“calls forth one’s muse.” By Julia on the pullout couch

Friday May 3, 2019
6:19am
5 minutes
deepstorydesign.com

hello I am calling you!
from the depths of my soul
from the heart of my experience
from the flesh of my centre
where did you sleep last night?
in my wrist
in my mouth
in my womb?
I felt a pulsing in my dream
and all of my living
did you need more rest last night?
did you have an idea you wanted to share?
if you are waiting for me I am sorry I am late
I haven’t been myself
I’ve been lingering in the kitchen next to tired bodies
aching and i’ve been wearing them around
you may not recognize me with all this heavy in my bones

“such a confusing tableau.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday February 5, 2019
8:11am
5 minutes
How To Change Your Mind
Michael Pollan
readying myself for this has become
unclenching my jaw
resting
loving deeply and truthfully
being clear about when it’s
yes
and when it’s
no
my days are a journal entry
a devotion
my mind is losing her sharpness
her edge
my heart is wider than ever
i wonder how you’ll love me
now that i’m new
how the sisters i drunk and
danced with will bear the change
i read in my nest
in the bed where she landed
page after page
gorging on preparation
i drink more water
eat more dates
look for soft things
find soft places in myself
that i wasn’t sure would arrive
they have
i welcome them
oh sweetness
stillness
opening

“The sun has risen but gives off no warmth.” by Julia at the desk

Tuesday July 24, 2018
11:24pm
5 minutes
Waiting for the Barbarians
J.M. Coetzee

On days like these I rise heavy, rub the sleep heavy
from my eyes heavy, and nod off on the hot bus.
I carry the heavy thing I’ve borrowed in the heavy sun.
I carry all of it pressed in the furrow of my brow-
the one that confuses people, Is she okay? Is she mad?
This morning’s sun burnt a hole in my head and reminded
me of it every second after it. I could have moved my
face but I was smitten there, sitting there, luxuriating
in the imminent ache. I might say I know better but on days
like these I don’t know what I know, if anything. The heavy
is only heavy until you put it down. I could put it down
and catch my breath for a minute, write a song, say hello
to the man with no teeth, nodding at me from the passenger
seat of the helping van. Later, I will watch the sun set
inch by inch to prove that even this shall pass. When the
sun stops, I take off my pack and rest.

“Resource Recovery” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday May 22, 2018
10:44pm
5 minutes
From an apartment garbage bin

It is as good as bringing Jesus back from the dead
comes with a message and a couple lessons
a few good hugs and whistle tucked at the side of the mouth

Heart strings pulled and twirled around the finger

A lightness of being in a room together without all that unknowing

It is a pulse after a flat line
a dream after insomnia
a hope caught in the wind long enough to blow a kiss at it

The body starts up again after rest
after laying down on the track and wishing

The body breaks free from the wire and builds a blanket fort instead
something soft to land on
something easy enough to lay all the weary and weighted

The sun sets in the sky drawing heat to a close
The shadows paint the city in all their perfect silks and blues and pinks

We eat.

“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.

“big comfy chairs” By Julia on the 99


Monday August 21, 2017
10:17pm
5 minutes
from an email

My head wants to cry and my eyes won’t let it happen. The woman beside me smells like cupcakes. The light is too bright, the windows are too open, and the woman beside me who smells like cupcakes is describing the dream she had about the big house and the sunroom. I do not picture big comfy chairs where my skin can sink. I see a pool warm enough for these cold August nights. I see a kiss on the temples where the pain likes to sit. The woman beside me who smells like cupcakes is gone and I am thinking about her dirty skirt and how terry cloth clothing always feels like the wrong kind of summer.
My head wants to pour out. Wants my eyes to get a bath. Maybe that’s what it will feel like from now on. Maybe that’s what happens after you stare directly at the sun taking the only break she ever gets.

“capacity for self-control.” by Julia at her desk


Sunday June 11, 2017
8:17pm
5 minutes
From an interview with Maia Szalavitz in The Sun

In the space between two o’clock and safe and sound, the ideal smell of me is masked in cream cheese smeared eyebrows. The baby I thought would be sweet is bigger and more violent than I want her to be. The other one, thank god for him.
Who says you are what you eat?
Am I nothing today and yesterday?
Am I impatience and knotted hair?
She says help yourself to the fruit in the fridge or the yogurt. Says this is the most rested she’s felt in a long time. I am supposed to be generous and glad to help out a woman who didn’t mean to be a mother.
Instead I want to rip her precious book in two;
remind her there is also only one of me.

“Don’t carry it all” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie


Monday January 23, 2017 at JJ Bean
3:39pm
5 minutes
From Dear Sugar Radio: Writer’s Resist

Put it down here
at my feet where the earth
is soft put it down
here where the crocus will
bloom come April
Put all your worries
down before you sleep
or else you’ll wake
like last night
in a pool of sweat
and tears calling
for God

They talk of faith
but I talk of birch
trees and whale bones

Put that world down
sweet one
it’s giving you
ulcers and rotten teeth
tumours and that
kind of sadness
that no word
has enough
consonants for

“safety matter to us” by Sasha on the Bathurst bus


Tuesday, February 11, 2014
1:07pm
5 minutes
TTC subway poster

Sometimes she becomes a sloth
She sits
Warm computer on her thighs
Cup of lukewarm tea on the windowsill behind her
And she travels
Via screen
To places she might not get to before she wins the lottery
Mostly other women’s kitchens
Mostly women with children and nice cameras and gardens with fresh herbs
She’s embracing her sloth-dom
She used to fight it
With the “rush” epidemic
With the “yes” curse
She used to fight it
With coffee
And chocolate
And bagels
Not today
Today she rubs her sloth-body
She slow roasts tomatoes with garlic and rosemary
She let’s the darkness of the setting sun
Pull the brightness from the room where she sits
Where she’s sat
And she let’s the couch hold her
Like a friend
She let’s the screen take her
to islands and mountains and risotto and dragonfruit

“On those grey days” by Julia at Second City Training Centre


Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at The Second City Training Centre
5:35pm
5 minutes
Running With Scissors
Augusten Burroughs


On those grey days where you just don’t want to get out of bed, I think to myself, dark room, dark walls, and try to get myself back to sleep. I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to do anything that involves other people. I want to sleep and sleep and give back to my body. Give back to my mind and just let it dream all day. Those grey days, the ones where the sky is even lovelier than yesterday, the birds only sing in harmony, and the lawn mower is taking the day off, that’s when me and me find one another after being separated, seemingly all the way from birth, and we hold hands with the idea that We Are Enough. I am enough. To get out of bed to even prepare a cup of soup would be a tragedy. To lean over the edge of the warmth and safety and potential imminent back ache to pick up the tissue that had been left there over night would be a disservice. For those grey days are not grey in colour, but in feel. In texture. In one world where ideas and solutions can’t multiply fast enough. It’s the in between, the place where my mind and body go to have a lie down; a rest. It’s the place where no other colour is invited because it would just ruin everything. It’s that.
So on those grey days, I sleep.