“Rule # 17: Act a little stupid.” By Julia at the studio

Thursday June 14, 2018
5:03pm
5 minutes
The Queen Of Hearts
Kathleen Hawes

She is desperate to speak to someone in French. She goes over to Chantal’s desk because Chantal will talk to anyone and she wants to speak French too. Le Sandwich. I understopd that one, Sans Probleme. Whatever. Let them speak in the secret language that I should know after four years of taking it in high school. After getting the French award at my grade 8 graduation.

At first I thought she was a miserable cunt who hated that I shared a cubicle with her. Maybe she thought I typed too loudly. Maybe she resented my youth. I can see now she might not have known how to express herself properly in English. I wish I didn’t spend so much time hating her back.

She smiles at me on her way to Chantal’s desk. She puts a little French in my name as she passes.

“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

“I am numb to you.” By Julia on her bed

January 11, 2018
10:41pm
5 minutes
Midwinter
Natalie Crick

It’s a cab ride after a long ride of not speaking. And you are still not speaking to me. I have done all the heavy lifting. At the table, with strangers, painted you in the pinkest of lights. I was talking shop like you’re the bike, like you’re the ride. And this whole ride you’ve been avoiding me. Trying your best to bite your tongue and let them hear you noble. And you forget me in the middle of it all. Arm outstretched, fork untapped, drink unclinked, and you do not smile. You make a face at them that looks like good and looks like great and then with me you are alone again. Unriddled by my questions, unannounced as if the couch owned your legs. I am mad for being mad. And for being right. And for being nothing but good. So why does it feel so damn exhausting-to nap during the day and wake up still unloved by you. So tiring to keep this back pocket free in case you slip your hand in, and when you do not ask me how my day was, I know to check for stolen change. Hand in my pocket to protect you against the yell machine, the perfect plane, soaring right back down after take off.

“Calls of guilty thrown at me” by Julia at her desk

Monday November 27, 2017
9:24pm
5 minutes
Cherry Wine
Hozier

If it weren’t for the husk of corn left in the sink
the distinct sting between us: barbed wire, fenceless,
I wouled have decided to stay.
Instead I left and gave you the buzzing shell
still hot from the guilt of not saying goodbye.
You didn’t know the absence well enough.
You knew the actor, she was brilliant.
On nights like Tuesday and 6pm
the space hung in the kitchen is never
big enough for the both of us.
On nights like these you mmm
too easily at the kiss of me.
You always start speaking right
in the middle
of my hand trying to write you.

“Powerful, self-actualized women should feel no shame” by Julia on F’s couch

Sunday November 12, 2017
9:38pm
5 minutes
Communion
Bell Hooks

When speaking
When listening
When choosing not to have a baby
When changing her mind about having a baby
When saying no
When saying yes
When crying
When asking the bus driver for help
When helping
When wanting to be alone
When wanting to be with him
When wanting to be with him even though he still forgets
When speaking
When listening
When making dinner
When waking up
When brushing her teeth
When taking a long shower
When touching herself
When asking to be touched
When deciding not to give an answer
When deciding not to justify her feelings
When not justifying her feelings
When saying no
When saying yes
When speaking
When listening
When wanting someone to hold
When wanting to be fucked and never called again
When fucking and not calling
When talking about her dreams
When breaking down in the supermarket
When buying a box of cookies

“Improve your English” by Julia in her bed


Thursday March 23, 2017
11:30pm
5 minutes
from an ad on the bus

I can’t explain it well
enough with words.
English words.
The ones I got stuck with.
They are either too short
or too long, too young or
too old. None of us are
speaking the same language.
Even when we are.
What if ‘can’t’ changes shape as we age; what if ‘nos’ become ‘Nos’ as we shed salty skin.
In other languages that I know
I can speak things
I cannot say in the tongue
that I have learned.

“developmentally disabled adults” by Sasha at her desk


Thursday October 2, 2014
5:14pm
5 minutes
from a SSHRC proposal

I wish that I could speak these words to you, in a whisper, in your left ear, cuz it’s closer to your heart. I wish that I could speak these words to you, and only you, you and me alone in a room smelling eachother like animals, my breath like earl grey tea, your armpits like oak trees. I wish that I could speak these words to you, eye to eye, transmitting the ever present light, transmitting the ever present now. I wish that I could speak these words to you, belly to belly, no words actually necessary, but the icing on the carrot cake, cinnamon scented, cream cheese and maple syrup.