“The phone doesn’t ring” by Julia at her desk

Friday October 18, 2019
9:12am
5 minutes
Low Noon
Jim Ralston

When we took the phone of the hook we realized we liked it better just us three.
Bobbi cried less. I think it’s because she didn’t feel like we were going to
leave her to answer somebody else’s call. It should have always been this way
but when the phone rings, it’s another agonizing reminder that there isn’t
enough time in the day to keep up with everything being thrown at us. And
answering is sometimes the only thing we can control in a sea of chaos that
goes around buzzing whether we want it to or not.

And then it was quiet. Alistair finished his will and Bobbi napped in his
arms. We were afraid of this infinite reminder that one day we
would no longer hear his sound. How terrifying it is to think of your family
losing one member of its voice. Again, to things we can’t control no matter
how hard we tried.

The phone doesn’t ring now. We can connect it later if we want, but for today
while both Bobbi and Alistair are breathing, we don’t even think about what
we might have missed.

“we always found a way” by Julia in a stairwell

Wednesday July 31, 2019
11:01pm
5 minutes
From a thank you card

you and me sunday driving
is the arriving and we have no where else to go

told me yourself you miss those open roads and those open throats where all that wants to say is said

where did the time go and why has it been so kind to us? Wrapping around our pinky fingers as a promise to always slow down when it counts

and when I thought I had more open doors in front of me to walk through than open roads to travel with you, we still found a way to try again

the heart is as beautiful as it is funny and we have seen so many faces of the same clock, so many different ticks tocking

with you with you with you
if this were a song it would be a deep bow

a thread holding us together strong enough to break to keep finding a sweetness in the fray

“You know how advice is.” by Julia at her desk

Thursday July 4, 2019
5:48pm
5 minutes
From a quote by John Steinbeck

It’s usually hot and swift like a shot
to the throat, rusty, at best, mistimed
And here I should be on my knees
swallowing
thank you for the wisdom, dripping down
into my guts
You mix with me until I can’t feel my
own hunger pangs
you’re the one speaking now, my stomach
the house you spread the gospel in

I did not ask for this and then again
maybe I did with a quivering lip the
way you’ve learned to decode as Somebody
Decide For Me, Make This Moment Stop
Hurting So much
Did I ask for this? Standing slumped
unworthy of my own back bone straight
and arrow into my lungs where the
breathing is supposed to go

It’s something you want to say but
I don’t need to hear, masked as a
kindness, the way new addictions
come in the prettiest of boxes
I learn to separate myself out
of the equation the whole time
wondering why nothing seems to
add up anymore

Me here with your hand up my
skull, flapping my face around
while I recite the script you wrote

“Oh, good for you!” By Julia on her patio

Saturday June 15, 2019
12:44pm
5 minutes
Overheard in the alleyway

You’re a good little pet
I give you a pat on the head
Woman the size of a doll
Because the man doesn’t
Take her seriously
She doesn’t need to be taken
Seriously by this man who does not listen she wants this man to stop speaking so she can show him
She wants it
She wants it
All her life waiting for the chance to prove wisdom, look a little older
And open your mouth to say
And now she is older but he is still in the old way and congratulates her for doing her job as if it’s a feat of nature
As if she deserves a treat or an allowance
She doesn’t need it
But she wants it
Him to stop speaking
Him to start listening
Him to hear the good
Ideas
Him to actually deserve them
Then he starts talking about his son
His tall good looking talented and unhappy son looking for a doll
To marry him
A doll like her who smiles grace
But seethes underneath
Who waits
Who sits

“I now busied myself in preparations” by Julia at her desk

Thursday June 6, 2019
6:37pm
5 minutes
Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë

There was much to do. Much much around and in.
I simply would not stop my legs or my hands,
drumming my finger tips on every surface and edge.
Company was coming, as it always does, without
enough warning and I was alone, as I always am
without enough time. I had yelled for Kilner to
stay home a few moments longer but of course,
his presence was demanded elsewhere, even though
I can’t imagine what could possibly be so important
at 10AM on a Sunday. He threw on his jacket and
left in a hurry, so I believed him when he said it
was urgent, and in fact, life or death. Sidney coming
to brunch was not at all life or death although it
surely felt like it. She perpetually had her nose
turned up toward the sun, as if she had asked a
doctor friend with time to spare if she might
stitch it there for her so it never moved.
I would never go to another woman’s home and run
my finger along a baseboard. It’s the single most
offensive thing you could do. Of course, I appreciate
cleanliness too, but the difference is, I’m not a monster.

“therefore determined to find fault with her” by Julia at her desk

Friday May 31, 2019
2:10pm
5 minutes
St. Urbain’s Horseman
Mordecai Rcihler

You could say she was impatient.
you wouldn’t be saying anything new, but you could say it.
She has likely, herself, already pointed this fact out.
Not to get ahead of the discovery of flaws,
but to practice self-awareness.
You might have opinions about her impatience, or her basket,
but she has not asked to hear them.
Questions, however, she will field:

What is in the basket?
When did you first notice your impatience?
Did someone make you wait when it was really quite urgent?
What is your favourite season?

She will start with the easiest ones and work her way back:

Favourite season is spring. You did not ask why. Now you may
muse on that and wait to ask a separate question in another round.
I first noticed my impatience when the sky was falling and
nobody seemed to have any urgency about it until it was too late.
Someone the day the sky was falling did not make me wait but
was too dead to join in the urgency. And I loved him.
The basket holds a ticking heart, tick, tick ticking…

“pulling its guts out” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday April 16, 2019
7:32am
5 minutes
Identify Hunt
Elaine Bougie

It’s no secret I like poppingsquishing pulling the guts out of my woundsand forcing myself to take a lookI always take a look and that’s problemonumero uno. Here’s me, I am me here in the bathroomand all I have to do is brush my teethand wash my face to get out of here aliveBut the first thing…It’s no secret.The first thing is I take a look.And as I’m looking, a thing I could have savedby not looking finds a moment to show itself.Little forest of peaking heads, white,sore, clustering together to ensure the increaseof attention on them.They, if I’m being honest, are usually molehillsuntil I take a pincer claw and blast theminto mountains. I have done this before,cast this unnecessary spell as if the biggerthe better. I do believe in being big as beinggood but this is not the softest of transitions.Look! Quick! She’s defenseless! And for her next trick, she will destroy a perfectlyinnocent face…

“‘small healings’ take place every day” by Julia in her couch

Wednesday April 3, 2019
8:29pm
5 minutes
The Human Elements of Psychotherapy
David N. Elkins

Earlier there was a chance to take the regular route home (a shortcut I had found a few years earlier to maximize the usage of my time), and a fork in the rode that would lead me to the water. I almost went the usual route, the reliable path, the pace I had already established. But something (water) caught my attention. It had “been a minute” since I had visited (a phrase my students taught me. ‘A minute’ could mean a week, a year, a while. All very fascinating) and I was more drawn then decided. I saw all of the neon shorts running and it seemed like a good idea even though it would add 4-6 minutes to my commute home, depending on the abundance of runners, and other stoppable fixtures in nature. Immediately I was drawn into a labyrinth. Upon my exit I saw a seal up close. Wild!

“My brother finds out this Friday” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday April 2, 2019
9:11pm
5 minutes
From an email

Is it better to assume than to make an ass out of myself? Don’t answer that. I’m nervous. I get chatty when I’m nervous. I mean, common problem. Are you writing this down? I just said I was nervous. Really know how to make a speaker feel listened to. Please don’t write this. I don’t represent myself well on paper. I’m often misunderstood. Not in a whiny way. Out of context. People can’t formulate their own opinions anymore because there’s not enough data. Things are being hidden away, we’re getting tricked, we’re falling…falling for all of it…

You know people will believe what is being fed to them especially when it’s not shoved down their throats. I don’t blame them. It’s quite logical. More efficient if you think about it.

“concern also has been expressed” by Julia at the bus stop

Friday March 29, 2019
6:25pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

I made a scene at dinner. Call me premenstrual, or incapable of having a nice night out, or insensitive to the needs of the room. Merel has said that about me before. She has said “read the room” and I think she means like a book. So does that mean let the book tell me what I’m experiencing? Am I not supposed to draw conclusions?

Someone asked a specific question and my face turned hot and my eyes filled up and my voice got loud. I don’t know that I was entirely inappropriate, all of us casually at the Cactus Club for happy hour. I am not happy! But the rest of them turned very small. I didn’t want small I wanted bigness. I wanted a fight or a debate or a hug or something.

I am most hurt by silence. By the fear I’ll go off the handle. One person agreed with me. And one person probably now thinks I’m the devil.

Merel says I shouldn’t make assumptions about the intentions of others. But I read the room and I still have to decide if I like it or not, don’t I? Merel would tell me to breathe before thinking anything at all.

“He had to warm the guy up fast” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 12, 2019
8:03am
5 minutes
The Obsidian Chamber
Preston & Child

friend who is no longer friend
who the net couldn’t hold
who is gone now from this everyday
it’s not how i ever thought it would be
but i do know that love comes and goes
and open heartedness only gets us so far
always gets us to the truth

friend who is no longer friend
i hope that you are finally finding the peace
that you so desperately want
or wanted then i hope that
you are supported and enveloped in prayer
it’s okay that you broke things
forgiveness beads in my hand
counting to one hundred and eight
every morning and night

friend who is no longer friend
i don’t know if we’ll find our way back
to each other in this lifetime
but what i do know is that love is the god
i whisper to and who sings through
my voice moves through my body
water finding the same source
finding other water

“You must unlearn the habit of being someone else” by Julia at her desk

Saturday March 9, 2019
9:33pm
5 minutes
A quote from Herman Hesse

I say this to myself. I say this to you as me thank you universe as mirror
I started this thinking I was going to channel someone else’s tone and make a profound discovery about all my major opinions. I wonder who she wanted to be like or sound like or only wished she could express half as well as. Maybe I’ll ask her that. The first breeze of the morning. I’ll bet she’ll say something like that as her response. Something loose like an escaped curl from a tight bun. She’ll say that was her inspiration. That was what she tried to emulate. I could use my own voice but I’m still not sure which one she is.

“Roads here are nuts.” By Julia on her couch

Thursday March 7, 2019
8:20pm
5 minutes
From a text message

Earlier today the damn weather forecast never said nothin’ about no snow. No rain in there neither and somehow we had both, now didn’t we. Nobody spectin’ a downfall or downpour or whatever. Nobody out dressed thinkin’ it’s back to winter out here. Not after all them sunny days we got. We was laughin’ cuz Spring was tryna tell us it was ready. Yesterday I saw all them robins scurryin’ about too so what’s up with that! It got me real angry when the man opened the door for me this mornin’, saw the skies and said, “Just miserable. And you haven’t got an umbrella?” Wanted to punch his rich little mouth right offa him. I said, “It’s snowin.’” with a hook in my voice that told him I was it was feeakin’ news to me too.

“I met Luke after my marriage ended.” By Julia on M’s couch

Thursday January 17, 2019
1:33pm
5 minutes
The Ghost of a Boy
Piper Vignette

You could say I manifested it; the end of my first marriage the way it is written. By that I mean death, and not
some fault of our own. We might have stopped trying. Stopped listening. Stopped seeing Love in the reflection of each other. I think we were lucky enough to preserve our relationship before it got so sad we committed any of those aforementioned acts of betrayal. I think those are worse than cheating anyway. Sex is something I can justify as “not personal”. But I suppose you’re right, if I claim to have manifested my late husband’s death. I guess that is a fault of my own I should be less light-hearted about. My intentions were that he would die and leave me while we were still in love. I didn’t know it would happen so soon or that it would work so well. If I believed in manifesting at all (before this) I would have made sure I had pots of money and enough hair product to last my entire lifetime. I would have manifested some inner peace.

“So the Search was begun” by Julia at Pearson Airport

Monday December 31, 2018
8:08am
5 minutes
The Tao Of Pooh
Benjamin Hoff

In the middle of the night I heard a whisper in the sound of my own voice coming from inside my head. It was me, or I believed it to be. I was telling me to breathe and focus and stop focusing and see the white wall and Dear Lord Please, Please. I was telling me to find peace in the stillness. A little voice asked if it was okay if I watched a movie instead. I said yes to myself and began to play a moving picture show of all my choices and all the bread I got to eat. The lobster. The Italian sausage. The night my father and I took a deep look. The movie played and I rewatched it again and again. I told me I could watch it in the morning once I had woken up but the me laying didn’t feel like the me saying was being true. The search had begun for what was. For what was true. Why would inside voice me try to trick outside laying me? What is inside voice me trying to get me to notice or understand or remember forever and ever amen.

“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

“somehow you are sacred,” by Julia on the 84

Wednesday December 12, 2018
3:54pm
5 minutes
The Third Treatise
Yara Farran

As I stand here mighty, bigger than you,
I feel the earth holding you up. When the sight of me existing without force
the way you sometimes don’t
makes you stop in your tracks, I see you then, and know you are good. This rain has marked its territory on my skin. I have married and left it now too many times to count. This is how I know about growing. About staying. About you.
Somehow, it is true, you are sacred even if you do not know the meaning of the word. And I know what it’s like to wait for my time to shoot upward; to shed my old season; to take the place of my mother.

“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.

“silence that voice.” By Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 3, 2018
9:41pm
5 minutes
Sitting in the Fire
Pema Chodron

She doesn’t whisper anymore
she begs
she wants me to be loud
that’s my goddamn mantra anyway
Yell Woman, Yell As Loud As The Moon
But the pull of this river is telling me something different
That I should quiet the voice quaking
that I should walk in silence and observe the wind moving
I am being tested every second and there are so many seconds
which mountains I’ve made and which I’ve climbed
I am fairly certain there have been no molehills worth dying on
I know that is what the pull is saying
the one that doesn’t whisper anymore
The one that doesn’t say anything at all
Wisdom is knowing you are right and not beating a love
over the skull with how right you are
and how wrong they have been
It is about knowing deep within and underneath bone
that sometimes saying less is saying more
and saying nothing is saying nothing

But what about the Yell Woman.
The Women of Yell that I have built all my bridges on
They rumble sometimes
and still
I must sit

“Kensington Prairie Farm” by Julia at the desk

Friday July 27, 2018
9:45pm
5 minutes
www.kpfarm.com

Don’t talk to me about alpacas.
I’m not interested in giving those assholes any more attention than they deserve.
You come at me and running your mouth about alpacas?
I swear to the holy ghost that knows you that those will be your goddamn last words.
I don’t have anything weird about alpacas. I don’t have anything weird about alpacas.
I think their wool feels gross.
I think their faces are stupid.
I don’t have anything weird about alpacas.
Okay so my first boyfriend used to be obsessed with them.
He’d talk about them.
He’d ask me to go to the fucking farm to see them with him.
Now that is having something weird about alpacas.
Get a dog, you know what I mean?
Like go smile at a goat or whatever.
Why was he obsessed with them?
Don’t ask me why!
If I knew why, I probably wouldn’t have anything weird about alpacas.

“Response rate: 100%” by Julia at her desk

Thursday April 26, 2018
6:54am
5 minutes
poparide.com

If you call me and I can’t pick up but I CALL YOU RIGHT BACK
as in I do not let you finish your voicemail
as in your phone should still be open on my number
can I just ask one little question?
WHERE THE EFF ARE YOU?
Seconds have past
Has the urgency left?
Are you passed out, dead, on the phone with someone else?
Is your ringer on?
Would you like to join the conversation?
Here’s my two cents
People who call you and then have their phone on silent
shouldn’t be allowed to own a phone
They have classes for driving a car
And if you don’t pass, you don’t drive
You should have to take a test for the use of your dinky cell phone
“Oh I don’t know how that happened, that’s weird, it was in my pocket”
I don’t want to have to wait to talk to you
if I call you I am CALLING YOU
but if you don’t pick up I will be on the phone with someone else
because you forfeit the right to speak with me and I have shit to discuss
I hope you’re not dead

“I found an opossum” by Julia at the studio

Monday April 23, 2018
6:07pm
5 minutes
Dirty Work
Nancy Matson

Opossum, opossum, where for art thou possom?
Are ye brothers? Are ye sisters?
Are ye an April Fools joke played by the World Wide Webbeth?
I don’t care much for either or, IF I’M BEING COMPLETELY HONEST.
When I was a kid Haley Halpert had a weird-ass obsession with
opposums and would correct everyone if they dropped the O because
HOW THE HELL WERE WE SUPPOSED TO KNOW?
It’s right up there on the old crazy train with people who are
obsessed with alpacas. They are not cute. They are not sweet.
They are just creepy things that look like llamas. Which is what
makes alpaca lovers even crazier.
One of my first boyfriends was obsessed with alpacas along with
saying “It’s an alpaca not a llama, the two are NOT the same.”
DID YOU KNOW THEY CAN SUCESSFULLY CROSS-BREED, GARRETH?
I had to break his heart into a bazillion pieces over e-mail.

“And made of no special wood.” By Julia at her desk

Sunday April 1, 2018
10:40pm
5 minutes
Afterward
Mark Rudman

And maybe I should have turned around then, when he was pressing himself into me. Bending me over at the crease of my dress, his hands roaming in and out and around. Maybe I should have kissed him then, when he was busy wanting me. I didn’t do anything. I moaned a little. I liked how hard he got at the curve of me. In that moment, his desire was enough. I should have closed my eyes sooner, out of respect for him and for me. He couldn’t see my eyes, but they were scanning the backyard and the pigeon shit on the barbeque. He didn’t know that I was moaning a little on cue at the same time as deciding to change the tarp. Things take longer when the mind is wandering on the deck outside the window of romance. He told me he liked my dress and I told him I liked pretending to be his secretary. He let it slip that Joan’s hugged her hips a little tighter.

“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.

“only four corals spawn” by Julia at her desk

Sunday, February 25, 2018
10:16pm
5 minutes
Sea Sick
Alanna Mitchell

Did you know that coral is not a plant? Everybody thinks it’s a plant because of its size and the way it hangs out on ocean floors. Corals are not plants. Technically, they’re animals because they don’t produce their own food. They actually have mouths. I’m not a coral mouth expert so I can’t really say much about them, but I know they’re there because they capture food with their tentacle-like arms and then sweep it into them. They have been around for millions of years. Did you know that? I know a girl who is named Coral but I don’t think she was named after THE coral because she’s sort of the opposite of amazing. She’s the type of girl you just want to roll up in a dusty rug and toss off your 6 story balcony onto your mom’s boyfriend’s parking spot. I’ve never heard her talk about the ocean before. What a waste. Anyway, did you know that coral reefs rival old-growth forests in terms of how long they can live? I don’t blame you for not knowing that. I didn’t even know that and I’ve read EXTENSIVELY about corals.

“the holy monkeys and the colourful birds” by Julia on the bus to Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng

Tuesday January 30, 2018
8:39am
5 minutes
You
Anna Margolin

In the morning before we said goodbye to Ann, the tiny blue bird with the long beak that I had seen in my half sleep from the bus reappeared. It cradled a thin branch near the water with its feet and stopped the world from stepping. I tried to tell you that it was a sign. You couldn’t see the blue and told me it was probably some other bird. It was the same one and I knew by the way it sat. Its stillness was a perfect one. I would know it anywhere. I managed to quiet my heart beat long enough to hear. To sense the strength or the message or the absence of expectation. I heard it like the humming of my Nonna, her voice soothing while she used to mend my favourite sleep shorts. I would know that sound anywhere. I would.

“The woods are filling up with snow.” By Julia on the 9

Wednesday January 17, 2018
4:16pm
5 minutes
Traveller
James Pollock

Let me paint you a picture. Imagine pulling into the driveway and seeing fresh deer tracks in the snow. It’s magical. Isn’t it magical? It’s really magical. I’ve always thought that. Deers are the most magical creatures in the world. They are gentle and they are graceful and they are majestic and they are soft. Deers are so soft and magical it makes me cry. One magic moment I had with a deer, and this was three years ago, was when I was pulling into the driveway at the cottage and I noticed there were fresh deer tracks in the snow and I thought well isn’t this magical? To what do I owe this magic? Am i-Is this Narnia? Is this a Taylor swift music video? Is this pure, unadulterated magic with a spoonful of luck? Let me ask you something-you ever feel like the snow falling lightly and landing on your eyelashes is a kiss from heaven? That’s magic too! That’s the most magical magic there is.

“shorten the contract” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 10, 2018
8:59pm
5 minutes
for your consideration
Laura Yan

Owlie is coming to visit and I got her an air matress from Winners. This is what adults do. Adults go to the store on a Wednesday or a Monday and buy produce. Adults invite their friend to sleep over but only if there is proper bedding. I haven’t seen Owlie since 2012 and I’m afraid she’ll ask me all the same questions. Where am I working? Did I ever find a family doctor? Do I still sleep with a bible underneath my pillow? A lot can change in six years. People can grow or stop gowing or get a promotion or lose their job. You won’t find any air mattresses in an unemployed adult’s home. Nobody would see one and expect their host to not be able to afford a nice one like this from Winners. Owlie has always been successful at anything she tries. She got a serving job once just by walking into a place and telling the owner she could see herself working there.

“if she was obligated to say” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday January 9, 2018
10:03pm
5 minutes
Pamplemousse
Dominique Bernier-Cormier

When I asked her if I could pitch her an idea
her eyes rolled back in her skull like a whip and I waited there
patiently for her to nod her head or give some sign that
I wasn’t just wasting all the god given air in her lungs
Finally she motioned for me to keep speaking and I did speak
but she did not laugh and I waited again for it to click
and for her to realize suddenly how funny it really was
She didn’t do anything or she clucked her tongue
and let me know she had heard but
she didn’t say anything or offer up even a small smile
Of course she was not obligated to tell me how smart my
idea was but it would have been nice
It would have been nice if she didn’t need so many proofs
before suspending her disbelief
Of course if I were to tell her that she’d get angry at me
for suggesting that she didn’t have an imagination
but my real question would be regarding her funny bone

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

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

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

“mouth guards aren’t just for hockey” by Julia on the 84

Saturday November 18, 2017
6:46pm
5 minutes
yourdentalhealth.ca

I knew a guy who slept with a mouth guard. Okay I fucked a guy who slept with a mouth guard. I doubt I need to go into detail. He knows where his tongue is let’s just say that. Anyway one night he passed out and left it on the pillow beside me and I threw up a little bit in my mouth and then I had a nightmare about his gummy face between my legs, all clicking and clacking and when I woke up I had vomited again. It really also could have been from the drugs but I wasn’t taking any chances. Anyway that was the last time I called him for a late night.

“strikes out at the enemy” by Julia at the studio

Friday November 17, 2017
4:50pm
5 minutes
When Things Fall Apart
Pema Chodron

We’ve been waiting for the saviour. Someone who can save us, not Jesus, but someone like that for more of us. We’ve been waiting because what else is there to do? What if we shot all of our guns at the wrong thing? None of us are shooting right now. We’ve made a pact. These are the intentional ones. We are the Intentionals. We don’t want to fight but we intend to win. Win hearts. It’s not a cheesy affair. It’s the truth. Heart is nothing to be ashamed of. Heart is good. Heart is everybody. We can’t take fire on the bad hill. We cannot go to war over diction. We have to speak simply now. No getting lost. We are the intentionals. We’re hosting a potluck next Thursday. Maybe the next saviour will come too.

“SEE ALL” by Julia at her desk

Thursday November 16, 2017
11:33pm
5 minutes
http://www.bestbuy.ca

A couple hundred days ago, Dillon, spelled with two X chromosomes, was walking her unspecified dog along the water’s edge. She didn’t know what kind of dog it was either, so this is very much a don’t shoot the messenger sort of scenario. She was thinking about the lines between Kitty and P in her new play. She didn’t have a name for P yet, but thinking about Kitty and P together made her laugh for obvious reasons. She was thinking about the scene where Kitty tells P she once tried to kill him by crushing up some unidentified pills and stirring them into his fizzy drink. She was able to tell him this in the first place because she was too eager to kill him and not eager enough to find something other than antacids.

“A utopian vision” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday November 15, 2017
11:13pm
5 minutes
from a quote by bell hooks

Call it a quest, yes let’s call it a quest of light. On this quest, well let’s not over use it, there will be many a dark tunnel. Good dark, light, I like that. Dark, harrowing tunnels leading—wait—harrowing? Confirmation on definition? Ah yes, not quite. Dark, dangerous (simplicity, thank you) tunnels. I’m sorry I got myself a bit lost in the harrowing world of diction. Still not right? When can I use harrowing? Ah I see, not for this. But on this quest-oh I remember! It’s a quest but not an overused word quest, a journey, a pilgrimage (ah!) toward the sun! Toward the great bright glow! Here we go now: there will be some rough earth on which to tread but walking makes footprints!

“every zit is proof” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday November 7, 2017
10:33pm
5 minutes
The Time I Went Into a Full-Body Spasm for Six Days
Betty Gilpin

Okay so you made the deal with yourself
You know the one where you said you’d be kinder
(including the skin stuff, remember you said?)
and now you’re wondering how long you can pull it off
You ask evethe mirror everytime you walk by it
Will today be the day I decide to love myself
(how could you forget, you do it everytime!)
And then before you know it you’re right there
zapping all those little fuckers with the sharpest
parts of your fingernails and you make dents
you excavate
you dig a hole so big in a face you keep lying to
I want to tell you that every zit is proof
that you are signed up to the self-sabotage
e-mails and you have not unsubscribed yet
Not to hit you while you’re down but you
also said you would start eating better
(as a part of the deal, you know, full package?)
And I will tell you that those chips have
not been eating themselves

“Rivers till I reach you” by Julia at her desk


Thursday August 3, 2017
6:36pm
5 minutes
Rivers and Roads
The Head and the Heart


I heard the seagulls laughing last night. I don’t think they wanted to be. I don’t know if anyone else noticed. No one seemed to be ducking or running, or telling them to piss off. Maybe it was subtle seagull warning signs meant for the clarvoyant. Maybe that was their gentle way of peeling back the scales on the eye I keep hidden. I thought about listening but then I was too afraid. I did run for a bit. I decided to stay on the sidewalk even though the path up the hill would have been faster. You asked me nicely, that’s the only reason why I don’t do it anymore. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I’m fine and the world might be ending but it hasn’t yet so, all good. And if you want, I can try to let you know if I hear it again. I’ll try to read the room.

“see you again wherever and whenever” by Sasha at her desk


Tuesday July 18, 2017
10:23pm
5 minutes
From a text

Dr. Morrow says that when an attack’s coming on I should think about my “happy place.” I don’t know what the fuck that means, but what I do think about is the blue tiles in Mila’s bathroom, from when we were little and we were allowed to take baths together. I guess that means that’s my happy place? I dunno. Before long I’m shaking, and sweating, and losing my shit totally losing my shit. I try to speak, to yell, or something so that people might know that I might, like, die. I try to say, “See you again whenever and wherever, assholes…” but I can’t get the words out, like, they get all stuck and jumbled.

“Lipstick on your arsehole” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Thursday July 6, 2017
1:06am
5 minutes
Dry Lips Oughta Move To Kapuskasing
Tompaon Highway

Monkey keeps trying to put Bear’s liplip up her bum and Bear’s not havin’ any of that. She just got the lipstick at the Buck or Two and oh wild Willy Bear hates when me or Monkey touches her stuff. One time I was waiting for Bear to get home from work and Monkey was supposed to be napping but she wasn’t and we were going through Bear’s drawers and we found a new bathing suit in there one of those two pieces kinds and and and we took it out and we played with it putting it on our heads and stuff. Monkey tried to take off all her clothes and put it on but Bear came home and yelled and all the fun was over.

“I was not able to hold high notes that long” By Julia at her desk


Tuesday May 23, 2017
10:05pm
5 minutes
from a YouTube comment on a Mariah Carey music video

Heaven help me–if Larry ever offered to do the groceries I would know that something was terribly wrong at the centre of things. I don’t know who’s in control, if it’s NASA, if it’s Horoscope writers, or what not, but we’d be in trouble that’s for sure. Larry has a groove print the size of his ass on the sofa and it is notcibly sat in but he doesn’t care. He doesn’t think about that kind of thing. No, he can’t think about teaching his body to even find a different part of the room to eat chips in, let alone offer to help me out in anyway.
Not on his own, at least. Larry’s the kind of man who requires a lot of prompting and I’m not saying that’s his mother’s fault or what not, I’m sure she’s a real ham-sweetheart. But his father? If I’m going to go blaming anyone for the permanent Larry-groove in my sofa, I’m going to go ahead and blame him: the iceberg lettuce who didn’t think responsability applied to him.

“Every day 6-9 PM” by Sasha at Allegro Coffee


Monday April 3, 2017
8:57am
5 minutes
From the napkin dispenser at Allegro Coffee

Smells like something’s burning in here. Can’t bug Tina cuz she’s restin’. I’ll go and check things out. Can’t open the oven though. No hands. Don’ know why Tina puts the dinner in when every day from six til nine she’s passed out in her bed or on the couch. Sometimes I wake her right up with barkin’. She doesn’t like that though. She’ll sometimes even hit my snout or my back, sayin’, “Why you screamin’, Rocky?!” Poor Tina. Ever since the twins went away to the oil sands she’s really not feelin’ good. Those kids were her whole world and now all she’s got is the TV and her part time job at the pharmacy.

“several thousand feet above sea” by Sasha at her desk


Wednesday March 22, 2017
9:45am
5 minutes
Traveling Mercies
Anne Lamott

“Boy you best pray that I bleed real soon
How’s that thought for you” oh Tori Amos
my fourteen year old self did not know the
weight of this waiting my fourteen year old
self sang this line at full voice full wave
crest and now sixteen years later I wait
for blood and we talk about bank accounts
and moving thousands of miles home

We’re giddy on possibility and the sweetness
of spring in the air and you pull me extra
close as we cross the street

“winners are allowed acceptance speeches” By Julia at her desk


Friday March 3, 2017
9:11pm
5 minutes
http://www.filmfreeway.com

I can’t believe this is happening. I really, truly didn’t think I would ever live to see this day. I am touched and honoured and humbled by this moment. Truly. I am in shock. I have a lot of people I need to thank: my sister for bringing me my own clothes every week and for reading to me while I couldn’t do much else but lay there. I want to thank my brother for driving into town instead of going on his honey moon. Thank you, that was very meaningful to me and I will never forget it. I want to thank my doctors. Without you, I would still be thinking this was all in vain. I owe you much more than gratitude. Thank you for enstilling a faith in me I thought had been snuffed out. I want to thank my friends for writing to me. Your letters kept me lifted and I will respond to every last one down to the line, I can promise you that. I’m sorry, I’m just-this is inconceivable. It feels like moments ago…and also like a dream.

“he could hear her husky” By Julia on her couch


Thursday March 2, 2017
9:48pm
5 minutes
Ordinary Thunderstorms
Wiliam Boyd


After a week of coughing up dark globules of phlegm, Andie had had enough. She couldn’t afford to be anywhere other than a sink because as soon as she got comfortable, she’d get the call in her throat, and she’d have to spit. It was disgusting, to say the least. She wasn’t thrilled about horking up half of baby seal everytime she swallowed, but “better out than in” her mother used to say. Pierre was getting pretty sick of Andie being sick too. He once had to politely ask her not to spit in the bathroom sink out of fear of her clogging the drain with one of her “infection chews”. Andie laughed at this because, yes, they were chewy, and yes she was worried about clogging the drain too. When she did this, however, while as sick as she was, Pierre couldn’t help but be turned on. Her husky voice made her sound like pure sex. And he wanted her.

“improve life for their families.” by Julia on Jess’s couch


Wednesday January 4, 2017
5:38pm
5 minutes
From a Kiva.org card

You could call them and tell them you miss them you wish they didn’t have to be so far you could write them and tell them you love them even if they don’t like letters and don’t write you back you could send them a song with a joke in the middle and make them laugh with how good your rhyming is or you could ship them a box of something that you baked while you were waiting for the news and include them in the experience somehow you could call them and say you miss them and that you love them and that Christmas is not the best time you’ve ever chosen to stay away or you could tell that you need them to come and visit you so you can show them that the life you’re living is still a good one even though they aren’t as close as they used to be you could hold them when you see them and stay forever in the heart of the place that keeps you young

“When we look up” by Julia at her dining table


Wednesday December 7, 2016
10:06pm
5 minutes
An interview with Gloria Steinem

I have been wanting to read everything in Meredith Grey’s cadence when she narrates the beginning and end of the episode. Everything feels like a life lesson these days. Everything feels a little bit like a fucking education. She’s gotten angrier. They’ve made her colder, more unfeeling. And at the same time all fluffy and rising up or learning something profound about herself. I think about the character of Meredith Grey and how they based an entire show on the shoulders of the one beautiful individual who couldn’t actually act. Or is Meredith played exactly as intended? Is she that type to a T and Ellen Pompeo is a godddamn genius for the way she interprets her? I don’t know. I don’t know anything. I’m not even writing in my own voice, I’m writing in hers. And the main message with the sappy music is spoken in the monotone or maybe perfect cadence of a fictional character. Who is filthy rich in real life by the way.

“Does anyone have any questions” by Julia on the toilet


Sunday November 27, 2016
7:33pm
5 minutes
overheard at BC Children’s Hospital

I shoot my hand up into the air slicing though immediate sky and most expectations
WILL THERE BE A TEST ON THIS OR WHAT?
The whole room is looking at me
like they did not plan or hope for this
as if they didn’t know the test would be so brazen and surprising and at the wrong time of the day
as if they wished they had prepared for being tested on someone testing their patience and their ethics
I laugh because I don’t know, isn’t this whole thing a sham?
WE ARE PAYING SOMEBODY ELSE TO DISAPPOINT OURSELVES. ISN’T THAT RIGHT DELIA AND OR ROBERT?
Nobody is clear on what this is now
some of them think it could be a gorilla performance piece and Trey starts filming me with his Iphone 6000 and something
I’M NOT YOUR ENEMY! I’M YOUR DEEP DARK TOMORROW MORNING!
Crickets have a way of sounding like revolution

“As a heavy-metal band” by Julia at Platform 7 Coffee Brew Bar


Wednesday March 2, 2016 at Platform 7
2:59pm
5 minutes
The Comic Toolbox
John Vorhaus


I am joining a band!
A Circus!
I don’t care about the big hair part! I just want to eat music for breakfast!
I’m big when I want to be, loud when I’m allowed. I don’t like walls, unless they’re made of sounds.
Mama says
BE CAREFUL
Pa says
DON’T SHOUT
Baby Brae says
AHHH! AHHH!
And I say
YEAH!! YEAH!!
Mama says
YOU MAY BE TOO LITTLE
Pa says
NOT LITTLE ENOUGH!-patting my head, chuckling HA HA
I want to tell them I can be what I want!
I am big like a thunderstorm.
I am loud like a parade!
I am going to sing with my mouth open like this:
( )
( )
Swallowing songs and guitars and applause!
Mama says
BE WHAT YOU WANT!
Pa says
DON’T FORGET US!
Baby Brae says
AHHH! AHHH!
I say
YEAH!! YEAH!!
I am going to see the world!
I am going to be the sky!

“to be euthanized” by Julia at Culprit Coffee


Friday February 19, 2016 at Culprit Coffee
4:37pm
5 minutes
Vancouver Metro
Thursday February 18, 2016


Bitty and I found a little cat cat down by the lava house. Bitty’s the one who named it the lava house. I asked Rodney and he told me it was just a sewer. I like when Bitty calls things different because then we have a secret language and it feels like cookies and cream or picking out a splinter from your big toe after limping all day. Bitty picked up the cat cat first and told me she was going to take her home and I said, you mean “him” home and she said, this cat cat can be whoever she wants to be. And I said, yeah, well, I can see his thingy so maybe this one can’t. I didn’t want the cat cat until Bitty said she wanted her. Him. Ugh. But as soon as I couldn’t have him I needed him. More than I’ve ever needed anything. I needed to pretend like it could be her way, like it always is. But that was hard because it was staring to burn inside, like throwing up too much cookies and cream or getting a giant splinter lodged deep into your big toe.

“starting in the same spot” by Sasha on the 16


Wednesday,January 20, 2016
5:39pm
5 minutes
Overheard at Arbutus Coffee

I can hear your voice through the floorboards, rattling the light fixture that hangs above the kitchen table ever so slightly. The reverberation travels through the light, into the top of my head, down my spine and into my bum, squishy on the seat cushion, on the brown chair. Your voice has the resonance of an oak tree, the pitch of a double bass, the starting spot of the clouds before the sky clears.

“Imagine having fantastic sex with him or her” by Sasha at Platform Seven


Wednesday, January 13, 2016
3:01pm
5 minutes
Instant Enlightenment
David Deida


You close your eyes and I know what you’re doing Owl Man. I see you for what you are. Hooo hooo hooo.

You lick your lips and I can only imagine what you’re tasting (creamed honey/Hershey’s kisses/body juices). Oh Owl Man, why don’t you just notice me for once?

You see me as the Pharmacist Assistant, the one who checks you out when you’re picking up your prescriptions (Zoloft, fungal cream). You see me as the overweight (“curvy”), middle-aged (“40 is the new 20!”), funky-haired (who actually knows how to henna?) woman who may be of Portuguese heritage. You, Owl Man, know me even though you think you don’t, even though you think this is less than it is.

You take a twenty from your wallet. It’s well-worn. You probably bought it in Greece when you were there to help people who were in some kind of crisis. OWL MAN.