“The plastic statue of the virgin” by Julia in her office

Friday December 20, 2019
9:57am
5 minutes
The Alter
Charles Simic

Nonna carried the Vigrin Mother in her purse, and had one on her shelf, and one in a drawer under her nightstand. Nonna believed. Prayed. Maybe mostly felt guilty, but man was she a determined attendee of the smallest church you ever saw. Every Wednesday night and Saturday night and Sunday morning. Any chance to wear those pearls, get your hair pinned into fresh curls and to walk around getting told how beautiful you are. I am her nipote from the root. I got her church singing voice, her need for validation, her sweet affinity with entertaining babies. It’s been a few years, have we already lost count? She is missed beyond her faith or what we can make little jokes about today. She was always folding my underwear into perfect squares. Always sneaking us a twonie while telling us not to tell our parents cause they’d make us give them back. She believed in more than I ever have.

“Stock in the opinions of others” by Julia on her couch

Monday May 27, 2019
8:44pm
5 minutes
Meditations, 12.4
Marcu Aurelius

I can
Understand
If you are looking to make soup
After you grind the bones of your own worst nightmares living in your skin you’ll have enough marrow to sustain it.
I can help you strain it, stir in the stock of other people’s opinions telling you your own has such little value.
Add a couple disregarded feelings and a pinch of desperate validation.
I can understand it because it’s where I’ve been hanging out too.
Write everyday, hope someone is reading it, but write everyday even if they do not.
I act like I don’t need them to but I need them to I need someone to.
Star lovers tell me it’s all over my sign, stitched across the map, proof of flaws and tendencies.
When output comes at a cost and what am I willing to spend

“All my friends are having babies” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday April 4, 2018
2:57pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the 99

All my friends are having babies and I am more concerned with how good my freaking nails look these days. It’s taken a long time to like my hands. How do you like a hand that squeezes too hard, that breaks the good mugs, that spends most of its time down the front of raggedy sweat pants? These hands have never housed nice nails. These nails have never looked this strong. Some days I couldn’t tell if it was blood underneath them or just ketchup chips. It’s all I can think about because it’s like they belong on someone else’s body. Someone else who, say, might be having a baby. I’m used to seeing chips and tears and skin peeling off where it shouldn’t. They were not the hands that held soft things and kept them soft. They didn’t know how to stay one colour when stepping out into the cold.

“This is a highly competitive, adjudicated process” by Julia at the Bloor/gladstone public library


Monday March 30, 2015 at the TPL
5:46pm
5 minutes
The BC Arts Council website

I have never been so nervous! I’m sweating behind my knees and I’m gassy like a bagel on a cow’s hip. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? BECAUSE I CARE WAY TOO MUCH?? IS IT MY FAULT? I just want them to like me. To accept me and recognize me for my efforts. I think that’s a normal human thing to want. But this is big. It’s not just like, oh, you didn’t gain approval, it means, oh, you didn’t get funding, validation, encouragement to continue trying, etc, etc. I’m fully aware of the competition. I don’t want to be the kind of person who competes with the people out there who compete in these things for sport. But can a nobody compete against his or herself? Can this be turned into a positive somehow? I can’t think, I just want this. But did I do enough work to earn it? I don’t know, I’m sitting here waxing ridiculous to a bunch of overly medicated rich people who all equally believe that their kid deserves this over me.