“Four beating wings” by Julia on the 84, then the walk home

Monday September 9, 2019
9:31pm
5 minutes
The Dalliance of Eagles
Walt Whitman

Running into you the other day
At the bowling alley…
That was shitty for me but it
Looked excellent for you seeing
As though you were being chatted
Up by a few different humans, mostly
women, mostly young women, mostly
young women who I wish I could tell
to run very far away from you

You once told me that you were
desperate to get off this ship
that was only heading in one
direction and that they don’t
want you on it anyway

You are the sinking ship

Everything about you is foreshadow
and everything you touch turns to
mud the way you think it’s being
done to you
You are the mud
The thick sludge that traps people’s
boots and keeps them low, you swallow
them with your whiskey tongue
You take everything down with you

Maybe those girls don’t know that
about you yet because upon
first glance you are the maiden
voyage, a divine craft of this weighted
possibility

“and eyesight a lying sense” by Sasha at her desk

Monday August 19, 2019
7:28pm
5 minutes
Lives Of The Eminent Philosophers
Diogenes Laertius

Slithering between the here and the then
the truth evades
shadow with no sun
I thought I knew you like
the freckles on my arm and that was
the lie that I told

Monday comes like a swan song
like a turning page and we are
re-writing what was written
re-imagining what was taken
kissing visions of how things
might’ve been goodbye

I hold tight to the belief
that the sky opens when she’s ready
that we don’t know what we don’t know
that we are doing our best
that love shatters

The morning the avalanche came
I said to you
“I trust you”
Your face eclipsed
I saw the crescent moon
illuminated
gaping

“an overdose, the fire hall repainted red.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday August 5, 2019
10:42am
5 minutes
Orography
Alison Braid

I read you my writing
two poems
at the kitchen table
that’s grown seven feet
since this day last week

a kitchen table that sees
the pancakes and the salt
the chilli and the fights
the Scrabble and the worst

You meet me in the words
beyond the wrong and right
only by being present
but that’s enough for now

two poems
speaking the unspeakable
shrieking in their small stanzas
shaking ghosts from their pockets
sand from their ears

“All skill levels” by Julia on the 17

Saturday June 1, 2019
4:10pm
5 minutes
From a sign on the street

You want to be inclusive, right, whip your hands into a circle, knot them twice.
Everybody here holds hands.
We don’t care who you are or what “level” you think you’re at or on or what have you, but we all play on the same turf here, and that’s called Right Now.
Right Now doesn’t ask you where you’re from or if you think you’re a part of a special club. Right Now doesn’t care what you did or who you screamed at or what you wished for.
Right Now has no expectations because Right Now changes every second. Right Now knows you and your right now is changing too.
So grab a patch of palm from your neighbour from another neighbourhood and close your freaking eyes all the way to the bone.

“Does not oblige you” by Julia on the bathtub

Saturday April 6, 2019
11:44pm
5 minutes
From an email

Not owed to yesterday
I am today’s collaborator
Fierce
Funny
We make choices as a team
The breath of fresh air on skin
The light rain nesting in puddles
Today the silver fish do not get murdered
Today the silver fish contributes something
Anything
Not sure yet
Today is for second chances
For walking straight into love
For breathing into things
For picking a good movie to only watch a third of
Today I give everything and then more when I think I have none left
I smile
I look up
I see the face in front of me
I make a laugh come out of an impossible woman
Today is what tomorrow will never be
And what I will carry on my tongue

“not only the present” by Julia on her couch

Saturday February 16, 2019
11:40pm
From the Constitution of the Iroquois Nation

You’re allowed to think about the past if you want to. There’s nothing wrong with the way you’re doing it. Some people want to take a deep breath in and out and focus and be right where they are in the moment. Right where they are with their physical bodies. Our past holds different aspects of ourselves. We would need to put attention on those every now and again if they’re a part of us, wouldn’t you agree? You’re allowed to time travel and thank yourself and see yourself and accept yourself. You can go back as many times as you want. You can be where you once were before you ever thought anything was wrong with you. A land before shame.

“not only the present” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday February 16, 2019
9:33pm
5 minutes
From the Constitution of the Iroquois Nation

straddling the teetor totter
of the now and the then
now and again
when is the next
cheeks wet with anticipation
with faith
with fear
okay i tell you
little one
okay i say in the night
when you twist and roll
i hear your becoming
i feel your growing
i am at your mercy
on my knees
on the tiles of the
kitchen floor
your daddy meditating
ten steps away
let’s stay quiet so
he can have this moment
this now so he can
have this

“I was acting like a” by Julia on her couch

Saturday January 26, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
The Only One She Told
J.E. McCafferty

Liar liar pants on fire
Said last time I thrived on dire
Fought my battles walked the wire
Fakery began to tire
All those people believing deep
held me up as the grim reaper
Wished I could have climbed much steeper
But I was a dream-catch eater
Held the wish to drown the mole
We couldn’t take any souls
I swear we tried, we did not know
Then god opened mouth and ripped me whole

“someone else’s sext” by Sasha on her living room floor

Wednesday March 28, 2018
12:08pm
5 minutes
from a cybertip.ca ad

Do you think of your life in newspaper clippings, taped into a spiral bound notebook? Do you chronicle your failures in a fishing tackle box, the white lies in little yellow squares, the times you’ve broken a heart in the larger section usually reserved for fly lures? Do you wonder about the life where you kept drinking and riding a bike without a helmet and living on the literal edge? Do you lie on the floor at the end of a day you couldn’t imagine you’d have only a year ago, and listen as the kettle boils, calling you into a new moment

a new moment

anew?

“little package” by Julia on the greyhound bus

Tuesday December 26, 2017

2:07pm

5 minutes

From an email

In recent years I believed a gift had to have many moving parts:

First, a card, a language of otherwise indescribable gratitude. A love, living. A promise, dancing in the living room.

Second, a thought profound and seeing. A proof, light, opening the airways.

Third, a joke, folded into the side bed of the card and woven through the thought. A humble choice to make such vulnerable words a party of intention.

Fourth, a practical container, one that said The Inside Counts Best Here. I Have Used My Time Solely For The Contents. I Have Neglected The Wrapper On Purpose.

“How many nights” by Julia on her couch


Sunday April 16, 2017
7:57pm
5 minutes
Breach
Blair Trewatha


We mourn each day past with a song-we both cradle our heads at the month changing places, on a mission.
How many nights as children did we spend enjoying instead of worrying we were running out of time?
How many days did we write the date and think just how much can happen in a year?
This time we’ll sing (misty-eyed)
about the seasons; about the natural curve of the calendar
April come she will
April come she will

“living in the ordinary world” by Julia at her desk


Thursday April 13, 2017
8:58am
5 minutes
From a Way of the Heart info sheet

we show up to life sometimes jaded
sometimes living in the ordinary world
after living somewhere else with better windows
our windows here are covered in fingerprints
and year old messages birthed from
a New Year’s resolution
that we were too afraid to erase
our windows are as guarded as our hearts
which is to say
we haven’t drawn the blinds in ages
to exist in this place where
the sun rises each morning
no matter how shy
and sets each evening
no matter how bright
we must become fluent in gratitude
thank the stars for breathing us into belief
thank our mothers for smiling love into our bones
thank our fathers for being fathers when they could have been
anything else
thank our health for holding us
thank our souls in this life
for reminding us why we chose each other
in the first place

“confused about her life path” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday January 29, 2017
10:29pm
5 minutes
from Clairvoyance
Mary Ellen Flora


I wouldn’t say that I’m confused
that’s not how I feel it in the ball
of yarn in my guts snaking up on my tongue
through to
I wouldn’t say that I’m confused
but I am questioning of the evolution
of dreams and reality and present and future
and purpose
and if it’s enough to do it and do it and
do it and do it and then what if it’s not
enough?

Sitting in a circle in stretchy pants
and a grey sweatshirt I was twenty one
and I knew that the reason I wanted to
tell stories was because I felt how
they changed my becoming I was surrounded
by classmates and we spoke why we wanted
to be actors and we cried and we got naked
and we looked at ourselves in mirrors
and we fell in love with each other and with
the dreams and reality and present and future.

Making snow angels in the parking lot I
knew that I was not alone but I was so alone.

“Fruit can wait” by Sasha in her bed


Friday December 2, 2016
11:22pm
5 minutes
From a text

I listen to music louder now
and pick pomegranate seeds out of their
cozy wombs in the morning before I
turn on my phone and see anything
outside the walls of our belonging.

I worry less about saving
what’s best for last
Because all we have is now and
even water is tarnished and breakable
and able to be colonized.

“what was that process like?” By Sasha at her desk


Sunday November 13, 2016
8:27pm
5 minutes
From an interview question

I keep seeing pictures of our future and your
brows are furrowed “So here we are”
I can’t see everything in focus
I see windchimes and mushrooms and candle wax
Maybe you’re calling the new me the one with
more patience and breath that smells like artichokes
Maybe you’re thinking about
the past Now
Soon all this will be forgotten from our minds
but remembered by the elephant hearts
that I cradle like unborn daughters
dreaming in their soft sleep
dreaming this future into Now

“She lives by the sea” by Julia at her dining table


Monday September 26, 2016
6:47am
5 minutes
wordvancouver.ca

I didn’t plan to bury the hatchet so far away from where it did all its chopping
One day the tide pulled me out and I let it
Whispered my goodbyes to the tracks I had laid
Told them all how nice it has been to be trailing
And blew some buoyant kisses to the way things used to sound
when I held up a traveler’s old home to my ears
after she had abandoned it for something bigger
the rocky waves eased me into a place that I could sleep in
Ones I didn’t intend to dream or marry
The saline dresses the top of my lip and I introduce my tongue to the ridges
all the folds it has been missing
And now I belong here
by the sea
because the wind carried me over
and I let it

“biking in the rain” by Sasha on the 16


Monday April 18, 2016
5:19pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Yew

Macy is sitting in the bathtub covered in blood. All I can say is, “What the fuck? What the fuck?” She’s not crying or smiling or moving, but her eyes are open and she’s looking at me, eyes wide.

“What’re you doing here?” I sit on the closed lid of the toilet.

“I hurt myself, Jay.”

“What the fuck happened?”

“I hurt myself.”

“What’re you doing here, even? How did you get in to my apartment?”

“I need to talk to you.”

“Okay. What, yes, okay…”

“I rode my bike here, in the rain, and I got hit by a big truck. I passed out, under it. Louise, she was driving the fucking truck. I couldn’t call the police. She was high. She ran, she left the scene, she… Someone called a fucking ambulance and I was…”

“Just go in the direction where there is no direction” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee


Tuesday May 26, 2015 at Culprit Coffee
3:37pm
5 minutes
Forbidden Rumi
Tr. By Nevit O. Ergin and Will Johnson


blurring past a cityscape
hoping for a swift mistake
making friends with the unknown
just go
in that direction
forward
or really
now
now is that direction
not a direction but
oh well
fishing in the ocean deep
make a promise you can keep
evening primrose kisses
blood’s all washed off
the greyhound lurches and you spurt a prophecy
i love you most in the rain
i love you most when you’re hurtin’
i love you most when i’m
now
let’s take that as our last name

“this is the best place” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday February 4, 2015
10:29pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

Shying away from the old heartache song
I don’t take too well to that kind of thing anymore
It hurts a bit in places that I didn’t know I had
So I let that tune play on elsewhere
I don’t tell it to stop cause I know it has to keep going
But I send it some peace so it knows It’s not personal
When I meet grace again, I’ll hum it softly
Maybe I’ll mouth the words
That’s when I’ll be able to have it quietly on repeat in the background
Underscoring my day to day
My dishes in the sink
My clothes on the line
My what ifs, if onlys
My midnight snack of whiskey and war

“EVERYTHING IS CHANGING AND EVERYTHING IS STAYING THE SAME” by Julia on her living room floor


Monday February 2, 2015
11:50pm
5 minutes
A tweet by @stgramophone

Hunters in the night, we roam open fields, crouched low, weapons poised.
We dance through the movements in the wild, past forgotten, precision amplified.
We take aim at the heart of time and we shoot, silent bullets, pew pew, into the clock.
Tomorrow, tomorrow, we lament, we celebrate. Yesterday, yesterday, we hang on the wall like a prize.
Keeping it still, keeping it the same as before. We threaten the passing moments with violent accuracy and unmatched speed.
We leave no place for it to hide, no bushes, no blades of grass, no silly wishes left to conceal.
We chew on the flesh of memory until our bellies ache from the midnight devour method.
Nothing is the same now. Nothing is better or worse or either when we don’t let it be.

“Who wrote those poems?” by Julia at Parco della Zucca


Friday October 17,2014
3:18pm
5 minutes
Advanced Italian Grammar
Marcel Danesi


I might have been dreaming them. They seemed to fill my skin to the brim causing slight tremors and excessive use of metaphors. The sky was speaking directly to me and she was nudging me, trying to give me the answers without incriminating herself. She nodded. She winked. I couldn’t get the message because I was half listening and laugh-halfing and she gave up on me before I could say Ah, yes, I get it now. Laugh-halfing happens in between sleep and awake: a backwards place where the mind cannot meet up with the body. It tries, but wires get crossed and signals get lost. Sometimes I don’t hear the sky, I hear Nina Simone instead. But the body doesn’t know how to move. Just to describe movement with colours and poems.

“And I have been in Heaven” By Julia at Piccolo & Sumblime


Tuesday October 14,2014 at Piccolo & Sublime
5:16pm
5 minutes
from a quote from Isaac Asimov

I have been to a place of permanent happiness.
I’ve seen the sun rise and fall while wearing a tutu and performing for the world; a perfect dance, to which no applause follows.
I’ve laughed until my ribs ached, till my belly quaked, till my eyes were blurry, and my face wet.
I’ve kissed a pair of incomparable lips that I want to share with everybody just so I can say I did something good for this sorry world.
I’ve tasted the sea and the earth after a night of their hot and sweaty love-making.
I’ve licked the ocean off my lips and hummed a tune under the water until my heart and the pulse of the waves traded places.
I’ve danced body on body while my youth stayed up late–just so it could pretend that nothing else in this life even mattered.

“WANTED” By Julia at her desk in Bologna


Sunday October 12,2014
1:22am
5 minutes
from a gelato advertisement

past. it was then that i saw it. i was afraid. i breathed one breath at a time out of fear of waking it. him. the beast. horror. it was a film. it was made up of my own worst nightmares. i asked my head to stop. to please. it didn’t know how. it had gone too far. present. i am sitting in a cave. the night is loud with silence. i am shivering. i am empty faced, heavy hearted. you only get one try. one attempt to flee. he was growling deep inside himself. it made me awake in every part of me. my bones. quaking. my skin soaked. future. he will eat my softness. he will wound my earth. i will fight to bind him. i will hunt to be unhunted.

“Tutti liberi!” By Julia in Piazza della Mercanzia, Bologna


Saturday September 27, 2014
5:41pm
5 minutes
Street graffiti on Strada Maggiore in Bologna

When the missus takes my hat I fall in love with her hands and the silky smoothness of her fingertips as she lightly grazes mine. I fall in love with her in this instance and in all her past instances-her befores, her before thats. Her shadows following closely behind her-I see them and I love them too, for they know her intimately from the back, even though she barely turns her head.

She doesn’t say a word to me but with her silence I can tell she senses me more than she’d like to. She won’t meet my eyes but her skin is lit up and it radiates a heat that comes from fear disguised as indifference. She’s done this before and I’m aware that she knows this too, but old habits die the hardest. She doesn’t wish it were different, she doesn’t try to kill the thing that eats her. I wonder what the missus would have looked like as a girl and I picture her strawberry blonde curls frizzing in the midsummer’s heat.

“It’s almost like cheating.” By Julia in the Poet’s Room


Thursday September 11, 2014
12:15am
5 minutes
from an interview with Emma Healey in papirmasse

You don’t know who’s watching in a place like this
In an open space surrounded by people who seemingly don’t care one way or another
You can never be sure
You can never really know if you’re interesting enough to just one person
Or if your actions can go unnoticed
And your lips go unread
You might wear a smile just in case
You might bite your thumb nail in an attempt to look pensive
You might be completely naked
Loneliness written right across your forehead like a stamp
Extreme longing dripping from the nape of your neck as you pass your hand through your hair
Someone might see those things
And how beautiful you’d be if in those instances of unedited sadness
Having someone catch your soul in the air when you think no one’s looking
Those seconds of hiding behind nothing at all