“I know that guy, we’ve talked” by Julia on her couch

Monday May 21, 2018
10:19pm
From a text

You’re the guy from my dreams
Wake up in a cold sweat wish I never fell asleep
The one who my mother warned me about

The one who told the truth all those years ago and I still heard what I wanted to hear
Isn’t it funny how you wish for some things and they end up coming true?
The way I said Give me someone who doesn’t let me get away with my bullshit
Give me someone who fights back

I heard myself say that you and I would never work–told myself that and then I pretended like I didn’t know what I was talking about
That I was wrong about those instincts

That I didn’t know what being right felt like anyway

It’s been a long time now and we’ve talked
You’re the guy from my dreams I choose other people over
But how can you trust a dream that wakes itself up?
…surprises me with how little he knows about the things I thought I knew

“with its blood-red brick” by Julia on Salt Spring Island

Sunday May 20, 2018

11:09pm

The Virgin Cure

Ami McKay

Both of us are bleeding and craving steak. You told me twelve years ago that eating it would make my period come after a pregnancy scare. You say you still sort of believe that.

I think maybe I don’t have to worry about that for better or worse, complicatedly.

Upstairs it sounds like the devil is playing back your promise to him in reverse. I don’t move because I don’t need him coming for me next. All that stamping on his grave I did. All that burning chocolate.

It wasn’t possible the last time I was late. I had to rack my brain to make sure I wasn’t forgetting something. Someone. When it came I looked in the blood to see if the start of a living thing was in there, pooling at the bottom of the toilet bowl. It made me feel better to see it disappear even with a thick string painting it jelly fish before it sunk.

“present something that is true” by Julia on Salt Spring Island

Saturday May 19, 2018
10:40pm
5 minutes
From a quotei by Kelly Hill

Life’s goal:

Find the truth

Full stop

Repeat

Full stop

Repeat again

And then the going gets toughLike it always does

And the choices don’t seem so clear

Foot on the break and watch the deer with her baby?

Swerve and keep going to people please the car behind you?

What if a friend does not ask for advice but you still want to give it? Safe? Smart? Honesty over tact?Truth over tragedy?

Life’s goal:

Be the truth so you won’t have to go looking for it

Be the truth so it will always be right there in front of you waiting for you

Repeat

Repeat

“The danger of tying your self-worth” by Julia on her couch

Saturday, May 12, 2018
10:18pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Brene Brown

Watch out for potholes
Dips in the concrete that make your toes do the work

Keep you upright

Can’t walk with your eyes down got to feel them quicker, know what your foot needs to recalibrate sooner

If you tie your self-worth to a perfect line you will be disappointed when someone else sees it crooked

If success is the only marker of success then you will always be walking in circles.

Tie your self worth to the spiral. Going in and out on itself, out and back again, outer world, inner world, beyond, down deep. Let the rise and fall be what they are.
Who are these lessons for? Me? You?
Is anyone listening anymore?

Was anyone ever?

“The job wasn’t that bad.” By Julia in her bed

Tuesday May 8, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
Dirty Work
Nancy Matson

I stand by the water and admit out loud that I want the busier streets, the prettier graffiti, the taller buildings. If one day I have to throw myself off of one, at least it’d be a longer fall. And I could go home. He hears lump in the throat, Justify Janice. He thinks about childish gambino and how iphone is gonna start autocorrecting his name with capital letters. He waits for me to stop talking so he can kiss me. I do not stop talking. I let him kiss me on the walk to the other place we live in.

“the hypocrites will teach.” By Julia in her bed

Monday May 7, 2018
11:01pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Suzy Kassem

All the voices I’ve been avoiding living inside me are more alive than I’ve been letting them be, more living than I’ve been thinking they are

I was right about you
it’s written in the stars and I’ve been right so many times but I’ve been scared and so I don’t say anything with words but with worlds of voices dancing around in my head

And they are so loud that my skin crawls and maybe you can see it so you ask me what is wrong and the truth is inside nothing is wrong everything is right but it is dangerous to say out loud

It is hard to believe that I know more than I think I do
That I am bigger than I think I am

“Oh you exercise?” By Julia on her couch

Sunday May 6, 2018
10:41pm
5 minutes
From a text

Comes out to meet me with
his shirt off and I’m like dude those wont work on me, save your six-pack for someone who cares. And he’s like this is for you and I’m like this is what I just said and you are not listening. Then he does up his shirt and starts to pout and I say, hey that wont work on me either cause I’m not into crying for no reason. And he’s like, this is not for you, it’s for me and don’t you get it? And I’m like get what? No? Get what? And he’s like never mind you don’t care. And I’m like, about what though?

“a giant note to self” by Julia on the 99

Saturday May 5, 2018
5:16pm
5 minutes
@a_belovedgreen Instagram

Get a screen protector on my phone so the nosy Nancy sitting beside me on the bus stops staring into my life.
Stop judging me Nancy!

Find a banana box to keep my banana from mushing against the inside of my bag.

Find less sexual ways to describe the messes I make.

Thank her with coffee and flowers and an invitation. Don’t forget. She’s a good one.

Keep saying yes until I have to say no. Then say no.

Hound the right people. Be a presence. Bark up the tree and stay there.

Walk before everyone else wakes up. Smell the pine. Breathe the solitude in like a reward.

Stop waiting for the wrong hearts to do right by me.

Ascend gradually. Adjust to new heights. Don’t look down.

“earth, sky, water, fire and wood” by Julia at R’s house

Friday May 4, 2018
2:00pm
5 minutes
From a Caitlin Press newsletter

They told me I was air and I never forgot that.
Not the feeling in the room when they all thought they had figured me out.
Not the pang against my guts when my insides begged to differ.
I wanted to be earth, steady, unmoving.
I wanted to be tethered to feet and stone.
I wanted to be fire, holy, hot and badass.
And though I fight it, when I spill over I know again and again that I am not air.
Not light like this. Not a carrier of plastic bags and other floating, diacarded.

“It works excellent!” By Julia on her bed

Thursday May 3, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
From BUNZ trading zone

Keanu Reeves said it best: Let’s just be excellent to everyone. And if he said it a different way then he said it best that way. I want for the world. I do. I want a hello to mean hello and I want thank you to mean I see you. I mean, I see you. And why wouldn’t I want to be excellent to you? What on earth would have to happen for me to want to be anything less? How nice not to blame any one else for that decision. We are only less when we feel less. These lessons are the easily fixed. They’re the accessible ones.They live in our hallways, our lockers, on our bathroom walls.

“How could I predict” by Julia in her bed

Sunday April 29, 2018
8:45am
5 minutes
The Address Book
Louis Phillips

I wonder how I was supposed to know
how I was supposed to recognize you after all this time away
Your face changes every time you come back to me and my eyes are different too
Was I supposed to look for the switch of your skin
wait for the weight of your arm in my lap as you slept
and I wrote
Was I supposed to open the door and feel it
Maybe it’s in the hours collecting one by one in the bottomless hope of our pockets
Maybe after breakfast together one day or after lunch or after dinner

“Flying Housewife” by Julia on the 4

Saturday April 28, 2018
10:58pm
5 minutes
www.independent.co.uk

She has wings

Her hands know how to flutter at the end of her arms
Watch how she keeps herself up
Watch how she treads the deepest air

She is getting things done

Busy busy flying throughout the house before her wife comes home because her wife is the only one who leave the house little bird stays inside floats in the living room
Above the coffee table hovering along the shelves lined with baby photographs she is cleaning up the disagreements the mirrors collecting dust in all the ghosts of her lipstick affirmations she is keeping things tidy for when her wife comes home because she doesn’t leave so what excuse does she have not to have the house clean for when she arrives

She moves quickly to avoid getting stuck

She keeps her wings flapping
So she will be ready to use them

“Response rate: 100%” by Julia at her desk

Thursday April 26, 2018
6:54am
5 minutes
poparide.com

If you call me and I can’t pick up but I CALL YOU RIGHT BACK
as in I do not let you finish your voicemail
as in your phone should still be open on my number
can I just ask one little question?
WHERE THE EFF ARE YOU?
Seconds have past
Has the urgency left?
Are you passed out, dead, on the phone with someone else?
Is your ringer on?
Would you like to join the conversation?
Here’s my two cents
People who call you and then have their phone on silent
shouldn’t be allowed to own a phone
They have classes for driving a car
And if you don’t pass, you don’t drive
You should have to take a test for the use of your dinky cell phone
“Oh I don’t know how that happened, that’s weird, it was in my pocket”
I don’t want to have to wait to talk to you
if I call you I am CALLING YOU
but if you don’t pick up I will be on the phone with someone else
because you forfeit the right to speak with me and I have shit to discuss
I hope you’re not dead

“My mother is a wood thrush” by Julia at M’s house

Thursday, April 19, 2018
11:19pm
5 minutes
A List Of My Utopias
Debbie Urbanski

I can recite her laugh lines by heart
in the quiet night I hear her in my rib cage
I saved a couple of her voicemails
when I want to visit with her again
in the dead of winter
when speaking half in english, half italian, half french, my skin knows story
sometimes she sings and I know where I got it from
and where she must have gotten it from
that alone would connect us
the hum.

“They would tell everyone” by Julia at her desk

Thursday, April 12, 2018
8:14pm
5 minutes
Audience of One
Rob de Boyrie

We can’t tell anyone because they would tell everyone.
Some things are better left secret:
all of our best-laid plans for a baby and her sister
the house we bought with our romance novel money
I am still reminding myself this is better
to wait until it’s done before I say it out loud
they wouldn’t let it be what it is if they opened their
big dumb mouths to name it
diminishing it with all that outside tongue
The photographer man told me this first
Years ago he wrote it on the front page of my moleskine dayplanner
“Not every single thing needs to be said.”
Maybe it wasn’t that exactly, but the sentiment was there
We can’t tell anyone that we’re swimming the Mississippi River
that we’re moving our butts to South Beach

“She warned me, ‘Have nothing to lose.’” by Julia at her desk

Thursday April 5, 2018
8:25pm
5 minutes
Among Women
Marie Ponsot

tucked a daisy in my jacket pocket and said “this is for a rainy day”
didn’t seem to mind that it might not last that long in denim like this
i forgot it was in there and went about my day
picked up apples from the market
peeled the sweet potatoes that were growing eyes
the night became a different world
me in my own skin and bones rustling about the tiny kitchen
she, i decided, blessing newborns and the dying with her sweet
the next morning i awoke to the sun burning the sky and drawing sweat
from my neck
the pillow was wet and the seagulls were loud
I did not bring an umbrella
and of course, as it happens here, out of the blue
it started to rain
i understood what ‘out of the blue’ meant for the first time
shoved my hands in my pockets to keep dry
and there it was, waiting for me
a wilting daisy, still more alive than me

“A woman in the shape of a monster” by Julia on the 99

Monday April 2, 2018

10:57pm

5 minutes

Planetarium

Adrienne Rich

I guess I’m supposed to shape shift into the Phoenix now, huh? Rise from the ashes and flap my glorious wings around, fanning all the too hot, too dangerous. You expect me to be big the way you expect dinner to be on the table when you come home. I guess I’m supposed to use you as my downfall and build a sturdy ladder from my rock bottom so I can climb my ass to the fucking moon. You’d like that wouldn’t you: a real success story to attach your dick to. Watch me decide which edge to use as I slice the vein out of your skin. Show you just how much monster I can be, when you expect me to be anything but mine.

“People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.” By Julia on the 98

Saturday March 31, 2018

6:10pm

5 minutes

A quote from Stephen Hawking

In the 4th grade I was a times tables genius. I won around the world so many times I had to give some of my suckers away. By the time I got to the 5th grade I became so deathly afraid of graphs that I had to excuse myself to the bathroom anytime we played games that required the use of them. By the 6th grade I stopped remembering math class as a place to learn and turned it into one where I could practice my stand up routine. I think that’s when I realized I was funny. When all the kids in my class were being tested for the special skills test, I was deeply saddened when they didn’t ask me to do it. They were going to decide if those kids needed an individual education plan and I had high grades and I felt smart, but it was not enough to get the fancy folder with my name on it. I wondered why they thought that numerical testing was the only way to determine if we were gifted.

“I think you’re really mean” By Julia on her bed

Friday March 30, 2018

1:49pm

5 minutes

Not Fair

Lilly Allen

The little girl says this to me after I tell her that I’m not mad at her for breaking my crayon box. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to feel bad but she feels bad and now she thinks every word out of my mouth is going to shame her head into the sand. This comment is followed by a lot of screaming for me not to talk to her. Nobody is allowed to talk to her. And I have to let it pass because she is not my child and she doesn’t know that I am trying to hold her. Minutes earlier she is flinging her arms around me and telling me she loves me. I wonder about the size of a three year old’s emotions. I ask myself, how do such big feelings fit into such small bodies. Her hands, when she lets me squeeze them, a tiny pillow for all the unknowing in the space between us. Her curls, when she lets me comb them, a bouncy castle of dreams.

“Get that money get that cash!” By Julia on the 99

Thursday March 29, 2018

6:20pm

5 minutes

From a text

I think it’s funny when you ride a bus facing the wrong way and you think you can talk on the phone with nobody hearing you. As if it gives you the superpower of being invisible.

I also think it’s funny when you try to write on a bus facing the wrong way and your stomach starts to swivel and you can feel it in your temples. Hilarious. Ha ha. Great joke.

I’ve been wondering about the money. About the funny money on the bus. The coins. The lost dimes. The people all huddled at the back too cool to tap in with their bus pass. Too cool says the sunglasses hiding the eyes too worried about being caught. The heart jumps around in there when you think it might be the last time it gets to. Isn’t it funny when you have no money and you have to pay the $250 fine because you didn’t pay the money? Hilarious. Ha ha.

I think it’s funny when the person behind you has the voice of a machete and thinks they’re also invisible.

“someone else’s sext” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday March 28, 2018
8:20am
5 minutes
from a cybertip.ca ad

So I get this message from one of my clients. It says he can’t wait to see me again and he’s been thinking of LICKING me up and down in HIS BED. So at first, naturally, I assume he has sent it to the wrong person. I’m like, Unprofessional Bro, this is someone else’s sext! Then I don’t respond, because what good can come out of it when I’m actually supposed to babysit his kid in two days? I mean, it’s a trap, right? Even if I said I didn’t appreciate it? So much weirdness. So when I don’t respond, ten minutes later, I get another message rom him. AND THIS TIME HE USES MY NAME. “What time should I expect you, Alana?” And usually his wife is the one in contact with me, arranging when SHE should expect me. So I’m like, are these texts together? Is this intentional? What the mother eff am I supposed to say?

“into an unmarked grave” by Julia at the studio

Monday March 26, 2018
10:58am
5 minutes
Alternate History
Bill Glose

Cayenne and Didi exchange worried looks as the elevator doors closed on them.
“Are you sure about this?” Didi whispers “Cause I’m not sure I’m sure about this at all.”
“Pull it together, D, we’re going to be fine. Kaz told us to meet him in the parking garage with the stuff and he would arrange the rest.”
“You’re very good at projecting this cool-calm-collected thing, but I don’t buy it. You said yourself you don’t trust Kaz.”
“I will admit,” Cayenne inhales, “I did not exactly think this thing through.”
“WHY ARE WE DOING IT THEN?” Didi shrieks.
“No, no yelling, that won’t help us. That’s the one thing I know for sure.”

“Bill and Madge” by Julia on her couch

Sunday, March 25, 2018
11:24pm
5 minutes
The Wreck Up Ahead
Poe Ballentine

M: Billy, come down here, the darn TV went off again!

B: So turn it back on again dear Liza!

M: Har har very funny. It won’t stay on, I already tried.

B: Did you unplug it, plug it back in, wiggle the cord, and say a little prayer?

M: Billy, for Chrissakes, get down here!

B: Say it, Madge.

M: Say what?

B: The magic words. All of em, in a row: Billy, my one and only, I need your help.

M: Are you out of your goddamn mind? Why do you think I’m asking you to come down here in the first place you egomaniac!

“Luke punched a boy” by Julia on her couch

Friday March 23, 2018
12:11am
5 minutes
Two Moons
Debbie Urbanski

Luke Walker had a feathery step

He made a dark room lift

He loved his dad more than his mom

On Tuesdays he would pack his own lunch

On Wednesdays he would walk through the park, by the ducks chasing hunks of bread

Luke walker kissed his cousin on the mouth once during truth or dare

He liked it

On Christmas morning he would drag the cassette player to the kitchen to make everyone listen to his favourite Yoko Ono song on repeat

“The next time he comes over” by Julia at her desk

Saturday, March 17, 2018
10:57pm
5 minutes
The Possible Universe
Claire Halliday

The next time he comes by, in dream or almost, I’m going to make sure I taste his lips.
Last time the whole sleep paralysis thing got me. He came home, but I was stuck on the couch. I could feel him next to me. I asked him for a kiss. He bent down, his mouth hot near mine, and all I could do was lay there. Now I’ve had a good talking to with my brain and we both agreed we were not going to do that again. If he was showing up in my subconcious, he should get to make actual contact. None of this Nearly But Not Quite stuff. He asked me if we could rendezvous at a train station this time. I got worried, knowing me, always waking myself up before the good parts. So we decided to meet on the train itself to maximize our dream time together. He said he wanted to make love to me in the dining car. I would very much like to show up for this one. I’ve always wanted to make love in a dining car.

“seemed to love us anyway” by Julia on her couch

Friday, March 16, 2018
11:53pm
5 minutes
Beauty: 1976
Ruth L. Shwartz

We stole little things from her vanity-a ring, a sample bottle of eau de toilette, a hair pin. It didn’t look like she would notice them gone. There were so many more important things to notice. After she told us about the robbery and how they found Granite’s debit card being used in six different diners in two days, we felt bad. Here she was telling us about how people keep stealing from them, and we were there, stealing from them. It was so easy to convince ourselves she wouldn’t notice on account of how many stories we’ve been forced to listen to for the 60th time. People who tell the exact same story to the exact same people year after year are not the look around and see what’s new about the room kind of people. People who are so damn sad do not have time to count their broaches, or their Jean jackets.

“writing poems on placemats.” By Julia on the 99

Thursday, March 15, 2018
6:44pm
5 minutes
Garlic In My Ear
Sparrow

Jerie told me she’d only move back to Vancouver if I could find her a two bedroom apartment that wasn’t being eaten. By what she did not specify, but the easy answer would be “at all”. I first asked her to come back when Elliot got in that car crash and was put into a coma. Surely someone in a coma couldn’t work the corner office. I wasn’t hoping for him to die, just, stay where he was. Jerie said it was a shitty thing to do and wasn’t moving on principal. I hadn’t touched her skin in 5 months. I guess I got desperate. She was right. But how do you woo someone with a bachelor apartment and a bachelor salary? The second time I asked her was after I got the side job at McDonalds. I started writing her reasons why on napkins. Wrote her sonnets on the backs of greasy placemats.

“The trees around here” By Julia in her bed

Wednesday, March 14, 2018
11:14pm
5 minutes
Intrigue In The Trees
John Brehm

The trees around this place remind me of the book I said I’d write. If only there was time, or if Roddy wasn’t sick, or if the dog would let himself out of the flapping door.

The red ones remind me of all the vanity.
Blood beech. Not meant to be that way.
Something wrong with it. Metabolic disorder. Not enough sunlight.

Here, let’s plant the thing in a park filled with green. Keep your mind off the everyday. Give you something to hold onto. They didn’t know it is harder for the tree. It is always harder for the tree left in the middle. The example. Pose for your photograph. Backdrop perfect for the wedding pictures. And I keep wishing Roddy could choose another city to die in. I don’t want to think of him every time I see the post office. Or the sad red tree in the middle of the park. One thing sick and the rest of them fine and far away. Normal. I don’t need any reminders of that.

“God may have written” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

10:33pm

5 minutes

From a quote by Nancy Cartwright

Aubrey tells me that she wishes she could sing without trying. Without crying. Without opening her mouth. She asks me to ask God what can be done about that. She asks me because I’m taller than her and therefore closer to God. She’s not wrong…

When I ask her why she wants this she doesn’t answer with words but with a look of disapproval. As if I didn’t already know. As if it needs to be spelled out.

Aubrey tells me it’s important that singing be true. She says she’s heard enough people trying and she doesn’t want to be the kind who has to push put feelings; one who tries to get it right.

Would you be okay with being wrong? I ask her, a little afraid now that I’ve pushed her too far.

She smiles then and blows her bangs out of her oval face.

“A woman came out of the farmhouse.” By Julia on Kits Beach

Monday, March 12, 2018
6:20pm
5 minutes
Exactly What To Say
Kim Church

In her hand she was clutching a dead chicken by the neck. From where I was standing behind the red Birch, and how its head bobbed methodically, it appeared to be still alive, merely intoxicated. Like Ariane was dragging her drunk friend home after too many jagger bombs.
I don’t know why I thought I could hide from her. She spotted me right away, a twig in these heavy woods.
I froze in my spot and then managed a wave. It was as awkward as I’d ever been. The look on her face said nothing in the world had ever disappointed her more.

“Jobs for college students” by Julia on M’s front porch

Sunday March 11, 2018

7:08pm

5 minutes

Seediness

James got me a job working the phones at the writing centre after he heard me give an improvised tour of it even though I had only just walked into the place five minutes prior. He liked my spunk and I liked that he needed someone to replace him while he worked out or read a book to his kid over lunch hours on Mondays Wednesday and sometimes Fridays. His wife let him see her during the days because she didn’t want her getting used to seeing him only before bed. She was convinced that’s how you give a child nightmares. I presume she meant when he couldn’t make it at nighttime, as understandably, he sometimes would not. I used to steal pens and post its and I never felt bad about it. I guess I thought James wouldn’t care because I assumed he did the same thing. I felt like a rockstar scheduling students in for their one on one essay appointments. I wasn’t there enough to be invested, but I wanted James to feel validated by his instinct of me.

“as spicy or as tame” by Julia on her couch

Saturday March 10, 2018
10:03pm
5 minutes
Allrecipes.com

Her skin smelled spicy and I couldn’t get it out of my head. The way she plucked rosemary from other people’s gardens and tucked it in her back pocket or in the bun of her hair. She needed the earth like she needed to laugh. I loved that she did not pass one bushel unpicked. She liked to roll the green between her fingers and pull them up to her nose at traffic lights. She said it calmed her. She said it made her feel like she was already home. When we’d wake, I’d find her laying in my practice baseball shirt and smelling good without the help of something bottled. When I told her she smelled spicy she laughed and said, what were you expecting, lavender?

“your inner rock collecting childhood self” by Julia on L and J’s couch

Friday March 9, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
BUNZ Trading Zone

draw a set of bunny ears on the front and the poofy tail on the back
collect enough flat rocks to draw all animals
cat whiskers and ears on the front
tail on the back
horse braid on the front
tail on the back
you get the idea
the tail goes on the back whenever there is a tail
like a coin
but you won’t be flipping these
they’ll be too heavy
you can skip them if they’re flat
there is room for some funny jokes in there
(cats not really liking the water, for a first idea)
(you can lead a horse to water…)
you can also give these rocks away
as little parting gifts
or put them in the loot bags at your child’s brithday party
they’ll think they’re getting something
like a chocolate
or an eraser
but they will get to display it on their mantle
forver reminding them
(their parents)
that you had time for your kid and then some
who doesn’t want more time
who doesn’t need more time
maybe we’ve jumped ahead and you do not have kids yet
you’re still a kid yourself
you’re still so damn young
(sorry, darn)
scrawl the name of the boy you like on the front
and write your name on the back
throw it into the water
and make a wish
they always go into the water

“If you want to go out with her or give her a bath” by Julia in the office chair

Thursday March 8, 2018
10:17pm
5 minutess
From a text

Lottie ain’t gonna fightcha, if ya’ll wanna take her out or give her a nice scrubbin’, be my guest, understand? She used to put up a stink, but I think the old gal has gotten tired and to be honest I think she likes the company different these days. When we first got her, boy could she kick a hole in all your hard work! The fences that Horace put up? Took him the whole damn summer. When he left for two minutes to fetch himself a congratulatory beer Lottie had already marked her exit route. You shoulda seen his face, my god. If he didn’t already feel bad for the poor thing, he mightta sold her that very day. Thing is, Lottie came from a bad group. The owners liked to use their animals for experiments in show business-Kind of impossible circus types.

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

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

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

“If you have any questions” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday March 6, 2018

11:20pm

5 minutes

Vancouver Yellow Cab

Ask me. Please God, ask me.

Don’t wait until the question is asking you. Don’t hold off until you think I might be ready. Ask me. In the middle of the night. In the middle of this sentence. In the seconds before a skydive. In the goodbye of our old-selves. In the presence of your heartache. In the drip of your throat. In the worst moment ever. In the 9 minute snooze meant for snoozing. Ask me. Please. Don’t wait. Don’t wish. Let me know how you feel. Let me know what you need. I will do my best to hear you. I will not make you feel bad. I don’t know how to judge you.

“shit and eggshell” by Julia on the 9

Sunday, March 4, 2018
10:13pm
5 minutes
My Life Smells Like This
Amy Bloom

You are no longer sleeping here-I beg the smart side of my brain to seize the opportunity: Paint the fucking thing shit brown and eggshell, a reminder of just how useless you were. The smart part of body buys the brushes, borrows a roller and a tray, sticks colour swatches to the wall. The other side, the middle sister side, sits on the edge of the bed and seizes into a chemical tear bath. The salty breath is held there like a brown paper bag was trying to keep it from floating away. Laboured. Inconsolable. The smart side of my brain has it all figured out: Leave, let leave, let live, live, leave. Do not pick up the phone. Do not keep slippers in the room that fit only the feet who walked out on you. Don’t do it. Don’t ask the other side for grace.

“The only thing I can come up with” by Julia in her bed

Thursday, March 1, 2018
7:38pm
5 minutes
No Idea
Dana ID Matthews

Today I told them that I didn’t know
That I want to know and that I wish I did but I don’t
And NO ONE GOT HURT
No one asked to see my badge, my credentials
No one gave me a sidemouthed remark
I felt worried and then I felt honest
and the authenticity parade was loud for all to hear
Later one of them told me that they didn’t know
That they want to know, but they don’t, and isn’t that okay?
Later still one of them told me they thought it was
important to admit when we don’t know
and maybe others might want to hear that too
that life is not easy and no one knows everything
AND THE ONLY THING THAT BURST WAS MY HEART
Here, take this make-shift answer, this feather
falling itchy onto my lap,
Find my discomfort and amplify it
Always remember that I lied right to your face
to save my own
I am glad that for once the only thing I could
come up with was the worthy and unveiled truth

“wedding bells at the airport” by Julia in her bed

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
10:40pm
5 minutes
recovery
jessie read

It was hard to sleep cause the bugs were busy burrowing into their favourite skin:
Elbow
Side of the face
Baby toe
A hard glance at paranoia might
Point you directly at the mosquito
Pest that everyone blames Noah for
not killing
Every light hair lifted by wind or arm is warning sign and restless nights
A lady bug would have been a welcome replacement
You don’t have to hear a ladybug plot murder right in front of you
But the night was closing in
Big day tomorrow and everyone watching and it would take
a weak prisoner if the mind stopped chirping
The way you might forget your room is haunted when the light is on

“for what little he had left” by Julia on V, J, W, and A’s couch

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

9:41pm

5 minutes

Ordinary

Curtis LeBlanc

He had to get his hip replaced at 28. That’s too young. I shouldn’t have to say that. He shouldn’t have to know it. He lost his hair first. Before everything. Too short to get away with it. People saw. Some of them were mean. A full head of hair does not a man make. I shouldn’t have to say that. He shouldn’t have to feel it.

When they took his car away from him they clipped his wings and put him in a cage. He was helping someone else out and he still had the law trying to keep him from flying. He was helping someone. I shouldn’t have to say that. I forgot to tell him he was enough. I don’t know why I think it’s my job but it feels like it is. Like he’d listen to me. I shouldn’t have to say it. But I didn’t anyway. I really should have said it.

“A queen travels” by Julia in T’s car

Saturday, February 24, 2018

12:57am

5 minutes

Winter Watch

Jennifer Elise Foerster

A queen travels in the backseat of a Honda Civic. The front two seats have zebra print covers. The heat doesn’t work. She falls asleep with her neck jammed to the right. She is mushed up, her bones all squeaky.

A queen takes her shoes off because her socks are wet from the tiny hole in her boot. She spreads herself out when she thinks she’s earned it. After reminding herself how many conversations she attempted to start; how many thick silences she endured. At the border she smiles at the man on duty. She lets the others do the talking. She shakes her head from highway sleep.

“may all the bones” by Julia in her bed

Friday, February 23, 2018

12:15am

5 minutes

And if there is a day of ressurection

Todd Davis

May all the bones rest easy in their skin

stop fumbling around in the orange

light lit by the soft falling snow

May they live happy in their home of flesh and sinew

May they give their postal code with pride

Under all those baggy sweaters they have been convincing each other of the safety outside themselves

No one is watching closely, they’d say

No one is paying attention

“There is a dream I remember having” By Julia on V, J, W, and A’s couch

Thursday, February 22, 2018

10:01pm

5 minutes

The Wilds of Sleep

Kat Duff

I am younger than nine

I remember just fine

Not the age or the stage

But the people and the place

It’s not scary

but it’s a nightmare

I go down to tell my mom

Having a bad dream again

But it’s my dad shaving in the bathroom

And he’s smiling

And I ask where she is

And he says right here

And then my dad enters again

And my dad stands beside my dad

And my dad shaves besides my dad

As in, my mom is my dad

As In, my dad is my mom

As in, my mom has been absorbed by my dad

As in, my mom is turned into his copy

Two dads, as good as he is, is not

a substitute for one of each

My mom signs my report cards

My mom toasts my bread

My mom reads me stories

Let’s me sleep on her side of the bed

“During a rest stop” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

11:46pm

The Ecology of Prayer

Fred Bahnson

When Erin got out of the truck her hands were still sticky. She told Cal to keep the engine running as a joke but he didn’t quite compute. She walked back to the passenger seat and held up her hands, then said, I’m going to be a minute. Cal got it. He could see his semen catching the light like dried glue. He watched her go into the gas station and wondered if he should be washing off too. He thought about the baby wipes Raisa used to leave all over the place, making everything smell like diapers. Erin tried not to touch anything until she reached the bathroom. She realized it was a mistake to walk along the row of Doritos.

“eat all of our food? Rude.” By Julia in N’s kitchen

Friday February 16, 2018
8:03pm
5 minutes
Flushed
David Delisca

When Harley stays with us on Tuesdays and Thursdays cause it’s closer to the hospital
he buys us hot dogs and
orders pizza
He doesn’t want us to make him anything special simply
because he’s dying
He’d rather eat out of the garbage
can than put us out any more
than he thinks he is already
On Mondays and Wednesdays
Mitch goes out to pick up
the groceries he thinks Harley
might like to snack on when
he thinks the rest of us aren’t
paying attention
Fruit by the foot and Reese’s
Peanut butter Puffs
Organic strawberries and Oreos
We stock the cupboards just
in case

“we were in the same grade together” by Julia on the 99

Thursday February 15, 2018

9:43pm

5 minutes

Lesbian at a Bachelor Party

Amber Dawn

I remember him when I think about my front tooth. When i accidentally hit it with a fork, or a glass of water. The last time it was knocked out was half a decade ago by a guy turning his car when he shouldn’t be. The first time was on a snow hill when I was seven years old. This kid in my grade came at me with his rotten mitts and punched me in my mouth. I guess it was already loose, but there was still a lot of blood. When I went to the bathroom to rinse out my mouth the tooth fell down the drain. I remember I was more angry at him for making me lose out on the tooth fairy money than I was that he attacked me for absolutely no reason. How do you prove to the tooth fairy that you lost your tooth when you actually lost your tooth?

“famous for flying around”by Julia in her bed

Wednesday February 14, 2018

2:38am

5 minutes

Anthony’s Glass Eye

Billeh Nickerson

Today he was wearing a giant crystal dangling on a thin leather rope. It was so close to his Adam’s apple I thought he was going to slice it right off. He told us all that his ukulele was a lesbian and that he used to be a winged thing in the life before this one.

I know that feeling. Of wanting to share everything inside my skull. But I don’t do it because I’ve seen what happens when you’re candid with everyone. They can’t handle the honesty. It makes them squirmy.

The person beside me was breathing so consistently and heavily that it started to activate my anxiety. I had to keep catching my own breath and plugging my one ear. If I had been honest I would have gotten in trouble for asking them to please try breathing with their mouth open or not at all.

“freckles on thighs and in-between.” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday February 13, 2018
6:07pm
5 minutes
Teachable Moment, 1986
kellee Ngan

you were the one who first told me about the freckle
on the inside of my bum cheek and I didn’t even
know it was there
I want to thank you now in retrospect for looking
as close at the inside of my bum cheek as you did
For looking as close at the inside of my chest
even when I couldn’t be happy for your happiness
or when I chose silence over words even though
you knew I knew words better
I want to thank you now for noticing then the trilion
tiny specks of me
the good the bad, the ugly ugly ugly
You were so patient until your patience bit
and when it did it took out a deep chunk
You always knew where to sink your teeth in
but that was your reward for paying such perfect
attention
You told me once that my tongue whipping down your
throat was not sexy and I didn’t have the thought
to tell you then that I was holding tightly
to a thread that held your head close to mine
And I was not anything close to ready
to letting it go in case you went with it
One day I opened my fingers and you went with it
but I thank you now
the first

“bellies full of unborn air” by Julia on her couch

Monday February 12, 2018
1:40pm
5 minutes
Mannequins
Emily Davidson

There is poetry in everything
Sadly singing
Love songs slowed down
A harmonica player on the curb
ushering out guests from the drink heavy bar, the heart heavy
We are bellies full of unnamed protests
our oceans only clear where the sky is
crossing the street as if we were still in another country
the one we learned to walk in
eyes forward, hands clasped, unafraid
Sundays turn into Sundays last
when the news comes in
another flight this evening
taking him away

“He couldn’t get enough of sky” by Julia on her couch

Thursday February 8, 2018
10:08pm
5 minutes
North America’s Favourite Zoo Animal
Stephanie Bolster

This boy flies in a plane
never seen the sky from
this high up
never seen his church
from this far away
Counting stars, Mamma,
I see them all the same as
down there
Makes a wish in case
one of them unexpectedly falls
And this one can be yours too,
Mamma, we can share it
This boy wears light blue hat
with bear ears sticking out
He sleeps in the soft of his
mother after watching the pink
and orange stripes fade
The gentle lady walks by and
catches herself off guard
by his tiny perfect face