“10-year anniversary” by Julia at her desk

Saturday November 10, 2018
7:54pm
5 minutes
Into the Raven’s Nest
Curranne Labercane

This is the third time I’ve tried to say what’s real.
Stop, start, think about the deadlines and the
people who don’t know me but will get the chance to see.
Isn’t that stupid of me? Here, find a vein, stick a fork in it.
Some words live lower than the other ones. I don’t know what’s
in there and what wants to come out. What wants to stay low.
I have to say I’ve been quiet but I don’t hear anything.

I have to say I’ve been running and I haven’t moved.
I don’t know what is happening inside me. Time to celebrate
the 10th year of me not fully feeling anything at all.
When I told my dad I went through long phases where I never
felt hungry and then ones where I never felt full, he told me
it would pass. But it hasn’t passed so is this something
I need to save up to talk to a therapist about?
Is there some kind of emotional x-ray I can hook myself up to?

“This report contains confidential information” by Julia on her couch

Saturday October 13, 2018
10:48pm
5 minutes
From the lab report

burn after reading
or it’s the kind of thing that will burn you
every top secret insight
every thought secret kept tight behind lined pages
the letters adressed to eyes that were never meant to read them
this is the kind of private you’ll wish you never craved quiet turned public rage
inside voice blasted on the hallway speakers arent’t you glad you came
but if anyone should see it it’s you
if anyone should know me

“your desired starting point”by Julia on her patio

Thursday June 21, 2018
8:55pm
5 minutes
audacity.com

Vision
Board
On
The
Wall
And
Plan
To
Look
At
It
Every
Damn
Day
That’s
A
Good
First
Step
A
Good
First
Thought
And
It
All
Seems
Doable
Then
Step
By
Step
Day
By
Day
Prayer
By
Please
Promise
By
Promise

I look at my wall, blank space and burning a hole where the good ideas are supposed to live

Remember something belongs here. Remember you said you would do something in the shape of this wall space.

Today

I

Made

A

Lot

Of

Grand

Mistakes

And

Now

I

Will

Never

Make

Them

Again

I

Will

Give

Thanks

Instead

Of

Being

A

Martyr

When

The

Bus

Is

Late

When

I

Go

The

Wrong

Way

When

I

Spend

The

Money

Step

One

Is

Acknowledging

It

Step

Two

Is

“strikes out at the enemy” by Julia at the studio

Friday November 17, 2017
4:50pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chodron

We’ve been waiting for the saviour. Someone who can save us, not Jesus, but someone like that for more of us. We’ve been waiting because what else is there to do? What if we shot all of our guns at the wrong thing? None of us are shooting right now. We’ve made a pact. These are the intentional ones. We are the Intentionals. We don’t want to fight but we intend to win. Win hearts. It’s not a cheesy affair. It’s the truth. Heart is nothing to be ashamed of. Heart is good. Heart is everybody. We can’t take fire on the bad hill. We cannot go to war over diction. We have to speak simply now. No getting lost. We are the intentionals. We’re hosting a potluck next Thursday. Maybe the next saviour will come too.

“SEE ALL” by Julia at her desk

Thursday November 16, 2017
11:33pm
5 minutes
http://www.bestbuy.ca

A couple hundred days ago, Dillon, spelled with two X chromosomes, was walking her unspecified dog along the water’s edge. She didn’t know what kind of dog it was either, so this is very much a don’t shoot the messenger sort of scenario. She was thinking about the lines between Kitty and P in her new play. She didn’t have a name for P yet, but thinking about Kitty and P together made her laugh for obvious reasons. She was thinking about the scene where Kitty tells P she once tried to kill him by crushing up some unidentified pills and stirring them into his fizzy drink. She was able to tell him this in the first place because she was too eager to kill him and not eager enough to find something other than antacids.

“IT’S TRUE!” by Julia on her couch


Wednesday March 8, 2017
10:49pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the kitchen

I saw a heron tonight-true
I have cried today-true
I have cried fewer than three times today-lie
I wore all black today-true
I met someone new this afternoon-true
I found the ear bud cover-lie
I listened to the ocean today-true
I wiped my snot on my coat-true
I had only rational thoughts-lie
I loved myself today-true
I thought about drowning-true
I wrote this easily-lie

“for a fun birthday” by Julia at her dining table


Thursday August 25, 2016
6:59am
5 minutes
SAD MAG
from a TMZ video

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

I am not celebrating my birthday this year.

I AM NOT CELEBRATING MY BIRTHDAY THIS YEAR.

So. You can all go back to what you were doing. WHAT wERe YoU DOinG AnyWAY?? Celebrating something else?? Probably anything else??

I am very upset.
UPset. UPset. because. BECAUSE: I WAS Set Up. That is the truth. TO FAIL. set up to fail and to deal with the repercussions on my oWN. Which is painful. I mISs My Sister.
I miss her laugh. I miss her handssssssss.

And they want me to KEEP PUSHING?

How far before I am edging off the face of this planet? How FAR BEFORE I AM JUST Another NEWs STORy. This Just In: Everything is wrong and nothing is right and someone who needs those things to be switched is feeling the sadness of losing someone close and needs to be held but people are afraid and needs to be told IT IS GOING TO BE OKAY by someone WHO KNOWS and by someone who Won’t Turn It Into A Media Scandal.

I am not celebrating my birthday this year. I have disappointed everyone and nobody will come and everyone is mad and nobody can fix broken with cake.

“Sitting in rapt attention” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday August 24, 2016
6:45am
5 minutes
SAD MAG
Issue No. 19

He was leading a seminar on punctuality and he showed up 6 minutes late. If he had turned it into some teachable moment, or made us realize how important life is sometimes and how maybe he’s the perfect one to lead this seminar because punctuality is still a human invention and so a human can still mess it up, we would have been more in his corner. Instead the whole time I thought he was a flake. How he couldn’t admit that he was wrong. That he was trying to save face in a crowd of ruthless college kids who were looking for reasons not to take him seriously. I thought about where he might be coming from. I thought about his life’s struggles and decided he probably had a bunch of them because we all do. I don’t know what everyone else was thinking but I was hoping he’d end his seminar early and rush off to tend to one of those life things so we would all have a little more compassion for him. I think that’s a good thing, that I would rather be compassionate. I guess the bad part is that I need to have a reason first before I want to be.

“The worst kept secret” by Julia on her couch


Sunday August 21, 2016
10:26pm
5 minutes
lifehacker.com

Somebody told me once that discharge was called sperm. Okay it was my sister. We used to fight a lot. She was older. I wanted to do everything she did. I believed everything she told me. I was so confident in her that I never questioned a single thing she said. I admired her. Now we’re older and she tells me when things I believe about myself are just stories. She tells me when she hears me choosing not to love myself. I believe her. I know she doesn’t say things now to break me down. When we were young, she wanted to tease me. But maybe to see how much I could take. How much I would hear before I pushed back. It’s trusting someone outside yourself. She knows everything I’ve never told anyone else. She will always be the keeper of my secrets. She keeps the ones I like next to the ones I never will. She keeps them for me, but she forgets they’re there. She doesn’t see me through eyes of things I wish I didn’t do. She does not love on condition.

“the nervous towns of Mars” by Julia on her couch


Monday June 13, 2016
10:22pm
5 minutes
The Martian Chronicles
Ray Bradbury


I don’t have words right now
not for the pain
not
for the other stuff
I have alien feelings
not happiness
not fear
something is in me breaking
as we speak
I would ask for
permission
to go home early
from all of this
try my lungs out
call to the wild but
there’s a scientist
waiting to take
my blood out
and I think
she owns me or something
Because my thoughts don’t feel
like mine anymore
they feel
like nothings floating
deep
and bobbing up for air
every
now and again
she tells me
stop trying
and I assume she means
everything
everything
everything
My arm is her best friend
my vein
is her guilty pleasure
she looks at my dancing
blue fluids
my
inside life
with fluorescent sparks shooting out
of her eyes
getting ready to keep me
from jumping out of
my skin
and into the world
beside this one
I tell her
They have much more
star-dust because it’s a destination
Not a curse
She says
and I know now
stop
which means
shuffling around while this
thing is in me
which means
talking
because I use
my hands
too much

“your laziness” by Julia on her bed


Friday June 3, 2016
11:32pm
5 minutes
The Intent To Live
Larry Moss


My laziness smells like a scab
Twice
picked over
Like the way a bad avocado tastes
Like the way tomorrow
Never means
Today
My laziness was
Mistaken once
For fear
By a good teacher
Who wanted me
To do well
When I confessed that I
Didn’t start the things
That I meant to start
That I waited for

I thought I was
Doing
Myself
A favour
Calling out my own flaws
Before anyone else could get
The chance to
She told me that
It wasn’t laziness
That kept me
From
Moving
Forward
It was the fear
Of wanting a thing that didn’t want me back
But the sound of it
was like
Hot air
Pushing through..

“You put that out into the world” by Julia on her couch


Thursday June 2, 2016
11:05pm
5 minutes
overheard at UBC

Let me just put out there
that I was
about to
come to bed when you
closed the door on me
decided you just had to sleep
right then
and there
like the gods made you do it
I don’t know if
you could hear
me
grumbling to myself
how everything is on your time
and on your impulse
and I’ll just
wait out
here
until my blood has cooled
and my tongue
won’t burn you
because I was about to burn you
strike below
the belt
and make you feel
more alone than you’ve ever felt
but instead I remember that
you
bought
me
flowers
once

“How are you doing this morning?” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday June 1, 2016
8:38am at Starbucks
5 minutes
Overheard at Starbucks

My face is in the window and every single person who walks by has a dog
Every single person who walks by has a dog that looks like them
The woman in her clunky heels behind me shakes the floor so much it makes me have to pee
Holding it in, letting it pulse inside me like a flood threatening a levy, is the closest I’ve come to having an orgasm in weeks
I can’t think straight because James is studying in Nepal and I’m worried that she’ll die over there
She is obsessed with going sky diving or bungee jumping
The last time we spoke I told her to please just build a house and stay on the ground
I hate every moment that I’m awake these days
The man beside me is listening to the sound of me breathing and using it as a metronome for his typing
I want to shoot an elastic band at him for stealing my life and turning it into something I don’t have access to
The woman I bought the toaster from off of craigslist last June walks by holding a scruffy man’s hand and wearing fishing boot waders
I wave to her and she waves back but she clearly doesn’t recognize me right away
Then I see it click as a big wide smile crosses her face and she gives me an encouraging ‘thumbs up’ before walking away

“to achieve perfect personal silence” by Julia on her couch


Thursday December 3, 2015
10:15pm
5 minutes
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Maya Angelou


I don’t like to hear myself breathing; it makes me too self-aware of being alive that I start to think about death. The absence of breath. The absence of thought. Eternal rest, peace…silence. I realized that audibly yawning triggered these ideas when I woke up the man who shared my bed by doing it. I had never realized how loud the tiny second just after it peaks, after the soft pallet is fully open, was. That I was luxuriating in it without thinking about it, or questioning it. The next time I yawned after that, I tried to quiet the denouement and found that I could achieve an effective yawn, almost gratifying enough to suffice, if I stopped adding sound to it. It’s less enjoyable but it doesn’t make me think about dying.

“make a cool can” by Julia at Souzan’s apartment


Tuesday, September 8, 2015
9:51pm
5 minutes
from a LinkedIn profile

Ways to live, Days to be, Things to do, Dreams to have:
1.Make a cool plan with a cool hat on and go outside and say HELLO WORLD
2.Drink lemonade through a straw, out of a fishbowl with your eyes closed and your HEART OPEN
3.Wash your body and your lover’s in the lake and use the sunlight to dry YOUR BONES
4.Kiss the next person you see who is wearing a graphic t-shirt UNIRONICALLY
5.Spend a day on your belly watching the ant colonies under the rocks show you HOW TO LIVE
6.Eat an entire watermelon with your hands tied behind your back and don’t let your thoughts WANDER

“the result of a period of research” by Julia on Joe’s couch


Thursday, August 27, 20151
10:14pm
5 minutes
Presence of Minds: The Importance of Active Exploration and Response in Dramaturgy
Christopher Michael Petty


According to the barometer set deep in my stomach, I am gauging that the level of contentment I am experiencing is lower than (if not the same as) the level it was at exactly one year ago today in exactly this very spot. It alerts me that something is wrong and that I am not safe. My body is registering some kind of prolonged trauma and it’s beginning to react accordingly. The spot in my brain where it’s supposed to regulate my mood and my outbursts is no longer functioning. It has shut off, hopefully not for good, but in this moment, it’s very much ineffective.

“Complete all sections” by Julia on Joe’s couch


Wednesday, August 26, 2015
9:09pm
5 minutes
from the Canada Arts Council Application Guidelines

During the testing Jeremy looked around the room to gauge the progress of his peers. Amelia had a crooked smile on her face and was scribbling with utmost vigor. Gareth had his boogies in his hands again and was rolling them between his palms, making them long and roll-y. Jeremy glanced at the clock and saw that he had only 29 minutes remaining. He shot back down at his papers and realized he hadn’t don’t much of the exam at this point and would have to hurry. Even still, Jeremy was preoccupied with his beside neighbour and his horizontal neighbour. Did Erin like to scribble tiny hearts where the tops of the ‘i’s should go? Did Reilly smell his fingers like that every day, or just the day after spaghetti night where he gets to chop the garlic and add as much as he likes?

“And she put her arms around me,” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday, July 7, 2015
12:12am
5 minutes
A Complicated Kindness
Miriam Toews


My mother hates to see me cry. She doesn’t hate to offer me money, or sneak a 50 in my coat pocket when she thinks I’m not looking, even though she knows those exact things will make me cry, but when I start with the tears, it breaks her abundant heart. She doesn’t want to make me feel bad. She just wants to love me. But I feel bad because I’m self-hating and dramatic, and I cause trouble where there doesn’t need to be. She wishes I could see me how she sees me and that only means so much since I’m her baby and she’d look at me and see Mother Theresa even if I burned an entire nursery school with the children still in it to the ground. I know this because when I told her I had deep, steadfast, secret thoughts about poisoning Auntie Ellis because she scolded me in public one time, she put her arms around me and she squeezed me with so much love that I started to cry. Then she wiped my face with her kisses and said, “I would want to do the same thing if I were you.”

“Sunset and the city” by Julia on her bed


Monday October 20, 2014
6:19pm
5 minutes
The front cover of a notebook

Babs calls me and she’s in such a tizzy. Her brain has sincerely exploded, and I’m putting it mildly here out of respect because she’s a dear friend of mine. But she calls, her words don’t make a bit of sense, which is, I suppose, if I’m being honest, and who doesn’t crave a little honesty in the mornings, isn’t so rare. She’s dear to me, I tell you this, but she’s a bit scattered. You know, her thoughts always seem to be half formed or a bit demented. You know, kind of like the human products of incest, you know, a little bit not very normal. Ah, it’s just the truth, I’m not trying to be, uh, insensitive. But you have to know about Babs in all her glory if you’re going to follow this story.
So anyway, she calls me, her brain is, put it this way, worse than usual, and she starts singing!

“Please share your thoughts” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday August 21, 2014
10:17pm
5 minutes
from a receipt from Safeway

Please share your thoughts on your mother.


I’ll leave you ample space, enough to draw a diorama or diagram or sketch or erase and re-write. Please don’t leave out your expression about your relationship between 13-17. There’s juicy stuff there. Those are the years you thought you were most different but really you were most the same. She’s sorry about the time she called you a bitch. She regrets that. She regrets not saying “sorry” more quickly. She loves the way that you refuse to change out of your pyjamas on Christmas, even though she rolls her eyes and harps on about how it’s ridiculous to not put on a dress when there are twenty six people coming over for eggnog and shortbread cookies.

Why do I write? by Julia at the t5m: writer’s workout at the Fringe Creation Lab


Sunday May 18, 2014
1:16pm
5 minutes
from a writing prompt by Natalie Goldberg

1.I write because if I didn’t I would burst.
2.I write because the dream doesn’t sound real when it’s not on paper.
3.I write because my pores need release and I’m never getting enough of that.
4.I write because I like the way my mind looks in ink.
5.I write because I’m dying to be heard.
6.I write because I’m dying to be understood.
7.I write because I tell myself I must.
8.I write because I enjoy painting with words.
9.I write because I hope someone will rescue me.
10.I write because I hope someone will find my thoughts and fall in love with them.
11.I write because I love telling stories.
12.I write because I hate being interrupted.
13.I write because I can’t lie to myself with a pen in my hand.
14.I write because life is fast and I’m trying to remember the best version of myself.
15.I write because in a world filled with stimuli, my only refuge is my word.
16.I write because I want to be quoted.
17.I write because if I didn’t I’d watch too much TV.
18.I write because I think my personality is better on paper.

“Inn of Olde” by Julia in the van in St. John’s


Monday March 24, 2014
6:01pm
5 minutes
from the sign for Linda’s in Quidi Vidi, NF

You saw it there just collecting dust and you wanted to bend down to brush it off without anyone noticing.
You coughed in that moment. Just enough to distract yourself from what you were doing, thinking, yeah, hey, that’s a pretty good idea, maybe other people will be distracted too.
So you coughed again. And then everyone looked at you because, what, is she sick?
You smiled and you started toward the bathroom. Maybe you could envision the space better in private? You thought that to yourself. You hoped some time away from it would be a good thing for you and for the dust.
You hoped it would start a train of people going to use the restroom as long as they saw someone breaking the ice. The way people always wait to go up for seconds until they see a small girl with an appetite problem go up first and take down two more slices.
You were thinking about that one thing so hard your brain started to hurt.
You left the bathroom with the distraction of entrances and exits.
The crowd had moved so you thought you had an in.
You walked up to it and you looked around. Would anyone even care? You asked yourself this too.

“Did you just say” by Julia on the 94 going west


Sunday March 16, 2014
9:18pm
5 minutes
from a status update on Facebook

Said that I would rather write blah blah blah at this very moment in time. Cause Joni’s telling me I have to write down my feelings so I don’t hurt somebody. And I won’t hurt anyone. I know that about me. But Joni thinks that it will help things. I tell her yeah right but she doesn’t let up. She’s tough on me. So I’d rather write nonsense, gibberish you know? Those thoughts don’t want to come out in pretty flowery ways. That’s all I’m saying. That if I had to sit my ass down and pound out a couple sentences about my emotions I might actually hurt someone then. Joni is good to me. She’s patient as shit. She’ll wait all day for me to come out. She wants me to be more free. And I think she thinks I have to let out some aggression or how the world makes me think or whatever. Blah blah blah. It’s more than that. She’ll see through it anyway. She know that Joni. She really knows. If I had to pick one thought it would be..
This pen is a reminder or my strength cause if I wanted to I could use it as a weapon.

“it has a song” by Julia on her couch


Sunday December 15, 2013
11:47pm
5 minutes
A quote by Maya Angelou

A lot of the time it has to do with slowing down your thoughts and really truly seeing each letter inside your mind before it forms a full word. It’s the same for sentences and then paragraphs and then stories. It’s a magical thing when you just trust that they will in fact form and they will in fact make sense and they will inevitably communicate something. Something communicated is a lovely thing. Not always does it translate perfectly from our brains to our mouths but not always does it have to. It’s especially difficult when you let a little air into your brain and start to give space in between words so you don’t know what the next thing you’ll think is until you’ve thought it. It’s hard to know if you already had the entire thing preplanned or if you were able to truly listen to each letter forming each word forming each thought. The joy is in not fully knowing but being willing to find out. It’s a risk on a small scale. It’s a risk because it isn’t a guaranteed success. That’s what living is. A risk. Each day is a new word, a new thought, a new story, a new memory.

“Many words will be written” by Julia in her bed


Sunday, November 17, 2013
12:21am
5 minutes
The Art of Listening
Henning Mankell


It was a thought that dawned on me today as I was picking up my kid from pre-school. I didn’t acknowledge it until I got home and had him safely playing Lego in the living room. By then it was bigger. It had grown. This thought, where once only a small meaning was housed, now had so much more importance. I can’t explain it really. Unless I say “it grew” which, I suppose, is very accurate. It matured and formed its own offshoots of itself without me being conscious of it. Then by the time I was ready to entertain it, it was ripe for the pickin’ and I had no problem taking a bite.
This thought was full and pregnant with possibility. It was welcoming me to answer its knock and yet when I listened at the door, I didn’t hear a thing.

“a home for spiders” by Julia on her bed


Tuesday, May 28, 2013
1:51am
5 minutes
Learning To Love You More
Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July


a home for spiders, a place to rest my weary head, a long journey home into the moon and all its pleasantries, a space where two minds can think the same thoughts, a dream that doesn’t end when the sun rises, a hope that’s far away from reality because it survives better that way, a collection of short anecdotes on life, love, and lying, a heart shaped mirror left in the bathroom to remind them both they want each other, a razor blade lodged in the drain of the bathtub, the pounding rain outside her window, the answer to the only thing she knows she didn’t ask, the peach pit rotting on the counter for three days collecting fruit flies and ants, a soft pillow used for decoration only, a tambourine with no drum, the cracked tiles in the kitchen that will never get fixed, a breath shared by yesterday and tomorrow, a memory of his first love when he’s trying to forget her

“I wonder if she’d mind if I’d” by Julia on the 510 going north


Wednesday January 23, 2013
10:29pm
5 minutes
Her…
Jordan Moore


I wonder if she. I wonder if I’d..
God I’m an idiot.
I’m actually so stupid. I can’t hear my thoughts. They’re all coming out and in as just a jumble so it’s a lot. And I feel dumb. She’s. She’s everything to me. I don’t know how that is in terms of like life but right now. Right now she’s just. She’s everything.
I can’t describe it. When I smell her skin. It’s. This. It’s this thing that washes over me. Like knowing it’s almost summer or something. And I know it sounds lame. Like dumb or whatever, but she’s that to me. She has that kind of skin and those kind of eyes and that kind of laugh that just hits me hard. Like a hurricane. And I’m sort of wishing it wasn’t because now that I have it it’s bad. Like I don’t want to give it away but I also don’t want to deal with it now because it’s a lot. Too much maybe. I wonder if she. If I. I wonder if she’s sort of. I don’t know. Like I just wonder. I just keep wondering. I’m thinking about her so much that my brain is starting to see her wherever I go. It’s kind of nuts, actually.