“Oh you exercise?” By Julia on her couch

Sunday May 6, 2018
10:41pm
5 minutes
From a text

Comes out to meet me with
his shirt off and I’m like dude those wont work on me, save your six-pack for someone who cares. And he’s like this is for you and I’m like this is what I just said and you are not listening. Then he does up his shirt and starts to pout and I say, hey that wont work on me either cause I’m not into crying for no reason. And he’s like, this is not for you, it’s for me and don’t you get it? And I’m like get what? No? Get what? And he’s like never mind you don’t care. And I’m like, about what though?

“How could I predict” by Julia in her bed

Sunday April 29, 2018
8:45am
5 minutes
The Address Book
Louis Phillips

I wonder how I was supposed to know
how I was supposed to recognize you after all this time away
Your face changes every time you come back to me and my eyes are different too
Was I supposed to look for the switch of your skin
wait for the weight of your arm in my lap as you slept
and I wrote
Was I supposed to open the door and feel it
Maybe it’s in the hours collecting one by one in the bottomless hope of our pockets
Maybe after breakfast together one day or after lunch or after dinner

“Come prepared with questions” by Julia on the 99

Friday April 27, 2018
10:56pm
5 minutes
the Verses Festival of Words 2018 program

Are you home yet are you waiting in the bed are you staying this time are you home for a while are you sticking around are you there already are you as hungry and tired as I am did your journey tonight teach you something like mine did were you able to listen to your body like I wasn’t did you problem solve on the spot in a room full of strangers and lights hiding their faces are you home yet are you waiting for me are you going to be there to hold me will you hold me until I’m sleeping will you please let me sleep in will you stroke my cheek will you untie my knots are you on your way yet can you be home now can you stay home now can you stay home now

“Anne would lie for hours” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 22, 2018
9:55pm
Anne
Joe Hutto

somehow the moment you walked out the door
the clock on the wall sped up twice its usual tick
I am almost sick at how little has happened
in how many hours have magically passed and
the drum of the crows outside my window have
faded into a night that does not need to
interrupt me

I would lie for hours in the bathroom at the
mirror with a false smile and an empty stomach
tell myself a story to keep me busy and away
from that buzzing fridge
I would lie for hours on the bed staring at
the lonely space on the wall where the choices
should go and wonder how I managed to leave
them all tucked in between the books I care
less to read

“not like you” by Julia at her desk

Saturday April 21, 2018
11:33am
5 minutes
From a quote by Carlos Fuentos

He asks you if we are the kind of couple who needs
to spend every second together
He asks this while you are living in another province than me
I think it is one of those questions that doesn’t need an answer
But you answer in full sentences and give a thought out response
I would not have thought about it as long as you and
I suppose that is because I am not like you
You say it has taken a long time to get here
that once upon a time we were too codependent
and once upon a time after that we were too independent
and now we have found this happy medium where you can
go away and I can go away and we can live our individual
lives but still miss the other person
I would have simply said No
we’re not that kind of couple
And yet I appreciate all the history of us you are remembering
You know where we’ve been because you are not like me
and have been paying attention to the arc of things
I sometimes pretend like half of of our lives toegther
didn’t even happen in the first place
It is good that you are not like me

“My mother is a wood thrush” by Julia at M’s house

Thursday, April 19, 2018
11:19pm
5 minutes
A List Of My Utopias
Debbie Urbanski

I can recite her laugh lines by heart
in the quiet night I hear her in my rib cage
I saved a couple of her voicemails
when I want to visit with her again
in the dead of winter
when speaking half in english, half italian, half french, my skin knows story
sometimes she sings and I know where I got it from
and where she must have gotten it from
that alone would connect us
the hum.

“Then it went shooting back from the window.” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday April 10, 2018
12:45pm
5 minutes
Pope Hats
Ethan Rilly

I think it was a raven, you said it was a crow. Either way we’re both inside the house, close to the maple candied pecans, and not planning on leaving to prove the other one wrong. I love Sundays. You don’t make me put on pants, and I don’t make you put down your gingerale. We argue about which birds are hanging out on our back porch, but we’re not angry. We’re not anything that is not easy. Easy as Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon! We’ve got scrambled eggs and chocolate eggs! We’ve got rich cheeses and no place to be-ses! When the sun sets we don’t miss the day. We say hello to the stars from the couch and we count commercials instead of hours. We put on something more comfortable than before. We’ve earned the night. We rest like it’s the last day before you leave again. And it is the last day before you leave again. We do not waste a second.

“The process is afterall like music,”by Julia at the BC Women and Children’s Hospital

Friday April 6, 2018

9:54am

5 minutes

Käthe Kollwitz

Miriam Rukeyser

I am not over here laughing at you

If you think I am laughing at you

Not smirking at the thought of you grovelling, not turned on by your comeuppance

The memory of us swells like a song that is trying to teach me something

To ride the wave, go up, come down, stay down, stay down, and again

It is not one of those scores that gives it all away at the outset

You don’t get ahead of it because it keeps changing, twisting, turning, forcing me to touch each tendon, pulling and pressing

The resolve comes after the rise, the fall, after the shift, after the decision

And it is not the kind of music that I can dance to joyfully

It begs of me

It bruises

“A woman in the shape of a monster” by Julia on the 99

Monday April 2, 2018

10:57pm

5 minutes

Planetarium

Adrienne Rich

I guess I’m supposed to shape shift into the Phoenix now, huh? Rise from the ashes and flap my glorious wings around, fanning all the too hot, too dangerous. You expect me to be big the way you expect dinner to be on the table when you come home. I guess I’m supposed to use you as my downfall and build a sturdy ladder from my rock bottom so I can climb my ass to the fucking moon. You’d like that wouldn’t you: a real success story to attach your dick to. Watch me decide which edge to use as I slice the vein out of your skin. Show you just how much monster I can be, when you expect me to be anything but mine.

“I think you’re really mean” By Julia on her bed

Friday March 30, 2018

1:49pm

5 minutes

Not Fair

Lilly Allen

The little girl says this to me after I tell her that I’m not mad at her for breaking my crayon box. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to feel bad but she feels bad and now she thinks every word out of my mouth is going to shame her head into the sand. This comment is followed by a lot of screaming for me not to talk to her. Nobody is allowed to talk to her. And I have to let it pass because she is not my child and she doesn’t know that I am trying to hold her. Minutes earlier she is flinging her arms around me and telling me she loves me. I wonder about the size of a three year old’s emotions. I ask myself, how do such big feelings fit into such small bodies. Her hands, when she lets me squeeze them, a tiny pillow for all the unknowing in the space between us. Her curls, when she lets me comb them, a bouncy castle of dreams.

“Bill and Madge” by Julia on her couch

Sunday, March 25, 2018
11:24pm
5 minutes
The Wreck Up Ahead
Poe Ballentine

M: Billy, come down here, the darn TV went off again!

B: So turn it back on again dear Liza!

M: Har har very funny. It won’t stay on, I already tried.

B: Did you unplug it, plug it back in, wiggle the cord, and say a little prayer?

M: Billy, for Chrissakes, get down here!

B: Say it, Madge.

M: Say what?

B: The magic words. All of em, in a row: Billy, my one and only, I need your help.

M: Are you out of your goddamn mind? Why do you think I’m asking you to come down here in the first place you egomaniac!

“Oh my god it HURTS!” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday March 7, 2018
8:47pm
The Stand
Stephen King

Okay let me tell you what it’s like. On a good night? He comes home, he kisses me in the driveway, he slaps my ass and then he brings in the groceries from the car, puts them away, then sits on the couch. I give him a back massage and then I cook dinner. He does the dishes, then he reads in his chair and snacks on those chewy mints. He loves those chewy mints even though they get stuck in his teeth. He tells me he loves me. He sings in my ear. On a bad night it’s not much different. He comes home, he reads, he chews, he does the dishes. But on those days he does not kiss me in the driveway. Doesn’t tell me that he loves me. Plays the piano in the other room with his headphones in. Watches reality tv and surfs the web for funny videos in the other room with his headphones in. Doesn’t kiss me before we sleep. Doesn’t touch me in the bed. Doesn’t ask how my day was. Comes home but doesn’t want to be there.

“If you have any questions” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 6, 2018
7:32am
5 minutes
Vancouver Yellow Cab

Allow me to jump ahead for a second. We don’t fall in love, and we don’t get married, and we don’t have three red-haired and freckled children. That doesn’t happen. What does is that I cheat on you thirteen times (eleven with men, twice with women). You forgive me ten times. The last three break you. Especially the women. I ask forgiveness every day with actions and words and neither matter and both make things hurt more. You pack a bag and take your grandmother’s lamp and walk out one morning and I lie on the floor and despite knowing I deserve it all I wail and slobber for forty eight hours.

“shit and eggshell” by Julia on the 9

Sunday, March 4, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
My Life Smells Like This
Amy Bloom

You are no longer sleeping here-I beg the smart side of my brain to seize the opportunity: Paint the fucking thing shit brown and eggshell, a reminder of just how useless you were. The smart part of body buys the brushes, borrows a roller and a tray, sticks colour swatches to the wall. The other side, the middle sister side, sits on the edge of the bed and seizes into a chemical tear bath. The salty breath is held there like a brown paper bag was trying to keep it from floating away. Laboured. Inconsolable. The smart side of my brain has it all figured out: Leave, let leave, let live, live, leave. Do not pick up the phone. Do not keep slippers in the room that fit only the feet who walked out on you. Don’t do it. Don’t ask the other side for grace.

“object of concentration” by Julia on the 99

Friday, March 2, 2018
4:02pm
5 minutes
Ashtanga Yoga Primer
Baba Hari Dass

On my mind like a wind chime

blowing in the night

Playing a song so sweet

You are who I think of when I can’t get to sleep

You are who I know I need

Raindrops carry the ease of you

On my rooftop I have felt the drum

You are who my heart knows is the one

You are who my heart knows is the one

In the faces in shower tiles I see yours

In the gravel roads I’m travelling on

You’re the smile in my bowl of soup

the wisdom in the moon

You are who I was supposed to meet

You are who my dreams told me to write

You are who my eyes were built to see

You are who my heart knows

“I’ve been hiding who I am” by Julia in Hanoi

Monday February 5, 2018
9:57pm
5 minutes
Sisterly Love
Elise Pallagi

Not under the rug or anything-
in the wide wide open
in my laugh
in the unkind words I’ve used to describe myself
in the moments between dream and awake when I can’t tell what’s real
When I know what’s real and still send my brain to the night cave,
the haunted ride,
the hole in my three/almost four year old running shoes
When I say I don’t need more
When I say yes, let me settle for this;
watch how this small nothing
does suffice
And in the wretched mirror of our private elevator I have been hiding
my joy behind picked skin regrets named Lack
named Control
It takes everything I am to say what
I am not
It is worse work
It does not come with sweets

“handed down mother to daughter” by Julia at Tree Hugger Cafe, Dong Hoi

Friday February 2, 2018 at Tree Hugger Cafe
3:33pm
5 minutes
Without Mercy
Howard Wright

The slow blink while angry
The smooth legs
The internal smile at babies
The compassion
The sometimes door mat sometimes door
The olive oil skin
The walking feet
The running instinct
The humming bone
The story teller
The clam sauce recipe
The porcini mushroom gnocchi
The onion soup
The date and walnut cookies
The open face
The open mouth
The ears
The rage
The hurt
The agency
The curiosity
The attention to details
The service to the ones loved most
The glued roots to Italy
The never ending conversation
The family first

“Should we take the pillows?” By Julia in Phong Nha-ke bang National Park

Thursday February 1, 2018
10:07pm
5 minutes
What Are You Thinking?
Jay Ruzesky

R-Should we take the coffee packets? Will you want those later?

A-I’m collecting them. I think they’ll be good to have on the go, don’t you

R-And should we take the Q-tips?

A-always good to have cotton swabs we didn’t have to buy in case of an emergency.

R-should we take the bag of crackers?

A-Of course I think we’ll enjoy having them as a snack in between major meals on the road.

R-And should we take the pillows?

A-well, if they will fit in our bags then it would be good to—wait. The pillows? Should we take the pillows?

R-Yes, should we take them?

A-The pillows?

R- Yes.

A-But…the pillows?

“Said she’s comin’ back to stay” by Julia in Da Nang

Sunday January 28, 2018
7:08am
5 minutes
Gonna Have Love
Buck Owens

You are wearing black shorts and a white t-shirt. They might be your boxers. Your at home clothes. Your lounge wear. I don’t know that much about you yet. I don’t know that you love Buck yet. I know you’re funny. I know I’ve accidentally said your name while lying next to someone else. I know I don’t want to live with anyone but you. You are wearing black shorts and a white t-shirt. You knock on my door every night and when I say come in from my desk you come in with your guitar. You play a song. You charm the pants off of me. You make me laugh. You make me better. You are a one man show and I am your only audience. You and your black shorts, boxers, lounge wear. You and your perfect timing and your perfect face. You and your way of changing the room so the right light hits the right spot. I don’t know much about you but I am watching every part. I am studying your hands. Your knee caps. The way you don’t take anything personally. The way you sing to me.

“If we changed the rules of our games” by Julia in Hội An

Friday January 26, 2018
9:16pm
5 minutes
The Mercy Seat
Norman Ravvin

Now that we’ve changed
the rules I don’t cry as much.
As if my face can tell
you how I feel without
losing any water without
causing a drought somewhere
else deep down near the well of me
Now the well of me is full
and happy looks like patience
or a bucket
or forgiveness on the conveyor belt
switched on at high speed
You are coaching and playing
at the same time sometimes
and this is a rule you
have always known to follow
I can learn from this
I can play better too

“it’s the ending that keeps me in my chair.” By Julia in her bed

Thursday January 18, 2018
10:55pm
5 minutes
Memoir
Sue Goyette

Guess I want to know what you’ll look like when you’re eighty. What you’ll smell like. Where your smile will point. I want to know if your vocal chords will turn grey. If you’ll wear a hat or not. If you’ll still kiss like a goddamn unicorn. If you’ll still whisper nonsense into my ear to see if I’ll laugh. If you’ll still sneak white cheddar popcorn topping into our turkey pasta. If you’ll rub my feet for no reason. If you’ll tell your phone to tell me you love me so I get it in writing and in the third person the way I always secretly liked. It’s the happy, the ending, that keeps me glued to your station. It’s the last days that make we want to stick around and see what happens.

“the amniotic brine of tears” by Julia on the 99

Tuesday January 16, 2018

8:56pm

5 minutes

Memo to a Self

Steven Heighton

I called my mother today and yelled and cried at her while she was helping me. I yelled emotions, not anger. Or maybe frustration and fear and annoyance. And she didn’t get mad. She was kind. She knows when I yell I’m not mad at her but feeling more than my body can handle. She knows that and says it’s okay, or I’m not taking it personally, or you can take out your anger on me. But I’m not angry. And I shouldn’t be yelling. But I am yelling and so I yell that I’m not mad. Or I yell that I love her. Or I yell that I’m afraid of dying before I get to see her again. When I yell my mother rolls a batch of date and walnut cookies. She puts me on speaker phone and forgets to tell me that my dad is in the other room with his leg up cause he can’t straighten his knee. That’s when I feel bad about the yelling. As if my dad, unexpectedly home from work, can hear how ridiculous I’m being and might think I’m an asshole. As if had I known that someone else was in the house I would have put on more of a front. That’s just as ridiculous. I don’t yell at my dad because my dad doesn’t know that I have fears of dying before I see him next.

“Does it not sound like shouting to them?” By Julia on her couch

Saturday January 13, 2018
11:24pm
5 minutes
The Sisters Brothers
Patrick DeWitt

There’s a couple down the hall-or there was a couple down the hall-who screams and screams and yells and yells and fights and fights and etcetera and etcetera. I say was because we haven’t heard fighting in a while and the more logical assumption is that they’ve moved out. I mean it’s sad that a couple has moved out of our building and we didn’t realize it until we noticed the quiet. Other people are living there now and we didn’t know that either. I say it was more logical that they moved out than that they stopped fighting because they used to fight so bad it didn’t seem like the kind of thing that would ever end. Even alone they fought, which is weird, but maybe it was on the phone so maybe not so weird. Anyway I’m certain that the whole building heard it because we heard it through the walls and over the Brahms. Over our own fights, which we were glad to realize weren’t as bad as theirs. I only know them by their loud. I wouldn’t be able to pick them out of a line up.

“I am numb to you.” By Julia on her bed

January 11, 2018
10:41pm
5 minutes
Midwinter
Natalie Crick

It’s a cab ride after a long ride of not speaking. And you are still not speaking to me. I have done all the heavy lifting. At the table, with strangers, painted you in the pinkest of lights. I was talking shop like you’re the bike, like you’re the ride. And this whole ride you’ve been avoiding me. Trying your best to bite your tongue and let them hear you noble. And you forget me in the middle of it all. Arm outstretched, fork untapped, drink unclinked, and you do not smile. You make a face at them that looks like good and looks like great and then with me you are alone again. Unriddled by my questions, unannounced as if the couch owned your legs. I am mad for being mad. And for being right. And for being nothing but good. So why does it feel so damn exhausting-to nap during the day and wake up still unloved by you. So tiring to keep this back pocket free in case you slip your hand in, and when you do not ask me how my day was, I know to check for stolen change. Hand in my pocket to protect you against the yell machine, the perfect plane, soaring right back down after take off.

“where she curled, suspended, gathering” by Julia at her parents’ house

Wednesday January 3, 2018
11:55pm
5 minutes
the woman who married a bear
Anne Haven McDonnell

Nonna used to ask me if she could style my hair after I had already finished doing it. When she was young she used to curl my mom’s into sections by wrapping it around a pencil. I told her no sometimes. But on other days I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she was hurting me; yanking and twisting all the pieces wrong. I know it meant a lot to her to play with my hair. She’d sing quietly as she did, and I choked back some painful yelps so I wouldn’t interrupt her. She used to get her hair done for everything. Had one of her five daughters put her dyed blonde hair in curlers for the baptisms, communions, confirmations, weddings, funerals, barbecues, walks around the block.

“hesitating to” by Julia on Amanda’s tub

Saturday December 30, 2017
2:08am
5 minutes
From a tweet

Tell you the truth

Telling myself first

Listening

Believing you’re right

Believing I’m wrong

Go to the bathroom

Leaving the moment

Leaving the bar

Say something I’ll regret

To let you get away with it all

To let you have the last word

To agree with you

Disagree

Cry in front of you

Tell you about the hurt

Relive the hurt

Let you see me hurt

Be hurt

Ask for clarification

To cry when you cry

To hug you

To tell you I love you

To relive the past

To share what I’m feeling

To apologize

Fight

Forgive

Order another drink

Let you leave in anger

Keep you there in anger

Fight

Forgive

Fight

Forgive

Ask you to write me something

Ask you to read something

Admit I don’t know

“I’ve never been more absorbed in anyone.” By Julia at her parents’ house

Monday December 25, 2017

2:54pm

5 minutes

Elliot, Adam, Elly and Me

Charlotte Joyce Kidd

When I see you differently and you see me the room is shaded pretty like a lilac or a leaf of sage. I haven’t asked for this the way I have been so bold to ask for other things. I have asked for so many now that I’ve lost count. My bones have always wept for this. My dreams have always known. You are crying at the dinner table and I have never felt your pulse as thick. I am crying at the dinner table and you do not turn away. In kiss we are rooted deeply like a fire place, locked. Nothing gets in. Nothing gets out. There is no wondering anymore. About the silence or the motivation. There is no hungry imagination turning dust into villains, holding sweet hostages for ransom. We are a seeing and a knowing now. We rest firmly in this house.

“winter solstice ritual at a hippy retreat center” by Julia on Amanda’s couch

Sunday December 24, 2017

1:16pm

5 minutes

Dear Sugar on therumpus.net

In the upstairs room we open the skylight to let in the crisp air. We cover up the light with a dark pillow and a rainbow one that fits better on top. We sit on the floor next to the strawberry creams in a plastic bag. We light the candles of each chakra and place them around us. We light the incense and the joint and we take off our socks. The tears are there before the answers. We always knew we were witches. She reads the booklet and I hold the cards near my heart. She tells me where to lay them and I open my skin to the room. After everything is illuminated we sit inside our sanctuary and let our esses turn to mud.

“It’s not fair, after all, to lick tigers so small.” By Julia at D and A’s house

Saturday December 16, 2017
9:47pm
5 minutes
I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!
Dr. Seuss

When I’m lucky enough
to feel lucky about my tongue
I think of her.
I think of how
all gums no teeth
she could hurl a yell
at any one of us;
have us quaking
in our boots.
Her tongue was a whip.
A weapon.
She used it and the
chorus did sing.
I got mine from her.
I borrowed it once
tried it on
liked it a hell of a lot
and then kept it
in my mouth
like a hard candy
turning it over
against my cheeks.
She could lick a tiger quiet.
She could hum a baby
back into the belly
of her mother.
She could break my
heart and crack it open
in the same breath.
When I’m lucky enough
to think about the origins
of my loud,
when I’m lucky enough
to think about my tongue,
the light in the room lifts.
I am soothed, tender lion cat
nuzzling in the neck
of her sister.
Calmed, the way
an anchovy might.

“And we’re looking for a few more faces” by Julia on her couch

Thursday December 14, 2017
7:23pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Be a seagull swimming with the ducks.

Watch as Little Buddy does not let not being a duck deter her from being with the ducks. Watch as she casually lands amidst the them, plunging, gliding, squeaking. She looks around, not hurting anyone. Not asking for anything. Then slowly she swims closer to them. She joins in, hello, hi, how are you, just another sweet duck here, hello just another regular duck like you, swimming in the pond.

Be a seagull swimming with the ducks. All out of what ifs and better nots.

Maybe we’re waiting for an unlikely friend to be made. A new way of searching for tiny fish to catch.

We’re looking for a few more faces like that. Like the ones who don’t hide theirs to fit in with the others. The ones who risk difference in a pond of same.

“The Best And Worst Of” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday December 12

12:16am

5 minutes

from uproxx.com

And now since you asked I don’t know what to say. Do I love you, yes, do I want you, yes.

Do you see me.

The best part of me was I could write circles around you. The worst part of you was that you could pretend that wasn’t happening. We didn’t feed each other proper toast. We didn’t call down the chimney in a rotting feast of anger. I can’t answer you safely. I don’t trust my own tongue in a game of truth of dare. I don’t let her speak if she’s quivering.

I once thought you were minnow, me a whale, and I’d swallow you whole. I’d take every skin on your knees and hold them.

“We emailed back and forth” by Sasha at JJ Bean

Monday November 20, 2017
6:10pm
5 minutes
Overheard at JJ Bean

we emailed back and forth a bit
you sent me jokes
i laughed into my screen
like an idiot

you asked if i knew where salamanca was
i said no
it took you thirteen days to reply
i waited and waited
every time the ding came
i thought
there it is

i could have googled it
i know that okay
but i wanted it to come from you

you invited me to the dominican republic
you said you’d pay
i got cold feet
i wasn’t sure what you maybe wanted

“A long with underwear, love is a woman’s work” by Julia on the 99

Friday November 10, 2017
7:16pm
5 minutes
How to Be A Woman
Caitlin Moran

Wash the clothes
Wash the dishes
Wash the bum
Wash the pocket
Wash the slate
Wash the record
Wash the something
Wash the something

Wash the car
Wash the pipe
Wash the pipe
Wash the potatoes
Wash the bathroom ceiling
Wash the sheets
Wash the tears
Wash the something

His and Hers
Mugs
Sides of the bed
Pasta noodles
Drawers
Hands
Pills
Sides of the office
Kisses
Pains
Emotions
Towels
His and Hers
Apologies
Mistakes
Tattoos
Regrets
Butter
Cheese
Silence

“tired of having sex only with me” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday October 31, 2017
10:52pm
5 minutes
A Few Portals
Debbie Urbanski

It’s okay
You say
Brushing my hair out of my face
Can’t stop crying
Won’t stop crying

Joy
Shhh
You say
And I breathe in your smell
Applesauce and bicycle tires

I go into the bathroom
Splash water on my face
Let it run down my neck
You knock on the door

Go away
I say
I will not
You say
I love you
I say

You make us bagels and cream cheese
I don’t want tomato

“swallowing harder than she intended” by Sasha at the casita

Saturday October 21, 2017
11:00am
5 minutes
The Touch of Aphrodite
Joanna Mansell

You swallow.
I reach across the table and take your hand.
You pull away.
You reach backwards.
Are you stretching?
Are you grasping for…
“Let’s go get ice cream,” I say.
You wrinkle your forehead.
I know this shape well.
You swallow.
“I’m sorry, babe.” I say.
“I know.” You say.
I can’t believe I’ve done it again.
I swallow.
There’s love in your eyes back behind the disappointment.
I hate disappointing you.
A crow flies past the window.
She looks in on us.
She gives sympathy and a caw.
You love crows.
You talk about getting a crow tattoo on your back.
I try to dissuade you usually.
I wouldn’t if you mentioned it now.
“Let’s go get ice cream,” I say.
“It’s raining,” you say. “And freezing cold.”
I stand up and stretch against the counter
Sticking my ass into the back of your head.
“Stop that, Sophie,” you say.
I wiggle.
“Stop,” you say, but softer.

“I wanted to go on sitting there” by Julia on the 84

Friday October 20, 2017
6:10pm
5 minutes
Rebecca
Daphne Du Maurer

Kenneth and I haven’t spoken since last winter and he knows why. I don’t like it when people call me sensitive when I’m just feeling my feelings. I don’t go around telling everyone who seems to be under reacting that they’re insensitive. They’re entitled to their own way of expression. Obviously. I’m not trying to take that away. But Kenneth knows how I feel about the word and how I don’t like being labelled emotional when I am simply being alive. Yes, of course it goes back to high school. The girls thought I was a loose cannon, fine, that’s what I became. I put on a real show for them too. Throwing pencil cases and screaming, crying a lot. They thought I was a nut job. And to hear someone say that I’m sensitive after knowing that the word only sticks a knife into my heart, really makes me whirl. I wish I could have stayed still, sat there without bubbling up, but I’m not that kind of person. And yet I am a kind person. And he was wrong to try to tell me how to respond. He was wrong to even put me in the position. Anyway he’s probably enjoying Gran’s oatmeal crisp right now. Sitting happy and quiet without me.

“Better questions to ask are” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday October 18, 2017
5:11pm
5 minutes
You Can Heal Your Life
Louise Hay

Do you love yourself

Do you love anything

Where were you when you first liked your body

Where were you the second

What’s your favourite Tom Petty song

Do you love yourself

Will you tell me if my breath is bad

Will you hold the door open for someone who has hurt you

Will you notice when to switch the towels

Will you keep my plants alive when I’m gone

Is there a food you miss because of me

Is there a good you hate because of me

Can we get sushi for dinner

Will you rub my feet

Do you love yourself

Do you know what you want

Do you want anything

Have you ever wished I was dead

Have you ever wished she didn’t break your heart

Do you love yourself

Are you happy

Do you love yourself

Are you listening to your arms

Are you good

She is giant and bossy and funny as hell.” By Julia on her couch

Saturday October 14, 2017

11:22pm

5 minutes

a text

Kitty tells me to say that that I’m the baby and she’s the mum. I say, I’m the baby and you’re the mum. Then she tells me to say I’m addicted to raisins! I say, do I know what addicted means already? And she tells me to just say it already. I say I’m the baby and you’re the and mum and I’m addicted to raisins. She tells me, okay now say you’re trapped in a lemon peel. And I say oh no I’m the baby and you’re the mum and I’m addicted to raisins and I’m trapped in a lemon peel. Then kitty bursts out laughing. She is laughing so hard she gives herself hiccups. She tries to give direction between giant gulps of air. I tell her to take a second and catch her breath and she tells me to hurry up and be funny. I tell her she’s being a bit bossy and she shrieks at the top of the lungs, THAT’S BECAUSE I’M THE MUM.

“It was a wild weekend” by Julia on her couch

Friday October 13, 2017

5:33pm

5 minutes

cnn.com

Holy balls I can’t hear out of my left ear and I am not even mad. I thought I would be devastated if I lost my hearing but I’m fine. I think that’s what happens when you get older. When the real things matter. Anyway I’m not even bragging just trying to make peace with the things that are out of my control. Been cleaning more these days. Been organizing everything I can. They say it’s best to organize things that don’t have a heart beat. Cause you can’t control anything with one but sometimes you still need to put things in their perfect order. I’m upset that Lara is sick. She won’t tell me how bad it is but I know she’s been going to the doctor’s office more and more. At first I thought she was just pregnant. That would have been a whole different jar of worms and I think it’s safe to say now that a baby would not be the solution.

“I’d be fucking rocked if I were you.” By Julia on the 4

Wednesday October 11, 2017

8:54pm

5 minutes

From a text

He forces my wrist until it is twisted up and screaming quietly. He wants me to get into the bathtub. I don’t know why. I let him hold my arm and push until I am kneeling beside the tub and looking in. He keeps pointing. I keep imitating him. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do but he is strong for six and this is the first time we’re in a bathroom together. He looks at me like he’s trying to tell me about his pain. His face is contorted and his eyes are loud. I look back at him with as much heart as I can muster. Tell him with my smile he’s not alone. That I’m here. That I’m sorry he’s trapped inside his head with so many feelings and not enough words. He grabs me by the wrist when I try to open the door. He brings me back to the tub. I am breathing loud enough so he might hear it in his skin. I want to save him but I don’t know what from. He is crying without tears. I tell him, it’s okay. It’s okay.

“All in your head” by Julia in her bed

Monday October 9, 2017
11:55pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Tim Hortons

Imogen and Harriet are grinding their hips and Imogen likes Harriet and Harriet knows that. The music makes Imogen want more than what she has. Harriet doesn’t want to waste the song. Imogen thinks arching backs and swaying thighs is proof. Harriet wants to be free and enjoy each second because she doesn’t know when she’ll get another one.

The two of them remember this night differently.

“how on earth an idiot like that could be trusted” by Julia at the bus stop

Friday October 6, 2017

10:19pm

5 minutes

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou

Wally took off work early again and decided to pick up Dallas and Dax from school even though they still had two periods left. Of course the school doesn’t think to notify me since one of their “guardians” is given my permission. I don’t like him going around there trying to be the hero for two teenage boys who are desperate for their father’s time. He buys them double cheeseburgers and milkshakes while I have whole chicken thawing on the counter. I told him he can keep his privileges if he keeps his drinking under control. I really didn’t want to drag my kids through court to prove to them that their daddy is a fuck up. So far he’s been okay, but I know he’s still polishing off a 24 every two days. That may seem like a small amount compared to some, but these are my kids.

“Protect the blood from attack” by Julia on the 72 bus in Victoria

Thursday October 5, 2017
10:19am
5 minutes
Chinese Tonic Herbs
Ron Teeguarden

My blood is you and I will never not know this. You are my heart beat, pulsing, thriving, keeping me alive. I am yours. I am always yours. The only gift in this life that I can take with me is being carried into this world by the same love as you. In the same room. With the same light.

When the hail comes, I will know it by the stretch of my skin over yours. You will know it by the warmth of protection that comes without doubt. You are my blood and your blood is me. The only true thing that I love. The only pure thing that I know. You have always known me and I will always find lift because of it. How blue the sky tastes when the eyes are river reflecting. You will know it by the thud in my chest.

“This one has more nuts” By Julia at the studio


Wednesday September 13, 2017
6:28pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Bump n’ Grind

Last night I thought I’d woo you with a sage butter walnut sauce
in my dreams the slick pasta would make you hard instantly
then you’d fuck me on the counter top
taking breaks to slurp back another slippery noodle
Last night I made a sage butter walnut sauce
Okay, margarine
I should have grinded the nuts more
I should have put fewer in
You ate three bowls and we didn’t fuck once
You asked why I wasn’t talking
I said these walnuts are killing me
You laughed
it really wasn’t funny
I told you sometimes I’m not sure how deep this
sadness lives
You interrupted me then, the first real thing I’d said
in days
to tell me how much you liked the sage
I guess dreams really do come true

“Back then baby it didn’t seem so strange” by Julia


Wednesday August 16, 2017
10:33pm
5 minutes
Dearly Departed
Shakey Graves


we didn’t use to ask each other anything
shuffled through the corridor with too much heart at stake to risk
we didn’t know what we didn’t know
you thought my favorite colour was blue,might have gotten away with it too if I didn’t walk right on out
it didn’t seem strange when we assumed how each other was feeling
it didn’t seem to bother us too much that all these notebooks were half-filled
now I want to know
I don’t know about you since you don’t know what you don’t know
but I want to ask every question that rolls through mush and makes it out alive
why do you tap your feet like that
why do you forget to book that flight
why do you hate your own eyes so much
why do you lie about how cold your hands get

“tremendous whooshing noise” by Julia at her desk


wednesday August 9, 2017
10:35pm
5 minutes
The Enormous Crocodile
Roald Dahl


“If I can’t see you I don’t want to see anyone!”
Mitchell wept into his pillow. He talked to his Dad before bedtime.
Mitchell’s Dad wanted to do the right thing. He didn’t want to confuse him. He didn’t want to make him reliant on someone the rest of the world couldn’t see.
“You can’t leave me,” he cried, “I can’t give you away!”
Mitchell’s Dad told him he would have to let him go and help out the Angels. He didn’t want to leave either but Mitchell was getting so big. He told him he would never really leave him. He’d always be close by, watching over him.
“But how will I know that it’s you?” Mitchell squeaked.

“Not even sure” overheard on 14th Ave by Julia on Bec’s couch


Sunday July 9, 2017
2:07am
5 minutes
overheard on 14th Ave

We haven’t talked since Maeve’s funeral. A bit strange, since we live together. We have been weaving in and out of the hallways to avoid our skin brushing. It helps that there are mirrors. You don’t know I’m watching but I know when to move. I don’t miss your voice and that’s also a bit strange. I thought I would but it turns out I’ve never known silence. Neither have you. My quiet is different than yours. Mine is settled. Yours sounds like bees, dying. Maybe if you didn’t kiss my sister while everyone else was burying my step mother. Maybe then yours would have sounded lighter.

“is there somewhere else she could go?” by Julia on the 7 bus


Friday June 30, 2017
5:30pm
5 minutes
overheard on the 7

Bobby smoothes down the peach fuzz under her chin to calm down. When she was new to school in the 6th grade two of the good looking boys used to tease her about it. She had no idea they were doing it. For some reason she always instinctively reached for it when she needed to feel close to herself and to her inner child.
Maxwell is banging every pot and every cupboard door but refuses to say anything. He is very aggressive about his passive aggressiveness. It is clear he doesn’t want Bobby’s younger sister, Hannah, to stay with them over the long weekend. He doesn’t think he should have to share his living room with anyone.

“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.

“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