“You will find it” by Sasha on the couch on Oak Dr.

Tuesday September 17, 2019
5 minutes
The Yak
Hilaire Belloc

You will find it somehow easier
than you imagined it would be
not that it’s easy but it’s easier

You don’t give advice in the offhand way
that you used to
You ask if it’s welcomed
You take off your shoes at the front door

You are tired of reading about
the end of the world
You are tired of questioning
your right to take up space

You walk by the water
with the sailboats skating across the horizon
You touch the fingertips of a tree
Make a joke with a hydrangea

You make dinner
make breakfast
make love
make amends

“I was so amazed” by Julia at her desk

Saturday September 7, 2019
5 minutes
Elizabeth W. Garber

The plants on the window sill drooped as the door shut behind you.
We didn’t ask for such living things to care for and there we were
with thumbs turning green, scooping soil out of bags and into pots.

The wilting started when you had your second shoe on.
I didn’t see it happen but I knew, the way a soft gaze lets you see
the entire room without blinking, or braiding a second without letting go.

You held my cheeks in your hands as if you hadn’t handled the roots
of what we were sowing with such promise of tomorrow.
I believed you by the cup of your palm and I believe you now.

You are not beholden to me the way this plant is not obliged to live forever.
I wouldn’t expect anything to stay for eternity, but the pain comes from
wanting so badly for you to.

I was amazed at the breeze left inside the room after the smell of you
had dissipated gently into the ceiling. I thought you would cling to the
window screens but you were small enough to pass through even those.

“there are still shoelaces to be tied” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 8, 2018
5 minutes
Ten Seconds for Each Year
Fernando Raguero

Wait till your eyes run out of juice
try typing that letter to your friend
see how many times you nod off in the
middle of a good sentence
tell her: there are stillllllllllll swppp
tell her: you are so eeeeeen qqQ hip
She will really appreciate that you didn’t
make time for her earlier in the day
that you were saving up all your creative
expression for the moments in between
sleep and almost sleep because that’s
when all the best ideas come through
tell her: that thought you had about
the cactus and the kiwi eloping
tell her: neck kink and unlimited yawn
tell her: fall onto the bed mascara
still holding all your eyelashes together
Don’t forget about the roasting pan in
the sink or the shoes out in the foyer
or the wet hair drying slowly on your back

“ready for the feel of fire” by Julia at her desk

Monday, February 19, 2018
5 minutes
All Things Wasting
Mallory Tater

The last time I spoke to him I lied and said I had roasted his favourite shoes over the open fire. I told him I made chestnuts out of them. He believed me. I guess that’s saying something about me. About him, sure, but about me first because I must be pretty convincing. I suppose he has good reason. Once when we were laying in a sleeping bag somewhere in Tobermory, I said I’d stab him if he let go of me and when he did, so did I. Stab him, I mean. It was only a little, and he bled but not for long, but I said I would do it and I did it and that’s when he started to get a little scared of me. Even if it was only my thumb nail piercing his upper thigh. He’s entitled to his opinions. He can think I’m whatever he thinks, but I would never actually roast somebody’s shoes on a fire. I’m not a monster. He didn’t even respond right away when I told him I did it. He took a few long breaths and then said that was all he could take for right now. I think that was a tactic his therapist told him to practice. I don’t think he would have thought of those words on his own.

“don’t trip on the stairs” by Julia on the couch

Tuesday June 13, 2017
5 minutes
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Neil Gaiman

Kit can’t stand the new shoes Lou brought back from Iceland. She hates the way the toe catches on concrete and splits the difference between leather and sole. Lou tries to tell her that they were custom made and one of a kind. Kit thought about hiding them in the laundry hamper, pretending somebody stole them. She couldn’t throw them out. She wasn’t a monster.
Lou has been bringing home gifts more and more lately. Obviously trying to atone for taking her away from all her friends. When Marnie got sick, the sky opened up and took some more things that Kit didn’t want to give away. Gave her some things she didn’t need, stuck with a stepfather who didn’t want to stay.

“I am a taffy snob” by Julia in the stairwell of the Artscape Youngplace building

Saturday May 30, 2015 at the Artscape Youngplace Building
5 minutes
From a text to Julia

I was in Halifax when I tried my first piece. Salt water. Perfect Melting New Religion. I bought 6 lbs of the stuff and threw out a pair of running shoes and a flask so I could fit it into my suitcase.
Emmy said, “I would have taken those shoes!”
Taryn said, “you know you can buy that stuff in Ontario too, right?”
But I knew it wouldn’t have been the same. It was like entering a childhood backwards, and experiencing something that was never mine but felt like it was meant to be. Now I don’t go for any old taffy. And why would I? I don’t hate myself for Christ’s sake! Why would I walk if I could run? No scratch that–FLY.

“Important Numbers:” by Julia at Amanda’s house

Saturday May 10, 2014
5 minutes
A 2013 calendar

These are the important numbers in my life:
1) 13-good luck and baseball jersey number
2) 20-birthdate and baseball jersey number
3) 1-the easiest, loneliest, and baseball jersey number
4) 0-the number of bones I have broken
5) 5-the number of minutes it takes to write a pocket-sized story
6) 2-the number of siblings I have and care about
7) 1270-the number of unread e-mails in my inbox
8) 2-the number of couches I own and hate
9) 33-the number of pairs of shoes I own
10) 16-the date we decided to try again
11) 12:34-the time I always seem to look at the clock

“wishing you” by Julia at the Sheraton in St. John’s

Saturday March 29, 2014
5 minutes
from a tweet

She made sure she had lots of band aids in her pockets. She hated those blisters she got every time she had to walk for a little longer than usual. She wasn’t holding on to any of that gauze. It was a waste of time. It didn’t stick to her skin. She tried. The real issue was re-learning how to walk so her shoes didn’t rub because she couldn’t afford new ones that didn’t rub which would have fixed the problem perfectly. It was all about the pressure. And the angle. And the weight. And the other stuff. The other other stuff. She didn’t want a blood pool in her heels just because she was in desperate need of an ice cream cone.

“She looked like anything but a winner” by Julia at R Squared Cafe

Monday, March 10 2014 at R Squared Cafe
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

“1 min away” by Julia on the 7 going north

Saturday December 7, 2013
5 minutes
A text message from Matthew Del Degan to Nadeem Umar Khitab

Her 2 inch heels clicked across the pavement with more intensity than she had hoped. Everyone seemed to be looking her up and down because of the noise she was making alone. Amanda was late, as usual, but she was trying to make up for lost time by running every few steps, keeping her walk at a clip, and trying to leave her phone in her pocket so she wouldn’t be distracted by the time or by communication of any sort. Amanda fixed her purse after it fell off her shoulder and found herself slowing down because of it. For a brief moment she considered throwing the entire bag into the river just to be free of it. She thought about taking out her wallet, her keys, her notebook, her pen. She didn’t have a place to put those things either. Her coat pockets were barely large enough to house her phone without bursting a button. She clipped on her way, the cobblestone reminding her of how far away she still was.

“working relationships” by Sasha at her desk

Monday, September 2, 2013
5 minutes
The Playwright At Work
Rosemarie Tichler and Barry Jay Kaplan

Woman on the subway. Smells like four ninety nine perfume and farts. Sits down right beside you. On one of those three seaters. Plenty of other seats around. Sits right there. You see her big ass lowering, in tight. It squeezes in beside you, because there’s one of those holding poles on the other side. One of those poles with all the fingerprints. You’re squished right up. Long sigh. Look across. Across there’s three teenage boys. Must be fifteen. No. Fourteen. Fourteen for sure. One has a shrunken head. You know those shrunken head people? He’s goddamn good-looking. He’s gorgeous. He looks like he just feel out of God’s pocket. The boys sit down. You can’t stop staring at Shrunken. You hope no one notices. You hope no one thinks you’re thinking anything other than “Holy shit, you’re beautiful”. One of the other boys, the one with a shaved head, takes an eraser out of his pocket and starts going at the scuffs on his shoes. White running shoes. Nikes. You start looking at all the shoes, all the shoes around – Woman’s, Shrunken’s, the Doddle-face, and the Carrot Kid. All the shoes. Some dirty. Some clean. Some in between.

Shoes on grass (photo dip) by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday, May 31, 2013
5 minutes


When we took off our shoes and felt the grasses soft fingertips
When we sang James Taylor and cradled your flask
When we laughed until I peed and you had a stomach cramp
When we made salads with whatever we could find for under seven dollars
When we refused to stop making mixed tapes
When we ate homemade popsicles made with strawberries and thyme
When we hiked in the woods in the rain and made a fort out of birch branches
When we yelled our frustration at each other about our own personal private sadness
When we quit our jobs and packed up our flat
When we bought a ’96 Volvo and drove to each corner
When we sold the Volvo ‘cuz it broke down and bought bus passes
When you got sick and we had to find a real hotel in Saskatoon
When Isaac taught us how to catch wild salmon
When the moon was a sliver and you told me about how your father cut your toes
When I had to take Plan B because we were still babies and that never works out

Shoes on grass (photo dip) by Julia at Dovercourt and Bloor

Friday, May 31, 2013
5 minutes


They left their shoes in our yard when they came over, Sid. I’m not making it up, how could I make it up? I swear to god, they took off their shoes and they went into our house, went upstairs to the spare bedroom, made love to each other, and then left. Like nothing happened, they left all their freaking shoes. On our lawn. What do you mean? What do you mean, how do I know? I know. I saw the shoes myself, they left them, they enjoyed our room and that’s the end of it. Sid. Listen, they’re not coming back. Because you could see by the way they had scattered them. Like they were arranged in a way that said “this will be the last day they’re worn by us”. It’s just the way–I mean, if you saw them you’d know. But doesn’t it bother you that they didn’t even say bye? That they used our house for their weird things and then left everything else for us to clean up? As if we’d know what to do with three pairs of shoes that don’t fit us.

“Nothing to do” by Julia at her desk

Monday January 28, 2013
5 minutes
Free and Easy
Lama Gendun Rinpoche

Got rocks in my shoes, got nothing to do, just gonna sit here and think of you.
sounds like a good plan, you sound like a good man, your reality is better than my dreams and…
I don’t have the day by the tail like I thought I would. I play a melody of desire on the keyboard, typing Bs where the Fs should go. Can’t see the difference anyway. Typing not writing. There’s a difference there. Can’t see it. Can’t taste it. Not hungry. Just got pockets with holes in them, love notes falling out onto the floor. Finders Keepers. Keepers Keepers.
Got rocks in my shoes, got nothing good to do, just gonna sit here and wait for you.
Sounds like a good choice, yours sounds like a good voice, your heartbeat is better when it’s making more noise…
I don’t have the night by the waist like I thought I should. I play a catch phrase on the Hotel Bible and hope you catch where I’ve thrown all the answers. Can’t see the difference anyway. Loving not living. There’s a difference there.
Can’t hear it. Can’t touch it. Not sensitive. Just got pockets with broken zippers, change falling out onto the floor.
Finders Keepers. Keepers Keepers.