed. we never talked about how early he wakes up and how late he’s banging around for. not about how I was feeling about my stuff. not about how I was feeling about him. we never talked about how he kept using my towel and saying he wasn’t. we never talked about the fruit rotting in the car. we never talked about the lines he crossed or tried to. the ones we both said we’d be mindful of. we never talked about how many times he told me the same story. how many times he’d break the pattern of the room by injecting a silly pun.

“Bible under his arm,” by Julia at the Chelsea Hotel 

Saturday August 18, 2018
2:06am
5 minutes
The Unbreakable Thread
David James Duncan
She tore the stickers from my sister’s bible. Said the devil would get in easier that way. We tried to stop her but she wouldn’t listen. That’s what happens when teachers take students to Christian conferences outside of school hours. The guy who was praying over us said one of us should tell our testimonial to the guy with the headset and maybe we’d get to go on stage. I didn’t have a good story. No decayed turned golden tooth or a broken turned perfect leg so I didn’t go up. My sister was still sad about her troll stickers being destroyed by a tiny troll woman in track pants wearing a giant cross around her neck. I think I wanted to believe it so I did. The place was buzzing with people speaking in tongues and swaying with their eyes closed. I swayed with my eyes closed too. It was the only thing that came natural to me.

“it has been six and a half years since you died” by Julia in her sister’s bed

Friday August 10, 2018
10:48pm
5 minutes
Welcome to the Club
Marion Winik

I don’t remember the day you died but I remember how you lived. Your chest was an open x-ray. Here, the place where love scarred you. Here the place hope left. You smiled through your eyes, through the pain, and we knew we were getting the best of you left in you. We knew you were telling the truth when you said you wanted us to find what makes us happy. I remember how you sang Elvis at New Years and Easter and my dad’s birthday. You left every room you entered brighter. You entered every room.

“full of tenderness” by Julia in Amanda’s kitchen

Wednesday August 8, 2018
11:36am
5 minutes
Chant
Wang An-Shih

I sleep in your bed when you’re away and I toss and turn and have nightmares about people breaking into your apartment because I’ve done something wrong in a past life to ruin the trust you have in me. On a different night I dream of having to find an outfit for prom. 13 years later and I wonder what I have accomplished since then. Still trying to fit in. Still worrying if I will be perceived by them as I perceive myself. On the night with the nightmares I am landlocked to the bed. I can’t rise. I can’t wake up. Sleep paralysis plays a slideshow of disturbing footage and I’m not allowed to leave. I’m not allowed to leave. Your bed used to be softer. I think you gave that one to our parents. I think your heart full of tenderness gives everything to everyone. I’m sorry my body heavy with jet leg and self-doubt can’t ease into the gift. You’d be sorry if you knew it was hard, and it shouldn’t be hard. It should be soft. You’re sleeping on the cold ground right now and I pray that your bones aren’t wet all the way through. I hope you’re sitting on the garbage bag instead of a damp log. I hope you find peace in the stillness of the wilderness. You impress me. Someone who knows when to say yes.

“But when he reached the age” by Julia at YVR airport

Thursday August 2, 2018
9:07am
5 minutes
Atheist at the Pulpit
Larry Krotz

Elliot, Romy’s kid, had a wine stain birthmark on his hair line. It bled out a bit toward his eyes and cheeks but framed his face in a sweet way. He smiled at me when I caught his eye. It made me feel good. then I watched him smile at anyone he looked at and realized he was not in love with me alone but with people. With life. That made me me feel good too. he pointed at the man on his bluetooth next to me. As if to say “you’re the one that I love the most.” I liked his birth mark. I imagined the skin kissed red to be extraordinarily smooth and squishy. My best friend in high school had a wine stain birth mark on her arm. Her skin was so fun to press myself into. She used to get teased but she was so beautiful. People really suck the life out of you when they dont understand something.

“a family house can remain empty” by Julia on the couch

Wednesday August 1, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
The Highest Bidder
Kerry Gold

My sister answers the phone when I call even if she is with her friends. My brother did the same a few days ago when I called him on his birthday. He was at Montana’s eating a burger before going to the Falls. I felt bad for calling but it felt like he would have chatted all day. That’s the home I’m going back to. The house emptied of the three of us years ago. I was the first to leave and stay gone. I keep boots and books and pictures there. I like going back if we watch the old home videos. We all keep saying we should turn those VHS tapes into DVDs so we can keep our memories longer but no one ever does. If I can find my old glove in the garage I suspect we’ll hit the field behind the house and go long.

“hence it is important that you DETERMINE” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday July 29, 2018
3:05pm
5 minutes
Snark Tuner Instructions

Today I scrubbed the glass
of the sliding door and thought
Oh this is spiritual practise
as prayer is
Oh this is prayer
Sweat beading on my forehead
squatted and smelling of
newspaper and vinegar

In May when we’d get
the cottage ready for
a summer of rentals
it was my job to wash
the glass of the sliding doors
and while I probably procastinated
I loved doing it
giving to this home that held us
through the joy
and the madess
giving to this mother
who gave everything to us

I’m glad that we know the
clarity of clean space
that the act of clearing
dust from the surface of the altar
sends a smile to my lips

“a couple in a living room” by Julia on the 99

Thursday July 26, 2018
12:33pm
5 minutes
From audition sides

I see this couple get out of their car, walk up the stairwell, into their apartment, turn on the lights, sit on the couch, flip on the tv, get up, walk around, close the blinds, get up, walk around, steep a tea, come back to the couch, turn off the light, leave the room. They do this on Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Thursdays. I dont know where they go on Saturdays but I suppose that’s not for me to know seeing as though I’m not a part of their couple. I am a part of my own that does all the same things and none of the same things. And yet, I watch them but I don’t think they watch me. We are always moving but they are never looking. When I see movement, I look. Maybe it’s just a crow, or the guy from upstairs throwing his couch cushion by cushion from his patio into the bin. Maybe I don’t catch them looking when I am in my living room because I am busy living.