“Slicing lake Ontario” by Julia at her desk

Sunday August 11, 2019
8:27pm
5 minutes
Catastrophe that Nearly Brought Down a Plane
Sabyasachi Nag

Darling tonight did you hear me ask you
a less than hypothetical question about
our children and about the future that
might show you just how much I’ve thought
about these things?

You didn’t seem to clock it and that
didn’t bother me then but it’s bothering
me now and I wished I had said, Excuse me
did you hear what I said about our kids
without you leading the charge?

These are moments for me to reflect on
by myself I suppose, because did I say
it out of truth gargling against my cheeks
or did I say it out of poetry and the
persistent chase of perfect phrases?

Are you changing your mind now that
I’ve got mine on straight? It would be so
sad after all this time if we had found
ourselves on different pages again. It
might break my heart into weapons.

I think about this future family of
ours and where the hell are they going
to live? In this one bedroom apartment?
In this city that you said yourself might be
too soft for them and for us and everything.

“you can’t feel nothing small” by Julia at her desk

Monday June 10, 2019
9:43am
5 minutes
Ophelia
The Lumineers

Whether the sun is out or not
I keep wondering where you went
Lots of pain in this medicine
I haven’t found it yet

Got a cool breeze followin’
picked the proper jacket
the pockets are deep and
the zipper works
a hood to keep my breath close

Where do you go
when the sky lights up
Are you ever thinking about me?
Summer seems to pass before it starts every year
And every season fades into memory

I don’t miss you, no that would be too small
I don’t keep your photo on my wall
I break my own skin
with every thought you’re in
making mountains out of molehills

Whether the moon is playing rough or not
I have you pounding at the door
A secret cave at the bottom of my well
And that’s what I keep you for

I don’t miss you, no that would be too small
I don’t keep your photo on my wall
I push and pull at my own skin
with every thought you live in
oh you keep on living
I can’t kill off the note that rises higher
I can’t dream another story into life
You’re the one I want today and forever
even if I never tell this story right

I don’t miss you
no that would be too small

“Mom had written bad checks” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 27, 2019
9:20pm
5 minutes
What Little She Had
Doug Crandell

“Okay so we’re back together but don’t tell Mom. She’ll flip her shit and I don’t need to see that women’s shit anywhere, do you?”
Lise was screaming on the phone to her sister, walking with pace.
“Why would I tell her when she doesn’t deserve to know? Because someone who can’t keep their hands to themselves and their opinions on a need to know basis doesn’t deserve to know.”
She was making giant circles in the lobby way, not stopping to see how her yelling was being received. Why would she? She had every right to be there, pacing, having a dramatic conversation about something important to her. So what if Lionel wasn’t the most successful car salesman. So what if he didn’t see himself working up the ladder to challenge his skills. Her mother wouldn’t know love if it slapped her upside the head. Who was she to even dare open her mouth about it.

“concern also has been expressed” by Sasha at her desk

Friday March 29, 2019
9:48pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

You scrub the walls and dust the
hard-to-reach corners way up
way up beyond
where I can reach

I watched you ironing your shirt
this morning and talked and talked
and then I said

“I guess I’m feeling a bit chatty”
and you smiled
and it was all there
the waiting and the mystery
the stillness and the movement
the arrivals and the departure

The great letting go
required
on both sides

We are living in more
love than ever before and
I know it’s because
we have scrubbed the foundation
we have eaten handfuls of
clay in the face of doubt

We have come through the tunnel
and now we shield our eyes from
the exquisite brightness
of this living

“stinking up the bedsheets” by Julia at her desk

Monday April 9, 2018
9:15pm
5 minutes
Lonely
Z. Da Costa

I noticed crumbs in the bed yesterday morning
they belong to both of our feet
both of our pajama pants
I don’t know
I don’t hate it
But this lonely has been stinking up the bed sheets
and I know that it only belongs to me
that the nights left unslept are mine
but they’re because of you
I don’t think you will mind sharing this custody
I think your bed has fewer crumbs in it
but it is more empty
I have never been there and left it
I have never rolled my day’s lint at the bottom of your sheets
and then made you sleep alone in it
I noticed your side of the bed doesn’t dip as much
maybe this haunting was all part of your master plan

“It’s always too soon to go home.” by Julia at her desk

Thursday, March 22, 2018
10:26pm
5 minutes
Hope In The Dark
Rebecca Solnit

The last conversation was a bad one:
you on the phone with the love held up
to your ear, me at the good plate trying
not to miss you. And maybe it was dinnertime
for me and bedtime for you and we
couldn’t get our wires uncrossed, or it
was just me, as it always is, when the
volume rises for no reason.
All you said was no more canned tomatoes.
It could have been so funny.
But lately I’ve been trying not to sway so
damn easily at the nudge of you. I made
a deal with the body I get to visit
that I would not wait for you to
come home for me to start deciding.
You managed, like a duck diving,
not to mind the dark and cold at all.

“connection as friends.” by Julia at the studio

Monday, March 5, 2018
3:53pm
5 minutes
I Know How You Feel
F. Diane Barth

When we first met I wanted to like you. I wanted to like you and I liked
you. I said “She and I are going to be friends.” I said we were, and we
were. I learned that If I wanted something, believd in the wanting, in the
why, then I would get what I wanted. I tried that out on other friends too,
just to see. It worked. I wanted to like them and I liked them. I said “We
are going to be friends and we were friends. Maybe you could make the
connection that I made us have the connection. You could infer that I was the
one who brought us floating together in the same orbit to begin with. Afterall,
if you wanted us to be friends, wouldn’t you have made us friends?
You might interrupt here and tell me that we are friends because we both wanted
us to be friends. We made the connection in tandem. Made, a verb, an action,
a choice. I know that this is not the case because I did all of the work. I
showed you my whole thumping heart. I bled out when it was not convenient.
You said yes. But you waited for me to go first.You didn’t want it as bad as me.

“they couldn’t handle you?” by Sasha on her balcony


Friday July 28, 2017
9:15pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Kits beach

I often feel I’m not keeping up
the dust bunnies collect in the corners again
the kitchen floor needs scrubbing again
I explain the rules of writing dialogue to children
but meanwhile break them in the quiet of the solitude

In fifty six days I will be married
this is not an accomplishment
or a humble brag
it is a fact
plain and simple
like my Diva cup sitting in a teacup
of boiling water on the counter

I often look at pictures of women
either pregnant or with
small cinnamon bun children
I wonder what it will be
to roll dough between my hands
and sift genes in my womb
“God willing” I say

Almost husband
my sweetheart
you put a Persian rug on the balcony
you leave plaque on the mirror
you fold my underwear into perfect shapes
you hold me tender and rough

“God willing”

“intimate questions” by Sasha on her balcony


Friday June 23, 2017
10:39pm
5 minutes
From an e-mail

I thought maybe we’d start by talking about the cities where we were born
I thought we’d start by making small talk about the weather or
the government
or
the smell of the season the smell of the summer
Instead you inside my head and you say

I know we’ve met before

We have

Yes

Oh

Mundane intimate words
Rubbing soft gentleness
Mundane words that mean
everything now
in my memory space
as I contemplate
the colour of our love

“I was speaking body-to-body.” By Sasha at her desk


Wednesday June 21, 2017
11:18pm
5 minutes
From an interview with Lidia Yuknavitch on http://www.bloom-site.com

We don’t have much to say to each other
with these things
with these words
with syll-
ables
broken and frayed
and drunk on vowels

We speak body-to-body
sweaty sheets wound round
thighs and arms and
you touch me with the
conviction I’ve always
wanted to be wanted
in this articulation

When we walk down the
street you are distant
one hand on the handlebars
of your bicycle
I’m not used to this
arrangement of hard
K’s and V’s and
you disorient me
with your vague
interpretations of
song lyrics of the
band I wish I knew

I am gutted when
you stop calling
because I’ve only known
this body-to-body to mean
something
something languid
something truthful
something gracious

It’s two years before I
know the true taste of sweetness
of gentle whispered w’s and a’s

“He lowers his eyes and I know” by Sasha on her balcony


Sunday June 4, 2017
12:25pm
5 minutes
Years Later, I Go Back To Thank You
Anders Carlson-Wee


He lowers his eyes
and I know that he’s
thinking of the space between
clavicle and neck
the tender taste
of summer skin
sweat and watermelon
salt and sunscreen
“Look at me” I say
the unfamiliar crack
of fear
of wishing
He raises his eyes
forest floor of longing
stretching the width
of this city
reaching up towards
the sun

“As the vibrations release” by Sasha at her desk


Friday June 2, 2017
10:45am
5 minutes
Freeing the Natural Voice
Kristin Linklater


“What are you getting at?” Ben puts his hands in his pockets. That’s never a good sign.

“I just…” My mouth is pasty. My knees are weak. My heart is beating like I’m running, but I’m still.

“Spit it out, Caroline,” Ben says, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.

“I want to go by myself.”

He steps back, putting more space between us. Maybe he understands.

“We bought our plane tickets,” Ben says in a soft voice.

“I know, I know… You can go, too! But, I want to travel alone. I need to do this. I really need to do this.” I will tears not to come. Please please please.

“This is fucked.” Ben walks into the bedroom and slams the door.

“I don’t even think that your songs are about me” By Julia at her dining table


Wednesday January 11, 2016
2:40pm
5 minutes
Like You
EXES


When we saw each other again for the first time in three years, you looked different. You smiled different. I felt like you did that on purpose so I wouldn’t look too closely at the you we both know you used to be. It didn’t work. Distractions don’t work on people who have seen your entire insides. I should know. I can’t hide from you either. Even if I was panicking about how I looked seconds before you met me at the underground station. I didn’t want you to think anything other than I Used To Love This Person. I wish I didn’t think that appearances were the only road to remembering that. When we hugged I tried to hold on a little longer so I could smell your neck. I don’t know if I was expecting the same smell you used to have, or hoping for a new one to break all my stupid patterns. Either way I might have been the only one in that hug, and it broke my heart a little. You told me that it’s good to see me and I wanted to say Yeah? But Can You Define What Good Means To You Real Quick? Instead I laughed and swatted at your arm, saying You Too, You Too.

“We talk all about our relationship” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday November 6, 2016
8:50pm
5 minutes
Dear Sugar Radio

We talk all about our relationship until our tongues are heavy
and our hearts are downward dogging stretching
tailbones to the stars
You notice the curl of a lip too quick
the taste of salt on a throat kept tight tight
Fireflies lead us outside and we follow them
into the forest where the dreams of six months from now
call us quietly
by our names
We strip off our clothes and it’s cold but
we don’t mind
I don’t mind
We jump into the water and it’s so cold it’s hot
Takes breath like you do like I do
Takes courage
this
this
Early nights in the fall as the temperature drops

“let us communicate” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday October 18, 2016
9:00pm
5 minutes
From the back of The Sun

He never asked me what I wanted to do or what I loved or what I was thinking.
He didn’t need to know, I assumed. He didn’t think it was necessary. I don’t
know how you go your whole life as a parent not thinking it is necessary. I don’t
Know how you go your whole life talking to so many people each day and saying so
little.

The best gift he ever gave me was a necklace: black gem stone, elegant.
He brought it home for me the day after my sister gave the other half of her best
friends forever necklace to someone other than me. He said he wanted me to have one
of my very own. One that I wouldn’t need somebody else to complete.

“let us communicate” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday October 18, 2016
6:29pm
5 minutes
From the back of The Sun

Henry builds forts out of pillows and blankets I always thought we’d use for company. When he started sleeping downstairs, in the basement, I thought it was because of the snoring. He felt bad for waking me, he said. When I finally went down there and saw his forts, I wondered if something else was going on. It took me awhile to get up the courage to talk about it. We’re both introverts. We prefer quiet dinners, reading side-by-side at the kitchen table. Sometimes I wonder if we’ve even spoken to one another that day. At least we texted about who was going to bring Bigsby to the groomer, I’ll say.

“out in the burbs” by Sasha at Lit Espresso Bar


Saturday July 30, 2016 at Lit on Ronces
3:12pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Lit on Roncesvalles

James wants to move out to the burbs once he’s done his internship. He keeps talking about the “size of the lots”… “There’s nothing for us here, Carly,” he keeps saying and I don’t know what he means and I absolutely do not agree. There’s lots for us. Lots for all of us, not just me and him. I’m not getting cold feet or anything, but I don’t really feel excited when he talks like that – like he has a plan that I’m not privy to, like he thinks he’s the boss of our future. I actually asked him last night, “Do you want a pool, James?! Do you want a damn hot tub?” And he laughed because he thought that maybe I was joking or something.

“We were two ships in the night” by Sasha on her porch


Wednesday April 20, 2016
10:43pm
5 minutes
Capsized
You+Me


We were two ships in the night for twenty nine nights too long and then I lost you. The unnamed cousin of the Bermuda Triangle, you must’ve been swept up in a wave or a gust of wind, powerful and smelling of seaweed and broken bottles.

I looked for you, sails ragged and ropes broken, but only found a lantern and a tree stump. Remains of something that was once so precious, so present, so tangible.

I call to you sometimes, in my sleep. At least that’s what my lover says, brow furrowed.

“Shrimp only” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday, March 29, 2016
2:43pm
5 minutes
from a recipe in Cowichan Bay

I could live off of shrimp only and maybe some garlic. I really could. I could live off of a lot of things that seem simple like that. I could live off of sunsets and matchsticks. I could live off of olive oil and crusty bread. I could live off of my mother’s laugh and my father’s silly singing. I could live off of silent walks to the beach and quiet crying by the ocean. I could live off of his kisses and his squeezes and his eyebrow scar and his banjo playing. I could live off of people watching and star gazing. I could live off of understanding and connecting. I could live off of summer’s heat and throwing a baseball. I could live off of burgundy pens and graph paper. I could live off of peaches and hot peppers. I could live off of magic and synchronicity. I could live off of curiosity and fresh basil. I could live off of truth-speaking and patio writing. I could live off of my belly soft and my lucid dreams. I could live off of the perfect yawn and the perfect hug.

“What? What’s wrong?” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, March 28, 2016
10:17pm
5 minutes
from some sides

You ask me what I’m not telling you for the second time because my face looks like it’s hiding something from you. I don’t know why I keep saying,

Nothing.
Nothing.
Nothing.

If this were a year ago you’d have stopped questioning, whether you believed me or not, assuming you believed me, assuming you didn’t care to take notice when I said something I mean or when I didn’t.
Now you won’t let up and you won’t let me wallow and you won’t let me silently hate you or me if that’s what you think I think I’m doing. I should be grateful that you notice my subtleties now, that you inquire past surface level, that you don’t let me get away with the idea of performing perfect or unbothered or both.
But I guess I am holding on to that a bit so I won’t be held accountable to explain my feelings. To name them.
The only thing I want to say right now is,

Sometimes I don’t think you really love me.

Even though that’s ludicrous. I don’t want to say that to you now because I know how untrue that statement really is. I just want to hear you say

Always.
Always.
Always.

“Bye” by Julia on the 99


Monday, December 21, 2015
11:45pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Gerrard St.

I think I have waited for this moment for my whole life
I was testing myself
I wanted to see if I could wait
Reward myself with the news of my body no longer needing you
The way I had counted off the days, like I was reminding myself of how many days I was sober
Oh it’s been 17 days since we’ve spoken
Oh it’s been 2 months since we’ve seen each other
It’s been 2 years since we’ve kissed
It’s been 15 years since I first saw you
I have been waiting for independence
Waiting to see if I could do this thing on my own
This living thing
Sober and Solitary
The title for my autobiography
But I had to quit you more than I had to quit anything else
Ever
You were that good
There has been a lot of recycled peanut butter jars since
But it’s finally here
The moment of magic peace that feels like truly living
I don’t think about you anymore without warning
I wish you all the happiness
I wish myself all the happiness I’ve refused to let in since you left

“for the guy or girl you’re kind of into” By Julia at Bean Around The World


Thursday December 10, 2015 at BATW
6:45pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, December 10, 2015


It’s Christmas Eve and Iris is going over to Reid’s house to give him the cookies she baked from scratch, burnt once, remade, and packaged in her mother’s favourite tin, tied with a red bow.
Reid is shaving his stray mustache hairs that have only disappointed him this entire year. He doesn’t want to look like a Berenstain Bear. He doesn’t want Iris to think he’s trying to be something he’s not.
Reid is thinking about the gift he bought for Iris but is second-guessing whether she will like it or not. He didn’t do any research but his older sister said that all girls like stuffed animals so it was a safe bet. Reid is 99% sure that Iris is not like all girls…
Iris doesn’t want to show up early or late, so she walks around the block three times before knocking on Reid’s door.

“it breaks my heart” By Julia walking home


Wednesday December 9, 2015
10:10pm
5 minutes
overheard at 49th Parallel

Rip me apart
like a Custard Tart
Pull Away
Hold my hands up
in an I’m Innocent
Not Holding A Weapon
kind of way
Make me your mission
but keep me alive
Steal all my
useful organs
So you can peer inside
Shatter my bones
like an ancient mosaic bowl
that you break to rearrange its pieces
in an order you like better
Crack open my chest
like a safe
without a lock
And watch
my beating heart beat for you
one last time
Then stop

“You wanna build another house?!” By Julia at her desk


Tuesday December 8, 2015
11:46pm
5 minutes
overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can’t move in with you anymore, Kev, it’s not going to work for me.
What do you mean, we just signed the lease, both our names are on it and everything.
I know.
Okay?
Yeah but I know myself too and I’m not going to be able to get on board with a commitment this size right now.
This is unbelievable.
What is? That I don’t want to live with you? I think of all people you should know how hard it is to share a house with you.
What?
Don’t pretend like this is my fault, you’re a difficult housemate, even you said that to me!
But you still signed the lease, you signed up for this whole thing with me. How are you just figuring out now that this is…that you’re not…I seriously can’t believe this is happening.
It is happening, though, so we need to both accept it and move on or something.
How do you not feel bad for completely fucking me over?
Wouldn’t you rather know this before we try to build a home together? Like this is good news, we won’t be blindsided later.
Blindsided?
I don’t know, poor choice of words I guess, but I’m not going to apologize for changing my mind.
So are you saying you don’t want to be with me either?
No, of course not, I’m totally not saying that. I feel like we’ll be better off if we just live in separate houses.

“Junk Email Folder” by Sasha at Moksha Yoga Vancouver


Friday December 4, 2015
10:16pm
5 minutes
from an email account

I put on a blue sweater, stained with paint.

“I’m going for a walk with Toby,” I call to you, in your studio, earphones on. You likely can’t hear me, but as long as I’ve technically told you where I’m going, it won’t start a fight.

I put on Toby’s leash. I scratch his ear, the way he likes, using my nails, and he closes his eyes.

On the trail, I wonder about your mother and her dialysis. It’s the place my mind usually goes. I’ve never liked conflict, or unsaid anger, and your relationship is rife with both. I think about texting you, and even reach into my pocket to do it, but realize I’ve left my phone at home, likely on the back of the toilet.

I let Toby off his leash and he races after a squirrel. I laugh. It’s been awhile since I did that. I keep forgetting to take the Vitamin D drops.

“211 Bannatyne ave.” by Julia at Horseshoe Bay


Friday November 13, 2015
11:50pm
5 minutes
from a business card

Remember when I used to come by your work and wait till you got off so we could go get ice cream and caramel sauce and walk the perimeter of the property together before you’d have to go back to your desk and count the hours till you were actually free? Remember how you’d try to take the long way around so you could spend more time with me without saying that you wanted to? Those sticky summer evenings when you would start late and work late and forget which day you were on. Those are the ones I think about when I think about you. Those are the nights I remember how lucky I used to be. Your building looks different now: someone tried to wash off the graffiti and now it just looks uglier. I have to stop myself from going to Nucci’s Gelati so I don’t get tempted by nostalgia to buy you a coconut cone, even thought we were always so disappointed by the shreds that didn’t even taste real.

“Rainfall warning” by Julia on her couch


Thursday November 12, 2015
10:31pm
5 minutes
from the weather network

Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks. Grant called last night to tell me he was sorry and wished he could have stopped by more. I told him not to worry, there were enough people coming by the house to make sure I was getting out of bed. He asked if Mary-Beth made he famous Parmigiana and I said yeah, for the third time. Hasn’t stopped raining since. When I found out, Grant was on his way over to drop off a pair of winter gloves for Owen so he was there when it all hit. He gave me a long hug and told me it was going to be okay. I didn’t let him leave me that night and he’s still acting strange about it. I don’t know why he feels bad, nothing matters anymore. I’m the one who has to live with it, and all I know is life is pretty short so nothing fucking matters. Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks.

“I put a little twist in my hips” by Sasha at UBC


Thursday, October 15, 2015
4:43pm
5 minutes
Never Been In Love
Elliphant


I put a little twist in my hips just for you, when I got off the bus on Tuesday. In case you were looking. It was extra good because I’ve got an extra ten to twenty three pounds hanging out in my lower region. Even if you weren’t looking, maybe someone else was. Maybe the bus driver was. Maybe it made his day! I hope it did. Maybe he likes big butts even more than you do. Maybe he likes hips you can really sink your teeth into more than you do. I fully welcome the male gaze. I don’t value myself based on it, or anything, but I welcome the male gaze, I welcome your male gaze.

“happy hens, healthy eggs” by Sasha at Elysian


Thursday October 1, 2015 at Elysian
10:02am
5 minutes
from the Rabbit River Farms egg carton

Ryan makes eggs every morning.
“Don’t you think that’s too much cholesterol?”
“Nope.”
“Really?”
“They actually studied that and it’s totally fine to eat eggs every day.”
“What about the cholesterol?”
“Look at me!”
He’s a beanpole, he’s got that runner’s body.

When we first met, Ryan had long hair.

“What are you going to do today, sweetheart?” He asks, cracking an egg into a bowl and whipping it vigorously.
“I don’t know…”
“Why don’t you go for a massage or something?”
“I don’t like strangers touching me.”
“A walk?”
“Maybe…”
“You could get out of the house with me, just go have a coffee someplace?”
“We have coffee here, Ryan – ”
“I think that it would be good for you to – ”
“You’re right. I’ll get out. We need yogurt.”

“willing to launch an attack” by Julia at her desk


Sunday September 27, 2015
10:58pm
5 minutes
Dead Metaphor
George F. Walker


I tell her that I don’t approve of him and now she’s pissed because she knows I’m right but doesn’t want to admit it. It’s not my fault the signs are glaringly obvious that he’s not right for her, that she’s only staying with him because she’s blinded by her “feelings” which, I believe are madly out of touch with reality. She’s asked me once before and I said, I don’t know, Lara, I’m not inside your relationship, you are. You should know how you feel. She got mad then too because I was looking too objectively at her problems. So fine, I think, I won’t say anything at all, but then she asks me one day when I’ve had no time to prepare myself to stay out of it, and I tell her, I say, honestly, Lara, I think you’re better than him and that he’s sucking you dry in every possible way and if you’re serious about your own happiness then you really should take a look at the cause of all the feelings you have that aren’t that.

“three crackerjack female” by Julia on her couch


Thursday September 24, 2015
11:39pm
5 minutes
http://www.shifttheatre.ca

There was a moment I didn’t think you were going to make it. No, seriously bro, you looked like you had tapped out. But I’m glad you didn’t because I get to be the one to tell you that you… you’re a hero. You’re a god damn hero and I’m impressed. So it brings me joy to relay that to you, man. So how’s Nancy? Oh man, she’s so nice to you. You’re a lucky guy. She puts up with a lot of your crap, you must be pretty damn lovable.