“in the present moment for” by Julia at her desk

Friday August 16, 2019
7:58am
5 minutes
Meditations
Marcus Aurelius

Right now we are fighting the comfort of our bed
fighting the snooze as if together we might be
more successfulLight enters the whole room but we trap it under
the pillows and right now we are on the same team

Tomorrow is another story
Tomorrow can’t be written yet

Right now you are sleep singing to me and yesterday
is not here in the bed, yesterday could not make it
to today’s meeting because yesterday has turned

In a babble we are speaking about the day that has
yet to materialize because right now is all we are
right now is what we have and if we stretch it

and if we let it leak into the next moment for a little
while longer while we sleep on the skin of each other’s
back, while we fight waking, it’s me and you

against the cloudy sky and sun trying to tell us something
We don’t listen if it means one more
configuration holding ease and comfort and promise

This afternoon is another story
This afternoon hasn’t wandered in through the
window yet and we don’t go chasing it

Right now we push the heels of our feet into
the soft of our arches, and whisper a couple mmms
into the hem of our sheets

“we should not trust the masses” by Julia at M and D’s table

Thursday August 15, 2019
1:03pm
5 minutes
Discourses
Epictetus

This tiny bug starts crawling on my arm
and I know I’m not supposed to freak out
about a tiny bug but I’m afraid because
my dad told me that they were going to
suck my blood and even though I have
never seen teeth on a bug this teeny tiny
I believe him because he is my dad and
why would my dad lie to me especially
if it’s about being bit or not being bit

I am going to the Philippines with my
mom and my dad told me there were
all kinds of bugs flying around there so
now I am scared of the Philippines the
way I am afraid of my backyard because
what if I get bit and then I never get to
see him again and I shouldn’t be going
in the first place if I know that there are
bugs that are always trying to land on me

I didn’t apply to university because my
dad said that there are so many people
all at once and he reminded me that I
don’t do very will with big crowds because
someone might step on me or hurt me or
stab me or steal my purse or push me or
take me and put me in their car and hide
me in their basement for 4-7 years while
I am forced to eat dust and have their babies

“foolish joy, greedy desire” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday August 14, 2019
10:03am
5 minutes
On The Brevity Of Life
Seneca

drunk on his own smell it’s gross really i’m not sure about any of it any of the bullshit that goes along with an i do or a yes or a no is there ever actually a question or are we animals running around the farmyard the jungle the scent of another calling us down into the mud calling up to the balloon clouds unsure unsure unsure and then sure sure sure sure is the service of oneself the ultimate gift to the other crow calls that it’s a tuesday that it’s warm that the baby’s diaper needs changing i don’t know where i put my biggest baddest dreams the deeper we got into the earth burying our toes in the sand watching the horizon turn dark

“foolish joy, greedy desire” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday August 14, 2019
8:36am
5 minutes
On The Brevity Of Life
Seneca

The wind is asking me to spill my secrets
I will not do it unless Mr. Jeff Buckley advises.
I am asking him a question and he answers
with his death cry and I listen, listen, as if he
knew my soul better than I did

Do I leak out the truth or do I bury it in the
backyard with all the other blood, all the                                                                                                                                                              cracked lips and hunted soft, do I, do I,                                                                                                                                                                Mr. Angel Jeff Buckley, do I, do I, do I?

We don’t all have the answers or the space
to dig them up since some of us want to
keep the soil on the earth instead of eating it
for breakfast and then again when the clock strikes midnight

If the wind wants me, should I give her the
whole of me or the hole of me and will she
notice the difference if I stood there shaking?
Mr. Angel Man says that these are the only options.

The whole of me is the hole in me, negative
space as much as the weight that I can trace
with my finger tip, do I, do I, do I?
I spin the web from underneath the deepest
pit, the ones I vowed no one would ever see.

“Self-Portrait Image Dip” by Sasha at her kitchen table


Tuesday August 13, 2019
10:02pm
5 minutes
Self-Portrait
Lynne De Spain

Shake the dream sideways and what do you see
Poseidon riding the bull back to the kelp palace
Persephone the vulnerable holding her crown of thorns
You tell me things I know are not true about my world
Zeus on the mountain drunk on the possibilities
unaware of the basic fundamental of cause and effect

I will braid my courage with my wisdom
Don Athena’s breastplate and wield her sword
Gallop towards an unknown justice
Kill the illusion with one screaming plunge
We have misunderstood one another for too many seasons
Now we see if there is a place we want to be
on the other side

“Self-Portrait Image Dip” by Julia at her desk


August 13, 2019
9:08am
5 minutes
Self-Portrait
Lynne De Spain

Call me airhead, full of clouds, ideas, floating
The hummingbird visited me again this morning while

I laid on the patio with my book open to the sky and
she stayed, she stayed, she floated there with precision

And I let my swirled brain meet her in the suspension
call me airhead, cloud reader, dreamer

There is no feeder here, but sweet, sweet, she finds
me with my heart pumping like a flower blooming

I can stay here for years but I don’t and that is
fleshy leg, carrot stick bottom half, sturdy

I can dream minutes into moments and don’t you know
what kind of nectar that brings? Patience, potency

I rest my spotted soul on the ledge and teeter there
back and forth, do I fly or land, fly or land, fly

And what kind of ceremony do you bend a knee for?
Proofs and pouches spilling over, raining coins

Yes we can all bundle the bounty against the wish
for something off in the distance, but why, why, why

“Take a moment to remember” by Sasha at her desk

Monday August 12, 2019
8:32pm
5 minutes
The bus instructions

On the day you were born
the skies whispered to go deeper
into the cave than I had
ever been the clouds kissed
the sweat from my back
my brow the matriarchal line
protecting me from all the danger
and all the unlove
bringing me deeper into my
self

On the day you were born
I met a part of my
self that I
didn’t know before
the threshold of pain
higher the threshold of power
wider the space for opening
a portal to the other realm

where the light glows
where the truth knows
where mother and daughter
are on a continuum
through age
through heaven
through

“Slicing lake Ontario” by Julia at her desk

Sunday August 11, 2019
8:27pm
5 minutes
Catastrophe that Nearly Brought Down a Plane
Sabyasachi Nag

Darling tonight did you hear me ask you
a less than hypothetical question about
our children and about the future that
might show you just how much I’ve thought
about these things?

You didn’t seem to clock it and that
didn’t bother me then but it’s bothering
me now and I wished I had said, Excuse me
did you hear what I said about our kids
without you leading the charge?

These are moments for me to reflect on
by myself I suppose, because did I say
it out of truth gargling against my cheeks
or did I say it out of poetry and the
persistent chase of perfect phrases?

Are you changing your mind now that
I’ve got mine on straight? It would be so
sad after all this time if we had found
ourselves on different pages again. It
might break my heart into weapons.

I think about this future family of
ours and where the hell are they going
to live? In this one bedroom apartment?
In this city that you said yourself might be
too soft for them and for us and everything.

“Slicing lake Ontario” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday August 11, 2019
7:30pm
5 minutes
Catastrophe that Nearly Brought Down a Plane
Sabyasachi Nag

We’ll fly east in nineteen days
over the mountains that grew us
over the peaks that destroyed us
We’ll fly above the colours and
the clouds above the petty
grievances and the monumental hurts

We’re leaving a place we’ve known as home
five years of loving and living
of making art and granola and love
We’re leaving a place we’ve kissed
and bled and thanked and known
where our girl was born
the greatest feat of all

We’ll fly towards family
towards whatever roots are left
towards who knows really now that
everything is upside down
Secure the mask of the person next to you
I wish that was the case

All I know is I need the pressure of
my father’s hand
on my back
when he embraces me
My mother’s salad dressing
My sister’s eyes

We’ll slice over Lake Ontario
towards a speckled sky

“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.

“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.

“more relaxed than how I think I look to people.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday August 9, 2019
7:23am
5 minutes
Descension
David Ly

coming in hot this morning
not enough sleep tossing and turning
and sweating and breathing
and when will it end
when will it burst
the monsters clawing at my
belly at my chest at my cheeks
my eyes are her eyes now
and i see you swallow that
i see you drink that down

the pictures of what happened
collected like momento collected
in a line and then rearrange
re-ar-rage
rage turns to tight tongue
tight lip tight tight tight
puzzle pieces of the last years
of these last days
of the days you left and laughed
and told me everything was okay

every story has a beginning
a middle an end
some stories are cyclical
some stories end where they began
every story has those three parts
now that the story is in question
the pictures of what happened
different exposures to me
different exposures to you
i guess that’s part of it
we don’t see things in same hue
right i guess that’s part of it

“you have the memory of a goldfish”
you say and i most certainly do not

i am an elephant and elephants never forget
i remember the taste of the first time
streetlamp and bus lurch
the sweetness of those sleeps with toes touching
i remember the dent in the coffee table
the words that broke the sky
pushing against the wall underneath the photograph
of our future pushing and wailing
and riding and now

“A funeral” by Julia at her desk

Thursday August 8, 2019
10:21pm
5 minutes
Sophocles
Charles Kell

it’s a colour i can’t name
so i don’t bother

it’s not about getting it right
but the proof of you being gone

is louder when there is something
to nestle your name under

once here now not
the categories of today and yesterday

and should have called you more
and should have loved you better

it’s sad because i would have written
a really nice eulogy for you and

i know now i am holding on to that
as if it might have brought you back

right before you’d have to hear me
deliver it in front of everyone

no words can bring you back and i
have to accept that as hard as it is

not mine and not yours and not god’s
or whoever is doing the talking now

at the funeral someone else spoke
and it was fine for someone who

isn’t the colour that you are
the colour that shall not be named

“A funeral” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday August 8, 2019
9:14pm
5 minutes
Sophocles
Charles Kell

We get caught behind a funeral on the way to the cemetery.

“I guess we should pull over?” You say. Everything a question. Everything in question.

“Obviously,” I say. Sour milk.

You pull over and so do the other cars on the road. Let the procession pass.

I’m back the day Steve died. Finding him. Vomiting and screaming and cupping his face in my hands. I’m back at his memorial. Nothingness into more nothingness and egg salad sandwiches.

“You okay?” You say. Everything a fucking question.

“No I’m not okay!” I say. Forgotten leftovers at the back of the fridge.

“I mean…”

“I know what you mean…” I give a one-third smile two third grimace.

“the only identifier” by Julia in the floor of a hotel room

Wednesday August 7, 2019
10:33pm
5 minutes
Orange Socks
Kate LeDew

it is cold in here
I
I
I
am glad I brought a sweater
the people
will
b
e
coming home soon
I have identified the
pro
b
lem

it is me and my hugged wound
laying
together as if
ol
d
frien
ds

we are In sep er able

or so they say

they
they
they

it does not compute
spelling in this
lan
gua
ge

is
hard enough already
already hard
alredy enough

e nu f f

I
I
I
have stopped asking questions because

no

body

knows

any thing
anything
any things

“the only identifier” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday August 7, 2019
10:24
5 minutes
Orange Socks
Kate LeDew

  1. Make a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich. Cut it in half, diagonally. Leave it on the plate for a few hours. You aren’t hungry. Haven’t been for almost two weeks. Funny how appetite becomes the barometer for feelings, at least in your family.

  2. Find the sandwich, only a bite taken. The contents have seeped into the bread. The bread it turning hard. Take another bite.

  3. Phone rings and you ignore it. You can’t bear to put something on your voice, the connective tissue to the truth. You would have to if you answered, no matter who it was, let alone Miranda.

  4. You open up the sandwich and run your finger through the jam. You lick your finger. You say a small prayer to the strawberry seeds.

“sucking everything in.” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday August 6, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Across This Body
Jeni De La O

she sets herself on fire
it’s not the first time
but she burns differently

now that there’s the most to lose

ashes fly to the sky
flickering fantasy
floating towards the opposite
she explodes into all the

pieces of possible truths
colours like feelings
smoke of spirit
roar of the breaking

betrayal is a red
mixed into the blood

as she burns she paints
herself in the shades of
the now the ones
she predicted but always
wanted to escape

the true things
the small things
the things that are clever
and vicious

unknown

now that she’s nothing
she has everything
now that she’s here
she sees herself

whole
for the first time

“an overdose, the fire hall repainted red.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday August 5, 2019
10:42am
5 minutes
Orography
Alison Braid

I read you my writing
two poems
at the kitchen table
that’s grown seven feet
since this day last week

a kitchen table that sees
the pancakes and the salt
the chilli and the fights
the Scrabble and the worst

You meet me in the words
beyond the wrong and right
only by being present
but that’s enough for now

two poems
speaking the unspeakable
shrieking in their small stanzas
shaking ghosts from their pockets
sand from their ears

“Aida drank her father’s unsugared coffee” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday August 4, 2019
10:21pm
5 minutes
A Dull Yellow Presence
Mona’a Malik

Aida reaches across the table and takes a sip of her father’s unsugared coffee. It tastes like tar.

“What are you doing?” He’s back from the washroom, hands in his pockets, crease between his eyebrows deeper than when he left.

“I just wanted to – …”

“That’s for grown-ups.” He sits down and stacks his cutlery on his plate, putting the paper napkin, folded, on top.

“I’m sorry, Papa.” Aida gets that sinking feeling in her stomach and wonders when her mother will pick her up. Saturday morning breakfasts with her father were court ordered. No one checked with her.

“Aida drank her father’s unsugared coffee” by Julia laying

Sunday August 4, 2019
8:21pm
5 minutes
A Dull Yellow Presence
Mona’a Malik

Aida lays with her left eye in her palm, pulsing, pushing. Her father is across from her in his easy chair, perusing the daily flyers. That’s the only thing he enjoys reading. The last book he finished was in 2000. He doesn’t remember the title, but the year is easy to recall.

Aida doesn’t like to be gaurded, watched. She feels like her parents keep taking turns on “Aida Duty” and neither of them really want to do it. Aida clears her throat, a bit strained.

Her father leans over and passes her his cup. She takes a sip and shudders.

“retirement and investment savings” by Julia on her couch

Saturday August 3, 2019
9:34pm
5 minutes
From a piece of mail

It’s true what they say, the banks are out to get us.
Mine charges me for being self-employed by making me pay a fee every time I exceed 12 transactions in a month. I could look into options that don’t include throwing money away but this stuff scares me because it makes me feel stupid and being stupid is one of my major fears.
I wouldn’t be able to admit that to just anyone. I am afraid of feeling small and helpless and useless and dumb and this perpetuates the cycle. I let the banks get me. I let them keep me small. I have no plans for investments or retirement because my brain doesn’t know how to think any further into the future than the next word after this. Maybe that’s fear too, keeping me believing that.

“she’s in a shoe store with her friends,” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday August 2, 2019
10:24pm
5 minutes
Some Notes Against the Burden of Representation
Rahat Kurd

she’s in a shoe store with her friends and she’s smiling and pointing at the shiny gold platforms and they roll their eyes because she won’t buy them and she won’t wear them but she tries them on to push it a bit to push her possibility at wildness at the person she maybe used to be and her friends tell her she should get them and two of them mean it and one of them doesn’t because that one is holding that she’s changed that they’re all changing and they took her out today because they didn’t want her to be alone with the beast in her belly moving through the motions of coffee and a boiled egg and replying to emails and cancelling subscriptions because they didn’t want her to be alone

“Redeemable exclusively at” by Julia on her bed

Thursday August 1, 2019
2:40pm
5 minutes
From a Salvation Army flyer

you can cash in here
give your nickles and dimes
for a better time
sure you can cash in here

i’ve got some grief i need to redeem, trade it in for
a bucket of your best excuses
mourn the loss of every baby i let die in the mines after i finally said they could be gold

i did what i was told, held their hands and plugged their noses, dunked their heads and laid out roses
the goodbye don’t come easy when it’s not your time to go

you can cash in here, get your bang for your buck, i’m the counter with the tear duct tango and you’re trying to find someone to dip

“Redeemable exclusively at” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday August 1, 2019
6:47pm
5 minutes
From a Salvation Army flyer

These redeemable features
the striving for authenticity
the hope for freedom
What more do we want?

The crest of the lip
holds sweat and tears
The heart holds
more space
and then no space
and then more space

My smell has changed in these days
turned raunchy and rough
I can’t stop sniffing myself
smelling my fear
animal that I am
animals that we are
How we build from a series
of fumblings
stumbling towards
something true

“we always found a way” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday July 31, 2019
11:10pm
5 minutes
From a thank you card

This is you, body coiled and then crumpled
naked in pillows, the baby thrashing
an arm’s length away

We have always found a way back to how we tether,
how we teethe the truth, a bone
like the dinosaurs on display

You want so much

This is the heart within the heart,
a love that I didn’t know was possible,
the ache that grabs my throat

licks my cheek,
tells me to grovel and snarl,
thumbs protected by fingers,

protected by the willingness to pretend.
I stick sorry across your torso,
your back, your jaw

I want so much

I see myself through your eyes
and she’s a famished feral one,
governed by hunger

frozen by fear.
I stick sorry on the tip of my tongue,
lick my arms, legs, belly

Hold up one finger to you
A white flag.

“Come visit me in Halifax soon!” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday July 30, 2019
1:32pm
5 minutes
From a thank you card

Dear Becky,

Does anyone write letters anymore? It feels so old fashioned. I’m trying to use up this stationary my grandma gave me (RIP, aw Midge) before the move so thought I’d spend the afternoon catching up on correspondence. This is the first letter I’m writing. Things are okay here… I’m thinking a lot about white supremacy and performative allyship without actually putting in the real work. Social media posts and stuff but how most people don’t actually show up. I’m not talking about a rigidity in being PC or anything, just doing our part to dismantle the shit that’s gotta go! I remember when we used to talk about the micro-aggression racism we’d both experienced growing up in small towns. Those were fundamental steps in my work as a baby activist and I’m grateful to you for that! Running out of space so… How are you?! I miss you. Come visit me in Halifax soon! I think you’d really dig it here.

“no one would know me.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday July 29, 2019
10:42pm
5 minutes
The Landing
Marie Howe

I build a home for you
and you live in it
day after night after afternoon
adding your skin to the dust bunnies
adding your hair to the nests under the sink
adding your voice to the whispers
stored in the paint of the walls

I build a good home for you
for us
for two and then three
for the three of us
I keep the pantry stocked
and the floors swept
I keep the truth on the table
until we snuff out the candle
and say goodnight
I dream of a time before this
a time after this
I dream of a great undoing

A lighthouse fills my heart
dim tonight than ever before
I leave the light on
for you though
for myself
for the three of us
even in the crest of the tsunami

“no one would know me.” by Julia on A’s couch

Monday July 29, 2019
11:00pm
5 minutes
The Landing
Marie Howe

I am sitting by the tree, waiting for my real friends to come see what’s wrong. We all do this. I like the tree, I like this alone. The kind that turns into something soon. The kind that makes time feel like forever but in a good way. One of these moments they’ll all come running to me. What will I say? I’m feeling sad. I’m feeling left out. I got upset and didn’t know how to tell you. I want to play and have fun. I say nothing until someone comes. I don’t leave the tree until someone comes.

Sometimes nobody comes. Sometimes it’s an exercise in will power. In patience. In believing that everyone is better off without me. Better off since they didn’t have to tell me to my face. There’s no more room. There’s not enough space for you. This is when it feels like forever but in the bad way. The way the bell never rings, never saves me, the way the real friends never appear because they never existed.

“the name of being an outlaw” by Julia on A’s couch

Sunday July 28, 2019
12:42am
5 minutes
Mustang Man
Louis L’amour

So you rebelled when you were a kid, learned to step off the sauce cause it wasn’t allowed, then you got yourself carried home without remembering what you wished you could remember.

Guess it was hard for your parents who really wanted the best for you but maybe made it seem more desirable without meaning too. Reverse psychology. Right.

Guess it was hard for all of you.

So when they saved you, you felt like they were punishing you and when they punished you you felt like they were unloving you but they didn’t mean that either. They wanted you to know that you were loved so much that your injury is their injury.

And maybe it just didn’t come out that way in words or in actions because they didn’t know how to communicate it. Maybe they never questioned their love for you so they never thought you might question their love for you and need any reassurance.

Some of us don’t know what we don’t know.

I’m sure you felt afterwards that it was all fine. That you learned something.

They learned something too.

“the name of being an outlaw” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday July 28, 2019
6:39pm
Mustang Man
Louis L’amour

I don’t take the Bible literally, do you? I haven’t been to Church in a long time, but I pick up the Book every now and then, when I’m on the road, in a hotel room or whatever. I don’t own a version myself, but I pick one up every now and then. And every time I do I think about how it’s a great thing, the Bible, but it’s been used in the name of so much bullshit through the ages that that takes away all the good stuff, all the real stuff, all the stuff we should really be heeding. It hits me, like, whether or not you even believe in God, it’s a good idea to treat your neighbour well, right? I believe in God, I think. I mean, that’s cracking into a big ol’ box of worms, but I do. I do.