“Intelligent, quirky, passionate” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday May 15, 2018
11:44pm
5 minutes
from Quill and Quire

Let them see all the good colours
the ones that the sky knows in the morning
and when the sun decides to sleep
Let them see them in me
Let me

I am too tired to write a lie
Everything is coming out neon green
If I had more time I would spin a web of almost truth
And you might get caught because it wil be beautiful
It will blow your friggen mind out of your skull

let them choose brains over braun
quirk over perk
passion over rations
Let them pick the harder one to be
Let them learn how
Let me

I wish the bed didn’t sink in the middle
I wish Chicago wasn’t trying to recruit me so persistently
I wish the edges of this soft made you cry for once instead of me
I wish I didn’t need to do everything in the same line format

BREAK THE FOURTH WALL AND DO NOT OFFER TO PAY FOR DAMAGES
DIP SUGAR INTO A SALTY THING AND BOW DEEPLY
VOLUNTEER TO GO FIRST
T
R
U
S
T
YOUR EMOTIONAL LIFE WHEN IT IS HOOKED UP ALL THE WAY DOWN YOUR SPINE

“Manifest plainness” by Julia in her bed

Sunday, May 13, 2018
6:19am
5 minutes
From a quote on by Lao Tzu

The colour is right
Light pink, baby blue, hazy orange

The wake up is long
pushing the eyelashes open slowly
almost drifting off and farther away

The label on the alarm is a message from past me, wisdom and honesty
Please Write. I Love You.
And it works by the time I travel there

Eyelids weigh a wet feather or a hundred pounds and we take it easy
The body machine is working hard at staying up to see the seagulls swooping close to the window but not quite
The body machine is looking for excuses to stay asleep

One eye open, seeing the room through a dream

“we were exhausted” by Julia at J, W, and A’s house

Thursday, May 10, 2018
11:08pm
5 minutes
To The Beach
Brian Doyle

It was as if time travelled back into the clock and left us there, happy
The only thing we were waiting for was the still frame photograph of our lives once lived

At the end of the day there was a host of us bent over at the hip
hard and fast kiss at the moon, and a thank you brushing the cloud
We have lived here once, echoing like the faint buzz of a ghost pepper bleeding out from the lips
a lasting like this one and we were a donation
a giving of our bodies from one open wound to another
and we did not waver
we did not ask for cotton swabs or for distilled gin
We drank at the quiet like a dream coming home for the first time
We knew aching the way a mother of seven might.

“there are still shoelaces to be tied” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 8, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
Ten Seconds for Each Year
Fernando Raguero

Wait till your eyes run out of juice
try typing that letter to your friend
see how many times you nod off in the
middle of a good sentence
tell her: there are stillllllllllll swppp
tell her: you are so eeeeeen qqQ hip
She will really appreciate that you didn’t
make time for her earlier in the day
that you were saving up all your creative
expression for the moments in between
sleep and almost sleep because that’s
when all the best ideas come through
tell her: that thought you had about
the cactus and the kiwi eloping
tell her: neck kink and unlimited yawn
tell her: fall onto the bed mascara
still holding all your eyelashes together
Don’t forget about the roasting pan in
the sink or the shoes out in the foyer
or the wet hair drying slowly on your back

“peel and core the remaining apples.” by Julia on the 84

Sunday November 19, 2017
10:55pm
5 minutes
Apples
Andrea Albin

Unra is being asked to pack the kids ” inclusive lunches”
Unra has never heard of “inclusive lunches”
Unra does not have time to figure out what “inclusive lunches” are
Unra is tired of being called a “clueless mommy” by all the other with-it mommies
even if the with-it mommies are inventing ways to make other women feel bad simply because they’re working
the with-it mommies create drama to gossip about because their lives are so small
the with-it mommies meddle too much in their kids’ lives and their kids are brats
the with-it mommies call each other up at lunch because they can’t stand to be alone with themselves when their kids have gone to school
Unra is not a with-it mommy
Unra is sleepless
Unra feels bad enough as it is

“big comfy chairs” By Julia on the 99


Monday August 21, 2017
10:17pm
5 minutes
from an email

My head wants to cry and my eyes won’t let it happen. The woman beside me smells like cupcakes. The light is too bright, the windows are too open, and the woman beside me who smells like cupcakes is describing the dream she had about the big house and the sunroom. I do not picture big comfy chairs where my skin can sink. I see a pool warm enough for these cold August nights. I see a kiss on the temples where the pain likes to sit. The woman beside me who smells like cupcakes is gone and I am thinking about her dirty skirt and how terry cloth clothing always feels like the wrong kind of summer.
My head wants to pour out. Wants my eyes to get a bath. Maybe that’s what it will feel like from now on. Maybe that’s what happens after you stare directly at the sun taking the only break she ever gets.

“Don’t carry it all” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie


Monday January 23, 2017 at JJ Bean
3:39pm
5 minutes
From Dear Sugar Radio: Writer’s Resist

Put it down here
at my feet where the earth
is soft put it down
here where the crocus will
bloom come April
Put all your worries
down before you sleep
or else you’ll wake
like last night
in a pool of sweat
and tears calling
for God

They talk of faith
but I talk of birch
trees and whale bones

Put that world down
sweet one
it’s giving you
ulcers and rotten teeth
tumours and that
kind of sadness
that no word
has enough
consonants for

“How’re you?” By Sasha on her porch


Sunday September 11, 2016
7:20am
5 minutes
From a text message

How’re you?

Fine. Tired.

Yeah… But, really – … How are you?

So so tired.

What are you doing for the soft parts of yourself that get confused and think they need to be hard in order to get everything done?

Reading self help books?

Ha ha.

Zoning out on my phone too much.

Yeah. I do that, too. What would happen if you took a bath instead?

I’d probably fall asleep and drown.

Unlikely.

I should, I should take a bath. I have those fancy bath salts from six Christmases ago.

“Hands me a shovel” by Julia at Starbucks


Wednesday June 29, 2016 at Starbucks
7:33am
5 minutes
Zen Poem
Jane Rohrer


Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Says Whatchu Waiting For?
Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Hands me a shovel and tells me I have to and if I won’t do then I won’t do anything else today, no eating, no running, no laying down, no reading. So I do because I want to do other things but I don’t want to dig. My arms are weak from all the lifting he made me do yesterday. He sits back and watches me work while he chews on a piece of straw and rocks back and forth saying, That’s Nice, and Good, and, Very Good. The last time I tried to run away he sent his dogs. So I don’t threaten to head to the fence anymore. He wants to keep me right where he can see me. I don’t want to dig but his face is sweaty and mean today. I have to. I have to.
Says Dig
Says Hurry Up
Says I Like Watching You Drip
Says Thank You
Says I’ll Show You How Thankful I Am

“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.

“late summer night in 1990” by Julia on the 23


Tuesday March 1, 2016
7:04pm
5 minutes
http://therumpus.net/2016/03/there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-true-story/

Hardly slept-hadn’t been since March if I’m being honest. I don’t know if it was the construction or the lawn mowers- working nights make you stop sleeping and forget who you are, what your name is. But-I don’t know if I’m making excuses or whatever-all I know is I was fried. Wasn’t thinking. Maya couldn’t come and get me and that was fine-she said she was tied up at the shelter and some lone wolf told her he wasn’t going to leave unless she shaved his nut sack. I know I shouldn’t have left on my own-should have just waited there at the rest zone until someone could come get me, or some bus route opened up. I don’t like waiting around. Makes me feel like I’m killing time before I die. No in between. I didn’t mean to be so stupid. I didn’t need to drive I just had to get out of there-the smell of the plastic was starting to seep into me, twisting my guts up. Head pounding, all of that- I was just tired.

“Are you expecting us?” by Julia at DH Lodge in St. Jacobs


Tuesday, December 29, 2015 at DH Lodge
2:35am
5 minutes
from a Kitchener Utilities Pamphlet

Elliot sat on the couch digging into her scalp, searching for the patch of raised skull flesh she liked to play with when she was nervous. It was a quarter past four and her eyelids sometimes closed for longer than a blink while she waited up for Marco to get back. He was late. He told her he’d be back at midnight at the very latest. She had called him a total of seventeen times so far and counting. Elliot fingered the bump on her head and started to yank tufts of hair out with her finger nails, pulling slowly and firmly on a few strands from the root to the ends. Elliot thought about calling the police. The pendulum of the old cuckoo clock on the wall swung out of tune.

“This is fantastic!” by Sasha in her bed


Saturday September 19, 2015
11:21pm
5 minutes
http://www.food.com

A sad, small song, sung to the tune of your sadness
I’m as tired as a possum in a puddle.
I’m as lonely as a clam without a pearl.
I’m as broken as a china doll fallen off the top shelf.
I’m lowwwwwwww.

I’m as grumpy as a cat without a sun patch.
I’m as down as the sun after dusk.
I’m as shaky as the leaves after a storm.
I’m lowwwwwww, baby, I’m lowwwwwww.

I’m as minced as a meat pie.
I’m as scraggly as a stray.
I’m as empty as a barrel in a drought.
I’m lowwwwww! Oh baby! I’m lowwwwww.

A photo of Jack and Daisy by Julia on Katie’s couch


Sunday January 11, 2015
12:17am
5 minutes

Jack and Daisy

Held my hand out for you and I waited
Hours went by and I waited
Days turned into butterflies and I waited
Still
Like the night
Like the only moment between us that you wanted to paint
I stood there, facing the light
Hours went by and I tortured myself with thoughts of you
Of your smile
Of your depth
Of your tiny birthmark hidden in the crack of your upper lip
Hours
Days
Lifetimes went by and I waited
My arm got tired from holding onto an escaped hope
It had flown away into the wind long ago
My heart got tired from beating for both of us
My head got tired from trying to convince my body to have patience
To wait there for you until you were ready
And finally
I left
I left you there with the rain cascading down
All the veins of every heavy hearted tree

“I don’t understand why I sleep all day” by Julia in the park


Saturday June 28 2014
5:27pm
5 minutes
No Rain
Blind Melon


Maybe because the rain doesn’t stop here or because waking up means having to plan something to eat. Maybe because the sounds of the wind coming in through the holes in the bedroom walls means that if it’s not okay in here, the one place where it’s supposed to be, then it most definitely is not okay out there.
Maybe because the ego is a sensitive and fragile organ and if it’s wounded, even mildly, it takes days and days to recuperate. Maybe because the skies are vast but filled with grey clouds and looking up at something so big and seeing it filled with something so sad is enough to keep anyone laying under the covers until the sun peeks out long enough to put on pants and go outside. Maybe because if I told you how I really felt you’d stay in the kitchen and I’d have no where else to hide if I wanted to stay behind a separating door. Maybe because I’m a bit broken and disappointed in myself after all the wrong choices I’ve made lately, or made ever, that having to face them in broad daylight feels too hard or too easy and I don’t know which one is worse. Maybe because I’m tired. It could be that simple. I sleep because I have to. Either that or I’m aware that being awake means having to try.

“we are responsible” by Sasha on the Bathurst bus


Monday, October 28, 2013
3:48pm
5 minutes
“Real life and other tall stories”
The Wednesday Review


She was born feeling responsible, so don’t get her wrong when she gets a bit snippy upon being asked if she did the laundry today. She’s busy. She’s overwhelmed. She didn’t. But she wishes that she had. Trust in that, even if you can’t trust in her to tell you that she’s tired when she’s tired and hungry from forgetting lunch. And breakfast. She was made to lead, so when she has to take orders (or suggestions) she gets passive aggressive. Smile at her and tell her you love her, you love her drive, you love the version of “I’m So Excited” that she hums when she’s working.

“successfully completed” by Sasha at her desk


Sunday April 28, 2013
1:12am
5 minutes
A Smart Serve Card

He felt proud. APPLAUSE! He felt glad. YAHOO! He felt twisted up and turned inside out. BOO-HOO. He stood before the whole conference, all of his most respected and admired peers, the leaders in Business Marketing and Administration with a Specification in Printed Materials… PHEW! He was ready. He glanced at his notes, but only to ground him. Only to see the hieroglyphics on the page, the tiny dots of black on white on black on white, and he felt – YAWN. Oh my good greif. How could he – YAWWWWN. He wasn’t bored. He absolutely wasn’t hungry. He’d had a roast beef sandwich with potato chips and two dill pickes! YUM! He heard a faint murmur of upset. He heard Barbara Jenkins say, off-stage, “Don, what the hell is going on?” He was utterly compelled, totally moved, unbelievably inspired to lie down, to rest, to nap. HOLYSHIT. Don had been working since he was fifteen. He had gone on one vacation to Mexico, and on it, he got terribly sick. HE IS TIRED. HE IS EXHAUSTED. HE IS OVER IT. He falls to his knees. One woman, in a grey pantsuit, wonders if this is what performance art is. If so, she finally understands it.