“take on any city” by Julia on the 99

Tuesday October 30, 2018
6:07pm
5 minutes
A Mercedes-Benz ad

got our bags packed
our walking shoes
makes no difference
to me where we go
with you I cant lose

the salty wind has
been kissing our cheeks
but maybe there’s another
hymn that wants to lull
us to sleep

you’ve decided every
single time but I guess
I’m not the arguing kind
I haven’t been kept up at night so looks like I trust
you babe

There we’ll lean in and
grow into our grandfather skin
treat wednesday night like
sunday morning until we
forget which year it is

cross the path that has
been stepped on many times
by boots of big decision
you and me are going
someday soon

“Embrace Change” by Julia on the 351

Tuesday October 23, 2018
2:57pm
5 minutes
a BIRKS ad

I think the guts of me are changing
The literal guts of me and the figurative ones
The ones that weren’t there before are here now
You know when they say
It takes guts to do something like that
Well if you don’t have them does the thing every get done?
Now it feels like my guts are all happy to be in me
Knowing they’re going to be used for doing something
They are all on board and asking to be taken
Yes please take these guts and jump!
And my literal guts are different
Cause I give them what they need every day and they know that they’re not being used to filter out the wrong stuff
Before I think they did their job almost begrudgingly
It takes guts to do something like that
Fine I guess since we’re here we can but it’s really beyond our pay grade
Guts can’t work on everything for nothing
Now I know this
And I’m changing

“what would happen if we moved to Vancouver?” by Julia in her bed

Thursday September 20, 2018
12:31am
5 minutes
Crystal
Gillian Wigmore

nobody saw it coming
not me
not you
not the ones we were leaving behind
i suppose some deep place made known only to me in my dreams and
i guess in my mother’s
it was expected that i would make it
we both knew somewhere that i would twist silk into roots
and sink them in
she always knows the limits to my reach better than me
which is funny
since she doesn’t think I have any
but maybe vancouver gave me the pocket of soil to grow myself out of
she said that to me today
and here i am talking about leaving or staying or what in the world should I do
what would happen?

“pockets of bullets” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday July 3, 2018
2:16pm
5 minutes
All The While The Women
Hugh Martin

At any given moment you can reach into your own pockets and find the weapon
It’s up to you what you use
No one is saying they have to be bullets
You might have to form your hand into a fist first
Feel the edges lining the space between thigh and modesty
Challenge the boundary of what fits in and out–What feels good
What feels good?
Is it the truth, wielded like a maniac might, shaking it in the face of someone who doesn’t understand?
Is it the lie? What does more harm in a circumstance like this one; in a circumstance like ours?
My mother never told me honesty was the best policy. She didn’t believe or she would have mentioned it
I think I learned it on my own, anyway
So many chances to use the sword of truth like the good word told me to
It’s funny how deep a pocket will seem when you’re looking for a place to hide
You might throw your hand in and emerge with nothing but a ball of lint
Ah, but it’s what you do with the lint that makes a hero

“For the sea lies all about us…” by Julia on her couch

Monday July 2, 2018
9:38pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rachel Carson

The moment I decide I will love you forever you turn into a sea slug
It is my curse of course
I’m the one who made it happen
Earlier you are bright and light and good all over
You have the smile that makes me remember why I choose you
You smell lime fresh
Avocado sweet
And then the sun drops from his throne
The sky changing colour from orange to purple to earth pink
Suddenly you do not want me around
You are weary of me
You are wishing I was dead or asleep or a seagull passing over the ocean for the last time
This might be a truth
This might be a lie
A story that I tell myself when loving you as is feels too scary to do
I am scared of how easily the light can switch
How little weight my word holds

“The American imagination” by Julia on the sky train

Friday June 8, 2018
12:03pm
5 minutes
Poetic Justice an Interview with Camille T. Dungy 
Airica Parker

The imagination there is big, he says
Big and bold and brassy and big
Every day a new phone call telling me how much closer he is to being big too
The ceiling is high, the sky is higher, and the people know how to help each other be extraordinary
This is a dream sequence that I am replaying: people helping people
Not so afraid of someone else’s greatness that they need to throw stones at them until they fall off
To think of the inventors and chefs
The writers and the football players
The American imagination plays like the movies that are big enough to be made there
I don’t know what they think of us
Maybe that we’re polite pushovers
Maybe that we know how to apologize for things instead of owning them
They might not think of our country at all
I didn’t really either
Until I thought about leaving it

“a sleek white line” by Julia on her couch

Sunday May 27, 2018
10:00pm
5 minutes
Are You Really An Artist?
Leah Burns

You’re wearing all white and you’re okay with it. Say you’re going to go pump gas, fix your bike chain, eat a rack of ribs. Nobody tells you what everybody knows. A hundred wet wipes and a gallon of bleach. But the days are short and why wait. The nights don’t count so go to town. A bird could shit on your window or down the front of your jeans and the whole show can get cancelled.

You tempt fate like someone was paying you to do it. Hold up a mirror then disappear behind it. Throw your open wound in front of a shark. You try the rules until they’re broken and too tired to fight back. You invite disaster with every sway of your hip, every rainy day in April. When you walk back and forth you look like a q-tip or a sleek white line.

“connection as friends.” by Julia at the studio

Monday, March 5, 2018
3:53pm
5 minutes
I Know How You Feel
F. Diane Barth

When we first met I wanted to like you. I wanted to like you and I liked
you. I said “She and I are going to be friends.” I said we were, and we
were. I learned that If I wanted something, believd in the wanting, in the
why, then I would get what I wanted. I tried that out on other friends too,
just to see. It worked. I wanted to like them and I liked them. I said “We
are going to be friends and we were friends. Maybe you could make the
connection that I made us have the connection. You could infer that I was the
one who brought us floating together in the same orbit to begin with. Afterall,
if you wanted us to be friends, wouldn’t you have made us friends?
You might interrupt here and tell me that we are friends because we both wanted
us to be friends. We made the connection in tandem. Made, a verb, an action,
a choice. I know that this is not the case because I did all of the work. I
showed you my whole thumping heart. I bled out when it was not convenient.
You said yes. But you waited for me to go first.You didn’t want it as bad as me.

“with that thirsty, drink-it-down look” by Julia on the plane

Saturday January 20, 2018
12:28am
5 minutes
For you
Tammy Armstrong

-So should we join the mile high club?

– -I would do it, yeah.

-Oh please, don’t sound so enthused. It’s too much.

– -Well those bathrooms are so small.

-Yeah.

– – And apparently you can get in a lot of trouble if you get caught.

-Yes, you can only join the club if you risk breaking the rules. You can’t just be in the club. There has to be danger. And earning it.

– -Okay fine let’s join then. I’m in. I’ve heard the best time to do it is when the flight attendants are trollying along with snacks.

-Oh you heard that, did you?

“And we’re looking for a few more faces” by Julia on her couch

Thursday December 14, 2017
7:23pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Be a seagull swimming with the ducks.

Watch as Little Buddy does not let not being a duck deter her from being with the ducks. Watch as she casually lands amidst the them, plunging, gliding, squeaking. She looks around, not hurting anyone. Not asking for anything. Then slowly she swims closer to them. She joins in, hello, hi, how are you, just another sweet duck here, hello just another regular duck like you, swimming in the pond.

Be a seagull swimming with the ducks. All out of what ifs and better nots.

Maybe we’re waiting for an unlikely friend to be made. A new way of searching for tiny fish to catch.

We’re looking for a few more faces like that. Like the ones who don’t hide theirs to fit in with the others. The ones who risk difference in a pond of same.

“What is rooted” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 9, 2017
11:02pm
5 minutes
Tao Te Ching
Translated by Stephen Mitchell


somewhere between a beautiful conversation and
a shot-to-the-heart epiphany
you are unfolding to me
beneath a hot cloud
I am here too and I am on fire
and you are coming undone

It is now and maybe only
now that I do not feel sorry for
myself for feeling
so much
Your face betrays your every kindness
and this is what trusting feels like
this is the circle that happiness draws

when we dance into peace offerings with wobbly knees
we do not know this hard wood floor
but these walls have seen us try

“White-sand beaches” By Julia at her dining table


Monday March 7, 2016
10:41pm
5 minutes
from an online ad

If you’re asking then I’m going, going with you, going wherever you go.
I don’t have any bags packed yet but I don’t mind getting whatever I need as we bleed.
Can I borrow your toothbrush? If you’re asking, can I share your knapsack?
I could sing you one of your favourites. You can pick the one. I know you like some feeling kinds, some country, some bluegrass, some sweet sweet soul.
I don’t care if you’re a white-sand beaches kind of thing, a hot air balloon, an air dive off of a mountain kind of heart. I am an open mess of so much yes and so little reservation.
I can curl up small on your back, or lead you hand in hand to a secret place where the pure strength river will never run dry.

“a sneak peek” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday, January 23, 2016
9:49pm
5 minutes
A Facebook Post

You can’t help yourself. I get it. What with the swiping and the scrolling and whatnot? You’ve never met her in real life. (“It’s the way we’re going… Technology is more “real” than real, quite often…”) You follow her and she’s the first place you go when you get up, even before you’ve peed, even before you’ve put clothes on. She posts most frequently on Twitter. You’re disappointed when she gets that app that streamlines all the social media together. You learn to appreciate the repetition. She’s getting more risky in her posts – more swears, more cleavage, more opinions – and you like this.

“loading up the cart sheer to the brim” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Sunday, January 3, 2016
11:20am
5 minutes
http://www.bonappetit.com

The mastery of the art of failure is hard won
Like any true knowledge it comes with bruises to the
imagination and early mornings of dry mouths and
too much black coffee
Failure is heavier than success
Success is not failure’s opposite but it’s sister

What if we re-imagined the graph that we’ve learned by
heart a thousand and one times?
What if we created with curiosity as a guide?
What if we relinquished stars and reviews and top ten lists
in favour of real full bodied failure attempts?

“Don’t tell anyone.” by Julia at her desk


Sunday December 6, 2015
9:43pm
5 minutes
http://www.globeandmail.com/life/parenting

Don’t tell anyone but I love the smell of my own skin. Like the ooey gooey yeasty smell of the inside of my bra after a long day of support and entrapment. I like it like I like the smell of your hands after they’ve been down your pants. I don’t know why but they smell the same to me. Secret Skin. Hidden in plain sight. Terribly crass. Undeniably human. I love the human you become when I’m an animal sniffing the sweat off your thighs. I ache for you to want me like your body has no choice. You tell me you like the smell of my arms, behind my ears, my belly button. I tell you to describe the scent that you like so much. I beg for you to prove it to me that it’s worth risking everything for.
You don’t know what to say except that it’s spicy and reeks of the earth. I am lifted from my bones when I hear you inhale me.

“It’s a bold idea” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday, October 14, 2015
12:35am
5 minutes
The Volcano

I can weave my thoughts into your skin so you can know me from the inside out
I can kiss your sleeping lips so my smile sneaks into your dreams
I can hold your forehead next to mine so my peace will meet yours and want to stay
I can intertwine my fingers with yours so you’ll know that if you ever feel lost, you can find your place with me
I can sing you the songs I write when I think no one is around so you can see that risking it all might be hard but won’t kill you
I can leave you love notes in your coat pockets so you’ll always have something fragile and warm to hold
I can carry the burden for you so your shoulders are free for me to lean on

“Then the chicken to fry” by Julia on her couch


Saturday, August 15, 2015
4:17pm
5 minutes
Women Work
Maya Angelou


Hi Dad,
How’ve you been? I already hate that I’ve started this letter with a pleasantry, but I didn’t even know if I should write this in the first place and now I’m doing it so let’s just see how it goes. I actually don’t need to know how you’ve been. Sorry for asking that. I saw a chicken and waffles place on 5th and Carmichael last Friday and haven’t been able to concentrate on my life because it’s something you are somehow attached to now and forever and I’m a bit fucked up about that for some reason. I went in, I ordered a huge plate of the stuff and then cried into my fried lunch for about 12 minutes straight. I wasn’t planning on telling you that but here I am writing you a letter I didn’t plan on writing to you either.

“I got you I won’t let go” by Julia at Bicerin Espresso Bar


Monday, June 1, 2015
3:13pm
5 minutes
I got You Babe
Sonny and Cher


I held my hand out for you to hold
You said you’d Get Back To Me
That was not the answer I wanted
That was not the thing I expected

I held out my hand for you to grab
You said No Thanks, Baby, I’m Good Right Now
That was not the response I should have gotten
That was not the moment I wanted

But maybe your hand is not ready
And maybe you need to be alone
And maybe you’re lying to me
And maybe you’re lying to yourself

I dreamed up the perfect day
You said Honey I Don’t Have Time
That was not my ideal holiday
That was not the gentlest way

I dreamed up the best idea
You said Don’t Wait Up For Me
That made me feel insecure
That made me feel unsure

But maybe it wasn’t personal
And maybe you were just being blunt
And maybe your heart is still healing
And maybe you don’t know what you want

“submerged regrets were ready to overflow” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s


Tuesday March 25, 2014
2:49amm
5 minutes
The New Yorker
Feb 17, 2014


You’re mad at me again because I left the stove on for the second time this week. You think I have dementia and you say this to me when you see it’s happened twice. I tell you it was an accident, I have a lot on my mind. I say, I’m not 90, you know. And you don’t laugh at this. You don’t laugh one little bit. I’m sorry, I say, I’m really, truly sorry about doing that, and you don’t say anything which I know is always worse.
You’re not well, Marissa. You tell me that with your head down, sort of shaking it in a “no”, sort of shaking slowly like a really disappointed “no”. I’m fine, I say, and try to force a smile. You leave things around sometimes! I tell you that and you get real angry again. You don’t like that I’ve compared my “dementia” to your carelessness. It’s a different kind of carelessness. It’s more about leaving the back door unlocked after you take out the recycling. It’s more about you forgetting to use a coaster. It’s not life threatening. That’s what you tell me. I argue that the door thing most certainly is, but you’re not having it. This is about my mental health…
Marissa.
You just say my name sometimes like I’ll know what you mean.

“Inn of Olde” by Julia in the van in St. John’s


Monday March 24, 2014
6:01pm
5 minutes
from the sign for Linda’s in Quidi Vidi, NF

You saw it there just collecting dust and you wanted to bend down to brush it off without anyone noticing.
You coughed in that moment. Just enough to distract yourself from what you were doing, thinking, yeah, hey, that’s a pretty good idea, maybe other people will be distracted too.
So you coughed again. And then everyone looked at you because, what, is she sick?
You smiled and you started toward the bathroom. Maybe you could envision the space better in private? You thought that to yourself. You hoped some time away from it would be a good thing for you and for the dust.
You hoped it would start a train of people going to use the restroom as long as they saw someone breaking the ice. The way people always wait to go up for seconds until they see a small girl with an appetite problem go up first and take down two more slices.
You were thinking about that one thing so hard your brain started to hurt.
You left the bathroom with the distraction of entrances and exits.
The crowd had moved so you thought you had an in.
You walked up to it and you looked around. Would anyone even care? You asked yourself this too.

“Touch anywhere” by Julia on the plane to Newfoundland


Sunday March 23, 2014
2:11pm
5 minutes
the Air Canada seat screen

-Is that an invitation, Dana?
-Yeah, maybe. Maybe it is.
-So could you open your arms a little bit? I mean, metaphorically?
-Not really.
-So you’re not ready.
-No, I am, I’m just, I’m …ugh…
-What?
-Nothing.
-Nothing.
-Mhm.
-Come on, Dana, what?
-ffff…It’s stupid. Or I am. I don’t know.
-Stop being…stop being afraid
-Ha. Easy to say–
-I know. But you know once you say stuff a bunch, you gotta follow through.
-Yeah.
-You know, with yourself.
-Yeah.
-So it’s more of a self-help thing. I don’t know.
-I hate that.
-Yeah I heard it when I..uh..I heard it too. It’s not my best work.
-No, but you’re right. It’s true. You’re. hugghhhhh. You’re right.
-Ok I’m going to walk closer to you now?
-Please don’t ask me for permission. Please.

“it has a song” by Julia on her couch


Sunday December 15, 2013
11:47pm
5 minutes
A quote by Maya Angelou

A lot of the time it has to do with slowing down your thoughts and really truly seeing each letter inside your mind before it forms a full word. It’s the same for sentences and then paragraphs and then stories. It’s a magical thing when you just trust that they will in fact form and they will in fact make sense and they will inevitably communicate something. Something communicated is a lovely thing. Not always does it translate perfectly from our brains to our mouths but not always does it have to. It’s especially difficult when you let a little air into your brain and start to give space in between words so you don’t know what the next thing you’ll think is until you’ve thought it. It’s hard to know if you already had the entire thing preplanned or if you were able to truly listen to each letter forming each word forming each thought. The joy is in not fully knowing but being willing to find out. It’s a risk on a small scale. It’s a risk because it isn’t a guaranteed success. That’s what living is. A risk. Each day is a new word, a new thought, a new story, a new memory.

“STOP HERE” by Julia at her desk


Sunday, July 21, 2013
12:08am
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.