“sometimes a pencil is an octopus” by Julia on her couch

Sunday February 11, 2018
10:11pm
5 minutes
Octopus vs. Pencil
Philip A. Miletic

Sometimes you know the answer and sometimes you don’t. You don’t know because no one knows and you know because everyone knows. It’s an exact science you can rely on. It’s called Life and everyone knows it because it happens to everyone. Sometimes a theory is a sword. Sometimes an accusation is a law.
Sometimes a lie is a punishment.
Sometimes a lie doesn’t know it’s being lied. But this scientific thing, this thing that everyone knows, called Life, is hard to prove because everyone who knows it knows it in their own scent. It’s a thing everyone knows but it’s a thing no two people know the same way.
Sometimes a Buffalo chicken leg is dinner.
Sometimes a Buffalo chicken leg is breakfast.
Sometimes a Buffalo chicken leg is punishment.
Sometimes a punishment is self generated.
Sometimes the body is trying to protect itself.

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


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


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

“The life and crimes of” by Julia on the 4


Saturday March 18, 2017
12:04am
5 minutes
Exclaim Magazine

I’m not saying that I’m perfect
I’m not saying that
I just remember some things didn’t turn out exactly the way my mom planned
the way my dad planned
that way anyone really hoped things would be
I won’t say I was stupid
But I wasn’t thinking clearly
I was just sort of acting like I knew what was best for everybody
I thought that the entire family’s financial burdens were falling on me because my mom was stuck in her bed too sad to move too mad at herself for all the shit she put us through to go out and get herself cleaned up and get a goddamn job my dad wasn’t around not just because of my mom but because he was really let down as a kid and he never got over that
I’m not saying I’m a bad person because I believe that I was doing what I thought was right at the time but I haven’t made the best choices my younger sister still blames me for not getting into college
my younger brother still thinks that I should have called more adults into the equation

“it would be like not listening at all” by Julia at Starbucks


Friday July 8, 2016 at Starbucks
6:49am
5 minutes
When I Am King, Dilly Dilly
Don Cummer


I wake up everyday already loving you, you’re at, let’s say 20%. You know, like a server at a restaurant: I go in and I give you the benefit of the doubt, I start you at a 20% tip and if you mess up by being rude, I knock a couple percent off. I have no ill intentions, I don’t go to a restaurant expecting to be disappointed. I expect kindness. I expect good food. I expect thoughtfulness. And I expect, sometimes more than I should, a freebie of some sort. And then because I’ve eaten out at other restaurants before, I compare this service to that service to this service to that service, and I know when I’m not being treated right. I also know because I was a server once too, and it’s not hard to remember what was involved in a customer experience job. I wake up everyday at the top of my love for you. And then you forget to buy the garbage can again, or print off the movie tickets, or you bring home the light mayonnaise even though I specifically asked you NOT to get the light mayonnaise, for reasons that don’t need to be stated here. I’d say you’re lucky if you’re getting a base tip of 15% by lunch time.

“She said my mistakes made her feel confused” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 14, 2016
6:24pm
5 minutes
Dear Mr. You
Mary-Louise Parker


I braid my hair long down my back and I glance down to see which flower I want to put in. I let the blooms speak without forcing them to make themselves available to me. I feel the sun peaking out of the clouds just to watch what I do, see what I choose, why. Little purple one, I think. I don’t want to make the wrong decision. Marissa doesn’t like it when I choose wrong. She yells, stomps her feet, says I didn’t teach her anything and her whole life is a joke. I hate to think of angering Marissa or showing her that I haven’t been paying attention. I’m trying. I really am. I feel like she has her minions looking out on all corners of this place to see that I’m doing what I am supposed to. She’s blackmailed the trees, she’s sleeping with the whole sky it seems. Nobody crosses her. Everybody fears her. I listen to my belly, rumbling on luck near empty. Little purple one, woven into the base of my braid. I do not question myself in this moment. I hear wind chimes in the distance congratulating my bravery. Last time Marissa saw me right after a big decision, she scanned my whole body up and down looking for where exactly she might have failed me.

“The owner kindly said it was not working out” by Julia in Amanda’s bed


Friday, January 8, 2016
12:06am
5 minutes
A Facebook status

I usually don’t, but sometimes when the light is right I feel like I should apologize for all the prosciutto I used to steal from the very first restaurant I worked at. I know there are worse things to steal and I like to tell myself that I had my reasons but even justifying it makes me sort of wish I had chosen a different way to rebel. I mainly remember sneaking the expensive and coveted cured meat for the following reasons:
1. I was trying to punish my boss for making me work every brunch by myself
2. I was trying to punish my boss for never having enough cash to pay me in full
3. I was trying to punish my boss for hating women
4. I was trying to punish my boss for only offering to feed me at midnight

“right on the train, first one out of here” By Julia at her desk


Thursday, August 6, 2015
12:22am
5 minutes
If Only
Fink


I heard the cry of your sorry bones
Creeping up to the surface
Poking through the earth, begging, pleading
The haunting was my lullaby
The dream a hoax fabricated by guilt and uncertainty
Far apart from you I wept
Far apart I wished it was my life that was buried instead
I learned to sleep with the white noise of your pain;
the gentle and ever-present reminder that you were gone
That my punishment for all wrongs otherwise
Was getting out of bed even after memory restored
Each day
To face your ghost

“It is impossible to live without failing” by Julia at Valens Restaurant


Tuesday, June 23, 2015
5:23pm
5 minutes
A quote by J.K. Rowling

She came home huffing in and out like she was attached to a ventilator. It was exaggerated and annoying and I wanted to punch her strong in the throat to get her to just shut up and stop bragging about how gassed she was. She had seen me earlier on the couch with the TV blaring and I guess she thought I hadn’t left that spot all day or something? I did, for the record, in case anyone’s actually keeping tabs on me. I’ve been working more than ever, more than I should be, more than her and I combined, but sometimes it doesn’t look that way at all. She was smiling at me as if she pitied me and was trying to include me in something. Conversation, self-improvement, something like that. She asked, “How was your day?” And I pretended I didn’t hear her. She repeated herself, “How was your day today?” And I refused to turn around when I said, “Oh. It was fine. Thanks so much for asking.”

“About 10 years ago” By Julia at Holy Oak Cafe


Thursday May 14, 2015 at Holy Oak Cafe
1:17pm
5 minutes
From a story by Mikal Cronin

About ten years ago I got arrested for shoplifting and it was the best day of my life. I had been taking things that didn’t belong to me for years, for a lifetime even. I would have killed at living on the streets if I had ever had to do that..I don’t know if saying that diminishes it or not, but my skills were unparalleled. I’m not just talking little kid stuff like embroidery floss, or key chains. It was that stuff plus the good hits. I’m talking fancy face creams, high end jewelry, many expensive bathing suits, and a couple electronics every now and again. I was a little thief and I was having the time of my life. I don’t know how I got away with so much of it. Nobody every caught me, I assumed I’d never have to “pay the price”. And then that day I got arrested and had to own up, for the very first time, to what I had been doing. To who I had been. And it made me realize that I am not invincible. That I am not the exception to the rule. Cause eventually everyone has to learn that somehow.

“All the animals are laughing at us” by Julia at the Marriott in Providence RI


Sunday May 4, 2014
9:22pm
5 minutes
Aeolus
Freelance Whales


It made me laugh that you told me, Sh shh, baby, don’t be so loud, the animals will hear you, and then you put your finger to your lips as if I must recognize the universal signal for Please Shut The Fuck Up.
I couldn’t help it. In fact I hoped they did hear us. In the meeting place for animals being animals to hear or even witness two other animals being animals. I can’t remember whose idea it was to do it right there in the forrest, but either way neither of us had ever done it and we were both pretty into it. I mean, you were very much consumed with the idea that we were intruding or that we’d be disrupting the squirrels or whatever. Who cares! I yelled out at the top of my lungs, just to bug you. You threw your hands up in the air and shook your head, looking around frantically for signs of life, nature, or punishment. Baby, get over it, we’re doing the nasty in a forrest! That’s awesome! Stop wrecking it! And then you laughed for the first time and held my face in your hands and said, We are the most adventurous couple that ever lived! I was like, Yeah, that’s the spirit, now push me up against this tree. You tried doing it but you then couldn’t get over the part where the tree might be a bit pissed off that we were using her as a sex post.

“That’s the point.” by Julia on the subway going east


Monday January 27, 2014
6:40pm
5 minutes
The Grid
January 23-30 2014


Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah
That's 1234
Four
Four yeahs
That's the point
You count them out and you go oh yeah but you say as many as you feel are necessary for the understanding you've just developed
Four sometimes five
Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah
Extra yeah extra oh
For those moments when you just need to keep going on that track you started on
I've been punishing you with my absence
I'll admit that now
Haven't been responding to your messages or your needs or your calls or your smoke signals
Didn't really care if it was urgent or of it was life threatening
Didn't care at all
And so I saw your reach outs
And I ignored every last one
Cause you're a bad friend
And when you realize it all
The pieces falling where they should
The puzzle coming together
You'll do it
You'll say it
You'll go oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah
I have been terrible
I remember now

“with/without food” by Julia at Bryan’s cottage


Sunday, July 7, 2013
12:12pm
5 minutes
From the label on the vitamin C bottle

Oh darling, can you help me in the kitchen? We’re hosting a party and I forgot to mention that to you. It’s a little late to be punishing me but if you could chop the mango into cubes that would be helping me out. Oh darling, can you go to the store to pick up garlic and a bottle of Chianti? I know that’s what we need but didn’t know we needed it till now when I’m nowhere near the store and nowhere near ready to leave my kitchen. Oh darling, I’ll make you your special dessert, but can you help me with the living room? I’d love if flowers were in vases and sort of dispersed around the mantle and in the window sills. Lilacs, darling, and daisies if you can pick them for me? Oh thank you. What would I do without you? Tonight we’re having a wonderful party. They’ll all look at us and think, they’re so in love, look how welcoming they made the house together. Wouldn’t that be nice, darling? For them to all look at us with delight and think that?