“Use your body to be the tent” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
8:50pm
5 minutes
Nest Filled
Kim Stafford

I don’t know that I would sheild you first in an attack from outer space
You’re high on the list but not at the top
Maybe you’re fourth or fifth, or sixth which, don’t get me wrong, is still very good
I wouldn’t want to be fourth or fifth on anyone’s list but
for you on mine it’s a privileged spot
Especially when you consider how many things are important to me
How many people too
I don’t think I would use my body as the tent in case it happens
to rain outside
even if you were wearing your tailor-made suit
I would much rather you employ an umbrella to do that job
I guess I don’t consider rain life threatening
But in the event of a life threatening occurence
I would save my right hand and then my left
And then my sister
and then my notebooks
and then my cousin’s kid
and then you
That’s sixth for you, just like I promised
After, of course, counting my hands seperately

“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

“eligible costs” by Julia at Democracy*

Tuesday January 2, 2018 at Democracy*
4:07pm
5 minutes
A letter from Health Insurance BC

We’ve been adding up since Sunday
counting blessings and good attitudes, bending each finger down until they’re nimble. I followed suit when you started: Thanked the room for witnessing us at our finest, clapped out loud at the light on my lips. I do what you do. I love the way you show me. A laughter on fire. A please. A thank you, thank you, Amen. I use the good paper to prove it. I write your influence onto lists of things to remember. Things to know. I know how much it costs for me to want you. I keep my big bills like I’m saving up for the perfect leather jacket.

“Clear eyes” by Julia on her couch


Saturday February 18, 2017
7:40pm
5 minutes
Friday Night Lights

When I pray I ask god to give me clarity so I may trust
what I see and be able to know it
I ask to be bypassed by nightmares like I did when
I was a child
twenty years of wishing I wouldn’t see the bad things because
I had glue for brains
terror haunting me like flies twitching on a sticky rope
I ask god to give me clear eyes so I can’t blame inaction
on blurry vision
I ask god to save me so we don’t get caught up in logistics
Tell her I’m tired now of specificty
mainly because it hurts
too much
When I pray I ask for something I can hold on to
something that won’t burn me in the night and leave a scar

“holier-than-thou” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday November 17,2015
12:05am
5 minutes
from an e-mail

Went to church when I was younger I guess, so I have this really big soft spot for budding Christians. Not the full blown ones, I have no room for those. But the ones who are starting to feel community and straight-edged living are the ones I see myself in. So many of my beliefs were centered around permission and guilt and acceptance and guilt and lying and begging and praying and guilt. Like I was sand being shaken back and forth in an hourglass. Always trying not to be wrong. Always trying to right the wrong. Always being wrong. Always feeling bad for being wrong. But there in the community where we’d raise our hands to the Lord and sway them back and forth while our eyes were closed and our hearts exploded, we felt like pieces cut out of the same felt, glued onto bristol board to form a perfect circle; the poster kids for The Lost.

“make strong choices on the fly” by Julia at her desk


Sunday November 8, 2015
10:18pm
5 minutes
from nativeearth.ca/w28series/

Okay so I started taking this improv class-that’s what they say, it’s so cool, they don’t even finish the word. It’s every week on Tuesdays and the class is 3 hours long and it is the best thing in my entire life. It’s so funny. People really are hilarious in this class so I never feel like it’s a waste cause I’m always laughing and sometimes till I’m crying and that is the best feeling. Our instructor, Vijestica is a hobbit sized woman and she has a big laugh that starts, I am convinced, in her groin. She’s always snorting and shooting snot out of her nose because she loves to laugh and gets us really excited about our choices! In improv you learn how to YES AND which means nothing is wrong and everything is a good idea and you say yes to the first choice that comes and just keep building on that until you’re really rolling with it all and the jokes just flow and the laughs just follow. Vijestica says this is a safe place to leave the everyday at the door. I am so glad to leave my everyday at the door because working in a cubicle the size of an outhouse in my everyday is actually the thing that might kill me. It’s awful, there’s no silliness or fun, only deadlines and people telling me “nice maroon sweater, Alma,” or “Did you eat my peanut butter tuna sandwich, Alma?” Here, in improv class, we all just smile and tell each other how great and brave we all are.

“EVERYTHING IS CHANGING AND EVERYTHING IS STAYING THE SAME” by Julia on her living room floor


Monday February 2, 2015
11:50pm
5 minutes
A tweet by @stgramophone

Hunters in the night, we roam open fields, crouched low, weapons poised.
We dance through the movements in the wild, past forgotten, precision amplified.
We take aim at the heart of time and we shoot, silent bullets, pew pew, into the clock.
Tomorrow, tomorrow, we lament, we celebrate. Yesterday, yesterday, we hang on the wall like a prize.
Keeping it still, keeping it the same as before. We threaten the passing moments with violent accuracy and unmatched speed.
We leave no place for it to hide, no bushes, no blades of grass, no silly wishes left to conceal.
We chew on the flesh of memory until our bellies ache from the midnight devour method.
Nothing is the same now. Nothing is better or worse or either when we don’t let it be.

“So sweet and so intense” by Julia at Katerina and Ben’s


Sunday November 16, 2014
11:19pm
5 minutes
from a text from Bec

There’s a little love left over in his pocket
He is saving it for later
He is waiting to need it
He told her on the phone, no I’m out of stock; there’s not much left on the shelves, I’m afraid
Because he didn’t want to give it away
He didn’t want to be without it at all
So he keeps it and holds it there
Loosely so it won’t get smushed
But tight enough to make sure it isn’t going anywhere
He is saving it for when he runs out
For when the grey skies are a little too cold and the radiator is broken
He is keeping it close by
A hand swipe away
For when it calls him
And he’s ready enough to answer

“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”.

“saving me right now” by Julia at her kitchen table


Tuesday June 10, 2014
4:17pm
5 minutes
a text message

There’s an entire bag of Oreos in my bedroom that I’m saving for later cause they’ll be saving me from this shithole of a town I’m being kept in. I’m serious, my mother, she got this new boyfriend and he lives in bum-fuck-nowhere and this nowhere town is really getting to me. I’ve been here for three days-no internet. I can’t even keep updated with my own life cause this guy thinks that the internet is a gateway drug for procrastination and failure. I’m thinking, yeah, I’m so sure the second I check an e-mail I commit myself to a life time of serving fries at McDonalds. Please. You know, it’s all a control thing. He lays down some rules and my mother, she just goes along with all of them because she needs structure and she sees that he’s willing to give it to her, so she just lets him treat me the way he wants. He doesn’t know about the Oreos, by the way, cause if he did he’d confiscate them too and tell me they were a gateway drug for obesity and heart attacks.

“rock ‘n’ roll-tinged bar chatter.” by Julia at Washington Dulles Airport


Thursday May 8, 2014
2:17pm
5 minutes
Washington Flyer
May/June 2014

Through the crowded space I could see her sitting at the bar with her sleeves pulled down right over hands. Hiding. Fiddling. I wanted to scoop her up right then and there and free her of her timid isolated prison and tell her, woman you don’t need to run away. The world wants you. She had two shot glasses lined up in front of her and was crashing them into each other, getting tiny splashes of the glass remnants onto her sleeves. The local band had started to play their set and everyone was moving closer to the stage. She didn’t move. She didn’t even turn. She ordered another shot of nondescript liquor from where I was standing and I could only assume it was vodka because she hated the way gin made her so volatile. She stared at her shot glass for longer than appropriate. I waited, thinking she needed to be alone. But I also felt like she needed to be saved from herself and having another body around just sitting in her silence might help.

“my oblivious affinity for pies” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Friday November 29, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
2:12pm
5 minutes
www.localmilkblog.com

I’m looking for a poet to lend my heart to. I know he’ll be gentle with it, describe its core and pulp and colour. I know he will grieve it, believe it, and leave it. I know he will put feathers around it in a cage and display it. I know he will plant flowers in the garden just so it has something to look at. I’m looking for a poet, other artists need not apply. A poet would fear it, treat it with the power of a thousand suns, and try, on occasion, to butter it with compliments and attempt to eat it. I know he’ll treat it as his own, knowing the pain that comes with it if given without an instruction manual. How could I let it touch the hands of any other man? How could I rest easy if I gave it to someone else, when the poet would love it too much to ever hate it? How could I send my heart up the stairs of its bomb shelter and into direct line of fire, or nuclear attacks, or toxic air, knowing full well it would die on impact?

“I never knew a poet personally” by Julia on her couch


Sunday, September 22, 2013
10:16pm
5 minutes
Away Alone
Janet Noble


My first instinct when I hear you talking to Old Mike on the front porch from our living room window is to call you and act like it’s some emergency. Talk like the sky is falling and you’re in danger, and it’s never been more important than it is right now for you to leave where you are. I think this because I want to save you the way I’d like to be saved if I got stuck with him. Which did happen to me about a month ago, and all I wanted was to fake my own death right then and there so he’d stop talking to me and let me just smoke my fucking cigarette in peace. I think how happy you’d be to hear from me, to get my call and pretend it’s some loved one from a place that isn’t only 5 feet away from you. I’d be so poetic in my description of the emergency, so that I’d be the only one acting, and you could just react. Just respond. Just listen, fully and honestly as if what I was saying was in fact the best or worst thing you’d ever heard, and as if it were the first time, because, of course, it would be.

My second instinct is to blast Cyndi Lauper from the stereo in the kitchen. So much so that you’d be able to just “what the fuck” yourself right out of your trap that you’re too nice to otherwise free yourself from.
Instead I sit here, and I listen to your conversation. It sounds, almost, like you’re having a good time with him. I’m tricked for a second, because you’re so good at fake laughing.

“broke down under the pressure” by Julia in her backyard


Tuesday, August 20, 2013
11:24pm
5 minutes
The program for 7 Important Things at SummerWorks

She’s gotten into the habit of spitting. It’s a gross one, and she knows it, but somehow it’s stuck and she likes it better than the skin picking. I have to agree with her. The skin picking thing made her look like a meth-head and she swears she’s only done it twice. She just didn’t know what to do with her hands because she was anxious and worked up and all that. Now it’s like she doesn’t know what to do with her words so she keeps spitting onto the ground just to get them out so they’re not stuck inside her skull. Sometimes there’s nothing even to spit out but she grinds her throat together from the inside to make it rough and hurt. Then when she has enough throat juice, she spits it out without waiting to see what’s around her. She did that with the skin picking, only with that she was flicking her scabs and bloody epidermis around with reckless abandon. We’ll see if this is just a phase; just a coping mechanism for the mental break down she swears she only told me about.