“in the blue plastic chair” by Julia at her desk

Sunday October 7, 2018
5 minutes
Illness and Literature
Tony Hoagland

I’m not going to sit here and pretend I know what you’re thinking.
I won’t stand and do it.
Kneel and do it.
Won’t close my eyes and picture you saying it.
All I can do from here, from outside your skull
from across the world, is invent a story that might explain.
I might tell myself that you think you’re right.
That you believe I should be working on my apology.
That everyone you know thinks the worst of me now.
I might try to understand why you’re desperate to control things.
But what it all means, that is something I’ll only be able to dream up.
No proof.
No facts.
You’re probably not sorry.
And there I go again.
I don’t know what you are thinking but I know what I am feeling.
I want to scream it out but the wisdom says, the source says, the sister says:
I should practice being still and if I know I am right, let that be enough.
But I don’t know now.
I don’t know what is good.

“silence that voice.” By Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 3, 2018
5 minutes
Sitting in the Fire
Pema Chodron

She doesn’t whisper anymore
she begs
she wants me to be loud
that’s my goddamn mantra anyway
Yell Woman, Yell As Loud As The Moon
But the pull of this river is telling me something different
That I should quiet the voice quaking
that I should walk in silence and observe the wind moving
I am being tested every second and there are so many seconds
which mountains I’ve made and which I’ve climbed
I am fairly certain there have been no molehills worth dying on
I know that is what the pull is saying
the one that doesn’t whisper anymore
The one that doesn’t say anything at all
Wisdom is knowing you are right and not beating a love
over the skull with how right you are
and how wrong they have been
It is about knowing deep within and underneath bone
that sometimes saying less is saying more
and saying nothing is saying nothing

But what about the Yell Woman.
The Women of Yell that I have built all my bridges on
They rumble sometimes
and still
I must sit

“the hypocrites will teach.” By Julia in her bed

Monday May 7, 2018
5 minutes
From a quote by Suzy Kassem

All the voices I’ve been avoiding living inside me are more alive than I’ve been letting them be, more living than I’ve been thinking they are

I was right about you
it’s written in the stars and I’ve been right so many times but I’ve been scared and so I don’t say anything with words but with worlds of voices dancing around in my head

And they are so loud that my skin crawls and maybe you can see it so you ask me what is wrong and the truth is inside nothing is wrong everything is right but it is dangerous to say out loud

It is hard to believe that I know more than I think I do
That I am bigger than I think I am

“I could be wrong” by Julia in her bed

Friday September 8, 2017
5 minutes
overheard at 16th and Oak

I do not like to be right
whole world can challenge me on that
might think I don’t know how to be wrong
that I won’t stand for it
I am
as the world might think I am
I still Leave drippings on the burner
I still Set off the fire alarm after asking other hands to be more careful
I still Pee sometimes before pulling down my underwear
I still Find myself wearing my heart on my cheek like a cat scratch
I do not like to be right
oh how the kingdom does fall when I get what I want
and I do not want to be right
there is not enough time in a day to beg for the opposite
nobody gets it
they don’t know how painful it is
how lonely
how sad
Not just about other hands
about who I thought I was
The reckoning tastes a little
too much like an avocado
on its last day in the basket
before becoming

“Dogs must be kept on a lead” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday December 13, 2014
5 minutes
London overground rules

Bobby always says, “Don’t get me wrong…” I think about how if he needs to say that so much people are probably getting him wrong all over the damn place. Why doesn’t he just try harder to get it right? I tell him this on our way to the dog park. Lou is jumping like a rabbit and he keeps saying, “Down Lou! Down!” Lou doesn’t listen. Molly is the opposite of Lou. She behaves like the Queen that she is. “Don’t get me wrong, I love her. But she’s badly behaved and so annoying!” I pause. “How could I, like, get you wrong?” “Huh?” He’s never been called on this before? “I’m just wondering how I could get that wrong… Like, I know that you love her. You’re good to her. You didn’t have her as a puppy and it’s hard to train full grown dogs…” Bobby looks at me. He furrows his thick brows. “I’m just saying – ” “I know what you’re saying!” We’re at the dog park now, and he’s letting Lou off her leash. Molly is whimpering softly.

“STOP HERE” by Julia at her desk

Sunday, July 21, 2013
5 minutes
from a traffic sign in Mississauga

there is a fine line between right and wrong, and delanie likes to flirt with it. she waddles up to it as if she’s about to give it a big fat blow job then she waddles back, acting all coy and shy like some girl scout who just got caught for eating too many of her own delicious mint cookies. delanie knew she was a line flirter since she was young but she never once called it that. to her, are you kidding, she called it “adventure” or “fun”, even. she’d sometimes put on a slinky dress and ooze her bad ideas right on up to that line, and she’d dance directly on it letting her ruffles touch the edge but not long enough for them to get caught there. she’d work up enough confidence to stick her tongue out right over that line but pull it back into her wet mouth right before it was too late. she never went over it though…she wouldn’t want what was on the other side anymore if she did. the chase was something she was into….her mother taught her about reverse psychology when she was young and as soon as she understood what it was, she knew right away that she was going to be a victim of it. delanie always wants what’s on the other side but doesn’t want to give in too much to show that she might..just..take it…
her mother doesn’t flirt with the line like her daughter does. she stands far enough away dabbing the sweat off her brow with the handkerchief her grandmother gave her when she was in her twenties.