“ballet was fucking therapy” by Julia on the GO bus

Wednesday May 1, 2019
5 minutes
from a text

She dances, He dances, it’s beautiful
It’s the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathroom on Sundays
He scoops her up and he dips her low
He sways her, she opens him, they let the music butter them smooth
She is slipping
He is slipping
This was never meant to happen
This was never meant to happen
This was never meant to happen
The song is low, or it’s stopped now
The radio is playing static fuzz and calling it sweet
The attic is no longer haunted
The floorboards are no longer empty
The tulips all died with their mouths wide open
screaming, begging
The corners are dusty
another couple moves in and buries the noise
The static fuzz is lingering in the attic
The attic is no longer haunted
she danced
he danced

“I balance unlaced shoes” by Julia at Starbucks

Thursday June 23, 2016 at Starbucks
5 minutes
Circling Before Landing
Mariene Crookshaw

Man puts on the radio, turns the dial so slowly
we hear bits and pieces of moments
and conversations
and music
and static
and we wait until he finds the station
he likes
he can put up with
that won’t make him crazy
He is responsible for us now
he keeps our spirits
in the switch of the dial
in the palm of his hand
In the corner
by the only
there is a bony girl in green and black
striped pants
who holds a paper
airplane up to the light
that was here yesterday
she is holding on
her turn
to dance
but the music doesn’t stay
the crackling continues
Her mother is lying two feet
away from her
her belly robbed in the
the blood is slowing now
her eyes remain open
pointed at the ceiling
longing for

“if you gave me a chance I would take it” by Julia on her patio

Saturday, June 13, 2015
5 minutes
Rather Be
Clean Bandit

Clean break
Said goodbye
Said it twice
Left the room
Turned back
Waited to make meaningful eye contact
You didn’t see me
Said goodbye too
Said it with your back to me
So what now
What do I hold onto
That memory
Should be enough
To remind me that it’s over
You said goodbye
Said it twice
Clean break
No lasting happy thoughts
To tricks of the mind
True colours splattered on the walls
For all to see
No hiding them
No covering them up
No pretending they don’t exist
So believe them now
Trying to
Cause those true colours
Aren’t doing it for me
Aren’t lifting me up
And I know they’re supposed to
Clean break
Painful aftermath
Sad songs playing on the radio
On repeat
Waking up alone
wanting to die
Said goodbye
Said it twice

“gals give some sneaky hints” by Sasha on the plane flying West

Tuesday February 24, 2015
5 minutes

Don’t get your back up all hunchy
I’m not tryna make a big mess
I’ve got this cat’s cradle across my body
And you’re fighting fighting fighting
The war-cry was the radio
Set to a station I don’t like
The advertisements are the liquor
Ouch ouch ouch
Paper-cut across the boundaries
Blurry and sweaty and new
Ouch ouch ouch
No one’s bleeding
It’s going to be alright
Eventually the clouds change
That always happens
Eventually we change
Yup yup
Ouch ouch ouch
That always happens

“to listen to when feeling nostalgic” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday November 25, 2014
5 minutes
from a YouTube comment

I used to listen to my Walkman under my covers, pretending to be asleep. It was my only real radio phase. There was a doctor that would come on and council people about a whole slew of weird stuff. It electrified me. I couldn’t believe that people would come on the radio and say the kind of things that they said. I couldn’t believe that there was a place where you could listen to people’s voices, in all their beautiful vulnerability, and imagine their faces, the sound emerging from them – driving down an interstate, or leaning against a pillow, or looking out the window at the snow.

“they are content with burning my books” by Julia on her couch

Sunday, July 13, 2014
5 minutes
Freud, 1938, Vienna
Lou Lipsitz

So I come home (hard day), the radio’s blasting (of course it is), and Jeremiah is sitting cross-legged on the cold linoleum (of course he is) surrounded by a perfectly stacked circle of all my books. I stand there in the doorway (leaning) just looking at him (confused), while he hums the alphabet song (leaving out J and S, I can only assume), and touches each book as if for the very first time. He’s deciding (magically) which ones he’ll discard (burn) at the final moment (3:33pm), while I question every single reason (mole, laugh, orgasm) why I’m still with him.

“I watch a news clip of” by Julia at Jessica’s kitchen table

Wednesday July 9, 2014
5 minutes
We Should Do Something
Laurel Leigh

On the radio there is a big discussion about will we go to war or won’t we
I sit on the bathroom floor with a towel over my head and a stick of beef jerky in my mouth
I haven’t spoken to you in days
I haven’t spoken to anyone in weeks
The radio man plays the same songs and the same commercials and the same sound effects
He asks us about our days but doesn’t wait for a response
He asks us about our fears but
doesn’t give us a chance to answer
I haven’t spoken to you in days
I haven’t spoken to anyone in weeks
The war is on the war is off
I sit on the bathroom floor just thinking about it all.

“forced to break the locks” by Sasha in the park on Adelaide

Friday May 9, 2014
5 minutes
The TSA baggage inspection notice

When I was sixteen my Aunt Nell’s life-long struggle with an array of mental health issues came to an unfortunate head. She had legally adopted me when I was five, having been abandoned by my father, her older brother, and my mother, who had killed herself soon after my birth. How the Child Services had a let a woman with a history of blackouts and violence adopt an asthmatic, scrawny, bookworm still perplexes me. But, they did. I called her “Mama”, at her frequent request. “I’m your Mama!” She’d shout. She self-medicated with nicotine and a slew of prescribed and not prescribed uppers. WHen she was flying high she was pure fun. We’d have dance parties in the dining room, pushing the table and chairs to the side and blaring Tina Turner and The Bangles. She’d crash hard though, and I would be left to my own devices for days at a time. Luckily, I was a good kid. I went to school, I did my homework, I ate all the food groups. When I was sixteen, I came home from a Student Council meeting. I’d been elected the Treasurer only seven weeks before. I tried my key in the lock and it didn’t work. I knocked on the door. No answer. I could hear the far-off sound of the radio, the five o’clock news. “What the fuck do you want?!” It was Nell. She must’ve been calling to me from the kitchen. “Mama?! It’s me! It’s Ursula!” I called. I tried my key again. Then it dawned on me. She’d had the locks changed. She didn’t want me anymore. I was terrified. But I was free.

“Behind the new shopping centre” by Julia on the 506 going east

Thursday December 19, 2013
5 minutes
The Globe and Mail
Thursday December 19, 2013

Hal had me waiting in the car with the damn thing running because he said he’d be “two secs”. I hate when he says stuff like that. “two secs” sounds dirty no matter how innocently you mean it. So I was sitting there flipping through radio stations, seeking through them hoping to find a song I knew. I feel like I always have a hope for a certain song to come on. As if I deserve to hear it just by being in the car. I heard ones I knew but not ones I wanted to sing. I think that’s the difference. No one sits in a car alone and doesn’t sing! What’s the point of that! I like to belt it. Try to harmonize badly with good songs. Anyway Hal told me he’d be quick and to be honest I had lost track of time. I wouldn’t have minded if he stayed away a little while longer so I could find that song and just sing it out. I must have missed him calling my phone. Turned it to silent so I wouldn’t be tempted to check it every few minutes.