“I would now say it’s obvious” by Julia on the bed

Saturday April 18, 2020
4:09pm
5 minutes
quoting Ellen Davis

There is a place that I will go from now on when I need to hear the wisdom of life that has lived out its lessons before me

Inside the spiraled well is a water so deep I need only float its surface to connect to the network of hidden truths

I would now say it’s obvious that it is a place I’ve already been, but some lights are worth keeping on

The first time I visited I might have been alone in the house and brought a deep breath down with me

I latched myself to the shimmering hoop and trusted that its circle was the right shape to provide a distribution of my leaning weight

when I landed there atop the surf it bled me from the inside out and I knew

“Voice and wisdom” by Julia on her bed

Monday April 13, 2020
11:17am
5 minutes
quoting Brené Brown

We crossed the river in our dreams
Last night I sunk in the dissapointment of my friend’s judgement of me
I worried about what she’d say
and then I did what I wanted anyway
Told her the truth when she asked anyway
even when the other friends shook at my decision to bare the courtesy of honesty
she was mad all the same but
that did not make me feel less confident
Sometimes you have to accept the angry coming from someone else who
expected things to go their way since it is, afterall, their movie

When my heart remembers a dream like that I take it personally
I drink the wisdom from the cinematic showing of some unconcsious question

I apply it to the every day and moment after

“I learn by going where I have to go” by Julia on her couch

Sunday April 5, 2020
5:21pm
5 minutes
quoted by Theodore Roethke

I went all the way
cause that’s where
I said I wanted to
go when it all comes
down to it

it all comes down to
it all the way down
and into it and deep
and below and down
and in in in

I said I needed to
find the key and it
was tucked there in
in inside of me

like waking from the
dream and pushing
beneath the easy signs
to see clearly what
I have previously
left behind

when I stayed where I
was I learned about
staying and when I went
to where I was going
I learned how to go
by going I keep going

and I’ve been practicing
how to breathe under
water with all these years
on my belt and on the wall
I show up to not knowing
every single morning

I launch myself out and
then watch as I find the
truth in the centre of
my experience the one
I must listen to

“A marriage is risky business these days” by Julia at The Cottage

Sunday, March 22, 2020
9:23pm
5 minutes
Wedding Poem for Schele and Phil
Bill Holm

When the invite came in the mail I didn’t take it out of its envelope.
Marnie would have fainted if she knew. I just threw it straight into the trash.
It was hard not being able to tell her. I mean, if you were me you wouldn’t tell her.
No one needs their best friend telling you that they can’t trust themselves to make a better decision.
I couldn’t support it and I don’t think I should have lied to her about it.
If I had gone, she would have had me there but I’d be lying the whole time.
It’s not better to lie about stuff like that.
Guess you could say I avoided it, I lied, same same double same, but the truth is, Marnie didn’t get subtle wake up calls.
She didn’t take anything seriously and in a way I kind of hoped she would have this one time.
It was the end of our friendship, to be honest with you. Marnie wasn’t going to listen to me tell her after the fact.
It’s my fault though. I couldn’t look myself in the mirror after I let her walk down the aisle.
Some people think it was my job to say something, but I don’t know, if it were that easy…
Well. Anyway, all I can say is marriage is already a risky business these days. It doesn’t need
more doubt thrown onto the fire.

“Permit me to add my first” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday March 17, 2020
5:20pm
5 minutes
Old French Fairy Tales
Sophie, Comtesse de Ségur

you will find a journal of unsent letters addressed to you
in each one will be our ending but you will never suspect that they are about you

you will find the truth of what was hurting and why

you will learn the code words based on the shape of my Gs and in the loop of my Zs

you will wonder why you never saw it first and if there might be proof of this reckoning coming somewhere down an earlier pipe

you will not think any of those Gs or Zs are about you until one day that is all you can think of and then you will see yourself all over everything

you will question why you couldn’t ask me better questions or why you assumed me one way

must have been the wild west in me, the untameable horse, the rulebreaker you always wished you could be

you will be shocked on the outside but on the inside you will know the truth and how you are responsible for more than you name

“And when I thirsted” by Julia at ‘the cottage’

Sunday March 8, 2020
10:03pm
5 minutes
Lines
Maria A. Brooks

I craved a real raw hunk of you and my mouth watered

my tongue bucked

my instinct kicked the earth
scuffed up the garden
winnied and then kicked again

i wanted to see you in the glow of surrender and love and letting the heart speak

I wanted to hear the truth drip from the corner of your mouth

i saw you then and your eyes were open too and we stood there panting and sending all our breath to our knees

and when I thirsted
I thirsted for that
and we could look at each other life long
like that in the gkow

“He’s a teenie, tiny picture” by Sasha at her kitchen counter

Tuesday March 3, 2020
9:39pm
5 minutes
Who’s Zoo
Conrad Aiken

I remember the smell of the hot earth, cracked and raw against  the sole. I remember the dry mouth, airplane and fake air, bad eggs and cheap wine. I remember trying to switch from black and white to colour and then the colour being too bright, trying to switch to black and white again, but not being able. It’s a rite of passage. I remember the teenie tiny picture in Hillary’s locket of her great grandmother who had come here on a ship, and on the journey she’d seen mermaids and seals and death. I remember the sound of a voice that has lost everything, or think’s she has, and how that voice is actually the strongest root to the hottest fire. I remember not questioning the authority of the old bitch who told me I should wear something different. I remember rising early from a strange bed and leaving without brushing my teeth and getting on the train and ending up in front of my father’s house.

“a petite woman in her late twenties” by Julia on her couch

Friday February 14, 2020
6:01pm
5 minutes
Confidence Woman
Stephen Henigha

I was once a petite woman in my late twenties
I was once in denial about that
thought I was as big as a house
as tall as an evergreen tree
as lion as a lion

I used to roar as loud as my hair
and you called me your lion
I believed you when you said you liked me disruptive
not polite
not the word
distracting
sometimes unaware of the volume and the location and the audience

I was once a person who ran out instead of turning in
a woman in her late twenties with a chip on her shoulder
a secret in her tears and a confession
somewhere type-written in the nook of her bedside table
I used to beg the moon to take me with her
let me watch
let me learn from her and all that silky show

I used to hate myself for lying
when I was so hungry for the truth
I used to hate anyone for lying
because I was hiding the truth
I convinced myself I was the world’s best actress
and you were the one who couldn’t tell that this was all a movie
that every word spoken was screen tested
that every song hushed was the result
of so much bloodied shame

I used to blame other people for my dark Tuesdays
or Wednesdays and wished that someone would
find a new hole to haunt

“How far your eyes may pierce” by Julia on the plane

Monday January 6, 2020
12:55pm EST
5 minutes
King Lear
Shakespeare

And still a river bleeds out the secret, close enough to the house babble babble

Who hushes the mouth spilling and if we can is it now?

Now that we have decided to leave tired skin on the ground for its new job

A spread on the earth and nurture the rest of the ecosystem
Like a fallen tree might
Like a called soul can

The water waits reflecting and there is not a chance for seeing the wrong thing
It does not lie
The deer does not get spooked

We unravel at the sorry bone and spin out out, babble babble
into a good home being built
into foundation strengthening

The river sings it out if we leave it up to her

And we do
We leave it up to her

“You are going to have to give and give and give”

Wednesday November 20, 2019
9:41pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Anne Lamott

What you want to say is the truth.
And you don’t know who’s reading this now after all the times you’ve talked about it.
Here’s a place where you do what you do and then afterwards another thing. A new thing.
A new.
What do you want them to know?
How ready you are? How sure?
Or the thing that scares you more.
How desperately you want to be a part of the ecosystem and how afraid you are that it might take more than a day.
How you want nothing more than for them to hold you useful, for them to know you good.
Is this where you tell them you’re ready but you give a damn so you feel shaky behind the eyes?
Is this where you say that you asked for them and the universe was good to you and gave you what you needed?
When do you tell them the truth?
That you don’t know everything and that you’re willing to learn?
That this whole thing is messy but you’d rather spoil your shirt than sit around waiting.
You are going to have to give and give and give some more.
But you are going to have to receive some too.
You’re going to have to fill up on what they have to offer.
You’re going to have to let them evolve your heart and your hands and your mind and your soul.
That’s the fear. That you will be different.
But I promise you that you will able to handle that.
You have always done this.
You have always found a way.

“all the facts” by Julia on her bed

Saturday October 12, 2019
5:33pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Wendell Berry

It’s a long weekend. Fact.
Or wait do you want to know
if it’s a fact before seeing
the fact?
Or do you wish to decide yourself?
Here
is an example:

FACT: it is a long weekend.

Here is
another example:

I am funnier without the pot?
FACT

See how one is a call and response
and the other
is some kind of proof or statement
not up for debate?

I am not sure why I am asking you.
You are not me and I know the facts
about me and what is true. And
yes some of them are facts about life
but it is I who is experiencing
them and therefore I can say.
I can also say because of poetic
licence which you do not need to
pass a test to get, but that you
must be willing to risk something.

FACT: I RISK
even when I am scared

I risk even when I am the only one? FACT

The strength is in what I am trying to convey
and maybe it’s not always a fact
or never is
a fact but the point is that
in this moment of telling you
it certainly is because I’ve
committed to it on this
document.

This document is proof: FACT.

FACT: this document is proof of me risking

“and I will do you no harm.” by Julia at her desk

Saturday September 28, 2019
4:10pm
5 minutes
Robinson Crusoe
Daniel Defoe

I refuse to slice when you ask me for the blade
I will not cut you
I will not draw blood
Do you want my approval for a thing that you know I hate?
How can I do anything but weep when you tell me?

The truth is a funny edged sword
I thought I’d prefer honesty but maybe I’ve never had it pointed at me like this before
Is it better that you said it or could I live not knowing?
We all do a little coned living from time to time
You could have kept my opinion of you in the shape you left it

And you chose to say it, you chose to come clean
You say this is The Age of Truth and in The Age of Truth we confess things
I will not cut you
I will not draw blood
But I cannot shame you either because isn’t that the sharpest part?

I will hold silence before I hold a knife to your skin
I will wait until you beg me to speak
I will let my quiet tell you where I am

“But in a poem we can do anything we want.” By Julia on her couch

Friday September 20, 2019
9:18pm
5 minutes
Since You Asked
Lawrence Raab

But we can’t stop anything in a poem. If The Tears are

there, then that’s where they’ll stay. If the lines

he softens on my forehead run as deep as they look

then in this poem I will cry for all the soft I’ve ever

tried to conceal, every rough idea, every gouged edge.

We can cross the rope of a decade and counting, here in

this poem; travel in dreams you want to hear about.

We can lay in the after lull of a couch cradling all the

body parts that caught a child’s scream today.

But we can’t erase what is there. We cannot change the brick.

“I was what I stood there for” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday August 27, 2019
8:44pm
5 minutes
Later, When I Am Carried Forward This Far
Parm Mayer

I waited for the answer to fall down from the sky
with a little help from whoever was doing the sending.

I’ve been praying more these days and I have said
I wouldn’t call upon the clouds because of what

they did the last time. I never stood tall in the rain.
I never held hope in the grey. I waited waited then and

now I’m waiting waiting still. It’s different these days.
The time in between seems like the right amount to hold

my breath. Lady tells me how much good the Good Lord has
done for her and I haven’t seen the spoils cause I haven’t

been to church. Not since what it did the last time.
Traded Fridays for a cheap lava lamp, get those dumb

kids off the street with bribery and with the false
light. Already members got a discount ticket to Lazer Quest.

Lady tells me if I prayed I wouldn’t have to use
Jesus’ name and I don’t think I will cause of what

he did the last time. Showed up on my wall to give
me the message, masked in love but laughing out the
devil’s truth.

“so much past inside my present” by Julia on the Ebus from Chilliwack

Saturday August 24, 2019
10:09pm
5 minutes
Past in Present
Feist

I prayed to the sweet in my finger prints,
the gold that has been found in all the touching.
I thanked the god that had done the speaking.
I knelt down to the alter of my former self: Great Teacher.
Oh how I wept.
How there was a deep whisper.
But how loud.
But how I listened.
The gentle nudge of spirit,
the family of cells storing memory in my dreams and letting me remember.
Oh how I remember.
The way a crowd would bring out my inner coward,
how I would ask to start over.
And Teacher Self bathed in love now,
in abundance now, I needed you as you were then.
I needed you exactly as you were.

“we should not trust the masses” by Julia at M and D’s table

Thursday August 15, 2019
1:03pm
5 minutes
Discourses
Epictetus

This tiny bug starts crawling on my arm
and I know I’m not supposed to freak out
about a tiny bug but I’m afraid because
my dad told me that they were going to
suck my blood and even though I have
never seen teeth on a bug this teeny tiny
I believe him because he is my dad and
why would my dad lie to me especially
if it’s about being bit or not being bit

I am going to the Philippines with my
mom and my dad told me there were
all kinds of bugs flying around there so
now I am scared of the Philippines the
way I am afraid of my backyard because
what if I get bit and then I never get to
see him again and I shouldn’t be going
in the first place if I know that there are
bugs that are always trying to land on me

I didn’t apply to university because my
dad said that there are so many people
all at once and he reminded me that I
don’t do very will with big crowds because
someone might step on me or hurt me or
stab me or steal my purse or push me or
take me and put me in their car and hide
me in their basement for 4-7 years while
I am forced to eat dust and have their babies

“foolish joy, greedy desire” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday August 14, 2019
8:36am
5 minutes
On The Brevity Of Life
Seneca

The wind is asking me to spill my secrets
I will not do it unless Mr. Jeff Buckley advises.
I am asking him a question and he answers
with his death cry and I listen, listen, as if he
knew my soul better than I did

Do I leak out the truth or do I bury it in the
backyard with all the other blood, all the                                                                                                                                                              cracked lips and hunted soft, do I, do I,                                                                                                                                                                Mr. Angel Jeff Buckley, do I, do I, do I?

We don’t all have the answers or the space
to dig them up since some of us want to
keep the soil on the earth instead of eating it
for breakfast and then again when the clock strikes midnight

If the wind wants me, should I give her the
whole of me or the hole of me and will she
notice the difference if I stood there shaking?
Mr. Angel Man says that these are the only options.

The whole of me is the hole in me, negative
space as much as the weight that I can trace
with my finger tip, do I, do I, do I?
I spin the web from underneath the deepest
pit, the ones I vowed no one would ever see.

“Redeemable exclusively at” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday August 1, 2019
6:47pm
5 minutes
From a Salvation Army flyer

These redeemable features
the striving for authenticity
the hope for freedom
What more do we want?

The crest of the lip
holds sweat and tears
The heart holds
more space
and then no space
and then more space

My smell has changed in these days
turned raunchy and rough
I can’t stop sniffing myself
smelling my fear
animal that I am
animals that we are
How we build from a series
of fumblings
stumbling towards
something true

“I’ll try to sneak across the border somewhere, somehow” by Julia on A’s couch

Friday July 26, 2019
12:29am
5 minutes
Summer Of My Amazing Luck
Miriam Toews

you’re on the other side of the country right now. Missing me, you say, needing me. I’m feeling it hard right now. I’m feeling you. Thank you for believing in my dreams even when you won’t get those 15 minutes back. You listen. You always listen.

I am writing so many things about you, yoy’d think we just fell in love for the first time this year. But I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve fallen in love with you. How many days are in a decade again? Somewhere around there.

Tonight I’ll find yet another bed to think of you in. I’ll meet you across the border of sleep and into the place we keep choosing. It’s nice there and it’s warm, and I know the breeze of you like the back of my hand. Even if I don’t see your face, I’ll know.

1234

“a time lacking in truth and certainty” by Julia on B’s toilet

Monday July 22, 2019
10:59pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Louise Bogan

When we were young we spent time hiding from each other in the mornings so we wouldn’t have to endure the small talk that had become of us.

I admit I was the one avoiding you because you could see into my skin and I didn’t like how I was treating you because of that.

I have already apologized and so have you but when we weren’t walking quietly on the kitchen tile, we were occupying the misunderstandings in the hallway.

You there in your fed up to here stance, hurling hardball truth to my jaw, me there mouth agape. Shocking how well the time we bottled knew how to explode in our faces.

I didn’t have excuses for my behaviour but I gave you my reasons and you didn’t care. You weren’t having any of it because you had had enough.

“The vast majority of people don’t want to do anything physical” by Julia on the 4

Wednesday July 17, 2019
5:16pm
5 minutes
Overhead on the 4

People this and people that and man I’m with you but then again no I am not

I was with you a year ago
Everything I was a year ago was with you

I wanted to bitch and moan about anything I could wrap my tongue around

I wanted to hate everyone and everything because that made it easier to accept that I wasn’t going to be perfect either

The opposite, really

I wasn’t willing to accept myself in any shape or form so who got my shit talking?

The girl in the alley with her shorts riding her butt crack all the way to next Thursday

The guy bringing his yippy dog into the glasses shoppe and refusing to remove him

The baby crying on the plane

I don’t feel good about that last one but it’s the truth, alright, and that’s something worth clinging too

Nobody can drive
Nobody listens
Nobody cares about their bodies these days
All generalization and no examination
All avoidance and no allowance
All them them them against me me me

But I was against me by being against them

These are things I’ve learned

“shoved me into the bathroom” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday July 16, 2019
6:28pm
5 minutes
A Head Full OF Ghosts
Paul Tremblay

I am not going to tell you the details.
You don’t–you wouldn’t–God, stop trying
to see into me. You wouldn’t get it.
Or Me, capital M, Me. I am not what you
thought I was. I’m better, if I’m being
honest and you wouldn’t know honesty either
because you have not once told yourself
the truth. Not since we met, not since
you moved away and came back three days
later because it “wasn’t what you thought
it would be”, not since all the sadness
you went through. I’m sorry you went
through anything at to being with and all
I wanted was to be there for you so you
could talk about it but it took you 3 years
to talk about it and–I mean–I would
have gotten it. I would have gotten You.
That’s in my blood, that’s my design,
that’s who I was trying to be, and you
decided I was something else. Something
you couldn’t bear to look at because
you knew I knew what I knew about you.
I want to tell you everything and I think
that’s the straw. That’s the stupid fucking
straw. I would have let you see into me
then and I wouldn’t have thought twice
about it, but you–now that we’re–this?
I can’t even say what we are because
it hurts too damn much. Now I don’t know
how to be around you at all.

“special pings” by Julia on her patio

Sunday July 14, 2019
6:50pm
5 minutes
Tinnitus
Emily Osborne

High as a kite and no plans of coming down
Down is the place where all the dirt lives
The down and dirty, the hole, the pit
I’m going to fly high right over this town
Town is a place where all the small people
get together and wage wars against any one
who seems like they have finally learned to
love themselves

They don’t know anything about us
They don’t know anything about us

And oh what a war it already was, the lonely
people all huddled together with their ideas
and their weapons because the truth feels like
too much to fight
Oh the light, that glittering thing illuminating
all the inside from the bottom of the barrel
sending them a mirror to see themselves clearer

High as a kite and it could be on life itself
or life alone and you would never even know
think it’s a strain or a pill or a potted plant
a cheap kind of thrill that leaves the seeking
emptier than when they started

They don’t know anything about us
They don’t know anything about us

They could come if they wanted to but they don’t

They don’t know anything about us

“A federal statutory holiday” by Julia on B and W’s couch

Saturday July 6, 2019
10:54pm
5 minutes
From a Wikipedia page re: Canada day

It’s hard to take the day off much less the whole summer.
SoMe
One
Told me that we need to take breaks
Just like the people who work the same hours every week or the ones who go to offices or places of employment outside their brains

This is a foreign concept to me:
I haven’t known the value of a weekend since I was in high school
It feels like every day there is something that needs doing
Especially if no one else is checking to see if it’s done or not
There is no paycheque on a Monday or a Sunday if I am busy sleeping in

This year I am trying-I mean embracing -summer and all its charms
The sunshine, the beach, the cycling, the road, the long walks, the long calls, the patio, the music, the playing, the throwing, the catching, the eating, the laying

I am and I am not because it takes a while to relax and when the relaxing comes it feels like a trick to knock me off my game and stay off

But the folding the laundry, the putting away the clothes, the reorganizing the closets is just as much me as the writing is; as the making
It is just as much me to walk around my house without bottoms as the me who puts on a bra and faces the edge of the street

“Proven ability to develop lessons plans” By Julia at her desk

Sunday May 26, 2019
5:24pm
5 minutes
allianceforarts.com

Hi I’m here for the workshop teaching position.
I have a shit ton of experience with kids and with teaching.
I have worked with some real piece of work asshole youth
in my time, but I find that if I see them as real people and not their
attitudes, I can get them to open up. It’s easy to be shitty
when you don’t believe you matter in the grand scheme of things.
Some of the lesson plans I’ve developed have really fucked
with my own understanding of writing, and taking risks.
I mean, they say the best way to learn something is to teach it.
And once in a workshop I got the kids to teach each other something
and that shit was the real deal.
They were so open, and chatty, and they had this light, you know.
They are a lot more willing to dive in than they get credit for,
so you know, I just filled the pool with shit they wanted to
swim in. It’s supposed to be fun but it’s also supposed to be
honest. I’ve been doing it now, for Christ, 10 years now? I
started leading them when I was just out of university, and I
got to work with a bunch of 6-8 year olds.
They didn’t even have a curriculum, but by the time I left
they were all so fucking thrilled to keep discovering.

Sorry, the position is already filled? Because I dropped the f bomb?

“it’s a space for lively discussion” by Julia in Rick’s studio

Thursday May 2, 2019
10:08pm
5 minutes
from a CBC e-mail

We’re in the circle and we’re all waiting
our turns to speak and I for one am happy
and I for one am excited to tell them

Yesterday something came up for me that
I will address and if I wait my turn I
will have the floor and when you have
the floor you have the room

Some of us aren’t speakers but some of
us have been practicing in the mirror
and all of this rehearsing is useful

If you are not prepared it’s best to
leave the circle speaking to those who
have taken the time to get ready

Yesterday something came up for me that
I will point out so that others can be
aware of it and so it doesn’t happen again

Yesterday something came up for me

The circle is where we get to share our
truths but if it’s not honest what’s the
point of opening your mouth to speak

It must improve the silence otherwise it
can not serve a purpose among others who
are listening with their ears wide open

Yesterday something came up for me
and now I am ready to speak about it

“her notebook is reserved for” by Julia at her desk

Monday April 22, 2019
8:44pm
5 minutes
You Are Our Witness
Debbie Urbanski

jotting down ideas
making lists:
grocery
to pack
to do
etcetera
recipes
things in point form, bullets, pew pew
asking questions
reminders
love notes
money coming in
ideas to revisit
songs
letters to self, also love
interviews
memorizing
story shaping
deep investigations of the heart
deep investigations of the mind
deep investigations of the body
reasons why
reasons why not
sketches made from spelling errors
secrets
swear words
memories
reliving dreams
letters never meant to send
penmanship practice
workshop plans
titles
the date
the time
Accountant information
poetry
timed writing
free writing
bad writing
good writing
new writing
risky writing
flow charts
calendars
gratitude

“the best part of her life” by Julia

Wednesday April 17, 2019
8:53pm
5 minutes
The Politician
Patrick White

It smelled like discount brisket mushrooms and the spinach on its last legs
the crust of good intentions on the insides of some bowls
We ate enough to see feelingly
It felt of seeing enough
Seeing feelings as enough

Before hands met skin
Before the playful spin ritual
There in the The Too Salty Not Enough Flavour Will You Still Love Me
I had a moment of doubt then it left again
I’d take crust anyway

“The relevance to actual practice has been questioned” by Julia on M and N’s couch

Thursday April 4, 2019
9:06pm
5 minutes
Evidence-Based Psychotherapy Practice in College Mental Health
Stewart E. Cooper

I mean they say practice makes perfect right? Hi! I’m here to tell you that the only thing practice makes is you better at making messes. What’s the perfect thing? What’s the perfect thing I’m supposed to need anyway?

I practice not hating myself
I practice not destroying my face
I practice not jumping to conclusions
I practice deciding
I practice the ukulele
I practice patience
I practice anger
I practice not giving a fuck
I practice not stealing.
And yet.
I am still a pile of shit most days.
I am still regretting my pop and pinch and pick and pull.
I am a full blown mess and some days I know how to clean it up and some days I wish I could evaporate into thin air and live somewhere that doesn’t require a face.
I practice these five and this five and those five.
I practice telling the truth and still find myself lying.
I practice words lit by a nightlight in my bathroom.

“hair slicked in waves” by Julia at her desk

Sunday March 31, 2019
8:20pm
5 minutes
Push
Adrienne Gruber

When the party’s done, over, you name it, do you go, we go, are we going back to your place, the bar, the next stage in our relationship?

Got questions for all the sweeties out there with hair-slicked-waves, with promises to burn, with ideas of how why how why, with roadmaps marked, checked, ripped from all the momentum.

If I told you I wanted to lay quietly with my legs between yours, no talking, no quipping, no music, no mustering, no interpreting, would you tell me it was too easy to do, too hard, too dumb, too beneath us, too much of a waste of time, too good?

When the moment’s over where do we go, you go, I go, have to see, need to see, want to see, dream of seeing, see in dreams, see in dreams? Where, why, how, are you, me, are we good at answering these questions or just good at asking them.

“How are you feeling?” By Julia on her couch

Saturday January 12, 2019
12:27am
5 minutes
From a text

It’s been a year and some things are still buried in the yard alongside all the other bodies too cold to touch

I wonder sometimes if you’re waiting for me to wear an apology that doesn’t belong to me on my back—
Maybe thinking it’s owed to you or something. I have to try not to take that on at all because you can’t always get what you want.

It’s been a year and some days I think you don’t notice how much we’ve both changed. Some days feel like I’m right back where I started, eating lies around you to keep you up.

I don’t want to tell you how I really am. What I really think. I’m not sure if you deserve it.

“tempted to encourage others with insincere praise.” by Julia at Amanda’s

Sunday December 30, 2018
11:31pm
5 minutes
Lying
Sam Harris

When I was nine we went on an overnight camping trip with our church friends. They were church people, not quite friends, to be honest. Jesus thought it would be good for us to be around all the right-hearted youth so we could learn something. I learned something. I learned I could pee in the middle of the night very quickly. I learned that I was a quick night pee-er when my tent mates told me so. I learned that I could walk in the woods and sing at the same time. I learned that some people are better than me because of their relationship with god.
On the last day our leaders gave out awards to the ____est camper. They gave me the award for “happiest camper”. I was thrilled until Julie Perna got “friendliest” camper and I realized that my award was total bullshit.

“Till the only word your mouth remembers” by Julia at her parents’ table

Sunday December 23, 2018
11:52am
5 minutes
Milk and Honey
Rupi Kaur

my mouth knows how to repeat the same thing over and over until it loses meaning
until it turns into dust

my mouth knows how to curse the ones I love the most because their mouths say what my mouth could

my mouth eats itself more than it doesn’t
twisting the almost rebellion into quiet
cheek sores, taking up space

my mouth hums the tune of the earth that keeps me grounded when the noise is trying to lift me out of my skin

my mouth coos the sweet-lipped words of admiration and gratitude with ease and with abundance

my mouth remembers being shut violently and told that this is not violence but love and history and justified

my mouth knows a lie like a pang in the gums, a bell dinging endlessly under the tongue

“buttered side up” by Julia in her room

Monday December 10, 2018
10:28pm
5 minutes
For Murphy
Jade Riordan

there’s a biscuit in our bed
I brought it in here
I’m the culprit sue me sorry
you’re the one who
buttered it
toasted it first then buttered it
you knew exactly what you were doing
And now I’m to blame for bed-crumbs and for low times
and for weakness
I’m the one we always hang the bad ideas on
but I never used to eat in bed until I met you and
I don’t remember now if it was to forget you or bring you closer to me
you’re the first guy who got me higher than this
I wanted more from you and you were smoking then
I didn’t think you
anything but cool
the first guy who got me high

“I wonder if it’s the time of night” by Julia on her couch

Sunday December 9, 2018
7:15pm
5 minutes
Tulips for Barbara
Ann E. Michael

There’s this feeling in the air that something’s wrong with me. On the inside, there used to be more of a rumble. Now things are quiet and I’m not sure if they’re trying to be or if they’ve moved on from there. Empty core place? Void where instinct used to live?
Maybe it’s the time of night. The way the light hits the room. The way the absence of sound weighs heavy. I caught myself in the mirror during a deep furrow. It looked like it could have been there forever. The absence of inner voice feels like eyebrows meeting in the middle of my face under someone else’s circumstance. There’s a crunching. A knot.

“In front of a full crowd” by Julia on the 9

Friday November 9, 2018
11:10pm
5 minutes
No Place Like Home
Monika Markovinovic

If I am being honest with myself I don’t need to see anyone for a long time. I wonder why that is, if maybe I’ve been seeing enough of something else that makes the solitude taste so good.
I wonder too if maybe it’s because I don’t have anything to say since the lie of saying a thing sometimes makes doing a thing feel unnecessary. I probably need to read more. I don’t know enough big words. Can’t leave the house and see somebody and use too small of a word.
That might break the system of expectation. That might really teach me something.
I don’t need a full room or anything, maybe because these days that kind of room scares me. Might send me up to the front of it with not just the wrong words but the wrong feelings.
It could have something to do with not knowing if thirst is that tickle in the throat or the one just below it. It could be about listening.

“Worries are the most stubborn habits” by Sasha at her desk

Monday October 15, 2018
4:09pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Vicki Baum

Worries are the most stubborn habits. I know this by heart, like the songs we sing in the morning when we’re drunk with dreams. I have a bad habit named Worry. I count on her to visit when I’m least expecting, when I think I have a handle, when I’m still, when I’m flying. Worry is a loyal companion, especially when things are fucked up and fraying, delicious and beautiful. A habit is a thing that can be broken in thirty days. No. A habit is a thing that can be started in thirty days. Does it go both ways?

“And we never talked about that.” by Julia on her couch

Friday August 31, 2018
11:38pm
5 minutes
A Love Letter To Lost Sisters
Hywel Tuscano

we never talked about the way he mishandled me and the way I let him. we never talked about how it was weird he didn’t mention that we’d be sharing his bed. we never talked about how early he wakes up and how late he’s banging around for. not about how I was feeling about my stuff. not about how I was feeling about him. we never talked about how he kept using my towel and saying he wasn’t. we never talked about the fruit rotting in the car. we never talked about the lines he crossed or tried to. the ones we both said we’d be mindful of. we never talked about how many times he told me the same story. how many times he’d break the pattern of the room by injecting a silly pun.

“But fuck that kid. He was a shitty poet.” by Julia on D and M’s couch

Saturday August 25, 2018
9:53pm
5 minutes
A quote from Alex Leslie

I want
to tell
you that
you are
so damn
good
but I
can’t cause
I don’t
like to
lie if
the truth
saves
don’t get
me wrong
I still
think you
deserve love
and all
the nice
things in
life
but you
can’t write
cause you
refuse to
see your
own heart
even when
it begs
you to
bleed
look you
are so
damn good
at so
many things
and one
day you’ll
find your
peace
paper and
pen and
pencil and
ink and
blank page
will love
you better
if you
know it’s
how you
see the
world

“I’m old enough to be that girl’s mother,” by Sasha in her bed

Friday August 24, 2018
10:14pm
5 minutes
My Mother’s Body
Marie Howe

When I’m on the bus
or downtown
I see these packs
of wolf-girls
and I think

“I could be your mother, howler”

There’s a power
in that I didn’t
know to be true
until I got a disdainful
look until I was
standing in front
of the classroom
asking them to write
poems and a few of
these wolf-girls
look at me like
I’m old
I’m gross
I’m uncool
HA!

Jokes on them
but it does feel strange
because I used to be
one of them
judging less overtly
though

I used to be one of them
and now I’m old enough
to be that girl’s mother

“the splendid ugliness of this disguise.” By Julia in Jess and Rick’s nook

Sunday August 12, 2018
11:10pm
5 minutes
Ode to Invisibility
Ellen Bass

behind this mask is a person afraid
of not living up to the hype she bestows upon herself
to the hype she gets from others
it is ugliest when she lies to herself
big dreams and cotton candy promises
do this then you’ll…
be this then you’ll feel…
one day you’ll wish upon a star and
find yourself among the wreckage
little lives left losing
little hopes laid to rest in the fields
filled with shoulds but didn’ts
knows but won’ts
the mask looks confident
the mask looks like a lot of things

“Happy Monday Lovers” by Julia at the desk

Monday July 30, 2018
10:25pm
5 minutes
from @a_belovedgreen on Instagram

It’s raining somewhere that isn’t here.
Somewhere deep and mysterious and easy
to get to but not here because here it
is not raining. Some us of are praying
for rain, and some of us are praying at
the alter of the sun god shining, staying
up, warming our bones, illuminating all
the things we might rather go on not
seeing. And isn’t that a risk in of itself?
And yet some of us are worshiping. Some of
us really like the truth. It is a day of
reckoning when all is lit up like a beacon
of hope or desire or loud. It is a Monday
for lovers of the light and lovers of the
afternoon. I am happy loving this seminal
summer from the inside out. Hazy sky and
all, blurred lines and everything. The
colour of my new skin would tell you that.
I am out there chewing ice cubes, singing
thank you through my teeth

“Truth rambles some moorish in-between, but that’s poetry” by Julia at the desk

Saturday July 28, 2018
10:30pm
5 minutes
Rhinocerotic
Ellie Sawatzky

It’s probably the password if I forget
that place between here and there and doing and not doing
somewhere, there, hedged beside the good choices

Truth is the heartbeat that carries the body
The metronome of where and why
this body loves this way
this body lives like this
I knew a Truth once who didn’t know me
That was a hard one
I saw her like the the french fries, jumping beans in the pan,
the minor knuckle burn and blister on the back of my hand
pulsing just slight of ordinary
not bold enough to remember
but raised enough to cause omparison
She was standing out
She could stand out
Or maybe she was just loud convenient
hiding behind the lie of her own name
I don’t care if she sees a poem or
a proclamation
a punishment
a passive aggressive persecution

She’ll never read this anyway
She doesn’t know me, after all.
She wouldn’t think this was about her

“a couple in a living room” by Julia on the 99

Thursday July 26, 2018
12:33pm
5 minutes
From audition sides

I see this couple get out of their car, walk up the stairwell, into their apartment, turn on the lights, sit on the couch, flip on the tv, get up, walk around, close the blinds, get up, walk around, steep a tea, come back to the couch, turn off the light, leave the room. They do this on Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Thursdays. I dont know where they go on Saturdays but I suppose that’s not for me to know seeing as though I’m not a part of their couple. I am a part of my own that does all the same things and none of the same things. And yet, I watch them but I don’t think they watch me. We are always moving but they are never looking. When I see movement, I look. Maybe it’s just a crow, or the guy from upstairs throwing his couch cushion by cushion from his patio into the bin. Maybe I don’t catch them looking when I am in my living room because I am busy living.

“exiled to the foothills” by Julia at the desk

Monday July 23, 2018
6:36pm
5 minutes
The Gulag Archipelago
Solzhenitsyn

Send me out to the no where place and let me weep there
Water the dry earth with my ache and pouring
I need to be alone, in a place where spider webs take over the sky
Will I continue to decompose when nobody is around
I exile myself before it is too late
Before I am stuck forever in the shape of how things used to be
I banish my lost and force my bones to build something
from the inside out
I am already dreading it
and that is how I know I must
I do not have time to sit and wonder how the world knows me
Give me fields to lay in
to pronounce my epiphany in the echo
Let me know me
Let me know that this is my enough
my contribution
A care package tied with a strand of my hair

“he had this reputation because” by Julia on the 7

Sunday July 22, 2018
8:05am
5 minutes
Under The Skin
Michel Faber

Because he was good
Because he was kind
Because he was thoughtful
Because he was sweet
Because he was playful
Because he was funny
Because he was grateful
Because he was honest
Because he was forgiving
Because he was generous
Because he was happy
Because he was smart
Because he was curious
Because he was willing
Because he was respectful
Because he was adventurous
Because he was unique
Because he was listening
Because he was trying
Because he was athletic
Because he was vulnerable
Because he was hard working
Because he was loved
Because he was love
Because he was true
Because he was different
Because he was strong
Because he was light
Because he was committed
Because he was disciplined
Because he was musical
Because he was mine
Because he was real

“cultivate the kind of robust gladness” by Julia on the bed

Friday July 20, 2018
11:37pm
5 minutes
The Spiral Staircase
Karen Armstrong

When your heart opens you know it in the stiff of your ribs
the slow of your knee
Everything breathes, even the crease of your doubt,
the no in your lips
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to feel that?
If I were a witch I’d cast a spell that wouldn’t let me forget how easy it is to be kind to myself:
It would have it’s own incantation, sung by the bones wishing in my skin
to be held and touched
And I have to be open as it can’t get in if I’m not
I want to cultivate that and if I don’t say it out loud
it might never come true

Thankful now for moments of clarity like these
And for the wisdom of my future me, the one who knows how good I am

If I were a witch I’d…
oh wait…I’d…hold on…
close your eyes

say this one
with me

“I want to tell them” by Julia on her couch

Friday July 6, 2018
5:02pm
In the Dermatologist’s Office, Again
Robert Tremmel

I want to tell them I don’t hate them that I love them that I need them
I want to tell them that they hurt me that they weren’t me that I am them
I want to write it in a letter snail mail send it
Write it on the mirror in red lipstick
Call Them on the phone and sing a prayer of sorry
Meet Them in the park and hug them full of thank you

I want to tell them that they’ve helped me that they’ve shaped me that they’ve held me

Tell them that they’ve known me that they’ve shown me that they’ve stoned me

That they’ve made this soft centred M&M melt that they’ve crunched my hard shell easy that they’ve pressed too hard on my bruises and buttons

I want to tell them that I’m not going anywhere.

That I’m big.
That I’m growing.

I want to tell them that the sea is going to swallow them up and they should let it.

I want to tell them who I am.
I want to tell them I’m the sea.

“My parents expected brilliance” by Julia at the studio

Thursday July 5, 2018
9:16am
5 minutes
In Praise Of Incompetence
Lauren Slater

We started watching the new Ghostbusters movie last night. There have been some funny moments. My mother told me to watch it. She thought I should have been cast in it. She always says that when funny women are on-screen. It’s nice she thinks so highly of me. She saysI remind her of Julia Louis Dreyfus. This just goes to show that my mother doesn’t know much about Julia Louis Dreyfus. Or show business. Or what I have been busying myself with.
Ten years ago I decide to be an actor. I also decided to be famous and be interviewed by all the Jimmies. At the time there may have only been one, but whatever, it’s all the same.
I thought it was the only thing I could be doing. I hadn’t really lived yet. I know now that I wasn’t willing to put in the work. I know it, Jam knows it, and maybe my mother knows it, but she still thinks I’m destined for greatness. At Aunt Tina’s wedding on Sunday, there was a distant relative there who said she saw me on a commercial. Said it was really funny. My mother said, don’t you think she reminds you of Julia Louis Dreyfus? This woman had no idea who Julia Louis Dreyfus was. My mother beamed anyway.

“pockets of bullets” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday July 3, 2018
2:16pm
5 minutes
All The While The Women
Hugh Martin

At any given moment you can reach into your own pockets and find the weapon
It’s up to you what you use
No one is saying they have to be bullets
You might have to form your hand into a fist first
Feel the edges lining the space between thigh and modesty
Challenge the boundary of what fits in and out–What feels good
What feels good?
Is it the truth, wielded like a maniac might, shaking it in the face of someone who doesn’t understand?
Is it the lie? What does more harm in a circumstance like this one; in a circumstance like ours?
My mother never told me honesty was the best policy. She didn’t believe or she would have mentioned it
I think I learned it on my own, anyway
So many chances to use the sword of truth like the good word told me to
It’s funny how deep a pocket will seem when you’re looking for a place to hide
You might throw your hand in and emerge with nothing but a ball of lint
Ah, but it’s what you do with the lint that makes a hero

“for the girls I kissed in seventh grade” by Julia in her bed

Sunday June 24, 2018
6:03am
5 minutes
Practicing
Marie Howe

In the food cellar in the basement I turn the light off
pull the chain hanging from a lone bulb and launch myself onto you and the concrete floor
you kiss me back and we are rubbing up down on each other
writhing around like two snakes let loose in a barrel
I dont remember who said we should go upstairs to your room but we go upstairs to your room and I stay on top of you
I stay on top of you and I catch your breath in my mouth
I think your mom was home cutting someone’s hair and there we were growing slowly and opening
Days earlier I am watching you and thinking I must have missed my chance
it didn’t strike me then that you might not want me
perhaps when you know something in your soft bones you really know it

“Where it pours bean green over blue” by Sasha on the plane

Friday June 22, 2018
10:49am
Daddy
Sylvia Plath

From the sky this place is blue
over green all tumbledried
Yawning fresh mountain peaks touched with the toes

From the ground this place is home
even though that’s hard to say sometimes
Even though my this and that tries to tell me otherwise

From the trees this place is salty
the ocean breathing her seasons into hue
The rainy months giving way to this immeasurable beauty

From where I am
the mantra of thirty two is
Tell the truth
Tell the truth
Tell the truth
Tell the truth

Why choose any other

“climbing into theirs” by Julia at the studio

Monday June 11, 2018
12:45pm
5 minutes
Suburban Bitch Curse
Akhim Yussef Cabey

I think I want to justify anything and everything and I can because I do
I am I am
I can I can
And you can justify all my bad habits with a knowing smile
a smile that makes me wish I had waited to tell you the truth about me
I find myself climbing into their skin to have compassion
I was told that’s how to heal the heart
You tell me gossip is useful and I laugh because the sweethearts
in my past life have told me the opposite
but I am so glad that I have met you and you’re saying this
so I have someone to bitch to, moan to, try out some of my new jokes about humans existing alongside the flaw of one another
We are all existing alongside the flaw of one another and isn’t that so damn beautiful?
Anything we do can sound lovely when underscored properly
I would choose The Digger’s Waltz and you might pick a different one
My lens could be nicely rose coloured and you
are allowing the side of me flourish that I don’t think everyone should see
Flourish
Bloom
I am afraid of so much and being so little
How can I be better if I keep myself small
I will climb inside my own skin to find out and you will always be the platform
that I get to wonder out loud to
I wonder if anyone wants to climb into mine?
If you do?
If you already have

“literally naked, mopping, and crying ‪at midnight‬” by Julia on the 99

Sunday June 3, 2018
10:04pm
5 minutes
quoted by Sienna Miller

This house casts a shadow on all the rooms emptied of you. I don’t like it. I don’t like that I like it. I don’t like it.

The hum from the radio breaks my heart so I turn it off. The sound of your music playing on the iPad doesn’t help. I’ve tried keeping you here.

Wandering back and forth like the in between needs discovering. Laying in bed like the rest of the house will burn me if I move. I have been late to meet friends. I have stayed under.

A phone call a day lets me know you wish I was where you are. Am I supposed to unravel the day’s decisions for you? Are you interested in hearing how nothing I feel?

The new waste bin is drying upside down in the tub. I scrubbed it after I finished my shower, still dripping wet, my hair pasted to my neck and back. I know how to decide. See? Somethings are easy.

“present something that is true” by Julia on Salt Spring Island

Saturday May 19, 2018
10:40pm
5 minutes
From a quotei by Kelly Hill

Life’s goal:

Find the truth

Full stop

Repeat

Full stop

Repeat again

And then the going gets toughLike it always does

And the choices don’t seem so clear

Foot on the break and watch the deer with her baby?

Swerve and keep going to people please the car behind you?

What if a friend does not ask for advice but you still want to give it? Safe? Smart? Honesty over tact?Truth over tragedy?

Life’s goal:

Be the truth so you won’t have to go looking for it

Be the truth so it will always be right there in front of you waiting for you

Repeat

Repeat

“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

“The liar’s punishment” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday April 25, 2018
10:25am
5 minutes
From a quote by George Bernard Shaw

I live in a different room in the house of your heart now
that the truth is out and five months have gone by
and still no word from you

I live in the room with the ones that have done you wrong
and we cower in corners when you open the door or
someone else does

I won’t call myself liar for you because the only thing I
would do differently is the one thing I
can’t do differently now

Three lines can hold the truth and the lies better than we can
so here I am and here you are but not
really you’re ten streets away

Sometimes when I think about you I think about if I’ll ever
live in a different room than this one
in the house of your heart

Is it possible for us to go into the maze where we don’t know
which way is best which way is up which way is healing and
how much are we willing to release so we both can move on

“The liar’s punishment” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday April 25, 2018
6:47am
5 minutes
From a quote by George Bernard Shaw

Five minutes isn’t long enough
to tell you
about the consequences of running away
Each movie sounds like your fear through the
megaphone of your worried heart beat
Each character flaw revealed stirs up your
blood and what if you start bleeding
right here
right now
You will think it is your job from this moment
on to live with the secret heavy that has been
pulling you down slowly, slowly
The sweet stillness will be sickened with dread
and what if dread lives in the elbow skin
collecting at the crease
turning soft into sweat

“The process is afterall like music,” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday April 6, 2018
9:14pm
5 minutes
Käthe Kollwitz
Miriam Rukeyser

I wonder where the grace
note will come in amidst
the banging and bruising
If I’ll be sitting
at my desk
on the sidewalk
and you’ll suddenly come
to mind
and you’re finally smiling
not that I can’t hold
the grief or the grey
but you’re smiling
and it lifts me
from where I am

I sail over
the rooftops
towards the water
towards where you
are and you don’t
have poems
or words
you don’t even
know I’m there
but I am
I am

“something wonderful happens:” by Julia on the 84

Sunday, March 18, 2018
2:26pm
5 minutes
A Marriage
Michael Blumenthal

When the days go by without poetry
I am lost inside the labyrinth my own making has built for me to conquer
Busy relearning how to walk
with two new feet that have not yet carried this heavy
The hero’s journey has always been someone else’s movie
And I have not watched myself transform into grace from the sidelines
Inside out she is begging to be fed
That I may find my appetite for words the way I once did in the weeds and speckled laneways
She is the hero waiting
Outside is not safe and she knows that
She wants out anyway but there are more protectors at the gate
More worried hearts preoccupied with the consequence of light
First I must put her ease in plain view
Ask her if she’s sure and if she is how sure
Something wonderful happens when I let her speak
When she sees a door and calls it a wishing well.

“The only thing I can come up with” by Julia in her bed

Thursday, March 1, 2018
7:38pm
5 minutes
No Idea
Dana ID Matthews

Today I told them that I didn’t know
That I want to know and that I wish I did but I don’t
And NO ONE GOT HURT
No one asked to see my badge, my credentials
No one gave me a sidemouthed remark
I felt worried and then I felt honest
and the authenticity parade was loud for all to hear
Later one of them told me that they didn’t know
That they want to know, but they don’t, and isn’t that okay?
Later still one of them told me they thought it was
important to admit when we don’t know
and maybe others might want to hear that too
that life is not easy and no one knows everything
AND THE ONLY THING THAT BURST WAS MY HEART
Here, take this make-shift answer, this feather
falling itchy onto my lap,
Find my discomfort and amplify it
Always remember that I lied right to your face
to save my own
I am glad that for once the only thing I could
come up with was the worthy and unveiled truth

“Near Middle: for “Devilish woman,” by Julia at her desk

Saturday February 17, 2018
7:04pm
5 minutes
Errata and Addenda
Rachaela Van Borek

Can’t tell her the truth even though that’s what we both promised we’d do.
When she tells me hers, she apologizes a month later and says, “Maybe when
you asked what I thought that night I shouldn’t have answered at all.”
I tell her “No, you should have, I want you to be honest with me,”
but I don’t know if that’s just because I don’t know what else to say.
I have some ideas about the questions she doesn’t ask me and
I know I can’t tell her what I think so I agree inside that maybe she is right.
A blanket gets thrown at me when I look cold but feel sweaty.
That’s probably on account of all the discomfort.
Some people sweat when they lie.
I put it on my toes and count the minutes before the pizza arrives.
Maybe when we’re eating we will have less time to peer into each other’s
souls and risk ruining a perfectly good family.
Suddenly her phone rings and she answers it in the middle of my good story.
She covers the receiver, tells me that our mother is frying shrimp dumplings again and asks if I want any.
I tell her to tell her yes.
She tells our mother we’ll be right over.
When she hangs up she shakes her head.
“Not sure what Mom is doing making dumplings at midnight.”
“Not sure what Mom is doing thinking we all still live in the same time zone.”

“I’ve been hiding who I am” by Julia in Hanoi

Monday February 5, 2018
9:57pm
5 minutes
Sisterly Love
Elise Pallagi

Not under the rug or anything-
in the wide wide open
in my laugh
in the unkind words I’ve used to describe myself
in the moments between dream and awake when I can’t tell what’s real
When I know what’s real and still send my brain to the night cave,
the haunted ride,
the hole in my three/almost four year old running shoes
When I say I don’t need more
When I say yes, let me settle for this;
watch how this small nothing
does suffice
And in the wretched mirror of our private elevator I have been hiding
my joy behind picked skin regrets named Lack
named Control
It takes everything I am to say what
I am not
It is worse work
It does not come with sweets

“handed down mother to daughter” by Julia at Tree Hugger Cafe, Dong Hoi

Friday February 2, 2018 at Tree Hugger Cafe
3:33pm
5 minutes
Without Mercy
Howard Wright

The slow blink while angry
The smooth legs
The internal smile at babies
The compassion
The sometimes door mat sometimes door
The olive oil skin
The walking feet
The running instinct
The humming bone
The story teller
The clam sauce recipe
The porcini mushroom gnocchi
The onion soup
The date and walnut cookies
The open face
The open mouth
The ears
The rage
The hurt
The agency
The curiosity
The attention to details
The service to the ones loved most
The glued roots to Italy
The never ending conversation
The family first

“I am numb to you.” By Julia on her bed

January 11, 2018
10:41pm
5 minutes
Midwinter
Natalie Crick

It’s a cab ride after a long ride of not speaking. And you are still not speaking to me. I have done all the heavy lifting. At the table, with strangers, painted you in the pinkest of lights. I was talking shop like you’re the bike, like you’re the ride. And this whole ride you’ve been avoiding me. Trying your best to bite your tongue and let them hear you noble. And you forget me in the middle of it all. Arm outstretched, fork untapped, drink unclinked, and you do not smile. You make a face at them that looks like good and looks like great and then with me you are alone again. Unriddled by my questions, unannounced as if the couch owned your legs. I am mad for being mad. And for being right. And for being nothing but good. So why does it feel so damn exhausting-to nap during the day and wake up still unloved by you. So tiring to keep this back pocket free in case you slip your hand in, and when you do not ask me how my day was, I know to check for stolen change. Hand in my pocket to protect you against the yell machine, the perfect plane, soaring right back down after take off.

“The Best And Worst Of” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday December 12

12:16am

5 minutes

from uproxx.com

And now since you asked I don’t know what to say. Do I love you, yes, do I want you, yes.

Do you see me.

The best part of me was I could write circles around you. The worst part of you was that you could pretend that wasn’t happening. We didn’t feed each other proper toast. We didn’t call down the chimney in a rotting feast of anger. I can’t answer you safely. I don’t trust my own tongue in a game of truth of dare. I don’t let her speak if she’s quivering.

I once thought you were minnow, me a whale, and I’d swallow you whole. I’d take every skin on your knees and hold them.

“The great task in life” by Julia at YVR airport

Sunday October 29, 2017

7:36pm

5 minutes

from a quote by Iris Murdoch

The great task in life is being kind when things don’t add up to nice or good or in your favour
Half of us are waiting for the world to turn down the bed
for the sheets to be clean
for the roads to be paved                                                        What kindness do we keep when the world is busy keeping bridges suspended        art and freedom in love                                                          What do we choose when we aren’t being so damn entitled

Sorry

I said kindness                                                                  I am figuring that out myself                                                    Honesty isn’t always butterflies
(In case anyone was wondering)
Kindness isn’t always weak                                                    And honest kindness sometimes cuts with a serrated edge
It shouldn’t always be easy                                                      Easy isn’t always good                                                          We don’t know what we don’t know                                                And sorry
I was talking about me                                                      I think the kindest thing I can do is be tell the truth                            The truth doesn’t always stay for tea

“being interviewed” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Tuesday October 24, 2017
6:38pm
5 minutes
From a tweet

Ask me whatever you want

I’ve said it before

I’m an open book

you just have to read between the lines

Don’t ask me anything when I’m writing

Or dumping out

I say dumping out instead of taking a sweet shit

I just want to be clear with you

I’m not interested in your nightly rituals

I don’t want to put your mouth in my mouth

So we’re clear

If you ask I will answer

I’ll go above and beyond

out of my way to figure it out so you don’t have to

Wanna know what I’ve been carrying?

Stale bread in the secret pocket of my purse

Just in case they don’t have what I need

A couple packets of raspberry jam

A Mickey of whiskey

Art for someone who loves me enough to buy it

Ask me

about my yesterday

and I will tell you everything

everything

everything

Might not apologize for leaving early

Might not fall down dead at the sound of sorry

Might beg for truth from you

if you’re getting it from me

“beneficial to anyone” by Julia at Peterborough Inns & Suites

Monday October 23, 2017

9:44pm

5 minutes

from an email

Can’t drink anymore. When I do I’m no use to anyone. Can’t remember simple words. Yes and no get confused. No looks a lot like yes. No gets put on the shelf as decoration.

She told me years ago it was time to trade in the bottle. Said my body didn’t like it. She was right. My mother replaced it with structured silver. Said to take a shot of that every morning before I make any other bad decisions. I always had a good memory. I could tell you the birthdays of all 30 cousins and at least 5 aunts and uncles. I could tell you phone numbers of friends and loved ones up until 2008 (I got a cell phone late). I could tell you what you were wearing when we met. How your hair was.

“Water music” by Julia on the 84

Monday October 2, 2017

10:03pm

5 minutes

Major Orchestral Works

Felix Mendelssohn

On the night I saw my reflection I was wearing a wolf mask

I looked into the lines of my face

(of the faces that have howled before mine)

And wept for the good me that was left behind

Sorrow mixing with salt

Forgiveness twisted into wave

I opened my throat to give

something that swung

at the pit of me

I did not ask why happiness had been so cruel

I did not beg to be understood

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


Tuesday August 15, 2017
5:23pm
5 minutes
foverheard at JJ Bean

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

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

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

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

You could say the truth
OR

“associated with anticipated use” by Julia at the studio


Tuesday August 1, 2017
9:04pm
5 minutes
from a GOLDEN artist colours box

I can’t talk to Hollace anymore. Ever since he started forgetting to line both of his eyes I knew something was wrong. Now it’s like he’s buzzing just beyond me but in a glass bubble that keeps him out of reach. He doesn’t seem to want my help and I don’t know if I could help him anyhow. He thinks he’s doing a good job of faking it. He is to most people. Most people can’t tell his personality from his warning signs. He’s tricking almost everybody into loving him. He sometimes gets close to getting me but then I catch him. He’s lying through his sweat, and I see him up close no matter what frame he’s in. In the locker room I put earbuds in but no music. I want to hear what kind of breath he uses around me.

“lick your thumb and go to town.” By Sasha on her balcony


Sunday July 23, 2017
8:01pm
5 minutes
The Four Hour Chef
Timothy Ferriss


I spend Sunday in the kitchen. Chopping and grating carrots and beets, roasting zucchini, washing lettuce. I make tahini dressing and pesto. I toast pumpkin seeds and almonds. I listen to NPR podcasts and learn about a disorder I never knew I had and suddenly everything comes into startling bright colour. The cabbage is luminous. The chickpeas buzz. I am more understood by these disembodied voices coming out of this box of sound than I’ve ever been understood before. I sink to the tile, the seat of my cut-offs most certainly stained by droplets of beet juice, and I listen, drinking deep.

“choosing sides” by Sasha on her balcony


Tuesday July 4, 2017
10:15pm
5 minutes
Walsh
Sharon Pollock

At the time I didn’t think I chose a side.
How could I,

but now,

twenty five years later,

(writing that makes me feel something wide)

I realize the tent of a womb
is never far from the heart of a daughter.

I’ve always believed myself to be

all fair

sense of right and wrong right on the
tip of my tongue
my spirit soaring fire and water
in equal measure.

Maybe it’s the confusion of a young
pup,

circling Mom’s legs

caught locked out

in a downpour.

“There is nothing here” by Julia at her desk


Thursday May 25, 2017
10:08pm
5 minutes
This is It
James Broughton


I have waited for inspiration to strike
like the match of missed connections
like the booklet of nose aids on high alert
There is no force of flame, nor flicker
There is nothing here that looks like me

According to a long lost diary from my
mother’s storage locker we all gave up
on her when we believed that she was fine
Of course we didn’t think to ask further
to make sure that she was being honest
If I could defend us without seeming
defensive, I would say we didn’t want to know
the truth and so we let her smile

We gave her short hugs like they wouldn’t
be our lasts
Called her twice a month
business as usual, instead of once a week
And she thought it would be too much
to ask for more
And she wanted to ask for more.

“she barely ever wore dresses” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday May 16, 2017
9:54pm
5 minutes
from an interview wth Ingrid Michaelson
Jezebel.com


She barely ever wore dresses, mostly skirts.
She was great at piecing things together or
making decsions.
Seeking only and ever comfort as
resitance, and I can understand
when you feel like it
is missing from your earlier drafts
And no shadow has touched her lids
and no jewelry rescued from the discount bin

“I waited twenty minutes, then thirty.” by Julia on the skytrain


Monday May 15, 2017
3:27pm
5 minutes
GHOSTLY WOMAN
ZOË BOSSIERE


AJ: Jesus fucking Christ, Tannis, will you close your gaping mouth for even two fucking seconds?
TANNIS: Why are you being so fucking icy with me? What did I fucking even do?
AJ: NOTHING, JUST SHUT UP.
TANNIS: SERIOUSLY?
*silence
*silence
*silence
TANNIS: I’m going to go ahead and assume you need me to sit with you but you are too afraid to admit that you’re fucked up because you know that when you put it to words, it automatically becomes true, but just so you know, I have a teeth cleaning appointment in 2 hours so my support for you is going to be limited.
*silence
*silence,shuffle
*shuffle,silence, deep breath
TANNIS: Oh when the saints…go marching in…oh when the–
AJ: Okay, okay, I’m fucked up.

“trade honesty” by Sasha at her desk


Saturday March 4, 2017
11:07pm
5 minutes
A poem by Rupi Kaur

I start lying the summer after my Dad leaves
because it’s easier and it feels good, or it
appears to be easier and it’s instant
gratification. It starts small, “I went to
the beach this weekend,” or “I haven’t had
ice cream in ages!” Then it grows, right,
like, you knew that was coming. Before I
know it, before you can say, “Don’t let
the bedbugs bite and if you do hit them
with your shoe until they are
black and blue,” before any of it, it’s
a wildfire of untruth and it’s heavy
and greasy and ugly and fuck I’m drowning
in the gas of it. I try to stop – I
challenge myself to not lie once for a
whole day. I feel breathlessly guilty,
my throat closing, my teeth clenched.
I don’t know when I finally began to
trade honesty. Maybe when I started
to notice how much the world lies,
how much my best friend lied, how
lies burned the whole house down in
the first place.

“you are not the first” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday December 6, 2016
9:23pm
5 minutes
aware
Alyxandra Harvey-Fitzhenry


You are not the first to waste me to
get down to the nitty-gritty and decide
it was too true for you to pass up
but too true for you to love
and since then I’ve been crafting
properly this time
the fight I would pick with you
the argument that I would mount
in my own defense
You are not the first to wonder if
there was any more wounding
you could inflict on the dead
or dying because what is the
point anyway and maybe we should
be less naive with our hearts
and stop offering the bottom half of it
up for dessert
You are not the first
if I am

“Tell me a little about” by Julia in her bed


Monday October 31, 2016
10:56pm
5 minutes
from an interview question

Tell me a little about fireworks on Halloween and discount candy the day after
Tell me a little about the last supper you remember being forced to eat
Tell me a little about the fish you never owned but borrowed, the ones you didn’t mind replacing,the ones in the plastic bags
Tell me a little about the year you’ve had and how much bigger you are now
Tell me a little about the friends you have and the friends you want
Tell me a little about the rain that lasts for days and the days that last the rain
Tell me a little about the smile that changed your life and the song that changed your mind
Tell me a little about something you wish wasn’t true but is

“Unmasked” by Sasha at Nadeem’s desk


Thursday October 27, 2016
7:56pm
5 minutes
A Manitoba concert hall sign

There is nothing about you that I don’t want to consume there is nothing about you. Your mistakes are the most delectable because they convince me that you are in fact human. Flesh, shit, bones, brains, heart, sinew. I learned about human when I started gorging on junk. Sugar, shit, bones, brains, salt, salt, sinew, guts. I learned about human when the world fell apart when my Dad left. I tempted human when I fucked anyone that made good eye contact. I chased human when I moved far far away.

“shouldn’t cost you money” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday October 11, 2016
10:10pm
5 minutes
From a Tangerine ad

No one tells you that you become invisible. Your nose gets bigger, you sprout hair out of your ears, you lose all your pubes, and you become invisible. That’s the truth. I want you to know it because I wish I had. I would’ve given a heck of a lot less attention to how I looked when I actually looked like a Goddamn goddess. I’m not exactly sure when the invisibility cloak was placed over my shoulders… Fifty five? Sixty? I even tried dressing extra sassy, then extra sophisticated, then radical… Didn’t real change a thing. It really showed me what we were fighting for in the Women’s Lib Movement… If you aren’t deemed valuable, viable (ie. child bearing) to MEN, then suddenly society doesn’t value you. You are no longer sexual currency. Might as well be in the bargain bin.

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


Monday October 10, 2016
7:55pm
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

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


Wednesday September 21, 2016
10:12am
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

“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.

“your hand in mine” by Julia on her bed


Saturday August 20, 2016
2:08pm
5 minutes
Heard in a song on Co-op radio

I catch myself believing I deserve better when I grab your hand in the crowded street and you pull away after only a second. I grab your hand as a gesture to show you that in this sea of people, I cling to you. I reach for you. I choose you. I remind you every chance I get that I am proud of you. That I am proud to be with you. That the touch of your skin connects me to the only things in this life that matter. And you might miss all of that if you’re not expecting to see it. If you think holding hands is something to be taken for granted. Or to be done differently, perhaps. On days like this I swim along the shoulders of other people when I think of how lonely it is to love you. How far I’ve pushed my heart into opening and how tired she is from never being cradled back. I don’t think I’m allowed to ask for more. I need so much so much so much.

“keep your face at a reasonable distance” By Julia at The Marriott In Decatur, Georgia


Tuesday August 2, 2016
12:13am
5 minutes
Microphone Lessons For Poets
Helen Guri


I want to be loud. So loud. So loud you can’t hear after I’m done being loud. So loud your eardrum feels violated, your heart feels opened, and your spirit feels heard. I think that’s the point: to reach my spirit to your spirit and to split it open and to plant a seed inside it and watch it grow as high as the sky. I want to be loud. I want to be far away and still loud enough to find you, loud enough to hold you, loud enough to keep you in this moment between us because distance is nothing but a number. I don’t want to yell but I need you hear me and the only way I know how to do that is to dig deep and make sure my truth is anchored at the pit of me before I open my mouth and send it soaring to you. I want to be loud. I want to be opinions and suggestions and refusals and encouragements. I want to be gracious, give gratitude with my whole body, not just my eyes. Not just my hands. I want to be loud. High decibel, room shaking, lips to the raw and ugly places, mouth on microphone and singing.

“it would be like not listening at all” by Sasha at Simit and Chai Co.


Friday July 8, 2016 at Simit & Chai
5:15pm
5 minutes
When I Am King, Dilly Dilly
Don Cummer


lotsa hurt
this week mornings with
bowling ball lumps in dry hot
throat mornings spent
scrolling tears
streaming feet
tingling
what can i do what can i do what can i
can i do
can i
can’t i
ally alley ally
i want to choke
the fear and
ignorance
mine
yours
i am sorry for my
race and our horrible
terrible empty
fear
fear
fear grips a gun
tight like a baby
the baby watching
in her carseat
the father reaching
for a license
for a license to drive
license to shoot
license to bleed
license to break
we are breaking
we are broken
broken down
broken up and open
broken open

“where the water is still” by Sasha at the kitchen counter


Thursday July 7, 2016
11:39pm
5 minutes
Cranes and Egrets
Marlene Cookshaw


“When you swim far out, way out past the break, past where the waves are tall as houses, the water is still…” Granny eats a piece of honeydew, the juice dripping down her chin. She wipes it with the back of her hand. “You have to be very brave to swim out that far, you have to be bigger than you are… Fifteen or sixteen. It takes strength of mind an’ body, you see, an’ something else, too…” At this time of night her accent gets thick. “You need the determination, the power that comes along with really believing in yourself.” She swats at a mosquito. “I used to spend hours and hours out there, in the still water, thinking up what might happen. I’m more of a future person than a past person. Past people, they’re more apt to get all depressive. Future people? Like me? Anxiety… But on the still water, floating on my back an’ my front an’ treading water – just calm.”