“The only thing we lack” by Julia in her bed


Sunday May 28, 2017
11:13pm
5 minutes
from a program from the Cultch

you are holding me as I write this
breath on my shoulder, butterfly, same thing
I know I’ll meet my crows tomorrow morning
I know you’ll meet yours

I can feel you falling heavy
twitching into dream
As long as our skin kisses
we will know safety
we will have made it under the gazebo just in time for rain
and dancing
you are holding me as I write this
the only thing we lack
is more

“I need a reader” By Julia at her desk


Monday February 20, 2017
11:01pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

I need a reader.
Someone to read fiction from the tattered corners of the used book shop.
Someone to read stories that come from imagination and what ifs.
Someone to read their weight in other people’s words
to understand why we tell stories in the first place.
I need a reader.
Someone to read non-fiction and learn a thing or
two from the life of somebody that isn’t them.
Someone to read in between the lines when the tears come.
Someone to read the reasons why we write or why we feel we must.
I need a reader.
Somone to read me when I don’t want to be read.
Someone to read me when I need to be splayed open
heart on page after page.
Someone to read the furrow line in my forehead as
habit and not anger.
I need someone who loves flipping pages and
learning new things.
I need someone who won’t stop at the introduction
just because they can’t understand the trajectory yet.
I need a reader.
I need someone who will stay up late tracing
skin tags and face creases and bad dream mumble jumble.

“used to make them” by Julia at her desk


Saturday April 5, 2014
1:42am
5 minutes
from the box of envelopes

Sitting down with my origami paper and my origami instructions and I’m staring at my origami pictures and my origami table. I’m going to make a bunch of birds. What else do you make with origami? I want to make them small and large and smaller and larger. I want everyone to ask me to make one for them for Christmas or Easter because flight is really symbolic in both holidays. I will write a little message on each origami bird’s wing about “flight” or “magic” or “guidance” or “freedom”. I used to make things like this all the time when I had time and when I had to exorcise a lot of my personal demons on my own. I put them all into birds. I didn’t give those ones away because they would be too powerful in a negative way. Instead I’d make them and write words on the wings like “out” and “vanish” and “please” and “evil” and then I would take them up to the roof and burn every single one of them with a different match and a different glass jar. I found it therapeutic to give each bird its own holder so it could live out its issues without contaminating or influencing the other ones.
Now I’m much better so I’m giving happy thoughts out to the people I really like having around.

“Safety pocket” by Julia on the 506 going west


Wednesday March 5, 2014
10:33pm
5 minutes
the box of matches

She’s got that safety pocket that ooh will she or won’t she take off and rocket that if she does how far will she go to Jupiter and back to the very last row to the end of her dreams to the start of her screams to the depths of the water back to the barrel that shot her she’s got to she ought to stay back or she’ll rot you and then she can fly birdie high in the sky kissing every try and dying to die she’s got that safety stuff that guess what she’s doing and is it enough that party go hardy that coarse and the rough that mixture that tincture that pass pass puff puff

“Baby you’re much too fast” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday February 26, 2014
12:09am
5 minutes
Little Red Corvette
Prince


I called you up, I said Vroom Vroom baby
you told me I was out of my mind
I casually laughed then told you I was taking you out tonight
You shrieked a bit and then you were hooked
Where are we going?
And then I said it again, Vroom Vroom baby
You leave that part to me
You had on your jean jacket and you twirled in front of the mirror
Listening to Madonna or Tina
I had the keys and all I had to do was get to you
On my way over I remembered how you liked to bite my bottom lip when you kissed me
I thought about how if I close my eyes and lean into you, I always find your mouth
Or yours always finds mine
I felt cool with the hood down and the midnight air whispering through me
You were just a couple minutes away
And I couldn’t get to you fast enough
I almost ditched my ride on the side of the road
Just to run to you and make the wait disappear.
And then my song came on
Our song
The one you liked to sing in the shower

“Looking at those thin winter trees” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday February 23, 2014
8:22pm
5 minutes
Cairo Blues
Leif Vollebekk

I suppose I could have warned Pat about the ice on the roads cause I was fairly certain for a moment that it would have served as the proper amount of warning to dissuade him from coming up here. I could have told him the trees looked thinner than usual and he would’ve known what that meant. He would’ve understand that it wasn’t safe, that it wouldn’t be worth his time. I could have told him all of those things, and yet, knowing him, it wouldn’t have mattered. He’d see right through it. Right through me. Probably because he’d know that if it were too dangerous for him to come to me then it must be too dangerous for me to stay up here alone. I guess that’s what I love most about him. Even when I’m testing him without fully realizing it, he passes. He’s just so good natured he doesn’t really see these things I do as tests in the first place. He just sees them as things.

“uniquely connected to her” by Julia on her bed


Thursday February 20, 2014
6:14pm
5 minutes
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/theatre
Amanda taught Julia how to read, how to blow bubbles with her gum, how to play games on the Compquest plus, how to tie her hair back in a long ponytail so it wouldn’t get in the way while swimming. She held her hand when they crossed the road and taught Julia to wait until all the cara had passed and after the magic song was finished. Amanda taught Julia the magic song: Never run across the street, it’s the safety of the beat! Julia loved to sing it any time of the day and Amanda liked to remind Julia not to sing it unless there was a road that needed crossing. Amanda didn’t want Julia to fall behind in school, so she taught her how to listen, how to strive for good grades, how to do word problems in math class. She taught her how to kiss a boy, how to trust her instincts, and how to wear her high school uniform so people wouldn’t make fun of her. Amanda taught Julia how to look at the world with a kindness that she would never ever forget.

“say I love your product” by Julia at the CSI coffee pub


Wednesday February 19, 2014 at The CSI Coffee pub
11:50am
5 minutes
Dipped from Julia’s notebook

Deirdre was a door-to-door sales woman. She started off selling makeup and then one find day met Eva, who looked like she was 47 and not the 32 she actually was, who showed her the way and got her into selling knives. Eva trained Deirdre and taught her everything she knew-showing her that “these scissors can cut through pennies,” and “this knife set has a life time warranty.”

I met Deirdre on a windy day in April. She knocked on my door and asked if I was happy with my kitchen, happy with my appliances, my utensils, happy with my life. I wasn’t necessarily unhappy about any of the aforementioned items but Deirdre had a soft pink lipstick on and mascara on both her top and bottom lashes and for some reason, I felt like she actually cared. I questioned myself for an instant before letting her in–still not fully convinced if she was going to sell me on a knife set or on The Lord Jesus Christ as my savior. Chalk it up to curiosity, I let her in, we sat down at the kitchen table and she demonstrated the strength of her blades by cutting through a tin can.

“Cinnamon coffee” by Julia on the subway going east


Tuesday February 18, 2014
6:12pm
5 minutes


I was waiting outside your back gate with a cinnamon coffee for you and a batch of failed cookies. It was your favourite kind of day: the one with the light snow and the zero regrets policy. You did that for yourself once a year, you said, and this day just happened to be your birthday. The reject cookies I ultimately brought over were burnt on the bottoms and much too salty every second bite. I tried a couple rounds but there was a lot of pressure to get them right because they were supposed to be your favourite. Not that they were difficult or challenging due to their obscure nature. You never cared for fancy things. For things that looked like they were trying too hard. Chocolate chip. You liked the simplistic, classic, easy to make chocolate chip ones. The ones you can’t even really mess up. I brought them for you anyway hoping you secretly liked the underdog cookies: the ones that needed a bit more love and understanding.

“when I got back to Toronto” by Julia on the 506 going west


Saturday February 15, 2014
11:38pm
5 minutes
the NOW magazine cover story
Feb 13-19, 2014


Everything had changed. Everything had glossed over. It was like viewing myself through a snow globe, sort of fluttery and beautiful but because I was the spectator. If I had been anywhere close to being inside my own body I’m sure I wouldn’t have felt so free. But I had taken a trip to a different part of myself and I was enroute back to the original me, the youthful, good natured me, when it went to shit. There was a detour sign and so I had to take back roads. There was a situation with a dangerous hitch hiker. There was the misread map moment taking me to the worst parts of myself. As if a tour guide were leading me there to make sure I didn’t just get a romanticized view of the thing, I was forced to stay with the group and take photographs for the album I’d make later. When I finally made it back to the centre I was not me anymore. I couldn’t recognize myself. I couldn’t recognize my shoes.