“When your music ends” by Julia on her patio


Sunday August 6, 2017
5:07pm
5 minutes
Spotify

That feeling when your guts are in your throat
when you want to breathe deeply but nobody will let you
the empty swallow that burns your chest
that makes you wish for more time or a disguise

The last song has to be a good one. Maeve and Alexis lay on the floor touching skulls, feet outstretched in opposite directions. Maeve has been planning for a long time and Alexis knows patience. She goes along hand in hand with everything. She is not a pushover. She just never gets tired. Maeve is close to tears. She doesn’t know which one to choose and everyone is putting their two cents in. Alexis has stopped suggesting options. Instead she lays there without thinking about the clock and lets her friend quietly cry.

“If all your favourite makers got together” by Julia on Lindsay’s couch


Monday March 20, 2017
1:48am
5 minutes
Steal Like An Artist
Austin Kleon


i know anout making things
two hands
heart beating
connected tissue
i would ask about making big things
four hands
hearts in sync
canvas and words
i want to tell you that it’s not all beautiful
but none of it is bad
it makes you
feel alive and
full of possibility
when the minutes are salty
from marinating in think juice
in sweat
mind body connection
collaboration we cling to
we know our own rhythm until
we mix the unknowing
with the craft
i know about making things
there is never only one person

    “Can you please bring me my water?” by Julia in her childhood bedroom


    Sunday December 25, 2016
    11:52pm
    5 minutes
    Overheard in the kitchen

    Young one is half laying beside me, nodding off and meeting sleep somewhere in the middle so it doesn’t have to come all that way.
    Older one is propped up against the fire place, figuring it out pen in hand or holding space for the opportunity in case it comes knocking.
    Fire starter keeps banging on the wood, offering silly comments, and roasting chestnuts even though they’d taste better if we were still hungry.
    Happy heart is stuffed into the love seat, smiling at me every time something deserves an eye roll or a gut laugh.
    You are on the other side of me, keeping my leg and my spirits up, holding my water and my elbow, lifting more up than you ever could hold in your two hands.

    “with my fingers and lick” by Julia on her couch


    Saturday December 3, 2016
    6:20pm
    5 minutes
    from Cake Pops
    Amy Roher


    It’s going in the books as one of the best fights of my life. Probably won’t have a rival. I think because being able to be so articulate while so angry is one of those white squirrel moments. They exist but they are rare. They are unicorns. Unicorns that reveal themselves to only the lucky ones in this life. I haven’t seen one yet, but that’s okay because I had this fight and I will never be the same. We laughed. We cried. We fucked. We said it all. We screamed. We got what we wanted. We saw each other. We saw our problems. We accepted them. We accepted each other. But we were both still mad and it was beautiful. Truly. No one had to cut a piece of themselves off. No one had to step onto the coals while the other one held the gasoline. We both blazed. We walked through the fire together. We blew the smoke off each other’s backs. We flew.

    “White-sand beaches” By Julia at her dining table


    Monday March 7, 2016
    10:41pm
    5 minutes
    from an online ad

    If you’re asking then I’m going, going with you, going wherever you go.
    I don’t have any bags packed yet but I don’t mind getting whatever I need as we bleed.
    Can I borrow your toothbrush? If you’re asking, can I share your knapsack?
    I could sing you one of your favourites. You can pick the one. I know you like some feeling kinds, some country, some bluegrass, some sweet sweet soul.
    I don’t care if you’re a white-sand beaches kind of thing, a hot air balloon, an air dive off of a mountain kind of heart. I am an open mess of so much yes and so little reservation.
    I can curl up small on your back, or lead you hand in hand to a secret place where the pure strength river will never run dry.

    “Action plan” by Julia on the 99 bus


    Thursday February 11, 2016
    11:08pm
    5 minutes
    from a sign at Commercial-Broadway station

    Okay let’s stay on this path let’s pick all the berries and watch the sunset from here cause it’s safe here under the canopy of jungle under the protection of soft light let’s pack our tiny bags full of notebooks and truth juice to sustain us but not delay us to suspend us but not limit us we can sip sparingly and save some of that for tomorrow and when we get to tomorrow let’s write a new song about the afternoon or turn dusk into the chorus we can sing it out cause we know the words and bang on the drum of our chest cavities to keep the rhythm going to keep the music alive let’s stay on this path and pray to the star gods to keep us happy and in love in case tomorrow’s tomorrow surprises us.

    “Bowl of acceptance” by Julia in the guest suite


    Thursday, December 31, 2015
    5:31am
    5 minutes
    Overheard in the Living Room

    Honouring our mother we stare deep into our blood with a little wink and a hug saying “we can only go forward now.” Your heart rests just above mine like it was designed to. You came first, you reached up to the sky where you saw endless possibilities and I reached up to you because I believed you were as high as I needed to go. Now we lead each other, honouring our mother, giving her the gift we refused to when we were young.
    “Please don’t fight.” “Why can’t you two be kind to each other?” “Tell me, do you treat your friends this way?”
    We didn’t know it at the time that we weren’t treating each other like anything but ourselves and we both had a lot of figuring out to do. We threw self-blame and self-hate and self-wondering because we were each other’s mirror and we saw ourselves reflected back through shades of green in a way we couldn’t understand.
    I let your heart shift around on mine to find its spot. I keep you there like a stamp of time and a promise of forever.

    “Maybe we shouldn’t” by Julia on her couch


    Saturday November 21, 2015
    11:40pm
    5 minutes
    overheard at the Eastside Culture Crawl

    Maybe we shouldn’t talk about the future, about how many kids you want, or how many pieces of artwork we don’t agree on. Maybe we shouldn’t.
    Maybe we shouldn’t tell each other everything just in case we wake up one time in the middle of the night and realize there’s nothing left to learn. Maybe we shouldn’t.
    Maybe we shouldn’t co-own anything unless that thing is a fruit and custard pull-away tart from the coffee shop on the corner where the barista is mean to you. Maybe we shouldn’t.
    Maybe we shouldn’t wait for the other one to be honest about the things we’re afraid of first. Maybe there’s pain in the waiting. Maybe there’s disaster in the lie before it becomes the truth.
    Maybe we shouldn’t tell our parents, when they ask what we did last night, that we didn’t leave our beds because we were too high to stand up. Maybe we shouldn’t.

    “we realize we can’t eat money” by Sasha at her desk


    Saturday March 21, 2015
    6:24pm
    5 minutes
    from an Indian Proverb

    We realize we can’t eat money so we eat
    banana pudding instead
    The texture reminds us of babyhood of being
    held close to the heartbeat of
    the source
    We slop it up like it’s delicious
    fooling ourselves
    Joke’s on us
    Joke’s on the ice cream sundae
    No banana split for old time’s sake
    We realize we can’t keep eating banana pudding because
    it’s making us sick
    We’re turning soft
    Ripened on the counter
    Speckling brown and black

    “Start a group play team” by Julia at her parents’ kitchen table


    Saturday January 17, 2015
    11:32am
    5 minutes
    from a lotto 649 ticket

    We’ve got a good team
    We fight the bad guys and we cuddle a lot
    We make jokes about the mean ones and we tap forks before we eat
    We make sure no negativity gets in and we play catch in the park outside our house
    We build barriers so no harm can enter and we kiss like two puzzle pieces that were meant to complete the other
    We don’t leave the bedroom cause it’s safer inside and we double dip our honey hands into the bag of liquorish chews
    We’ve got a good team
    We laugh and we live and we squeeze and we breathe
    We do it together and no one can stop us
    We do it together cause we know winning is really only happiness and happiness is winning

    “All of it, kid.” by Julia on her bed


    Saturday November 22, 2014
    3:06am
    5 minutes
    From a first draft of a screen play

    -You like Ray Charles? You like that song he pours his guts into?
    -Georgia?
    -Yeah, beautiful right?
    -Yeah, the best.
    -Everything is the best.
    -Right now, yes. Let’s die like this.
    -Dance for me first. Before we die happy and perfect, dance as if Ray Charles put music in your veins
    -Like this?
    -Mmm, yeah, like a little bird, flying high and from the inside out.
    -I’m your little bird.
    -I’m your biggest fan.
    -Mmm.
    -Let me lick you. You have no lines on your face. The smoothest skin, no lines at all.
    -I’m young and I’m yours and I’m a little bird with Ray Charles blood.
    -Mmm, yeah. We can die now.
    -Some water first?
    -Yeah, you drink then let me taste it from your lips.
    -Feed you life…like little birds do…
    -Yeah, you dance and feed me, little bird, little bird.

    “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.

    “Pumpkins are awesome,” by Julia at her desk


    Friday October 31, 2014
    2:55am
    5 minutes
    from an e-mail

    Carlos came over and he had this great idea to carve each other’s face in our pumpkins this year. He said it would be more fun, and I was like, Carlos, I already know how this is going to go, but sure, fine, let’s carve. So I sat behind my pumpkin like I would behind an easel…or what I’m assuming I’d be sitting like cause I don’t paint or anything. It was just an example. And I looked at him, I studied him and all his features. I wanted to carve his face perfectly, and for someone who doesn’t ever do things like this, it was going to take all my concentration. I looked at every part of him: his eyebrows, his slightly larger left ear, the groove in his chin, the scar near his eye from the fallen icicle 5 years ago. I knew this face and still I was like, who are you? Like not to Carlos, cause I didn’t want him to get weird. But it’s like that when you look at a face for a long time. New things appear. Old things too, but mainly lots of new ones.

    “in the passenger seat” by Julia at her desk


    Sunday October 26, 2014
    12:33am
    5 minutes
    from the early draft of a screenplay

    Anja sat quietly in the front seat, not wanting to disturb her father while he was lost. She knew she’d only have a few more calm minutes with him before he lost his temper, and she didn’t want to reduce them by saying the wrong thing, or breathing too loudly. Anja had wanted to go up to the cabin with her father ever since she was a kid, but for some reason they never did things just the two of them. Of course Pat got to do everything with their father, and he’d come home shining like the sun after a weekend alone with him. Anja knew she didn’t have much to say to her father, but always assumed that was because she never got to go on these trips like her brother did. If she had had the opportunity, she would have made herself known. She would have told a few jokes and proven how strong she was, and fearless. It felt like the two of them, finally spending some quality time together, had been driving in circles for at least an hour. Anja wondered briefly if this moment would be enough to bring them closer together.

    “Have a beautiful night, beautiful.” By Julia at Nicole’s desk


    Tuesday August 26, 2014
    12:31am
    5 minutes
    Overheard on the streetcar

    On our night in the woods we drank the blue stuff and turned the yellow stuff into powder. We clinked our glasses, and our thumbs, and we tilted our heads back to send the gift down-offering up an opportunity to our souls (we were looking for some peace of truth, whichever came first). The stars twinkled in sequence, telling a story, singing a song, drowning in ecstasy and not waving or struggling to stay above the tide. The moments lasted as long as they should have-the romance elongated, the touch softened. Our tongues traced tiny hearts on each other’s belly and we prayed with the night’s temple lit on fire from our commitment. We spoke only with our eyes and I said, Forever, and he said, Yes please.

    “The Psych Ward” by Julia at the Winnipeg Fringe Tent


    Sunday, July 20, 2014
    5:08pm
    5 minutes
    from a Winnipeg Fringe Festival Program


    I didn’t say no. I didn’t say yes. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
    Where did you go? Why did you leave? You’re here now. I see you. I’m happy you’re back.
    I didn’t say hello. I didn’t say goodbye. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
    What can I do? What can I say? I’m here now. I see you. I’m with you once again.
    I didn’t say I’m sorry. I didn’t say I wasn’t. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
    Which way is up? Which way is down? You’re here now. You see me. We’re together for a while.
    I didn’t say baby. I didn’t say friend. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
    When can you take me? Where can we hide? We’re here now. We see it. We’re a we like we were.
    I didn’t say stay. I didn’t say go. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
    Where did you go? Why did you leave? You’re here now. I see you. I’m happy. You’re back.
    I didn’t say please. I didn’t say thank you. But the whole time I knew. The answer was clear.
    We’re not through, yet, are we? We’re not just July? I’m here now. You see me. With you once again.

    “Image Dip” by Julia at the CSI Coffee Pub


    Wednesday May 28, 2014 at The CSI Coffee Pub
    10:42am
    5 minutes
    Image from The Sun Magazine

    I can’t tell if the sky is blurry-foggy-or if this is just my mind-blurry-fuzzy. I can hear you breathing-panting behind me-your footsteps trying to keep up.
    I say, You okay? And it takes a second before you respond-
    Yeah.
    The road is shining so I keep my eyes down and I hum the song that I know calms you-I wait for you to sing along-start singing along with my calming song-but you don’t. You’re just breathing-panting behind me-and I’m navigating through the dizziness-trying to pinch my left arm hard enough to wake me up from this.
    Almost there, I call back to you, but you don’t answer and I’m glad cause ‘there’ is a place that as far as I’m concerned I’ve made up.
    I hope I’m not wrong. I pray silently that I’m not.
    I reach back to see if I can touch your fingertips but I don’t feel you-I don’t stop, I know you’re still there. I don’t want you to feel like you’re holding me up-
    I hum again-I hum louder-
    You’re not singing along with me but you’re using my voice as a guide-
    Under the boardwalk-I call-Down by the sea-On a blanket with my baby-
    and you say, That’s where I’ll be.

    “the porn industry” by Julia on her couch


    Saturday March 15, 2014
    3:07pm
    5 minutes
    from a web series break down

    I come home early from work and don’t tell him, don’t call him, don’t surprise him that I am. I see he’s sleeping on the couch, the News blaring without him even flinching to notice. I never want to see him like this because it makes me feel old, and it makes him seem young. Today’s his day to have the house. We agreed on it before. I told him I wouldn’t be home till 8 or 9, and he said, come when you come! I think coming at 6 is too early for the plans we agreed on and I’m not mad at him for sleeping. I’m glad he is. I just wish I didn’t have to see it. It’s not something I can explain much better than that. But it doesn’t work for me, so I think tomorrow I will come home when I’m supposed to, after he’s had a chance to rest from his long day of lifting. He starts much earlier than I do. 5 AM. I would think if he didn’t nap during the afternoon he would be a zombie by dinner, so I know he does it for me. Especially when he waits for me to come home every night so we can eat together. He doesn’t have to do that, but I think it’s nice that he does.
    I don’t want to take away from his day and his time, so I quietly make some crackers and cheese in the kitchen and sit down to the computer. I see the tabs that are all open: Global Tv, Life Hacks, How to get American Netflix, Best Banana Bread Recipes, and Hard..Harder..Hardest.

    “Perhaps she will spend the morning” By Julia at Rustic Owl Cafe


    Saturday, November 23, 2013 at Rustic Owl Cafe
    11:50am
    5 minutes
    The Days You’ve Spent
    Suzanne Bowness


    Like a morning breeze waking us from our sleep, trying to keep us from leaving the bed, and telling us it’s not safe out there if we’re separated. We stay. We listen. We hear each other’s body and we respond to it, authentically, intuitively. We feel the warmth from the night’s good dreams and the callous bottoms of four feet rubbing up against each other accidentally. We remember the stillness, the snowflakes, the morning magic with its power over us. The first snowfall, we decide, is something to spend in bed watching with another soul. We listen to our sleepy logic, we adhere to it, we make it a rule, a ritual. We don’t need to ask the other to stay when we both feel as much a part of the bed, as we do our own minds. We own it in half, and split the rent to share perfect moments like these, on mornings where it’s below freezing, and full of possibility, and the money, in coins, both mine and yours, goes into a clear jar marked “Laundry Fund”.

    “What do we want?” By Julia at Belly Acres


    Monday May 6, 2013 at Belly Acres
    5:27pm
    5 minutes
    A sign on the blackboard

    What do we want? Hard to say, I don’t know if I’d classify us as a ‘we’ anymore. See…when someone breaks someone’s heart, it’s really no longer ‘we’ territory. I’m fine without you, by the way. But that’s what it is: Me without you. There is no ‘we’. We–what we used to be– was weekends away at the cottage house in Grand Bend, and a bottle of red with a million re-runs of Scrubs. That’s what we used to be. Laura, you’re calling me too much. It’s hard, okay? We can’t–uh–there, I said it–you and I, can’t, keep doing this if the both of us want to move on, I mean, if you and I separately think it’s a good idea for personal growth or whatever. Maybe the friend thing you’re pushing could be real…12-18 months from now, yeah, I think I’d consider it. But–now is like–it’s like you’re allowed to still talk to me but you’re also allowed to still talk to him…and like, the best of both world’s thing, isn’t really my thing.

    A friend from your childhood (memory dip) By Julia at R Squared


    Monday March 4, 2013 at R Squared
    10:03am
    5 minutes

    Griffin. Not sure why you’re in my head today. Here we go.
    Had curly hair. Dark. Looked dirty. Remembered his big teeth always big and smiley. Curly, curly hair. The first boy I had met with curls. Griffin wore green and blue wool sweaters for picture day. interacted with him? Can’t recall. His winter boots, black, Velcro. His hat, big, popply, also green and blue like his sweaters. He is a Mr. Potato head in my memory–putting clothes on him and facial expressions to help me paint him. Had a lisp. Had a lisp that didn’t bother anyone. Had a lot of G.I Joes. Always making smashing noises with his big teeth, big lips. BOOOOKERSSSHhHHHHH. Small and quiet. Griffin. Last name out the window hanging on a clothesline, flapping in the wind. Never had a last name, maybe. Never had a first one either. Griffin is the name of a furry forest animal. Like a bear. Or a squirrel. Griffin the squirrel. His big teeth always big and smiley like a squirrel. This squirrel smiles. Not all squirrels do. Friends with him only in winter. Climbing the snow hills together. Were we friends? Never know.