“No one knows what the” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday January 21, 2020
2:02pm
5 minutes
Lost Dog Creek
Brian Doyle

Don’t call me Dottie, only my lover calls me that. It’s Dorothy to you, and I will stand by it. No one knows what the reason is and that’s because it’s just none of your business. I’m supposed to be a lady, is that right? I’m supposed to follow some invisible set of pre-determined rules made for me by whom? Men? I won’t give you the pleasure of thinking you’ve had me beat. I don’t follow rules no matter who sets them, I play my own game. If you knew me, you would know that I stay true to my word, but you don’t so you won’t ever get that great luxury.

I’m a damned good friend, I’m loyal as they come, and I’m a lion when I need to be–and sometimes just because! If I were man would you be waiting for an explanation? If you didn’t have your own set of preconceived and limiting notions would you be expecting anything at all? I don’t care if you don’t think me sweet, or nice. In fact! I’d prefer it. I don’t like those silly labels, some sort of map that I’m supposed to study to know which place to head, left or right or, let’s be honest, back back backwards.

If you knew me, which you don’t, you would know how lucky you really are.

“Still later she folded into herself,” by Julia at her desk

Monday January 20, 2020
12:42pm
5 minutes
Peaches
Marion Winik

It was blue Monday (a blue blue Monday). It was raining (not outside). It was a couch calling her name, it was a blanket taking him hostage. It was blue.

Blue like the ice cube sitting on her chest (jagged, sharp). Blue like the jeans warn to shreds without ever being washed (why bother). Why bother?

Try and persuade a block to melt, try and switch the light on to fix. Should we?

….

It was a blue Monday and the rest of it coloured the same (the months, the memories).

It was enough for him to sink back into his shiver (blanket or not, go figure) and even after the warm soup, she still folded into herself (folding, folding).

It was raining (inside, outside, beside). It was blue. It was blue for every single one of them.

“I find the result” by Julia in her office

Thursday January 16, 2020
9:30am
5 minutes
From a quote by Mark Twain

The result of staring into the window of other people’s stories is that it’s a window. Not a door. You can look all you want, but there’s a connection that calls you at the bottom of that longing, and looking isn’t enough. We think it’s enough, and sometimes, sure, it is, but when we want to see others and be seen, we don’t mean ‘what they’re doing’ or ‘what they had for brunch’. We want to see the hearts, the human underneath the facade, the spirit underneath the human.
This is because we have gotten good at believing that it’s the quickest way, the easiest way to bridge the gap, cross the ravine, is to log in, put our feet up and watch other people live their lives. We think this because it resembles a bonding, a gathering, but it’s not all the way there. We don’t know what’s real and what isn’t anymore. Or we know, and we ignore it. Or we don’t care, and what is worse, my friends. My ‘friends’, my ‘likes’, my online bubble of bursting potential…
The window is not a door.

“They are noble who” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday January 15, 2020
8:08pm
5 minutes
From a quote by the Buddha

breathe deeply
that’s the only requirement here
place your hand on your belly and feel if it’s expanding
and if it’s landing you are one of the noble few

who want to get to the heart of the matter
and won’t run away if things start to shatter

Maybe there’s one more that I missed
anyone who happens to notice that they’re breathing
when they’re breathing and if it’s deeply
then they are the noble who

Pay attention and move on through
as if this was the only moment that counted
here and now there’s nothing found that proves this is how
but someway it proves this somehow

Breathe into the corners of a dusty room
breathe into the midnight and the afternoon
breathe into the creaky floor board or the bones
breathe into the hips and the home alones

breathe first and foremost
and be noble
even if it takes some reminding

“What the heck is going on” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday January 14, 2020
9:29pm
5 minutes
from a text message

It’s a lapse of confidence, it’s leaving the body
the confidence comes and leaves, lapses as it pleases
and it is not pleasing to be around someone who cannot keep feet firmly planted on the ground
at the arrival of any increasing winds

When it leaves it startles first the body then the mind then everyone around the body and the mind
and this whole thing begs the question, “what the heck is going on?” When a moment ago
there wasn’t this much snow and the sights far off were clear. When just earlier today
you heard yourself say how much easier problem solving had gotten…

Now what the heck is going on when the body leaks precious esteem? Is there a hole? Is there a hole
in the armour or in the body itself? Or has it always been draining like this, slowly, and for no reason?

“what about his own sex life?” by Julia on her couch

Sunday January 12, 2020
5:43pm
5 minutes
Elbowing The Seducer
T. Gertler

He spends his days watching porn
Not nights, not worse
His knees find a bend the way his ass finds a chair
the way he’s seen it done in badly-lit office sets
he can jack off to anything at this point
but doesn’t he stay looking, stay open, scroll, scroll
and isn’t that now part of it?
The decision to do it is inside and not buried, the content
a hot net filled with endless possibilities, every day the internet doubles in size
and anything you can think of is online, but what if he can’t think anymore on his own?
Scrolls and scrolls and until the webpage tells him the scene he wants to watch,
the scene he didn’t know he was fantasizing about, and now it’s not just for him
It’s not just him and the screen, but the scene thought out by other people,
given to him as a replacement for his own imagination

When he closes his eyes, he does not picture people
or women
or people
he sees the roll of the die, the happenstance so easily come by
he can’t come by himself
and isn’t that the hard part, the hardest part giving up the control of the fantasy generator
to someone who lives on the internet
giving ideas to anyone interested

“The insufferable arrogance of humanity” by Julia on her couch

Friday January 10, 2020
8:08pm
5 minutes
Big Picture
A. Whitney Brown

Babe says that he doesn’t trust people anymore, cause they like, wear their MO a little too loud. Like Babe says that you can smell some people’s try-hard like they bathe in it and that is so relatable. Like, think about it. You can tell when someone’s trying to like, butter you up, or get in your pants, or like, get you to smuggle some low grade shit. And you can tell when someone’s like performing instead of being. There’s a really big difference actually, and Babe says the insufferable people are the ones who name drop and shame shop. Babe says that shame shopping is like, who’s buying, you know? Like who’s trying to be better by taking on all the bullshit of the known world as if they could carry it on their own?

“The fires were still smouldering” by Julia on her couch

Thursday January 9, 2020
11:33am
5 minutes
The Known World
Edward P. Jones

The haze we’re breathing is a filter on the known world.
The daily dos and don’ts.
The run and hide or stay lows.

Babies are inhaling against their will.
Animals are being wiped out.

Some people don’t think the issue is connected.
Some people would rather focus on the strength
of the inhabitants being weakened.

Will the dying lungs be as resilient?
Will the buried come back to stand on their country’s podium?

While we’re gathered on the beach with our
hearts in our mouths
covered in ash and soot
inching closer to the waves
a long siren blares.

We wish we could say it was in the distance.
We wish we could say it was only one
and not one after another after another.

We are accepting prayers
and money
and help
and
and
and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And we do
We leave it up to her

“In the diary she kept” by Julia on Howland

Sunday January 5, 2020
9:55pm
5 minutes
Sabbath 
Wayne Muller

Mindy Lou kept her diary blue, locked with a prayer and a warning

“Open this and the devil will kiss you all the way to hell and back again”

She wrote from her truest heart, and nobody could part the seas she stirred and roared on

“This book is protected by none other than Jesus Christ and if you want to know deep suffering, turn the page, I double dog dare you”

For inside she stored her secrets, her bashful cheeks, and quiet rumblings

“women simply take better care of themselves” by Julia in Baden

Thursday January 2, 2020
12:01am
5 minutes
The Compass In Your Nose
Marc McCutcheon

my mother knows the cure for whatever ails me

she sends photos of pages from the best books on how to heal without lies

I am indebted to her for every phone call lesson or reminder that I am worth taking expensive suppliments

funny after all this time of telling her about loving herself enough to allow healing

she is me and I am her and this is not a contest

the mirror is held up in turns, sometimes her holding it and sometimes me

when my father falls ill she nurses him from the flat of his bed onto his feet in 3 days or your money back

she says it’s easier to get better when you have someone reminding you when to take your vitamins

“brought their wives and children” by Julia in Baden

Wednesday January 1, 2020
12:07am
5 minutes
The Trial of Louis Riel
George R.D. Goulet

lingering behind the red door
Dottie clutches a tattered handkerchief to her mouth to keep from crying out

the demons were in there, shaking

Dottie isn’t finding the deeper cause but knows she needs them gone

like that time she was drugged at the bar, an unmarked capsule fizzing in her drink, and a tiny girl suffering, needing her

She looked herself in the mirror and said it over and over again, rebuking, encouraging-
“You must” she said, “you must. You Must.”

“Look to the notes, if you need to” by Julia at Amanda’s

Tuesday December 31, 2019
2:40am
5 minutes
How To Read Music
Roger Evans

In the same place as I have been
There is a good chance I could have been smaller

If not for the noticing I would be spending my time intellectualizing
But not this year, no, no

I will be looking to the notes if I need to and when that’s not making sense I will let the interruption be the new

The prompt
The passage

And then maybe I will do something that you could be a strong bear about

That you could write home to your parents for and tell them of the giant steps taken from such tiny feet

“walk-in counselling clinic” by Julia on the Megabus

Friday December 27, 2019
9:35am
5 minutes
from a sign

Devra puts on her new lace cardigan. New to her, hand me down from Aunt Mary’s kids. Yesterday she went through the big garbage bag of the no-longer wanted/fitting and managed to find one item. The coral cardigan was the only thing that didn’t instantly turn her into a baby doll. Aunt Mary’s kids were young. Devra could fit into the tights but she didn’t feel proud to be wearing a 12 year old’s stuff.

She pats her face dry after washing with the new rose-water cleanser she got for Christmas and looks herself in the mirror. “Today’s a good day for it.” She says to herself.

“Ice on the sidewalk” by Julia in Joe’s childhood room

Tuesday December 24, 2019
12:02pm
5 minutes
Or Death and December
George Garrett

This city is colder than the one we left. I haven’t missed the rain once. Not in my life, even during the draught. When we left the first time coming back was like a time stamp on where we had been and how much we’ve learned. Seeing the CN Tower used to make me cry. Every street is a buzz. There are people out and about, wearing layers, walking slowly on the icy sidewalk. Back home, I guess we’re calling it that now, the cold was welcome when it came. It wasn’t too much or too hard. Not for someone born to a cold far harsher.

I don’t have the right gear for this city. Been known to keep a parka around just in case but the reality of this no longer being my home has finally sunk in. Why keep a coat around when you live in a place that doesn’t need it.

“The judge sighs.” By Julia at the airport

Monday December 23, 2019
2:57pm
5 minutes
At the Arraignment
Debra Spencer

Being vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. I’ve seen vegans live off of oreos and french fries. I’m not judging that, I’m fine with it. What do I care if someone wants to do sugar for beeakfast lunch and dinner. Some people are more than their label, is what I’m saying. There are also feminists who want to kill all the men. They say they’re for equality but they have some unresolved anger too. The name isn’t cut and dry just like it’s not fair to say that every indigenous person opposes the pipeline. That’s simply untrue. And racist, isn’t it? To group people together without asking individuals how they feel?

“The lunatic is carried” by Julia on her couch

Sunday December 22, 2019
9:28pm
5 minutes
Song of Myself
Walt Whitman

From the last word to the first idea, she is there

she waits for me to slip up so she has a reason to come out and say I Told You So

Of course she sings sweetly too, never yelling or threatening or causing a scene out of turn

It’s as if she were playing some game, some twisted little diddy that she knew she was doing

I carry the lunatic out of the box and into the day

I carry her on my back and let her see everything that I’m seeing

You could say I let her stay because I am a bit afaid of her and what she might do if I don’t give her what she wants

I suppose I am the one to blame afterall for giving her the front row seat to my weakness

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

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

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

“Timing’s everything.” by Julia in her office

Thursday December 19, 2019
3:50pm
5 minutes
Snowflake
William Baer

If you sit there long enough the right people will come by
I don’t know if that’s the way it always works
but that was my today…

So I’m sitting there, minding my own business, writing out some things with the hope of manifestation, and along comes Pauly.

He’s on his way home or so it looks like, but he stops directly in front of my door. Okay I need to scratch something and reverse it. The manifesting part kind of needs to be revisited. So I’m not going to tell you what I was writing, but I will tell you that because I was writing it, that’s why Pauly came along.
It wasn’t about him necessarily, but he was the one who gave me the idea to write it. So this manifestation thing appears to be working for any of you cynics outs there, reading “You There, Behind Your Screens!”

So Pauly came by and I learned a couple more things about him. It was subtly. Nuanced. For instance. I now know he is a film buff. And a bit of a nerd.

“There below” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday December 18, 2019
7:47pm
5 minutes
Somewhere I’ll Find You
Phebe Hanson

There below the golden face

The shoulders broad and carrying

a tiny intersection of disbelief is straddled

Right there

Right below the knowing look

And maybe it wouldn’t be there

if instead of fuzz a master’s cap

sat collecting

Or another 5 years at least of hands on, on the field, trial and error

Maybe this is the error

Maybe this is the error

The time for mistakes and making

I told them that’s what I’m interested in doing

I told them that’s why I get so moved

The mantra is for everyone now

Make a mess

Make

Make

Make a mess

Nothing is not something I can allow myself to make

Not these days when young hearts find themselves on my cozy chair

Calling my room the Creative one

“I am so amazed to find myself kissing you” by Julia on her couch

Tuesday December 17, 2019
9:29pm
5 minutes
Feasting
Elizabeth W. Garber

I find your mouth there in the open like a winter song
the snow flakes landing on the tip of your lips and the cold
mixes with the hot
and the slippery touches the soft
Maybe people before have told you how superior your kiss is
because you kiss like you already know and that you like knowing

I am prancing around like some February fairy and you think
maybe, it’s cute
This is my hope, that you will be forced to kiss me with all
that sparkly dusty floating around

Before this I have kissed you plenty
And each time I think the same thing
I can’t believe I am the lucky recipient of this
hot mouth opening and closing so artfully

“because it was the only job” by Julia in her office

Monday December 16, 2019
2:53pm
5 minutes
The con job
Charles Bukowski

keep your coat on
no don’t tell them it’s because you’re shivering past the bone
or because your skin has thinned over the last few days
or that it’s the only thing that keeps the ache from surfacing
Don’t tell them the weight feels like a miracle since all the pain
kept you from sleeping

Nobody will ask you what you’re doing
don’t tell them the truth
be a mystery
a team player
a warm thing

Be a good story
Make them wonder at you
don’t give it all away
If they ask you can mention it so they don’t linger in the doorway
so you might be honest without having to be rude
Don’t be rude
shake that option from your skull
it wants to stay but you have to let it leave

count down the minutes
33, to be exact
keep your coat on so the exit is as quick as can be
smile at them on your way
don’t let them see you too long or the red under your nose
32, ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at

When it gets good and quiet take your shoes off
move to the big chair and pull down the shade
be a good story
even on days you don’t feel like doing the telling

“The first was of Saint Gabriel” by Julia on her couch

Saturday December 14, 2019
7:53pm
5 minutes
Courtesy
Hilaire Belloc

I fell in love with the messenger. There are no addages about not kissing them, only shooting. He arrived with flowing hair and a scroll tucked under his arm. Romantic. I wanted to watch him slowly unroll it, revealing only one line at a time.
He arrived at my door like a whisper.
He was a figure from a painting, his smile a twig snapped from Paradise itself.
I thought about his mouth unfolding the news. It did not take much for me to want him, truth be told. A man bearing a letter in my name. That was all I could ever ask for.

“And the show won’t stop.” by Julia in her office

Thursday December 12, 2019
11:45am
5 minutes
Theater
William Greenway

not if you’re sick, not if you’re wondering
not if you’re late to the party or fumbling
not if you don’t want to or you think you can’t
not if the door opens or it slams
not if the weather punishes you and only you
not if the sadness turns too blue
not if the schedule says that it won’t
not if the gravel road bumps or it don’t

The show won’t stop
the show won’t wait
the show won’t pop
the show won’t wait

not if you’re tired, not if you’re confused
not if you didn’t like what’s in the news
not if you got lost or took a different route
not if you succumbed to the shadows of doubt
not if you were hungry or if you needed to sit
not if you wanted to but couldn’t make it
not if you bent down to smell the flowers
not if you stayed up until the wee hours

The show won’t pop
the show won’t wait
the show won’t stop
the show won’t wait

it has to go on
it must

“Something continues and” by Julia in her office

Wednesday December 11, 2019
3:35pm
A Birthday
W.S. Merwin

This is how it goes
I wait until I know
the answer in my bones
and then I unload
the only thing I throw
are feelings at the wall
and if a yell unfolds
I’ll hurl it in the cold

This is how it is
I hold on to my skin
and shiver underneath
the seeming arbitrary
with passions dimmed
I fight the light within
until I am destined
to do it all again

This is how it hurts
it always comes in spurts
With hope interspersed
it really could be worse
but nothing cures the curse
like a living breath first
and if I am not sure
then I will become more terse

This is how it is
how it hurts
how it goes

“I step into the cold silence.” by Julia in her office

Wednesday December 4, 2019
2:19pm
5 minutes
New Planet
Misha Penton

It feels more like an autumn day than spring, something like October keeps ringing in my ears and against them.

A resistance here, a noticing. These two have never come together before.
And now in my bigger boots I can sense the weighted thought and it is attached to me.

The breeze whisks the hair around my face into a halo of buzzing. I cannot pretend I do not ache for sunny days, but this, this aliveness is more than
I thought I would know.

The air around me is still and I can hear a quiet humming.
I listen and find grace in the willingness to acknowledge.

It’s not hunger, it’s not sleep, but grief collected.
And here I count the withered leaves, one and two and three upon the ground.

It feels more…

“the deity manifest” by Julia in her office

Wednesday November 27, 2019
11:21am
5 minutes
Egyptian Mythology
Geraldine Pingh

she sometimes feels far away
as in not in this body at all
as in on vacation where she
gets to rest and be taken care of

she doesn’t live in the skin
if the skin doesn’t warm her
or if the bones shake too much

nobody wants to stay in a house
that rattles when the winds come
when the weather changes even
slightly

sometimes, today, right now
she is away away laying low
and breathing slow and she is
not questioning the sand

she is said to be within
but I don’t think that’s how
it works when the body threatens
the spirit by being so sad
as in not in the room
as in not feeling the floor

she comes and goes and I believe
she wants to stay but when there
is such a deep unknowing she does
what’s best for herself

she does not stay where she is not
wanted when she is smart enough to name it

she will check in every now and then
but if the conditions aren’t worth it
she doesn’t have to think twice about
the door

“along with some common words” by Julia in her office

Tuesday November 26, 2019
11:59am
5 minutes
How To Read Egyptian
Mark Collier & Bill Manley

We’ve got more to say and some of the words aren’t respected here. Here. I’m saying that with a slant. In. Italics. Get it? It’s a head nod and it’s sarcasm, and great now it is the reason why some people say some. Female. comedians aren’t always. Funny. Because they. Always. explain the joke. I still hate that sentiment, but I. See. Now. See?
Along with some common words, there are a whole slew of swears and shares but again, it’s the. Place. That’s important to consider. Sometimes the right word in the wrong place makes it the wrong word. Well, no, actually, more than that. Now it’s not the wrong. Word. But the wrong. Thing. And isn’t that worse, or, isn’t that. The Worst? I could be putting all of this in italics for real but then the people looking to decide if things are wrong or not are going to have an easier time and I’ll be honest, I am not interested in helping the word/thing/thought/idea police. We should call them thieves. That’s more. Appropriate.

“niches of great magnitude” by Julia at St. John’s School

Monday November 25, 2019
2:20pm
5 minutes
At the Mountains of Madness
H.P. Lovecraft

When one is loved, OKAY REALLY LOVED
bam bam bang bang whoopty doopty yes and yes and yes,
then that same one, that same gooey ooey loved up one that
was previously, what, right, yeah yeah yeah, loved but not really,
right? Cause we never ever know the magnitude when we’re feeling
low down down down woah all the way down to the bottom without
a buoy to cling to no sirree no sirs
no misses no no no none of it.
Previously unloved, not outside, but inside, the one wasn’t doing any self love and that’s the way to feel the outside love you gotta know, you gotta know that now.
And when they are previously unloved or so they think
and so they believe then it all seems the same
and grey and tiring and god awful.
That’s the way it was
so the way it is when there is LOVE
all that gigantic love, the right kind of love
that you can believe in between your toes and know
how far down it reaches even if you can’t see
it cause it lives there always pulsing pulsing through
you, in you, right, in you.
The way it is with all that gigantic love, and get this,
you’re gonna laugh, stay with me, don’t fall over!
Is the smallest of spaces.
You feel tucked in, you know? You feel like you’re
sleeping in the palm of a walnut shell.

“Don’t let the exclamation point fool you.” by Julia at her desk

Sunday November 24, 2019
5:27pm
5 minutes
from an Instagram post

Not Happy. Not thrilled. Not at all okay.
Okay? Get it? The question mark is rhetorical.
Don’t answer that. Read the room, you know?
you know. Not happy. Not thrilled. Not great.
Could it be about passion, hmm? Could it be
anger? DO I HAVE TO SHOW YOU THE VOLUME or does
the rage fall flat when all you see is the blasted !! !!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I see how you can get it twisted.
Good liar. Good at feeling the thing but not in front of anyone.
Not good at hiding the feeling, but excellent at lying about it.
That’s even worse, now you know, now you know, but you’ll say
you don’t if you see the s m i l e !
See? SEE? SEE?! All different.
I am all different and all angry and all the opposite of okay.
Not thrilled. Not happy. Happy during rage but not about the rage
that now I feel because of you not being able to read the room.
The rhetorical question. Don’t answer that. No question mark.
Not an invitation. Not something for you to hang your dumb old hat on.
See the rage, feel the not okay now?
See what’s being tossed around?
Don’t let that shit fool you.
Don’t be so naive out of convenience.
Who is fine anyway.
Who is ever fine ANYWAY.

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

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

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

“There are moments when art attains” by Julia on her couch

Saturday November 16, 2019
9:27pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Oscar Wilde

it’s the here, the now, the paint contained by canvas,
the wall oozing imagination, the hallway singing, the contemplative violin cloaking everything in sadness. it’s the heart of an artist, the pulse of an entrepreneur hoping to convince you that this feeling needs you as much as you need it. it’s that circle of friends who gather around the experimental, who bring their dogs to wag their tails, who sit there listening to the latest thing this artist is obsessed with.

“I am a young, talented writer.” By Julia on her couch

Thursday November 7, 2019
8:45pm
5 minutes
Citizens of the Dream
Cary Tennis

Mr. Zeiler hands out
the assignments
thinks it’ll keep
us busy long enough
to let him finish
his chapters

I am alive with the
possibility of writing
my very own story
I cannot wait to explore
this world and these characters. that will emerge from my brain

Mr. Zeiler says 10-15
pages is best, is most,
is more than enough
By the time I get to 15
I am just getting started

This scenario I’ve lifted
from my favourite sit-com
is a perfect container for characters like me and also like the ones from the show and I keep going

I glue in extra pages
when I finish what I was
given and begin to forego
illustrations to fit in more words

“choose return” by Julia on the toilet

Sunday November 3, 2019
10:29pm
5 minutes
Google flights

they asked me to answer
“I get lost when I…”
and I said
Look at a map
as if the entire cartography buisness is out to get me
as if the moon isn’t bright enough on its own
as if I’ver ever gotten to where I wanted to go by taking directions
from somebody else
and I know I am the designer of this route, this life, and the instructions, however well meaning, however clear to other eyes, are not useful to me
I have never followed in the footsteps of another and felt whole
I have never relied on a drawing to lead me home when my heart always knows

the navigator of this body is terrible with maps and yet moves forward anyway

“I get lost when I…”

“unromantic daily love” by Julia at Viet House

Thursday October 31, 2019
12:12 pm
5 minutes
quote from Marie Howe in bombmagazine.com

I love you friend
I love you pencil

I love my pencil
more than my friend

am I a bad friend
or a bad pencil holder

everyone knows if
you love your pencil

you would not let
anything get in the

way of the relationship
unless it’s true what

they say, it being if
you love your pencil

let it go and if it
comes back it’s yours

that’s how you know
and they is actually

christina aguilera
in one of her hits

and everyone knows
that if you let go

of a pencil that pencil
is never going to find

its way back to you
because that’s just the

way it goes but if you
lose a friend or let the

friend go then you have
to wait for it to come

back to you to know and
sometimes the waiting is so long

“it was just sort of whispered around my family” by Julia in her bed

Friday October 25, 2019
10:04pm
5 minutes
Choosing Happiness
Veronica Ray

the weird thing was we were all saying it just at different volumes

when dad tried to make us keep our doors open he didn’t really know why and he didn’t know how to tell us that so he stood his ground

unfair it’s unfair but it would not get brought up at the dinner tribunal

no one said it then or ever or louder than a whisper because it was all still in beta: what might happen if we disrespected any of them,
even unintentionally

better than what they got we were told, and sure, it was, and sure, they learned, but we had so many questions answered with “because I said so” it stopped making sense when you heard it

and “why” felt like the emptiest hug, the most out there on a limb next to I love you

that whispered around our family too but at least we fixed that one when it counted most

“You plan, you design, you labor,” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday October 16, 2019
7:55am
5 minutes
An Absorbing Errand
Janna Malamud Smith

It’s the morning but still dark
too dark, not dark enough
you are awake but not fully here
the city looks quiet, still asleep
too asleep, not asleep enough
there is a small light from the
couch lighting up words written
and bound together with money
you are planning the next one
and this one but you are not fully here
the yellow glow pulls at the aching bone
and you must either ignore it or join it

how does one become as yellow as this light?
how does one join something that hurts?
It’s the morning but still night
too night, not night enough
you are writing and you are wondering
but you are not fully here
you are in a day one week from now
two weeks from now and you are planning
and designing and wondering about what
they will all be like when they meet
themselves on the page that you laboured on

It’s the morning but not a warm spring
it’s the morning but not a conscious howl
it’s the morning but you are still dreaming
now writing out your dreams so they shake
free from your writing bone and keep
the light from pulling

“all the facts” by Julia on her bed

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

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

FACT: it is a long weekend.

Here is
another example:

I am funnier without the pot?
FACT

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

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

FACT: I RISK
even when I am scared

I risk even when I am the only one? FACT

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

This document is proof: FACT.

FACT: this document is proof of me risking

“The ship had sailed” by Julia on her couch

Thursday October 3, 2019
8:08pm
5 minutes
Just Enough
A.J. Liberling

What would you do if I sailed away
stole the boat straight from you
and I took on the waves
would you come after me
I’m just wondering if I
should stop the boat in the middle
and wait up for you
cause we could sail around the world
and back, I’d wait for you
are you coming along
there’s no right or wrong
I’m just wondering what you’d do
come sail around me with me
oh just me and you

picture it now, the world gives
you one choice and you
have to decide between falling
and falling behind
do you do the new thing
do you take the big leap
sacrifice everything you have
if the feeling is real
the future’s not sure
but you could not ever go back

trust me I’m not
trying to make you just pick
up and go
I just want to know

what would you do if I sailed away
stole the boat straight from you
and I took on the waves
would you put on your life vest
and invest in everything
we can’t yet prove

“sorely tested—and found wanting.” By Julia in bed

Wednesday October 2, 2019
11:18pm
5 minutes
Assignment To Hell
Timothy M. Gay

a matter of stimuli, and it would be with that attitude

but where is the reward?
in the resistance of temptation, then? in the discovery of so many quick-legged spiders?

we release the tiny scurrying living being while we clean

if the start of a home becomes uprooted by the sudden decision to weild an unruly hand with a broom at the end of it…the home goes but the little friend stays

(the secret is to find another corner)

(the secret is no bites exchanged if asylum granted)

(asylum is granted for friend one and two and three and four)

but if this were not a moment of sobriety who knows what other homes would have been ressurected

“I want.” By Julia in Mt. Washington, LA

Sunday September 15, 2019
8:42pm
5 minutes
Prayer
Galway Kinnell

I want to shit
I want to shower
I want to swim in the ocean again
I want to wash the salt out of my ears
I want to go to Joshua Tree
I want to live in a place where it doesn’t get cold
I want to sit quietly
I want to inhale mulch all day long
I want to finish my song
I want to practice patience
I want to be brave enough to rent a car by myself and drive it in a new city
I want to find another taco
I want to buy those gold shoes
I want to get people excited about making things
I want to wave to an airplane and believe it’s waving back at me
I want to write the book
I want to be published
I want to go to Italy
I want to practice patience

“The courage that my mother had” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday September 10, 2019
8:53pm
5 minutes
The courage that my mother had
Edna St. Vincent Millay

They all bet on her, did you know that?
She was the quietest one and they all
put down their twenty-dollar bills with
confidence. “She’s going to be last.”

When my mother was in labour with my
brother, nobody saw it coming. She is
not the kind of person to screech or
claw, but she will sit softly on the
edge of her heart being thrust into
outer space, into another dimension.

She has always been this way,
underestimated, as though physical
size were an indication of anything.
She did not complain. Not when her
head was throbbing, or her knee
threatened to make her sorry she
ever tried to walk. Not when her
knuckles furled in on themselves,
not when she was giving birth to
all three of us.

She simply did it. Quietly.
And I did not inherit that
from her.

When the nurses found out that my
mother was the first of all the
labouring mothers to deliver,
they yelled at her.
“You just lost me twenty bucks,
lady.”

“I was so amazed” by Julia at her desk

Saturday September 7, 2019
3:19pm
5 minutes
Feasting
Elizabeth W. Garber

The plants on the window sill drooped as the door shut behind you.
We didn’t ask for such living things to care for and there we were
with thumbs turning green, scooping soil out of bags and into pots.

The wilting started when you had your second shoe on.
I didn’t see it happen but I knew, the way a soft gaze lets you see
the entire room without blinking, or braiding a second without letting go.

You held my cheeks in your hands as if you hadn’t handled the roots
of what we were sowing with such promise of tomorrow.
I believed you by the cup of your palm and I believe you now.

You are not beholden to me the way this plant is not obliged to live forever.
I wouldn’t expect anything to stay for eternity, but the pain comes from
wanting so badly for you to.

I was amazed at the breeze left inside the room after the smell of you
had dissipated gently into the ceiling. I thought you would cling to the
window screens but you were small enough to pass through even those.

“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…

“the shedding of lint” by Julia at her desk

Saturday August 10, 2019
8:02pm
5 minutes
Laundromat
Carmen Pintea

We walk every morning toward a cinnamon bun and
everybody stares at you, watches you. I am but
a thread attached to your coat pocket, I do not
unravel, but lead, I lead you to the cinnamon bun
so you can walk without bumping into all the people
who are falling in love with you.
You and your gap-toothed mouth, little air bubbles
flying out, like an angel or a dream.
It would seem like you are drifting but that’s because
the people watching you give you lift by grabbing time
by the throat so she will slow down and let them see you
better. It is not magic. It is not good.
What’s good is a cinnamon bun and that is all you want
this morning, like every morning, not to be watched or
crossed or lifted from the earth, you have been begging
for dirt in your toe nails since the last time someone
tried to convince you that you were theirs.
It wasn’t me, I wouldn’t do it. I know what it’s
like to have the whole world needing something from
you that you can’t give them because it’s made up
from the inside places they hide all the wrong ideas.
I know because I wasn’t always a thread, I wasn’t
always a help, I wasn’t always so sure of how to
leave my house and find the cinnamon bun.
But because this lint sheds form the lining of our
hearts in the same way, I take you. I show you how.

“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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The opposite, really

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

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

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

The baby crying on the plane

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

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

But I was against me by being against them

These are things I’ve learned

“Fall in love” by Julia at her desk

Monday July 8, 2019
6:37pm
5 minutes
From a Bard on the Beach flyer\

He’s in this blue t-shirt with a little pocket
the kind of blue a leading man would wear
the kind of leading man who makes friends with
the kind of guy preparing a poke bowl on his first day

He’s beautiful
I mean really beautiful
This eyebrow that he has, man oh man
with the scar he got from running into
the corner of a table before his brother
was born, man
I’m a goner

I love that he laughs at his own arms
for no reason, and why, who cares,
let’s laugh like that until forever

He is getting softer by the minute
and growing smarter by the day
I am seeing clearly these months and
trust me it is good and it is good

I wish you asked about him
I wish it hasn’t been a year and a half
since you said his name out loud to me
as if he wasn’t the biggest part of
my body
As if he wasn’t the one giving me
new life when I thought a day was
like any other day

He doesn’t become less good because
you don’t say it
I want you to know that
He becomes more, I think
He is always becoming more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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