“Party in the house” by Julia on her couch

Sunday November 18, 2018
8:41am
5 minutes
Overheard at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

I told them when you were gone I smoked your weed. This time when you are gone I’ll clean the house and have a personal party. I’ll try on all my clothes and take a photo of the good outfits. If my hair looks right. I told them when you were gone I fell asleep on the couch. That will probably happen again. No chicken wings this time since you threw away our grill. I believed you when you said it didn’t work anymore but I wished I had tried it out myself.
I told them I did not cry and I did not cry over you. I will cry this time over me and that is the beauty of you being gone. The writing songs as soon as I wake up, the sleeping on your side of the bed. The silence will be all mine. I told them when you were gone I ate ice cream and that will probably happen again too. And I’ll miss you. And I’ll wish you were coming home soon. And I’ll wish you had never left. And I’ll watch a bad movie that I wouldn’t want you to know about.

“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.

“Love rocks” by Julia on her couch


Thursday August 14, 2014
12:22am
5 minutes
from a girl’s purple t-shirt

Oh they say that when they have it, when they feel it, when they see it
Oh they say that when they know it, when they own it, when they free it
Oh they say those things, light on and good intentions
Oh they say those things, dreams out loud and good vibrations
Oh they, the ones who don’t have to do the missing
Oh they, the ones who don’t have to do the air kissing
Oh they, the ones who don’t need to pretend
Oh they, the ones who don’t need to wait
Love
Talking about Love
Talking about what everyone knows what I’m talking about
Paul Simon on the open road
Something about the loss of it and a window and the winds blowing
Talking about Love
Talking about the same old thing that poetry was built on
Hand-written letters in the mail, sent with two stamps and a kiss for good luck
Oh they say that when they have it, when they feel it, when they see it
Oh they say that when they know it, when they own it, when they free it
Love
Talking about Love

“Until everyone finished performing” by Sasha on the subway going East


Wednesday May 21, 2014
11:51pm
5 minutes
winnipeglive.ca

Marion knew it was her turn. She finished her warm beer. She closed her eyes. She took a deep breath. She tried to smooth her frizzy hair. It was so hot in there that she felt pools of sweat forming under her bum, under her breasts, under her fingernails. She wished that she hadn’t asked Sebastian to come. She wished she hasn’t said, “Sure!” when he asked if he could bring his roommate, Alice. “Now everyone’s gonna know I’m terrible…” She muttered. Sebastian leaned over and whispered, “You’re gonna be great!” She almost threw up but swallowed it. She saw her guitar, sitting by the stage like a bad omen. She knew it was her turn, but she couldn’t bring herself to move. “You’re up, Marion!” said Sebastian. She stood, bringing one lead leg out in front of the other. “I’m going to fall,” she thought, “I’m going to fall going up the three stairs just like Jennifer Lawrence but no one is going to think I’m charming or adorable…”

“As I held his hand he would have tremors and small jerking movements” by Julia at her desk


Wednesday February 5, 2014
10:10pm
5 minutes
Learning To Love You More
Harrell Fletcher & Miranda July


sometimes you wanna sing, have a song in your head
and all the rest seems unimportant
or just too plain to care about right then
so you do
you sing it out and you let the emotions from
well, your past
bubble up and from words that rhyme with each other
Shania Twain kind of words
words you never thought you’d hear your boyfriend defend
words you always told yourself you would never own
you do now
cause Shania knew what she was doing
and on some deep level, everybody knows that
you sing to the one who stole your heart
the one with eyes so blue you can only come up with lyrics about the sky
the one who loved you in secret but hurt you hard in front of the whole world
you may even sing about the wind or something
the breeze, the trivial, the dew?
probably the dew.
let’s be honest: the dew.
and you struggle to come up with a chorus
or a verse
or whichever didn’t come first
and you picture singing that to someone, anyone
one day in the future
your lover-
when you get one
or your kid-
when you are capable of one
and you hope it causes those lovey dovey tremors
those small ever so subtle shakes that keep
you singing those songs when you find them

“Behind the new shopping centre” by Julia on the 506 going east


Thursday December 19, 2013
10:48am
5 minutes
The Globe and Mail
Thursday December 19, 2013


Hal had me waiting in the car with the damn thing running because he said he’d be “two secs”. I hate when he says stuff like that. “two secs” sounds dirty no matter how innocently you mean it. So I was sitting there flipping through radio stations, seeking through them hoping to find a song I knew. I feel like I always have a hope for a certain song to come on. As if I deserve to hear it just by being in the car. I heard ones I knew but not ones I wanted to sing. I think that’s the difference. No one sits in a car alone and doesn’t sing! What’s the point of that! I like to belt it. Try to harmonize badly with good songs. Anyway Hal told me he’d be quick and to be honest I had lost track of time. I wouldn’t have minded if he stayed away a little while longer so I could find that song and just sing it out. I must have missed him calling my phone. Turned it to silent so I wouldn’t be tempted to check it every few minutes.

“I want to go in the automobile” by Julia on her bed


Monday June 10, 2013
1:31am
5 minutes
Far To Go
Alison Pick


I want to take a trip, road trip, sky trip, what have you, and go someplace that isn’t here, isn’t anywhere near here. I want to go in the automobile and I want to be the one who is driving. I want to pick my favourite music and blast it till the speakers blow. Let everyone else on the road know that this girl doesn’t take anything too seriously. That this one isn’t too precious with anything.
In the sky I’m less in charge, in control. I would pick the road over the sky any day.
Road trip. Let’s get in the car. Let’s scan the radio for a song you and I both can’t live without. We don’t have to keep it on that station if we don’t like all of them.

“the highest levels” by Julia on the 511 going south


Saturday June 8, 2013
5:18pm
5 minutes
Car and Truck June 1, 2013 volume 2, issue 21

Shoo fly don’t bother me. Shoo fly don’t bother me. Shoo fly don’t bother me. Cause I belong to somebody. Did you ever know that those were the words? I didn’t. I didn’t know someone thought a fly would give two sweet shits if you belonged to someone or not because those assholes are just looking for someone to poop on. But it’s a sweet song, sort of makes you love the city again when you think flies are things we concern our minds with. My dad used to sing that song but I’m pretty sure he didn’t know the words. He would make up whatever, sing whatever words he felt like that day. It was cute really, and none of us ever had the nerve to correct him. Either that or we just didn’t want to because his versions of songs were always better. That’s why I didn’t know the real lyrics to shoo fly. Unless the man in the line up at the GAP also didn’t know the words and was singing his kid a song he made up too.

“Flowers for Mama” by Julia at Second Cup


Wednesday June 5, 2013 at Second Cup
6:40pm
5 minutes
from the Public Sketchbook Project at Cafe Novo

She was sick, Mama was. On her birthday…so me and Angela decided to throw her a casual house party. Bedroom party, actually. Bedroom brunch. Mama didn’t want anything crazy or expensive, so Angela and I wrote her a silly song and sang it to her with her eyes closed while she clutched each of our hands. Mama loved when Angela and I got along long enough to make things like funny songs, and eggs by accident, which she coined when we were small. These eggs were half scrambled, half nobody knows. But Mama was excited by the fact that we didn’t chew each others’ eyes out while we did it. Angela and I have never really been close. Close enough that we fight, close enough that we know each other better than anyone, but we bicker. Probably because we’re the same, Mama says. It was Angela’s idea to get flowers for Mama. I wish I could take credit but she was always better at that stuff than me. She just knew when things would matter and when they wouldn’t. Mama loved the flowers, maybe most of all. Maybe more than the eggs and that’s what I was in charge of. Angela told me later, it was my rhyming that got Mama smiling the biggest. I didn’t correct her when she said that.

“find the right words” by Julia at Dark Horse on Spadina


Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at Dark Horse on Spadina
5:06pm
5 minutes
from a quote by Jack Kerouac

Say you love me. Say you love love love me. Say you need me. Say you need need need me. Say you want me. Say you want want want me. Say you fear me. Say you fear fear fear me.
All those words in a song. In a song that sounds like swing, jazz, blues, real and true.
All those words in a poem you write. In a poem that sounds like Di Brandt, same voice, no punctuation.
That’s what I’m looking for. Been searching for years. Almost one hundred tiny years. Dog years maybe. Get me a dog. Buy me a house. Treat me to a nice dinner for one and pick me up when I’m finished.
You can decide how badly I treat you. You can play the record on repeat, dance a circle around your ideas in your living room, and then paint them on the walls the way toddlers do with markers.
It’s because I say I love you. That I love love love you. Because I say I need you. That I need need need you. Because I say I want you. That I want want want you. Because I say I fear you. That I fear fear fear you.
I can’t be the only one. Lonely one. One and only lonely one.
You too.
You can be me so you can free me. I can’t be you. I’ve already tried. I’m asking you nicely. I’m making it rhyme. I’m not wearing day clothes and I’m letting my heart drip drip onto the floor.
Do you want me to spell it out?

“We are not captives” by Julia at her kitchen table


Sunday February 10, 2013
1:51am
5 minutes
Mud, River, Stone
Lynn Nottage


Getting a bit hazy in my head.
Had a million questions to ask before bed.
Wished you would have stayed.
Instead you just left.
There’s an empty space now.
Ow Ow. My empty space hurts now.
Where are you in this moment.
On a cloud, I hope. That would be nice.
It would be a shroud of doubt.
It would be nice.
I hear violins and I like them.
You never left a note like all the other men.
Didn’t know how to sign your own name?
That’s what I’ll tell people.
Fear of dyslexia and that is okay.
You won’t have an airport bar all to yourself in any other life.
So HA!
Ha! Things taste good when you’re not tasting.
Things taste good when you’re not wasting.
We are not captives!
You said that in your sleep once.
I listened, I wrote it down, I framed it, and put it on the mantle in the living room.
You never even saw it. Never noticed. Those were your words!
Getting a bit hazy in my head.
Had a million questions to ask before bed.
Wished you would have stayed.
Instead you just left.
There’s an empty space now.
Woah, woah, my empty space is singing now.
Songs of you, wouldn’t that be nice?
Wouldn’t that be something to tell your friends.
I can prove I’m enough.
Give me half a chance.
Come back and I’ll promise to do your laundry until we both fall down dead.
I’ll let you wash my hair the way you always wanted.

“Directly above and below” by Julia at the Eaton Centre


Friday, December 28, 2012 at the Eaton Centre
4:43pm
5 minutes
Rookie Year Book One
Edited by Tavi Gevinson


Somewhere above me, a sky sings. It’s the Lord’s prayer. The Lord of prayers that I don’t believe in anymore. It still sings. It sings for other people, not for me. I asked it to stop but you can’t control the whole world. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Someone else asks for it, and thy will be done, etc. etc. I’m just another number to them. The church, the people who pray, the believing ones. I’m the number 666 to most of them because they don’t see my logic or my rational. They like to pretend that I’m still a number worth saving. Worth turning into something holy, like 3, or 333, or some multiple of the aforementioned numbers that keeps me in the good books.
The good book is something I’d like to avoid if I can…
It kept me from nightmares when I was 6 (interesting) because I’d put it under my pillow to warn the underworld that I was armed and I wasn’t kidding. It kept me from ending up with a guy who would have ruined me when I was 16 (6 again. Curious.). And it kept me from falling off the edge when I was only hoping to land feet first when I was 18 (nobody’s perfect). Somewhere below me, a man in a red suit dances around, laughing, at every inappropriate thing I’ve ever said or done, and he’s taking credit for it as if it were his idea or initiative. The sky above me sings, the man below me dances. What song does he hear, I wonder sometimes. The one that plays from my youth, or the one that I’ve crafted since then?