“Can I ask you somethin?” By Julia on her couch

Wednesday November 29, 2017
5 minutes
Cities of the Plain
Cormac McCarthy

The ask from the humming bird’s wing came quick like a home run
There was an ounce of dread in it
a trill that caused the clouds to quake…

We were alone and now we are not.
I could have told you better if I didn’t see your eyes peeling away at me. I wanted to tell you about something beautiful. I wanted to share it with someone I thought would hold it reverent. I could tell you now the version that would ease you. The thought I had and not the moment it made. Like a dog jumping on a trampoline and then nothing. Stopping. Not everything needs to be talked about. I don’t know how to unask you; untell you. I don’t know how to cover up this new hole and pray that no one notices it pulsing here.


“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.


“Protect the blood from attack” by Julia on the 72 bus in Victoria

Thursday October 5, 2017
5 minutes
Chinese Tonic Herbs
Ron Teeguarden

My blood is you and I will never not know this. You are my heart beat, pulsing, thriving, keeping me alive. I am yours. I am always yours. The only gift in this life that I can take with me is being carried into this world by the same love as you. In the same room. With the same light.

When the hail comes, I will know it by the stretch of my skin over yours. You will know it by the warmth of protection that comes without doubt. You are my blood and your blood is me. The only true thing that I love. The only pure thing that I know. You have always known me and I will always find lift because of it. How blue the sky tastes when the eyes are river reflecting. You will know it by the thud in my chest.


“discussing something that’s totally wrong” by Julia at JJ Bean

Tuesday August 15, 2017
5 minutes
foverheard at JJ Bean

You could tell him that his toenails are too long
you could gag everytime his foot rubs your leg

You could tell her that her breath smells like a jar of sleeping shit
you could wear a hospital mask over your entire face

You could tell him there is lemon meringue gooping out of his eyes
you could smash his face into a pillow, like a game, ha ha, wipe wipe

You could tell her that she’s being defensive
you could put her attitude in the bowl of acceptance and underline TRUST over and over

You could say the truth


“others take longer than expected” by Julia at the studio

Monday August 14, 2017
5 minutes
from a greeting card

It’s hard to hold each other because we tend to be busy figuring out where to put our hands on our own skin. Where does this limb go? Tucked into the corner of self and hope? Where do we put this paper cut? I don’t know how to give you all of me if my wrists cry out in the night to be touched. Some things aren’t meant to be shared. I have stashed cookies all over this place. In containers above the sink, in baggies nestled in the secret pouches of the living room, in plain sight, behind the placemats. Some things aren’t meant for other people. Once I figure out just how much sneaking I need to do to feel like I haven’t given all of myself away, I move my spots. I stop for a while. I become satisfied with the memory of stealing opportunities that no one needs to know about. I get obsessed with wondering where to hide this hand; this ingrown hair.



Vancouver get ready!
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“Destiny Number” By Julia at The Vancouver Public Library

Thursday January 19, 2017 at the VPL
5 minutes

I told myself I’d be married at 24 cause of my mother. She was married at 24 and that felt like the best map I could follow since she has never once said she regretted it. I also said I wouldn’t have sex till I was 24 either case of Jesus. Or the patriarchy. Save my sex for someone who loves God more than he’ll ever love me and believes in owning humans as property? Yeah, what a great fucking idea. I was young then. And committed to Christ (by choice, weirdly, I know). And in love with the idea that I didn’t have to make my own decisions cause life was already going to have too many of those in the first place. I told myself that I would have a child by 28 cause of my mother. She waited 4 years to have one after she got married and that seemed smart, and good, and completely doable. I have missed both of these “destiny numbers”(by choice, I know, I know). Somewhere along the way I decided I could trust myself to lead me through it. Sometimes it’s the worst feeling in the entire world. But it’s better than being married with a bazillion kids coming out of my ears. Age, I’ve learned, is just a number that you get to hold for a year. And then–we let it go, just like everything else.


“leftover Hamburger Helper garbage” By Julia on her couch

Tuesday December 13, 2016
5 minutes
Summer OF My Amazing Luck
Miriam Toews

Danika and I couldn’t believe her mom would let us have the house to ourselves for the weekend. The ENTIRE weekend. We were drunk on freedom and cotton balls and anything from the medicine cabinet that we could have turned into crafts or art. The first night we both had double chocolate fudge ice cream for dinner and a can of whipped cream EACH for dessert. What a life! We didn’t think to get an emergency number from Danika’s mom before she left, or find out where exactly she was going to be for this long without worrying about her 9 year old kid and her best friend. My mom would never let us stay by ourselves. So we didn’t tell my mom that Danika’s mom left a note on the kitchen table that she had scrawled in messy writing saying “Gone for the weekend, Hamburger Helper on the stove.”


“I was so annoyed with Wendy” by Julia on the 99

Thursday December 8, 2016
5 minutes
overheard at JJ Bean on Cambie

I had to act like I hadn’t just spent a year covering her ass every time she drank too much to come into work. Where’s Wendy? She’s sick, she’s stuck at the airport, she’s adopting a puppy, she’s at a doctor’s appointment, she’s at home waiting for Rogers, she’s at home because there’s a bat in her living room, she’s taking a personal day, she’s helping someone do something, she’s figuring out something for someone, she’s not coming in today, she sends her regards, she’s sorry she has to reschedule, she’s not coming in today. And part of me still felt bad that I couldn’t come up with a more convincing lie. Or that people probably knew because I had gotten lazy with my excuses. But what was worse was she was still so sad and there was nothing any of us could do. Or maybe there was. Maybe I could have said something. Or offered to take her out for coffee just so she’d remember people cared about her.


“More money, like I said.” by Julia on her couch

Friday November 18, 2016
5 minutes
A Boy Of Good Breeding
Miriam Toews

Ida and Meryl met on a crowded subway car. Ida had lipstick on her teeth and turns out Meryl was the first person to have mentioned this to her. She fell in love with her instantly. Ida valued honesty in a person. She couldn’t understand why we’d waste so much of our time hiding behind lies. She thought it was too much work to live like that. Ida told Meryl that she was striking and that she liked her silver running shoes. Meryl covered her mouth when she laughed as if she was trying to keep a tiny gerbil inside. She fell in love with her instantly.


“the authors of our lives” by Julia on the bus

Monday October 10, 2016
5 minutes
The Rising Strong Manifesto
Brene Brown

I tell myself I am beautiful on days that I don’t wear makeup
On days that I don’t leave the house
On days that I wonder what it would feel like to kick a living thing that is smaller than me
I tell myself that outcomes are not reliant on incomes
That success is knowing that success is just a word
That joy can come from wondering about kicking a living thing that is smaller than me and knowing that I never really wanted to do it in the first place
I tell myself that if ignore my thirst it will turn into hunger
but if I ignore my hunger it will turn into regret
I tell myself that I am beautiful
on days when I forget that beautiful is just a word


I’m ecstatic to announce” by Sasha on her couch

Friday September 30, 2016
5 minutes
A Facebook post

Holds her tongue when she wants to speak when she wants to yell
Holds her hands tight
tight fingers around the truth
She was raised to be
Speaking when spoken
Taking when token
She was raised to be
Sink and shrink and skimp and
chew with your mouth closed
talk with your mouth open
open up and let him in
Holds her tongue when she


“two beautiful faces” by Sasha at the Airbnb in Montreal

Wednesday September 21, 2016
5 minutes
Overheard on Av. Girouard

the NICU beeps and wails and whispers
the nurses scrubs have cats and flowers on them
the babies are so small
so new
how were they ready to be born?
the babies are so strong
so new
they were ready to be born
at least that’s what i
tell myself
washing a pear for my sister
filling her water bottle
rubbing her neck
at least that’s what i
tell myself
walking by the darkened rooms
code indigo taped on the door
mothers and fathers and families
like angel zombies
tired eyes and microwave dinners
sanitize the hands


“Door To Hell” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
5 minutes

it starts with a whisper with a promise to be better
when you don’t really mean it and you don’t really want to
commit to process
it’s opened then
when you say anything that doesn’t sound like truth and when you think
everybody only hears sincerity when you are wrong but don’t
want to believe that yet
a little crack further
and you keep far away from it because it’s calling you
it knows you by face and you pretend it’s a different you a different you with
the same name
that each day a little bit less is tried
a little bit less is wagered
and the pit beyond grace is surrounded by old flames that
you ran from because you didn’t have the courage
to snuff them out
it starts with a whisper with the song of wandering souls
you fall each day
further off the track you triumph over


“It languished in the vault” by Julia at her dining table

Monday, August 29, 2016
5 minutes

I put it there along with other things. I wanted a collection of all the lies I had been telling. In the secret parts of my understanding I like to believe they live in a garden on their own. But they are not thriving in their soil. I don’t water them. I have deep hopes that they don’t need it. The walls of this decision are dried and crumbling. They don’t fall or crack revealing light. They pile on top of the old ones and bury the new ones that were just put there for a second. Now everything is locked up. The idea that this is all I’ll ever be. I am the one languishing in the vault. I am the one wasted. And I only choose to visit the scraps of myself there when no one else is around. Stuck internal, asleep on a mattress that divides all of my bones into unusable groups, and keeps me from attending the day like they all expect me to.


“they did not” by Julia on her couch 

Sunday, August 28, 2016
5 minutes
from a piece of feedback

They do not ask you how you’re doing. They do not wonder if you’re a good liar. They aren’t supposing anything about you except that you must have few worries in this world. They do not pour your water first before theirs. They do not bring you batches of lemonade or lavender shortbread. They don’t call you on the phone. They don’t respond to your letters. They don’t tell you when they see something that reminds them of you. They do not buy it. They never buy it. They do not tell you when you are making them feel unsafe. They do not think you are hijacking the room. They do not know how little you’re listening. They do not expect anything from you. They do not include you in their conversation. They do not ask you if you want to help. They do not ask you if you’ve been places. They do not ask you if you understand the feeling. They do not give you the chance to improve the silence. They do not thank you for your advice. They aren’t borrowing your clothes or your poetry.


“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.


“dies in slow motion” by Sasha on the couch

Tuesday July 5, 2016
5 minutes
In Search of Agamemnon
Bruce F. Fairley

It’s the hottest day of the year and the air conditioning is broken. We’ve rehearsed the scene what feels like a million times and Mario says, “Ah! Yes! The deaths… The deaths are… they aren’t working, mes amis. Let’s try them both in, in…” We wait, bracing ourselves, willing him to call the day, “in slow motion!” As he says it he does a demo, as if we don’t know what slow motion means. Eric and I look at eachother and try not to scream/cry/laugh. Mario wonders aloud why we’re stalling. “It’s forty degrees. I’m sweating my balls off,” I say. Eric blushes. Mario gets up. He has his water bottle in his hand. He looks pissed. He pours a bit of water into his palm and then throws it at me, right in the face. Pour, throw. Pour, throw. Nicola, the stage manager, almost says something but Eric silences her with a glare.


“Solid colour” by Julia at her desk

Friday May 6, 2016
5 minutes
From a text

Had a dream I was trying to kill you again. I was coming at you with the blue knife Marnie gave us as an engagement gift. In my dream you’re not afraid or anxious. You almost have a calmness about you. You expect that I’m going to hunt you and you don’t even run. I think what I’m learning from this nightmare is that you don’t give up on me when I test you. You don’t run away when things get crazy. You don’t try to hurt me just because I’m trying to hurt you. This dream shows me how good you are. It makes me realize that one day, when I finally stop trying to sabotage us, stop making you prove yourself, we will be so obnoxiously happy. Until then know that this isn’t personal, that me trying to kill you says more about me than it says about you and that at least we’re getting our use out of that little blue knife.


“Alberta’s oil sands” by Julia on the 319

Thursday May 5, 2016
5 minutes
From the back of a pamphlet

Mauve and red and magenta and orange. Sky bright. Night hot. Night fear. Red blood pumping. Running. Running. Dreams interrupted. Sleep disrupted. Running. Running.
I want to go home where the fields were mine and where the sky guided me back. Nothing left now. No home. No fields. No fix. No fight. Night hot. Sky bright. Love out. Love in. Goodbyes painted flame. Least important importance stays behind. No one wins. Running. Running.


“Alberta’s oil sands” by Sasha at Platform Seven

Thursday May 5, 2016
1:50pm at Platform Seven
5 minutes
From the back of a pamphlet

the world is burning where all the oil lives
the grass is scorched and the trees with the treehouses are ashes
the houses with the photo albums and the calico kitten and
the painting from france from a great-grandmother
the jeopardy of prized possessions
an apocalypse of biblical proportions

true colours show when we’re in danger
fingers around a neck with “mine” over “yours”
cars driving on sidewalks to get ahead of other cars
the irony of politics
the irony of “how did we get here?”
dollar bill pilgrims drilling for gold

another headline another photograph another heart up in flames


“not quite ready for viewing” by Julia at her dining table

Monday May 2, 2016
5 minutes
from leoawards.com

Miriam is working on a masterpiece she is not quite ready to show. She has been behind the curtain for 7 years and she is inspired every day to try and improve it, to make it better, to make sure that it’s perfect. She is getting so good at making the mistakes go away that the masterpiece may soon be on display without flaw and will of course be appreciated more. Miriam does not consider that people waiting for her to complete this masterpiece will have many expectations. She does not let that bother her as she is preoccupied with ensuring that her art is living, breathing, and winning. It must win what ever ribbon is awarded to the winner of the production of a masterpiece. Surely a blue ribbon for dedicating so much time to one thing because there was a vision? Miriam could use a blue ribbon. It’d be nice to be reminded why she stays inside creating without ever showing others her work. Must be a reason why she never feels like it’s good enough to offer.


“Snoop through” by Julia on her couch

Sunday May 1, 2016
5 minutes
from a tweet by Toronto Life

Dear Martina,

This letter is for you so I do hope you come across it. Can I start off by saying that, my god, you are the most beautiful thing I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. You are so honest and trustworthy which is probably why you are so beautiful to me. I know that I could tell you anything and you’d understand, and that you’d be gracious to me by keeping that something as private as possible. I don’t want to neglect to mention how genuine you are, secure of yourself, and deeply noble you are. Thank you for showing me so much sincerity. And if you’re still reading, I want you to know one last thing: please know I feel the OPPOSITE of every single thing I just said about you because I fucking know you let yourself into my e-mail account the other night and I never want to see your unreliable and selfish fucking face ever again.



“first on our list” by Julia on her couch

Saturday April 30, 2016
5 minutes
from the PTC newsletter

Hello everyone, welcome, thank you for joining us. We’re so happy you could be here to share in our special day. Neuromica and I have been so supported in the decision to unify since the first turn of the old moon’s last embrace. We sincerely welcome you into our space and into our family, to witness this one true love the two of us have for each other. Thank you for your accountability to us, and with even more gratitude, our accountability to you. We appreciate the community in this union as one that holds us higher than we could possibly get standing on the shoulders of each other alone. First on our list of more specific and directed thanks is the beautiful and warm and all encompassing universe: you are simply radiant this fine afternoon at this 5 star resort in Costa Rica.


“I’m flexible” by Julia at her dining table

Friday April 29, 2016
5 minutes
from an e-mail

bend me pretzel and salt me temptation
I want dinner for breakfast
I want all the rules broken for me
I am magic and missing you
if given the opportunity
I would tell you that
you’ve been gone for 516 days
I am counting each one
not a single night falls
without me wishing you weren’t
find the flavour of my cheek with your tongue
lap me animal, gentle wolf
greet me at the door’s hinge
tongue eager
and qualified


“Textures” by Julia on her couch

Thursday April 28, 2016
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

It’s hard for me not to see you in the wallpaper and feel you in the tile. Your life danced on these floors. Your heart wept in this bed. I feel you in the counter grime, underneath the green dust that has formed a film on the island–the spot where you placed all those freshly picked wild flowers for me. I tell myself it is not over. That you are still here and that I am still here and that this is still our home, the living room still a place where we used to make music, the kitchen still a place where we used to make love. I hear you in the buzzing hallway light, and the hum of the furnace. They sing to me your laugh and I am held there by the beauty of this pain. In moments where I am completely quiet, I can almost even see you reading in your favourite arm chair by the window, legs outstretched and resting on the blue accent pillow.


“Woohoo!” by Julia on the 20

Wednesday April 27, 2016
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I am EXCITED to see you. I left you a scavenger hunt in the garage that you will LOVE but you have to have a reason to go to the garage. I didn’t leave clues in the house to go into the garage because I LOVE you but I do not have that much TIME! Remember that time I picked you up from the airport wearing a pleather sexy nurse costume? That was FUNNY but you were ANGRY with me because you were tired and not in the MOOD for an EXPERIENCE or a MEMORY. I was only upset about that for 6 months. Pretty good! Could have been way longer! Pride takes so long to heal though. You know that. Also my instinct to take risks for you had been RUINED and I didn’t really know that that’s what happened until much LATER.


“We’ve got your back” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday April 26, 2016
5 minutes
from a Suburu ad

Got a letter from Marie the other day. It was written on a series of post-its, unnumbered,disordered, and accompanied by a stack of photographs. She sent me a photo of her new belly button ring with a big “SORRY!” Written on the back in red lipstick. Another of her dog, Kate, and her just waking up. She looks happy in that one. She also sent a photo of her and Iris swinging a toddler between them. On the back she wrote “this ones a good one” and I have no idea what or who she’s talking about. Her post-its had her dreams scrawled on some but not all, a list of all of her current measurements, and a haiku about mint chocolate with a bunch of sparkly cow stickers.


“Not anymore” by Julia on the 99

Monday April 25, 2016
5 minutes
from a podcast

I don’t want you anymore
She says
Mouth full of corn flakes
Heart full of lonely
Are we going to discuss this
He says
Forehead vein pulsing
Forehead skin wrinkling
We are discussing it
She says
We are discussing it right now
He says
I mean don’t I get a say in this
Whatever you want to say will be too late
I don’t want you anymore
I don’t owe you a debate
You don’t have to be cruel
You’re already leaving me
He says
Eyes cast down
Eyes filling up
I think I’m being very nice actually
Being honest with you is the nicest thing I could do.


“you can do the first half” by Julia on the 250

Sunday April 24, 2016
5 minutes
from an e-mail

You can’t just tell me you love me once and then that’s it. You’re not in the clear. You have to show me that you love me. EVERY DAY. Because if you break the seal on love and try to hold it in, you are hurting everyone involved. You are hurting me. Don’t tell me that I “should just know” you love me. This is not a stupid video game. Or wherever you got that uniformed point of view. You don’t just say “I love you” and then expect all the perks of being with someone who actually feels loved. DID YOU KNOW THAT THERE ARE PERKS TO BEING WITH SOMONE WHO ACTUALLY FEELS LOVED? You get to feel the sunshine on your skin and wake up to beautiful breakfasts in bed and get tiny songs written for you and get love notes snuck into your gym shoes and get massages and genuine smiles and good gifts on your birthday. You don’t just get to do the first thing and then emotionally disappear!!


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

Tuesday March 15, 2016
5 minutes

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.


“cultural and community differences” by Julia on Lindsay’s couch

Sunday March 13, 2016
5 minutes
From a sample CV

In the moments of stillness
In between where you left and you loved me
I can count the number of breaths I have taken
On one hand
Maybe one and a half
The song I made you write for me plays
It never stops
It doesn’t know how
I don’t know how
I’m embarrassed that you didn’t want to do it
On your own
I could have asked
But I demanded
I could have invited
But I fought
I guess I was under the impression that
We do things for people
When we know it makes them feel good
I am sorry I put you in that category
Of people who care about people
Of people who give because they can
Not because they are tallying points
I am wrong too
I am happy to be so wrong
I am learning in the space between wrong and never right
You taught me that


“How cool would this be?” by Julia at her dining table

Friday February 26, 2016
5 minutes
Overheard on Yew St.

You and me
midnight hiking!
Nothing on our backs…
but the idea…
that we couldn’t….
And the wouldn’t
Gone long and far because
We chose to set it free
Not worth
But now is
because we chose to give ourselves
over to the truth
So no more lies
If we say so
We can could do-
We can anything:
Anything anything
Until we decide–
Stand firm–this


“SUPREMEBEING” by Julia at her dining table

Thursday February 25, 2016
5 minutes
Treasures & Travels Blog

You yelled in the car ride over to Tessa’s gallery opening and I had to beg you to pull over so I could get out before you killed us both with your rage. When I got out of the car I wiped my eyes, reapplied the lipstick I had chewed off and walked so fast ahead of you it may have seemed like I was trying to lose you. For the record: I was. I forced a smile to peel onto my lips and I strut through the trendy studio space like I invented the idea of putting so many pillars everywhere. Tessa was happy to see me and she hugged me tight and said How are you though?! I lied through my teeth and said Your art makes me want to be a better person. She was thrilled and then she left me alone. You finally entered the gallery and by that moment I thought you had decided not to come at all. I was planning my way home in my head and how when I finally got back, if you were still awake, I’d just walk straight to the bedroom and close the door. You saw that I saw you and even when I turned my back to you, you came right over to me and kissed me so sorry I forgot for a second how scared I was just minutes ago. I didn’t mean it, you cooed in my ear. I didn’t mean any of it.


“always easier to leave it at home” By Julia at The Vancouver Public Library

Tuesday February 23, 2016 at the VPL
5 minutes

Been fucking trying to leave it at home. Been fucking trying not to swear anymore either but as you can see, things have been a little bit rough these days. My asshole of a manager has decided that not only are we no longer allowed on our phones during work hours, but now we have to write a fucking positive message about the “team” each night before AND AFTER our shift. FUCK. How do you not swear when your life is a complete fucking joke? Tad, his fucking name is TAD. And Fucking TAD has so many fucking brilliant ideas for community building, such as embodying bullshit in the most unappealing human way this century has ever seen, or for making us walk through the back doors before we sign our lives away for 4-8 hours in a “light” and “baggage-free” way. Fucking Tad likes to tell me, “Leave your bad attitude at the door, Tegan, this place is a “frown-free” zone!” I want to fucking punch him with a fork. In the throat. Repeatedly. Until fucking forever and ever Amen.


“that you already know and like.” By Julia at her dining table

Monday February 22, 2016
5 minutes

I am having a party
putting up balloons
decorating the whole house with streamers
and pictures
to celebrate the journey
to congratulate for not giving up
giving away loot bags at the end of the night
filled with moments of strength
examples of accepting imperfection
some vulnerability tossed in for good measure
I am inviting all my past selves
Like a reunion
But better
I will tell them
And they will show up
wearing their sorrys
and their lessons
on their sleeves
carrying abundance and respect
in each jean pocket
I am saying farewell to fear
Sending her off on vacation
Killing three birds with one stone
honouring growth
A goodbye party for that which no longer serves me
And a good excuse to celebrate
Because the hill was high
but I’ve climbed it


“tossing rolled oats” by Julia at her dining table

Sunday February 21, 2016
5 minutes
from a recipe

Karma comes calling, knocking on my door, middle of the night, full intention of awakening, startling me from my sleep. In the form of a dream, in the guise of a nightmare. I get the message: loud and clear and painful and frightening. I don’t know what I did but I’m paying for it, I can assure you. Tossing in my bed like rolled oats in a bowl of coconut shreds. I am not good at the thing where I see one thing in my head and compare a real life thing to that to express myself, describing something. I am maybe suffering the consequences in more than just sleepless nights. Feeling inept, not having the right words to say, to feel, to communicate. I am being punished by Karma in a way that doesn’t feel so obvious. I know how she rolls. In and out of view, thinking she’s gone for a little bit, then rushing right back in to remind me that I am not rid of her yet and that I am not safe in my alone. I am least protected when I leave the comfort of crowds and people with worse problems. She knows that and comes in when I’ve shaken off the possibility of seeing her at all today.


“So sorry mine is late” by Julia at her dining table

Saturday February 20, 2016
5 minutes
from an e-mail

I didn’t want to hand in a piece of shit and to be honest that was exactly what I was doing because once again I didn’t do the proper thing of giving myself enough time to complete an assignment.
I wish I was better at keeping my shit together but for some reason mine is the type that crumbles upon contact like a gluten free brownie and then it’s everywhere and there’s a huge mess so it’s better not to touch that shit in the first place because its disaster is a bit unpredictable. These days.
So as I was shaming myself for becoming a useless sack of wasted potential, hearing my mother’s voice ringing in my ear saying “you see you do very well even when you don’t try but imagine if you only applied yourself once in awhile you could be thriving honey really thriving,” I start formulating a half smile that depicts my insides as accurately to my English Lit teacher as humanly possible.
“I’d rather accept the consequences than try and prolong the inevitable again so here it is in all its tarnished glory and tied with a stupid little punctual bow.”


“I love failure!” by Julia at her dining table

Thursday February 18, 2016
5 minutes
from a text message

I love failure. I do. I didn’t before but I love it now. Like a long lost sister, or a cousin you used to fight with. I think before there was this understanding that I could make it pretty far in this life without actually leaping, jumping, risking anything. I think I wore a lovely outer mask that said, I am confident I am going places, but on the inside a traumatized child had the fear of how much longer were we going to play make believe. I think, now, maybe for the first time, I can hear both voices at once. Things are suddenly less hard than they used to be. Because living truthfully and unafraid of being wrong? That’s the most freedom you’ve ever felt. Because it connects you with the spirit of your surroundings, the integrity of your self-love, your deepest soul. It’s such uplifting necessity. I do not understand now how I thought feeling confined in my skin, trapped in all my conjured narratives, was easier than letting anything go; than lightening my load; being kind to myself.


“this music has more religion in it than any church” by Julia at her dining table

Wednesday February 17, 2016
5 minutes
from a YouTube comment by GB3770

I pray at the church of kindness, I can’t settle for anything less than that as my temple. I don’t believe in a God that won’t invite us all to play, that condemns for ignorance, that promotes the weak and bludgeons the strong. I don’t believe in a God that withholds, that accepts money as the only currency, that won’t forgive us for very arbitrary, yet non-negotiable acts. I bow my head at the alter of generosity. It’s the only home I ever feel safe enough to lower my shield in. It’s the only thing that moves me to a state of rejoicing. Don’t give me that hearsay scripture, that haunting, beautifully crafted by poets rule book. I worship at the church of soul music. The kind that lifts your skin off your bones just enough to make room for grace.


“he couldn’t explain or understand.” by Julia at her dining table

Thursday February 4, 2016
5 minutes
4000 Days
Warren Fellows

It was like yesterday, I remember it like yesterday.
Sunny was in the yard playing with her mason jar filled with tiny snails. She was calling them funny names like Gabrielle and Inmim. I watched her babysit them like they were her dolls. She liked to explain things to them in Spanish, in case they ever needed to be able to do the same. But then there is a flash in this memory, like two films stitched together to edit the problem in between. There was a problem in between. There’s a second vision as strong and detailed as the first before the flash. Thea and Perry are crying in my living room and everyone is screaming Sunny’s name. Thea is wearing the locket she gave to her and shaking her head back and forth so furiously it looks like it might spin off. Perry is holding her hand and clenching his jaw. He is smiling but he doesn’t seem to be able to stop.


“Are you sure about that?” by Julia at her dining table

Wednesday February 3, 2016
5 minutes
Right Hand Man
Stacey Kaser

Kenny carries his wife’s handbag around the house when no one is home. He loves the way it looks. It elevates so many of his outfits. He doesn’t feel ashamed but he doesn’t want to tell anyone. No. Scratch that: he does feel ashamed and is dying to tell someone. Melanie might wonder if he had other things he was hiding from her, but Kenny could promise her without lying that he just thinks he should be able to wear it without any labels attached. Kenny has had this conversation with Melanie inside his head before. It can only go one of two ways. The first being “I wonder what you’d think if I chose to do this.” “I’m totally cool with it because it doesn’t mean you are any less you.” OR…”I have this thing I like to do.” “I cannot be with someone who does what they do without putting all their things into neatly organized boxes.” Kenny believes it’d be the former, but he doesn’t know for sure.


“awaken in the morning’s hush” by Julia at a Sichuan restaurant on West Broadway

Tuesday February 2, 2016
5 minutes
Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
Mary Elizabeth Frye

Over the years that I’ve known her, Shawna has never arrived anywhere on time. I don’t think she’s particularly proud of this habit, but I’ve also never seen her try to fix it. She apologizes, sure, don’t get me wrong, but she is always, always late. I wonder what she does every morning before she meets me or gets to her appointments. We meet at 11:30 because she can’t get there any earlier. I seriously wonder what her schedule looks like, what she prioritizes, what she lets slip away. I’ve also never once been to Shawna’s house. It’s so mysterious but perhaps I am more curious because I want to see if any of my speculations are true: does she make the bed twice because she can’t help but jump on it after she makes it the first time? Does she stay up all night, victim of insomnia, and finally catch her sleep when the rest of the world is waking up? Is she hiding a small family of raccoons in her basement that she doesn’t want anyone to see?


“No, I’ll never come back down,” by Julia at her dining table

Monday February 1, 2016
5 minutes
Portugal.The Man

I’ve been in a heightened state of something other worldly since I got severe frostbite on 7 of my 10 fingers this evening, or since I had a coffee on an empty stomach this afternoon, or since I walked in the house starved to death to find the chicken still frozen, or since he asked me if I was going to die by talking so fast, or since I let myself cry out all the emotions I’ve ever had or felt or experienced in the last 3 days when doing something that mattered so very much to me. I don’t know what started it. I do know that I invited it in like a little lost puppy with a broken limb. I wanted to take care of it, nurture it, finally love something that wouldn’t push my love away, and not just because it couldn’t, but because it needed it. I’ve had to get cozy with all my sorrys and all my old to-do lists. I’ve had to mourn the loss of something…and I think that something was the thing I needed to let go of to let everything else in. It’s not sad but it feels like it. The emotions are similar in their face, their hands, their eyes, their quake.


“what I could imagine” by Julia on her floor

Sunday, January 31, 2016
5 minutes
The New Song
W.S. Merwin

As I lay here, invalid, senior citizen before my time, I imagine the ceiling above me holding all my secrets and hanging each one within the perfect distance of one another. It’s like they all float up there when there’s no where else for them to go. They loom, they threaten to fall, or dangle, tease, disrupt. They’re not all bad, not all good. some of them are not so secret: I am a young person stuck in an old person’s body. I injure myself a lot. I am breakable. I am Samuel L. Jackson. I am worried by this. It still gets pinned on the ceiling even though I just divulged it. I think the real issue is that I keep it a secret from myself-not wanting to admit that I need help with my body and I will need more help as I age. You’d wonder, if you could lay where I am, seeing what I see, if I have any secrets left at all inside me. Are they not all on the ceiling? Hanging at different heights, holding space between them all? Do some of them ever co-mingle? They probably do, but maybe they do it in secret too. Like the one where I am on the floor, feeling old and broken, and I actually like it…


“provides clear directions” by Julia at her dining table

Saturday, January 30, 2016
5 minutes

When I tell you where my heart lives, I draw a map of its outline in the sand with an arrow pointing straight through it toward the ocean. I say, find me here when I am lost, find me here when you are.
You can rest easy knowing that I will never need you to buy me expensive things. Give me seashells and messages in a bottle. Give me soft splash and softer footprints. Give me calm winds and driftwood walking sticks. I will lay myself bare so you don’t have to go hunting for me. I will be as naked as the full moon making love to the night, and on my skin, a thousand Xs marked to remind you that you’ve found me.


“Glottal stop” by Julia at her dining table

Friday, January 29, 2016
5 minutes
From an email

I remember his tongue like I remember my favourite song. His words were different when he was tired or when he was mad. I loved to see him mad. It made me wet. I want to explain that but I can’t. It just turned me on so fast I couldn’t hide it: flush to the cheek, quiver in my breath. He never knew that. I never told him. I didn’t want to ruin it, or put pressure on it. It was like my own dirty little secret, and you know what they say about two people keeping a secret…I sometimes think about his anger when I’m trying to get off with someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing. It takes all my focus and I have to picture him saying the right words, pausing in the right places. It’s very difficult remembering something that happened 12 years ago. But I know I can count on it so it’s always worth the struggle. I think back on the way he spit out his Ks and cradled his Ss before unleashing them all, wild and loud.


“Glottal stop” by Sasha at Culprit Coffee

Friday, January 29th 2016 at Culprit
5 minutes
From an email

“Write what you know”
she says
Like it’s as easy as peeling a banana
“Carry a notebook”
she says
Like it’s something everyone does
Like it’s vitamins in the morning
“Write down everything you think is funny”
she says
And I wonder about those private jokes that shouldn’t see
the light of the sinking sun
“Write down the things that make you sad”
she says
And I consider the damp pages of my notebook
the smudged ink


“loading up the cart sheer to the brim” by Julia at Nicole’s house

Sunday, January 3, 2016
5 minutes

Tilly-Jean names her new rooster Amelia and asks her best friend, Fannie if she wants to come over and parade her around. Fannie loves parading around Tilly’s roosters but the last one was very traumatic as she was shot in the middle of the parade and nobody can really forget the death of a parading rooster.
Fannie tells Tilly-Jean that she will come over only if she promises to avoid the Overly yard and take the Elmsview route instead.
Tilly-Jean tells Fannie that the point of a parade is to SEE Amelia, not keep her hidden. She tells Fannie that she doesn’t know if that’s a fair condition. Fannie doesn’t like seeing death more than she needs to so she tells Tilly that she will not change her mind and to call her back after she has made an educated decision.


“loading up the cart sheer to the brim” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday, January 3, 2016
5 minutes

The mastery of the art of failure is hard won
Like any true knowledge it comes with bruises to the
imagination and early mornings of dry mouths and
too much black coffee
Failure is heavier than success
Success is not failure’s opposite but it’s sister

What if we re-imagined the graph that we’ve learned by
heart a thousand and one times?
What if we created with curiosity as a guide?
What if we relinquished stars and reviews and top ten lists
in favour of real full bodied failure attempts?