“Happy Monday Lovers” by Sasha at her desk

Monday July 30, 2018
10:55pm
5 minutes
from @a_belovedgreen on Instagram

I bobbed in the water at Indian Arm
let my hair turn to seaweed
let me toes touch tadpoles
kissing the salt
kissing the sun
kissing you
oh the sweetness
of the dead man’s float

remember
remember
remember

Happy Monday from
the cove of the free
and the spot of the brave
uncomfortable conversations
trying to explain
land acknowledgements
these nations whispering
through our feet

remember remember
remember

I bob in the water at Indian Arm
drove her stretching elbow
swam under the freckle at
her wrist

“I call to ask my mother the name of the street” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday May 2, 2018
3:44pm
Flight
Idrissa Simmons

I want to remember everything from that house before it gets lost
The long staircase leading into the living room where I’d watch
my parents watch TV when I was supposed to be in bed
The upstairs bathroom with the black and white tiles that I would
count at night where my father took me so I wouldn’t wet the bed
The night my own bed became a flood and me, the punished rain, a sadness
The closet in my bedroom where I unzipped the front of my overalls to
show the blonde-haired boy something that he wanted that I didn’t know was mine
The lilac dining room that I would stand in watching the trees in the yard,
pretending they were alive and waiting for me
the telephone I used when I dared my first prank call on the operator and
the pulse of it when she called me back
I want to ask my mother if there are things I might be missing
the moment she knew I was made of her
the times she watched me sleep on the floor with my ponytail spilling over the pillow

“there are still shoelaces to be tied” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 8, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
Ten Seconds for Each Year
Fernando Raguero

Wait till your eyes run out of juice
try typing that letter to your friend
see how many times you nod off in the
middle of a good sentence
tell her: there are stillllllllllll swppp
tell her: you are so eeeeeen qqQ hip
She will really appreciate that you didn’t
make time for her earlier in the day
that you were saving up all your creative
expression for the moments in between
sleep and almost sleep because that’s
when all the best ideas come through
tell her: that thought you had about
the cactus and the kiwi eloping
tell her: neck kink and unlimited yawn
tell her: fall onto the bed mascara
still holding all your eyelashes together
Don’t forget about the roasting pan in
the sink or the shoes out in the foyer
or the wet hair drying slowly on your back

“with that thirsty, drink-it-down look” by Sasha at the Canterra Inn and Suites

Saturday January 20, 2018
8:13pm
5 minutes
For you
Tammy Armstrong

I wonder who taught you about forgiveness.
Was it on the school yard?
A pig-tailed know-it-all in-your-face?
Was it your sister?
Did you break her dollhouse door
and try to tape it back to opening and closing?
Did she cry and then say,
“It’s okay. I know it was an accident.”

I wonder who taught you about forgiveness
more now than a month ago. A month
ago I wondered who taught me about
forgiveness. I’m still not sure.

I can’t remember.

I remember

a pivotal moment of
my sister knowing I ate her caramel
and saying
“It’s okay.”

I read about a woman
who goes to visit her husband’s killer
in prison. They are dear friends now.
That is possible.

I remember

This isn’t a dollhouse and it’s not
caramel or murder.

“It never rains but it pours;” by Julia in her bed

Sunday January 14, 2018
11:20pm
5 minutes
Bluegrass
Rhona McAdam

Even the sunny days get fogged out. You think you won’t be able to see the water but you can if you get close enough. You can let yourself go even if your first tongue tells you there is no point. It will help if you can remember how you thanked yesterday’s sky for being so pink. How you smiled up at the setting sun and let joy in. How you walked through a purple path of damp earth and felt alive from every tingling limb. How you felt loved. How you thought of your mother coming to Canada for the first time. How she was taught this same beautiful word in the form of a new friend’s dress. How she’ll never forget how perfect purple is and how you won’t now either. Yes, there are moments of blame. And then some following of disappointment. But they are small. And they don’t have to be the day.

“Paragraphs of information” by Julia on Nicole’s balcony


Thursday July 13, 2017
12:15am
5 minutes
from a syllabus

Of course I didn’t ask for the ring with the gold flower when she died. I had wanted it since I was small enough to fit in her arms. But I got something better. When I spritzed her perfume in the bathroom I thought I was getting away with curiosity. Turns out my curiosity was too big to ignore. It was the first time she held me. She brought me out of the bathroom with love while I was embarrassed at being caught. Then she gave me the bottle of perfume I had tried on. Just gave it to me. You like it? Here, it’s yours. I cherished that bottle. I kept it in my closet. I didn’t know anything about her-there wasn’t a book about her, not paragraphs of information written about this woman. But I knew the smell of her young skin. I knew the size of her generosity. I knew the way her quiet was her prison. And how she wished she could have given me more.

“Remember that time” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday June 14, 2017
8:18pm
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

Remember that time our landlords tried to bribe us with blueberries and yogurt from the Korean grocery store in Richmond Hill? You think it’s weird that I’m friends with them
on facebook but I just think it’s funny. They always wanted us to be friends for real. We weren’t exactly into that when we lived below them because friendship then meant them coming into our unit on saturday mornings to use the laundry room without giving us 24 hrs notice. One night we listened to them argue upstairs, the smell of prawns wafting through the vents. We looked at each other, worried, as if we were hearing our own parents threaten divorce. But that would have made us siblings, and now we see each other naked, so.

“I keep thinking about the night we spent in Rome” by Julia at her dining table


Friday August 26, 2016
6:50am
5 minutes
Super Sad True Love Story
Gary Shteyngart

I remember it like it was five minutes ago. You didn’t even want to go but I told you it was something to see. You were worried about not getting a good picture and I said Trust Me It Will Be Even Better. We stopped for pizza first and that put you in a better mood. It was thin crust and saucy and probably the best we’d ever had. You said it was too salty but you were just in a funk and I tried to wait it out. When we made it to the Colosseum, your face lit up like I knew it would. It’s Beautiful, you said, and you looked up starry eyed. There’s a peacefulness at night. Fewer people, but always someone. You wanted to get mad about the men selling the neon light sticks and the sound makers that shot way up in the air, changing colour on the way down, and making children go crazy with bright love but you couldn’t. You were very pleased even if you didn’t say it every ten seconds. I wanted to dip you low and kiss you under the night sky, our happy place in Rome.

“your laziness” by Julia on her bed


Friday June 3, 2016
11:32pm
5 minutes
The Intent To Live
Larry Moss


My laziness smells like a scab
Twice
picked over
Like the way a bad avocado tastes
Like the way tomorrow
Never means
Today
My laziness was
Mistaken once
For fear
By a good teacher
Who wanted me
To do well
When I confessed that I
Didn’t start the things
That I meant to start
That I waited for

I thought I was
Doing
Myself
A favour
Calling out my own flaws
Before anyone else could get
The chance to
She told me that
It wasn’t laziness
That kept me
From
Moving
Forward
It was the fear
Of wanting a thing that didn’t want me back
But the sound of it
was like
Hot air
Pushing through..

“You put that out into the world” by Julia on her couch


Thursday June 2, 2016
11:05pm
5 minutes
overheard at UBC

Let me just put out there
that I was
about to
come to bed when you
closed the door on me
decided you just had to sleep
right then
and there
like the gods made you do it
I don’t know if
you could hear
me
grumbling to myself
how everything is on your time
and on your impulse
and I’ll just
wait out
here
until my blood has cooled
and my tongue
won’t burn you
because I was about to burn you
strike below
the belt
and make you feel
more alone than you’ve ever felt
but instead I remember that
you
bought
me
flowers
once

“How are you doing this morning?” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday June 1, 2016
8:38am at Starbucks
5 minutes
Overheard at Starbucks

My face is in the window and every single person who walks by has a dog
Every single person who walks by has a dog that looks like them
The woman in her clunky heels behind me shakes the floor so much it makes me have to pee
Holding it in, letting it pulse inside me like a flood threatening a levy, is the closest I’ve come to having an orgasm in weeks
I can’t think straight because James is studying in Nepal and I’m worried that she’ll die over there
She is obsessed with going sky diving or bungee jumping
The last time we spoke I told her to please just build a house and stay on the ground
I hate every moment that I’m awake these days
The man beside me is listening to the sound of me breathing and using it as a metronome for his typing
I want to shoot an elastic band at him for stealing my life and turning it into something I don’t have access to
The woman I bought the toaster from off of craigslist last June walks by holding a scruffy man’s hand and wearing fishing boot waders
I wave to her and she waves back but she clearly doesn’t recognize me right away
Then I see it click as a big wide smile crosses her face and she gives me an encouraging ‘thumbs up’ before walking away

“Off the wall” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesdy May 31, 2016
9:45pm
5 minutes
from a Foot Locker store

Karl tried to hang the frame after hearing me ask him to do it for the past 6 months. I think the only reason why it took him so long is because he didn’t know how to..but also didn’t want me to know that. Not that I would have cared. I didn’t know how to so that’s why I asked him to do it. I’m sure we could have both learned together how to hang a simple frame and everything would have been fine, but we preferred to argue about the fact that it hadn’t yet been done. The first moment he held the nails in his hand, I knew he didn’t have a clue what he was doing. I left the room to “go fold the laundry” so he wouldn’t have the added pressure of me watching him. I heard him tapping away at the wall and I could only imagine that it was coming along nicely. I didn’t want to ask how he was so I just sat on the bed reading my magazine until I got the go ahead. Instead, suddenly, I heard a scream.
I rushed out of the bedroom to find Karl shaking his head at the frame I had asked him to hang, smashed to pieces on the rug.

“Who taught us to embrace life” by Julia at Kits Beach


Monday May 30, 2016
5:08pm
5 minutes
from a bench memorial plaque

There was a gleam in his eye as he let my brother put a cold grape into his hand. He was looking at me with a challenging look like he was about to do a trick and wanted to make sure he had my attention. I started to shake my head, smiling, telling him I knew he was up to something and I didn’t like whatever it was. He put the grape into his mouth and chewed it around for a second. Then when I looked away, he spat it out onto my leg. I looked up at his smug face and it broke my heart. Maybe that’s what the last visit between us was supposed to be like. Jokes and silliness. Him trying to make me laugh. Even at his least self, he managed to let me remember him exactly as he was when we was his most.

“a dozen individuals aged” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday May 24, 2016
9:51pm
5 minutes
Harbor
John Ajvide Lindqvist


Across the street I spied a man who had been resting on a bench. He was sweating from his brow and was hunched over, defeated. He didn’t have a cane, or a walker, but looked like he could have used one. He was convincing himself he didn’t, surely. I quietly watched him from my bus stop. He didn’t know anyone was paying any attention to him. He tried to get up a few times without the help of the bench. He couldn’t seem to do it. The struggle in his face was clear even all the way over to where I sat pretending to read my novel. It looked like his body had been slowly betraying him for a while but that he had only just now started to deny it. I remember working with a man who told me once that when you get old, your body stops matching up with your mind and you can’t control yourself the way you used to. He told me that it may be frustrating for those of us who can still easily get to our destinations to have to always wait behind the ones who aren’t as mobile, but it wasn’t to be disregarded that it was far more frustrating for them.

“Share the love” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday March 9, 2016
6:01pm
5 minutes
From the sign at Platform 7

I can remember Len holding my sunglasses out of reach. I was trying to grab them back but he wouldn’t let me hold them anymore because I kept taking them off and throwing them into the ocean. He knew how much I loved those stupid things. I used to get so bratty after whiskey. I wonder if he takes care of Kia that way. I wonder if she needs someone to keep her in check the way I did. I can remember the freckle on the inside of his left ear, the way his skin smelled of spicy cucumber, his favourite pajama pants with the secret pocket. I can remember the pain in my chest when he told me he couldn’t stay. It’s easy to remember the thing that stays the same.

“a couple annual holidays” by Julia at Platform 7 Coffee Brew Bar


March 4, 2016 at Platform 7
5:09pm
5 minutes
from Sasha’s play

And there’s no time to wait
For my health to come back
I have already planned a vacation
I’m going away
I’m going to go
I’m not going to stop
Until I get home
I don’t remember what my yard looks like
Cause I don’t remember much
Was there one tree or two?
Did the cornfields shoot higher than the pussy willow?
I don’t remember much
Time has run out
In the most respectful way it could
Reminding me that I don’t have to
keep living like I used to
I wish for courage
I wish us all courage
I’m going back home with my ball of yarn
Going to wrap it around each branch
Each trellis
So I can draw a map of where I used to live
The hardest part of that is remembering
how to remember
I think I’ll write a note
In red red string
On the gates of all my neighbours
to let them know I’m back
And I’m collecting memories
Shiny new ones that I can still see
Maybe they’ll have more than just the ones
of my sister and me
selling drawings for 6 pennies each

“late summer night in 1990” by Julia on the 23


Tuesday March 1, 2016
7:04pm
5 minutes
http://therumpus.net/2016/03/there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-true-story/

Hardly slept-hadn’t been since March if I’m being honest. I don’t know if it was the construction or the lawn mowers- working nights make you stop sleeping and forget who you are, what your name is. But-I don’t know if I’m making excuses or whatever-all I know is I was fried. Wasn’t thinking. Maya couldn’t come and get me and that was fine-she said she was tied up at the shelter and some lone wolf told her he wasn’t going to leave unless she shaved his nut sack. I know I shouldn’t have left on my own-should have just waited there at the rest zone until someone could come get me, or some bus route opened up. I don’t like waiting around. Makes me feel like I’m killing time before I die. No in between. I didn’t mean to be so stupid. I didn’t need to drive I just had to get out of there-the smell of the plastic was starting to seep into me, twisting my guts up. Head pounding, all of that- I was just tired.

“he couldn’t explain or understand.” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday February 4, 2016
8:07pm
5 minutes
4000 Days
Warren Fellows


It was like yesterday, I remember it like yesterday.
Sunny was in the yard playing with her mason jar filled with tiny snails. She was calling them funny names like Gabrielle and Inmim. I watched her babysit them like they were her dolls. She liked to explain things to them in Spanish, in case they ever needed to be able to do the same. But then there is a flash in this memory, like two films stitched together to edit the problem in between. There was a problem in between. There’s a second vision as strong and detailed as the first before the flash. Thea and Perry are crying in my living room and everyone is screaming Sunny’s name. Thea is wearing the locket she gave to her and shaking her head back and forth so furiously it looks like it might spin off. Perry is holding her hand and clenching his jaw. He is smiling but he doesn’t seem to be able to stop.

“Glottal stop” by Julia at her dining table


Friday, January 29, 2016
9:28pm
5 minutes
From an email

I remember his tongue like I remember my favourite song. His words were different when he was tired or when he was mad. I loved to see him mad. It made me wet. I want to explain that but I can’t. It just turned me on so fast I couldn’t hide it: flush to the cheek, quiver in my breath. He never knew that. I never told him. I didn’t want to ruin it, or put pressure on it. It was like my own dirty little secret, and you know what they say about two people keeping a secret…I sometimes think about his anger when I’m trying to get off with someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. It takes all my focus and I have to picture him saying the right words, pausing in the right places. It’s very difficult remembering something that happened 12 years ago. But I know I can count on it so it’s always worth the struggle. I think back on the way he spit out his Ks and cradled his Ss before unleashing them all, wild and loud.

“that time of innocence” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday November 24, 2015
11:22pm
5 minutes
from a poem by bell hooks

It was a very knobby knees sort of pick your nose behind a book kind of pants too baggy in all the wrong places kind of time. Garrett was in love with me and asked me to be his girlfriend at least three times a day.They were very long days sort of strategic routes taken home from school to avoid certain people kind of too shy to say why kind of time. When I told him no the first time I think I was even cruel about it. I didn’t know yet that just because a boy was of no interest to me it didn’t mean he didn’t just use up all his courage trying to be. It was a very young kids playing in the cornfield sort of kiss behind the church before getting called into supper kind of late nights laying on the floor with candles lit listening to Bon Jovi kind of time.

“store solar power” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday November 18,2015
10:07pm
5 minutes
from a tweet by the Globe and Mail

When we’re alone after a full day of kissing my family and eating tortelli you tell me there’s this new game you can’t wait to play when we get home. I don’t know why, but this bothers me. I can’t tell why I’m upset by this. You’re not hurting me by playing. Or are you? I haven’t figured out why my insides are twisting and my veins are pulsing. Am I looking for a reason to be mad at you? I try to delay my response because I’m worried it’ll come out naggy, or pissed off. I would much rather come to the conclusion of my feelings before involving you in an outburst. Is it because I wish I had something to look forward to when we go home? Is it because we have plans when we get home and you’re blowing me off? Do we have plans at all? I’m mad at how mad I am without quite knowing why. I rack my brain for instances to refresh my memory about why it is I can’t handle this decision. It seems like one you’ve made before. I remember that. Or something like it…

“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.

“His name is Luke.” by Julia on her couch


Saturday July 11, 2015
10:59pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Higher Grounds

After she named her first two boys Matthew and Mark, everyone thought she’d name her third one Luke. She didn’t name the first two with any religious references in mind, she simply wanted the names and that was that. She might have named the third one Luke but she never liked the name. It felt too small for a man once he grew up. That and it reminded her of the first boy she ever agreed to marry. Luke Walker had asked her to marry him in the first grade and she said yes because that’s what six year olds do. He was small and feminine and had a horrendously small nose. She only said yes because she thought Andrew Griffith was going to ask Sylvia Van Kasterin to marry him. Turns out Andrew liked her all along. She found out when he left school to join the army.

“Welcome visitors from Denmark” by Julia on the 47 going north


Saturday April 4, 2015
12:09am
5 minutes
from a school sign

What do we do, children? Yes very good, children. Rise to greet them, children. Yes very very good. Everybody is equal, aren’t they, children? Yes, of course they are. Yes, yes. How do we receive them, children? Yes, children, very good. With open hearts and a friendly smile, right, children? Yes, very, very very, good. What don’t we do, children? What are the things we must never do, children? Yes, remember well, children. All together now, children. Let’s recite them all together. Pretend like we don’t hear them. Yes, excellent remembering, children. What else, children? Let them hug you without returning the action. Yes. No one-sided embraces, children. None at all, children.

“Celebrating those who had died” by Sasha on a log at Kit’s Beach


Monday February 9, 2015
8:11am
5 minutes
The House Girl
Tara Conklin


It begins like every other day. Maggie licks my face until I moan and roll out of bed. She runs down the stairs and I open the back door to let her out to pee. Then I go, in the downstairs bathroom. I let her back in. I fill the kettle with water. Mike is still sleeping and the boys are playing in the room. They whisper breakfast orders. “Granola! French toast!” Mike’s on the night shift so he sleeps til at least two. I get the boys dressed and…

I’m sorry. I just realized that I still have my wedding ring on. Isn’t that strange? It’s been… nine months and I’m still wearing my God damn wedding ring.

You know it’s bad when two police officers show up. One? It’s probably something with the car being in the wrong place, or there’s been a weirdo hanging around the playground again. Two?

I don’t remember which one said what. I don’t remember what I said, or if I said anything or…

“When did we leave for thing there?” By Julia on Jessica’s couch


Sunday January 18, 2015
12:47am
5 minutes
Overheard at Julia’s aunt’s house

Okay so there was this trip, right? We went together to thing there, what was it called? The Dominican! Never mind. We went with what’s his name, John there, and it was nice that he came with us because now we have photos together. We were on the dance floor one night just letting lose, and the next day he um, John, he shows us the whole night of us dancing and eating that good pasta there, you know at the nice italian place I was telling you about. So nice, I gotta tell you right, cause I didn’t know he was snapping away the whole time and capturing us, what’s that word there, candid! He captured us together all candid and they’re nice because I also have some of us standing by the fountain, but we both know it’s a photo and our smiles look bad. But the ones thing there took, John, look so nice and we look happy. It’s always better to have a friend come on your vacation so you can remember how happy you actually are.

“word by word” by Julia at her parent’s kitchen table


Monday January 12, 2015
11:55pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Isabel Allende

You count these words on your fingers if you have to
So you remember how many important things I’m saying to you
Saying to you all the important things
This way you can take inventory
You can make sure you don’t lose any words
That you don’t misplace them
Or have them stollen from you unknowingly
Number one will be I
Number two will be you
(there is no particular order)
Number three will be with
Number four will be joy
Number five will be life
Number six will be finally
Number seven will be breath
Number eight will be harmony
Number nine will be agree
number ten will be and
It’s a phrase
Or a sentence
You have ten words to keep track of
To make sure they stay in good hands
And when you’re good and ready, you’ll weave them into a throw for your couch
A pillowcase on which you’ll rest your head

“People and shopping” by Julia at Dreyfus Cafe in Clapton

Saturday January 10, 2015 at Dreyfus Cafe in Clapton 4:03pm 5 minutes from a map of London So one time my dad took us, my sister and brother, and I, you know, all three of us, to the mall and we were supposed to meet Santa and whatever. But there was this huge line so we were being huge brats, you know, all three of us, my brother and sister and I. So my dad’s like, nope, not dealing with spoiled rotten apple children, so he yells at us right there in the line for fucking no good Santa and everyone in the world stares at us like we’re animals in a cage or something, fighting each other with teeth and claws out.. And then my dad looks around like it’s the first time he realizes he’s awake that day, and he just starts to laugh. He throws his head back and cackles so hard that all three of us, my sister and brother and I, all start laughing too. Just howling. Losing it. And people are still looking at us like animals in a cage only this time we look like possessed creatures who love each other. When we stop laughing my dad says, let’s go take a sleigh ride instead! So we go and we end up having to wait in an even longer line…but this time with much more enthusiasm.

“Basta!” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday October 4, 2014
6:02pm
5 minutes
Overheard in Piazza Bellini

I’m writing you a letter. This isn’t it. It’s on the kind of fancy paper your grandmother might give you, with flowers in the corners. It’s written in blue fountain pen ink and stamped on the envelope with gold stars. I’m writing you a letter because I have something to tell you that’s too hard to say with a voice. It must be said with a pen, with blue ink, on fancy paper.

Remember when you dreamed in colour? Remember when you know the recipe for chocolate cake without looking at the card, dotted with batter, from previous summers? Remember when you drank iced tea by the mug?

“I don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars, but I did.” By Julia at Urban Post


Friday, September 5, 2014 at http://urbanpost.ca/
5:33pm
5 minutes
How To Make Love In America
Sarah Nicole Prickett



I don’t remember if he told me to look at the stars because I was too busy looking at him. He might have. That would have been nice in that moment if I wasn’t already overwhelmed by a beauty that I could name. That I could touch. That I could hold. I don’t remember if he told me to look up at the sky because I was too busy looking into the moment we created. He might have. That would have been nice if I didn’t already have plans to congratulate us on getting this far in the cold. Or in the rain. Or in the both. I do remember saying that I wanted my forever person to look just like him. I remember that part because it came from a place that I didn’t force. Or create. Or fix. I wanted my forever person to have his eyes. His smile. His eyebrow scar. I wanted my forever person to have the same mix of beard colours: brown, orange, white.

“Try and make a few local friends” by Julia on her couch


Monday August 18, 2014
1:03am
5 minutes
girlinflorence.com

My motha, she calls me in the middle of the night. She tells me, Keltie, don’t be that girl. I am not that girl, whatever girl she thinks I am, so I say, motha, please, don’t lump me into that group, for the love of christ. She says, Keltie, I don’t want you to be one of those loser girls who sits on her computer all day checking e-mails and how to blogs about growing vegetables indoors but doesn’t actually buy the seeds to do it. I have to take a moment to think about that one, but she doesn’t stop talking. You know, Keltie, you’ve got to be ahead of the crowd and ahead of yourself. Don’t try and hide behind your looks because you’re not fooling anyone and one day someone other than me is going to expect you to actually do something. I’m sitting up in my bed chugging a glass of day old water, trying to watch the tiny fuzz particles as they hid my teeth. I’m staring at the mirror. I’m plucking out stray hairs on inner thigh, fucking Carla forgot to get those white ones we talked about. Yes, uh-huh, I’m still here, I tell her, but she’s hardly even listening. You want to be one of those sad girls who doesn’t make any friends? Keltie? Promise me you’re going to get drunk at least once so you have the confidence to talk to someone other than your vagina. Ma! My vagina? What fresh hell is this conversation right now? She doesn’t answer for the first time. Promise me, Keltie.

“I’m not doing this with you right now” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday August 13, 2014
2:01am
5 minutes
from a conversation

I’m
not
leaving
that’s not what I’m doing
I’m
not
leaving
you
We can talk every Wednesday
I’m
not
disappearing
I want to write you love letters by hand
I’m
not
leaving
you
Please don’t make this harder
I’m
not
going
far
away
If you don’t consider geography
I’m
not
going
far
way
from
you
If you believe me when I tell you I’m still here
I’m
not
going
I could stay inside this moment with you
I’m
not
going
at
all
Could we resume our puzzle pieced body formation?
I
will
never
leave
you
Take a second to promise me something
I
will
never
choose
something
over you
Distance is a word not a knife wound

“I look at the sky recalling” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Wednesday July 23, 2014 at MAKE
3:21pm
5 minutes
A Memory Returns
Bobby Ferguson


It was my first sip of coffee and I remember thinking it was so bitter I couldn’t see straight. Why anyone would ever drink that stuff was beyond me. I saw all the adults drinking it and they seemed to be having a great time. But I was never interested much in the smell, or the aftertaste, or the colour of teeth it somehow also transformed. I took a second sip to show I was big, I guess. Bigger than I was feeling. I wanted to fit in, I wanted them to stop thinking they needed to spell controversial words around me. I was a very good speller anyway. It just made them look stupid if I’m being honest. I wanted to shout from the tiny kid’s table that felt like it was a mile away from all the fun that I could understand what they were saying; that I could follow along and offer an opinion every now and again if they’d let me. So I took another sip and swallowed down the fuzz that formed on my tongue when I drank the stuff. I could feel my head start to get a bit light and I remember thinking, huh, this stuff isn’t so bad once you get past all the gross parts. Each sip brought me closer to the adults in the room thinking I was beneath them just because I was younger. Each sip made me feel all the more alive.
I still don’t drink it. I thought I might be the type to take it up after all, but I wasn’t. Turns out I didn’t need to do something I didn’t like to make me feel big.

“YOU A LIAR” by Julia on her couch


Friday, July 18, 2014
11:32pm
5 minutes
overheard on queen st west


OH I HAVE HAD SO MUCH A YOU THAT IT IS ENOUGH NOW. ENOUGH, NOW, ADRIAN. WHY YOU GOTTA BE SO LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME, HUH? NOBODY EVER EVEN TAUGHT YOU HOW TO ACT, HUH, ADRIAN? ENOUGH BECAUSE IT HURTS MY HEART AND ENOUGH BECAUSE IT HURTS MY EVERYTHING ELSE EVEN MORE, ADRIAN. YOU HAVE BEEN A BAD PERSON. BAD LIKE THE WORST WEATHER. BAD LIKE THE RAIN, ADRIAN. YOU A LIAR. YOU A LIAR AND NOW I KNOW IT AND NOW EVERYBODY KNOWS IT. WHY COULDN’T YOU BE GOOD? WHY DID YOU MAKE ME BELIEVE YOU WERE GOOD WHEN YOU NEVER COULD BE GOOD. NOT EVER. YOU LIED. YOU A LIAR. YOU A LIAR TO ME. WHEN I FIRST SAW YOU I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY ONLY. AND NOW. AND NOW I AM FIGHTING TO BE ALIVE WITHOUT THE YOU I THOUGHT YOU WERE GOING TO BE. SO NOW I AM DONE. I AM SORRY BUT I AM NO MORE OF WHAT YOU THOUGHT I WAS. I WAS DIFFERENT BEFORE BUT NOW I AM DIFFERENT FROM THAT TOO, ADRIAN. YOU SHOULD HAVE GIVEN ME THE LOVE THAT I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE. YOU SHOULD NOT A LIED TO ME. REMEMBER WHEN I PROMISED YOU I WOULD BE YOURS? YOU DON’T EVEN REMEMBER THAT, DO YOU ADRIAN? I PROMISED AND I AM NOT A LIAR, YOU A LIAR. YOU THE ONE THAT MAKES ME WISH I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE. IT IS ENOUGH NOW, ADRIAN. I WANT YOU TO BE SORRY. I WANT A SORRY FROM YOUR LIPS. CAN YOU PLEASE TRY TO BE SORRY? CAN YOU PLEASE TRY TO SEE MY HURT NOW THAT YOU GAVE UP ON ME AND YOU TOGETHER?

“SO COLD” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Saturday June 21, 2014 at MAKE
1:49pm
5 minutes
a postcard at MAKE coffee+stuff

Hadn’t thought about Missy since last winter when I remembered how much she loved the cold. She somehow disappeared from my life and my mind quicker than she came into it. Them. Both things, in which she was sort of a permanent resident. A fixture. A thing that made me crazy and wild and irrational. She was always going on about getting the right jacket and then just sucking the rest of it up. I told her I had grown up in the cold and ‘sucking it up’ was just not enough. She said if you’re going to complain just move already! And then I understood what everything in the world meant. Something about not wishing for things that are outside of you or wanting things that aren’t in front of you. We choose everything. We choose the temperature we stay in, we choose the people we spend time with, we choose to love or not love someone. We choose to be happy. Missy had that fully realized and she was living it. She chose me one second and the next something else. I’m still alive. I missed her for a while. But I understood that right now is something different from right now every time the second hand on the clock shifts right. Then I thought about getting a really proper jacket and just sliding down some snow hills face first. Cause, you know, choices.

“founded in Cuba” by Julia on her couch


Friday June 20, 2014
10:36pm
5 minutes
from a sign at Queen and Abell St.

met a lovely woman and a lovely man
they were married
they met us there in the sand
came bringing mangos
gifts of the beach for us and for friendship
and we gave them all our soaps, our gum, our sandals
we could get more at home and they couldn’t get more in their home
and it was sad
but that’s the way it was
they met us there in the sand
showed pictures of their babies in braids beaching topless with bikini bottoms
young and free and didn’t know
and so we walked with them
hand in hand
and ate the mangos while the sun set
peeling back the skin with our teeth
taking photos of the moments like these
with people like those
and we held hands
met a lovely woman and a lovely man
I don’t know where they live now
I sent letters
I sent money
I sent the necklace she said she loved but felt bad taking when I offered it then
I sent love
I sent photos of my babies, straight, curly, straight
naked in the pool
splashing tiny drops and making big waves
and we haven’t heard a word
and we don’t know if they’re allowed to get the mail
or to see the mail
or to open the mail
and so maybe someone else has the money
and maybe someone else has the necklace
and maybe someone else has the photos of my babies
and maybe someone else has the love
we think of them often
the day there in the hot hot heat
we met a lovely woman
and we met a lovely man
they were married
they were the ones we hold

“It’s a cozy little place” by Julia at Kay’s Delicatessen in Winnipeg


Monday June 16, 2014 at
3:25pm
5 minutes
winnipegfreepress.com

A little bit of me goes a long way
A thing I still remember my mother used to say
Tight braids in the backyard
Baskets filled with tomato red
I would hold onto her promises
And every single thing she said
Because the stars were her favourite
And the rhubarb bush her friend
The nights felt like perfect movies
The days a pretty song without a threat to end
And mama had an angel’s voice
And mama liked to sing
A little bit of me goes a long way
For the mountains and for the King
I didn’t know it then
But I’m sure I see it now
The words she held close to her chest
The softness she’d allow
Were the ones I would keep with me
Tattooed upon my heart
So that I’d never forget the ways
She’d lull me in the dark…
Peace and poems she would strum
Dreams and old ones she would hum

“Absentminded” by Julia on her living room floor


Sunday June 15, 2014
10:13pm
5 minutes
The New Yorker

We didn’t know it at the time but we were growing
We were growing
With our hands in each other’s pockets and wishing for the dawn to wake us from yesterday
We were doing the life things that we now keep
We were listening to the songs of our youth marrying our future and we were the harmony that sounded best
We didn’t know it
We didn’t know it at the time
And in those moments where the living room echoed in its emptiness
And the kitchen still smelled of sawdust
And there were no lamps or dressers to hold any of our belongings
We remember some love from our previous home
From the past, it feels like
Saying lean into each other
And so we do to keep warm
And so we do because we’ve forgotten our sweaters
And the night feels far away from the morning
But part of it at the same time
We didn’t know it then
We didn’t know it at the time
But we were growing
With love
With patience
With grace
With fewer things
With fewer promises to stay the same

“Make a green choice” by Sasha on the Lansdowne bus


Wednesday April 16, 2014
4:59pm
5 minutes
from a Sheraton Hotel Voucher

Remember back to the time before you were afraid
Remember the place you used to fall asleep?
The train
Taking you to your friend across town
The treehouse
Built by your father’s hands
Remember back to the time before you were afraid
When you felt your feet on the earth
And their roots going down
Your ancestors
Reaching up
Laughing at how seriously you take yourself
Remember the smell of your pillow
The smell of your birthday party
The one where you collected and then painted rocks
The smell of your mother on Date Night
Remember the time
You forgot who you were
And sat in the back seat
While your supposed best friend’s boyfriend
did doughnuts in the parking lot
of the subway station

“Hooded Shawl” by Julia at her desk


Thursday February 6, 2014
11:40pm
5 minutes
the Circle Scarf tag
American Apparel


I can remember her smile, her eyes underneath that hooded shawl. She was some kind of–don’t worry; I won’t say it. I won’t say that lame thing you expect. She was something, though. Her name was Wanda. What a name, am I right? Wanda with the big blonde hair and the face that matched her daughter’s identically. From all of the plastic surgery, obviously, but I didn’t care. I didn’t care about how she could have passed for her daughter’s younger sister, even. It just didn’t bother me at all. What bothered me was the scar on her chin that looked like someone had tried to remove the bone by going through the skin. She was beautiful in every way, including that scar, but it just made me sad to see it is all. That a thing like that could have even gone through pain at some point, some unstoppable pain completely and utterly beyond me, in her lifetime, was the single most troubling thought I could have. Wanda. Oh, that name! I almost hate it, it’s so awful, and yet, instead, I hear it, and I think to myself, That woman could be named Tree and I’d still love her with my whole being. Wanda, Wanda! I am transported back to a day where a name like that was a dream come true!

“I’ll be here with you” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday January 7, 2014
1:34am
5 minutes
Let’s Ride Into The Sunset Together
Don Burnam


I’ll be here with you
Don’t worry
I’ll be standing by your side
Close enough that you can sense me
Far enough that your independence not be compromised
I’ll be there
Hands in my pockets
Heart tilting towards the Sun
High in the sky
Tickling the snow
Teasing the darkness of this time of year
I’ll be here when you’ve lost your directions to the place you were hoping to go.
I’ll be here with you
Closing my eyes when you don’t want to miss a second and refuse to blink

When you say,
“Remember?”
I will always say,
“Yes.”

“Reduce heat to a simmer” by Sasha at at Ossington Subway Station


Thursday November 7, 2013
5:54pm
5 minutes
rebar modern food cookbook

that moment before you leap
before you belly flop
that second before you go
“freefall, suckers!”
you have a choice


remember the time before you knew how to read?
when you would make up stories about yellow jaguars
and orphan twins?
remember the time before you were afraid of your own voice?


standing on the window ledge
looking down
you see the city like you’ve never seen it before
you think about your bucket list
a hot air balloon ride
eating steak
writing down your dreams
going to iraq

“Toronto had one film festival.” By Julia on the VIA Rail


Saturday, October 5, 2013
12:06pm
5 minutes
From an article in the VIA Rail Destinations magazine September/October 2013/em>

Back when the roads were calm, the streets were empty and the whole world went elsewhere to feel alive.
Back when the city centre was a couple of hay bails and markets. Back when people didn’t come up to you to accuse you for not being from there. Now there are divides. We see neighborhoods with different personalities and humans adopting those personalities as if they forgot to develop their own and those were the next best options.
We see big buildings that keep the wind out, the love out, the money in.
It’s beautiful and enviable to those on the outside and for those who chose to pay higher rent than everyone else learn to resent it. We hate ourselves for staying and we blame ourselves for leaving.
Back when the growing was grass, not concrete, the life to have was the one we were building, not the building we were renting.
That’s when things were easier.
We can remember those days when the daily commute tries to tame us.

“The slip, Sir, the slip” by Julia at Nova Era Bakery


Monday June 17, 2013
11:19am at Nova Era Bakery
5 minutes
Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare


Remember when we were young and we’d look forward every day in the summer to sliding down some plastic patch in our backyard, completely dangerous and soaking wet, just for a July or August thrill? Slip N’ Slides they called them. Such an accurate name. Remember mom hated them because she thought we were going to behead her rosemary busy or accidentally slide into her rhubarb and fuck everything up for her summer baking plans? I don’t think she cared when we’d come into the house covered in twigs, mud, and bruises as long as we didn’t smell of basil or have any lilacs stuck to our swimsuits. We were young and free then. And beautiful in life’s simplicity when all you could do was Slip N’ Slide in the backyard with a few friends from the neighbourhood. I don’t know if I’d even be confident enough to do it. Age has convinced me I’d have to analyse things closer before attempting to do them again. Even speaking takes more care. The things we’d say when we were young. Never bridled with responsibility or consequence.