“When there’s peace, it’s too vague” by Sasha on her living room floor


Tuesday August 8, 2017
9:46pm
5 minutes
The Balcony
Jean Genet


I want to impress you
I don’t want you to see my doing it
When there’s peace it’s too vague it’s too far away
Barcelona from Saskatoon
Yellowknife from Johannesburg
I wonder what you’re wearing now that you live south of
the Equator
I wonder if you still wear those aviators
cowboy boots
ripped jeans
I wonder if you’re still carving soap stone into mermaids
Catching babies as a hobby
Spinning wool
I want to impress you
even when you’re not here
even when we haven’t spoken in twelve years
my body floods

“Get just the right pick-me-up” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday March 15, 2016
12:00am
5 minutes
pulpliterature.com

You go to sleep early because you’ve been up since 6:27am and you say that the mountains have made you tired again. I can hear you breathing from behind the living room wall. You sound like you’re trying to send me tiny signals as I stay up to paint my nails. I don’t like to go to sleep after you but it’s been happening more and more these days. I am racing against daylight and I can’t afford to take short cuts right now. I know your body’s heat by this time. I know that there’s a softness there in the curve of your back that fits most of my organs perfectly. I picture that spot while I think simultaneously about chicken thighs with preserved lemon or that surprise weekend getaway golden ticket you gave me for my birthday last June. You told me to pick wherever I wanted to go. I told you we could close our eyes, point on the map and go where our fingers land.

“So sweet and so intense” by Julia at Katerina and Ben’s


Sunday November 16, 2014
11:19pm
5 minutes
from a text from Bec

There’s a little love left over in his pocket
He is saving it for later
He is waiting to need it
He told her on the phone, no I’m out of stock; there’s not much left on the shelves, I’m afraid
Because he didn’t want to give it away
He didn’t want to be without it at all
So he keeps it and holds it there
Loosely so it won’t get smushed
But tight enough to make sure it isn’t going anywhere
He is saving it for when he runs out
For when the grey skies are a little too cold and the radiator is broken
He is keeping it close by
A hand swipe away
For when it calls him
And he’s ready enough to answer

“oyster” by Julia at Katerina and Ben’s


Saturday November 15, 2014
2:49am
5 minutes
from a London Transport card

I hate that I care about it. What he’s doing. Wearing. Thinking. Wanting. That if it changed from one to another that I would be deeply interested in hearing what that was. What that would be. Should be. Must be. It sort of just exists in a way that tugs on my mind and keeps me actively asking questions and actively forgetting to think of something else to think of. I hate that I care more about this. About him. About the way his dark eyes make me feel. The way nothing about it is safe.

“September I’ll remember” by Julia on her couch


Thursday, July 17, 2014
9:10pm
5 minutes
April Come She Will
Simon And Garfunkel



Having met you that one day, it uh, it really rocked me. It was like meeting the moon. Does that make..I’m just. I’m trying to sound honest, I guess. Or uh, expressive. You made me realize how closed off I’d been. I’m, I know you’re with someone, so I’m not, you know, I don’t want you to think that I..I’m just. Maybe you were right. Can barely get a thought out. I think you made a good point. And, you know, maybe you were right about me. I don’t know if I had uh, met you the day before or the day after if I would feel the same way I do now..Maybe I wouldn’t have been able to hear you at all if it, uh, were, you know, in any other minute than when it was. Your words. They were buzzing, uh, you know sort of resonating I guess, with my whole. Yeah. I. Thank you. I am so bad at this. Wow. I’m trying not to sound like the biggest idiot and yet that’s all I seem to be able to do. I’m glad it happened. Meeting you. I really am.

“36 000 residents” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday March 30, 2014
3:12pm
5 minutes
Westjet In-flight magazine

I hear all the little voices, in all the little heads, the voices that say, “Fake it til you make it!” and “Don’t forget to look both ways before you cross the street!” I hear the voices of the women in their clicky-clacky shoes when outside they’re laughing and inside they’re screaming, “MOOOOOOORE!” They’re hungry. I hear the dog voices and the cat voices and the thirty six thousand children voices. “I want to win!” “Don’t be late!” “I’m scared!” “I hate you!” “Choose me?” It’s loud. Yes. So I go to the swimming pool at the community centre and I “dead man’s float”. My ears, under the water, my face just above. It’s quiet. It’s just my little voice. I am finally alone. I whistle and the lifeguard smiles and when I walk across the cold blue tile to the change rooms I can hear her little voice saying, “I wish I knew that song.”

“benchmark of excellence” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Tuesday February 19, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
2:34pm
5 minutes
A Jackson-Triggs bottle of Merlot

I met a man the other day, had an umbrella for a hat, had a cane for a baseball bat, had a smile where a smile shouldn’t be.
He told me two things: One, you are not alone. Two, if you really wanted to be full, you should eat something.
Said it with his interesting eyes, glancing inside of me without any effort.
I didn’t like his wisdom. I didn’t like his quirky way. I liked that he thought he had the right to tell me what to do…stranger…
He laughed at me when I shook my head, he said, oh dear, you think too much.
I think he’s right. There I go again. He told me that I was searching in the wrong garbage bin.
I think even then I said, I’m not into people’s leftovers.
He laughed again, he said, you thought about that. You were trying to impress me. You should care more about leftovers and less about your little wit. I was not trying to be witty, I was trying not to cry, but yeah, he was right, his umbrella face all yellow from the shadow. I was thinking too much and a strange man in a strange place was telling me what I needed to hear.
He told me more than one, two, three things. They kept coming like the words off his tongue turned to gold as soon as they hit the air.
I looked around myself and realized he was no longer there. He was not ever there, to begin with.
My soul is a man who wears rubber umbrella hats and knows what it is to be human…