“Falling in love is appropriate for now” by Julia in her bedroom

Monday March 25, 2019
10:42pm
5 minutes
Handy Tips on how to Behave at the Death of the World
Anne Herbert

Help, is anyone out there? Is anybody reading this? There are a lot of people worried and seeking and I know them. I am them. We might recognize one another at a party. Yes there’d be bread at this party. That would be giving the party a lot more value.

I’m…I guess..I’m wondering if I’m alone. I mean I know I’m not, I’m talking to you. You’re there. You’re looking at me and I’m you. Aren’t you? We? I feel united and excited and loved by that. That thought, the you me we thing, that acceptance, yes, that permission. I can say I love me and that would be like saying I love you and then you’d know love. I know love for me because and only because I see you in me, and you, YOU, you are easy to love. Easy to love with hands cuffed. Easy to love with lids droopy. Easy to love in the dark when the words hurt more than heal and your warmth does the talking. Easy to love like that.

“tired, bearded men” by Julia at her desk

Sunday March 24, 2019
8:58pm
5 minutes
Ways To Take Your Coffee
Leath Tonino

They’re tired because they are always worrying about their beards. Always trimming, and rubbing, and massaging them. They’re up early cause they need to style it so it looks naturally luscious. They need to style it so people will be attracted to them and understand on a deeper level that they care about details. That they care about expression. That is a good beard. One who has been sculpted by the hands of caregivers, thoughtful displays of affection and respect for their face.

Okay I started this off with more of a punchy vibe and now I’m all enamoured by men and their facial hair. Women have makeup as acceptable face alterations. Men have hair to coif and style and exude charisma out of. It’s art, when you think about it: all those tight lines and varying levels of rigidity.

“Everyone deals with breakups” by Julia on her bed

Saturday March 23, 2019
6:39pm
5 minutes
Love Running
Joseph Holt

Maggie got her heart crushed again. Did you see her leaving the cancer benefit? She was wasted. Nobody is a better friend to that girl than the bottle. She was supposed to give a speech too, but she made Alison deliver it on her behalf and told her to tell everyone she had a medical emergency. I don’t know if she keeps going for the same types of women—you know, the ones who disappoint her— or if she’s stretching herself thin and she’s actually the hard one to love. Everybody goes through it but somehow she’s enduring another breakup every month. Maybe she should just be by herself for a while and figure out what she wants. And if she stops working a little bit so at least they have time to really get to know her before they dump her.

“Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other.” By Julia in her living room

Friday March 22, 2019
8:13pm
5 minutes
A quote by Pema Chödrön

Said the Hellstorm to the Artist:

You will be damn insufferable and someone needs to come and wash you out, oopsie whoopsie itsy spider, time to crawl on back up. Said: don’t you remember where your boots are? Pull up the straps and go jump in a puddle. You do remember fun, don’t you? You need me as much as I need you. All that summoning of me you do, I’m just coming since you called me. I’m a good friend. Ever heard of loyalty? That’s me. I make you damn clean again. Sparkling. Smooth out your edges after so long of bruising myself against them. After I pelt you and you resist me, over and over again. I make you soft and grateful. You can thank us both for that.

“as the cells of his scalp” by Julia on Kits beach

Thursday March 21, 2019
5:06pm
5 minutes
Candlelight
Tony Hoagland

It was disgusting because it wasn’t my filth. I guess you could make the same argument that it could be less repulsive due to my separation from it, but let me set the record straight: I threw up in my mouth the moment this woman left her apartment. Well, in her defence it was a short term rental and she was probably getting a cleaner with the deal or whatever her husband’s work was willing to pay. But in the meantime, to live with so much food on the floor it could feed a small family for days…I shouldn’t continue. You’ll get so grossed out. Okay but let me say one thing, her sweet 9 month old had extreme eczema and when he’d wake up from his nap or if he got upset he’d start ripping at his little head. There was bits of his scalp all over the apartment—on the back of his high chair, on the changing mat, on the carpet. I considered if his home were clean that he might be less upset at the things he couldn’t control and less hell-bent on destroying his own skin. I also know that these things aren’t likely connected. But I wondered.

“as the cells of his scalp” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday March 21, 2019
7:36am
5 minutes
Candlelight
Tony Hoagland

Take out the trash to the bin in the garage. Wheel the bin to the curb. The neighbourhood is still sleeping. Mandy and the boys are still sleeping, too. Jacob was up in the night crying. Mandy went to him, and then came and got me. He was dreaming about monsters again. “No more scary movies,” Mandy whispered as we climbed back into bed forty minutes later. Thank God for the coffee maker, wooing me towards the kitchen when the alarm goes off. Thank God for coffee. Mrs. Henderson across the street in her quilted housecoat and winter boots. She waves.

“How are you holding up?” I say, and then regret breaking the silence, fracturing the stillness of this Wednesday morning.

“we minimize our vast social problems.” By Julia at Bean Around The World

Wednesday March 20, 2019
3:57pm
5 minutes
Filling the Void: Bruce K. Alexander on how our culture is making us addicted
Jari Chevalier

1. How are you? GREAT, AMAZING, NEVER BETTER, !!!!

2. Do you need anything? NOPE, NOTHING, I CAN HANDLE IT ALL BY MYSELF, !!

3. Is there anything you would change about yourself? I’M A PERFECTIONIST SO I GUESS THAT’S MY WEAKEST STRENGTH IF ANYTHING, …

4. What do you think we’re lacking? VULNERABILITY IS SO IMPORTANT AND IF MORE PEOPLE WOULD BE EMPATHS LIKE ME IT WOULD TAKE THE LOAD OFF CAUSE I FEEL SO MUCH THAT I HAVE TO SLEEP SO MUCH AND HONESTY AND COMFY BEDS AND MELATONIN AND AUTHENTICITY ARE SUPER NECESSARY,!!!!!!!!

5. What do you want more than anything? NOT POWER NOT FAME NOT MONEY NOT CONTROL NOT LOVE JUST FLOWERS, !…!

“exhale passively” by Julia in her living room

Tuesday March 19, 2019
9:44pm
5 minutes
Physiotherapy Instructions

Yesterday you asked me why I had given such a deep sigh. I thought it was self-explanatory: I needed it. But why did you need it? Cause you are exasperating. But you didn’t like that answer. You don’t think you’re exasperating. Sometimes I blow out air that’s keeping me angry at you. Sometimes it holds the place of my longing, my crying. I do not exhale passively around you since I decided I was going to give you the full range of me. Here, this is me existing without alterations, reservations, or tiny lies.

Yesterday I shook my hips around while we were laying in bed. I didn’t stop to apologize and you did not ask me to stop. The body sometimes needs permission to be alive. To exist.

I like it better this way. The breathing more intentional the view in front of me tangible, clear, echoing.

I shake and breathe and you ask me why and I tell you why. I’ve always wanted an intimacy like that.

“apartment door was closed and triple-locked” by Julia at her desk

Monday March 18, 2019
8:56pm
5 minutes
The Langoliers
Stephen King

I can’t have you look at me that way
With eyes dripping pity
Boy you never looked less pretty
I don’t want your face to say
You knew better all along or
This is a self-inflicted song
Weeeeeooooo the wound is pulsing
Weeeeeooooo the pressure rushing
I’m not cut out for this
Can’t handle a setback or a twist
Where’s the paper I signed up for
Can’t recognize my signature from a blood stain on the floor
Weeeeeooooo the ground is home
Weeeeeooooo this place is normal
Maybe I was wrong once or twice
But I never kept the knife jabbed in
Who are you to know my sins
Can’t have judging eyes
No one look at me

“A yellow ball of sun. “ by Julia at Kits Beach

Sunday March 17, 2019
6:19pm
5 minutes
The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

Maybe he’s a magician. He knew which cure I needed.

I said, I won’t be leaving the house today and he opened all the windows. Slowly he nudged
me out of one.

He threw down my tiny backpack after me with a row of Oreos wrapped neatly in the front pocket.

I didn’t thank him then because I still hated him for making me leave.

My body ached from the elephant standing on all my bones.
She was heavy but I didn’t want to be rude so I let her plant her home in me.

The first set of steps set off the fire alarm or the something alarm: Somebody save me or kill me please.

I kept moving, thinking of his wand or special drink. Whatever he used to work his magic on me to get me out.

I walked and walked with a slowness that might suggest a destination was out of the question.

Then I found my feet on the dirty sand filled with broken shells and cigarette butts.
The ball of sun told me where to put myself and I listened to him too.

I closed my eyes and sat there, staring directly into a hot face. I said to myself, Oh. So this is what he meant.

“wonders what’s in this woman’s fridge” by Julia at her desk

Saturday March 16, 2019
8:21pm
5 minutes
Malarky
Anakana Schofield

I go round to some houses that have giant fridges and a pantry filled with a lot of the Costco packaging. Giant boxes of shredded wheat, giant tubs of peanut butter, giant rolls of paper towel. The fridges upstairs have chocolate bars half-eaten, caramel M&M’s, bocconcini, tiny hummus cups with pretzels, and lime Perrier.

I am not hungry but they tell me to eat. And since I am here, and curious, and low on money, I save my rice leftovers. Leave the container in my bag and find as many things in the giant fridges to eat as I can. Anything already opened? Anything about to go bad anyway and finishing it is doing them more of a favour? Their leftovers sometimes taste better than mine. Because I didn’t make them. Sometimes old fries from a restaurant with a little bit of aioli.

“a long, slow, squirmy moment for both of us.” by Julia in her bed

Friday March 15, 2019
12:48am
5 minutes
Orange is The New Black
Piper Kerman

It’s been better than usual. Better than the best peanut butter. Nut Buts, he called it. And who was I to complain to the universe for anything. I put on my acceptance hat and my acceptance capris and I walked along the beach saying thank you. And I find the sweetness in every word he makes up. Every language I learn because of him. There is play and youth and love in it. I say thank you thank you.

“staring into the eyes of a giant wasp” by Julia on her bed

Thursday March 14, 2019
10:10pm
5 minutes
Micro
Michael Crichton and Richard Preston

So I had just finished eating a strawberry Passion Flakie and I was on cloud nine. I loved those things more than a good hug when your insides get antsy: creamy, soft, chewy, cool. I may have had two. And there I was standing on the low A bar of the swing set, the old rusty broken down swing set. The top pole was missing a cover on both sides and I discovered that if you sing into it, the echo was so brilliant you sounded like a rock star making love to a microphone. I made up a song, naturally, and I tested it out amplified. The next thing I knew, two hornets had found the leftover Passion Flakie on my lips. The scream rang out like a bell; tortured, honest, amplified.

“with some bullshit approach” by Julia in her room

Wednesday March 13, 2019
10:26pm
5 minutes
Created By
Richard Christian Matheson

LEEDS
with some bullshit approach, too, that’s why I’m pissed. If his lies were at least creative I would be able to give him that. It’s disappointing how unclever they are. I thought he was more of a man that that.

MNERA
You want him to lie to you?

LEEDS
Yeah, with some attention to craft, is that so much to ask?

MNERA
Wanna know what I think?

LEEDS
You waiting for me to answer that, seriously? Just say what you think, Mnera, for Christ’s sake.

MNERA
You’d be surprised at how little you’d want to hear it if I didn’t ask you.

LEEDS
Okay I take it back. You happy?

“He had to warm the guy up fast” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday March 12, 2019
8:53pm
5 minutes
The Obsidian Chamber
Preston & Child

So Ray is playing ball this year and he’s got one hell of an arm. I was warming him up in my backyard last night and that kid almost took my nose off. One hell of a pitcher. He looks like he’s having fun too and that’s in spite of Rory coming to every practice with his stupid lawn chair trying to get inside that poor kid’s head. Surprised he wasn’t on my porch hollering at me. Ray gets all of his attention. His other kid, well shoot, I don’t even know her name. She don’t play ball, that’s all I do know, or Rory would be splitting his rage between the two of them. Maybe she’s better off. I can’t tell, really. Ray seems to have his head on straight but at his age he could just be showing his shyness. He doesn’t want to be like his dad, so there could be some intentionality behind it as well. Either way, that kid’s arm. I’ll tell you, if I were hitting against him this year I’d be out at the batting cages every damn day.

“This song.” by Julia on her couch

Monday March 11, 2019
6:01pm
5 minutes
Freedomland
Richard Price

Might be the thing I tell you
Might be the first thing I say
Baby you’re not going to well up
Your eyes don’t work that way
Might be the thing you remember
Might be the last thing you hear
Darlin’ I can’t stop myself thinking
That I’ll be the one shedding these tears
Some of these days will be dipped in summer’s haze and we won’t be able to see the cracks
But when it gets cold and the winter wind blows, we’ll be left with all of the cruel facts
Might be the thing I tell you
Might be the first thing I say
I wish it were different but now I’m a lingerin’ even though I cannot stay
I’ll miss you the most in the mornin
Cause that’s where our bodies would meet
These blankets with only me will get so lonely without you beside me

“no matter how uncomfortable staying has become.” by Julia on the 99

Sunday March 10, 2019
5:27pm
5 minutes
Devil With a Briefcase
Jan Janzen

Hey if you’re reading this, this is for you. I know you as a 14 year old girl with bruised calves and giant beaded necklaces. I know the you that regifted me a notebook with an angel on the front cover and a devil on the back. You didn’t know at the time I wasn’t the type to like that sort of thing or that my reasons were the same as yours were when you gave it away. I know you in the mouldy elevator singing at the top of our lungs, performing on the cafeteria stage wearing matching scarves, sitting in the student council office during 3rd period spare. I know you falling to your knees with joy the day I brought you back a crispy chicken sandwich after lunch.

“You must unlearn the habit of being someone else” by Julia at her desk

Saturday March 9, 2019
9:33pm
5 minutes
A quote from Herman Hesse

I say this to myself. I say this to you as me thank you universe as mirror
I started this thinking I was going to channel someone else’s tone and make a profound discovery about all my major opinions. I wonder who she wanted to be like or sound like or only wished she could express half as well as. Maybe I’ll ask her that. The first breeze of the morning. I’ll bet she’ll say something like that as her response. Something loose like an escaped curl from a tight bun. She’ll say that was her inspiration. That was what she tried to emulate. I could use my own voice but I’m still not sure which one she is.

“Roads here are nuts.” By Julia on her couch

Thursday March 7, 2019
8:20pm
5 minutes
From a text message

Earlier today the damn weather forecast never said nothin’ about no snow. No rain in there neither and somehow we had both, now didn’t we. Nobody spectin’ a downfall or downpour or whatever. Nobody out dressed thinkin’ it’s back to winter out here. Not after all them sunny days we got. We was laughin’ cuz Spring was tryna tell us it was ready. Yesterday I saw all them robins scurryin’ about too so what’s up with that! It got me real angry when the man opened the door for me this mornin’, saw the skies and said, “Just miserable. And you haven’t got an umbrella?” Wanted to punch his rich little mouth right offa him. I said, “It’s snowin.’” with a hook in my voice that told him I was it was feeakin’ news to me too.

“There are certain cautions” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday March 6, 2019
8:51pm
5 minutes
Prescription for Nutritional Healing
Phyllis A. Baluch, CNC

There was yellow tape outside your old house
off Gibson there, that house where you hid your first stolen watch.
The watch that belonged to your uncle there, Dominick?
You remember him?

He slapped you so hard it sizzled. Left a bacon stain on your cheek and you were fourteen so he ceased to exist to you from that day on. You took his favourite keychain too. But he found that.

I walked by cause I always do even though you don’t live there anymore. I know you did. The bedroom door where you scrawled your brother’s name: backward and spelled wrong

“I can feel it changing!” by Julia on the 19

Tuesday March 5, 2019
4:23pm
5 minutes
Death of a Salesman
Arthur Miller

It’s as if we never faced off that one night in June-you with your clever excuses and me with my tone trying to remain bigger than you.
I honestly thought you’d have more to say, the sand beading little reminders under your feet.
Where did you even go?
I swear I watched the you I knew get wiped away clean like two eyebrows drawn on, finally private enough to die.
Where did you even go?
I can’t speak for the me I was that night, edging closer to a storm, betraying my wisdom.
I hate seeming so small, fragile.
I went back in time, if you were wondering.
I landed on a year of my life that I am embarrassed about when looking at photographs.
Puffy bangs, sun-kissed cheeks,
all of the wrong teeth now missing

“Our self-centred fears whisper at us all day” by Julia on the 19

Monday March 4, 2019
5:42pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah Anyway
Anne Lamott

It’s one of those probing kind of voices
The one that gets in your head and lingers
Untucking sheets from bed frames
Lingering in the corner with the spiders too quick to spot
What if they’re looking at me
Laughing at me
Mad at me
Sorry for me
What if they’re all one team and I have no one left to pick to stand behind me
Pulse pulse throb throb
The echo alone enough to flip your eyelids inside out
No sleep for the talked about
No rest for the worrying
Everyone seems to have their own personal list, monogrammed into every towel meant for coming clean
The secrets etched in the base of our skulls tend to burrow into those silky memories
stripping them grey

“He thumped his chest” by Julia on her couch

Sunday March 3, 2019
8:01pm
5 minutes
Casual Vacancy
J.K Rowling

The colour of the room struck her as “underwhelming”
The glow of the yellow hall lights cast a sickly feeling throughout the apartment and she realized it was not this place alone
The whole street seemed to be cloaked in bad light and she wondered if it was her issue to overcome, or her city to leave
She tried to remember if this was ever a true problem back home
The walls were warmer, she concluded, more exposed brick and architectural appreciation
She couldn’t help but think that the people who put up with a light so unsettling were not to be trusted
She didn’t trust women with bare ankles during the winter months either
Both seemed to happen a lot here

“scratched plastic Fisher Price drum set” by Julia on her couch

Saturday March 2, 2019
9:10pm
5 minutes
(Lady)bug
Ilyssa Goldsmith

It was hard to read about the babies she found laying on the floor with dog shit. I read the case notes on some of these households and decided maybe this social work stuff isn’t for everyone. Maybe I’m not strong enough to witness that. I think I’d want to get too personal, with them, you know? Ask them if anyone’s hugged them lately from the bottom of their hearts and waited the requisite 6 seconds to synch up the heartbeats. I would want to sit there all day and say I’m here, okay, for you, I’m here right now and I have nowhere else to be. I’d bring them a gift basket and say it’s just what I do for everyone. Or maybe I do it for everyone. See the resources right now don’t allow for any kind of extraneous measures. No radical acts of kindness and those workers are fighting fires that won’t ever go out. They’re tired. They don’t have time for everybody.

“breaks the silence” by Julia on her couch

Friday March 1, 2019
11:06pm
5 minutes
The First Treatise
Yara Farran

Nothing puts a bug in the ear of silence more than talking about the future and being ready for what comes. You’re happy I’m happy.
You’re not thinking the same things as me. The full air is now like a blunt knife to the neck skin. It bruises before it breaks. It costs a different degree of commitment to finding out what happens. What comes.
I’m sorry you’re sorry. I liked the quiet then too. I didn’t know it was going to do so much changing.

“I almost loved you,” by Julia in her room

Thursday February 28, 2019
10:16pm
5 minutes
In Dublin
Maura Hanrahan

I almost loved you out of me but that’s not the way some beds work. There was no formula that I could plug my feelings into; no step by step guide to the other side of mercy.

Not when you can justify just about anything. Even the ones with a pulse far below the surface of being true. I almost loved you right back into you. The way I want you to get the bigger chicken breast; the sexiest garlic clove between the four of them.

I almost did that but I detoured at the stop where I was supposed to fill up on seeing myself fairly. I confused that for your lack.

But almost.

“which are past their upright peak” by Julia on L’s couch

Wednesday February 27, 2019
8:46pm
5 minutes
Tulips for Barbara
Ann E. Michael

Casey was not the most popular in high school. She had friends on both sides which automatically put her in the middle. Her fiery red hair was a constant conversation; love it hate it, sorry you didn’t luck out you’re so lucky. People knew who she was and liked who she was and that seemed good enough. For a while.

When Casey ran for president of the student council, she put up posters of her dressed in funny costumes, a tutu, giant bows, an 80s ensemble courtesy of her mother (even though she didn’t need a reason to wear any of it). She played up her small town charm and people either loved it or hated it, of course keeping her right in the middle. She hoped to win so she could stand somewhere other than on the sidelines. Casey wanted to be big.

“faster than all your sadness” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday February 26, 2019
8:38pm
5 minutes
What To Look For In A Horse
Brett Elizabeth Jenkins

It’s racing to the bottom of the well cause that’s the place you always get too scared to look.
Underneath every painted layer, a tiny garlic skin, or a forgotten birthday. Some of those choices live down there with the sadness.
You don’t go because you say it’s too crowded, likely story. There’s not room enough for all of us. Convenient, still, until the sadness finds out that no one’s keeping an eye on her down there so she starts to creep up.
She might burrow in the thick of a nightmare, the icy layer of morning frost.
I may have seen her once or twice at the party you thought you attended by yourself…

“Addiction” by Julia on the 4

Monday February 25, 2019
3:36pm
5 minutes
We Need to Talk
An interview with Anne Hallward

Everybody has either a thing or two or three that we can’t live without or a thing or two or three that kills us slowly
we can think all we want that it could be worse
and maybe that’s reason enough to stop trying to fix all our little holes
something like sugar isn’t that bad anyway, right
Unlesss the internal organs have asked for that to be reduced or changed or stopped already
we can say that we’re not addicted to each other in some way or another but that could be a convenient way to pretend we’re independent

“it has become a cliche” by Julia on her couch

Sunday February 24, 2019
9:47pm
5 minutes
A quote by Tim Flannery

economy of movement, of expression; Grace, they say plods along with hooves.
Winter pathways cloaked in secret rendezvous between birds and squirrel (or very very tiny wolf)sound the stadium silent. Hushes the crowd, stuns all us with efficiency; precision. We watch in awe not expecting to. The whole night is painted pink with hot after that. She tips and taps with the pads of her thumbs. Fingerprints proving the time she had left over to read, maybe, or plant a small garden.

“hitchhike into the wilderness” by julia on her couch

Saturday February 23, 2019
8:27pm
5 minutes
Trail’s End
Sy Safransky

I have hitchhiking thumbs and you’re busy singing that Beatles song
“If there’s anything that you want, if there’s anything I can do—“
And I want to tell you that all I want is for you to please shut the hell up
I’m trying to get us further down this nightmare highway but you never learned to read the room
I half expect us to get stuck cause of you putting out that vibe that is so different from mine
You are having fun, I guess I can’t begrudge you that
Maybe thanks for keeping it light
I admit the accent you do is pretty cute
One more
Hour won’t kill me
“With love from me, to you”

“the biographies of our heroes” by Julia at this the studio

Friday February 22, 2019
8:00pm
5 minutes
Political Paralysis
Danusha Veronica Goska

You know how they say we stand on the shoulders of giants? You know how they say that, Sash? I feel sometimes like I’ve got a couple sitting on mine. Maybe I read that in a book somewhere, like I can’t make anything great because I can’t live up to the fact that someone else has already done it better than me. Makes me want to email Miriam again and tell her she really makes it hard for me because she is so good. I would just be repeating myself though since I think I already told her that.
Do you ever think that someday your daughter might be a writer? You know cause you are, and your mom is, and it makes sense. She’d have a couple of giants of her own, you know? But I think she’ll write about you. The way you write about your mom. The way it’s meant to be. I know you’ve already written about her, growing there below your heart.

“The silver-haired man’s name” by Julia in her bedroom.

Thursday February 21, 2019
10:48pm
5 minutes
Girl Underwater
Heather Sellers

remember the days your legs could keep up with your mind
remember your mind could outsmart your whole body
your body could surprise you
now you have to beg your thoughts to slow down and stop screaming
you’re waiting for an old fashioned kind of goodbye
begging your legs to take you off running
please, feet, carry me one more step, one more step

“the snow falling like confetti.” By Julia in her bed

Wednesday February 20, 2019
10:31pm
5 minutes
The First Morning
Edward Abbey

I can’t ask you to stay cause then you’d know I thought of you leaving
And the truth is, swear to God, dot my I, i didn’t know what you going would do to me. I thought I might never recover. The thought alone could kill me. But I don’t want to put the idea in your head now. We are happy. Don’t think about it at all, no need to invite excuses to this party. Ups and downs baby. Ups and downs. I watched you leave in my mind like lightly falling snow, disappearing into the leaves. Dissolving into the wind.
It was soft the way a gentleman would do it. And it still broke my heart all the same.

“to calm a stranger” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday February 19, 2019
10:02pm
5 minutes
Walking at Night
Elizabeth Poliner

A man is screaming in the alley behind the house. I usually avoid that place, where we used to find syringes and condoms. It’s not like that anymore, not usually, but I’m still wary. The man swears and yells, and I wonder what in me overrides the basic human call to comfort someone in need. What if this were a woman? Would it be different? What if I were a man? Would it be different? I peek out the window and see him, bike leaned against a garage, pants wet from the snow. He doesn’t see me.

“to calm a stranger” by Julia on the 9

Tuesday February 19, 2019
2:20pm
5 minutes
Walking at Night
Elizabeth Poliner

How many times have you seen a woman crying in the bathroom at the bar? How many times have you been that woman’s friend? How many times have you been that woman?
It’s nice to remember that we are all sometimes going through it. If you’re not and I am, then good, someone to lean on. If you are and I’ve already been there, even better, I can hold you in the soft of my understanding.
We are not so different anyway.
Not really at all.
Would you believe that we are all the same but reflecting back to each other a different expression of spirit?
I might believe this when I think I don’t need a stranger’s help, or that someone else will come along and ask the stranger crying in the bathroom stall if she’s okay. I might remember it best when I am feeling closer to whole. So I can look around me and actually notice when someone could use a hand extended or a hug or a smile. The currency of kindness is worth more when you think you don’t have enough to spare.

“I didn’t like my job” by Julia at her desk

Monday February 18, 2019 5 minutes The Wild Dogs of Hong Kong Sarah Vallance I was there for two weeks and I knew that I would be leaving for good but I didn’t tell them that I said I was looking for summer employment Hello I’m calling from Toledo University and blah blah blah Sign up for this and blah blah blah this is Lisa that’s my real name… I met a woman named Sayward who referred to herself as Lisa on calls so she wouldn’t have to spell her name each time and justify that her dad was born in Japan She had brown bangs and a weird furry pouch that she wore around her waist and kept her diamond coins or whatever she called them inside She invited me to go LARPING with her but could not detect the actor in my voice when I said I was deeply interested I wanted to know the ins and outs of these people unlike me who would die a thousand deaths and come back as pizza and then want to date each other when they took off their masks Or maybe they left their masks on Either way I said I’d be happy to go along Cause I wanted to film it or write about it as if it were mine Sayward tried to teach me how to knit and lent me $2 to ride the bus I never said goodbye to her or explained that I was temporarily working there cause I didn’t care and I think she got attached to me Who wouldn’t, when someone says they love everything you do You think you’ve found a kindred or something sweet like that

“but the monkey will go” by Julia in her room

Sunday February 17, 2019
9:59am
5 minutes
Nature Is Strong
Tony Hoagland

Say hi to my monkey
She comes around when things feel clunky
Begging me to return to the key
The constant truth inside of me
She’s asking for play and to leave behind structure
Cause forcing her to climb is like stealing her love for freedom and spontaneity
Wondering if she’ll ever have the chance to be left alone to be
Exactly who she sees in me
Say hi to monkey I’ve kept her caged I didn’t want her to choose cause I was too afraid
How will she make me look if I put her in charge?
Will my friends stick by me if my play bone grows large?
Will the ones that I choose, choose me back if I’m happy, no sadness here just one laughing monkey?
If when they asked how I am I said good when I was, instead of looking for reasons why things aren’t enough, could I let myself smile even when I think I could do more? Isn’t that the key to this self-locked door?
Say hi to my monkey cause I’m bringing her along, sometimes she makes me dance, or break out in song
She’s the younger self I’ve been trying to pin
Say hi to my monkey, now I’m letting her in.

“not only the present” by Julia on her couch

Saturday February 16, 2019
11:40pm
From the Constitution of the Iroquois Nation

You’re allowed to think about the past if you want to. There’s nothing wrong with the way you’re doing it. Some people want to take a deep breath in and out and focus and be right where they are in the moment. Right where they are with their physical bodies. Our past holds different aspects of ourselves. We would need to put attention on those every now and again if they’re a part of us, wouldn’t you agree? You’re allowed to time travel and thank yourself and see yourself and accept yourself. You can go back as many times as you want. You can be where you once were before you ever thought anything was wrong with you. A land before shame.

“nature acts.” By Julia on her couch

Friday February 15, 2016
11:26pm
From a quote by Voltaire

Nothing can be said most days. Body decides without meaning to and we hear the real truth anyway. What do you say when a tree calmly screams at you? Are there words? Are there instructions? What do say when the Big Dipper is so clear? Do you say that, The Big Dipper Is So Clear? Do you say say you’re sorry at a celebration of life memorial?

“Union dues” by Julia at her desk

Thursday February 14, 2019
9:52pm
5 minutes
from a tax form

Never part of the heard
Never a shepherd either
This one time, took a dance class, a lot of pointing
And flexing
Teased
At the dance class
Underarm hair, visible, peculiar
Didn’t even want to take that class
Wanted jazz
Wanted something with more jump
Never thought about teasing
Thought about jazz
Thought everyone there wanted that
Maybe next year
Never took class again
Didn’t like competing

“It’s comfy and cozy.” By Julia in her bed

10:43pm
Wednesday February 13, 2019
from a text

Salesman sells the bed
well says that’s where it’s
comfy cozy and did you see?
It’s big enough for three..

We say we ain’t looking for a bed that fits more
than two,
just us we and our four feet
that’s what we like to do

salesman sells the bed by sayin’ you’ll regret it if you don’t try
So we go home right away
and try to conceive
that night

We were happy with our elbows
meetin’ in the middle space
our noses in each other’s mouths was our funny
little place

But salesman’ got us thinkin’ when he was sellin’ us that bed
That we could have a spot for two or one for three instead

“heart wrenching soaring n magical place.” By Julia on the 4

Monday February 11, 2019
6:04pm
5 minutes
Kits
Bill Bissett

Left my heart on the beach with the tide out

Sun dippin’ low givin’ glow to all the good neighbours

Those clouds, man, did they drink

I drank too like it might be my last sip and I swirled it there in my mouth, painting my tongue a kind of magic

Bear’s hands were holding the cups and I have the good eye so I took all the photos, freezin’ my hand skin as offerin’, trade, holy sacrifice

And then the red x pinged off the horizon and splashed us both diagonal, split us both in two cause then more of us could witness

Bear’s mug clanked my mug and we two stepped with the teasing foam as it came knocking on our boots, kissing at our toes

“We look forward to moving you!” By Julia on her couch

Sunday February 10, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
a Morrison’s Moving poster

It’s a dark room and you are sitting in it. All around it, waiting for something. You’re feeling a tingle of surprise and expectation. You will never fully get what you think you’re going to get. You are ready. All of you in your collective readiness is current. Is consciousness. You and all your pockets touching, phones buzzing or quietly, you and all your friction, candy wrapper anticipation blows the floor out of quotidian thought. You are all in the dark waiting for something. And there’s magic in that. It’s connection in the wings, it’s about to happen and we’re all a part of it. You and me and all of us in this room, gathered to share a thing with some other humans at the same time, while breathing. We remember to breathe, feel, in groups. We know the power of persuasion. We say yes.

“Are you Joaquin or River?” By Julia on the 2

Saturday February 9, 2019
6:29pm
5 minutes
From a voicemail message

Hey River,

I miss you. I’ll start by saying that. I’m listening to an old tape of you snoring. I used to hate you for it when we shared a room. Recorded you one night to show you just how loud it was. Now all I’m wishing for is to hear you breathe again. I wouldn’t care if it kept me up this time.
I’ve been thinking about you lately. Someone asked how I was doing as if it hasn’t been a lifetime since you left. I fucking miss you every day. Maybe I should have said that. I said, Things are good for me. And they are, you know, most days. I’m working so much you’d be real proud. Wish you could see how much better my chops are now.
Anyway, I know you’re with me so I’m not here to whine. Send me a rumble when you think of it.

Love, Joaquin.

“Speaking of hosting!” By Julia on her couch

Friday February 8, 2019
8:47pm
5 minutes
from a Wordplay call out

In the middle of the night it starts to rain. We can hear it pitter patter on the rooftop. You had asked for that. For more rain. To hear it tapping off the wood of the cottage like that makes us both better. This is a quieter night than some of the others. It is easy to fall back to sleep and dream. I wanted it too: more rain; more reminders of living.

“How about just one email a week or month?” By Julia at Ocean Village

Thursday February 7, 2019
7:58am
5 minutes
from swimoutlet.com

There is a box of unopened envelopes in the bottom of a drawer somewhere. I remember it like that. You, I believe, think you left them in the alleyway with our old tables and laptops and extension cords.

I gave that box to you before I went away. It ended up being one whole year away. I didn’t see that coming either.

I even bought you stamps, I see now that was ambitious. Also a waste of money since I don’t think you thought to save those. To you stamps are miniature pictures of things you don’t need: a tiny boat, a maple leaf. To me they are freedom of communication, luxury items, covetable if I am without and in need.

I thought you could write me a letter while I was drinking an espresso at the bar. While I was sipping on Aperol Spritz or eating a tramezzino sandwich in Venice. I daydreamed about waking up to words thought up by you, about me, about us.

“bar brew belong” by Julia at Ocean Village

Wednesday February 6, 2019
6:40am
5 minutes
From Charqui’s flyer

I want to be one of those craft brewery types! The ones who set up kegs at events even though they’re awkward to lift for a body my shape-you know, arms not as long as my legs, like a regular human body.

I want to be the kind of woman who wears a toque to dinner and either after or before tests a new brew for our seasonal tap. I want to know what it’s missing and what fries would be best served with it. I never understood the complexities of someone with this life. They always seem to know much more about patience and slow and laid-backness than me.

I don’t really want to wear a toque to a restaurant but I want to know about beer! People with friends who know about beer seem happy overall: not much to hate or hold on to, fun loving, always drinking together, or going on brewery tours. I wonder how easy it would be to infiltrate a group of brewery besties…is it as simple as wearing my toque to dinner? Is it as easy as drinking beer and not saying a word about it? Then maybe I would naturally pick up what they know and they would be welcoming because the more beer and the more people drinking beer the better.

Once a woman I wanted to be friends with asked if I liked beer then planned an entire brewery tour. In one night! It broke my heart that I like it as much as that.

“her sarcastic curl of a smile” By Julia at Ocean Village

Monday February 4, 2019
7:14am
5 minutes
Finders Keepers
Stephen King

It’s the seconds in between two very different things.

Before you decide, you have to know beside which two things you stand. Here, an example, and one for me that I can articulate, could be the same or maybe similar for you.

I stand here and likely always, before a Love choice and Delay choice.

There is nothing cheeky about me saying this now even though you might know me as someone who smirks in her sleep, protecting herself against what is absolute. I mean all of this. No sarcasm. No holy joke.

A Love choice is something that will only add to existing Love, creating more, or creating more opportunities for Love to be made. They are decisions that contribute, heal, help, celebrate, cleanse, trust..

Delay choices are simply the ones made out of fear of the existing love leaving the immediate experience.

“I just want a little privacy is all.” By Julia at Ocean Village

Sunday February 3, 2019
6:40pm
5 minutes
The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

You invite me to the pool but I think I should be alone now to sink in to myself. I cannot endure other people.

Tonight, however, my love, I have already learned the gift of endurance from you. Here is a chance to meet your appropriate edge, you said without saying. Did you know, Love, that it is further outside yourself than you once believed?
I am being given a choice in this pure calm before the storm: the heavens open and waiting for me to step into the light…
As the wind first hits, we are in a kind of gentle magic. The beach is long and inviting and so we step further and further away.
Soon it is beyond white. The sky seems to hold all of this force in the palm of things. Against this colour of night, the locusts of snow overhead rage through us and our simple jeans.
You stand behind me creating a home; a vortex around my humble body in the face of something so big.

“the two men ceased exchanging words” by Julia at Ocean Village

Saturday February 2, 2019
3:42pm
5 minutes
Marlarky
Anakana Schofield

Milo is not talking to RJ because RJ is hugely unreliable. He said he was going to be around for a call after Milo finished breaking up with Bex. RJ wasn’t around because he was at the bar drinking like he usually is, trying to pick up vulnerable women who are suffering from insane amounts of self-doubt. RJ likes being the one who puts them back up on the ledge. He likes being the soft thing they fall into. Milo is even more mad at RJ because he refuses to admit he was wrong. RJ never learned to say he was sorry, or that he recognizes how his avoidance of reality effects the people he says he loves.

“unapologetic about her love of narcotics.” By Julia at Ocean Village

Friday February 1, 2019
8:41pm
5 minutes
Orange Is The New Black
Piper Kerman

I met her the night we dropped MDMA and spoke with sweat and sweet and true and good
I was grateful for the peaks of love that kiss sunlight
So high the only thing we could do was see each other

The time before that we found cocaine on the bump of her key, the public bathrooms at every place we ended up: the bar, the house party, the tennis court, after moving a rustic ladder from the back of my apartment to her’s—wearing heels and dressed ready
We felt like we were made of arms

The same two of us, and deeper,
found a butterfly sanctuary on the day we were decided on being real joy

“never showed me where the wreck lay.” By Julia on the 99

Thursday January 31, 2019
10:09pm
5 minutes
Foe
J.M. Coetzee

Each one pointed to a different place of hurt
Here, the wreckage of the heart,
the spot where the rib cage was invaded, break and entering
Here, the spasm of the lower back,
deep breath a kind of torture
Acquitted somehow of all charges

I wanted to ask-Did I do this to you?
Was it by my hand you know this?

I should have asked where else it throbbed, reminded you of your punishable naked
unwalled

“The coach was bullshit.” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 30, 2019
8:00pm
5 minutes
Created By
Richard Christian Matheson

So, it’s three days before the tournament, right. Everyone is freaking out, tensions are high. Nobody wants to lose, team is gearing up to represent ourselves as best as we can. So, we find out that fucking Brian is planning on putting his kid, Heather, in as starting catcher. Girl has caught a grand total of zero balls. Spends her time fixing her mask and trying to get up from a squat.
So all three pitchers, that’s me, Sara, and Cara, decide we’re going to meet with Brian to tell him we think he should start Christine cause she’s more experienced, and this is her last year before she moves up. It would be better for everyone. So we approach him like a flying V-determined. graceful. I’m in the front cause I’m the brave one.
Fucking Brian LOSES IT.

“I’ve got questions.” By Julia on her couch

Tuesday January 29, 2019
10:06pm
5 minutes
From a text

I wonder a lot
about the way you sway
the way you say my name
the way you drink champagne
You can say so much with such little pieces of you
I could have asked a better one than Why
It seems we’ve all become experts at that one
How is a good one
When is another
You’re not bigger than the ocean
but you act like it
I have questions about that
About the hours you keep
the thoughts you believe
the stories you yell
Bigger than the ocean
While still
so much smaller than this

“As the cab works its way” by Julia on the 2

Monday January 28, 2019
6:06pm
5 minutes
Hello, Goodbye
Brady Emerson’s

Cab driver is talking my ear off on the way to the airport. It’s 3am, he must be lonely. I am leaving this city and I’m not going to look back. Do I tell him that? Do I say, listen, I tried my best, I worked hard, I made out with a stranger on my softball team? I don’t know what else I could have done. Maybe committed to the white walls in my apartment, hung a plant or two on the balcony. I never did end up going to the Indian place I said I wanted to try. Do I say, listen, some cities don’t fit the way you think the way expensive shirts get donated to Goodwill when they don’t slim your shoulders as promised. Do I say, I am too tired and angry and mad at myself to talk to you right now?

“The road ends at a washout” by Julia on her couch

Sunday January 27, 2019
11:13pm
5 minutes
Nomads
Poe Ballentine

I think all good things must come to an end sooner than we’re ever ready for them.
Why would we want the good things to end?
It’s hard enough getting the good things to start.

We were never really friends although I believed us to be.
I thought you liked me and I liked you in the same way and we were…good for each other.
It only took a thousand messages left without reply for me to figure it out.
You’re the kind of person who thinks offering yourself is all you need to do.
You’re the kind of person who thinks I would be lucky to receive your invitation to the land of zero follow through.
There can only be room for certain friendships now,
not whatever it is we’re doing.
We don’t need anything from each other and we never did.
I thought I did but then I got to know you and realized the
only thing I need from you is for you to stop pretending like
any of your empty promises mean something.
I won’t be around for that kind of shit anymore.
The next time I might not be as kind about the whole thing.
Maybe if you were as honest with me as I am with you we could save a whole lot of energy.

“The road ends at a washout” by Sasha in the bathtub

Sunday January 27, 2019
9:18pm
5 minutes
Nomads
Poe Ballentine

Dear P.,

I move to Alaska because I want to live at the end of it all, where the road meets the horizon, where the sun feels like a star and it doesn’t rain as much as it does here. I’m twenty seven and I don’t know my ass from my mouth, but at least I’m not afraid like everyone else is, afraid to leave home. “Home” is a word that feels strange in my mouth, foreign, like “Barcelona” or “beloved”.

I’m sorry that I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye. I know that was a long time ago, but I never stopped thinking about you. Riding bikes around the track at St. Mike’s, shooting the shit, pretending we were big shots. Alaska takes a part of your heart when you’re there for long enough. A part of my heart that’s shaped like you. P. I’m better now than I was then, in almost every way.

“I was acting like a” by Julia on her couch

Saturday January 26, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
The Only One She Told
J.E. McCafferty

Liar liar pants on fire
Said last time I thrived on dire
Fought my battles walked the wire
Fakery began to tire
All those people believing deep
held me up as the grim reaper
Wished I could have climbed much steeper
But I was a dream-catch eater
Held the wish to drown the mole
We couldn’t take any souls
I swear we tried, we did not know
Then god opened mouth and ripped me whole

“They say looks aren’t everything,” by Julia on the 84

Friday January 25, 2019
9:40pm
5 minutes
What to Look for in a Horse
Brett Elizabeth Jenkins

I want to see a person and not make any thoughts up about who they are and what they do and why they’re wearing what they’re wearing. I do make up some thoughts about some
people but mostly I thank myself quietly for being me instead of them. They are busy being them, wearing the shoes they wear, the big bright buttons on their slacks, the cool hat, the stupid shoes. I am not judging. Stupid shoes is not an opinion, it’s a broken ankle waiting to happen. What makes a shoe more stupid than its shape is where that shoe is worn. Managing a restaurant? Stupid. Walking the dog in a rainstorm? Stupid. The person I have no problem with. Or maybe I do. Maybe I’m one judgemental piece of shit projecting my unexamined insecurities on people just passing me on the street on their way to the grocery store. Looks aren’t everything. But it’s what you see. It’s what you notice. I don’t think the flower kingdom is going around saying, here I am, but I’m not just a pretty face, I matter, I’m important. Everyone knows flowers matter but if they self-claimed it they wouldn’t have time to simply live it.

I may have lost the plot a little bit here.

“law of human psychology” by Julia at the bus stop

Thursday January 24, 2019
4:08pm
5 minutes
A quote by William Pickens

Lynn was excited to drop her psych classes and start taking theatre. She knew she belonged on stage, or with actors, or in a daydream maybe. She had never done anything for herself in her short life. Both her parents were doctors, one therapist, one orthopaedic surgeon. She was supposed to be a doctor too, and they said the field of medicine is up to her. That was all that was up to her. She started seeing the theatre kids around the halls, wearing black, singing in unison. Lynn didn’t remember the last time she let herself sing outside of the shower. It looked incredibly freeing! Maybe even spiritual. All this time she wished she could tell stories to audiences willing to hear them. She pictured herself being blinded by he stage lights and glowing from the inside out. If she left psych she would have to pay for everything else on her own. Lynn couldn’t wait to start working as a relief receptionist at the ESL centre to finally be in control of her own destiny.

“my Swahili instructor” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 23, 2019
8:16pm
5 minutes
Archipelagoes
Rochelle Smith

You can learn a new language at any age. You can learn one in your 20s, in your 30s, up till the day you speak no more. It’s not one of those things on the list that become impossible after celebrating a certain birthday. It won’t be easy, but it won’t be impossible. Some things on the list that become impossible after a certain age are the following: doing the splits if you are not a gymnast, birthing a baby, moving a couch, and pulling all-nighters. I purposefully did not include exact ages because every body is different and there are exceptions to even vaguely set rules.
I know for a fact it is never too late to quit smoking, or cut out certain issue-causing foods, or take up growing pot in your backyard. There is no limit to how much you can surprise yourself in this life— no matter how many stories you make up and believe.

“What Jesus was doing” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday January 22, 2019
10:20pm
5 minutes
Love Thy Neighbour
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Oh this again. He was trying to welcome me home, I believe. And sell me to church. All the right people, my people would meet me there. All the grace I will know is from Him. Gospel of John. I’m supposed to have read it by now. Maybe everyone knows I’m the kind of person to go running to scripture. Proving in words somewhere that the divine in me is seeing me. I have always been persuaded. I exist there because I liked being the vessel. I liked being the experiment, the data, the pioneer. Tell me what is best and I’m still the one who has to execute. I like being the one who walks into fire.

“I imagine him alive.” By Julia in her bed

Monday January 21, 2019
9:28pm
5 minutes
Stories We Keep To Ourselves
Bill Glose

I imagine him alive with dark hair covering his tiny little head
He has a perfect face
Maybe a few years from now he’ll need glasses just like you
His dark hair transforms into light hair later like mine does in the sun
You are holding him and cooing in his face and everything is sweet now
I keep him alive by not leaving him
That is my only job
I picture him loving me before he leaves home
Some of them only realize how much has been done for them after they build their bed behind walls that no one can wonder against
He is kind to insects and birds
He is funny because of you and only you
From me he learns how to hum
From me he learns how to weep
From me he learns how to stare into the nothingness past the room and bright noise
You smile extra hard these days

“making dinner for my family” by Julia at Rivendell

Sunday January 20, 2019
11:08pm
5 minutes
The Other, Invented Man
Matthew Vollmer

I’m chopping onions to simmer for my man
Tonight we feast and I feed him and he wants me
Tomorrow I’ll surprise him with a new dish I’ve never made before and I’ll feed him and he’ll want me
If I were alone I would get resourceful
Start with one egg and see far I can stretch it
See how many meals one egg holds
If I have no one to please or impress,
no one a barometer for if I’ve gone to
the grocery store in a while or chosen something I was curious about tasting
When he’s home I put on the alien, the apron, the mask
I find a different reality
If I had a full family I would cook for them
I wouldn’t need to feel anything after that

“poorly aimed prayers” by Julia at Rivendell

Saturday January 19, 2019
10:18pm
5 minutes
On Why I Must Decline To Receive The Prayers You Say You Are Constantly Sending
Tony Hoagland

Jesus apparently lives in my heart and has never left even though I left him. He’s also quite feminine, the woman tells me, “Read the gospel of John and you’ll see how feminine he is.” I am now the prodigal daughter coming home. I had to leave in order to grow myself and wonder out loud with enough spaciousness to find something. Now I am returning and this is good because I am looking for the truth and that’s where I’ll find God too. She wanted to leave the room while I confessed how I’ve rejected him, or how I’ve felt disconnected, or why. Then I told her I wouldn’t do it if she left and so I made her stay. Maybe she had something to do for ten minutes that really couldn’t have waited and she was hoping I was into counselling myself. But maybe she thought I was strong and wanted or needed the stillness.

“he fell like the rain,” by Julia at the Rivendell Cottage

Friday January 18, 2019
11:22pm
5 minutes
In The Beautiful Rain
Tony Hoagland

Her eyelids sank, heavy with dust
collected in the creases
So
many
damn
intricate
feelings
Sleep stretched out like a cat before her and she put her hand out to scratch under its chin
The night and all its bigger shadows
loomed in and around, sort of stalking
Her mouth a steady waterfall pointing ground-ward
He, on the other hand warmed up another cup of tea in the microwave
Flipped the pages of his book like punishment
Pushed the bed so far away
it
turned
into
the
couch

“I met Luke after my marriage ended.” By Julia on M’s couch

Thursday January 17, 2019
1:33pm
5 minutes
The Ghost of a Boy
Piper Vignette

You could say I manifested it; the end of my first marriage the way it is written. By that I mean death, and not
some fault of our own. We might have stopped trying. Stopped listening. Stopped seeing Love in the reflection of each other. I think we were lucky enough to preserve our relationship before it got so sad we committed any of those aforementioned acts of betrayal. I think those are worse than cheating anyway. Sex is something I can justify as “not personal”. But I suppose you’re right, if I claim to have manifested my late husband’s death. I guess that is a fault of my own I should be less light-hearted about. My intentions were that he would die and leave me while we were still in love. I didn’t know it would happen so soon or that it would work so well. If I believed in manifesting at all (before this) I would have made sure I had pots of money and enough hair product to last my entire lifetime. I would have manifested some inner peace.

“like food processors” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 16, 2019
8:21pm
5 minutes
On Becoming A Cat
Emily Mitchell

In the middle of the night I hear you whispering sweet words into the pillow
They’re for me
I kiss you back to sleep
I stay awake wondering about the light dancing across the ceiling
I was tired before this and
now maybe it’s denial
The past few days have felt impossible
Each of our hollow seems to be bouncing off every surface in sight and you might not be rubber but I’m definitely glue
I wonder at the dancing light, the collective sadness seaping into my skin, the way waking up never arrives without a headache anymore

“the host raised his glass” by Julia on the 4

Tuesday January 15, 2019
6:54pm
5 minutes
Notes on Surrender
Krista Bremer

Petra was a beer lover. She was the kind of person who knew better than to cheers another with an empty glass. Even if she wasn’t thirsty, she would pour herself a sip of something to seal the deal. On the night of Kat’s engagement she had already drank her share before the thing even started. Still reeling from finding her boss dead in the foyer that morning, she knew she would need a little help getting through her best friend’s party.
Dylan wasn’t the nicest guy in the world, but to leave the world lonely, just steps away from the Naloxone?

“We cross dirt roads” by Julia on the 4

Monday January 14, 2019
4:29pm
5 minutes
A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration
Elizabeth Alexander

Woman beside me: red nails that match her red boots. Noticed a red scarf and sweater too. All red. All showing.
Man beside her: grey coat, grey slacks, grey beard. He’s looking at her.
She’s provbaly reading this.
It was so foggy today the sun turned into a ball of white, outlined as if with crayon. You can drift into road on days like this. You can find yourself dissappearing without trying.
I can’t say I’m doing my best to be seen.
I think everyone in my life is sad right now and only some of them know to include me in that.

“endure burning” by Julia on the 84

Sunday January 13, 2019
5:55pm
5 minutes
A quote by Viktor Frankl

Yesterday my hair caught on fire in front of all the people I didn’t know. I am grateful. Everytime I let a part of me burn I watch myself rise from the ashes and grow longer in the backbone. That, and it’s nice to be reminded that I’m always saved in the 11th hour. My intuition pounds on the door of me and it sometimes takes going up in flames to answer the call.
How can I do more work around hearing the rap rap rap before I turn into smoke? After all, I was right about you, wasn’t I? I knew there was something off about you the first time I saw you blink like that. I hope you never try your hand at poker. Or motherhood.

“How are you feeling?” By Julia on her couch

Saturday January 12, 2019
12:27am
5 minutes
From a text

It’s been a year and some things are still buried in the yard alongside all the other bodies too cold to touch

I wonder sometimes if you’re waiting for me to wear an apology that doesn’t belong to me on my back—
Maybe thinking it’s owed to you or something. I have to try not to take that on at all because you can’t always get what you want.

It’s been a year and some days I think you don’t notice how much we’ve both changed. Some days feel like I’m right back where I started, eating lies around you to keep you up.

I don’t want to tell you how I really am. What I really think. I’m not sure if you deserve it.

“grateful to be where we are now.” By Julia on her couch

Friday January 11, 2019
12:06am
From a Christmas card

A garden preened to the high heavens mocks my morning walk to the compost heap left bubbling
I hate these neighbours and their tireless knees
How some people sit like that I will never understand
My mother didn’t meet her green thumb until her 60s so maybe there’s still time for me. Not sure why my father didn’t force me into the earth when I was young and curious. Some life skills I fear I may never own
My garden wouldn’t make sense anyway-a clump of rosemary, a hill of daisies
I have never been willing to look so far ahead into a year
It’s the same pill I swallow when packing my things even if only for the night

“You are my real mother, aren’t you?” by Julia on her couch

Thursday January 10, 2019
8:54pm
5 minutes
Life After Life
Kate Atkinson

I used to want Zia Vilma to be my mother cause she knew how to french braid, and make her own halloween costumes, and turn an old pair of leggings into a choker with a broken heart earring as the pendant.

She was the only one spent time with us, who played cards with us when we were little and begging to sit at table with all the adults.
She lit up when she saw us.

My own mother was a little different than she is now. She used to scream at us more then. She used to whip her eyes shut when she was yelling out all her demons.
I hated that face she made. I was afraid of it. she couldn’t look us in the eye.