“And in the business library” By Julia at The Marriott In Decatur, Georgia


Thursday August 4, 2016
1:46am
5 minutes
the Mariott wifi

I want to make a Clue reference here but I don’t know enough about it to give it the credit it deserves. Solid movie. I mean board game. See what I mean? The reason was because if anything is “in the library” I want to say “with the candlestick!” But that might be the end of it. I probably didn’t need to explain it. I’m bad at explaining things. I wish you weren’t here. It’s weird having another human see me this much and you seem to be amused or something or sweet or caring. Maybe all of those things. Thank you for that. There is a list of things I am thankful for. Remind me to send that to you tomorrow. Anyway you were saying something about the library? The business library? Will you be doing your business there? Sorry, I mean, will you be conducting business there? You can say no. You don’t have to laugh either. I don’t want pity laughs! I guess I never learned to take a compliment! Or a clue! I mean get a clue. Except then it doesn’t really sound that good. But maybe that’s okay. Maybe it doesn’t have to sound good.

“We would not murmur nor complain” By Julia at The Marriott In Decatur, Georgia


Wdnesday August 3, 2016
12:17am
5 minutes
The Book Of Mormon

When you left her there blue on the bathroom tile for the first time, we knew we couldn’t love you anymore. We didn’t know how not to before but it was clear that after that, after her tooth got knocked out of her head and we couldn’t find it, after she opened her mouth to call for help and all that came out was a blood bubble popping on her lips and dripping down her chin, we knew. We were kids then and we wanted to love you both the same. You did a good job of buying that from us at the start. We got new books every week and sometimes you would read them to us in funny voices. You took us to the water park and let us pick the good ice cream or the waffle cones. You took us on secret drives when ‘mommy was having one of her episodes’ and you counted stars while we counted the dollars you slipped into our pockets. We tried to love you.
We really, really did.

“in Canada right now” by Julia at her dining table


Tuesday, July 19, 2016
7:13am
5 minutes
from a Facebook comment

there are a lot of people holding each other tight and saying how lucky we are
how we may have wanted to leave before, but we don’t anymore
how there are places to be proud of and how nice it is that ours is one of them
that there’s love here
that there’s change here
but we have a long way to go
we are not immune to frightened decision making
we are not ahead of the charge
we are far from perfect
because geography helps, but it can’t do everything for us
we have to rise up when it hurts to do so
we have to be better than we were yesterday when it feels impossible
we have to be examples for ourselves first before anyone else will benefit
we are lucky
we are so very lucky
but luck doesn’t mean we don’t have to keep trying
for the people who have been silenced
for those who come here looking for acceptance and still find hate on their doorsteps
there is love here
but that’s only one part

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


Saturday February 20, 2016
2:13pm
5 minutes
from an e-mail

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

“everyone can help themselves” by Julia at her dining table


Monday, January 11, 2016
5:43pm
5 minutes
thestonesoup.com

Mind Body Connection:
Deep breath
Okay, good
Good?
Breathing, breathing
I don’t need to be told to breathe
Well you stopped
Because I was thinking!
NO THINKING.
Are you serious?
Yes, very serious
Fine, deep f–
No swearing
Come ON, how did you know I was even going to?
Because you’re very transparent and stubborn and I’ve been observing you
Ugh
Focus
I am
Okay then do it
breathe?
Yes, breathe
okay, Deep Breath
Mhm
Breathing
yes, good, continue
I am alone on a rock
Oh, good, rock is good,
I am alone and I am breathing—
Breathing
I AM, I told you I don’t need you to tell me
I am breathing
You?
breathing in and out calmly, slowly, to encourage you
Is this even about me?
Yes, very serious.
WHAT THE FUC–
NO SWEARING.

“A small suitcase” by Julia in her bed


Sunday, January 10, 2016
11:28pm
5 minutes
Trailer Park
Jenn Grant


He left a note in the front pocket of her smaller suitcase. It was full of all the stuff he didn’t know how to say in her language without a translator just in case he sounded like an idiot. He of course used google translate but agreed to bite the bullet about the 40% that would unavoidably lead to miscommunication. He wrote the note as patiently as he could, careful to say how he felt and not just what she expected him to say.

“I really like hugs” by Julia on her couch


Monday November 30, 2015
11:00pm
5 minutes
overheard at the Vancouver Poetry Slam

I showered for this. I just want you to know that. It’s that level of important to me. You are that level of important to me. This is harder than I want it to be. I hope you won’t make me explain in different words cause I’m not too good at that part either. I am trying though. You said something to me the other day when you came over to my house with scones or whatever when my roommate was out? You said it’s nice to spend time together outside of work. And I wanted to tell you that I think so too and if I don’t seem like I agree, I just don’t know how to…meet you there quite yet. Not in the way that I want to. If you know what I–because I. You know. I’m sure you know. Also kick butt tonight. I know you’re gonna crush it. All the math and stuff.

“agreed-upon sex date” by Julia on her patio


Friday, August 14, 2015
2:11pm
5 minutes
From http://thehairpin.com/2015/08/today-is-the-12th-anniversary-of-the-big-blackout/

Me and Matthew are intimate with each other on average 6 times a week. Before you grab your shit to egg my house or something, you should know that I don’t just mean sex. Phew. Collective exhale. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we fuck like rabbits and we do that a lot too (Woah, easy…) but plain intimacy is harder for us so we have to schedule that in. Now I’m not saying this is how it should be. But we’ve figured out a way to stop taking sex personally and to stop measuring our value as a couple (or our self worth) by the act. We still struggle with making time for us to stare into each other’s eyes for an extended period of time, or sit in silence without other stimuli creeping in. It’s taking a long time. So we pencil it in and we work on it.

“coconut oil and coconut sugar” by Julia on the 505 going west


Sunday May 31, 2015
10:47pm
5 minutes
from http://www.simplyquinoa.com/vegan-coconut-oil-chocolate-chip-cookies/

You can’t make fire with rain
(her)
STOP with the analogies
(him)
Just let me LIVE
(her)
I am trying so hard, believe me
(him)
Yeah, you’re not a martyr at all
(her)
You make me seem so horrible
So fucking horrible
(him)
I don’t know who this person you see is, but I swear it’s not me
(him again)
It takes horrible to know horrible
(her)
What?
Why would you say that?
(him)
I don’t know
Maybe you resist being horrible
because you are horrible
(her)
I didn’t mean that
Please don’t leave
(her again)
PLEASE
(her)

“We say our work” by Julia at her desk


Thursday May 28, 2015
12:18am
5 minutes
Overheard at Lansdowne Station

Our work is good when it’s good
And when it’s not
Because our work
is whatever we need to keep going
even when it feels pained and full of punishment
It’s still ours
It’s still ours
Out hands and our hearts
Our hands and our burning bleeding hearts
When we wake from a bad dream
We shake imagination from our backs
Do we listen to what the muse is telling us?
Or do we toss her recklessly to the floor
Where she can’t bother us anymore?
It’s there
Our work
even though it feels secondary
It’s still ours
It’s still ours
Our hands and our hearts
Our hands and our thumping drumming hearts
Say hello to her
pick her off the earth
And tell her that she’s welcome here
Tell her that she’s beautiful

“we were never meant to be admired” by Julia at Aroma Espresso


Thursday February 5, 2015 at Aroma Espresso Bar
6:49pm
5 minutes
Stranger in a Strange Land
Robert A. Heinlein


Olivia watched the paint drip off the railing. She was determined to have fun doing it because for whatever reason, watching paint dry has gotten a real bum rap. She wasn’t going to use a phrase like that without knowing for sure that it was true. That’s how Olivia felt about other sayings too. She was a “don’t knock it till you try it” kind of person. She had tried a lot of things, but only because she was also in the business of knocking things. It was in her nature to be cynical, but last May she realized that she had a whole lot of living to do, and nonchalant cliche sayings to defend. She was turning the paint watching into a game. Every time a drip would fall she’d draw a flower on her skin with pink marker. Nobody said you couldn’t make your own fun while doing the obviously un-fun activity. Olivia liked disproving theories. It made her get creative with which sayings she ultimately chose to use.

“you can power through” by Julia on the tube heading west


Thursday December 11, 2014
6:21pm
5 minutes
from a Nurofen tube ad

Dear Hannah,
There are lights in the trees here. It’s so nice to be around a place that cares enough to put lights in their trees. Really makes you feel like you’ve found a spot worth staying. They assure you with their details. With their simple adjustment of the everyday. No snow yet! Got a bit lucky there. I know, I know, grow up, buy proper shoes. Boots! I know, I know. You would hate how cold it is without even having snow. My ratty sneaks will live to see another week!(or at least that’s what I’ve been praying for 😉 …sorry!)
I’m finally eating vegetables and drinking more water. The probiotics are helping but I still dream of salted caramel hot chocolate. Today I feel less alone than yesterday. Something in the air I guess. Trying to power through, like you said.
Talk soon?
Miss and love.

-B

“Wish I could, you know that” by Julia at Bolpetta


Sunday November 30, 2014 at Bolpetta
3:45pm
5 minutes
overheard at Bolpetta

I’m kind of mad at you, I guess. I was really angry before but now I’m. I don’t know just upset, really. I want to explain why I’m upset. I really want you to understand that for me this is not an overreaction. I’m not exaggerating. You made me feel a certain way and it’s valid and I want you to know that.
So. Ok. So I guess I have the floor, then don’t I? I’ve been working on my nerve but it doesn’t seem to be showing. Dr. Abrahams wants me to use “I” statements. “I feel” statements. You. Sorry I mean I feel..felt..because it happened already. Um. Okay. I felt betrayed by you when you decided to eat at the meatball place without me even though I told you it was very important to me. I know you will think that it’s a petty thing to be upset over but you. I feel that you threw away my feelings and decided I was not important enough for you to wait. That’s how it felt. I am entitled to that feeling. It signifies that when it’s really life or death you won’t have the sense to keep me in mind. I am entitled to that feeling.

“She hasn’t been back since” by Julia at her desk


Thursday November 27, 2014
5:42pm
5 minutes
Summer Dress
July Talk


The city’s all lit up at night now
There are lights hung from the tree tips
There’s that feeling in the air
It was her favourite and everyone knows that still
It’s probably the hardest part of everything
Seeing her face in the snow
In the ice rinks
In the candy canes
So what do we do now?
Wait
Drink tea?
Coffee
She’s not coming back so we have to make a choice
Keep living
Trying
Keep smiling
Remembering
When it’s hard that’s when she’s closest
So with that we can make a fresh attempt
When it’s hard
When it’s hard and beautiful out
When people look happy

“How many yaks could a yak pack pack” by Julia at her desk


Sunday November 2, 2014
12:27am
5 minutes
Tongue Twisters at Americanfolklore.net

Casey was trying to write a bunch of rhymes about penguins for her 5th grade poetry assignment. She was having a hard time because nothing really easy rhymes with “penguin”. She didn’t even know why she chose penguins in the first place. She could have picked anything, like leaves, or malls, or berries. She thought that maybe because she did her first major school project on penguins, she’d have some more luck. Only her mom did it all for her cause Casey didn’t know how to research anything yet. She wondered if she could use some of the information from the bulletin board her mom made and turn it into a poem. So far she had “dressed in tuxedos and loving the sky, penguins are classy but don’t know how to fly.” Casey had already crumpled up six sheets of paper cause the other rhymes were a bit lame. She wanted to ask her mom what she thought but that would make two whole projects on penguins that Casey hadn’t done on her own.

“we can remember everything” by Julia on the train to Parma, Italy


Sunday September 28, 2014
5:05pm
5 minutes
Writing Down The Bones
Natalie Goldberg


We can so we don’t think we have to try.
We do, though.
We have to try.
We don’t get memories for free.
We think we do, but we don’t.
Just a little work first…
Just a little active listening.
Someone says “with the whole body”.
Someone says that someone says that.
That’s why when we’re young we hold it all.
Because we don’t know how to turn our bodies off.
We don’t know how to disconnect our hearts and minds yet.
And we carry the trauma and we remember without trying and we have a reservoir of moments.
But now it’s different.
Now it’s harder to let it all go but keep it all close at the same time.
So we must.
We must try.
We must try to remember by listening with everything.
And slowly slowly, the images will come.
And when they do, the feeling will be complete.

“Auditions for the part of” by Julia on Nicole’s couch


Saturday, September 6, 2014
1:01am
5 minutes
from a tweet

She smiles at me because she’s trying to figure me out. She says, you’re leaving but aren’t you just starting your career? Don’t you want to be on TV or something? I smile back because FUCK YOU, I’m leaving cause I’m leaving. End of Story. Everybody back off. You know? And she’s still so sweet because she’s not trying to offend anyone, she’s just remembering the two conversations we’ve had in our entire lives and making attempts at small talk. Well it’s not SMALL. It’s my life we’re talking about. My life CHOICES we’re talking about. Which I’m not opposed to doing but I guess when one doesn’t have the answers one expects to have, it’s all just a little bit overwhelming. I’M GREAT AT BULLSHITTING. I blurt that out as a sort of “reason” even though it was meant to convince me more than her. She wasn’t supposed to hear that at all. I’LL BE JUST FINE. I blurt out again. But this time she’s not smiling. She’s sort of looking at me with concern and probably pity. Guess that TV thing is over then?

“The six methods are:” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Thursday July 24, 2014 at MAKE
1:55pm
5 minutes
Ashtanga Yoga Primer
Baba Hari Das

Oh for coping? I guess I have some experience. I usually don’t talk about them with anyone though. I don’t like sharing that stuff in case anyone finds it disturbing or whatever. TMI, maybe? I usually just avoid people during the coping period all together.
But okay. I could list them out, if that’s what you need? If you think it’ll help?
Number one…I’m suddenly acutely aware of myself. And my sadness. Because I’m still struggling with these and I’m the one who originated them. Sorry. Number one: Scream. It sounds easy, but it’s different than just letting sound out at a high volume. It’s a deep one. It’s guttural, it’s blood curdling, it’s hopeless and hopeful at the same time. And it lasts for at least 90 seconds. I do this one first to let it all out. Or try to.
Number two: find a sore spot on your body – a knot, a bruise, a tight muscle, and dig into it. With anything you want, but usually I use my elbows. You want something very pointy. Number three: Finish an entire container of peanut butter. Don’t move from your spot until it’s completely gone, lid licked. I don’t know why this one helps but it does. Maybe because you need something to stick to your bones once you’ve released all the unwanted parts. Number four: put on a blindfold and walk around your house until you know it by touch. Number five: Paint your mirror around your face. Turn it into something like a face cut out character you’d see at a carnival. Number six: floss.

“September I’ll remember” by Julia on her couch


Thursday, July 17, 2014
9:10pm
5 minutes
April Come She Will
Simon And Garfunkel



Having met you that one day, it uh, it really rocked me. It was like meeting the moon. Does that make..I’m just. I’m trying to sound honest, I guess. Or uh, expressive. You made me realize how closed off I’d been. I’m, I know you’re with someone, so I’m not, you know, I don’t want you to think that I..I’m just. Maybe you were right. Can barely get a thought out. I think you made a good point. And, you know, maybe you were right about me. I don’t know if I had uh, met you the day before or the day after if I would feel the same way I do now..Maybe I wouldn’t have been able to hear you at all if it, uh, were, you know, in any other minute than when it was. Your words. They were buzzing, uh, you know sort of resonating I guess, with my whole. Yeah. I. Thank you. I am so bad at this. Wow. I’m trying not to sound like the biggest idiot and yet that’s all I seem to be able to do. I’m glad it happened. Meeting you. I really am.

“Potting Mix” by Julia at MAKE coffee+stuff


Friday June 27, 2014 at MAKE
2:29pm
5 minutes
from the bag of soil

So my friend’s friend’s sister gave my friend’s friend one of those basil growing kits and my friend’s friend didn’t want it so she gave it to my friend who hated growing stuff unless it was pot so my friend gave it to me and told me to “make it rain”. She was clever like that. Sometimes she’d say things like “If the glove fits, hide it” or “Take me, break me, but please don’t forsake me”. Some of them work really well in sentences and some were only medium good. The “make it rain” thing kind of applied though. It was like “Go with God” or “Grow with God” which is what my friend would have said if she had thought about it for just two more seconds. So I wanted to “make it rain” as it were cause it meant I’d be in the “green” or whatever with the basil. Which is green. Like money. You get it. I had never grown a single thing in my entire life. I couldn’t even get behind those sea-monkeys cause what the shit were those even anyway?

“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.

“Important Numbers:” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Saturday May 10, 2014
12:02am
5 minutes
A 2013 calendar

Every morning when he awoke and every night before going to sleep, Benjamin Franklin would ask himself, “What good shall I do today? What good have I done today?” Every morning when he awakes and every night before going to sleep, James does the same thing. Sometimes, he feels as though he hasn’t done enough good, but he finds solace in the fact that he’s trying, in the simple act of trying to “do good”. Usually, when he wakes up, when he stretches his toes to the footboard, he thinks, “What good shall I do today? I shall give Joe, the homeless man who sits outside the Drugstore a club sandwich from the Deli. I shall ask Maria how her son is doing and if she needs help with organizing her garage for the Street Sale. I shall sign five on-line petitions for causes that I believe in. I shall take my travel mug to work and therefore not waste a take-out cup.” Usually at the end of the day, he’s done two of the four. Not bad.

“you’re obliged to keep living” by Julia at a park in Charleston


Thursday April 23, 2014
4:29pm
5 minutes
Locked In To Life
Mark Brazaitis


Keep pushing, keep moving, keep trying trying trying.
Don’t believe you’re stupid. Don’t believe that because nobody believes that and you don’t want to give them any new ideas about it.
Keep.
Pushing.
Yeah, it’s hard.
And yeah there will be lots of crying.
(With you, there’s always lots of crying. Get used to it.)
And there will be lots of laughing.
(With you, there’s always more laughing than crying. See?)
But there will be no regrets.
You don’t have time for those.
You don’t even have enough time to call your mother.
Or send that postcard to your boyfriend.
Or apologize to your inner person for being so damn-self-deprecating on a daily basis.
You don’t have time for that stuff.
So you most certainly do not have time to wish you did it differently.
The universe can be cruel.
I know that. You know that. Everybody knows that.
But it can also be kind.
So be a little nicer.
Be a little less quick to place the blame.
Be a little less okay with believing you’re mediocre.
Even when you forget how to spell “Disappointment” without an electronic device correcting you.
And even when you convince yourself you can’t do simple math in your head when trying to tip the server.
Be a little more confident.
Because you’re here.
Because you’ve made it this far and because if you didn’t want to be alive, you just wouldn’t be.

“clean, soft” by Julia at Sambuca Grill


Saturday December 28, 2013 at Sambuca Grill
8:12pm
5 minutes
HandiBac tube

Like a baby’s face,like a sky’s blank slate, like a call in the wild, like a fresh wall of paint, I’m your sinner, you’re my saint.
I can’t cause these power outages to last longer.
I just keep seeing myself in the mirror and I know it’s clearer than it was before.
With the lights out I know, that my problems are gone, so I keep myself in the dark dark until I can understand my mark.
On the world.
Just a big splatter of poetry. I put on to you so you can see.
My life is a coiled up wire that is exposed and could explode into a million sparks of gold if I let it. If I’m not careful.
Clean minds like to clean mine, all my troubles go and into the black hole they blow.
I know I know. I can’t keep the image staying untarnished cause I just like finger smudging and floor rumbling.
They try, they try. But I’m alone most of the time and I can’t hear, what’s inside, I can’t hear all the pride I store away.
They try to keep my anger at bay.

“tie up my son and me” by Julia on her couch


Friday November 22, 2013
6:53pm
5 minutes
Toronto Star (Life Section)

had a dream last night that we were playing pin the tail on the clouds. it was a game my son and me made up for when the bad days felt too long. i’d hold him and he’d hold a feather in his pudgy little hand. Then i’d lift him as high as i possibly could, reaching up and up, till the sun made him squint and he felt like it was enough. it was something we started a long time ago. with whatever he could find on the ground at the time, a rock, a stick, a snail. we would both pick a cloud, and he would try to pin the tail on it. on the same spot we chose together. i could feel him breathing, focussing, trying to get it just right. and he would never get the spot perfectly, but the concentration needed would always make it feel like he did. like just one more push and we’d get there. in the dream we were shooting right up to the real clouds. we were in a contraption that took us up, made us feel like we were flying. we knew even then that we might not touch the spot exactly, but we’d get close. in the dream he wasn’t holding an object from the yard, or the sand box. it was a framed photograph of me.