“Christian Science Reading Room” By Julia on the 9


Wednesday August 23, 2017
11:07pm
5 minutes
from a storefront on West Broadway

At the Christian Science reading room I wait for Melody to meet me in the lobby. She says she’s coming with a big bag and to get ready. Melody’s ideas make me sweat. She’s been planning something for a while it she says she needs my help now. I always get sucked into Melody’s warped world. I swear she’s not from here. Like, I’d say Vancouver but what I mean is earth. I’m worried she’s got something slightly off centre in her bags. A little light spray painting would be ideal but I know it’s going to vibrate more than that. Everything she does has a pulse. If the pulse of something dangerous were trapped in a bag for too long.

“We assumed he did.” By Julia at the studio


Tuesday August 22, 2017
8:40pm
5 minutes
Equus
Peter Shaffer


Got to the street light we agreed upon and lit up before he could get get there.
The quiet twitched my ear. Listening for night crawlers. The ones with the feather step.
Smoked slow till the light swallowed me. Bathed me. Made me thicker-skinned.
Hair a dusting of lamp and ash. He would smell it on me quick. Always looking for that kind of thing.
Assumed he did on account of all those backs up. Too many. Only two arms on him. Not enough to fend off.

“There is nothing here” by Julia at her desk


Thursday May 25, 2017
10:08pm
5 minutes
This is It
James Broughton


I have waited for inspiration to strike
like the match of missed connections
like the booklet of nose aids on high alert
There is no force of flame, nor flicker
There is nothing here that looks like me

According to a long lost diary from my
mother’s storage locker we all gave up
on her when we believed that she was fine
Of course we didn’t think to ask further
to make sure that she was being honest
If I could defend us without seeming
defensive, I would say we didn’t want to know
the truth and so we let her smile

We gave her short hugs like they wouldn’t
be our lasts
Called her twice a month
business as usual, instead of once a week
And she thought it would be too much
to ask for more
And she wanted to ask for more.

“ungratefulness” By Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 24, 2017
12:07am
5 minutes
English
Amber O’Reilly


It’s easy to forget just how equal machine
and magic kiss up my body
Some nights the moon falls before
I can get a handle on things
and I make plans to trash the guest room
I am visiting
I muck my feet on the welcome mat
and crack a bottle of beer
right next to the bathtub and I don’t
say thank you to the steam
because the steam is simply doing its job
I don’t say thank you to the clean when it
shouldn’t be hard to scrub
Some nights I remember to notice
that my body is fighting to protect me
and silence is sometimes softer
than compliments

“I was not able to hold high notes that long” By Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 23, 2017
10:05pm
5 minutes
from a YouTube comment on a Mariah Carey music video

Heaven help me–if Larry ever offered to do the groceries I would know that something was terribly wrong at the centre of things. I don’t know who’s in control, if it’s NASA, if it’s Horoscope writers, or what not, but we’d be in trouble that’s for sure. Larry has a groove print the size of his ass on the sofa and it is notcibly sat in but he doesn’t care. He doesn’t think about that kind of thing. No, he can’t think about teaching his body to even find a different part of the room to eat chips in, let alone offer to help me out in anyway.
Not on his own, at least. Larry’s the kind of man who requires a lot of prompting and I’m not saying that’s his mother’s fault or what not, I’m sure she’s a real ham-sweetheart. But his father? If I’m going to go blaming anyone for the permanent Larry-groove in my sofa, I’m going to go ahead and blame him: the iceberg lettuce who didn’t think responsability applied to him.

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


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

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

“I lied all the time” by Julia at her desk


Thursday May 11, 2017
10:04pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Louis C.K
Sunbeams of The Sun (May 2017 issue)


five years old, Nonna visits,
leaves her face creams tubed in the upstairs bathroom
curious, five years old, sneaks into the upstairs bathroom
counts the black tile, counts the white,
opens the cream, smears it on, five years old,
closes it, runs away to pretend that nothing is out of the ordinary
mother, thirty-five years old, yells at all of us
because one of us, five years old, left the tubes partially open
Nonna wants to know who would, since she wouldn’t
five years old wants to blame it on the upstairs bathroom ghost
thirty-five years old asks flame on lips for the last time,
shoots missile from eyes, no prisoners
five years old, scared, ashamed, caught, decides to lie
blames it on the upstairs bathroom ghost,
learns guilt, confesses
one hour later

“they fought amongst themselves” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday May 10, 2017
9:42pm
5 minutes
True Confessions Of Adrian Albert Mole
Sue Townsend


It took a long time for us to go back and visit
the pussy willow tree overgrowing the back deck
so much they chopped it down in all the impulsive
places
the gold stars sponge painted on the downstairs bathroom walls
the office converted into a nursery
the playroom now belonging to the boy who once
convinced me to show him my orange star underwear
They smiled sweetly at us like they weren’t responsible
for making us move to a better town filled with
worse people
they never apologized for the pussy willow tree
or the black berry bush
or the playroom
they volly whispers back and forth
about asking us if we’d like something to eat,
a danish or a banana

“What is rooted” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 9, 2017
11:02pm
5 minutes
Tao Te Ching
Translated by Stephen Mitchell


somewhere between a beautiful conversation and
a shot-to-the-heart epiphany
you are unfolding to me
beneath a hot cloud
I am here too and I am on fire
and you are coming undone

It is now and maybe only
now that I do not feel sorry for
myself for feeling
so much
Your face betrays your every kindness
and this is what trusting feels like
this is the circle that happiness draws

when we dance into peace offerings with wobbly knees
we do not know this hard wood floor
but these walls have seen us try

“I can bearly remember a thing” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday March 25, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
From a fridge notepad

When this song comes on, it reminds me of you like that summer was last summer. It wasn’t. It was seven summer’s ago, and I didn’t even have a good time, mostly, but there’s something about you, there’s something about then, that catches like a bubble in my throat. I cough. Can I finally dislodge this? Can I finally blow you away?

I consider emailing you, with this song, in this coffee shop. But I don’t. I don’t need to write another chapter to that story.

“test audience” by Sasha at the little desk at Bowmore


Thursday December 15, 2016
6:25pm
5 minutes
From a recruitment email

The clock in the entrance way is off by seven minutes and it aggravates you. When it chimes you wonder where on the list it says that one of your duties is to wind it. You wore sensible black shoes today, after Mrs. Smithers commented on your red boots yesterday.

“Well, well, well…” She’d said, looking you up and down. Her roots were showing, clawing their way back in. The kettle had boiled and she’d made herself a Jasmine tea.

“Are those appropriate for the office?” She’d asked, dropping a sugar cube into her “WORLD’S BEST MOM” mug.

“I thought so,” you’d said, peeling a clementine.

“Hey hey hey” by Sasha in Cowichan Bay


Tuesday November 15, 2016
11:28am
5 minutes
A Rufus Wainwright song


Gus makes the sign of the cross and says, “Well fuck me, I think she’s a keeper!” You feel sick to your stomach but you don’t talk about it. You mush garlic into Becel and spread it on the baguette that Mom pocketed from the restaurant. When you go there, Marla reminds you that you used to nap on the banquette at the back. Gus didn’t know that Mom was bringing you in on her shifts. He would’ve lost his shit. When you sit down at the table, Mom is nodding off and your Gina is trying her best not to cry and you are glaring at Gus and wondering if you’ll all survive the weekend.

“what was that process like?” By Sasha at her desk


Sunday November 13, 2016
8:27pm
5 minutes
From an interview question

I keep seeing pictures of our future and your
brows are furrowed “So here we are”
I can’t see everything in focus
I see windchimes and mushrooms and candle wax
Maybe you’re calling the new me the one with
more patience and breath that smells like artichokes
Maybe you’re thinking about
the past Now
Soon all this will be forgotten from our minds
but remembered by the elephant hearts
that I cradle like unborn daughters
dreaming in their soft sleep
dreaming this future into Now

“unable to” by Julia at Lindsay’s house


Wednesday, March 30, 2016
4:49pm
5 minutes
From an e-mail

Can’t keep my head on straight it’s a spinning
Got those blues again my heart’s a singing
I have a lot of lists saying try me try this try that and I don’t know what I think or if I think or what to think about any of it
Can’t keep my head on straight it’s a spinning
Got those dark blues shades of green my heart’s a singing
I said I would I said I wouldn’t I said I could but now I feel like I couldn’t
Even if I tried
Can’t keep my head on straight it’s loose and wobbling it’s a spinning
Got those blueish blues those greenish hues my heart’s a singing
Can’t cannot unable unstable
Can’t cannot unable unable

“Transcendence demands sacrifice” by Sasha at Mountainview Cemetary


Sunday, October 25, 2015
3:06pm
5 minutes
from a write up about Rich Shapero

The graves are in a row
row row row
your boat
gently
down the stream

Transcendence demands sacrifice
Sacrifice demands selflessness
Selflessness demands consciousness
Consciousness demands radio waves
from your heart to your gut to your crotch
I digress
The grass is greener than anticipated
The graves are sporadic
here and there
no method
Surprised smile
I meet a man laying flowers
on the X marking the spot of someone he’s loved
Twenty three petals
Ten fingers
One sun high

“it didn’t work all that well.” By Julia in Brooklyn


Sunday, July 26, 2015
12:01am
5 minutes
From an email

Leaving myself behind
Yeah
Thought it would be easy
Yeah
Thought it would be a walk in the park
Now I’m laughing
Yeah
Cause I know it’s a joke
Yeah
But before I didn’t
Wouldn’t have wanted to take it wrong
I’m stuck with this lot
Half wit
Quarter wit
I’m not going anywhere
No
Not anywhere but where I am
Didn’t work out so well
Had other plans without knowing it
Yeah
Stuck with this face and this body too
Can’t forget a truth once you learn it
Can’t un-hear a bell once you’ve rung it
Can’t pretend
No
Can’t keep all the lies close
No

“bowled over” by Julia on the 505 going west


Monday, April 20, 2015
11:34pm
5 minutes
from the Cultch Season Announcement

Mallory was listening to Sarah Harmer on repeat. She had this one song on the go that she just couldn’t stop playing. She may have had it on her New Year’s playlist for 2009 and it may have reminded her of her first love, Sean, though he probably didn’t even know who Sarah Harmer was. Sean was only slightly taller than Mallory and for the first time in her life she didn’t care that he wasn’t over 6 feet. She would have accepted anything about Sean because he had this cute way of swaying back and forth to a hidden track in his head. He was goofy and he was sweet, and he respected women because he had 4 sisters. He also moved away when things got real for them. Not just once, but twice. Mallory thought he’d come back just like the first time, but he didn’t. He wanted a simpler life. Not one that required breaking one’s heart open again and again.

“32 million tonnes” by Julia on the tube


Saturday December 20, 2014
11:18am
5 minutes
from a pamphlet about the pipeline ”

-That’s what Lucinda said to me. I don’t know if it’s true, but apparently, men are attracted to shorter women.
-she’s a liar Sydney, she always lies. Probably said that to you just to make you feel bad
-you’re saying you don’t believe her?
-that girl is made up of 32 million tones of fake, that’s what I’m saying.
-but what if she’s right? About men? And they’ll never be attracted to me?
-it’s rubbish. It doesn’t make any sense so if you want to believe nonsense that’s up to you.
-what are you doing for Christmas then?
-wake up at mum’s, home breakfast, then spend the day with her, then dinner and sleep over at yours
-is daisy coming?
-who is daisy?
-the girl with the glitter hair
-oh right, her real name is Holly. I call her Holly anyway.
-do you want a bindi?
-yeah
-I have to remember if I brought one for you or not. I think I did. Yeah, here, I knew I did.