“It is never too late” by Sasha on her living room floor

Saturday March 7, 2020
7:40am
5 minutes
Quote by George Elliot

It is never too late to change your mind
I write this in the bottom margin of my journal page
over and over again
a call to myself from a pay phone on the side of a
strange highway
driving fast
the trees turn into a thick brush painting

day after day I write

It is never too late to change your mind

and sometimes I think that I’m not writing
it for myself or
I’m not only writing it for myself

I’m writing it for you

like drawing a hot bath
dripping in six drops of eucalyptus
three drops of lavender
a quarter cup epsom salts
the perfect gift

My horoscope said to write it all down
if I want it to happen

That’s what I do here

Write and share and
wonder what dear heart
might be reading
these tired words
these lazy wonderings
these pen carvings
fingertip songs

It is never too late to change your mind

“Instead, the deer step carefully” By Julia at her table desk

Saturday January 25, 2020
6:04pm
5 minutes
The Return
Rick Bass

So if it’s a game about strategy I don’t really want to play.
I know the word is ‘game’, and not ‘real life’ but there is nothing fun sounding about revealing myself while other people around me skillfully craft their turn.
I don’t think it’s because I have no strategy. You could check my track record and I’m sure there would be occasions where I’ve enlisted my tactical thinking, but this feels different. Like parallel parking in front of a bunch of race-car drivers when you haven’t practiced since getting your G licence back in 2003.
I get nervous that people will find me out and consider my IQ lower than they expected since I usually conduct myself with clever quips and strong insights.
I don’t need people seeing that I crack under pressure and would therefore be the first one voted off the island.
It all comes down to purpose.
I don’t want to be useless in a time of need. When people are all out there trying to survive and keep the team alive, I want to be a valuable member of the team, not the one they use as sustenance after they decide to roast my flesh and eat my senseless brains.

“It begins from the heart.” By Julia on her couch

Sunday October 13, 2019
6:26pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Shahla Khan

say your sorry
go on say the piece that is yours, that belongs to you
that you are holding back
as punishment
as deep sigh
as victim complex
say it out so it stops haunting you
so it stops sucking out the room

once upon a time this room had horns and it wasn’t a bad room but it did what it pleased
today you have gripped them tightly, and the horns feel a bit trapped
so if you are honest with
the room, with me, with yourself, you will abandon the punch left dangling
at the bottom of your hurt

I can tell you egos never want to be wrong but we both know yours is and if you say it, if you apologize
if you bring out the word that keeps you sick by hiding…

“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.

“Any sense if Sunday can work?” by Julia at her desk

Friday September 6, 2019
8:24pm
5 minutes
From a text message

I don’t remember the day now because it was 4 years ago. 4 years ago you gave me the idea: we could move to a new city and start new lives. That was it. That was as far as it got. And I thought you were nuts. Out of your tree. Lost your mind. You were tired of living in a place that required a block heater but I was never good in the rain, so why did I let you explain what you were hoping to do? Too early to head back home because you weren’t ready to settle down. Too cold to stay where you were. Too small.

Maybe you told me on a Skype call while I was filming that TV show. Was it Providence? Was it the day I missed you so much I decided I would go where you go and stop putting up walls around all my soft, gooey, fleshy parts?

Tonight we celebrated some of our recent successes, one of them being living here for 4 whole years with new lives. You said you loved us as adults, and it hit me in that moment that when we met we were kids. Children. What could we possibly have known? This city has been good to us because we chose to fully be here. We saw ourselves rising and we did. We really did.

Finally, we go all out at the restaurant we’ve been meaning to make reservations at. Finally we manage it and finally we don’t limit ourselves by only ordering the cheapest items. We try things. We love things. We clink forks with every bite, every embrace of where we are. And then at the end…the beautiful man beside us pays for our entire meal. We don’t find out until he leaves. And we can’t believe it. How much this city has given.

“sometimes come last” by Julia on L’s couch

Thursday September 5, 2019
9:30pm
5 minutes
Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball
Vicki Churchill

I have done a lot today. I won’t list it here cause All I Am Are Lists Lately.
I want to talk about something important. Sometimes I don’t want to talk about myself but I start the sentence with I because I know I will be able to follow it. We. I also believe in what is powered by us, what we’ve built, who we are and choose to be. I could write a list about that too but I’ll spare you the details. Nobody wants details unless they’re in them. Like dreams. Like clouds for resting your chin on. You is something to be seen in. If I say You, you get to believe it really is even if the You I am talking about keeps changing. I know about You. I know about I. I know about We. I don’t know about It as much or The, but I know about This. And These. These five minutes, This heart lifting symphony, Those 3-dollar earrings I got in Chinatown that two people took photos of so they could try and make a pair themselves…

“I could not agree with those who called the autumn a decline” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday September 4, 2019
9:08pm
5 minutes
Earthly Paradise
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette

I will always recall the critique of my sixth grade teacher
in front of the entire class one afternoon as she made an
example out of me. The task was to draw three autumn trees
with pastels; the reds, the oranges, the golds.
I drew two reasonably lovely trees. I had spent so much time
getting those two just so and the bell rang. We were painting
on the hill outside our classroom and I was inspired by the
falling leaves, the perfect newness of September and all its
promise. Instead of quickly or poorly drawing one more tree,
or admitting that I couldn’t get it done in the time allotted,
I decided on the spot to rip the edges of the white paper to
frame the two trees I had drawn with an intentionality that I
was prone to back then. Such creative choices were so easily
discovered. I ripped it to give it a rustic look that would
mirror the trees and all their splotchy crowns: the dabs, the
finger tip strokes. When my teacher showed it to everyone she
said, This person was so lazy, they only did two trees and they
couldn’t even be bothered to use a pair of scissors.

“So close to the end of my childbearing life” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday September 3, 2019
8:46pm
5 minutes
The Girl
Marie Howe

So close to the dream of what I used to believe in
and here we are smiling our hearts out at the little
ones down at the water, running or screaming, or
staring back at us with tiny fists.

I have never needed to prove my allegiance before
and I still don’t, but now I want to. I want to
give you a girl with a mix of our eyes or a boy
with your lips.

But when, when, it’s getting later and later and do
we stay here in this comfortable life for a little
while longer or do we fly fly like we talked about?

The cobble stone is calling us, the seaside, the
dream, the reason why you’re learning a new language
on Duolingo every morning and why we speak together
every night at dinner in a tongue that tickles.

How much longer do we put off this wishing, this
future of us joining hands with two more? How much
older can I be before we are ready to land…

Or do they co-exist, the new country and the new
baby, the new life and the new beating heart.
Do we all get what we need when we need it?

“translator, teacher” by Julia at her desk

Monday September 2, 2019
9:19pm
5 minutes
from a bio

in the offering tonight, over papaya salad too bitter
and a bucket of rice as plain and soothing as it gets

a slight hesitation of fear is replaced with the true
realization that this is what we do, this is what we make

And yes i say yes to you asking with your teeth giddy
and yes i say yes to the work that is transformative

because this is what we do, I do, we can remember
And you want to come home to yourself and i want to

greet you at the door because you are so damn alive
inside when we’re scheming together and i am so much

more reliable now that i’m not fucking with that old
stuff like i used to, so when we make a decision i can

tell you honestly why or why not or when or how or if
And the heart is less stutter these days, more roar

The brain is more fire these days, less air, the triumph
is in the decision to collect our secret vulnerabilities

at the foot of one another and laugh there about nothing
even when the chicken is too dry and the work, we know

will be long, or hard, but good. Always, always good.

“and the words still ring true” by Julia at her desk

Sunday September 1, 2019
12:37am
5 minutes
From Christy Webb’s Directors Notes (Lungs)

The words still ring true, like a bell
and you know that you cannot un-ring a bell?
I know that. I know that because I say it
all of the time. Did I make it up? I mean,
did any one of us make up any one thing?
No, I must have heard it somewhere, but
I don’t know anyone in my immediate circles
who say it, and if they do, I surely said
it first to them, but where did I get it?
These words that still ring in my ears and
breathe life into my lungs…Lungs. I don’t
have a quippy metaphor about lungs. Bells
I like, bells I understand, bells I know
the sounds of. Ring ring, the bell on the
door, the bell in the clock tower, the bell
on the fine gold chain that belonged to my
mother but that she lets me wear because
I love it so much. I didn’t have the impulse
for the necklace itself, as in, I was not
the first person to choose it, but I wear it
every day and I muse on the ringing of it
every time. And some words that still ring
true after all this time are I love You and
tonight when I said them, I heard the bells.
I did, I heard them.

“Mandala-Image Dip” by Julia at her desk


Saturday August 31, 2019
9:36pm
5 minutes
Mandala
Margaret Collis

Okay is this our future? Me you and this baby
that we talked about having and then keep having
conversations about but only when the universe
decides to throw darts at us and prick us with
tiny messages from outside ourselves? Reminding
us that we are very much of the earth and on the
earth and of the people on the earth, not different
not unique, really, since aren’t those thoughts
my thoughts, and those words, yours? Didn’t I say
something like that yesterday or last month and
now, tonight, the woman in the play says the
same exact sentiment? Didn’t I write that play
one afternoon, one argument ago, one plea to
get married, one yes or no about the future?
Me and you and this baby that we’ve talked
about are all in the room now, not talking
about what might be true for them and us now
and in the future. This idea, this earth, we
are living on and in and for and it’s only
an idea, isn’t it? Only a fraction of what we
could be thinking about or acting upon, and the
actors tonight said the words. They said what
you’ve asked, and what I’ve denied, and everyone
in the room was crying so, is everyone having
this very same conversation? About the earth
and about the future and about babies and about
if we’re good people, or if we’re all lost…

“Am I able to follow the spirit of love” by Julia at her desk

Friday August 30, 2019
9:04pm
5 minutes
Quote by M.C. Richards

All the way down to the river Oh
all the way down to the river Ohh
all the way
all the way
all

Do I follow the spirit when it tickles my tongue
do I answer when I hear it, do I make it all known

All the way down to the river Oh
All the way down

Do I listen when it finds me, do I put it all to bed
do I know that it’s the right time, do I ignore it instead

All the way down to the river Oh
all the way down

Is the secret in the lost sheets, do I make my bed each day
Is the tousled off what’s for keeps, do I hold it close and say

All the way down to the river Oh
all the way down

All the way down to the river Oh
all the way down

When the quiet takes its turn on, do I build a bigger space
If the hardship sails with me on, do I find a hiding place

All the way down to the river Oh
All the way down

All the way down to the river Oh
all the way down

We’ve got millions more of these things, resting in our finger tips
heaven knows us in the tight seems, and we slowly part our lips

All the way down to the river Oh
All the way down

All the way down to the river
All the way down

“Am I able to follow the spirit of love” by Julia at her desk

Friday August 30, 2019
9:04pm
5 minutes
Quote by M.C. Richards
All the way down to the river Oh
all the way down to the river Ohh
all the way
all the way
all
Do I follow the spirit when it tickles my tongue
do I answer when I hear it, do I make it all known
All the way down to the river Oh
All the way down
Do I listen when it finds me, do I put it all to bed
do I know that it’s the right time, do I ignore it instead
All the way down to the river Oh
all the way down
Is the secret in the lost sheets, do I make my bed each day
Is the tousled off what’s for keeps, do I hold it close and say
All the way down to the river Oh
all the way down
All the way down to the river Oh
all the way down
When the quiet takes its turn on, do I build a bigger space
If the hardship sails with me on, do I find a hiding place
All the way down to the river Oh
All the way down
All the way down to the river Oh
all the way down
We’ve got millions more of these things, resting in our finger tips
heaven knows us in the tight seems, and we slowly part our lips
All the way down to the river Oh
All the way down
All the way down to the river
All the way down

“and create a platform” by Julia at her desk

Thursday August 29, 2019
8:56am
5 minutes
from the Arts Council of New Westminster

Here is a platform that I have created. You can use it.
You can do with it what you want. If you need some ideas
on how to get started, I can help. I am the one who created
the platform.

Step 1) Step onto the platform
Step 2) Open your face
Step 3) Open your heart
Step 4) Breathe
Step 5) Breathe lower
Step 6) I mean really, way down, all the way lower
Step 7) Look out
Step 8) See out
Step 9) Take it* in (The everything that you see, the nothing you see, the in front of you, the negative space, etc)
Step 10) Receive it
(The everything)
Step 11) Open your face
Step 12) Open your heart
Step 13) Breathe
Step 14) Breathe in and out and around and down and over and under and through and in and out and around and down
Step 15) Say
something (using your eyes, your mouth, your nose, your ears, your guts, your arms, your hands, your toes, your spirit, your soul, etc)
Step 16) Do
something spontaneous (*Be, feel, trust)

“We need to withdraw from impatience” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday August 28, 2019
9:21pm
5 minutes
Quote by Carol Antony

And yes the clock strikes again and we think it’s Time doing the hitting but
we are the ones who have created the gong. We are the ones who have made violent the existence of passing hours.
I am no longer taking part in the flogging of Time.
What did Time do other than heal all wounds?
And return our hearts back to a functioning shape?
Did Time cross off the calendar or was that us again, trying to prove the finality
of things, the endings of days and longings for new ones?
Time fluttered lightly in the wind and we are the ones who caught it,
who captured it in a ticking bracelet and strapped it to our wrists as if it belonged to us.
Time kissed the forehead of every mourning mother, of every brand new life,
and whispered gently that we might remember.
Why must we place our minds in moments not yet lived or ones that have already past?
Isn’t there space to breathe anymore at the raw and open sky,
expanding past our dreams and doubts and daring hearts?

“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.

“deposited myself in your softest corner” by Julia at her desk

Monday August 26, 2019
8:35pm
5 minutes
Your Room
Robert Sherrin

I saw him at a distance and couldn’t get my
soft away from the bone in time

I needed to do something different in this
case, in this particular case, a few limbs

now unhinged and so we tell them this story
A wish is not usually enough, we tell them

but in our case it seemed to work out fine
so we always keep fallen eyelashes in the

special jar that we see every time we open
the fridge or put on the kettle in the morning

He saw me at a distance and couldn’t stop
wondering at the smell of me long enough

to keep himself away from each and every
part of me worth sniffing

We tell them, if they ask, or if they don’t
we tell them this story

“She has even lost one leg” by Julia at her desk

Sunday August 25, 2019
9:07pm
5 minutes
Fetish
Pierre Reverdy

It is too bad, really, a shame, that she has lost one leg to the bed
and one leg to the floor. Nobody knows what to do anymore. The pull

between is too strong. She has tried to step out into the real world
but one of her legs remains asleep, under the duvet, sweating.

She is convinced that her legs aren’t speaking to each other and wouldn’t
listen based on how things have been going. They wouldn’t be willing, is

what she is saying. This may be a mountain imagined where a small hill
sits, but for her it is very true and very powerful, and hard to avoid.

The leg on the floor is doing a lot of lunging, trying to remove the leg
from the bed, so they are in fact talking, but at this stage it doesn’t

appear that they are speaking the same language, and thus, the
break down of communication. One is saying sakjadsadsjafkkafj and one is

saying, i hear you talking but I can’t understand what you’re saying. What
are you saying? Is that about me? Is that directed over here, or at yourself?

The leg in the bed is doing a lot of worrying, perceiving the floor to be
too slippery, too dangerous, too leading into the next room or beyond that

heaven forbid. The body in between both legs is almost being ripped apart,
this heave, this ho, this here, this there, this what are you talking about?

“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.

“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.

“There must be something to worship.” by Julia at her desk

Friday August 23, 2019

6:01pm
5 minutes
Quote by Henry Miller
i pray to the sound your glove makes when
you catch my hardball, zooming
I pray to the clap my glove makes when I
keep your throw from falling
I do this back and forth dance today and
i will do it again tomorrow
i will stretch the elbow and meet you on
the green, in the rain, in the sun, i will
meet you there like i did today
You can shoot a smile at me through the
sunflower seeds and i feel like the only
thing you’ve ever turned your lips up at
If i’m stuck inside my head, you move me
back into my body with a nudge and a
curve ball, and a pop fly that makes me
run but that gets all the applause when
i find a way to get to it on time
you don’t let me cower back into my own
fears, you keep me paying attention,
whipping speed past my eyes and into
this moment this here and this now
i pray to the mightiness of our arms over
the last few years since we discovered
we were both happiest when we were
doing this together
i pray to the fields we’ve run and learned
on, and i pray to the kiss at the end that
changes the game each time

“and eyesight a lying sense” by Julia at her desk

Monday August  19, 2019
7:28pm
5 minutes
Lives Of The Eminent Philosophers
Diogenes Laertius

i see you see you i am seeing you
but you are not there and you are
not mine or here or anything but
you are here and here you are but
i do not see you i see you but i do
not see you because i can’t see you
if i can’t see anything anything at all
i am seeing you with my eyes but
they are lying they aren’t telling the
truth because they see what they want to see and not what is there because what is there is glowing too bright
and too bright is the wound in the
retina detaching from the eye and
is that how sight works in the first
place is that how science is when
it is working and i am seeing is that
right or is that an idea of the mind
that is seeing false things when the
seeing thing is detached i am seeing
that i am detached from you and you
are here but not here because i am here and not here and seeing what i want to see and seeing what i can but
not what i need to see and this hurts
like it’s never hurt before i am seeing
what is there but more what is not and
you are there and and and you are there
and you are not there here there here
you are not here because there is a piece
missing and there is always something
missing always something detached and
if it is not the retina then it is my heart
and my heart is floating and you are here
and i am here but everything is floating

“more relaxed than how I think I look to people.” by Julia at her desk

Friday August 9, 2019
9:34pm
5 minutes
Descension
David Ly

There is a teacher with his dick in his pants waiting
to eat whoever dares to look directly at it. Him.

I meant to say him. I meant to say his eyes but. Fuck.
Fuck it all. He wears those tight jeans and he’s begging

anyone with breasts to prove to him that he belongs in
front of us all, laying down some hard lust disguised

as hard truth. Another hard-on reference. I get the
innuendo, I’m fully fucking aware of it. He knows too.

He yells at me when I’m listening because my face looks
like it’s pissed off and that’s not me that’s just my

face. He’s not the first to think I look angry when I’m
not but he is the first to call me out on it in front of

the entire room and try to make me feel like shit for
something I didn’t even do. He wants to prove a point.

Once when I’m up there not all the way in it acting but
trying to, he gets in the way with his big dick voice;

he gets in my head. I yell at him from the wall I’m
standing on and he gets off at how mad I finally am.

“she’s in a shoe store with her friends,” by Julia at her desk

Friday August 2, 2019
9:42pm
5 minutes
Some Notes Against the Burden of Representation
Rahat Kurd

She’s waiting for her dad because on Saturdays her dad takes her to lunch.
He takes her to the food court and lets her pick: Chinese food, or New York Fries.
He’s sweet to her on these days, shows her off to his employees.
They talk about her hair, how it’s like his, how she looks just like him.
She’ll help him rearrange the shoes in the window after she wipes down the clear shelf.
She feels like she’s helping him. He’ll likely redo it after she leaves.
The faster the shoes get organized in the window, the faster he can take his break.
He is sweet to her on these days, doesn’t tell her how to do it better.

He throws his tie behind his shoulder and dives in to the burger, or the chicken balls.
He asks if she’s done any good shopping yet and she tells him about the earrings she bought; little ladybugs
She won’t remember what they talked about years from now but here in this moment she thinks she’ll never forget.
Next Saturday she should ask her friend if she wants to come, he says he’ll drive them.
Maybe they could catch a movie at the Cineplex Odeon in the afternoon.

“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.

“Llttle wallet multicolour has zip” by Julia in Kettle Valley

Saturday June 29, 2019
7:01am
5 minutes
from and old text from my dad

I look for this bag and you are Ocean far telling me there’s something in it for me
I look for this bag
What bag
I took this bag Out
I took another
I put the bag Away
I shelved the other
There is nothing new and you are Ocean away telling me
You are telling me it’s there and did I find it?
I am worried it’s money
I know it’s money and I’m worried because you snuck it in there
Where?
Where did you sneak it?
It, still a surprise
In the Bag, you say
Front Pocket
It’s been days and do I always take out my things and put them away without looking?
Wouldn’t it catch my eye?
Tell me where to find it again, I say
Ocean away, you say
Llttle wallet multicolour has zip
Little wallet
Must be money
I have no multicolour wallet but
You call it a wallet because I
had some money in there
Just in there
Because I do that
If you had looked in my book
you might have put it there too

“I always gotta comfort you” by Julia at her desk

Sunday June 23, 2019
5:40pm
5 minutes
Stronger Than Me
Amy Winehouse

I’m a little weary of men who ask for my advice on the phrasing of things.
Like, which word should I use to sound less aggressive?
This is a normal question but I resent being asked.
Here, this is how you pretend, is what you’d like me to say.
The truth is your instinct is aggressive and my words will
not change that from true to no longer.
I wonder why then, if women think so deeply on the correct words to feel,
are men as busy contemplating which word they should hide behind?
Is one of these the right way?
Is there an invisible punishment for failing to adhere to one way or the other?
I’m weary of men who ask for my heart as armour for their actions.
Ones who won’t think twice about changing their feeling
but will go to great lengths to avoid the consequence of that feeling,
who will employ my empathy but discard it upon use.
Always in use.

“A family-owned Canadian company” by Julia at her desk

Thursday June 13, 2019
9:53pm
5 minutes
From a Dare Candy Co Bag

I’m in the business of talking shit
of spittin’ quick
of lettin’ it stick
I’m gonna lap up tell you what it is
while your drink lays down and looses its fizz
you’ll be wishing you carried around a
little cushion so when I knock you over your
pretty face has something to land on
call the landlord, your lease is up i need you
out of here in 10 days or else I’ll change the locks
Call your girlfriend ask to borrow her socks
can’t come back here calling my deed your loft
i’m gonna make you bounce
this city lived and country switched power house
I’m gonna make you count
watch your eyes before you’re dizzy and I take you out
I won’t make you doubt
I’ve got my tongue of fire blazin’ this whole place down

“it was stolen from me a few weeks ago” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday June 12, 2019
11:10am
5 minutes
From a Craigslist Post

I go to the principal’s office
it’s a couple weeks after I noticed
I didn’t mean to wait so long
but I had other things going on
I am the president of my
student council, and I am not
thinking about having a fellow
student arrested

The Vice Principal already hates me
even though the only thing I’ve done
is express myself out loud by
rolling my eyes when she speaks
She says the same shit over and over
again so I do not feel bad when my
adviser advises that I keep my
opinions to myself during meetings
that pertain to the well-being of
the student body

She is mad that I did not report
my missing wallet as “stolen”
even after I tell her I did not
think it was stolen
I thought I lost it, or it fell
out of my bag, I did not think
that another student in my drama
class would have thought to take
it from me while we were busy
playing Zip Zap Zop

She then tells me he’s sick
He’s sick in the brain and
in the body and he’s in the hospital
right now so is pressing charges
going to really help this guy
and the only thing I want back
are the photo booth pictures of
me and my best friends at the mall
and for the little notes I kept
that he thought he would throw into the
sewer since he wasn’t able to spend them

“how will I survive without you” by Julia on her patio

Thursday May 30, 2019
8:30pm
5 minutes
Overheard on the patio across from her

my sister is picking the poetry she’ll sing at my tribute concert. she’s gotten a composer to put my words to music. it’s going to be heartbreaking and strange. I never thought anyone was going to hear what i wrote and now I’m not even there to willingly give it. my sister means well. i’m glad she’s choosing the writing out of anyone who could have free reign on my books but I never wanted this. I wasn’t secretly hoping people would see them. that sounds like a lie but it’s not. I honestly wrote most of that for me. and if someone gets hurt by what I said, how will that bring me peace? I know I felt my own shit in the moment and it didn’t change my love after I felt it. how am I supposed to explain that to them now that I’m dead?

We let other people fight their own battles.” By Julia at her desk

Wednesday April 24, 2019
6:24am
5 minutes
A quote by Roxanne Gay

Bless! The return of the original format! OF EASE.
Before we curse them, let’s thank those birds, they know who they are, for being so protective of their babies. Maybe they don’t know none of us are after crow eggs,
because we can’t really do anything with them, but they perch stalkingly.
Surely other animals are a risk, need a warning, but outside our window, we hear them forming the chorus of summer mornings. We cannot be angry, although, believe me, we’ve tried.
It’s lighter now than it’s been. We’re up too so this day is not only for them. The crows. Thank you. I should say that again before I forget.
I wonder if they’re trying to tell us something important that we don’t already know:
Spring is a lie!
Hurry up!
Come check out this sunrise!
Okay, SPEAK. You have my full attention, I say, lighting another cigarette.
My mother would be proud of how much I am like her
even after she cautioned me not to be.

“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

“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.

“as the cells of his scalp” by Julia on Kits beach

Thursday March 21, 2019
5:06pm
5 minutes
Candlelight
Tony Hoagland

It was disgusting because it wasn’t my filth. I guess you could make the same argument that it could be less repulsive due to my separation from it, but let me set the record straight: I threw up in my mouth the moment this woman left her apartment. Well, in her defence it was a short term rental and she was probably getting a cleaner with the deal or whatever her husband’s work was willing to pay. But in the meantime, to live with so much food on the floor it could feed a small family for days…I shouldn’t continue. You’ll get so grossed out. Okay but let me say one thing, her sweet 9 month old had extreme eczema and when he’d wake up from his nap or if he got upset he’d start ripping at his little head. There was bits of his scalp all over the apartment—on the back of his high chair, on the changing mat, on the carpet. I considered if his home were clean that he might be less upset at the things he couldn’t control and less hell-bent on destroying his own skin. I also know that these things aren’t likely connected. But I wondered.

“exhale passively” by Julia in her living room

Tuesday March 19, 2019
9:44pm
5 minutes
Physiotherapy Instructions

Yesterday you asked me why I had given such a deep sigh. I thought it was self-explanatory: I needed it. But why did you need it? Cause you are exasperating. But you didn’t like that answer. You don’t think you’re exasperating. Sometimes I blow out air that’s keeping me angry at you. Sometimes it holds the place of my longing, my crying. I do not exhale passively around you since I decided I was going to give you the full range of me. Here, this is me existing without alterations, reservations, or tiny lies.

Yesterday I shook my hips around while we were laying in bed. I didn’t stop to apologize and you did not ask me to stop. The body sometimes needs permission to be alive. To exist.

I like it better this way. The breathing more intentional the view in front of me tangible, clear, echoing.

I shake and breathe and you ask me why and I tell you why. I’ve always wanted an intimacy like that.

“Our self-centred fears whisper at us all day” by Julia on the 19

Monday March 4, 2019
5:42pm
5 minutes
Hallelujah Anyway
Anne Lamott

It’s one of those probing kind of voices
The one that gets in your head and lingers
Untucking sheets from bed frames
Lingering in the corner with the spiders too quick to spot
What if they’re looking at me
Laughing at me
Mad at me
Sorry for me
What if they’re all one team and I have no one left to pick to stand behind me
Pulse pulse throb throb
The echo alone enough to flip your eyelids inside out
No sleep for the talked about
No rest for the worrying
Everyone seems to have their own personal list, monogrammed into every towel meant for coming clean
The secrets etched in the base of our skulls tend to burrow into those silky memories
stripping them grey

“the biographies of our heroes” by Julia at this the studio

Friday February 22, 2019
8:00pm
5 minutes
Political Paralysis
Danusha Veronica Goska

You know how they say we stand on the shoulders of giants? You know how they say that, Sash? I feel sometimes like I’ve got a couple sitting on mine. Maybe I read that in a book somewhere, like I can’t make anything great because I can’t live up to the fact that someone else has already done it better than me. Makes me want to email Miriam again and tell her she really makes it hard for me because she is so good. I would just be repeating myself though since I think I already told her that.
Do you ever think that someday your daughter might be a writer? You know cause you are, and your mom is, and it makes sense. She’d have a couple of giants of her own, you know? But I think she’ll write about you. The way you write about your mom. The way it’s meant to be. I know you’ve already written about her, growing there below your heart.

“I just want a little privacy is all.” By Julia at Ocean Village

Sunday February 3, 2019
6:40pm
5 minutes
The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

You invite me to the pool but I think I should be alone now to sink in to myself. I cannot endure other people.

Tonight, however, my love, I have already learned the gift of endurance from you. Here is a chance to meet your appropriate edge, you said without saying. Did you know, Love, that it is further outside yourself than you once believed?
I am being given a choice in this pure calm before the storm: the heavens open and waiting for me to step into the light…
As the wind first hits, we are in a kind of gentle magic. The beach is long and inviting and so we step further and further away.
Soon it is beyond white. The sky seems to hold all of this force in the palm of things. Against this colour of night, the locusts of snow overhead rage through us and our simple jeans.
You stand behind me creating a home; a vortex around my humble body in the face of something so big.

“perhaps he really knew nothing” by Julia at Amanda’s

Tuesday December 25, 2018
9:30pm
5 minutes
The Trial
Franz Kafka

The night before is a blur now,
book-ended by so many sweet sounds
He tells me he admires me
Complex, he says, And damn good at it
I want to thank him for saying that
For putting words to that level of seeing me
I felt sorry the whole damn day
My eyelashes stung like Angel wings clipped at the tip
I can be so difficult to love when I am this repetitive
This growth of heart choosing the only way it knows how
I could say every year gets better
I could make sure I write that down
and read it back one night after tea

“Better than a landfill.” By Julia at her desk

Thursday December 13, 2018
8:50pm
5 minutes
Dust
Brianne Battye

Dumpster diving looks different than you think it is. It is colder and wetter and darker. You need tools, like a flashlight, and bravery. You need to have a giant curiosity. Strength of wrists and will. You must be able to see the bigger picture. You must decide what is worth taking. What is worth carrying around back and forth every day until you don’t. It helps if you are a team; if one person holds the lid, or lifts it if it gets stuck. You have to generally like animals, such as raccoons. You need to be okay with collecting at any hour of the day and know that before the garbage trucks come by, or before the people walk their dogs it might be quieter and more lonely. But it’s better than having to go to one landfill, losing track of all the new arrivals.

“Whale, Seahorse, Narwhal, and Crab” by Julia on D and M’s couch

Friday November 23, 2018
11:16pm
5 minutes
A Whale of a Tail!
Illustrated by Jo Moon

I’m in the ocean now and that’s where I live
Somewhere in between the deep and the light
Been working on my swimming so I’m finally better
I’m better

What’s her name used to say I swam like a fish but she was being nice and I think she said that about everyone
I couldn’t keep my head above water
I wept on the diving board while everyone inside the pool tried to cheer me on
I was always afraid of doing what other people were doing easily
I didn’t understand how to trust a thing bigger than me
I failed Yellow
The way some people fail their driver’s test
But when I passed it the next year I skipped ahead into Maroon
That made me feel like a real fish
What’s her name wrote it on my card again

“10-year anniversary” by Julia at her desk

Saturday November 10, 2018
7:54pm
5 minutes
Into the Raven’s Nest
Curranne Labercane

This is the third time I’ve tried to say what’s real.
Stop, start, think about the deadlines and the
people who don’t know me but will get the chance to see.
Isn’t that stupid of me? Here, find a vein, stick a fork in it.
Some words live lower than the other ones. I don’t know what’s
in there and what wants to come out. What wants to stay low.
I have to say I’ve been quiet but I don’t hear anything.

I have to say I’ve been running and I haven’t moved.
I don’t know what is happening inside me. Time to celebrate
the 10th year of me not fully feeling anything at all.
When I told my dad I went through long phases where I never
felt hungry and then ones where I never felt full, he told me
it would pass. But it hasn’t passed so is this something
I need to save up to talk to a therapist about?
Is there some kind of emotional x-ray I can hook myself up to?

“The biggest personality among this trio” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday November 7, 2018
9:09pm
5 minutes
High Living
Jacqueline Ranit

I have to write about something positive. It’s been a long time and maybe some of you are noticing. Or not. Maybe none of you are noticing because none of you are reading these. You used to but maybe life got in the way which is to say got in the way of me. For you all it means is that you have one. A life. And that’s wonderful for you. I think everyone deserves that. I wonder if you’re out with your new family now that you’re not reading these. I wonder if you’ve ever thought to check in and see how I am doing. I might have been very honest in these and could have been giving you the real keys to my under belly but you might be busy is all. You might have other things to do, going to fancy picnics, ordering pizza on a Wednesday. Well in case you’re reading this, things are going really really good for me. They couldn’t be better.

“synonymous with yesterday” by Julia at her desk

Saturday October 27, 2018
10:18pm
5 minutes
Golf Nouveau
Conan Tobias

Old Me
Old you
Old self
Longings
Youth
mistakes
Me stuck
you falling
recipe for who I used to be
Old Me
Old You
Longing
Younger
Before Grace
High Horse Happy
Me, as Doormat
Me, as Blessed for Blaming
Something synonymous with yesterday
Old me
Old you
better judgement
trial by error
Belief against time
Yesterday
Yesterday before grace,
Me on high horse to
prevent me as Doormat
Something yesterday
Dream left lingering
Memory
Proofju
wishing
Lost
Yesterday
Yesterday

“I recommend starting your day off with” by Julia on L and J’s couch

Monday October 22, 2018
8:05pm
5 minutes
a quote by Chris Cahill

Since you asked, I’d say with a couple hundred words on paper, written by hand.
I recommend starting your day off with a big love letter to yourself. Tell your heart you’re listening and that she is welcome.
Tell your inner child that it’s okay to be here and be loud and be herself.
Tell your current self how brave you are and how happy you are to see yourself showing up in writing, creating a legacy, keeping a promise to exist.
Feel free to draw hearts all over everything. There is no such thing as too much love, only spaces too afraid to hold it. Here, in the beauty of this moment, alone, quiet, dedicated to discovery, you will find your voice. It may change from line to line but life is full of surprises. Don’t be surprised if you surprise yourself.

You don’t have to do any of this if you don’t want to. It’s all up to you to decide what you need. It always is.

“I married Dave” by Julia at her desk

Monday October 8, 2018
8:30pm
5 minutes
Plants Don’t Have Birthdays
Andrea Gregor

I married Dave
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted to marry
He is the one I wanted
I am happy with Dave
He is the one who makes me happy
He is the one who
He is the one who makes me
I am in love with Dave
He is the one I wanted to love
He is the one I loved to want
He is the love I wanted
I settled for Dave
He is the one I wanted to leave me
He is the one I wanted to leave
He is the one I wanted then didn’t
I am still with Dave
He is the one I regret
He is the one I didn’t expect
He is the one I was too afraid to question
He is the one I can’t see myself in
He is the one who was there
He is the one who had a car
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who had a problem
He is the one who had a temper
He is the one who lied
He is the one who kept me small
He is the one who I let keep me small
He is the one I married

“in the blue plastic chair” by Julia at her desk

Sunday October 7, 2018
5:28pm
5 minutes
Illness and Literature
Tony Hoagland

I’m not going to sit here and pretend I know what you’re thinking.
I won’t stand and do it.
Kneel and do it.
Won’t close my eyes and picture you saying it.
All I can do from here, from outside your skull
from across the world, is invent a story that might explain.
I might tell myself that you think you’re right.
That you believe I should be working on my apology.
That everyone you know thinks the worst of me now.
I might try to understand why you’re desperate to control things.
But what it all means, that is something I’ll only be able to dream up.
No proof.
No facts.
You’re probably not sorry.
And there I go again.
I don’t know what you are thinking but I know what I am feeling.
I want to scream it out but the wisdom says, the source says, the sister says:
I should practice being still and if I know I am right, let that be enough.
But I don’t know now.
I don’t know what is good.

“Three hundred years” by Julia at her desk

Friday September 28, 2018
9:51pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Barack Obama

Tonight I walked by a raccoon party. There’s some symbolism already, K tells me, and I should probably start looking this stuff up. It’s 3 raccoons at first and then I look to the left and there are 3 more in on it. One skunk. There is symbolism about skunks too, I’m sure, and I take a photo cause I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do. K tells me to look up skunks and raccoons and snakes. Together? No, K, says, just when you get a moment. Don’t make it your life’s work or something. Like you? I joke, but K isn’t laughing at all. K has drank most of her blood red wine and is asking if she can have what’s in my glass. I give it to her cause she bought the bottle and I care more about looking up the goddesses and whatever associated with the little lawn party I feel like I was a part of. No snakes on the lawn, mostly in text books and on medallions, and in stories. K wants me to write the story of my first day on earth. I don’t want to tell her that it might be pretty boring. It’ll start with Cold Cold Cold and then maybe lead into Cry Cold Cry. K isn’t impressed with my comedy. She says I am wildly talented but have a chip on my shoulder and sorry for saying so but it’s true. I think she might be right. I wish I didn’t give her the rest of my wine.

“after every sick joke” by Julia at The Coffee Studio

Monday September 17, 2018
2:35pm
5 minutes
July, ’77
Jill Mandrake

In the night the sticky hot wakes you up and the ac robot beside you becomes a sleep villain. The edge of noise I can teeter on has become finer. The line a little less warning, a little more plummet. I remember you asking for permission but I don’t remember granting it.
My throat catching all the room particles and holding them there. I pull the sheet over my legs and up to my mouth. It’s been an hour in sleep years and in my dream I’m asking you if it can die soon? The robot closes its eyes so now I know you can meet me in my dreams. I know you’ll be able to hear me. In the morning the alarm clock is a welcome sound. No more begging for breeze in the dip of my back, the swamp of my neck. You say, Well that was the most comfortable sleep of my life. Even this joke turns to mud.

“and a quiet evening sipping whiskey” by Julia on the Brown Line

Wednesday September 12, 2018
7:16pm
5 minutes
Mr. Bright Eyes
John Barton

Who had the bright idea to go to Target and buy a 12 pack of Miller Lite? Must have been you since you’re the only one drinking Miller Lite these days. Me, I can’t swallow the stuff. Not just Miller Lite, but beer. The only thing they drink here. Not beer as in here take a sip, take a load off, take the edge off. Beer as in, here, here, here, and here, and more, and more, and more, and here. I can’t do it like that. I was told not to. My body has been trying to remind me that. You wouldn’t want me that way anyway. Those days when I used to drink beer and beer and here and here I wouldn’t know where here was or me, or my desires. I don’t recognize the person who used to drink in the shower, before the comedy show, before leaving the house. I could ask us to stay in one night, have a quiet evening sipping whiskey but, you are not the kind of person who sips anything. You like the feeling of being tipsy with me, but I can’t seem to get there anymore without losing myself. I don’t like the action of sipping things when I am simply not thirsty.
My guts have been full since I got here. You had a Miller Lite in the closet yesterday and I had one more reason to stop. The dreams come worse when I’ve been filling all the holes with the wrong kind of gold. The kind that costs four dollars at Target.

“Grid of Polaroids” by Julia at Vancouver International Airport

Thursday September 6, 2018
6:15am
5 minutes
Sinuous
Lydia Kwa

When I first met you, you lived with two dudes who didn’t know what cleaning was. Or order. One of them waked and baked everyday. The other one had a weird thing with dogs. Your apartment was falling apart. You didn’t have proper wine glasses but you had wine. There was a wall of polaroids by the front entrance. You partying in those photos looked so cool. You had to bathe like an ape because the shower head was broken. You made that joke the first time I came over. Those thin walls. The corner store condom runs. The 28 hour day. The food poisoning.

“Be a lamp,” by Julia at Paul’s place

Monday August 20, 2018
11:13pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rumi

Be the light in the room

Set yourself to bright and go

I know about the seeing

About the illuminating

Walk into a dark place and

Turn the switch

Then how bright the room will be

The glow will be from you being the light in the room

The whole house will be a beacon

For airplanes passing over head

Or be the fuzz in the room instead

The complicated thought

The blur that keeps lines unapproachable

If it is easy then be the fuzz

But if it is good

Then be the light

“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

“it has been six and a half years since you died” by Julia in her sister’s bed

Friday August 10, 2018
10:48pm
5 minutes
Welcome to the Club
Marion Winik

I don’t remember the day you died but I remember how you lived. Your chest was an open x-ray. Here, the place where love scarred you. Here the place hope left. You smiled through your eyes, through the pain, and we knew we were getting the best of you left in you. We knew you were telling the truth when you said you wanted us to find what makes us happy. I remember how you sang Elvis at New Years and Easter and my dad’s birthday. You left every room you entered brighter. You entered every room.

“full of tenderness” by Julia in Amanda’s kitchen

Wednesday August 8, 2018
11:36am
5 minutes
Chant
Wang An-Shih

I sleep in your bed when you’re away and I toss and turn and have nightmares about people breaking into your apartment because I’ve done something wrong in a past life to ruin the trust you have in me. On a different night I dream of having to find an outfit for prom. 13 years later and I wonder what I have accomplished since then. Still trying to fit in. Still worrying if I will be perceived by them as I perceive myself. On the night with the nightmares I am landlocked to the bed. I can’t rise. I can’t wake up. Sleep paralysis plays a slideshow of disturbing footage and I’m not allowed to leave. I’m not allowed to leave. Your bed used to be softer. I think you gave that one to our parents. I think your heart full of tenderness gives everything to everyone. I’m sorry my body heavy with jet leg and self-doubt can’t ease into the gift. You’d be sorry if you knew it was hard, and it shouldn’t be hard. It should be soft. You’re sleeping on the cold ground right now and I pray that your bones aren’t wet all the way through. I hope you’re sitting on the garbage bag instead of a damp log. I hope you find peace in the stillness of the wilderness. You impress me. Someone who knows when to say yes.

“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.

“Where it pours bean green over blue” by Julia walking home

Friday June 22, 2018
11:26pm
Daddy
Sylvia Plath

I thought I saw you walking toward me
You had headphones on and you were walking a bulldog
You don’t have a bulldog so I knew it couldn’t be you but the face and the beard and the eyes were yours
The same sadness was not doing a very good job of hiding there in the corners
I almost reached out anyway
The whole thing has got me blurry
Seeing you on neck of other men wishing
Watching you look at me like we both know that you’re not in this city but your soul has been hopping
I almost reached out
I almost touched the you that wasn’t
In this way that I do

“itching for Presidency” by Julia on S, G,and E’s patio

Saturday June 16, 2018
11:03pm
5 minutes
The Politician
H.L. Mencken

Watch the sky turn from velvet to suede
The city, whatever the opposite of itching, below
It is easier than it was the last time
The last time I wasn’t myself and still they loved me
The last time I was eating scraps of pizza and noodles and
the one most lie me told her aunt that I ate A LOT of food
I didn’t mean to be so hungry
I was worried about dying and leaving them dead
I am worried about their parents and I wonder where they are

The waxing crescent moon is keeping score tonight
Making sure I don’t rely on all my usual charms
The city can look so beautiful when the light hits it right
I only eat the watermelon cut into slices
I only take a blueberry yogurt and a chicken finger
I am the boss and they know it but they do not care
And I do not make them care
I make them feel important
I tell them they are

“That’s the bottom line.” By Julia on the 2

Wednesday June 13, 2018
3:40pm
5 minutes
From a quote by James Baldwin

It’s underneath my anger and sweeps below the bitterness
The way you say I love you to your father
The way you call him your man
You take all the risks in your life when it comes to loving
You know how to lead by example and love non-stop as if you weren’t worried about it running dry
It’s in the baby picture of you smiling that same smile
So I don’t know if I can stay angry
At the day, at the weather, at the sting of you
Because you can be so good
So soon after claiming your space
I should be happy you have chosen to show me this side of you
And I am happy
That’s the bottom line

“Go paint yourself” by Julia at her desk

Friday June 1, 2018
11:54pm
5 minutes
From a L’Oréal ad

Go paint yourself red and stand out in a field telling ghost stories
This is how you will terrify yourself into standing

Go paint yourself yellow and swim in the ocean like a giant bee
This is how you will see under the coral and into the sweet

I don’t know the rules to this game so I just made them up
I don’t know what painting yourself will do
Maybe make you feel like a real human
Humans are the only ones who can paint themselves
who can write poetry
who can throw things

We were built to throw things

I will go and paint myself the colour of a Louisville Slugger and then throw a hard ball across the grass
This will go over well
This is what we are meant to do with symbolism

Real humans muse about the throwing configuration of our arms
Of anything else we choose to launch

“My mom calls him that” by Julia at her desk

Monday May 14, 2018
11:53pm
5 minutes
from a text

My mom used to call my brother Terminator 3. That was before Terminator 3 came out. Is it out? He used to do some pretty Terminator-like stuff. Once he wiped his bloody nose on the neighbours clean white sheets drying on the line in the backyard. That one was pretty bad.
He’s probably the most devoted kid she has though. He lived at home for a while and mowed the lawn for a while and picked up groceries for a while and payed their credit cards for a while. Now he’s the designated driver when I come home to visit. He picks me up at the airport even during a blizzard and he never seems put out by having do something for family. He had to get hip surgery recently and ended up staying at my mom’s house while he was healing. He got to ring a little bell too when he needed something. He loved that. But my mom thought it was really funny so she loved it too. I don’t think she calls him Terminator 3 anymore. Now he gets his real name. I guess ever since he grew into himself he’s been pretty okay to be around. When I go home he tells me some of the same stories over and over again but that might have more to do with genetics than anything.

“Manifest plainness” by Julia in her bed

Sunday, May 13, 2018
6:19am
5 minutes
From a quote on by Lao Tzu

The colour is right
Light pink, baby blue, hazy orange

The wake up is long
pushing the eyelashes open slowly
almost drifting off and farther away

The label on the alarm is a message from past me, wisdom and honesty
Please Write. I Love You.
And it works by the time I travel there

Eyelids weigh a wet feather or a hundred pounds and we take it easy
The body machine is working hard at staying up to see the seagulls swooping close to the window but not quite
The body machine is looking for excuses to stay asleep

One eye open, seeing the room through a dream

“Oh you exercise?” By Julia on her couch

Sunday May 6, 2018
10:41pm
5 minutes
From a text

Comes out to meet me with
his shirt off and I’m like dude those wont work on me, save your six-pack for someone who cares. And he’s like this is for you and I’m like this is what I just said and you are not listening. Then he does up his shirt and starts to pout and I say, hey that wont work on me either cause I’m not into crying for no reason. And he’s like, this is not for you, it’s for me and don’t you get it? And I’m like get what? No? Get what? And he’s like never mind you don’t care. And I’m like, about what though?

“My mother is a wood thrush” by Julia at M’s house

Thursday, April 19, 2018
11:19pm
5 minutes
A List Of My Utopias
Debbie Urbanski

I can recite her laugh lines by heart
in the quiet night I hear her in my rib cage
I saved a couple of her voicemails
when I want to visit with her again
in the dead of winter
when speaking half in english, half italian, half french, my skin knows story
sometimes she sings and I know where I got it from
and where she must have gotten it from
that alone would connect us
the hum.

“there are still shoelaces to be tied” by Julia at her desk

Sunday April 8, 2018
11:15pm
5 minutes
Ten Seconds for Each Year
Fernando Raguero

Wait till your eyes run out of juice
try typing that letter to your friend
see how many times you nod off in the
middle of a good sentence
tell her: there are stillllllllllll swppp
tell her: you are so eeeeeen qqQ hip
She will really appreciate that you didn’t
make time for her earlier in the day
that you were saving up all your creative
expression for the moments in between
sleep and almost sleep because that’s
when all the best ideas come through
tell her: that thought you had about
the cactus and the kiwi eloping
tell her: neck kink and unlimited yawn
tell her: fall onto the bed mascara
still holding all your eyelashes together
Don’t forget about the roasting pan in
the sink or the shoes out in the foyer
or the wet hair drying slowly on your back

“I’ll probably do it while you’re sitting on the toilet” by Julia on the toilet

Saturday February 10, 2018
12:18am
Who Says I’m Not a Romantic
Fernando Raguero

We bought new toilet paper and you used the last bit of the roll but forgot to change it and we bought new toilet paper so it would have been easy. It would have been satisfying or maybe you’re not me. It is satisfying to change the roll, out with the old, in with the new. It’s a fresh start. A roll that hasn’t yet gotten dusty or humid or damp. A roll that suggests a readiness for all. And maybe you’re not me. And I can’t expect you to wait for me to have dinner even though you invited me to have dinner. You might have meant dinner on a different night like tomorrow or Easter Sunday. I can’t expect you to buy a new garbage can if the old one is busted even if you said you’d pick it up after work. You might have meant you were going to pick up the garbage can and see if it was heavy. You might have meant pick it up and put it back down again.

Some things add up really nicely.

Some things make sense to me but not to you, maybe, because you are not me.

“it’s the ending that keeps me in my chair.” By Julia in her bed

Thursday January 18, 2018
10:55pm
5 minutes
Memoir
Sue Goyette

Guess I want to know what you’ll look like when you’re eighty. What you’ll smell like. Where your smile will point. I want to know if your vocal chords will turn grey. If you’ll wear a hat or not. If you’ll still kiss like a goddamn unicorn. If you’ll still whisper nonsense into my ear to see if I’ll laugh. If you’ll still sneak white cheddar popcorn topping into our turkey pasta. If you’ll rub my feet for no reason. If you’ll tell your phone to tell me you love me so I get it in writing and in the third person the way I always secretly liked. It’s the happy, the ending, that keeps me glued to your station. It’s the last days that make we want to stick around and see what happens.

“Resist the millionth purchase” by Julia on her couch

Sunday January 7, 2018
10:28pm
5 minutes
Advice to Myself #2: Resistance
Louise Erdrich

Went by the Salvation Army on my way home from work today. I thought I was going to pick up a perfect sweater. I didn’t know what kind of sweater, exactly, but I had a good feeling. Too bad it was closed. The Salvation Army is not open on Sundays. This is good according to my hormone tracking app. Best not to overindulge on impulse purchases cause when my hormones get back in check my bank account will not be. Then I went to the used book store and spent some time browsing and checking prices and being appalled at how expensive books in a used bookstore for some reason still can be. I don’t know why as soon as I step foot in one I have to dust the crops like it’s my job. I think my prayer sister, Geri, told me about that. When you lay a series of farts up and down the aisles? She also taught me about “shooting a bunny” which is what she called it when someone tooted a good hard fast one.

“I’ve never been more absorbed in anyone.” By Julia at her parents’ house

Monday December 25, 2017

2:54pm

5 minutes

Elliot, Adam, Elly and Me

Charlotte Joyce Kidd

When I see you differently and you see me the room is shaded pretty like a lilac or a leaf of sage. I haven’t asked for this the way I have been so bold to ask for other things. I have asked for so many now that I’ve lost count. My bones have always wept for this. My dreams have always known. You are crying at the dinner table and I have never felt your pulse as thick. I am crying at the dinner table and you do not turn away. In kiss we are rooted deeply like a fire place, locked. Nothing gets in. Nothing gets out. There is no wondering anymore. About the silence or the motivation. There is no hungry imagination turning dust into villains, holding sweet hostages for ransom. We are a seeing and a knowing now. We rest firmly in this house.

“Can’t tell if that’s funny or really scary.” By Julia on her couch

Friday December 15, 2017
11:39pm
5 minutes
Calvin and Hobbes
Bill Watterson

In the night when I’m dreaming of saving you or someone else I love

I can see all the feelings I’m experiencing. I can hold them. Touch them. I can’t tell if some things are very funny or very scary. There are images in dreams and I can see both versions clearly, as if they’re showing off. Screaming, laughing, tell your neighbour how much more unstable she is than you. I am busy holding my feelings in my elbow crease. Deep down In the cuticles creeping up onto my toenails.

“Got a call from a flower shop.” By Julia on her couch

Saturday December 9, 2017
9:01pm
5 minutes
From a text

It was late August.

I’ve never liked August.

Too many endings

Or shadows

The nights feel like ticking time bombs

I never considered that until now

You were having neck pain

You literally could not watch me go

At the airport the day we had to

close the gate on most things

It was the hardest wishing you could

have been graceful about it

It was late in the last days

I’ve never like August.

Got a call from a flower shop

All the scraps and thorny sides mine

“Can we burn something, babe?” by Julia at her desk

Thursday November 23, 2017
11:26pm
5 minutes
Love On The Brain
Rihanna

In toothpaste, above the bathroom
sink, drips a love letter reminder
for us to get our place back in order
In sweat and dirt condensating on
the ceiling, threatens the shadow
How long it has been since we’ve
seen our own reflections instead
of the steamy glaze holding our
finger prints as ransom in the
shape of sorry for forgetting
The new matches that you stole
or that I stole sit on the back
of the toilet ready to become
heroes of the dark and waiting
We must have heard the horns by
now screaming our names to pick
up the dirty baskets and throw
out the hapless paper strewn

“For real people” by Julia on the 9

Wednesday November 22, 2017
5:20pm
5 minutes
from a storefront

They can come to your window and watch you live if you leave the light on. They can smell the cookies you’re baking for “Fair-Bear”. They know where you got the nickname for her in the first place.

They can learn the family recipe for your mother’s famous onion soup. They can see the receipt from Whole Foods even though you tried to hide it. They can count how many onion skins you’ve let curl to the floor.

They can steal your moments if you let them win. They can steal your kindness if you forget where you’ve tethered it. They can make you wish you bought the black-out blinds. They can watch you live if you keep living for them.

“We are writing to confirm” by Julia on the 99

Tuesday November 21, 2017
8:59pm
5 minutes
from an email

YOU HAVE BEEN CORDIALLY INVITED TO SHARE IN THE NAMING CEREMONY OF OUR BABY!

(Please turn over)

Your attendance and your baby names are requested to attend the aforementioned event on Tuesday November 21, 2017 at 8:59pm, located at the fountain (you’ll know it by the baby lights, can’t miss em).

We ask that in lieu of monetary gifts, you and your guest please bring three names you would like to see our baby be called. Points for creativity and uniqueness will be awarded! Cemeteries are great places to get baby name inspiration-they’re not using them anymore so why not! Also, words in various languages that mean positive things will be most welcomed.

RSVP ASAP!

“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!

“You are a joke cookie” by Julia on her couch

Sunday November 5, 2017
11:44pm
5 minutes
From the postcard from Amanda

I never meant to run this dry. This many days in a row without even attempting to find the joy behind the keys. And I never understood the power of peripheral vision until now. How have I always been such a tentative typer with this new feature? I am crumbling cookie dry like an over baked chicken over baked chick and I never meant to be. I never meant to fall apart. I have been avoiding some truths to myself and spilling the beans to him.  During the full moon I tell him that I feel like I’m being wasted. He tells me he’s sorry. I have been avoiding. Didn’t want the back ache, the carpal tunnel, the magical erase button. Didn’t want the proof of purchase. So dry the cookie forgets to laugh at itself. So dry the cookie thinks about milk for the first time in years. So dry the cookie asks for help. So dry the cookie tells a joke. Nobody laughs. I never meant to fall apart.

“DANGER” by Julia on the subway going south

Sunday September 24, 2017
3:12pm
5 minutes
from a sign at the train station

It has always been hard for Hannah to follow the rules. She was sneaking out of the house by the age of thirteen, smoking by fourteen, and driving dad’s Toyota corolla without even a learner’s permit at fifteen. I have always been more deliberate. More thoughtful. Mom told me I used to organize the vegetables on my plate by width. I don’t know if I believe her, but it wouldn’t be that far off. Hannah, on the other hand, was born wild like a balloon sailing off into the sunset. You can try to hold her as long as you can, but one slip and she’s gone, up, up into the sky, no destination close enough to see. Hannah was punished a lot as a kid and people worried about her. But I never did. I knew she would find her own way.

“May all that is unlived in you” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday September 19, 2017
9:47pm
5 minutes
To Come Home To Yourself
John O’Donohue

calling all angels!
I wouldn’t want to go my whole
life never having done that
just in case
maybe it would make something
a little bit more beautiful

I believe that we’re half this
and half that and when the sun
sets we all know what good
looks like
I’ve always felt connected to a vibration more than a heaven
and I think we must all see the magic in one another as surely it does recognize the magic in us

we could all use a little help
a little lift
and lucky lucky
we all have a team warming
up on deck
ready
And damn from high up can
those eyes see

“I need to buy some tango shoes” by Julia at K’s Airbnb

Thursday September 14, 2017
11:24pm
5 minutes
overheard at the airport

-I do not want to take dancing lessons if you’re not going to take lessons aiming your dick into the toilet bowl. I’m sick of stepping in the drips.
-You left BLOOD splatters on the toilet seat last week. Blood.
-Yeah because you know who doesn’t lift the seat to pee? How am I supposed to know it’s even there, Dillon?
-So this is all about me?
-Christ, you cannot write this shit.
-Write what? What?
-You only have one switch and that’s “attacked”. I’m not attacking you I’m observing. You know, paying attention.
-Fuck your sarcasm Marie, I am not kidding.
-Can’t handle the truth, Dillion?
-Can’t handle my fiancé, Marie.

“astral projection, stress and depression” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday September 12, 2017
8:40pm
5 minutes
Binaural Beats & Healing Sounds on YouTube

I believe that some horoscopes are life changing and I’ve read them. I know they exist.
I am confused, however, that I can read something, understand it, find it moving, and then not be moved by it. I don’t know why putting perfect phrases, keys to the universe surely, into practice is so damn hard. All you have to do is realize your worth, allow your heart to express itself, decide what it is you’d like to do, and then do it. These are the simple steps laid out and yet I read them, but won’t remember them. As if I never saw the answers in the first place. As if I have to take the test day after day without having studied the material. Some days I am always guessing. Water? Do I need water? Do I need to flip an egg? Scramble it? Fresh air? Do I need to use the bathroom? Do I need to stretch? Vomit? Be so mean to all the good things? Do I need to cry it all out?

“more than 20 pages” by Julia in her bed


Monday September 11, 2017
12:35am
5 minutes
from bcartscouncil.ca

I found more than 20 pages of post-it notes stapled together
in the garage
top shelf
under dad’s old baseball glove
I liked the style
it got me wondering if I’m the one who did it
maybe all the way back then young me would have wanted to
the writing was worn off save for a few Ands and Obviouslys
I couldn’t make out the phrase
but each square had the same line written in with red ink
for 20 whole pages
it kept going and going
like a man who will answer your questions but never asks you any
I imagined my sister being the author
she could have written her diary out in fragments because of me
it would have been safer that way
everyone knows threatening punishment by way of Jesus
was not enough to scare me from reading it

“never been good at multitasking” by Julia on her couch


Sunday September 10, 2017
10:49pm
5 minutes
from a text

I know I’m inching fufther away from myself when I can make sure I send you a writing prompt but I will go the whole day without writing a single word for me. And I think long and hard about what I’ll suggest to you. What I hope is something that gives you a reason to write. Because I care that you aren’t writing. I care that you must write. That the bones of your body only feel warm when you do. I know this sensation too. Cold bones. The feeling of your bed being the scariest place to end the day. When sleep takes more from you than it gives. I have been shivering these days. And I do not want to turn on the radiator because it shouldn’t be this frigid in my home. It shouldn’t be this removed from skin. I don’t remember how to fix this but I do know that it always comes back–which means it always goes away first.

“Woman suspended” by Julia in her bed


Monday September 4, 2017
10:58pm
5 minutes
from the BBC News app

I don’t want to get this one wrong. Tell me the events as best as you can remember them.

Hill stares at Joan, her eyes filling up.
I told you, I did it. I did it all. One minute I was against the wall and the next minute he’s against the wall. I don’t remember what happened in the middle but I feel different. Do you get that? I feel like there’s been a shift in my spine. My spirit. I am telling you it’s like I had a different one before.

Joan jots down on her graph paper legal pad. She looks back up at Hill.