“younger than before” by Julia in her bed

Saturday December 2, 2017
11:50pm
5 minutes
Place To Be
Nick Drake

The trees held open the door for us today. They asked us to step through, mind the roots.
When we entered, we lifted our heads to the sky, opened our mouths in preparation, and waited to catch a droplet on our tongues. You were close to getting one. I didn’t think the tree would give it up that easily. I couldn’t catch one because I was too busy staring at where they were beginning to form. The droplets fell from the crease of the branches like an armpit or the back of a knee. I suddenly realized how disrespectful it would be to drink someone else’s sweat; something they were trying to get rid of. Something that held the awful truth of them. Our vision got blurry there, as we wept among the openness of it all. The eyes lining the trunks watching our every move, our every step, our every promise. One in particular whispered something to you. When I asked, you said you couldn’t really hear.

“system of divination.” By Julia at 49th Paralell


Monday May 22, 2017
2:43pm
5 minutes
An interview with Chani Nicholas in lennyletter.com

Aunt Bobby moves to a ranch but hates horses
Mama Lilia tells her if she wants to hear what her voice sounds like
she should go before the noise comes
Aunt Bobby sells all her personal belongings but keeps Aunt Kay’s ashes in the urn
puts a label on the side, marked “fragile/necessary”
leaves her on the mantle, apology foregone or forgotten
Mama Lilia tells her peace is in taking care of living land and the more the better
Aunt Bobby staples scrap paper together to make her own notebook
She sharpens her number 2 pencils and sticks them in her hair like a cross,
like protection
Mama Lilia tells her to write the songs her bones sing to her
when she is alone in the wild

“I don’t know if it’s important or not, but it might be.” By Julia on her couch


Tuesday February 7, 2017
9:54pm
5 minutes
from Gerald’s Game
Stephen King


I can’t beg you to ask how my day was the way I can’t
give myself my own
nickname
Every time we collide heavy in each other’s presence you are forgetting
that I am coming from my own set
of rules and interpretations and
it wouldn’t hurt you to wonder what another person’s world is like
It wouldn’t hurt anyone but me if you didn’t
We could look into each other’s eyes all night and still
not
ever see another person

“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.

“I don’t even think that your songs are about me” By Julia at her dining table


Wednesday January 11, 2016
2:40pm
5 minutes
Like You
EXES


When we saw each other again for the first time in three years, you looked different. You smiled different. I felt like you did that on purpose so I wouldn’t look too closely at the you we both know you used to be. It didn’t work. Distractions don’t work on people who have seen your entire insides. I should know. I can’t hide from you either. Even if I was panicking about how I looked seconds before you met me at the underground station. I didn’t want you to think anything other than I Used To Love This Person. I wish I didn’t think that appearances were the only road to remembering that. When we hugged I tried to hold on a little longer so I could smell your neck. I don’t know if I was expecting the same smell you used to have, or hoping for a new one to break all my stupid patterns. Either way I might have been the only one in that hug, and it broke my heart a little. You told me that it’s good to see me and I wanted to say Yeah? But Can You Define What Good Means To You Real Quick? Instead I laughed and swatted at your arm, saying You Too, You Too.

“what curious sense does it make?” By Julia at Sasha’s kitchen table


Tuesday January 10, 2016
2:45pm
5 minutes
Upstream
Mary Oliver


She looked around the room
wild eyed and buzzing
her tiny eyes still too glassy
to make sense of any faces
or shapes
little hands and noses mushed
into her field of vision
blurring in and out
in and out
Her head was fully held up
by the neck on which it stood
Advanced, some of the other new mothers
were marveling
She was anxious to be independent
ready, rather, since she popped out
her new mother said nonchalantly as she gnawed
on a meaty rib bone with her free hand

She gulped at the air
her mouth the same shape as her tiny fists
eager to be in the glory of it all
curious and young
to be so new and so old
all at the same time
a thousand tiny lifetimes lived
in every breath
every glance
every nod
of her perfect little head

“Your grandfather” by Julia on Bec’s couch


Monday January 2, 2017
12:34am
5 minutes
overheard at Cowichan Bay

Your grandfather has your chin
And you have his
Your mother says he has your eyes
Or you have his
And I can see it if I look a long while
Staring silently
With intention
to see it
So I can taste how far back you go
How far back you come from
Before you disappear again
Your grandfather has your mouth
And you have his
The same smile for the baby in the picture then
also perfectly yours
Even if only in photographs
Finding your future there in his past

“Exactly!” By Julia at her dining table


Wednesday August 10, 2016
11:16pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the Inside house

I won’t ever fully know why
not the colour of the moon that worries me
the one that knocks me dead and vinegar
not the salty lines left lining the walls in the room where you
where you
where you don’t know me
where you don’t see what I think I would see your shoes
where you don’t recognize
me when I’m me. When I’m
not the ache in my chest when
I feel most unseen by you
not the moments of triumph that feel so
if only because the others were mercury and iron
paling in comparison
but I do know
but what I do know in this place
is that I am misery’s companion
by choice
by decision
by the map of my mother’s tears
and I unchoose myself at the speed of you

“Take a day trip.” By Julia at her dining table


Monday August 9, 2016
10:25pm
5 minutes
odysseyonline.com

Take a day trip
remember the road and the smell of the car and the first song playing when you start
Take a trip to a place you’ve never been and take photos
that make you cringe to do in your own neighbourhood
Sing each other your favourite lyric
record yourselves in conversation
forget that you’re recording
lay on the grass
Get a little bit dirty
Take a trip
Leave the disappointing
and ridicule
and pipe dreams
and anxiety dreams
aside

“change has alway happened in the margins” By Julia on her couch


Sunday August 8, 2016
10:00pm
5 minutes
Becoming Wise
Krista Tippett


I can’t recall his clothes but I remember his hands and the way his neck smelled. I held him for longer than I would have if it were anyone else. I held him longer than I would have but long enough for him to feel welcomed. I don’t blame him for seeking us out, looking for a safe space to exist among us but not within us. I wanted him to feel wanted. And brave. But also I wanted to reward his bravery. I wanted to include him the way he so desperately needed to be included. The way I so desperately needed to be included instead of just passing. The way I would never have asked for what he asked for even if what he asked for was exactly what I needed. I can’t remember his drink, but I remember his face. And his voice. And his smile.

“I’ll try and take it off” by Julia at Mina’s Fabric


Thursday January 29, 2015 at Minas Fabric
4:33pm
5 minutes
overheard at Mina’s Fabric

I’ll try and take it off-the layer of whatever it is I’ve been hiding behind.
I used to be such a pretty girl. Such a pretty pretty girl. And he’d sing to me from the top of the stairs, “I see you and I see you because you make it so hard not to.” And I’d feel like I belonged to something perfect on this earth even if his love didn’t last and his opinion of me changed.
I had to consciously say that out loud to the next one once–that I’d try and take it off—because he looked at me with such kind eyes, but in a confused way as if he desperately wished he could see through the wall and share a moment in my soul–just swimming around, testing the water.
I have to say it out loud so I can remind myself that sometimes it’s more for me than for anyone else: that it’s hard to see clearly just as it is to be seen clearly.
I think of that searching look he gave me when I need to stop myself from fading…

“The realist canon” by Julia at her desk


Thursday October 23, 2014
1:14am
5 minutes
Realisms of Redress
Natalie Alvarez


saw that pretty little thing reading in the corner
the edges of her book tattered
the pages ripped and curled
she had a bookmark made out of a piece of toilet tissue
making me smile
knowing she likes to read in the bathroom
and why not?
why not read in the bathroom?
she wasn’t looking at anyone at all
not distracted for even a minute
the book was a good one
I couldn’t tell which one it was
the cover was a solid forrest green without any writing
but she didn’t stop even to sip her tea
probably purchased just to have something on her table
a place holder for the idea of multitasking
she was wearing a potato sack
or at least she could have been
I wasn’t looking at her outfit
I was busy trying to see inside her mind
wondering if she could see me seeing her
wondering if she was in fact so distracted by me
that she had to pretend to keep reading
to prevent herself from turning red
or if she was engrossed
in love
with the words on the page

“But we will judge you.” by Julia at her kitchen table


Monday July 28, 2014
11:40m
5 minutes
from www.winnipegpoetryslam.wordpress.com


She had a beautiful accent and I fell in love with her voice before I ever saw her face. I was lucky then. Oh I was so lucky my friends used to joke about me having a horse shoe jammed right up my ass. But the difference between me and some of those other lucky ones is that I know damn well how lucky I am. Maybe it was even just luck that the first time I got to listen to her it was at a poetry reading where she read the prose of her favourite poet. It’s luck when you get to hear something as intimate as a confession. That’s what I heard when she spoke and I could understand her. I could see her. I don’t think I ever saw anything after that that mattered as much as her.

“The Psych Ward” by Julia at the Winnipeg Fringe Tent


Sunday, July 20, 2014
5:08pm
5 minutes
from a Winnipeg Fringe Festival Program


I didn’t say no. I didn’t say yes. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
Where did you go? Why did you leave? You’re here now. I see you. I’m happy you’re back.
I didn’t say hello. I didn’t say goodbye. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
What can I do? What can I say? I’m here now. I see you. I’m with you once again.
I didn’t say I’m sorry. I didn’t say I wasn’t. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
Which way is up? Which way is down? You’re here now. You see me. We’re together for a while.
I didn’t say baby. I didn’t say friend. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
When can you take me? Where can we hide? We’re here now. We see it. We’re a we like we were.
I didn’t say stay. I didn’t say go. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
Where did you go? Why did you leave? You’re here now. I see you. I’m happy. You’re back.
I didn’t say please. I didn’t say thank you. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
We’re not through, yet, are we? We’re not just July? I’m here now. You see me. With you once again.