“A fresh perspective.” by Julia at her desk

Monday November 12, 2018
10:12pm
5 minutes
Montecristo Magazine

I haven’t been wondering about the same
Old things
Wondering about why like I used to now I’m more of a How kind of gal
Wondering about woman about man about god and about nothing
Some silences are radioactive
Some space between has medicine
The same old things kept me same young
And we are all so new on this earth but we act like we’re mountains
And Esme says she can’t sit still
And me either since we’re not stones or hard places
We’re soft and supple
Able to
Change
And if we do we might find more light
And if we are we might save more lives
I wondered about saving lives a long time ago
I’d ask god to keep my friends’ souls for me while I tried to convert them down by the lava rocks at recess

“the serpent coiled around the pillar” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday September 25, 2018
9:55pm
5 minutes
Come of Age
Stephen Jenkinson

I have been casting out the devil since I knew he could break into my bedroom at night while I slept.
Lord knows I have stomped my little heart out on the floor more than once to rebuke that son of a bitch.
They do not tell you, when you are just starting to welcome Jesus into your heart, that atheists don’t get possessed by the devil. Why would they? The Christians are stacking their team with the impressionable. The talented. The eager.
Mostly I had to curse his name after watching a scary movie. I believed he could get in easier through my nightmares. I prayed for god to please not let me see anything bad, hear anything bad, or dream of anything bad. Because once I saw Jesus’ shadow on the wall and when he started laughing maniacally,
I knew.

“he digs into that” by Sasha at Kafka’s


Thursday March 30, 2017 at Kafka’s CoffeeKafka’s Coffee
4:02pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Kafka’s

Jer doesn’t make the sign of the cross as much as he used to. But there are still times when he does it out of habit. Sometimes when he’s alone, and those times matter less, but sometimes in front of other people, and those times hurt. Most people at the printing press don’t know that Jer was raised religious, and he does his best to keep it that way. Sometimes, when he slips up with his crossing, he’ll act like it’s a joke and he meant to do it.

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“The Toy Box Burlesque” by Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Monday January 9, 2016
11:32pm
5 minutes
from a show postcard

When Gia gave me some of her old costumes I was in heaven. Birdie told me not to wear them cause I would catch her diseases and become a person of “interruption”…meaning my path to the lord might get a little patchy. I told Birdie I wouldn’t wear them because all I wanted to do was study them and use them as templates for my own sewing or building. Birdie nodded her head emphatically a few times before leaving as if to convince herself that I was telling the truth. She eventually left me and I was so excited to be alone with Gia’s beaded underwear and long satiny gloves. I pulled one glove on my arm, slowly, feeling every tiny hair brush against the smoothness. I peeled it off slowly, sliding the glove down my elbow and off my wrist with a patience I didn’t even know I had. When I finally revealed my last covered finger I could feel my insides rushing to greet me.

“people who called themselves atheists.” by Julia on her couch


Thursday December 22, 2016
8:25pm
5 minutes
Dust
Charles Pellegrino


I never thought I’d put myself in the very box that I couldn’t for the life of me understand when I was younger. It made sense to my 9 year old brain to put my 9 year old trust in God and scripture and behaving with good intentions. It made sense for me to wake up each day and know my place, this road I was traveling, the one I had chosen wisely. And then maybe it was the lava lamp that put me over the edge. The one Pastor So And So offered up as a prize to the youth who could rally up the most sinners and bring them to Friday night service. I didn’t sign up for a church built out of bribery and attended primarily by a bunch of self-righteous teens. I wanted to find friends who wanted to know the Lord, not who wanted to make religion into an elitist club that only the truly good could be a part of. How is that the point of religion? Aren’t we all good and therefore all bad? I didn’t like giving so much of my youth to an ideology that didn’t want everyone just as we were.

“poetry got a mainstream reputation” by Julia on Michael’s old bed


Monday, December 28, 2015
10:11pm
5 minutes
LENNY letter no. 14

Gabriela is my mother’s first cousin but she was disowned by the family in 1977 because she was “spreading the lies of the devil through her evil written word.” My mother only mentions Gabriela by accident when I ask her if we have any writers in the family. I ask because my son, Warren, is working on his family tree for school and has to answer a bunch of questions about the jobs his relatives have had. My mother tells me by accident that Gabriela used to write poetry about things people were too afraid to talk about. In one she remembers well, Gabriela wrote a line that said “The Church is lying in the Church. The Church is hiding in the Church. We do not know what we refuse to see.”
“So, she was a poet?” I ask my mother.
“No,” she tells me, “She was a sinner.”

“if you gave me a chance I would take it” by Sasha on her porch


Saturday, June 13, 2015
9:12pm
5 minutes
Rather Be
Clean Bandit


My Mom and the only other Jewish mother came in to my Grade Two class on the first day of Chanukah and made latkes. I wonder what the other mother’s thought when they smelled the indescribable smell of oily potatoes in their children’s hair and on their wooly sweaters, a bit threadbare at the elbows and stained with paint and almond butter? “What did you do at school today?” They might’ve asked, pulling an undershirt over their child’s ringleted head, the music of the running bath in the background. We spun dreidels until we were dizzy with sore tummy’s from laughing, and sang “Baruch Ata Adonai” before decorating our latkes with applesauce and goat yogurt. I was proud of my mother’s heritage – Katie and I were special, the only Jews in the class! There was nothing complicated about it. The complications would sneak in like Winter, grabbing Autumn’s hand one night and refusing to let go.

“Their smiling faces touched” by Sasha at Higher Grounds


Monday March 16, 2015
4:47pm
5 minutes
Still Alice
Lisa Genova


Make no promises you can’t keep, Lizzy. That’s the one rule of them. “Do not covet thy neighbour’s wife.” “Thou shalt not steal.” Make no promises thou cannot keep. Might as well be in the Holy Book, Lizzy. You’ll go straight down to H-E-L-L if you break a promise, double H-E-L-L if you break a promise you made to me or Mama.

I did once, Lizzy. An’, well, you see my limp! You know what God did to my leg! He maimed me! He reached down from High Heaven and he struck me with his force. I never saw it coming, Lizzy, because I didn’t have a Papa to sit me down and tell me how life works.

Any questions?

“lead us not” by Julia on Amanda’s couch


Wednesday December 25, 2013
8:33pm
5 minutes
from a Christmas carol

I followed God or the idea of him around like a lost puppy one morning. I swear I heard him calling me. I listened closely and went where his voice was leading me. I stopped off in every room of my heart to see if his voice got louder or clearer. I didn’t want to leave any place in me untouched out of fear that he might find solace in my anger place or my subconscious desires place and I’d miss him there. He never told me what to do. His call was generous and sweet. He was inviting me and I was feeling very welcomed. The urge to see him got bigger even though I didn’t quite know what to expect when I finally did. I tried to picture his wild hair or his big hands. I agreed with his warmth and saw his skin glowing when I closed my eyes. He would be whatever I needed, and I would know when I saw him.