“They would tell everyone” by Julia at her desk

Thursday, April 12, 2018
8:14pm
5 minutes
Audience of One
Rob de Boyrie

We can’t tell anyone because they would tell everyone.
Some things are better left secret:
all of our best-laid plans for a baby and her sister
the house we bought with our romance novel money
I am still reminding myself this is better
to wait until it’s done before I say it out loud
they wouldn’t let it be what it is if they opened their
big dumb mouths to name it
diminishing it with all that outside tongue
The photographer man told me this first
Years ago he wrote it on the front page of my moleskine dayplanner
“Not every single thing needs to be said.”
Maybe it wasn’t that exactly, but the sentiment was there
We can’t tell anyone that we’re swimming the Mississippi River
that we’re moving our butts to South Beach

“He couldn’t get enough of sky” by Julia on her couch

Thursday February 8, 2018
10:08pm
5 minutes
North America’s Favourite Zoo Animal
Stephanie Bolster

This boy flies in a plane
never seen the sky from
this high up
never seen his church
from this far away
Counting stars, Mamma,
I see them all the same as
down there
Makes a wish in case
one of them unexpectedly falls
And this one can be yours too,
Mamma, we can share it
This boy wears light blue hat
with bear ears sticking out
He sleeps in the soft of his
mother after watching the pink
and orange stripes fade
The gentle lady walks by and
catches herself off guard
by his tiny perfect face

“Christian Science Reading Room” By Julia on the 9


Wednesday August 23, 2017
11:07pm
5 minutes
from a storefront on West Broadway

At the Christian Science reading room I wait for Melody to meet me in the lobby. She says she’s coming with a big bag and to get ready. Melody’s ideas make me sweat. She’s been planning something for a while it she says she needs my help now. I always get sucked into Melody’s warped world. I swear she’s not from here. Like, I’d say Vancouver but what I mean is earth. I’m worried she’s got something slightly off centre in her bags. A little light spray painting would be ideal but I know it’s going to vibrate more than that. Everything she does has a pulse. If the pulse of something dangerous were trapped in a bag for too long.

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


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


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

“Help us fight the flu!” by Julia at her dining table


Friday February 12, 2016
12:51pm
5 minutes
from the elevator at VGH

I am sitting motionless but moving on this perfect log facing the perfect sun peaking out behind the perfect mountain. Everything is wonderful. Everything around me is alive and I am still alive to experience it. There’s a difference between living and not dying. I come out here to remind myself exactly that when things feel uneasy. I ask myself, am I still alive, or am I living until I die? I am hoping to find clarity around that; peace, even. Asking myself as often as I can if this life is holding space for me or if I am holding space for it. It should be the former, shouldn’t it? Should. Huh. I know, I’m working on that too. Working on coming to perfect stillness and looking at perfect views and thinking so many imperfect thoughts. I am alone but not lonely. I feel supported from the moment I open my eyes to the moment I decide to keep them closed for the night. And I am not dying. Not yet. Not today. Although if the timing were right, this wouldn’t be such a bad last spot to be in; not a bad last feeling to have–one where I am myself inside myself inside a moment of deep desire to understand.

“Action plan” by Julia on the 99 bus


Thursday February 11, 2016
11:08pm
5 minutes
from a sign at Commercial-Broadway station

Okay let’s stay on this path let’s pick all the berries and watch the sunset from here cause it’s safe here under the canopy of jungle under the protection of soft light let’s pack our tiny bags full of notebooks and truth juice to sustain us but not delay us to suspend us but not limit us we can sip sparingly and save some of that for tomorrow and when we get to tomorrow let’s write a new song about the afternoon or turn dusk into the chorus we can sing it out cause we know the words and bang on the drum of our chest cavities to keep the rhythm going to keep the music alive let’s stay on this path and pray to the star gods to keep us happy and in love in case tomorrow’s tomorrow surprises us.

“Then the chicken to fry” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, August 15, 2015
4:17pm
5 minutes
Women Work
Maya Angelou


Hi Dad,
How’ve you been? I already hate that I’ve started this letter with a pleasantry, but I didn’t even know if I should write this in the first place and now I’m doing it so let’s just see how it goes. I actually don’t need to know how you’ve been. Sorry for asking that. I saw a chicken and waffles place on 5th and Carmichael last Friday and haven’t been able to concentrate on my life because it’s something you are somehow attached to now and forever and I’m a bit fucked up about that for some reason. I went in, I ordered a huge plate of the stuff and then cried into my fried lunch for about 12 minutes straight. I wasn’t planning on telling you that but here I am writing you a letter I didn’t plan on writing to you either.

“Die this way” by Julia on the 505 going west


Tuesday, April 21, 2015
11:34pm
5 minutes
from a song on the radio

I haven’t figured out how I want to go. Some might say that’s a very good thing. It’s morbid, I suppose, to dream up what the best way to leave this earth is. If death is like life, then it should be my choice. It should be for me. But death is not like life, or it wouldn’t have a different name. Death is not for us. It’s for those that have to bury our bodies, spread our ashes, visit mausoleums, script out pretty eulogies. If it were just for me, then a shot to the head would have fit nicely. Something dramatic, quick, loud, messy. It would have been a nice match. But it’s not just for me. And so going peacefully in my sleep is also off the table. People don’t do well when death sneaks in and swoops down and silently exits. People want to know that it’s there so they can bring the right flowers, or the right last words.

“INSERTED” by Julia on her couch


Sunday August 17, 2014
10:19pm
5 minutes
from a receipt

I haven’t known what day it is since last week. That’s not usually like me. I usually know dates and times and names and faces. Lately I’ve been forgetting. I can’t tell if it’s later in the week or earlier? I can’t tell if I have something I need to get done, or not? Maybe because I’ve been doing nothing for so long it suddenly feels like there’s no way I could still be doing only nothing. Haven’t I scheduled some amazing plans yet? Haven’t I figured out something great to do with my time? Surely I’ve missed something! But that would be even worse, knowing that the one and only time I did have plans, I forgot to write them down, or just got the dates confused and ended up doing something mundane instead! Maybe it’s a defence mechanism so I don’t have to go ahead and deal with the dates I know are approaching. August 21: our last night. August 22: our last day. August 23: The first day without you in months. August 24: the first Sunday without cuddling you in the morning because we made sure to observe No Alarm Sundays every other weekend.
I don’t know what day I’m on because I’m in preparation for a longing that can’t be cured simply just by making other plans..

“let’s make this the biggest” by Julia at her kitchen table


Saturday June 7, 2014
2:38am
5 minutes
An email from Luminato

I had a plan
I was like, yo this is my plan
You were like, yo what’s the plan
I was like, yo, hold up, I’ll tell you
I knew it would be big
I was like, yo this is going to be big
You were like, yo how big
I was like, it’s going to be bigger than big
I dreamt it up during the eclipse
I was like, yo this is the plan I had during the eclipse
You were like, yo what’s the plan
I was like, yo why are you so impatient, I’m getting there
I decided to include you
I was like, yo, I’m including you in this plan and it’s going to be so big you’ll die
You were like, yo, why would I want to be a part of plan that I was going to die because of
I was like, yo, it’s a figure of speech, this plan is going to kill you so dead you’ll be alive again
I wanted it to be the biggest
I was like, yo, let’s make this the biggest
You were like, yo how can I say yes if you’re going to tip-toe around this damn plan
I was like, yo, it’s no Mickey-Mouse plan what do you think I am, a freaking type-writer?

“We take care of you” by Sasha on the subway going East


Tuesday June 11,2013
4:12pm
5 minutes
The blackboard in front of The Good Neighbour Espresso Bar

I’m glad that you’re back. When you got on that train, the earth turned grey, the sky turned grey and the clouds silently cried, just like me. My cry wasn’t exactly silent, but it was grey. It’s strange, though. I started making plans. I started sewing again, recycling things I didn’t like and making them into things I did. I used the record player. When you used to say, “Live in the moment,” I thought that that meant “Don’t make plans.” What that meant, to me, was never leaving this place. Was moving from one thing to another like a ghost and not looking further than my toes. “You’re not a leader,” my father used to say, taking off his uniform and reaching for his can of beer. It’s true. He was right. But there’s power in the following. That’s how change actually happens, when one person and then another and another, start following the leader. I’m glad you’re back, I really am. I’m not going to follow you anymore, though. When you left, when you got on that train with your briefcase and your lunchbag, I was suddenly free to look up. I was suddenly free to think about Barcelona, and my sister’s wedding next summer, and how I’d like to learn to french braid.