“The biggest personality among this trio” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday November 7, 2018
9:09pm
5 minutes
High Living
Jacqueline Ranit

I have to write about something positive. It’s been a long time and maybe some of you are noticing. Or not. Maybe none of you are noticing because none of you are reading these. You used to but maybe life got in the way which is to say got in the way of me. For you all it means is that you have one. A life. And that’s wonderful for you. I think everyone deserves that. I wonder if you’re out with your new family now that you’re not reading these. I wonder if you’ve ever thought to check in and see how I am doing. I might have been very honest in these and could have been giving you the real keys to my under belly but you might be busy is all. You might have other things to do, going to fancy picnics, ordering pizza on a Wednesday. Well in case you’re reading this, things are going really really good for me. They couldn’t be better.

“I married Dave” by Julia at her desk

Monday October 8, 2018
8:30pm
5 minutes
Plants Don’t Have Birthdays
Andrea Gregor

I married Dave
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted
I am happy with Dave
He is the one who makes me happy
He is the one who
He is the one who makes me
I am in love with Dave
He is the one I wanted to love
He is the one I loved to want
He is the love I wanted
I settled for Dave
He is the one I wanted to leave me
He is the one I wanted to leave
He is the one I wanted then didn’t
I am still with Dave
He is the one I regret
He is the one I didn’t expect
He is the one I was too afraid to question
He is the one I can’t see myself in
He is the one who was there
He is the one who had a car
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who had a problem
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who lied
He is the one who kept me small
He is the one who I let keep me small
He is the one I married

“survive and maybe be heroic.” by Julia on her couch

Sunday September 23, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
Loud, Unpleasant Noises
Norbert Ruebsaat

please stop asking me
how my day was
no matter what I do
I am not equipped
to answer in a way
that absolves me
of the truth
if you’re asking
because you want
to know how easy
it is to put a hand
on a hot burner
and wait for the scream
then ask me
if you’re asking
because you want
to know how long
a mirror can stay
clean until it is
bloody from the
face reflected back
then ask me
ask me why the roof
of my mouth is a
pocket of worry
or why the kettle
screaming does not
rouse me from the
closet
ask me if you want
to hear denial dripping
dripping
drip

“a few drops of peppermint oil.” by Julia on the Red Line

Tuesday September 11, 2018
4:27pm
5 minutes
The Incense of Those Rooms
Jen Currin

Misery loves Company so Misery keeps inviting Company over. Together they sway in the dark and call it romance. Call it pretty.
Misery asks Company to stay a while and talk to her while she cries. And she cries Niagara Falls. Sometimes on the inside where her sandwich drowns a thousand deaths. Company loves Misery and keeps telling her she’ll be there. That she’ll never leave her. Company draws a bath and sprinkles in a few drops of peppermint oil. All this running water and nowhere to go. Misery wants to be who she is, find someone who will love her this way. Company keeps Misery from changing. Keeps bringing her baskets of hand picked sorrow. Calls it unconditional. Calls it sweet. Calls it forever.

“Are we able to live simply,” by Julia on her patio

Sunday July 15, 2018
9:26pm
5 minutes
Living Buddha, Living Christ
Thich Nhat Hanh

Every time this poor dog howls you look up at me from your book with those eyes that are trying to make a connection with mine.
I think you’re hoping that I will want one just as bad as you do; as if this three hour howling dog is helping your case.

How can we live simply with a dog suffering? Think of how much work it’ll be to love something who is always distressed.

And then I think about how you love me extra when I am visited by sadness, three hour tears streaming down my cheeks. You have some magic touch and a resevoir of love overflowing. You don’t even hide it. You give generously. You are there when I get thirsty.

And maybe we aren’t meant to live simply. Maybe some things are supposed to stretch us wide.

“a flickering lamp, a phantom” by Julia on the couch at the Airbnb

Thursday July 12, 2018
9:41pm
5 minutes
Diamond Sutra
Buddha

We sit in the dark.
Connie tells me, “These wafer cookies taste like they cost only a dollar.”
I tell her, “that’s because they do cost only a dollar. People who buy these don’t by them for quality, they buy them because they’re trying to bury the thing inside them that keeps them itching.”
Connie says, “Who has a face long enough to shove one of these in without biting?”
And I say, “What in the world are you talking about?”
Connie says, “These things leave crumbs everywhere like a motherfucker. I’m not Hansel and Gretel. I don’t need someone to follow the path of them all the way back to me. Me and my face trying to hide the sadness in my stomach.”
I don’t really know why she keeps eating them except for the fact that she might be one of those people who eat the wafers that the people trying to bury the thing inside them buy so she can at least complain about them.
Connie says, “They leave a film on the roof of your mouth. What is that?”
“Regret”, I tell her. “Or something like it.”

“Where it pours bean green over blue” by Julia walking home

Friday June 22, 2018
11:26pm
Daddy
Sylvia Plath

I thought I saw you walking toward me
You had headphones on and you were walking a bulldog
You don’t have a bulldog so I knew it couldn’t be you but the face and the beard and the eyes were yours
The same sadness was not doing a very good job of hiding there in the corners
I almost reached out anyway
The whole thing has got me blurry
Seeing you on neck of other men wishing
Watching you look at me like we both know that you’re not in this city but your soul has been hopping
I almost reached out
I almost touched the you that wasn’t
In this way that I do

“Jesus do I have to even get out of bed” by Julia at her desk

Monday June 4, 2018
9:26pm
5 minutes
From an interview by Devin Friedman

Do I have to leave this? I’ve built a warm thing to lay in. My head is heavy. My eyes blink slowly. What is it about grey mornings.

Don’t say they’ll turn into something beautiful. It’s always too late when this city decides to help me out.

I think it’s sadness?
It feels like it.
Laying, laying, not moving, sort of staring

I think another body in the bed would change the shape of things.
Make me sink a little toward the middle.
Make me have to get up in the night.
Make me have to come right back and settle.

Today is hard.

If I admit it maybe it will get the validation it needs and move on.
Maybe tomorrow won’t be so needy.
I slept with all my clothes last night.
Sweater, pants, socks.

Another body in the bed would require shorts or nothing.
Another body in the bed would be built like a furnace, jobbed and ready to heat whatever is close and shivering.

I’ll ask Jesus if he knows where to get one.

“I have been in love with a life—“ by Julia at her desk

Saturday April 7, 2018
12:28am
5 minutes
Grammar School
Megan Fennya Jones

Some audiences don’t snap for poems about joy
if the joy is coming out of certain bodies
You could say you love your body and they will
say that it’s because you never had to struggle
You could say you like yourself and they will
wait for the moment before when you didn’t
I have been grateful in front of the wrong people
Gave my full heart and let the light open the room
and still it was not the right place for it
it did not compare with all of the other sadness
Makes you wonder sometimes if you have enough
pain to even be a poet
if you have enough of anything at all
If you want to sing the love song for your loved song
you will have to wait until there’s a
space in the programming
You can’t try to be joyful after someone else has wept
it will make you look like you’re bragging
like you’re the enemy
and some audiences will call you undeserving
of a ten

“Oh my god it HURTS!” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday March 7, 2018
8:47pm
The Stand
Stephen King

Okay let me tell you what it’s like. On a good night? He comes home, he kisses me in the driveway, he slaps my ass and then he brings in the groceries from the car, puts them away, then sits on the couch. I give him a back massage and then I cook dinner. He does the dishes, then he reads in his chair and snacks on those chewy mints. He loves those chewy mints even though they get stuck in his teeth. He tells me he loves me. He sings in my ear. On a bad night it’s not much different. He comes home, he reads, he chews, he does the dishes. But on those days he does not kiss me in the driveway. Doesn’t tell me that he loves me. Plays the piano in the other room with his headphones in. Watches reality tv and surfs the web for funny videos in the other room with his headphones in. Doesn’t kiss me before we sleep. Doesn’t touch me in the bed. Doesn’t ask how my day was. Comes home but doesn’t want to be there.

“I’ll probably do it while you’re sitting on the toilet” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday February 10, 2018
1:21am
5 minutes
Who Says I’m Not a Romantic
Fernando Raguero

I’m saving myself for the race
to the centre of the earth
saving my “sorry’s” for all
the broken-hearted children
saving my strength for you
when you get home tired and
hungry and lonely and angry

The whole world is singing
to a drum beat
singing to a heartbreak
singing quiet then loud
then quiet

My girl we’ve gotta stop this
too many boys with bullets
I don’t even know about hope today
What’s that man with a rifle in his hand
gonna say to us with our saving and our singing

World’s gone mad

Shoot me in the head

World’s gone mad

I’m saving my sadness
I’m saving my ears
I’m saving my pennies
Too much saving and not
enough doing

It all seems petty
these grievances between us
your eyes brimming
my eyes brimming

something in common

“This one has more nuts” By Julia at the studio


Wednesday September 13, 2017
6:28pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Bump n’ Grind

Last night I thought I’d woo you with a sage butter walnut sauce
in my dreams the slick pasta would make you hard instantly
then you’d fuck me on the counter top
taking breaks to slurp back another slippery noodle
Last night I made a sage butter walnut sauce
Okay, margarine
I should have grinded the nuts more
I should have put fewer in
You ate three bowls and we didn’t fuck once
You asked why I wasn’t talking
I said these walnuts are killing me
You laughed
it really wasn’t funny
I told you sometimes I’m not sure how deep this
sadness lives
You interrupted me then, the first real thing I’d said
in days
to tell me how much you liked the sage
I guess dreams really do come true

“astral projection, stress and depression” by Sasha in the bath


Tuesday September 12, 2017
10:42pm
5 minutes
Binaural Beats & Healing Sounds on YouTube

No one’s here to help baby
No one’s here to help

Magic mushroom toast root bake festival
Astral projection
Stress and depression
Forests of consumerism
Extra large M’s and double D WHY’s
Shaking our devices in our sister’s faces
Shaking our devices so we can feel somebody
Find a chin hair shake a leg
Take a bow and call for help
9-1-1 is just a static
9-1-1 is just a dial tone

No one’s here to help baby
No one’s here to help

Cocaine snow angels
In the ashes of our mothers
Water tastes like urine and coffee
Coffee is urine
Urine is coffee
The land’s most trusted caregivers
Are gathered in a place made of cardboard
And needles and songs
Stress and depression
Coffins under the ground layer

No one’s here to help baby
No one’s here to help

“You said not to read his old texts” by Julia on her couch


Thursday August 31, 2017
11:58pm
5 minutes
From confidential sides

Told yourself you wouldn’t log into his e-mail account.
You put a tally beside your computer and started calling it your sobriety calendar.
Eleven days clean. Haven’t checked it since that fall.
You told yourself that “this is why you don’t snoop through other people’s lives.”
You said “this is why you stop rationalizing all together.”
There are exes marked day after day. You nod, slightly to the fact that you are now an ex marked day by day.
You wonder if his computer will notify him that someone else is in his account.
You worry that he already knows what you’re doing.
You wonder why he doesn’t change his beautiful password.
You wonder why he chose her over you.
You wonder why you eat a tub of peanut butter every three days.

“Host art classes” By Julia at her desk


Saturday August 26, 2017
11:50pm
5 minutes
from a business card


“I think we should buy the warehouse like we talked about.”
“With what money, exactly?”
“Your money. I know, I know–”
“It’s not really my money, you know that right?”
“Well, he left everything to you so whose money could it be?”
“No, obviously, but it doesn’t necesarily feel right to spend it all on an abandonned building because you have a good idea.”
“I am not trying to make you do anything you don’t want to do. But think of what it could be: A place where artists come to create, where they can put on their own events, where we can host classes. Come on, it writes itself.”
“It’s not that easy. I have to make sure I’m using his money for the right thing. This feels like a lot of work.”
“Everything in this life is work. Look, I know I’m asking a lot of you, but you know me. I wouldn’t be suggesting it if I didn’t believe in it. And you have been floating since he died-”
“Am I not allowed to be sad?”
“Of course. Of course you are.”

“I had been able only to grieve” by Julia on the couch


Tuesday May 2, 2017
8:50pm
5 minutes
The Year of Magical Thinking
Joan Didion


we lost our muscles
left them somewhere between here and there
the radio show was static familiar
we counted the clicks and the white noise like ducks in a row
we are not walking or running
the streets are filled with other people’s shoes
we had no time for writing cards
to express condolences
to each other
there were too many floors to find
too many beds to melt
too many casserole dishes to wash
we promised to press our palms together every hour
to remind us what living flesh felt like
the telephone had to be disconnected
too many hearts bleeding on the line

“She sees light and shapes” by Julia on her couch


Monday January 30, 2017
8:28pm
5 minutes
from a text

She sees through me like nobody else has ever been able to. I feel like a string of twinkle lights wrapped in cellophane. She knows when my heart races. When my blood pumps. She knows when my hurt is anxious of when my hurt is lonely. She knows when my reasons are irrational or when they’re rationed just so. She knows when I am tired or when I’ve forgotten to eat. She knows when the silence I give her is because it is so loud inside me. She knows that my tears are not because of her but because of me. She knows when the moon is in control and when I am merely vessel. She sees the struggle cloaked in good intentions, cloaked once more in sand or tide. She sees me like a painting with all the sadness behind the eyes that cannot be quelled or released. She knows when I’m talking to fill the air with something that doesn’t reek of me. She knows when I am waiting for her to scold me or save me or keep me right where I am.

“confused about her life path” by Julia on her couch


Sunday January 29, 2017
8:19pm
5 minutes
from Clairvoyance
Mary Ellen Flora


There are days that pass that feel lighter than they are because the heaviness is elsewhere. But when the heaviness is back it’s all that there is. Nothing relative. Nothing to compare it to, it is everything and nothing and nothing that is everything. One day last week KT laughed at her self for returning to her desk with toilet paper stuck to the bottom of her shoe. She didn’t mind the tiny thing and wasn’t embarrassed. That was a heaviness is elsewhere kind of day. Today KT can’t stand without crying and can’t smile without lying and so she does neither. Pete doesn’t ask her what is wrong because he knows she will say nothing or everything and both will be either. He knows that it is nothing and everything but he can’t do a single thing to help.

“the hands upraised” by Sasha at her desk


Friday November 25, 2016
11:54am
5 minutes
The back of a Buddha greeting card

I couldn’t sleep again last night. I don’t usually have this problem, toes touching the warmth of your calf, stretching into a dream. I woke you from almost-sleep, “I have the scares,” I said. We stole the line from our eight year old friend because kids are the most articulate in my books. Before I woke you from almost-sleep, before we brushed teeth and put socks and underwear into the laundry hamper, I had been edgy and grating and needy with you, asking “Why?” over and over, even when it wasn’t called for. Mostly when it wasn’t called for. Before the sixty three “Why’s” we had seen a play about a brothel in which a woman is sold into sexual slavery. Our friends were in it. On the way there, I sang along to the radio in the car as the rain slapped the windshield. We held hands. The play was really good, really painful, really vital – which is more than I can say most of the time. Maybe all the “Why’s” I threw at you were easier than the “Why’s” I really have, the thundercloud ones and the screaming ones and the throat closing sob ones. I’m sorry. You don’t have answers because there are no answers, you can’t give me the answers I need, you shouldn’t ever have to. Hands upraised, reaching for something, reaching for meaning, reaching for why, reaching for God.

“a supermoon in Taurus.” by Julia on the 2


Sunday November 20, 2016
3:02pm
5 minutes
From chaninicholas.com

The other night after hating you for loving me I left the house in my pajama bottoms to seek out the supermoon
You said I probably wouldn’t be able to see anything in this fog but if she was waiting for me to catch her she would probably be that-away and you pointed to the east
I half expected she would be there and willing and believed I would be found if I found her but I couldn’t track her down and that was one more thing to be wrong about that day
I came back up the stairs slowly and stood outside our apartment door for a minute longer than usual while I decided how to feel in front of you
I could hear you inside telling yourself that you deserved to be happy too sometimes

“I’m just so sad” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday November 19, 2016
12:07pm
5 minutes
Overheard on Oak St.

“I’m just so sad,” Phoebe has eyes like macaroni and cheese, deep pools of swamp. “I know you are, babe,” I say, and I wish that there was more comfort in those five words. They are just five words and words aren’t enough today. “I’m scared to live here,” she pulls the hood of her sweatshirt around her neck, cocooning. “I want to disappear.”

Inside the quietness of my ribcage, I talk to her about going to the desert and getting married, a klezmer band of lesbians singing to our love in ancient howls under a crescent moon. Inside the quietness, I whisper sounds that aren’t words that might hold her in a way English never can.

“Not to be pulled savagely” by Julia on her couch


Monday November 14, 2016
10:36pm
5 minutes
Canvas
John Coyote


These days I am built out of gossamer drenched in oil
I sit heavy with stillness
My bones are chalky inside their covering
Nobody knows how to hold me
The air is thick with loneliness
And every voice outside my head that tries to calm me sticks to my unease and pulls savagely
And I am without fortress
Even fresh lines and hot ink bind me
I am old and new at the same time and my centre has moved to another spot that I don’t have a compass for

“the world is ending” by Sasha at JJ Bean


Wednesday November 9, 2016 at JJ Bean on Cambie
2:06pm
5 minutes
From a tweet


I have cried all the cries
and all the fears
endless rivers of grief
a chasm in my chest the size of an orange man

I have raged on my bed
and my body
and my love
I have lost hope

A violent collision of
faith and doubt
I’ll go listen to music tonight
eat a muffin
write my daily write

A sadness has descended
that I haven’t known

The privilege of self reflection
of whiteness
of able body
cis-gender

The privilege of a bed to rage
a body to move
a love to hold and weep and hold
six dollars for an americano and
a peach oatmeal muffin

On my walk here
I searched the eyes of people I passed
in a way that I don’t usually
with a tenderness I have been conditioned
to withhold
I searched the eyes of a pregnant woman
wearing purple
and grey
I smile

“for a fun birthday” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday August 25, 2016
6:59am
5 minutes
SAD MAG
from a TMZ video

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

I am not celebrating my birthday this year.

I AM NOT CELEBRATING MY BIRTHDAY THIS YEAR.

So. You can all go back to what you were doing. WHAT wERe YoU DOinG AnyWAY?? Celebrating something else?? Probably anything else??

I am very upset.
UPset. UPset. because. BECAUSE: I WAS Set Up. That is the truth. TO FAIL. set up to fail and to deal with the repercussions on my oWN. Which is painful. I mISs My Sister.
I miss her laugh. I miss her handssssssss.

And they want me to KEEP PUSHING?

How far before I am edging off the face of this planet? How FAR BEFORE I AM JUST Another NEWs STORy. This Just In: Everything is wrong and nothing is right and someone who needs those things to be switched is feeling the sadness of losing someone close and needs to be held but people are afraid and needs to be told IT IS GOING TO BE OKAY by someone WHO KNOWS and by someone who Won’t Turn It Into A Media Scandal.

I am not celebrating my birthday this year. I have disappointed everyone and nobody will come and everyone is mad and nobody can fix broken with cake.

“your hand in mine” by Julia on her bed


Saturday August 20, 2016
2:08pm
5 minutes
Heard in a song on Co-op radio

I catch myself believing I deserve better when I grab your hand in the crowded street and you pull away after only a second. I grab your hand as a gesture to show you that in this sea of people, I cling to you. I reach for you. I choose you. I remind you every chance I get that I am proud of you. That I am proud to be with you. That the touch of your skin connects me to the only things in this life that matter. And you might miss all of that if you’re not expecting to see it. If you think holding hands is something to be taken for granted. Or to be done differently, perhaps. On days like this I swim along the shoulders of other people when I think of how lonely it is to love you. How far I’ve pushed my heart into opening and how tired she is from never being cradled back. I don’t think I’m allowed to ask for more. I need so much so much so much.

“We’ll discuss some of the best” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday, July 23, 2016
1:12am
5 minutes
vancouvertrails.com

On the walk home tonight you grabbed my hand so I wouldn’t tumble down the hill and told me you were seriously considering buying a camper van.
It was a nice moment.
I could tell you more about what I was thinking inside my head when you said it.
I could say that I wanted to know you forever right then and there. I could say I wasn’t sure all this time because I was convinced you would find a reason to leave me but then I was. And it felt different. It felt different than being weary of you. It felt different being so completely certain.
But I didn’t say any of those things. I smiled at you. I gripped your hand tighter. And I looked into your eyes with a deep sadness for all the moments before I doubted you. The moments before I doubted you could love me as much as I loved you and as much as I needed to be loved.
So I think that was enough.
I think that was all I needed to do.
And then we came home and baked some tortilla chips because why the fuck not.

“We got a good surge” by Julia by her bed


Thursday, July 21, 2016
12:16am
5 minutes
overhead at The Rickshaw

Because there was an opening
we stood up tall on a mountain and opened our mouths to the wind
We wanted to
We wanted to shout
out
all of the sadness and all of our lungs
Just in case she was listening
Just in case she was sorry
I dream of her in reds and yellows
In basil and lavender
In honey and lace
She is perfect still in a world where compliments cannot buy her
I dream of her in here yes today please
She is gone like a feather from a wing
And I can only let my agony
into the wild
As a ghost
As a whisper
As a lullaby

“Highway 2” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday July 2, 2016
10:03pm
5 minutes
NOW Magazine

According to the late night clock on the wall ticking Go To Bed we realized we hadn’t slept since the Rainstorm because you couldn’t fall asleep in the quiet and I couldn’t fall asleep without you. I blamed you then for your sadness. I didn’t know that when you said you were the happiest you had ever been you were trying to manifest happiness because you didn’t have any. I wished you’d stop pretending that it was better on the side of the world where you were left alone, unbothered by me. It made me feel like and onion in an apple patch, a melody in the silence. I made you a card with a picture of a heron because of that one day when we owned the beach before sunrise and saw three of them in a line like an omen for good future, or good luck, or good observation skills.

“Hands me a shovel” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday June 29, 2016 at Starbucks
7:33am
5 minutes
Zen Poem
Jane Rohrer


Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Says Whatchu Waiting For?
Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Hands me a shovel and tells me I have to and if I won’t do then I won’t do anything else today, no eating, no running, no laying down, no reading. So I do because I want to do other things but I don’t want to dig. My arms are weak from all the lifting he made me do yesterday. He sits back and watches me work while he chews on a piece of straw and rocks back and forth saying, That’s Nice, and Good, and, Very Good. The last time I tried to run away he sent his dogs. So I don’t threaten to head to the fence anymore. He wants to keep me right where he can see me. I don’t want to dig but his face is sweaty and mean today. I have to. I have to.
Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Says I Like Watching You Drip
Says Thank You
Says I’ll Show You How Thankful I Am

“Contemporary and traditional ceremonies” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday June 25, 2016
9:23pm
5 minutes
Weddings from the Heart

I haven’t packed a bag in a long time. I don’t really know where I’d go, so I don’t do things that get me going. Matt will have been gone for exactly a year tomorrow. We’re having a mass for him even though he hated church. Mom is always there these days. She says she has a lot to repent about and just wished she could have done it before. She thinks she could have saved him with prayer. I haven’t thought about leaving home since he killed himself. Maybe because I had been away so long and if I were close by, or closer, he wouldn’t have felt so alone. I guess we all blame ourselves for him being gone. I wish the same thing as my mother, that I could have changed my ways sooner. Only in my case that I would have been less selfish and had the foresight to know the repercussions of moving away from home and leaving your kid brother to fend for himself.

“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

“In just 10 months you have come a long way” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday May 3, 2016
10:53pm
5 minutes
From the Twitter account of the woman sitting in front of Julia

Grief looks good on her. At least that’s what people keep saying. Not directly, but that’s what they’re saying, under the tight lipped smiles. Mostly other women. Sometimes men, but it’s quiet, it’s less direct. She’s running every day, because she can’t sit still. Her feet shuffle when she’s at the table, opening the mail. She tries to write in the journal that her sister sent her from the New Age gift shop, but the pen won’t move. Meanwhile, her knees jump. She runs in the ravine, where the trees haven’t really changed since she was a child. She starts drinking all of her meals, unable to chew, almost unable to swallow.

“Textures” by Julia on her couch


Thursday April 28, 2016
8:52pm
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

It’s hard for me not to see you in the wallpaper and feel you in the tile. Your life danced on these floors. Your heart wept in this bed. I feel you in the counter grime, underneath the green dust that has formed a film on the island–the spot where you placed all those freshly picked wild flowers for me. I tell myself it is not over. That you are still here and that I am still here and that this is still our home, the living room still a place where we used to make music, the kitchen still a place where we used to make love. I hear you in the buzzing hallway light, and the hum of the furnace. They sing to me your laugh and I am held there by the beauty of this pain. In moments where I am completely quiet, I can almost even see you reading in your favourite arm chair by the window, legs outstretched and resting on the blue accent pillow.

“all that we went through” by Julia at her dining table


Saturday April 16, 2016
5:31pm
5 minutes
Back to Black
Amy Winehouse


I don’t feel right writing this. You’ve been gone for one month. I know you said it wouldn’t bother you if I saw other people once you said goodbye, but everyone else is saying it’s too soon. I met someone. I don’t know if he’s my one, but he’s someone and it feels nice to be with a man that isn’t dying. Your mother is still angry at me. She thinks I am mistreating your memory, disrespecting what we had. But the worst part is, I know I’m not doing anything wrong and I know that when you told me you didn’t want me to mourn you for long that you meant it. I still love you, I always will. I would have died with you if I could have but it doesn’t work like that. I wanted to thank you for being so understanding and trusting and knowing that me dating someone else does not mean I’ve moved on or that I’m okay or that I wanted to be with someone else this whole time. Nobody outside of us can know what we went through and what we talked about and what we decided together. Now all that’s left is my side of the story and no one seems to want to believe me when I say it’s okay that this is happening and you wouldn’t be upset. I don’t know how long I can keep justifying myself in the eyes of your family or my family. I miss you more than life.

“The earth’s insomnia” by Julia at her “New York”


Wednesday March 16, 2016
9:04pm
5 minutes
Moonlight
Lorna Crozier


I have been out stealing rosemary again. Middle of the night. I am not sorry. But I do recognize the pattern. It’s not about much more than needing to have it in my home so I can touch it when I want to and it can calm me down. Some people do the very same thing with animals. I mean maybe they don’t go around at midnight and sneak into people’s front yards, but–I mean they feel comforted by the presence of a pet. So what? I don’t have one of those. I make do. I’m fine. Please don’t ever think my problems will be solved by a cat. They most certainly will not. I don’t need something like that. Thank you for the offer of your offer. I miss my fucking mother. I want to call her and cry and let her love me back to life. I want to tell her that after all that rosemary thieving I didn’t even put any in the roast potatoes. Because I wanted to keep it longer in a vase next to my bed. Because I wanted to hold onto her soft voice telling me for the last time that I was her laugh.

“A single breast winking,” by Julia on her couch


Monday February 29, 2016
11:32pm
5 minutes
FWD FWD
Robin Evans


In the shadow of chaos she emerges from her pain, long enough to sit up straight and shake off her darkest parts. Sinking in grungy bathwater, reeking of self hate and self punishment, she lets out a wail, a song of her finned underwater comrades. She is touching ocean floor and stratosphere. She is marking both sides of this earth so she can find her place in between them again.
Her mouth is opened and sound falls out like one last hope-one last plea. She is begging herself to save herself: No muskets, no smoke, no hugs, no rope.

“Inside our homes there is usually” by Julia on her couch


Sunday February 28, 2016
11:44pm
5 minutes
from a magazine cutout/em>

Inside our homes there is usually less noise, more quiet, less hate, more love.
Usually.
Tonight there is more crying, less calm, more shaming, less light.
We are both nothing and everything, trying to love each other’s nothing and everything.
You do a better job with it than I do. When I am absolutely nothing nothing, you are still everything everything.
I ask you why you are so nice to me.
You answer with a forehead kiss and a squeeze.
I tell you you haven’t left enough space for me here.
You answer with a squeeze and direct eye-contact.
You will not let me take any prisoners.
You are so happy to be brought on board when I remember that you deserve that.
We are each other’s everything. We are our own nothings.
I have to remember that part too.
If I’m painting broad strokes of the everyday, there is usually more laughter, less pain, more teamwork less fight.
It depends on many things.
The things that usually happen 100% inside of me.

“always easier to leave it at home” By Julia at The Vancouver Public Library


Tuesday February 23, 2016 at the VPL
6:49pm
5 minutes
abeautifulmess.com

Been fucking trying to leave it at home. Been fucking trying not to swear anymore either but as you can see, things have been a little bit rough these days. My asshole of a manager has decided that not only are we no longer allowed on our phones during work hours, but now we have to write a fucking positive message about the “team” each night before AND AFTER our shift. FUCK. How do you not swear when your life is a complete fucking joke? Tad, his fucking name is TAD. And Fucking TAD has so many fucking brilliant ideas for community building, such as embodying bullshit in the most unappealing human way this century has ever seen, or for making us walk through the back doors before we sign our lives away for 4-8 hours in a “light” and “baggage-free” way. Fucking Tad likes to tell me, “Leave your bad attitude at the door, Tegan, this place is a “frown-free” zone!” I want to fucking punch him with a fork. In the throat. Repeatedly. Until fucking forever and ever Amen.

“a finger in each mouth” by Julia at her desk


Sunday November 22, 2015
8:11pm
5 minutes
From a poem by bell hooks

I can’t read what you wrote because it hurts me every time
like a knife in my side
like a drill in my spine
I can’t see your doctor-prescription-careless-anarchy penmanship because it reminds me that you don’t have any respect for what I do
Your o’s look like d’s, your d’s look like meteors
your ripped napkin with the tomato sauce stain letterhead of our kitchen makes me cry
The part scratched out that I wish to God I could read haunts me
You told me you were leaving me on a garbage scrap and then left it on the fridge next to the photo of us rubbing noses

“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.

“Rainfall warning” by Julia on her couch


Thursday November 12, 2015
10:31pm
5 minutes
from the weather network

Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks. Grant called last night to tell me he was sorry and wished he could have stopped by more. I told him not to worry, there were enough people coming by the house to make sure I was getting out of bed. He asked if Mary-Beth made he famous Parmigiana and I said yeah, for the third time. Hasn’t stopped raining since. When I found out, Grant was on his way over to drop off a pair of winter gloves for Owen so he was there when it all hit. He gave me a long hug and told me it was going to be okay. I didn’t let him leave me that night and he’s still acting strange about it. I don’t know why he feels bad, nothing matters anymore. I’m the one who has to live with it, and all I know is life is pretty short so nothing fucking matters. Hasn’t stopped raining for weeks.

“with the theme of fear” by Sasha at the table at Pascoe Rd.


Monday November 9, 2015
1:17pm
5 minutes
ionmagazine.ca

The night she dies I get a text from a bartender
I sometimes fuck
I wash my
face I get on my
bicycle and I go to
his house
On the way
Somewhere east of Dupont
My chain falls off
I can’t stop the tears
Can’t stop the oil from getting
on my dress
I arrive too close to morning
too far from my father
He lights a joint and the promise
I made to myself not to tell him
Undoes like the clasp of my bra
Naked I’m a puddle of chipped nail polish and
missing
He’s a father so he knows
how to soothe
He rubs my back until I’m hiccups and
when we fuck he’s gentle
he knows just how to look me
in the eye
I leave before I can feel grosser before
I can taste the tinniness of shame
My tongue heavy in my mouth I sing
under my breath
Up the hill on the way
home

“senior’s line dancing” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday November 4, 2015
9:13pm
5 minutes
theseniorshub.org

Nonna doesn’t stop talking until you ask her to talk about herself.
In fact, that is how you get Nonna to stop talking.
It was an accident that I found that fact to be true, but it’s true none the less.
I asked her once to tell me about when she was younger.
“Tell me about the dancing! Tell me about you and Nonno dancing or kissing or both.”
“Oh, we were young, yes, a long time ago. We did some dancing.”
She tells me this, in Italian, as she lays the tomatoes out to be sun-dried.
“No, Nonna, I mean tell me about your dancing. What kind of music did you like? What kind of necklaces did you wear?”
But she doesn’t want to tell me, or remind herself, and instead she trails off in a way that makes her sound like she doesn’t quite believe the sound of her own voice.
“Okay Nonna, tell me about the tomatoes.”
“Oh, these tomatoes? I picked these tomatoes. All by myself. This morning. I hurt my joints because I picked them so long.”

“I know I wouldn’t change much” by Sasha in Buchanan E


Thursday October 8, 2015
5:18pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday, October 8, 2015


If you were here or
I was there
the sun would still be setting
all pink and gold
If you were here or
I was there
the leaves would still be falling
all rust coloured bold
If you were here or
I was there
the crows would still be calling
flying towards the west
If you were here or
I was there
The phoebes would still be curled
together snug in their nest
If you were here or
I was there
the night would still be coming
breathing dark on the sky
If you were here or
I was there
winter would still be on it’s way
and I’d still be asking “why”

“putting on sweat pants and sunglasses” by Julia on her couch


Saturday September 26, 2015
10:40pm
5 minutes
a tweet

Harley is sick again. She tells us this. She sips her “fluids”. That’s what she calls them, her “fluids” when they’re clearly as simple as chamomile tea or apple cider vinegar and honey. Harley is always sick and I stopped believing it was true about a year ago. She shows up to our meetings with sweat pants and sunglasses on, drinking her “fluids” and she doesn’t talk above a whisper.
“Why didn’t you just stay at home in bed if you’re not feeling well?”
“I don’t want to let you guys down.”
“Well you’re hurting us more than helping us. You could spread the germs.”
“I think the contagious part is over, I think I’ve tackled that part on my own already.”
“Okay, so should we get started? Harley, let’s see your notes for the–”
Harley is sick again. She tells us this. She sips her “fluids” and gives excuses for not completing her work. I don’t know why we keep her in the group. Maybe because we see that she needs us more than we need her. Maybe because she’s my baby sister and I have to make sure she doesn’t fall off the face of the planet.

“This is fantastic!” by Sasha in her bed


Saturday September 19, 2015
11:21pm
5 minutes
http://www.food.com

A sad, small song, sung to the tune of your sadness
I’m as tired as a possum in a puddle.
I’m as lonely as a clam without a pearl.
I’m as broken as a china doll fallen off the top shelf.
I’m lowwwwwwww.

I’m as grumpy as a cat without a sun patch.
I’m as down as the sun after dusk.
I’m as shaky as the leaves after a storm.
I’m lowwwwwww, baby, I’m lowwwwwww.

I’m as minced as a meat pie.
I’m as scraggly as a stray.
I’m as empty as a barrel in a drought.
I’m lowwwwww! Oh baby! I’m lowwwwww.

“what kids want” by Sasha at The Elysian Room


Friday September 11, 2015 at Elysian
1:21pm
5 minutes
From the front page of the Globe and Mail Life and Arts section

Because these days she wants to crawl into a shell and become sand
Because she eats til she’s empty and the toilet bowl is full
Because she’d lied about her first kiss for two decades and that’s a heavy weight to bare
Because now that the leaves are changing she can’t deny that she is
Because when she’s alone she feels a hollow sternum further than the sky
Because she was a kid once with a fear bigger than the top bunk
Because around the corner is something she’s never seen before and it’s flashing neon
Because Toby and Gwen got married and she can’t stop looking and re-looking at the photographs of their first dance

“A boy in my algebra class nicknamed me “terrorist”” by Julia at English Bay Beach


Saturday September 12, 2015
8:01pm
5 minutes
https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/life-as-a-hairy-muslim-girl-after-911

I think Luke heard it from his dad or something. Luke is always coming into class with his big words and his big hate and it sounds like stuff his dad says. My dad says that Luke’s dad is a vessel of pure sadness. I don’t get how he thinks he’s sad, cause Luke’s dad is always yelling and screaming and swearing and stuff and that seems like he’s pretty angry to me. Sad is when you cry and when your nose leaks and your stomach gets that empty feeling. How do you get that sad empty feeling when you’re always filling your stomach with cans of beer?
Luke is always saying things to me or to Ruby about our skin and about our voices. He laughs and his face goes all red when he holds my arms behind my back and calls me a “terrorist.”

“the result of a period of research” by Julia on Joe’s couch


Thursday, August 27, 20151
10:14pm
5 minutes
Presence of Minds: The Importance of Active Exploration and Response in Dramaturgy
Christopher Michael Petty


According to the barometer set deep in my stomach, I am gauging that the level of contentment I am experiencing is lower than (if not the same as) the level it was at exactly one year ago today in exactly this very spot. It alerts me that something is wrong and that I am not safe. My body is registering some kind of prolonged trauma and it’s beginning to react accordingly. The spot in my brain where it’s supposed to regulate my mood and my outbursts is no longer functioning. It has shut off, hopefully not for good, but in this moment, it’s very much ineffective.

“She locked me in a room until I said a password” By Julia at her desk


Friday, August 7, 2015
12:03am
5 minutes
from a story on The Moth

Come on Sid, I said, face buried into the wall. I’m right here. Right beside you.
I don’t want to come out, she said.
You don’t have to, I told her. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do.
Do you hear that? She asked me. Whispering just loud enough to make out.
What do you mean?
I didn’t hear a thing.
The music. It’s beautiful..you don’t hear it?
Describe it to me, I said, leaning my head back toward her.
It’s like a snowflake, dancing, and spinning, and falling softly on a bed of rose petals.
Beautiful?
Yeah. You should hear it, Ray.
I’d like to.
You’d truly feel it, she said.
It’s okay, I told her, don’t worry about me.
It’s not something I can keep, she said.

“right on the train, first one out of here” By Julia at her desk


Thursday, August 6, 2015
12:22am
5 minutes
If Only
Fink


I heard the cry of your sorry bones
Creeping up to the surface
Poking through the earth, begging, pleading
The haunting was my lullaby
The dream a hoax fabricated by guilt and uncertainty
Far apart from you I wept
Far apart I wished it was my life that was buried instead
I learned to sleep with the white noise of your pain;
the gentle and ever-present reminder that you were gone
That my punishment for all wrongs otherwise
Was getting out of bed even after memory restored
Each day
To face your ghost

“grabbed by the notion” by Julia on the 505 going West


Tuesday, July 21, 2015
11:28pm
5 minutes
from a letter to a celebrity

I’m on the ocean
The waves are healing me
I’m looking deep
In the cave in my chest
I’m on the ocean
The water is curing me
I’m holding tight
To the magic underneath

I remember these words better than I remember my own address. They’ve been sung into my soul so many times that they’re practically mine, top to bottom. Grandma used to sing it to me before bed. She dreamed of the ocean, and taking me there to live with her. When Aunt Christina passed away, Grandma said she knew a place where I wouldn’t feel any pain. She asked Mom if I could go but Mom said, You’re not leaving me too, not now, not ever. And Grandma tried so long to get me there. I didn’t know how much Mom hated to be alone.

“a boy like me calls his mother.” by Julia on her patio


Monday, July 20, 2015
6:19pm
5 minutes
http://www.howlround.com

I HAVE A DOG! Daddy saved a little black one from the shelter and brought him home for me TO KEEP! Mom said play nice with Joseph. Daddy thinks it’s better to call him Joseph than mom’s name, Peanut. He laughed when I picked it and looked at me with big Daddy eyes. Peanut is not the winner! I tell mom this and she storms back into the kitchen with the dish towel over her shoulder and tears in her big mommy eyes. Don’t worry about it, she likes to make things about her, Daddy tells me. She’s just mad you didn’t like her name, but guess what, Joseph didn’t like it either. Daddy goes into the kitchen after mommy. How could you, I hear her yell to him. Dammit, Karen, I hear him say back.

“And she put her arms around me,” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, July 7, 2015
12:12am
5 minutes
A Complicated Kindness
Miriam Toews


My mother hates to see me cry. She doesn’t hate to offer me money, or sneak a 50 in my coat pocket when she thinks I’m not looking, even though she knows those exact things will make me cry, but when I start with the tears, it breaks her abundant heart. She doesn’t want to make me feel bad. She just wants to love me. But I feel bad because I’m self-hating and dramatic, and I cause trouble where there doesn’t need to be. She wishes I could see me how she sees me and that only means so much since I’m her baby and she’d look at me and see Mother Theresa even if I burned an entire nursery school with the children still in it to the ground. I know this because when I told her I had deep, steadfast, secret thoughts about poisoning Auntie Ellis because she scolded me in public one time, she put her arms around me and she squeezed me with so much love that I started to cry. Then she wiped my face with her kisses and said, “I would want to do the same thing if I were you.”

“And she put her arms around me,” by Sasha on the 99 going East


Tuesday, July 7, 2015
6:10pm
5 minutes
A Complicated Kindness
Miriam Toews


Fiona put her arms around me and coo-ed in my ears, “Shush, baby girl… Shushhh…” I cried until I couldn’t cry and then I cried more.

The next morning I charade as okay and eat too much granola and then feel sick.
“Can’t go to work today,” I say, rubbing my belly.
She keeps her eyes on her grapefruit and says, “Go on. It’ll do you good.”
I go but regret it.
My boss tells me I “look like a bag of shit.” He’s right, but has some nerve saying it. Henrietta jumps to my rescue and says, “Allergies, eh? So bad right now.” She winks and it feels like a kiss on my temple.

When I get home, Fiona has left me pancakes on the counter with a note that says, “Breakfast for dinner!” And a smiley face.
And a heart.

“Can I get you anything?” by Julia at her desk


Monday, June 8, 2015
3:12pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Culprit Coffee Co.

Then suddenly I was at his funeral and his mother had asked me to say a few words. I didn’t want to say any words at all, maybe for the first time in my entire life, even. I was angry at her for even suggesting it, as if she knew I couldn’t say no even though I feared that saying anything at all would break me into a million pieces, beyond repair and reassembly.
So I started to write out a dedication to my fiancé and realized it would take years to truly honour him properly. The way I was headed, I was lucky if I could get past writing his name without weeping uncontrollably, no matter where I was or how much I had just cried over him. I didn’t want to seem weak, but what if I couldn’t read anything when it was time? What if the only thing that came out was a pained shriek or a wimper?

“If you catch some salmon in October” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday March 3, 2015
11:07pm
5 minutes
Cascadia
Ramon Esquivel


I haven’t told you this but there’s a black cloud that hangs over your head every time you enter a room. It sits in the upper right corner of your human bubble and it looks pretty heavy. I really thought it would pass: the storm would come down eventually (after threatening to so consistently), the grass would be nourished (after being teased with water), and the sun would pop out and say, “Just kidding! I’ve been here all along!” But you never stopped turning shared spaces grey and you never stopped shifting the feeling of an entire room, or influencing the mood of a whole group of people. I suppose I wanted you to know this so you could potentially fix it for your future interactions. Part of me, however, thinks I’m getting good at making up excuses for you.

“You saw her bathing on the roof” by Julia in her childhood bedroom


Sunday March 1, 2015
11:56pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah
Leonard Cohen


I’ve seen all your parts
Tarnished and familiar
Bruised from being too sensitive
And taking a world’s beating
You glow sometimes
under the proper light
When the pain is dimmed down low
And you feel safe in you skin
When you trust yourself enough
To thank your demons for their good fight
And to put a stop
to any future breakage
I’ve seen all your parts
Bathing in the haze of the moon
Your heart creaks
when it’s been walked over
That’s how you recognize the enemy
That’s how you know when to rebuild the wall
And the faint memory of it cracking
Keeps you far away from me
Even though I’m here to hold you
Even though I’m here to hold you

“Titus and Louise” by Julia on the 26 going east


Thursday February 12, 2015
6:28pm
5 minutes
a storefront window on Dupont St.

Titus hopes for the days that Louise stops screaming in her sleep.
He wakes up every time and tries to hold her without touching her because usually touching her just makes it worse.
He breathes calmly, affecting her breath.
She breathes calmly, taking on his patterns.
Shhh, he kisses the air around her scrunched face.
Shhh, she exhales after holding it in for too long.
Louise sees the visions right before she falls asleep.
The close up shots of a butcher’s bloody hand chopping hunks of raw lamb flesh.
The bees that sting the inside of her eyes until she’s panicked again.
Titus caresses her face softly to soothe her.
He does this sometimes for hours.
His touch is gentle and cool on her hot cheeks.

“Titus and Louise” by Sasha at Great Dane Coffee


Thursday February 12, 2015 at Great Dane Coffee
2:50pm
5 minutes
a storefront window on Dupont St.

Michael died on Tuesday
I only met him once
Two summers ago
Walking across Langavin Bridge
Still thinking about his performance
His words
His spooked character
Abducted by aliens

I can’t shake the sadness
A coal of grief in my throat
I keep re-reading the article
in the Globe and Mail
A strange comfort in the facts
The newsprint

A pile-up on the Saskatchewan highway
A snow storm
A car with three others
Artists and activists
All of them killed

The coffee bubbles on the stove
The trees are starting to blossom
in Vancouver
All across the country
Other coals of grief burn
Brighter
Lighter
A crow calls
I look

“Confronted issues of racism, identity and social tension” by Julia on the 47 going South


Sunday February 8, 2015
8:14pm
5 minutes
http://www.ago.net/basquiat

We were at this line, standing on a cliff looking out into the entire world. We could see all the sadness, because of all the possibility. We could feel the stars shedding their light for us to soak up if we had enough space left inside after all the room we made for darkness. Deep down we had a fixed price for what we’d pay for happiness. We were told that we needed to buy it. We were told we needed to hide it. And at the same time we could hear all the first laughs of every perfect infant. We could paint courage and intimacy with a brush so soft we could swear it didn’t even leave a mark… And that’s why we stood there. On the edge of everything– and not knowing one single thing to do.

“this is the best place” by Julia on her bed


Wednesday February 4, 2015
10:29pm
5 minutes
castingworkbook.com

Shying away from the old heartache song
I don’t take too well to that kind of thing anymore
It hurts a bit in places that I didn’t know I had
So I let that tune play on elsewhere
I don’t tell it to stop cause I know it has to keep going
But I send it some peace so it knows It’s not personal
When I meet grace again, I’ll hum it softly
Maybe I’ll mouth the words
That’s when I’ll be able to have it quietly on repeat in the background
Underscoring my day to day
My dishes in the sink
My clothes on the line
My what ifs, if onlys
My midnight snack of whiskey and war

“I never used to notice this awful quiet” by Julia on her couch


Friday January 23, 2015
1:16pm
5 minutes
from a song by The Be Good Tanyas

Stings like pine needles pricked into my brain-
Where have you been?
Don’t bother me with little words.
I begged you not to leak here.
I asked you nicely not to unload real feelings near this.
And you cry cry cry.
Faucet leaky and abandoned.
Then I hear the high pitched song of the radiators. About to explode. About to change tunes forever-Where you’ve been don’t bother me. But where you are I can’t seem to wrap my head around.
Are you happy now? Are you here? I never noticed this sadness. I always saw it from a distance, bleeding into the landscape before. Now it’s mine and it’s heavy and it’s not just a blurred line off beyond the horizon. Now it’s mine and it’s loud. This crippling tender quiet.

“Crisis points but also the potential for major realizations” by Julia on Laura’s couch


Saturday January 3, 2015
10:11pm
5 minutes
http://www.mysticmama.com

It’s been a hard day. Even just the taste of this minty ginger honey lime tea I’m sipping makes me cry. Sweet things hurt and hurt things flash in my mind like the worst bits of an unwelcome nightmare. Can I say I’m sorry? Will it do anything? Does it help me? Does it help my hurt thing? I don’t know when the last time my world shook like this. The last time it rattled under my feet making my bones knock against themselves. You there, me here–we live in different moments, in different hopes. To be honest, I’m not even sure if we can both exist at the same time. You’re bigger than me and I’m bigger than you. It doesn’t make sense. It won’t connect like we’d have wanted.
This day…this day….

“element of courage” by Julia at Abney Park Cemetery


Tuesday December 30, 2014
2:58pm
5 minutes
from a crossword puzzle

I suppose it takes a lot of guts to tell you this. Me siting here on a broken tree root, trying to decide if I care about the Italian Poplar trees that are so blatantly marked, and staring into your new home, wishing you didn’t have to stay in that earthy place alone. You’ve been gone for 4 weeks now. I am counting down the days to when I don’t count down the days anymore. I am giving myself some time until then to come see you and talk to you, or not, or cry, or cry more than yesterday. But what the bravery is now is telling you that I’m going to be okay. Before I didn’t want to admit that that was a possibility; that I could ever manage to break through this heartache and live a full life without you. Now I know that that’s the only thing I can do. I don’t know if I’ll still feel this way tomorrow. But today I felt like I just had to let you know.

“Now get your ass over here!!!” By Julia at her desk


Saturday October 18, 2014
1:09am
5 minutes
from a comment on a photo on Facebook

I was tired from running around the house from my deranged mother. Turns out you tell her to shut up one time and it’s… I don’t know, over, I guess. I should have known better than to run from her. Should have just let her hit me right then and there. The more she runs the angrier she gets, which, makes sense, so it’s my fault. But she chased me up and down stairs, everywhere, everywhere. Finally, I thought, no, I cannot do this anymore, so I surrender. I just threw myself on the floor underneath the dining room table, and I gave up. I think she needed to catch me more than I needed to escape. So I let her hit me a couple times with her wooden spoon. It hurt. A lot. But I guess it was sort of a release for the both of us. Dad had only been gone for 3 days, but those three days without him really felt like more than enough. We both cried while she was whacking me. There was a moment before it ended where it actually felt okay. It felt like something was real again.

“Detour 23” by Julia in a park in Lowertown, St Paul, MN


Sunday Aug 3, 2014
2:21pm
5 minutes
from a Pembina Hwy sign

Of course he left me. I was impossible. I smoked too much. I drank too often. I woke up late. I forgot to dust the underside of chairs, or books, or picture frames. I refused to water our one and only basil plant. I watched it die a slow death everyday by ashing into its pot. I left the TV on throughout the day. I only took long hot showers. I got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup stains on the couch, the bed, and the wall in the front foyer. I coughed up phlegm and spat it into drinking glasses that were next to me. I dog eared every page in every book he loved. I scratched his DVD player so it no longer worked. I took the car out to the border just so I’d have something to do. I never filled up the tank for when he needed it. I chewed my nails and left the ripped bits on the kitchen table. I swore in my sleep. I never ever thanked him.
Of course he left me. I was impossible. I wanted him to go. Sometimes better people are out there beyond the comforts of “love”.

“The six methods are:” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Thursday July 24, 2014 at MAKE
1:55pm
5 minutes
Ashtanga Yoga Primer
Baba Hari Das

Oh for coping? I guess I have some experience. I usually don’t talk about them with anyone though. I don’t like sharing that stuff in case anyone finds it disturbing or whatever. TMI, maybe? I usually just avoid people during the coping period all together.
But okay. I could list them out, if that’s what you need? If you think it’ll help?
Number one…I’m suddenly acutely aware of myself. And my sadness. Because I’m still struggling with these and I’m the one who originated them. Sorry. Number one: Scream. It sounds easy, but it’s different than just letting sound out at a high volume. It’s a deep one. It’s guttural, it’s blood curdling, it’s hopeless and hopeful at the same time. And it lasts for at least 90 seconds. I do this one first to let it all out. Or try to.
Number two: find a sore spot on your body – a knot, a bruise, a tight muscle, and dig into it. With anything you want, but usually I use my elbows. You want something very pointy. Number three: Finish an entire container of peanut butter. Don’t move from your spot until it’s completely gone, lid licked. I don’t know why this one helps but it does. Maybe because you need something to stick to your bones once you’ve released all the unwanted parts. Number four: put on a blindfold and walk around your house until you know it by touch. Number five: Paint your mirror around your face. Turn it into something like a face cut out character you’d see at a carnival. Number six: floss.

“Parking available at the rear” by Julia on Jessica’s couch


Monday, July 7, 2014
12:02am
5 minutes
from a window sign


I don’t know if you know this, but I just got my license so I am free now and I can ride.
I can be the party bus.
I can be the one you call. Don’t drink and drive! So if you want to, I’ll take you there.
I’ll go anywhere. Just as long as I can get out of the house. It’s stuffy inside. It feels like the walls are made of rock crumble and at any moment it could come crashing down on me, burying me alive in all the rubble.
My mother is a sweetheart. She watches TV all day and tells me to heat up the carrots for dinner.
Nobody likes cooked carrots around here. Not even her. But she doesn’t know what else to feed me and she’s scared if she doesn’t I’ll go blind.
I heat up the carrots and put them on her TV tray beside the couch. She doesn’t even sniff them. They sit there all night. I don’t eat mine either so the house smells like warm mushy carrot and I don’t know if she knows this, but it’s not helping her case against my future blindness.
I want to get out and just drive along the highway.
I want to roll the windows down and breathe in the fresh freedom that I’ve been so hopeful for.
I want to drive away and never come back.
My mother is a sweetheart, but she won’t even know I’m gone.

“I don’t buy Made In China,” by Julia on Jessica’s couch


Sunday, July 6, 2014
5:19pm
5 minutes
http://www.elephantjounral.com


I buy nice things and only nice things
I buy something new every day
every day
I buy nice trinkets
I buy nice glass
I buy something new every week
every week
My toenails are always done up with style
I paint them a new colour every time I yawn
I buy nail polish every day, every day
I buy something new every week
I won’t buy something that was owned from somebody else first
I won’t accept hand-me-downs
I don’t even mind if things aren’t on sale
I don’t even mind
My house is decorated with beige and gold
I don’t hang things on the walls that look cheap
The light fixtures are ornate
The bathroom sink is a pearl
I don’t even live there
I live at the shops
I buy something new every day
I buy nice things and only nice things
I buy something new so I can feel good
I buy something new so I never feel old
I buy something new so I can boast
I buy something new because it’s the only thing I’m good at

“will run as deep as the bloodline” by Sasha on the Lansdowne bus


Tuesday April 1, 2014
11:56am
5 minutes
www.jennylewis.com


There’s a cloud on her shoulder, pinning her down, pinning her to her place, which she doesn’t even enjoy. The cloud shakes its grey curls, making her heart ache, making the muscles tense. The cloud’s been there since the early Winter, since her husky got hit by a car, since she put on fifteen pounds, since she told her family she wanted a divorce from them. “Too much all at once,” I stroke circles onto her hand, hoping she’ll see that this will be over soon. Patchy, dry skin, bigger belly, so many new lines on her face I don’t even know her anymore. Bags heavier than bricks under her eyes. “I’m worried,” I hold her hand and it’s clammy, it’s cold, it reminds me of fish before you put it in the pan to broil.

“allow my worlds to collide” by Sasha on her couch


Thursday March 27, 2014
11:12pm
5 minutes
from The Pillowman program in St St. John’s NL

“I’m glad that you’re out of your funk,” said Sam, standing over the stove, stirring the oatmeal. He was right, this time, I had been in a funk and I was now, slowly, coming out of it. Sam had found me, the previous day, in the bathroom, dressed in a pair of his boxer shorts and my Canucks jersey, sipping a bourbon and reading Virginia Woolf. It was ten in the morning. “What’s the matter?” he asked as he sat beside me, taking the glass from my hand and slowly pouring the contents down the bathtub drain. “i feel hollow inside… Like I’m made of clay and I was poured into a cheap mould and I’m… hollow inside.” It was the best I could do to explain. “What can I do?” Sam asked. “Make lasagna?” It was the only thing sure to cure this feeling. “Okay…” I heard him start the car to go to the market. I smelled the tomato sauce simmering. I emerged from my cave when I heard the cheese bubbling

“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