“Thinking of you.” By Julia in her bed

Sunday October 14, 2018
10:21pm
5 minutes
From a text

I’m not thinking of you.
I’m not laying in bed eyes closed picturing you.
I am swallowing all my body’s enemies
and all it wants is to release them
I’m not thinking of you.
I’m not scrolling eye rolling not considering you.
I am up to my eyeballs in decisions about me and my own eyeballs.
there is a lot left to know
about everything
about nothing
about silence
but I do not need to know about you.
not checking your latest falling for your taste tests
I’m not tonguing about you.

“drove up to the prison” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday August 30, 2017
11:39pm
5 minutes
This American Life episode 282

can’t stop a freight train
on its way
it knows where it’s going
it goes
and goes
it doesn’t think to break to take
in the scenery
it doesn’t put off gettting to
its destination because there is
something easier to do
nothing is better than arriving
when all you’ve done is travel

can’t stop a freight train
on its way
it carries the load it was meant to
doesn’t complain about the weather
the speed of the tracks
doesn’t beg for something to make it
more fun
doesn’t whine about needing snacks
it definitely doesn’t light the Palo Santo
over and over again until it believes
it doesn’t call its mother on the
phone to ask for directions
it knows where it’s going
it goes

“He presses a button” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday August 29, 2017
9:27pm
5 minutes
from VO sides

i watch him from the corner of my eye
he is sly
a man on a mission to push all of my buttons
coming for me like a dart
flying through the air, straight for wherever he aims
did i mention he has great aim?
taught to throw a baseball at the age of three
and now the target is me
i can’t avoid it, it’s the end,
i’m nothing but a machine
when he wants laughter he strikes the soft above my knee
says something unexpected in that charming sort of way
if he wants to knock me over
he hits below
buckle and shake until i make peace with the ground
i am onto him
looking for any kind of reaction
reaching out and teasing with a smirk
hovering right above my button
i am defenseless
yet feeling tension
will he won’t he
no sir yes sir

“It depends how aware you are.” by Julia in F’s kitchen


Saturday August 19, 2017
9:53pm
5 minutes
Lennon on Lennon
edited by Jeff Burger


walking eyes ground walking walking
don’t stop moving eyes ground further further

count cracks sidewalk busted bruised gum gum gum somebody’s bad decision spit shit cigarette butt

empty sky sun alone head no where near the clouds but in them with them nothing around

five dollar bill twenty cigarette butt shopping list bus pass toothpick

hands stuffed into jeans pockets bursting ripped and bleeding bang into the cyclist crossing chipped lips

shuffling pushing one foot next foot walking running listen for the lights to change beep beep at your own risk

seagulls pigeons balloon string toilet paper hat full of coins people people everywhere there here up down

“Then the chicken to fry” by Sasha in Pearson International Airport


Saturday, August 15, 2015
6:37pm
5 minutes
Women Work
Maya Angelou


I got a case of the Mondays.
I got a case of the Bad Days.
I got a case of Corona and a spliff from five years ago.
I got a real bad dog show.
I got chicken to fry.
I gotta undo a lie.
I got an itch that can’t be scratched.
I got a case of the Mondays, baby.
I got a case of the Sad Days.
I got a case of old photos.
I got a broken motor.

“One day she made a mistake” By Julia on her bed


Monday, August 3, 2015
12:31am
5 minutes
overheard at 49th Parallel

suddenly the truth hits
boom
like a grenade
no time now
no time to think
good choices be damned
it takes everything inside
not
to
scream
again and again
but there is no unknowing
when the decision is made
to let it in
now it’s in
boom
like a truth bomb
boom
like a higher standard
today
and
each
moving forward

“What is “beginner’s mind”?” By Julia in Brooklyn


Tuesday, July 28, 2015
11:11pm
5 minutes
from a tweet by Shambhala Sun

Set out on that journey with the wind whispering a farewell to your back
Let it make its way into your hair and dance there for a minute
Maybe two
Maybe three
She doesn’t want to hold you back or make you think you’re not ready
Only you know that
She just thinks goodbyes are important
You have your pencil sharpened and your pages born fresh and clean
Your long trek’s sword; your protector; your companion
Set out on that journey with the wind catching up to your skin
Let it make its way onto your face and caress you there for a minute
Maybe two
Maybe three
She doesn’t want to interfere or keep you from moving forward
You will do it anyway
She just thinks hello-agains are worth it

“supremely a task of communication” By Julia in Brooklyn


Monday, July 27, 2015
11:24pm
5 minutes
Audition
Michael Shurtleff


You say I miss you
I say I miss you back
But we’re throwing daggers baby
avoiding all of our feelings
I can’t stand the silence
So I lie to you instead
You can’t keep score
So neither of us will win
You say
You say I miss you baby
You say
You say I miss you baby
I wait for you to come home
And you rush to me from work
You sit in your car a little longer
So we’re stealing each other’s time baby
Avoiding what is true
You can’t stand the sound of my voice
So you make love to me instead
I can’t play pretend
So it hurts us both the same
I say
I say I miss you back baby
I say
I say I miss you back

“with my name on it” by Julia on the overground


Monday December 29, 2014
9:14pm
5 minutes
Little Lord Love
Mary Oliver


It’s mine, it’s mine, can I have it, will you give it, it’s mine, I’m behind, can I will it, can I kill it, will you let it, high and set it, a thousand dreams to forget it, it’s mine, all the time, can I drink it, can I sink it, it’s mine, with my name, can I own it, can I show it…

Sebbie had a crazy way of looking at the world. She was cold a lot. In her bones. So she didn’t know when she was uncomfortable or just unlucky. Instead of saying “it happened for the best” Sebbie goes out of her way to say “it happened for the worst”. I don’t know anyone who goes out of her way to say the “worst” of anything, but Sebbie did. She was trying to stay strong and good and alive and alert. She was trying to win the game of life, and by being a bit nutty, a bit realistic, she believed she was doing it. She was never good at sharing. She had a possession problem. She wanted everything to say her name and to have her fingerprints all over it. She wanted to prove she owned something in this life, not that you can take it with you anyway, but in case you could…she wanted it.

“Smoking seriously harms you” by Sasha on Nadeem’s bed in Mississauga


Wednesday December 24, 2014
1:16am
5 minutes
A pack of Marlboro

We’re not sure he’ll make it
We hope you can take it
We don’t want to give you a start

We’re sorry to say it
We don’t want to relay it
We hope that we’re doing our part

He shouldn’t have done it
His lungs just couldn’t bare it
He wasn’t the smartest of smart

The nicotine sticks aren’t the worst of it
The drugs and the alcohol are it
Here’s a lemony tart

“Speeding through space…” by Julia at her kitchen table


Wednesday October 29, 2014
7:43pm
5 minutes
Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman


Like a rocket on fire and a mission to complete
You go straight for the chest
Exploding it open
Right through to the heart
Pumping life blood
Pumping patience
You stare at it with the first quietness you’ve ever had
You watch it thud
You watch it pulse
You fall in love with it
All its depth
And all its power
Your burning mission now over
Your new mission
To hold it
To help it
To protect it
To fix it
You put aside your invasive tools
You throw away your distraction manual
And you wait until it’s ready for you

“UNION” by Julia in her bed at a hostel in Levanto


Saturday September 20, 2014
12:57am
5 minutes
from a flyer for a yoga studio

They tell me not to join it they tell me not to avoid it they tell me not to come inside they tell me not to be alive
I waited till the sun went down and broke a flower’s petal. I had it in my back pocket when I was little and now I’m big. It’s been in there a long time. It’s been in there a long long time.
They tell me not to fight the fight they tell me things they cannot hide they tell me not to join it they tell me not to avoid it
I waited till the rain poured in and stole a flower’s centre. I had it in my front pocket when I was in the middle and now I’m on the side. It’s been in there a long time. It’s been in there a long long time.

“going from being very quiet to being very loud” by Julia on the bus to Termini Station in Rome


Monday September 8, 2014
2:37pm
5 minutes
from an interview with Passenger on http://www.billboard.com

I didn’t know what to say so I went from being very loud to very quiet in a matter of split seconds. The timing was precious, and in it I vanished. It engulfed me, the silence. The utmost pretense. The inability to speak, to help, to heal, to advise. Nothing. Nada. Not even one single sigh did I utter. Couldn’t sputter a helpful Hmmm, or a pointed Ohhhh. I was speechless, bottomless, hollow and wordless. I thought I’d be great but I was instead worthless. So the only thing I thought in that very moment to do, was go from being very quiet to being very loud in a matter of split seconds.

“I’ve breathed the mountain air” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, July 22, 2014
10:49pm
5 minutes
I’ve Been Everywhere
Hank Snow



I’ve been so angry. I have been, it’s been a mercury is rising sort of thing, and I swear, that if the real me doesn’t happen, I’ll be your worst nightmare. I’ve been that way. Blinded sight, twisted light, couldn’t write that way. Where the only thing that calms me is the fight, that way. I couldn’t control it, I wouldn’t, shouldn’t, didn’t but I sold it. And it’s too late to try and get on its level just to scold it. It’s out of me and gone, the anger, the angry, the anger, the angry, the anger in me. That one we’ve seen. That thing I’ve been.

“That’s very interesting” by Julia on her couch


Monday, July 21, 2014
11:18pm
5 minutes
Overheard at ideal coffee


She was a mad hatter
her feelings didn’t matter
she was a mad a mad a
and when she danced
the world was romanced
but she didn’t believe it yet
her feelings didn’t matter
she was a mad hatter
a mad, a mad was, a mad was
He always did stray
When she looked the other way
His mask a good looking one
And they would talk
But not have much to say
their costume a convincing one
She was a batter
her feelings didn’t matter
she was a bat a bat a
And when she sang
The whole world came
but she didn’t know how to believe it yet
He always did lie
It was his alibi:
He really just enjoyed telling it.

“Ha parlato troppo” by Julia at her table


Friday July 11, 2014
10:33pm
5 minutes
overheard on Corydon

I haven’t told him yet
I’m waiting for the one and only right moment
And when I do I know that he will understand
That life is full of promises that you don’t forget
Yeah life
Yeah life
Yeah life
Yeah yeah yeah
Life
Yeah life
Yeah life
Yeah yeah yeah
Opened up the door to a secret place
I know that if I stayed I’d have to keep it that way
A hundred lies and cover ups on every day
Cause if I didn’t know any better then I would say
Yeah life
Yeah life
Yeah life
Yeah yeah yeah
life
Yeah life
Yeah life
Yeah yeah yeah

“we dare be brave” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, July 2, 2014
10:36pm
5 minutes
Touched by an Angel
Maya Angelou


We dare to be brave
me writing this in front of you
me exposing my skin
me going in for a kiss when you might not kiss back
We dare
oh we’ve seen it
on subways
on bilboards
on front yards of your neighbours, your sisters, your dentist’s boss
we dare to
with passion
with ease
with openness
we dare to be brave
me letting you hear one of my songs
me laughing so hard while wearing the worst socks
me burning the chicken the second night in a row
we have to. we have to dare to dare.
that’s where the truly beautiful parts hide.
that’s where the honest, raw, and flawed thing lives.
We want her to feel safe. We want to let her out.

“In love” by Julia at Lauren and Jack’s house


Saturday May 17, 2014
7:42pm
5 minutes
from a button

They were real in love like
Dreams left on the pillow
Like hope floating in a glass jar beside the bed like
skin on skin on skin on skin
And they had each other
And they had the moon
And they were all the world could think of
And they didn’t mind one bit
One bit
They were real in love like
Hot breath in the shower
Like finger traced laugh lines
Like mediocre soft eggs turned into a
king’s buffet
And they had each other
And they had the lake
And they had their wishes even if they had to keep them in a drawer
And they didn’t mind one bit
One bit
Cause oh they were real in love like
Fireworks in January like
Silence in the understanding like
Two spiders with a promise

“I’d known better” by Julia on her couch


Monday May 12, 2014
12:02am
5 minutes
Stethocsope
A short story by Ben Mauk


Oh yeah I was flying, it wasn’t a dream, I really was.
You can bet on that kind of stuff.
The stuff that feels real but isn’t.
The stuff that you wish was fake, but can’t be.
I once flew in a dream and oh yeah, it was magical.
I was able to get myself off the ground with a couple of good and happy thoughts the way Mary Martin taught me.
I went searching for someone I shouldn’t have been searching for.
He comes up a lot.
Sort of in my mind the way a fly buzzes in your ear, flies into it, out of nowhere.
You try to swat it away.
I do. I try to swat it away.
He comes up a lot.
He comes up so much.
Those are the times the empty feeling of guilt doesn’t haunt my sleep, or my waking states.
Those are the times the guilt doesn’t get to penetrate because I earned the free pass.
From loving him all those years.
From jumping off a tall building and landing in my own heart.
So I see him when I’m not expecting him.
And sometimes I tell him all my secrets even though he already knows them.
I don’t know how he knows but he knows.
He feels the same way about me, sometimes finding me in my dreams too.
And we meet there with a bow tied around the moment so no one tries to unwrap it and waste it.

“She looked like anything but a winner” by Julia at R Squared Cafe


Monday, March 10 2014 at R Squared Cafe
4:55pm
5 minutes
The Bookman’s Wake
John Dunning


had the soles of her feet scratched up from the running
from the running with no shoes, no socks, no protection
just a little thing
not a lot to protect, small feet, but not a lot
had the lashes of her eyes all stuck together from the mud
from the mud rubbed into her face, from the falling down into the forests,
from the running with no shoes, no socks
from the running from herself to find herself
from the running from herself to find something that looked like home
had the tips of her fingers all bloody and bruised from the snatching
from the snatching of little bits of food from glass cases
from the snatching of little bits of hope sprinkled generously on all the tops of every barbed wire fence
from the running with no shoes, no socks
from the days that seemed warm but chilled her to the bones
had the dream of a future splattered across her face
from the running
from the running

“Less like a lightning strike” by Julia on the subway going west


Saturday March 8, 2014
8:49pm
5 minutes
an interview with Barbara Kingsolver

More like a gun shot
More like a tooth being ripped from warm gums
More than a giant axe to the heart
More like a life being promised to another
More like heart ache with great similes
More like a dream that started off as a nightmare
More like a wish that turned into a threat
More like a canyon filled up with dirty lies
More like a soft spot being crushed with one squeeze
More like the crippling news of somebody’s end
More like the devastating sadness of ruining the last chance
More like the idiotic blindness from staring into an eclipse
More like a harsh word in the middle of a funeral
More like a meteor hitting the same place
More like a story being killed before its conclusion

“Safety pocket” by Julia on the 506 going west


Wednesday March 5, 2014
10:33pm
5 minutes
the box of matches

She’s got that safety pocket that ooh will she or won’t she take off and rocket that if she does how far will she go to Jupiter and back to the very last row to the end of her dreams to the start of her screams to the depths of the water back to the barrel that shot her she’s got to she ought to stay back or she’ll rot you and then she can fly birdie high in the sky kissing every try and dying to die she’s got that safety stuff that guess what she’s doing and is it enough that party go hardy that coarse and the rough that mixture that tincture that pass pass puff puff

“your natural body” by Julia on her couch


Friday February 28, 2014
1:06am
5 minutes
the Cocoa-Shea Butter container

Before the worship and the punishment
Before the sacrifices and the indulgences
Before the fast food and the slow food
Before the fake stuff and the right stuff
You were a thing that needed almost nothing
You needed love
You got love
You needed water
You got water
You needed nourishment
You got nourishment
Somebody made sure you got what you needed because your needs were not bigger than you
Now they are
Now there’s a thing called “chocolate”
One called “wine”
One called “on sale”
One called “tomorrow I’ll be better”
The colorful images telling you now what you need
To be happy now is harder
It’s very very hard
We have to sift through the things
The things called “cars, goals, comparisons, delusions, medications, drugs, fantasies, corruption, impatience”
If we sift we might find a shirt that looks good on
Like a second layer of skin
Meant for wearing and being very happy

“Baby you’re much too fast” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday February 26, 2014
12:09am
5 minutes
Little Red Corvette
Prince


I called you up, I said Vroom Vroom baby
you told me I was out of my mind
I casually laughed then told you I was taking you out tonight
You shrieked a bit and then you were hooked
Where are we going?
And then I said it again, Vroom Vroom baby
You leave that part to me
You had on your jean jacket and you twirled in front of the mirror
Listening to Madonna or Tina
I had the keys and all I had to do was get to you
On my way over I remembered how you liked to bite my bottom lip when you kissed me
I thought about how if I close my eyes and lean into you, I always find your mouth
Or yours always finds mine
I felt cool with the hood down and the midnight air whispering through me
You were just a couple minutes away
And I couldn’t get to you fast enough
I almost ditched my ride on the side of the road
Just to run to you and make the wait disappear.
And then my song came on
Our song
The one you liked to sing in the shower

“REDIRECTION” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday November 26, 2013
11:41pm
5 minutes
The front of the bill from Rogers

A little misdirection, a little action. Yeah. Yeah. Grant me the serenity to…yeah. yeah. When did it become so hard? To hardly exist. To hardly be anything but a regret. A little redirection, a little reaction. Yeah. Yeah. On this day you will be alive and…yeah. yeah. Where did all the pretty colours go? To blend in with the nothingness and be the fear it tried to avoid. A little direction, a little inaction. Yeah. Yeah. Peace before pieces before peace…yeah. yeah. Why must I be without the essentials 98% of the time? To fall on my knees with the wind’s whisper in my ear telling me to land softly, or else. A little redirection please, a little action? Yeah? Yeah. A little yeah. Yeah. A little.

“finally after 32 years I discover music” by Julia on her bed


Saturday November 2, 2013
1:15am
5 minutes
Sheila Heti’s e-mail in “An email that’s an apology”
from We Think Alone, Week 18 by Miranda July


He didn’t know it but he knew it and it was building there deep inside his veins. Stirring up trouble blood in a couple major arteries. Whisking it till it’s true and thin and rotten and meaningful.
He didn’t want to ask any questions about it or see if anyone felt the same way. He just acted like it was nothing and went about his day doing his thing. His thing in the bathroom, his thing in the living room, his thing in the basement, his thing in the attic. He went about knowing what he knew with thin blood and a trembling mind, trying to play a constant rhythmic sound, or encouraging those sounds to play around him. But there it was every second without fail: the outrage, the catastrophe, the really perfect excuse, the dying plant on the windowsill.

“we are responsible” by Julia at Lit on College


Monday, October 28, 2013 at Lit Espresso Bar
5:10pm
5 minutes
“Real life and other tall stories”
The Wednesday Review


For calling our mothers
for teaching our brothers
for truthing to others
for admitting our druthers

for waiting in lines
for talking in rhymes
for singing in time
for drinking with limes

for laughing at jokes
for helping out folks
for ignoring pokes
for avoiding mean blokes

for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers

for cuddling the wee ones
for including the shunned ones
for smiling at the sad ones
for hoping for the worst ones

for asking good asks
for doing good tasks
for not wearing masks
for stocking the flasks

for reading books
for cautionary looks
for challenging crooks
for cleaning the nooks

for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers
for calling our mothers

“a woman’s body” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday October 16, 2013
12:09am
5 minutes
Alive Magazine
October 2013


i didn’t want to ask you
what you thought about my body
i didn’t want to know if
you preferred red heads to blondes to brunettes to whatever it is that i have
i didn’t want to ask any questions
none at all
none that would lead me to want you more
or hate you more because i want you more
i didn’t secretly need to hear
anything from your mouth
that indicated you thought i was beautiful
even if it was only a little bit
even if it was only sometimes
i’d rather stay out all night trying
to catch butterflies
in the perfect moment where
they realize they can fly
i didn’t want yo ask you
i didn’t want to know
what you thought needed improvement
or judgement
or more make up, just around the eyes, though
it seems i would be unhappy with
any one of the possible
outcomes
the ones where i melt in front of you
the ones where i desperately search
for a blanket to cover myself up
the ones where i forget to breathe
in case you’re watching my stomach
or my chest
or my mouth

“I remember” by Julia at the TUA Artists’ Retreat at the Fringe Creation Lab


Sunday, August 25, 2013
2:02pm
5 minutes
From the writer’s workout warm-up

I remember the feel of your morning skin more than the taste of your kiss. It’s something that eases me, that keeps me from spinning into the unknown. You lay there, sleeping, mumbling something to me or yourself, about me, or yourself, and I know you. Your skin: cool from the ever-blowing fan because of the air conditioner we never ever purchased. Your skin, inviting and honest, cloaking your masculinity, your desires, your rage. I remember that feel, that cool sticky skin feel, when I hate you. When I wish you never told me you loved me. When you break my bracelet because you can’t help yourself but play with the dainty things that are strewn across the dresser we share. That’s when I crawl back into those pretty morning moments, and I’m still, laying there behind you, counting your freckles and believing that I could not want for anything but this.
Your heart, a beating, living thing beneath the skin. I’m intrigued by its rhythm and the secrets you hold close but only let me see when you’re sleeping away. I remember.

“What should I do with my life?” by Julia at R Squared


Monday March 18, 2013 at R Squared
11:09am
5 minutes
Writing Down The Bones
Natalie Goldberg


I’ve got all these plans, all these super duper big–WOAH– and cool plans! I’m gonna–I’m gonna–I’m gonna make a boat. TUT TUT TUT. And teach goldfish how to S.I.N.G. (That’s sing.)
That’s SUNG!
Oh great! Today is a blank cheque. But my life? You want to know? Okay, I’ll get serious:
Write a book, a novel, a collection of short stories, a collection of micro-stories–tiny ones–like speckles, like stars! Check! Not blank cheque. Check mark! Great.
A collection of one-liners, a coffee table book with witty retorts…
A song, an album, a musical, a play, a stage-play, a radio-play, a screenplay, a memoir, an article, an essay, a promise.
Oh, Should. Not Want. I get it.
I’ve got all these plans.
Learn to bake, learn to do simple math, learn to eat bananas before they go bad so I don’t feel guilty when I have 60 stacked in the freezer and still don’t want to make banana bread.
Should. SHOULD.
Be happy? Hoity-toity bitches gonna judge me for that? It’s the best answer you hoity-toity bitches.
Be honest. Don’t judge.
Be Real. Don’t judge.
Be Bad. Don’t judge.
Be brave. Don’t judge.

“Nothing to do” by Julia at her desk


Monday January 28, 2013
12:12am
5 minutes
Free and Easy
Lama Gendun Rinpoche


Got rocks in my shoes, got nothing to do, just gonna sit here and think of you.
sounds like a good plan, you sound like a good man, your reality is better than my dreams and…
I don’t have the day by the tail like I thought I would. I play a melody of desire on the keyboard, typing Bs where the Fs should go. Can’t see the difference anyway. Typing not writing. There’s a difference there. Can’t see it. Can’t taste it. Not hungry. Just got pockets with holes in them, love notes falling out onto the floor. Finders Keepers. Keepers Keepers.
Got rocks in my shoes, got nothing good to do, just gonna sit here and wait for you.
Sounds like a good choice, yours sounds like a good voice, your heartbeat is better when it’s making more noise…
I don’t have the night by the waist like I thought I should. I play a catch phrase on the Hotel Bible and hope you catch where I’ve thrown all the answers. Can’t see the difference anyway. Loving not living. There’s a difference there.
Can’t hear it. Can’t touch it. Not sensitive. Just got pockets with broken zippers, change falling out onto the floor.
Finders Keepers. Keepers Keepers.