“Three hundred years” by Julia at her desk

Friday September 28, 2018
9:51pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Barack Obama

Tonight I walked by a raccoon party. There’s some symbolism already, K tells me, and I should probably start looking this stuff up. It’s 3 raccoons at first and then I look to the left and there are 3 more in on it. One skunk. There is symbolism about skunks too, I’m sure, and I take a photo cause I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do. K tells me to look up skunks and raccoons and snakes. Together? No, K, says, just when you get a moment. Don’t make it your life’s work or something. Like you? I joke, but K isn’t laughing at all. K has drank most of her blood red wine and is asking if she can have what’s in my glass. I give it to her cause she bought the bottle and I care more about looking up the goddesses and whatever associated with the little lawn party I feel like I was a part of. No snakes on the lawn, mostly in text books and on medallions, and in stories. K wants me to write the story of my first day on earth. I don’t want to tell her that it might be pretty boring. It’ll start with Cold Cold Cold and then maybe lead into Cry Cold Cry. K isn’t impressed with my comedy. She says I am wildly talented but have a chip on my shoulder and sorry for saying so but it’s true. I think she might be right. I wish I didn’t give her the rest of my wine.

“finally coming home” by Julia on Bec’s couch

Thursday September 21, 2017
1:45am
5 minutes
from a text

you keep telling me you’re on your way but you’re not. that’s cool. i’ll wait. just sit here by the beer stuffed chicken i made for you. cause you told me you liked it. cause you said you’d be home for dinner.
i get a text every 25 minutes or when you remember that someone is expecting you. things get carried away. timing is all wrong. you’re just caught up in the excitement. the roads are bad now, better wait. i thought about throwing out the chicken so you could see how you messed up, but i was raised way better than that. maybe i’ll put it on your pillow instead. tuck it way in there so you keep finding the juices dripping all the way down. my mother never said anything about bed chicken. you send a message saying you’re finally coming home and then an hour later i get the same message. i don’t respond. i don’t know how. if i write anything it’s going to be a lightening rod. if i write anything it’s going to be the end of me.

“When your music ends” by Julia on her patio


Sunday August 6, 2017
5:07pm
5 minutes
Spotify

That feeling when your guts are in your throat
when you want to breathe deeply but nobody will let you
the empty swallow that burns your chest
that makes you wish for more time or a disguise

The last song has to be a good one. Maeve and Alexis lay on the floor touching skulls, feet outstretched in opposite directions. Maeve has been planning for a long time and Alexis knows patience. She goes along hand in hand with everything. She is not a pushover. She just never gets tired. Maeve is close to tears. She doesn’t know which one to choose and everyone is putting their two cents in. Alexis has stopped suggesting options. Instead she lays there without thinking about the clock and lets her friend quietly cry.

“The morning, happy thing” by Julia on her couch


Saturday August 5, 2017
12:59am
5 minutes
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickenson

In the morning, I stood up, naked and sweaty. I walked to the fridge with weight. I felt a stillness. This house has been quiet since you left.

When you were gone I slept on your side of the bed and didn’t wke up once. There could be two reasons.
1)Because your side is better than mine or 2)Because I sleep better when you are gone.

I missed you most in the afternoon when the daylight no longer knew which colour it wanted to be. I watched a video of you singing that made me smile out loud.

“I’m still on the boat.” by Julia on her couch


Friday August 4, 2017
10:57pm
5 minutes
Sea Sick
Alanna Mitchell

I’m trying to read to pass the time. Everybody is taking Gravol. My sister gets carsick on tiny windy roads and gets to sit in the front seat of the good car. I have to sit in the back seat behind the same t-shirt going on twelve days in a row. I don’t know how no one notices the oppressive stench but I can’t seem to pretend otherwise. My sister is not looking forward to the boat ride to go see the blown glass in Venicd. There really isn’t a front seat on a boat. My mother is the same way. Neither of them do well when the waves get choppy or even if there’s a bit of wind.
My uncle has taken us on this exact tour for the third time now and still explains everything like it were the first. I don’t know how no one notices.

“I thought you had it” by Julia on the 99


Monday July 3, 2017
4:49pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 99

Kelsey can’t find her wallet for the third time today and the next person who walks through the door is going to hear about it. Loudly.
She’s late, as usual, and thinking of Type A Andrea who always tsk tsks tardiness as if she has zero human flaws. Maybe it’s not easy for everyone to be on time, Andrea. Maybe some of us are burying a deceased bunny rabbit or deciding to floss for the first time in a year!
Andrea never says anything to Kelsey but her disapproval is as present as that fucking mole next to her nose. Kelsey can tell when she’s misplacing things: money, keys, glasses, blame, when she starts digging at her own friends.Your mole is adorable, Andrea, everybody fucking knows that.

“if indoors, stay indoors” by Julia at her desk


Monday June 26, 2017
10:56pm
5 minutes
from the Central 1 credit union emergency response plan

The man in the green hat was shouting loudly on his cell-phone as he jogged his small dog around the pool and back and back and back.
We watched as he panted into somebody’s ear and didn’t know who to feel more sorry for. Dog included.
I looked at Lexi and knew I would not always love her. I smiled and tugged her shirt at the v.
We stayed there for a while, counting times he reached to yank up his boxer shorts poking through with his phoned hand.
When we walked home I intentionally stepped on the back of her foot and made her yelp.
I kissed her sorry, so sorry, so so sorry.

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“The Toy Box Burlesque” by Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Monday January 9, 2016
11:32pm
5 minutes
from a show postcard

When Gia gave me some of her old costumes I was in heaven. Birdie told me not to wear them cause I would catch her diseases and become a person of “interruption”…meaning my path to the lord might get a little patchy. I told Birdie I wouldn’t wear them because all I wanted to do was study them and use them as templates for my own sewing or building. Birdie nodded her head emphatically a few times before leaving as if to convince herself that I was telling the truth. She eventually left me and I was so excited to be alone with Gia’s beaded underwear and long satiny gloves. I pulled one glove on my arm, slowly, feeling every tiny hair brush against the smoothness. I peeled it off slowly, sliding the glove down my elbow and off my wrist with a patience I didn’t even know I had. When I finally revealed my last covered finger I could feel my insides rushing to greet me.

“Your grandfather” by Julia on Bec’s couch


Monday January 2, 2017
12:34am
5 minutes
overheard at Cowichan Bay

Your grandfather has your chin
And you have his
Your mother says he has your eyes
Or you have his
And I can see it if I look a long while
Staring silently
With intention
to see it
So I can taste how far back you go
How far back you come from
Before you disappear again
Your grandfather has your mouth
And you have his
The same smile for the baby in the picture then
also perfectly yours
Even if only in photographs
Finding your future there in his past

“without a lot of fragmentation” by Julia on Bec’s chair


Thursday December 29, 2016
12:39am
5 minutes
Misery
Stephen King


I haven’t slept in a week. I asked my wrists if they wouldn’t mind staying quiet tonight for a change so I could heal. They remained restless. They don’t know how else to be and I don’t blame them for that. The pillows have ranged from perfect to perfectly fine so that’s not it. Alone or not, still can’t do it. Might want to stop eating so late at night. Might want to stop snacking enough to curb hunger and trick my body into perfect or perfectly fine. Might want to forgive myself for not forgiving you. Might want to keep screens to a minimum and stick to real pages for once. Might want to call you and tell you that you were right and I was wrong but now that I’m over the dramatics of this week I can admit my shit better.

“don’t get it in your eyeball!” by Julia in the air bnb in Winnipeg


Tuesday October 25, 2016
9:41am
5 minutes
from a text

I shared an attic with my brother one summer during a heatwave in Italy. We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. All we had was a spray bottle filled with heating water between our beds and we didn’t know how badly we would need something in between us. When your brain is melted there is just a puddle where your patience should be. We were puddles of annoyance and sweat and sleepless.
One night we were both aliens to each other, trying to rest, delirious from the air trapped somewhere in a tiny cloud inches from our skin and far enough away from all roads carrying oxygen. He sprayed me with water which was our ritual. I sprayed him back. We did this for 5 minutes or 5 hours and laughed the whole time. Nobody knows why. Something about enough being enough. Something about my eyeball. Something about the first time we didn’t hate each other.

“within the high-rise’s stairway” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday June 7, 2016
11:01pm
5 minutes
Flushed
David Delisca


Ellen told Brody she wouldn’t be joining him on the hike this year but she didn’t give him much notice. She had been holding off on saying anything until she knew for sure if she could or not. Brody didn’t think to ask if there was a reason. He focused on the fact that Ellen bailed on him so last minute and he had already put his money down. Brody sent a lot of passive aggressive messages telling Ellen that he wished he could “find a way to make some much needed cash asap–life is so unexpected, you know?” Ellen didn’t have the heart to tell him what was really going on in case he decided not to go all together. The last thing she needed was her best friend giving up something he had looked forward to every year just to stay at home and offer some unwanted pity. Ellen toggled between telling him the whole truth, and avoiding anything but.

“I’ll avoid her for a few weeks” by Julia on her couch


Saturday March 19, 2016
6:35pm
5 minutes
from a text

If I close my eyes I can almost hear perfect silence. The buzz of the fridge seems to disappear. The beeping of the trucks backing up outside my balcony are muted. I can get centred without going anywhere at all. I’ve been practicing getting zen and doing it under pressure as that’s the most necessary time. Sheila says that if I practice every single day, reaching for meditation every single time I have the urge to call her instead, I’ll really start to form a habit. I think Sheila has a point. You can’t reach zen when you’re trying to make plans to go mini-golfing, or asking someone about knitting. I think Sheila is doing the exact same thing every time she thinks of calling me. I imagine her sitting there on the floor 6 or 7 times a day if she’s being diligent about curbing the urge. I don’t remember the last time Sheila even called me so her approach must be working! If I can get to a point where I don’t even think about how little human contact I’ve had, I’ll call that a success.

“I’ve never been a male filmmaker” by Julia at Artstarts


Friday March 18, 2016 at Artstarts
2:41pm
5 minutes
from a Death, Sex and Money podcast

I’ve been making a movie and it’s about my green bike, Gloria, and all the places Gloria ends up even though it might not always seem likely that she can get there. It’s a thoughtful piece meant to comment on the system of transportation and the moon and how the two are actually lovers. So far the feedback about my project has included statements such as “what is this film really about?”, “what exactly are you trying to say here?”, “is there a story at any point that we might be introduced to?”, and “I love the name Gloria!” I am preparing to submit this feature length movie to many festivals in the circuit. I am very positive about what’s to come.

“passionate artists” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday March 17, 2016
11:19pm
5 minutes
from a program

There’s a group of people protesting outside my window. I saw one of their signs and it said “equal rights for all” and that’s how I know this country is going to shit. I’m being very serious. What’s a poet supposed to do with equal rights? I’m pretty sure that’s not how art is made and I can say that because my sister’s ex boyfriend was one of them and all his creation revolved around the worst feelings and circumstances in the world. I think these conditions exist so writers have something to write about about and painters have something to paint. Look at the statistics! Love isn’t going to get “bums in the seats” and valuing a system where hippies just hang out at the beach all day banging on drums and talking about their spirit animals is just going to create more bonfires on beaches!

“The earth’s insomnia” by Julia at her “New York”


Wednesday March 16, 2016
9:04pm
5 minutes
Moonlight
Lorna Crozier


I have been out stealing rosemary again. Middle of the night. I am not sorry. But I do recognize the pattern. It’s not about much more than needing to have it in my home so I can touch it when I want to and it can calm me down. Some people do the very same thing with animals. I mean maybe they don’t go around at midnight and sneak into people’s front yards, but–I mean they feel comforted by the presence of a pet. So what? I don’t have one of those. I make do. I’m fine. Please don’t ever think my problems will be solved by a cat. They most certainly will not. I don’t need something like that. Thank you for the offer of your offer. I miss my fucking mother. I want to call her and cry and let her love me back to life. I want to tell her that after all that rosemary thieving I didn’t even put any in the roast potatoes. Because I wanted to keep it longer in a vase next to my bed. Because I wanted to hold onto her soft voice telling me for the last time that I was her laugh.

“Get just the right pick-me-up” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday March 15, 2016
12:00am
5 minutes
pulpliterature.com

You go to sleep early because you’ve been up since 6:27am and you say that the mountains have made you tired again. I can hear you breathing from behind the living room wall. You sound like you’re trying to send me tiny signals as I stay up to paint my nails. I don’t like to go to sleep after you but it’s been happening more and more these days. I am racing against daylight and I can’t afford to take short cuts right now. I know your body’s heat by this time. I know that there’s a softness there in the curve of your back that fits most of my organs perfectly. I picture that spot while I think simultaneously about chicken thighs with preserved lemon or that surprise weekend getaway golden ticket you gave me for my birthday last June. You told me to pick wherever I wanted to go. I told you we could close our eyes, point on the map and go where our fingers land.

“cultural and community differences” by Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Sunday March 13, 2016
3:46pm
5 minutes
From a sample CV

In the moments of stillness
In between where you left and you loved me
I can count the number of breaths I have taken
On one hand
Maybe one and a half
The song I made you write for me plays
It never stops
It doesn’t know how
I don’t know how
I’m embarrassed that you didn’t want to do it
On your own
I could have asked
But I demanded
I could have invited
But I fought
I guess I was under the impression that
We do things for people
When we know it makes them feel good
I am sorry I put you in that category
Of people who care about people
Of people who give because they can
Not because they are tallying points
I am wrong too
I am happy to be so wrong
I am learning in the space between wrong and never right
You taught me that

“Finding YOUR story” by Julia at her island


Friday, January 15, 2016
8:17pm
5 minutes
Sasha’s notebook

I’ve been looking behind rosebushes in the yard
looking behind cans of old anchovies
looking behind years of deep history
I want to know my truth the way my mother knows my mood
The way my father knows my laugh
The way my heart knows its pace
When I see a unique spot I turn it upside down and inside out
I want some of that textured, layered, magical stuff for me
I see peace and I wonder if she’s just very good at being incognito
So I tear her up and I rip her to shreds
Just in case peace is an actress, just like me
I don’t like playing hide and seek
But somethings are worth hunting for

“This is why you need to clean your room” by Julia on the 47 going North


Wednesday March 4, 2015
3:20pm
5 minutes
overheard on the subway

I will not touch the basement! Everybody! I will not transition into being a house cleaner, that is not on my vision board! Everybody? Is that clear? I speak this next nugget of profundity to the masses in hopes the whole world will echo it back to me! “Hello!!”(Hello, hello) “I’m a genius!” (Genius, genius) “I do not clean basements!!” (Basements, basements) “I am a genius and I do not clean basements!!” (I am a genius and I do not clean basements) “I will mark the entire universe with my light and I will love beyond myself! I will help others and be present in this life, but I will not clean the basement!” (Yes you will, you will, you will). And then! Hark! I pause! For the world’s echo sounds an awful lot like my mother!

“Wish I could, you know that” by Sasha at Vancouver Children’s Hospital


Sunday November 30, 2014
3:22pm
5 minutes
overheard at Bolpetta

“Wish I could, sweet-tart, you know that – ” Did she just call me sweet-tart? This wasn’t the kind of tarot card reader that would mix-up “tart” and “heart”. This was intentional, meditated, chosen carefully. “But, I’m flying back to Edmonton tomorrow and I’ve been trying to get in to see you and this is really what I just totally need in my life right now to make me feel like I can survive!” I plead with her, something I haven’t done since I was a child, and reserved only for my mother and oldest brother, the ones who held true power over me. She looks at her wrist but there’s no watch – there are seven small moons, of various cycles, waxing or waning, depending on the angle at which you’re looking. “I can give you twenty two minutes and not a second more.” I never knew that a mystic would be so down to the hair about time. “Okay-that’s-great-thank-you-so-so-SO-much,” I say, closing the door behind me. She collects tropical fish and has a big aquarium, almost the size of her whole living room wall. I could stand there for about quadruple the time we’re supposed to have together, watching the yellow, the blue, the magenta, watching the gills ripple and the mouths open and close. “We’ll chat in the kitchen,” she calls to me, “I need to chop beets for Borscht.”