“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.

“silence that voice.” By Julia at her desk

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

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

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

“the hypocrites will teach.” By Julia in her bed

Monday May 7, 2018
11:01pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Suzy Kassem

All the voices I’ve been avoiding living inside me are more alive than I’ve been letting them be, more living than I’ve been thinking they are

I was right about you
it’s written in the stars and I’ve been right so many times but I’ve been scared and so I don’t say anything with words but with worlds of voices dancing around in my head

And they are so loud that my skin crawls and maybe you can see it so you ask me what is wrong and the truth is inside nothing is wrong everything is right but it is dangerous to say out loud

It is hard to believe that I know more than I think I do
That I am bigger than I think I am

“I could be wrong” by Julia in her bed


Friday September 8, 2017
12:45am
5 minutes
overheard at 16th and Oak

I do not like to be right
whole world can challenge me on that
might think I don’t know how to be wrong
that I won’t stand for it
I am
not
as
strong
as the world might think I am
I still Leave drippings on the burner
I still Set off the fire alarm after asking other hands to be more careful
I still Pee sometimes before pulling down my underwear
I still Find myself wearing my heart on my cheek like a cat scratch
I do not like to be right
oh how the kingdom does fall when I get what I want
and I do not want to be right
there is not enough time in a day to beg for the opposite
nobody gets it
they don’t know how painful it is
how lonely
how sad
Not just about other hands
about who I thought I was
The reckoning tastes a little
too much like an avocado
on its last day in the basket
before becoming
nothing
but
waste

“I’ll sing til morning” by Julia on Khaleefa’s grandmother’s bed


Monday July 10, 2017
1:19am
5 minutes
Night, Mother
Marsha Norman


He says
I’ll love you forever
She says
forever doesn’t work for me
He says
I will always want you
She says
Always is a long time
He says
I’ll never leave you
She says
Never say never
She says
You can’t love me like this
He says
I need to
She says
you shouldn’t wait for me
He says
I will
She says
I won’t be able to return it
He says
I don’t need anything from you
She says
Then go
He says
But I love you
She says
I’m asking you
He says
Why won’t you let me hold you
She says
You don’t love me for me
He says
Isn’t this love
She says
haven’t you been listening

“New Adventures” By Julia at Paper Crane Coffee


Wednesday February 8, 2017
1:48pm
5 minutes
from a postcard

Jackie meets me at the coffee shop bundled up in too many layers and chapped lips. She shakes off her scarf and laughs a little at the snow droplets covering the ground. She is carrying a stack of postcards that she needs to write thank you notes on. She says she’s going to mail them out today after she buys a thousand stamps. I am busy re-writing my to-do list because the first version I etched out didn’t include all the stuff I actually have to get done today. The first version was more of a dream journal than a to-do list. I have trouble with picking the right thing to prioritize. I don’t want to pick the wrong thing but I feel like I always do. Jackie is in a great mood because she was given an assignment to write for McCleans’s Magazine and is full of high fives and smiles. She asks me after I’ve breathed out heavily for the eighth time, not asking her about her day like I should have, if I’ve ever heard about ‘Important vs. Urgent’. I sigh out once more because I have heard about ‘Important vs. Urgent’ but I have obviously forgotten, again and again, and again.

“Let me get what I want this time” by Julia at Propeller


Monday, August 17, 2015 at Propeller
4:13pm
5 minutes
Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
The Smiths


I’ve been on my knees
begging someone please
take me from this tease
give this half life ease

I am not a victim but I have gone a long time without getting what I want and I think it’s fair to share that. I am not a victim but I don’t get things given to me for free or by accident or without me giving something first. I am not a victim but I watch other people win while I wait. I am not a victim but I don’t have any socks that match. I am not a victim but I do all the calling out and reaching out and loving out. I am not a victim but nothing ever works out for me. I am not a victim but I can’t lose weight. I am not a victim but I wasn’t put in piano lessons as a kid. I am not a victim but I’m always the last to know. I am not a victim but I play the part because it was designed for me.

“Our backyard garden plot” by Julia on her bed


Saturday, June 27, 2015
1:31am
5 minutes
From the back of a photo from Sarah

You and I
We found a spot
Built our home
And a backyard garden plot
We paid the rent
We made our space
Went to bed early
Slept face to face
You and I
We found happiness
Said our I love yous
Made our promises
We created a board
To pin up all our dreams
We envisioned our lives
Crafting behind the scenes
You and I
We stayed strong
Fought sometimes
Took turns being wrong
We remembered ourselves
When we were young
Our heads filled with hopes
Our home filled with love

“Dogs must be kept on a lead” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Monday December 13, 2014
6:15pm
5 minutes
London overground rules

Bobby always says, “Don’t get me wrong…” I think about how if he needs to say that so much people are probably getting him wrong all over the damn place. Why doesn’t he just try harder to get it right? I tell him this on our way to the dog park. Lou is jumping like a rabbit and he keeps saying, “Down Lou! Down!” Lou doesn’t listen. Molly is the opposite of Lou. She behaves like the Queen that she is. “Don’t get me wrong, I love her. But she’s badly behaved and so annoying!” I pause. “How could I, like, get you wrong?” “Huh?” He’s never been called on this before? “I’m just wondering how I could get that wrong… Like, I know that you love her. You’re good to her. You didn’t have her as a puppy and it’s hard to train full grown dogs…” Bobby looks at me. He furrows his thick brows. “I’m just saying – ” “I know what you’re saying!” We’re at the dog park now, and he’s letting Lou off her leash. Molly is whimpering softly.

“STOP HERE” by Julia at her desk


Sunday, July 21, 2013
12:08am
5 minutes
from a traffic sign in Mississauga

there is a fine line between right and wrong, and delanie likes to flirt with it. she waddles up to it as if she’s about to give it a big fat blow job then she waddles back, acting all coy and shy like some girl scout who just got caught for eating too many of her own delicious mint cookies. delanie knew she was a line flirter since she was young but she never once called it that. to her, are you kidding, she called it “adventure” or “fun”, even. she’d sometimes put on a slinky dress and ooze her bad ideas right on up to that line, and she’d dance directly on it letting her ruffles touch the edge but not long enough for them to get caught there. she’d work up enough confidence to stick her tongue out right over that line but pull it back into her wet mouth right before it was too late. she never went over it though…she wouldn’t want what was on the other side anymore if she did. the chase was something she was into….her mother taught her about reverse psychology when she was young and as soon as she understood what it was, she knew right away that she was going to be a victim of it. delanie always wants what’s on the other side but doesn’t want to give in too much to show that she might..just..take it…
her mother doesn’t flirt with the line like her daughter does. she stands far enough away dabbing the sweat off her brow with the handkerchief her grandmother gave her when she was in her twenties.

“The time is auspicious” by Julia on the 94 going east


Wednesday, January 2, 2013
4:02pm
5 minutes
Radio Drama
David Mamet


Perfect for baking, for calling a loved one, for telling a loved one you’re baking and that, yes, you love them.
All these things.
Can we do it?
Can we make it right?
Of course, we will, we must, of course we will.
We. What a healthy dose of you and me, a split line divided straight down the middle: half will pay for the child’s college fund, half will make sure a roof over the child’s head is had.
We WILL. WE. WE. Will we?
We wait a little bit, between yesterday and NOW. when there is nothing to worry about except breathing in the thoughtful sounds of our peaceful minds. The thoughtful holiday of our brains relaxing on the beach and sipping a pina colada in the middle of January. Blueberries in January. Frozen tulips in January. We keep them in the fridge!
HA!
WE. WE DO. We do. WE. We. Do We?
perfect timing, all good things will come. When all things are done being done, they will be something else…
A dream?
NO!
A reality!
We stop ourselves right before the moment says it’s over. We do this because we’re scared of art. We’re scared of taking all of our clothes off, swimming in the lake IN JANUARY, and being wrong.
How could we be wrong!
We do what we do what we will what we will what we can what we can what we can