“your inner rock collecting childhood self” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday March 9, 2018
5 minutes
BUNZ Trading Zone

Now that we’ve had all this time
Now that we haven’t spoken in almost a year
Or has it been more
I’m terrible with dates
I think it’s been more

I recognize that this was
always meant to happen
I don’t mean it in a morbid way
but you were supposed to go your way
(Garage sales, cheap candy, BUNZ, ribeyes)
I was supposed to go my way
(I can’t easily classify my own WAY
I’ll leave that task to you)

Sometimes I miss you
when I’m through Chinatown
or laughing at how nastily someone eats
in public
That’s when I miss you

Sometimes I forget about you
and I stopped feeling bad about that
about six weeks ago
Took a really long time to stop
feeling bad about forgetting


“Space Womb” by Julia at Kits beach

Sunday October 15, 2017
5 minutes

Galaxy inside me oozing star dust and making plans

Staining my finger tips Milky Way

So when I stamp myself on the backs of all the envelopes I leave a trail of meteor magic behind.

My body amazes me every time I think about it. She is busy holding another human in her space womb. Making space for something good to come, preparing the introductions.

Hello world, this is tiny human and she is going to be a force of fresh air and binaural melodies. She’s going to change the planet and I’m going to be her keeper until she’s big enough to see. In this space womb I am weaving a promise through the umbilical cord and into her tiny soul. I play the music, everybody’s favourite song, and she dances inside me till she sleeps.


“You waited for me to let you learn” by Julia at her desk

Wednsday September 6, 2017
5 minutes
Yours Is This
Julia Pileggi

It feels like I have been here before
in this moment between Mars and Monday
you are here too like a cup of water
or a good pencil
We chose this space and this timeline to wander together
I know your hands less than I should
You will likely forget mine when I die
Of course I can’t pretend that I won’t
All true things have death attached
And still I hope you don’t go first
Unless your body could use the rest
in which case I will keep my arms strong
so I may hold your last breath
the last time your body builds a memory
I will be the softest bed you ever had to leave


“it’s too much sugar” by Julia in the rideshare

Tuesday July 11, 2017
5 minutes
overheard in the ride share

He pulls out a Kit Kat and starts offering it around. Everyone is saying no. I know I don’t trust him the moment I get into the van. He is complaining about his phone plan. He is loud and obnoxious. He is trying to flirt with the woman beside him who is being polite when he complains about his phone plan. I want the Kit Kat but I do not want to take anything from him. When my seatbelt lock gets stuck below the seat, I ask the driver to stop. The Kit Kat guy tells me we aren’t going to get into a crash and die or something. I say, then you can sit here. He says he would.
He offers his chocolate around again, appalled at the lack of positive response. I know I do not trust him. He says, don’t you know it’s rude to say no when someone offers you something?
And my skin tightens.


“Songs Of Protest” by Julia at her desk

Sunday July 2, 2017
5 minutes
Singing in Dark Times-a Manual for Encoding Dissent
Bhaswati Ghosh

The group of people and all their bikes taking up 3 logs at the beach
sitting in front of us and to the left
playing their casual yet persistant tunes
entitled to so much sand and sky
and then a duo of cropped halter
bikes, a bike radio, elevator soft and poisonous
scoff at the group of people and their volume
One of us says
You snooze you lose
The first assholes are always the best assholes
They get priority, first to breach the code
None of us move our sandied feet
roll our eyes at the middle place we find ourselves in
too caught up with space and how much we take in public
wishing we could all untie our tongues from the backs of our heads


“Is there somewhere else she could go?” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday June 30, 2017
5 minutes
Overheard on the 7

I think about space a lot. I always have. I was adjusting lighting and moving chairs around from the time I could walk. I was bossing people around. I think about how bodies move in space, and if there’s enough space, and space space, like Milky Way Orion’s Belt space. I sometimes lie awake and think about the baby I really hope to have one day and how much space she will take up in her lifetime. Is there space for what I want to do and say and make? I often get in the way of my space, shrinking and sucking and squishing so that I take up less of it.


“you need space sometimes.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday January 28, 2017
5 minutes
This One Summer
Jillian and Mariko Tamaki

You need space sometimes, and when you do I know it because of the smell behind your ears. I try my best to sniff there without you noticing, because when you need space it sets you off when I come that close. I make myself scarce, staying in the living room reading my book or quilting for Ann and Bob’s wedding. You need space sometimes, and I knew this when we started, I knew it through and through. I asked you once, a long time ago, if you could use your words so I didn’t have to go sniffing around. You said you’d try. If you did, I didn’t know it. I kept sniffing.


“you need space sometimes.” by Julia on her couch

Saturday January 28, 2017
5 minutes
This One Summer
Jillian and Mariko Tamaki

If he asks you what you’re up to or what your plans are, tell him you have a meeting with yourself and that you’ve got to keep it. Tell him that you need to be alone or without him or some space sometimes and do not apologize for needing it. Do not justify or bargain. If he doesn’t like it, tell him too bad. Tell him you don’t care. Tell him if he doesn’t like it, there’s the door. Tell him if he’d rather be with someone who needs only him then he should go right now and try to make a deal with the devil or something so he can find her.
If he decides the movie, or what you’re having for dinner, or the flavor of ice cream then tell him fine but tomorrow not so much. If he decides what you wear, if you’re talking too loud, when you’re allowed to talk about yourself, then tell him that it’s over.


“it really is used” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday September 5, 2016
5 minutes
from a schedule

Sometimes I think about you. I wonder strange things. Are you drinking enough water? Do you have any tattoos? I don’t wormhole down a Google search or a Facebook stalk. I languish in the space between questions about how you might have changed, the shape of your lips, the smell of the back of your neck. It is there were I find stillness, in the wondering. It is there I find comfort, and trust, and faith in the goodness of us. Are you drinking enough water?


“everything I possibly can” by Julia at Starbucks

Tuesday July 12, 2016 at Starbucks
5 minutes
from a text

I sit on the edge of my nothingness like it’s a cloud and I’m in love with it. I am cotton candy insides and I’m melting away leaving a trail of rainbow guts and tie-dyed blood. There is nothing wrong with my nothingness and for the first time in all the time there ever has been, it is peaceful instead of not. Acceptance of nothingness is a road with bumps and potholes and with poor lighting sometimes but usually free of other travelers because it’s a long one and there is enough room for everybody. There is a space now between yesterday’s pain and tomorrow’s worry and it’s all here all now- all everything I’ve been avoiding- because feelings are attached to beliefs and those things get stuck pretty hard as a system that limits me if I let it. I dangle my feet off the edge of nothingness now like it’s a dream and I’m no longer trying to catch it. No flash photography here to capture it, just smiling into the places that can be so easily filled with words words words.


“okay okay okay” by Julia on the reading chair

Sunday, July 10, 2016
5 minutes
Overheard on the street

It’s the eleventh time (maybe the twelfth) that he’s told me he loves me today and it’s not even noon yet. I think he’s covering up for something. Overcompensating like he does sometimes when he becomes afraid of me. I catch a glimpse of myself being hugged in the mirror, (bent low) by his unavoidable embrace. I say, okay okay okay and he lifts me up, hurt on the inside, and in his eyes. You don’t want me to love you? I catch reflection again and there is hurt on me too. I do, I say, just not parallel to the floor like that, not crumpled up in a ball that makes my back ache. Sorry, he says, I didn’t mean to hurt you. Okay okay okay, I say, I know, no one ever means to. I give myself a time out so I can be far away from him and his love that doesn’t know how to feel rejection. I don’t want to be the thing that twists his insides when he’s happy and makes him drift off to sleep dreaming about my funeral. I tell myself, in exactly five minutes (maybe six), I will go back over there and squeeze him with the honest love I’ve been keeping from him.


“and lifted right up” by Julia on her couch

Saturday June 18, 2016
5 minutes
All My Puny Sorrows
Miriam Toews

Caught me in the middle of ‘researching’ various porn sites and I got mad at you for barging in unannounced. Kendra, you said, I live here. Do I really have to announce anything? I was embarrassed, obviously, that’s why people get defensive and upset in the first place, but I was not about to tell you that.
Listen, Matt, I don’t think a text or a phone call is a very big inconvenience just to tell me you’re on your way or that you’re 5 or 10 minutes out, or that you’ll be disturbing me and just wanted to give me a heads up.
Disturbing you? You asked.
Yes, I told you, or disrupting the flow.
I didn’t know there would be so many arbitrarily chosen rules popping up when you moved in.
I’m just saying we share the space and it’d be nice to be aware of each other.
Fine, Kendra. You said. You were on your way back out the door. I’d like all parties present to be informed that I am, ANNOUNCING, that I am leaving for the night, and all parties present can go back to being a huge dick for no reason, by herself.


“Let’s roll, babycakes” by Julia at her dining table

Thursday April 14, 2016
5 minutes
overheard on Arbutus

I want you to beg me to stay when I tell you I’ll be sleeping at my mother’s place tonight. I want you to get on your knees and apologize for being a dick so I can forgive you and then apologize for being a dick back to you. I’m angry but I won’t be later but I don’t know how to turn this thing around before later is later. I feel like I’ve pushed all your buttons and there’s no easy rewind let’s pretend that never happened one to press. Why don’t you come with one like that? I am at the door with my overnight bag and I want you to throw me a banana if you’re not going to try to keep me from going. Let me know you still care about my potassium intake even when we’re hating each other. Even when you’re secretly glad that I won’t be sleeping beside you tonight to remind you of this stupid fight we both engaged in when we were both enraged about the thing we won’t remember in the morning.


“your comfort and ours” by Julia at the pastry shop on Davie

Saturday April 9, 2016
5 minutes
from an email

Sylvia stays over for a night puts her feet up on the coffee table cooks with Remi’s fresh herbs and his signature sauces drinks my wine and dusts my curtains sleeps in late forgets to hang the bath mat over the edge of the tub stays up late talks on the phone to her psychic friend hangs my photos irons my shirts tells Remi that she’s menstruating tells Remi how to tell me he loves me in sign language listens to me cry about my mother’s surgery holds my hand when I lie about hating my new dance class sleeps over again stays for a week and then another.


“good times” by Julia at her island

Wednesday, December 23, 2015
5 minutes
from the back of a CD

Memories are being made in our perfect little apartment
I can see you from across the room and I like that I can take in every part of you now
Before I think I forgot to make eye contact with you
We sat side by side so we got used to staring straight ahead
It was more comfortable that way
Now I can see you from a distance
See your smile
Your strength
Your genuine desire to help me
Memories are being made here
We sit on our properly sized couch and remember how things used to me
We are learning to remember our hardships as the golden thread in our tapestry
The through line in our story
The magic of perspective and just-desserts
We can see the mountains from our bedroom window
We can see the ocean from our dining room table
We can see the future of our love expanding when it finally has the space to grow
These are good times
These are our good times


“Let’s make a list” by Julia on the subway going west

Friday February 13, 2015
5 minutes
Overheard at Great Dane Coffee

We’ve got time and we’ve got flowers
We’ve got love and we’ve got hours

Let’s make a list! She squeals.
Let’s write down all the items we need for our home to be perfect!
Okay you start! He sees she’s excited.
I can’t! You go. You go!
Okay, he starts, Lights!
Mood lights! Around the bed?
A double sink!!
Oh my god. YES.
To say we’ve made it!
Double sinks scream success!
We’ve made it!
Yeah baby.
What else, you go!
Oh-a good couch!
One that pulls out for guests!
All the guests in the world will sleep on our perfect pull out couch!


“Let’s make a list” by Sasha on the B-line

Friday February 13, 2015
5 minutes
Overheard at Great Dane Coffee

Let’s make a list of the places where you live in me
Equal parts below and above the bellybutton
Where you often stick your pinky finger
Amazed at it’s depth
When I put my nose in yours
It smells like summer
A small remembrance of yesterday’s sweater
I collect it
A pillow for a spider
The good luck kind

In the space where we feel
Below the sternum
The solar plexus
That fragile brave hollowness
You live there
Snuggled like a puppy
Curled around yourself


“virtual environments” by Julia at Katie’s flat in London

Tuesday December 9, 2014
5 minutes
from the MLA research guide

Okay so Jordie got a tablet for his birthday and he says there’s an app for literally EVERYTHING. I believe this cause he’s not allowed to tell a lie or he won’t be able to have KD and hotdogs for dinner and that’s his favourite so he always tells the truth. Jordie says that you can watch yourself in an alternate reality if you really wanted to and see how your face looks and how your mind thinks in a different dimension. He says that if you are ready for it, you can also see others there. Jordie says that in a matter of years we will all have a space brain and a human body but we won’t really need our human bodies cause space brains don’t need anything at all but time and mystery. He said mystery but what I think he meant was magic. He gets those things confused sometimes. Mostly because he thinks they’re the same thing.


“Speeding through space…” by Julia at her kitchen table

Wednesday October 29, 2014
5 minutes
Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman

Like a rocket on fire and a mission to complete
You go straight for the chest
Exploding it open
Right through to the heart
Pumping life blood
Pumping patience
You stare at it with the first quietness you’ve ever had
You watch it thud
You watch it pulse
You fall in love with it
All its depth
And all its power
Your burning mission now over
Your new mission
To hold it
To help it
To protect it
To fix it
You put aside your invasive tools
You throw away your distraction manual
And you wait until it’s ready for you


“Speeding through space…” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday October 29, 2014
5 minutes
Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman

There you are
Speeding through space
Reminding yourself of your favourite childhood mug
The one with the small red flowers and the round handle perfect for your thumb
There you go
Leaving again
Not looking back
All of your best things stored in boxes and taped with tape
Maybe dusty now
But who knows
There you are
Shaking hands with a man dressed in grey
Looking him in his eyes and trying to see if he’s telling the truth
He’s telling the truth?
There you are
Making jokes like you know the language here
Putting your hands in your pockets and feeling for change
Telling me that you’ve never been so in love
Whistling a song your father used to sing


“Last date to withdraw” by Julia at The Common

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at The Common
5 minutes
The UBC student services handbook

You can look inward and find the buttons. Press the buttons and look inward. Something there you want? Something there you don’t recognize?
Press the buttons.
Look inward.
You know how to play the game already. You don’t need to relearn anything. Maybe you went away too long and now there’s nothing left to know. Maybe what was inward travelled onward and outward and maybe there’s no room left for what was there and for what is there now.
Is that so horrible a thing to believe?
That time changes inside?
That time changes insides?
And if you go away too long you need to think of what you’ll find to replace what you had because otherwise there’s a lot of empty space and it doesn’t do well there inside. Emptiness is meant for the bottom of a picnic basket after a successful day at the park. That kind of emptiness will do just fine.
But inside yourself, looking inward, you must fill that space with something that you love.
Otherwise you will miss your before you and you will not learn to love your new you.


TJ & Sam by Julia at the these five minutes: writer’s workout at the Fringe Creation Lab

Sunday February 2, 2014 at The Fringe Creation Lab
5 minutes
these five minutes: writer’s workout

They were brothers–not really–well, really, but not really. Not blood. Just blood brothers in expression–when you open up an old paper cut, or scratch a patch of skin back to make it bleed–rub your wounds into each other’s and promise something of yourselves to the other. For example: I’ll always be there for you, man. Or: No matter what, bro, no matter what.
It feels like when two dudes do this kind of thing they also automatically repeat key phrases like the MSP on a triple A baseball team…Atta boy, atta boy.
It’s nice.
TJ and Sam were like that–only contrary to common belief, they didn’t say anything when their blood was mixing together. They both closed their eyes and just felt it. TJ and Sam had that kind of bond where they could sit in an open space with their blood dancing–with another guy’s blood, and feel a connection without having to say “No homo” just to ease the silence, the magic. They gave it its space–they gave their blood a minute before they said a single thing.


“Mom forbade me to go” by Julia on her couch

Sunday, June 23, 2013
5 minutes
Reader’s Write
Sun Magazine, July 2013

Told Ma I was going to Mars. She flipped her shit. I was all, Ma, don’t worry, I’ll be something to remember. She was all, Nadine, don’t start with me. Don’t you start with me. And so I told her we’d drop the topic and we could discuss whatever she wanted. She was all, Fine, Nadine, we’ll discuss something else. But how could you in your right mind decide you were going to go to Mars? I was all, Ma, seriously, you can drop it any time now. I’m sorry I didn’t include you in my decision, but I was pretty certain you’d do the thing where you don’t approve and I’d feel bad for going against your wishes. Ma was quiet for a second, and I’m serious when I say that, and then she was all, How am I supposed to visit you, Nadine? You want me to take a 5 year training course with a bunch of lunatics so I can then come visit you and by that point you’re probably going to be dead already, because let’s get serious, how long could someone like you last? And then I’ll be stuck there too for the rest of my life, at least 7 years, because, Nadine, I’m a tough cookie, that’s where you get it from. And I was all, Okay, Ma, you’re going insane. It’s good to freak out, because I know you’ll miss me, but you also have to learn how to let go. Since what I’m doing is making history. Huh? Did you ever consider that?