“he had this reputation because” by Julia on the 7

Sunday July 22, 2018
8:05am
5 minutes
Under The Skin
Michel Faber

Because he was good
Because he was kind
Because he was thoughtful
Because he was sweet
Because he was playful
Because he was funny
Because he was grateful
Because he was honest
Because he was forgiving
Because he was generous
Because he was happy
Because he was smart
Because he was curious
Because he was willing
Because he was respectful
Because he was adventurous
Because he was unique
Because he was listening
Because he was trying
Because he was athletic
Because he was vulnerable
Because he was hard working
Because he was loved
Because he was love
Because he was true
Because he was different
Because he was strong
Because he was light
Because he was committed
Because he was disciplined
Because he was musical
Because he was mine
Because he was real

“Brady and Rix” by Julia at the desk

Saturday July 21, 2018
11:40am
5 minutes
Fever Pitch
Nick Hornby

Brady and Rix are the names of my imaginary kids.
They’re both neutral names but they’re both boys.
I am seeing my life with boys. I am allowed to see
what ever I want. God made me a writer. This is what
that’s for. Dreaming. Going there. Writing stories.
Brady is the older brother. My first. I love him like
an avalanche. Falling over myself every day. Knocked
down by love for the kid who can fit inside my pocket.
He holds my hand and calls me mama. He loves bubbles
and laughing and me. And his dad. He loves his dad so much.
He thinks everything he does is amazing. And everything
he does is amazing. Rix is the baby. He’s very serious.
He looks at everything with curiosity. He wants to know
my soul and does not let go. He is learning with a bit
of discernment. He loves being in the water. He pours
out of me and into things and into light. The whole room
loves him.

“cultivate the kind of robust gladness” by Julia on the bed

Friday July 20, 2018
11:37pm
5 minutes
The Spiral Staircase
Karen Armstrong

When your heart opens you know it in the stiff of your ribs
the slow of your knee
Everything breathes, even the crease of your doubt,
the no in your lips
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to feel that?
If I were a witch I’d cast a spell that wouldn’t let me forget how easy it is to be kind to myself:
It would have it’s own incantation, sung by the bones wishing in my skin
to be held and touched
And I have to be open as it can’t get in if I’m not
I want to cultivate that and if I don’t say it out loud
it might never come true

Thankful now for moments of clarity like these
And for the wisdom of my future me, the one who knows how good I am

If I were a witch I’d…
oh wait…I’d…hold on…
close your eyes

say this one
with me

“as I grow old and my friends leave me.” by Julia on the couch

Thursday July 19, 2018
1:30am
5 minutes
Psalms For Praying
Nan C. Merrill
As I grow old my friends leave me wanting them more
I get cravings for their hearts to soar
And for their souls to laugh
I want nothing more than their rise
Their absolute and inevitable rise.
And my friends leave me.
They leave me when I have stopped needing them
They leave when I am no longer hunting them
They know I do not stay loyal on only one shoulder
Carry the weight of knowing them on both
I want to be your last leaving friend
And you can let me love you that way

“What happened to the women?” by Julia on the toilet

Wednesday July 18, 2018
11:37pm
5 minutes
A Warm Moist Salty God
Edwina Gateley

They all bled out

I know this

I was one of them

The insides twisting

The ache throbbing

No couch soft enough to hold us

No water hot enough to soothe

We all bled out

The way we once did

Hoping someone would come along and offer some supplies

Something to tend to the womb

Wound

Nobody came along

And we got good at smiling when one of the muscles spasmed

When one of our girls got some feeling back

We couldn’t complain about it

Who would understand?

Who would know what we know?

One day we would stop smiling on the inside

That’s when things fell apart

There is only so much

Unfolding

Unravelling

a pulse can take

“Age is a work of Art” by Julia on her bed

Tuesday July 17, 2018
11:40pm
5 minutes
from a Banyen Books bookmark

It is an ever changing thing today I got older and younger during the same conversation

I see myself reflected sometimes so young in her eyes

And when I see her as wise and older and let her be, she is kind

Remarkably kind

And generous with her heart

And that is age painted pretty

That is the poster child the reason why, the trailer for the good show kindness is age and love is old

Love is young

Love is ever changing

I hear myself laughing the way she does and I know we are born from the same legs, mixed in the same sky

“There are no edges to my loving now.” by Julia in her bed

Monday July 16, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
Quoted by Rumi

there are nothing but edges
I see that
you see that
we have perfected the dance of walking on pins and needles
the bed lays flat
the floor a running river
it is easy on the tile as if the room should know better
but nothing is soft
nothing is without conditions
or consequence
I know I am supposed to love you like a circle
like a knot
undoable
I’m meant to give much more over than I do
but I do not love anything like a circle
except for the idea that I do not

“There are no edges to my loving now.” By Sasha on her balcony

Monday July 16, 2018
6:44pm
5 minutes
Quoted by Rumi

the water of this wears me
this sweat and longing and heartbreak
and love and trust and dreaming and collision
of past-present-future
there are less edges to my loving now
that we sleep naked in the glory and mud

i set the same intention a million
times over set the timer for five minutes
twenty minutes
three days
as a marker that maybe then i’ll be
ready maybe then i’ll be healed

the words help they always do
the forest helps it always does
water helps it always
does
too

the fluid nature of love
can’t be explained can it
just as you can’t explain
the etches on the walls of
the heart
this heart
beating in my mouth
this love
this heart
fireworks in the aeorta
ventricle to ventricle
we reach towards
the now

“Are we able to live simply,” by Sasha on her balcony

Sunday July 15, 2018
9:32am
5 minutes
Living Buddha, Living Christ
Thich Nhat Hanh

It all started when he felt there was hole in his chest. Below his breastbone, somewhere deep inside.

“Are you okay?” She would ask and he would nod and she would take this to mean “no”, but that he didn’t really want to talk about it.

Seven months later he texts her that he wants to live more simply.

“What does that mean?” She asks, feeling her voice raise in pitch but not volume.

“I don’t know… maybe quit my job? Maybe buy a place in the country?”

“Oh. Oh wow. Really? Wow… I just – …”

“I have a hole in my chest that grows bigger and deeper and wider every day, Janessa. It’s not a way I want to live. I want to live more simply.”

“I get it.” She says, and she does and she doesn’t and they both know that.

“Are we able to live simply,” by Julia on her patio

Sunday July 15, 2018
9:26pm
5 minutes
Living Buddha, Living Christ
Thich Nhat Hanh

Every time this poor dog howls you look up at me from your book with those eyes that are trying to make a connection with mine.
I think you’re hoping that I will want one just as bad as you do; as if this three hour howling dog is helping your case.

How can we live simply with a dog suffering? Think of how much work it’ll be to love something who is always distressed.

And then I think about how you love me extra when I am visited by sadness, three hour tears streaming down my cheeks. You have some magic touch and a resevoir of love overflowing. You don’t even hide it. You give generously. You are there when I get thirsty.

And maybe we aren’t meant to live simply. Maybe some things are supposed to stretch us wide.

“I need my medicine” by Julia at S,G, and E’s house

Saturday July 14, 2018
10:05pm
5 minutes
overheard at Genavie’s house 

I need this before I can do this I need the house to be cleaned the old milk to be taken out the practice of preaching

I need many things
before I can be enough

I need the light on
the story told
the writes written
I need the glory of the coming of the Lord

I need my medicine
drip drop in the throat before I can sleep
I need my mom to come
back to come back for me to not leave me here without saying goodbye

I need to watch Annie and pretend that my chance will come too
sing a little while I scrub the bathroom
tell you all the counters I’ve wiped and counting
counting to remind myself I am here and they are comig back
that they haven’t forgotten me
that I am enough

I need my medicine
this healing
this grace

“I need my medicine” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday July 14, 2018
7:55pm
5 minutes
overheard at Genavie’s house 

I need my medicine, Charlie! I need it right now! If you don’t bring me my medicine, I’m gonna divorce you, Charlie! CHARLIE! Oh. There you are. Thank you. Thank you so much. You know that I can’t make it down the stairs on bad days and today is a bad bad day! Charlie? Are you upset? Why do you look irritated? Are you – … Are you angry? Doctor said that you’d need to pay extra close attention during healing and that means medicine every three hours. You know that. How could you possibly be irritated?! Shit. It’s almost three thirty. Bella and Jeffrey need to be picked up because Hennie is at chemo! You have to go. The drugs haven’t kicked in yet!

“It gave her a deep sinking feeling” by Sasha at Vancouver Folk Festival

Friday July 13, 2018
9:21pm
5 minutes
Cujo
Stephen King

I was bred to say yes
Keep my head down
Eyes have power I learned
too young
Waiting for the train
I accidentally look up
and he’s leering and
cat-calling and
asking how much

Taught to nod
Use the delicacy
of the clavicle
for broccoli and wine

I was bred to open
to suck
to receive
to mm-hmm
to reveal
to tempt
to oblige

Waiting at the gas station
whistles and waves

How far we’ve come
from how it used to be
my grandmother says

When women were lauded
were bowed to
were worshipped

“It gave her a deep sinking feeling” by Julia on the couch at Alma Beach Manor

Friday July 13, 2018
9:27pm
5 minutes
Cujo
Stephen King

She spent an hour reorganizing the spices. Rosemary in front,
Chinese five spice in the back. Somehow she has more Chinese five spice than anything else. Well not somehow. She doesn’t like it. She’s only used it once.
After that she moved the sugars and honey to a different shelf. “Everything has its home” and now everything looks like company’s coming.
That was the plan all along
But really it was just the catalyst. She needs clean cupboards so she can see all the spices she isnt using.
She slammed the cupboards around as if he wasn’t sleeping in the other room.
She didn’t feel much like being quiet. Especially now that she had “exhausted him” into an early evening nap.
He said some things earlier that she rebutted well but the tears came as they always do, as the Niagara Falls always does. She wondered if he was right about one thing. Maybe two.

“a flickering lamp, a phantom” by Julia on the couch at the Airbnb

Thursday July 12, 2018
9:41pm
5 minutes
Diamond Sutra
Buddha

We sit in the dark.
Connie tells me, “These wafer cookies taste like they cost only a dollar.”
I tell her, “that’s because they do cost only a dollar. People who buy these don’t by them for quality, they buy them because they’re trying to bury the thing inside them that keeps them itching.”
Connie says, “Who has a face long enough to shove one of these in without biting?”
And I say, “What in the world are you talking about?”
Connie says, “These things leave crumbs everywhere like a motherfucker. I’m not Hansel and Gretel. I don’t need someone to follow the path of them all the way back to me. Me and my face trying to hide the sadness in my stomach.”
I don’t really know why she keeps eating them except for the fact that she might be one of those people who eat the wafers that the people trying to bury the thing inside them buy so she can at least complain about them.
Connie says, “They leave a film on the roof of your mouth. What is that?”
“Regret”, I tell her. “Or something like it.”

“a flickering lamp, a phantom” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday July 12, 2018
12:27pm
5 minutes
Diamond Sutra
Buddha

The lamp flickers in the window of the cabin and Gemma squints to see if she can make out Liam’s shadow. Maybe he’s gone to bed. She’s taken to walking in the woods before bed. Henry, their mutt, goes with her. She craves the darkness. She wanders until her cheeks get cold. That’s her sign it’s time to get back.

“Do you have to go tonight, babe?” Liam had asked, pulling her into a hug. She’s taller than him, so she rested her head on his head.

“Yeah, I do. I’ll be home before you’re asleep. Promise.” Liam kissed her, and she stepped into rubber boots and left.

Henry barked.

“The joy of bursting and bearing fruit” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday July 11, 2018
9:30pm
5 minutes
Earth Prayers
John Soos

It’s on my mind on my tongue on my heart in my hands. It’s everywhere. An obsession like none other that I’ve ever felt. A craving deep inside my body, and beyond my body. Of the body and not of the body. This profound ache. This transcendental desire. The distance from here to there feels long, but short, too. In moments when I value quiet, independence, my body being only my own. So much hinges on this, this choice, this timing, this trust, this surrender. I can’t know anything but right now, we all can’t, really. I read articles, I look at photos, I ache. I try to explain it to you, or it just is explained through the markings in my words, on my tongue; the etchings of my heart make a potato print onto yours.

“The joy of bursting and bearing fruit” by Julia at her desk

Wednesday July 11, 2018
6:58am
5 minutes
Earth Prayers
John Soos

One day conceivable from here, from now, from everything that I know,
I will hold a tiny, living thing in my arms and I will feel this great love…
The one everyone talks about
the changing kind, the one that gently nudges, inspires, forces you into bearing witness

Each moment between now and then is a teacher
A dream
I will want this when I have gotten good at turning the love inward
At being a witness to myself
And there is much to see. This life has been long already, the one before this one longer still, I imagine, and it is going going
I would very much like to give a tiny, living thing, my heart beat in excess
I want to give everything away when I know I don’t need to hold onto anything I’ve gotten but a tiny, living thing
Everything of use to me is being shown to me from the inside out and the whole world knows it
At least it does if I give permission to the whole world to be within me

Last night I felt a connection with a tiny, living thing
that did not burst forth from my own joy,
but was able to recognize it
We rocked there, our heads touching
and that was enough for me to know

“Mixed Media-Pastels-Drawings-Photos” by Julia outside her apartment

Tuesday July 10, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
http://www.johnmcalpineart.com

Tells me he can’t decide what kind of artist he wants to be
I wonder if he really has a choice
Not to say you can’t do more than one kind of art
That’s like saying you can’t ever cut your mushrooms tail first
There’s no one way to do art but I want him to know
the kind of artist he is
What he stands for
What he looks at
What he sees
What he wants to say
Or fuck
What he must
He can paint and take photos and write
He can dance and sing and sew
He can sculpt and build and carve
He can dream and drink and draw
He can also be true to himself
He can cut the mushrooms lengthwise
Down the middle
In slices
In quarters
In bits
Regardless
Mushrooms are a part of this
The dish called for them
It wasn’t really up to him

“Mixed Media-Pastels-Drawings-Photos” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday July 10, 2018
8:31am
5 minutes
http://www.johnmcalpineart.com

I used to draw for hours
sat at the kitchen table
lost in purple and blue

Pastels worn down to nubs
and the rounded edges of
beeswax crayons
watercolour pools
paintbrushes left unwashed
and hardened

Somewhere along the way
I stopped
Was is when I started
writing songs?
Writing stories?
Performing?

Somewhere along the way
I stopped

Why does it feel
as though there isn’t
enough space
for all the creativity?

“Where every member is a minister” by Julia on her couch

Monday July 9, 2018
9:50pm
5 minutes
from a business card

I got this card from someone who I don’t know but might be reading this.

Free Press, he said, I said, yeah, good, why not?

I thought he was selling something,trying to get me to come over to the side of all the glowing. I might have gone with him if I didn’t have a bus to catch.

Where you headin’, Chicago?

Maybe he lived there. At the bus station, in Chicago. When I asked him he said he was exactly where he needed to be.

I could live with that, I thought.

I could learn from this and all the other apparition-wise sentiments.

He gave me cereal. In a ziplock bag, for later.

“Where every member is a minister” by Sasha at her desk

Monday July 9, 2018
10:03am
5 minutes
from a business card

She dreams of parliament. She dreams of platforms. She dreams of knowing how to articulate all the change that she wants to make and that everyone listens. She dreams she’s speaking to a cabinet of women. Some are stretching. Some are breastfeeding. Some are rolling their eyes. Some are interrupting. She dreams that they find their way. She dreams of a world where she might prioritize childcare, elder care, health care. CARE. She dreams of being allowed to fail and that failure won’t haunt her. She dreams of risk. She dreams of loss. She dreams of calling another leader and deciding she will unleash the tidal wave of wrong-doings.

“I do not know how to smile” by Sasha on her balcony

Sunday July 8, 2018
11:13pm
5 minutes
From a text

A woman
asks me why
I’m so happy
like how could I possibly be
so entitled to joy

Isn’t this
our birthright?
Now to convince
the masses

The forest
knows how to
bend and sway

This woman
looks skeptical
like I must be
on something

That was a time
when I was riding
without a helmet

That was a time
when I was kissing
a lot of people

“I do not know how to smile” by Julia at Oak and Broadway

Sunday July 8, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
From a text

I want the world to know that I wont be smiling from here on out. I wont be laughing either, in case you were curious. I have been smiling and practiced smiling and I have done a good job but now that’s over. No more giving away for free. That’s what I’ve been doing. And at first that felt good but then they started taking my smiles for free which is different than receivng them. Smiles shouldn’t cost anything and I’m the one who’s giving and paying. Forced smiles have cost me the most. When someone thinks they’re entitled to my smile, my good, my honest light. That’s when it leaves me dead and wondering. Maybe I should be saving them all for the children. They never take something worth so much for free.

“Our isolated human grandeur” by Julia on her patio

Saturday July 7, 2018
9:36pm
A quote by Thomas Berry

I can’t believe it’s come to this.
One million years and counting.
Or I was.
Maybe you aren’t anymore?

I never wanted to admit that I have been less
but I have been less
Less than I wanted to be
Less than you needed
We were building on the good ship lollipop
sailing somewhere together
on the open sea of hope and do betters
We were doing better

Perhaps this solo journey I’ve been taking at the same time has interfered
Whisked me away to the clouds and dreaming
Pushed me further into myself to question why anything was where it was
Why these lungs here?
Why this pull on my rib cage?
I thought I was busy finding myself but I was busy losing you
Caught asking too many questions in the good room
When you are in the good room, you are not supposed to ask questions.
It might jinx things.
It might put a hex on the whole damn house.

“Our isolated human grandeur” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday July 7, 2018
12:02am
5 minutes
A quote by Thomas Berry

I’m not sure about grandeur
I’m not sure about the sound of traffic
I’m not sure about how discontent the discontentment
feels especially at this hour especially after coming home

I’m sure about how I’ll never tire of your face
I’m sure about my love of you
I’m sure about love
I’m sure about my love of the Pacific North West

I’m not sure about isolation
I’m not sure about the lump in my throat
I’m not sure about the performed happiness
of this busy generation

“I want to tell them” by Julia on her couch

Friday July 6, 2018
5:02pm
In the Dermatologist’s Office, Again
Robert Tremmel

I want to tell them I don’t hate them that I love them that I need them
I want to tell them that they hurt me that they weren’t me that I am them
I want to write it in a letter snail mail send it
Write it on the mirror in red lipstick
Call Them on the phone and sing a prayer of sorry
Meet Them in the park and hug them full of thank you

I want to tell them that they’ve helped me that they’ve shaped me that they’ve held me

Tell them that they’ve known me that they’ve shown me that they’ve stoned me

That they’ve made this soft centred M&M melt that they’ve crunched my hard shell easy that they’ve pressed too hard on my bruises and buttons

I want to tell them that I’m not going anywhere.

That I’m big.
That I’m growing.

I want to tell them that the sea is going to swallow them up and they should let it.

I want to tell them who I am.
I want to tell them I’m the sea.

“I want to tell them” by Sasha in her hotel room in Victoria

Friday July 6, 2018
12:02am
In the Dermatologist’s Office, Again
Robert Tremmel

It’s after midnight and the streetlights are flickering and the sound of traffic is slowing and somewhere maybe a wolf is howling. It’s after midnight and my head is pounding and I’m thirsty for you beside me and I’m over the hump of exhaustion that now I’m awake again. It’s after midnight and I’m thinking about how positivity is a practise and how so few practise and how do you make it through a life with so much negativity and where does it go in your body and will you wake up one day and think that this is what life is this is what life is a about?

“My parents expected brilliance” by Sasha at the desk in her hotel room

Thursday July 5, 2018
11:39pm
5 minutes
In Praise Of Incompetence
Lauren Slater

My parents never spoke their expectation of brilliance, but it was implied.
It was implied through their own self reflection, striving to always be better, do better. It was implied through how they spoke to me. It was implied through the dinner table and the art room and the backyard games.

Maybe I’m making this up. I lie, after all. We do. Don’t pretend that you don’t. Maybe my expectation of brilliance came innately, emerged inherently, was a natural trait. Maybe my parents, bless them and their wild hearts, had nothing to do with it.

Wouldn’t you say that this is the debate of adulthood? Wouldn’t you say that at a certain point you maybe go,

“This is who I am, by fluke or by nurturing, and I’ve gotta figure out how to do life regardless?”

“My parents expected brilliance” by Julia at the studio

Thursday July 5, 2018
9:16am
5 minutes
In Praise Of Incompetence
Lauren Slater

We started watching the new Ghostbusters movie last night. There have been some funny moments. My mother told me to watch it. She thought I should have been cast in it. She always says that when funny women are on-screen. It’s nice she thinks so highly of me. She saysI remind her of Julia Louis Dreyfus. This just goes to show that my mother doesn’t know much about Julia Louis Dreyfus. Or show business. Or what I have been busying myself with.
Ten years ago I decide to be an actor. I also decided to be famous and be interviewed by all the Jimmies. At the time there may have only been one, but whatever, it’s all the same.
I thought it was the only thing I could be doing. I hadn’t really lived yet. I know now that I wasn’t willing to put in the work. I know it, Jam knows it, and maybe my mother knows it, but she still thinks I’m destined for greatness. At Aunt Tina’s wedding on Sunday, there was a distant relative there who said she saw me on a commercial. Said it was really funny. My mother said, don’t you think she reminds you of Julia Louis Dreyfus? This woman had no idea who Julia Louis Dreyfus was. My mother beamed anyway.

“Angel texted” by Sasha in her hotel in Victoria

Wednesday July 4, 2018
11:53pm
5 minutes
V.I.P. Tutoring
Vanessa Hua

She just wants a dog because she’s always wanted to name something “Angel”. Every since she was young, any chance she got, she’d try it out. Her cabbage patch kid. Her troll. Her handmade doll from Bolivia. A teddy bear. “Are you Angel?” She’d whisper in the ear, or where she thought the ear might be.

She scrolls Petfinder for hours, looking at little, lost faces. She’s looking for Angel. She knows she can’t get a dog that barks, because she lives in an apartment. She can’t get a big dog. She debates the ethics of changing a dogs name… She knows people do it, but loves her own name and wouldn’t like it if some stranger decided it should be changed.

She contemplates veganism for the millionth time.

“Angel texted” by Julia at the studio

Wednesday July 4, 2018
12:26pm
5 minutes
V.I.P. Tutoring
Vanessa Hua

Angel texted, told me to look where I was going and to read while sitting down. It made sense. The text was very much related to a thing I was about to do carelessly. It came right on time.
Angel is always watching over me. I think she thinks she has to. She thinks she has to cause her name tells her she should. I tend to listen to what Angel has to say. If she tells me to wait until the next morning to make a hard decision, I listen. Angel knows how to get me right in the soft. She sent me an e-mail yesterday after waking up at the crack of dawn. She said the sky was “milk-blue” and it melted me. I love when milk is used to describe things, like the sky. I picture Angel knowing more about the sky than anywhere else. Maybe I think she’s from there and her name was given because her mother was a clairvoyant and there’s magic and stardust in her smile. I might name my kid Sunshine so she brightens up people wherever she goes and everyone thinks she’s ‘of the sun’ because her name makes them believe. I could name her Honesty so people are reminded to look inward. But that might be too heavy a burden to carry. What if there is shame? What if she reminds people they have lived in this life with secrets? Maybe she’d remind everyone that we have all lives our lives with secrets.

“pockets of bullets” by Sasha on the 99

Tuesday July 3, 2018
6:48pm
5 minutes
All The While The Women
Hugh Martin

pockets full of bubblegum already chewed hand in there and stick stick stick pull it out and make a spider web cat’s cradle silver moon pockets full of pennies found at the bottom of fountains at the bottom of purses at the bottom of stomachs did you know that pennies aren’t even a thing anymore another removal of the poetry of the mundane from our everyday exchanges I try not to get bitter I try I try

pockets full of bullets and badminton birdies on the way to the courts hoping a stranger will play today hoping someone will bring popsicles and popcorn hoping someone will want to play today play today

“pockets of bullets” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday July 3, 2018
2:16pm
5 minutes
All The While The Women
Hugh Martin

At any given moment you can reach into your own pockets and find the weapon
It’s up to you what you use
No one is saying they have to be bullets
You might have to form your hand into a fist first
Feel the edges lining the space between thigh and modesty
Challenge the boundary of what fits in and out–What feels good
What feels good?
Is it the truth, wielded like a maniac might, shaking it in the face of someone who doesn’t understand?
Is it the lie? What does more harm in a circumstance like this one; in a circumstance like ours?
My mother never told me honesty was the best policy. She didn’t believe or she would have mentioned it
I think I learned it on my own, anyway
So many chances to use the sword of truth like the good word told me to
It’s funny how deep a pocket will seem when you’re looking for a place to hide
You might throw your hand in and emerge with nothing but a ball of lint
Ah, but it’s what you do with the lint that makes a hero

“For the sea lies all about us…” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday July 2, 2018
10:54pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rachel Carson

She longs to live in a place
with the sea all around
An island not too far
from the mainland
but far enough
that she’s
unleashed
far enough that
her spirit can surf
in the hazy moments
between
dawn and day
day and dusk

She longs for the buzz
of the city
the ambition of
traffic
the hum of
pavement and people
public transit
live music
possibility

“For the sea lies all about us…” by Julia on her couch

Monday July 2, 2018
9:38pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Rachel Carson

The moment I decide I will love you forever you turn into a sea slug
It is my curse of course
I’m the one who made it happen
Earlier you are bright and light and good all over
You have the smile that makes me remember why I choose you
You smell lime fresh
Avocado sweet
And then the sun drops from his throne
The sky changing colour from orange to purple to earth pink
Suddenly you do not want me around
You are weary of me
You are wishing I was dead or asleep or a seagull passing over the ocean for the last time
This might be a truth
This might be a lie
A story that I tell myself when loving you as is feels too scary to do
I am scared of how easily the light can switch
How little weight my word holds

“your body will always be there for you” by Julia in her bed

Sunday July 1, 2018
11:53pm
Woman Code
Alisa Vitti

I know what the cravings feel like Broccoli and kale love on top, icing, laughter She knows what she wants To run, sleep, be held in the small of her back The body knows, she will always

Skin built for rebounds, bouncing off the burn Bones made to play and jump and leap This is where the body begs and reminds; where the knots shift, calling

“your body will always be there for you” by Sasha on her balcony

Sunday July 1, 2018
4:30pm
Woman Code
Alisa Vitti

Your body will always be there for you
Throughout this life that’s the constant
That’s the change
This body
Your body
My body
Worshipped and loathed
Fed and starved

Your body will always know the truth
So listen to your gut
The smartest part of your anatomy
We prize the brain only because some man told us too
Only because it’s safer
More or a box than a garden

Your body will always be there for you

Until it isn’t
Until it drops and wavers and bends and snaps
Until the doctor says there’s nothing she can do
Until the stitches rip and the hands shake
Until you find a lump in your breast
Until you spend a night in the ER listening to other women screa

Your body will always be there for you

Even when it isn’t
It is

“of crucial importance” by Julia on her patio

Saturday June 30, 2018
11:23pm
5 minutes
Sex At Dawn
Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha 

Extend the left calf and then right
Stretch the toes out, point them down, hold, twist, hold again, take notice.

The stress of the foot is carried in the ball between my good and my grounded. Lightning curled up fetal in the belly of the sky. Press this button and know forever love. Know it like you know the beg of your own knots, the root of your own affairs, and tell me: I see you and the pain you hold. I see the the hole you’ve dug. This is how you water the flower. This is how you give her bloom.

“of crucial importance” by Sasha at Platform Seven

Saturday June 30, 2018
1:32pm at Platform Seven
5 minutes
Sex At Dawn
Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha 

“Katherine?! Is that you?! It’s of the most importance that you bring me up a gin and tonic. It’s after three! I haven’t had a drop and my hands are shaking!”

“Mrs. Cathers? It’s me, Monique? I’m here to make your dinner and give you a bath.”

“A bath?! Why in heaven’s name would I need a bath…”

“You haven’t bathed since Wednesday, when I was here!”

“Is that true! Good grief, no wonder I stink… But about that gin and tonic…”

“Katherine and Christopher decided not to buy alcohol anymore, remember?”

“RUBBISH – “

“It interferes with your medication – “

“RUB-BISH!”

“Maybe it felt like too much power” by Julia in her bed

Friday June 29, 2018
1:37am
5 minutes
Motherhood
Sheila Heti

I might go into the open field and kneel down, cry into the open sky and calm down, drink from a stranger’s cup. I might tell someone I’ll never see again that the worst thing we can do is throw away the key to the cage we’ve put ourselves in. Forget to get out of our own way and start listening to time as reminder, not murderer. Not weaker than us. Time isn’t interested in hanging out with people who aren’t good at patience. At taking action, at promises. Cause when you say it, then you’ve said it. Once it’s left you, it’s left. And then what? We must?

“Maybe it felt like too much power” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday June 29, 2018
10:32pm
5 minutes
Motherhood
Sheila Heti

On the days when I feel like the first drooping flower in the bouquet
On the days that a tight fist clenches in my throat and there’s no real reason why
On the days when the sun’s bright but the clouds in the mouth leave bad breath and dry words
On those days

What do we do on those days

One foot in front of the other
Moment by moment by moment

I see you flower and acknowledge your beauty despite your droop
Throat fist – I give myself over! You can have me! In fact, you make my voice sound funny and that makes me laugh!
Cloudy mouth – you help me to pause before I speak untruth

What do we do on these days

See a friend who makes beet brownies
Drink extra water
Stretch like a cat

“Getting lost in the dark is my favorite part” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday June 28, 2018
9:56pm
5 minutes
PYNK
Janelle Monáe

I know how the story ends, or at least I pretend that I do. Cello music plays. The lake is like glass. It’s dusk.

Getting lost in the dark is my favourite part. What’s yours?

Solo piano on the record player.

I know how the story ends.

Closing my eyes and seeing the night sky, seeing Jupiter, the full moon, Orion’s Belt.

A loon calls.

Where do we put our grief down when we’ve taken it far enough?

Hurl it into the water and watch as it floats on the surface and then sinks?

Bury it amongst the pines?

Hope that someone, a stranger, might tap me on the shoulder and say, “Would you like me to carry that for you for awhile?”

“Getting lost in the dark is my favorite part” by Julia on the Greyhound bus

Thursday June 28, 2018

2:25pm

5 minutes

PYNK

Janelle Monáe

It’s not the same thing as hopping around from province to province

It’s a different country and I am in it for less time than it takes for my hair to air dry. Gloomy here too so there is no vacation and if it rains later (careful) it will work better for some of my good lines. I will have to talk to the border patrols again. I hope they have long shifts and the man I met on the way over earlier is still on. He was even more attractive up close. I knew I liked him from far away and the officer beside him was impatient with the poor guy from Japan forced to finger print himself three thousand times even with all the proper paperwork. My guy was sweet and he made me nervous. I didn’t realize I was flirting with him but I was. He smiled at me and told me I was awesome. Do border patrols tell everyone that?

“isolated, alienated, and uncomfortable” by Julia on her couch

Wednesday June 27, 2018

9:55pm

5 minutes

from quillette.com

We spend a month apart while she thinks things over about me

I have been thinking things over about her

I am sad and heavy and fine all at once

What is this narrow minded thinking that she claims to hate?

How could you let someone tell you what to believe and then build a wall around yourself so mention of it never gets in?

I am upset that she will listen to other people but not to me

I should have written it all down sooner because now I am forgetting the details

How much should I learn before I make up my mind?

How can someone I love and trust be so fundamentally different from me?

My questions are filled with more gas, float to the ceiling and hang there

What is the dealbreaker for you?

What is the thing you will learn about me that locks the nail in the coffin on whatever this thing is that we’re doing now?

It feels like punitive measures but she says there is love

I know there is, but right now I have to wonder

Will it last?

“isolated, alienated, and uncomfortable” by Sasha on her balcony

Wednesday June 27, 2018
8:12am
5 minutes
From quillette.com

You died seventeen months ago. I count in months because years doesn’t give the weight. I stopped counting in weeks, in days, because that felt too heavy. There probably hasn’t been a minute that I haven’t thought of you, a whole sixty seconds. No way.

Pete said that you basically killed yourself, that you wanted to die. I said I wasn’t sure about that.

I play your guitar on the front porch and sometimes the cat from across the street comes and rubs against my legs. Is it you?

I saw the light only for a slippery moment – somewhere between here and there. I saw that I’m not fit to love again, not yet, I’m not fit to wife another husband, not yet.

“Greet me at the gate” by Julia in her bed

Tuesday June 26
10:40pm
Green
Nikki Sharp

Glad you could make it, I’m so glad you’re here.Got a typewriter from Anne Marie Lossing, do you remember her? Big hair, bigger teeth? She was going through the trash cans in the alley and someone was throwing one away, can you believe it? Says it works too, good as can be given the circumstances. Did you want to write something? I could make some tea and some cake. Well the cake I would reheat. I won’t have time to make a cake for you now, but did you want that, would you like that? It’s been a while since you’ve seen something floating around in there worth holding on to. If you don’t like Anne Marie’s typewriter, that’s okay. I won’t tell her. She always liked your sense of humour, you know. I think she respects you a lot more than you might realize.

“Greet me at the gate” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday June 26, 2018
7:12am
Green
Nikki Sharp

meet me at the gate with your arms open and lift me up but don’t spin me just get me off the ground and whisper something in my ear that you’ve never said to anyone that you’ve only ever said to me and put me down and look me in the eyes because my eyes have changed since you last really saw me i know you saw me this morning but i’m talking about really seeing really knowing and my eyes are going to tell you how i miss you til i’m sick and dizzy and gorging and my eyes will tell you how i’m not sure if i can take this but my words won’t my words won’t they can’t that’s not how they work

“gros bisous!” by Julia at her desk

Monday June 25, 2018
10:52pm
5 minutes
​from an e-mail​

She kisses me in french,
so cool
I think we are supposed to become friends

I want to know what she sleeps in
I want to see how she makes to do lists
if she owns any hand me downs
what she sees when she looks at me

She’s consistent
in her inclusion of me, validation
she, inconsistently, responding,
and we are similar
surely she must see that by now
a mirror mirror on the wall
remember what you came here for

i want to have her over one night when
we both believe in yes, gratitude

We’d probably make out

“gros bisous!” by Sasha on her balcony

Monday June 25, 2018
9:36pm
5 minutes
​from an e-mail​

Mike makes eyes at me across the bar and my stomach drops. Am I going to shit my pants?! FUCK. I go to the bathroom. Pull down my shorts. All good. All safe.

“Why are you so weird around him?” Bec asks and I just hit her on the arm a bit harder than usual.

“Hey Alison, how’s it goin’?” Why does he come here? Why does he do this? Why is he here? Take. Me. Away. I vacate my body and I fly above us and I see how I’m sweating in every crevice and he’s salivating and we’re both remembering.

“When do you go back to London?”

“Not until August… We still got time…”

“You never had my time – “

“I beg to differ – “

“Fuck you.”

“Woah…”

Bec comes over and all she heard was the “fuck” part she didn’t hear the rest she didn’t hear the thunder.

“for the girls I kissed in seventh grade” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday June 24, 2018
10:03pm
5 minutes
Practicing
Marie Howe

This is for the girls I’ve kissed
Tulip breath and hummingbird tongue
All softness and goodness and truth
All sour and breaking and everything

Seventh grade was a strange year
Overalls to hide breaching breasts
Smile to hide unasurredness
I am alive but I am afraid but I am electric

Girls kiss different than guys
But sometimes you find a guy that kisses
Like a girl and that’s one you want to hang on to
That’s one I want to hang onto

Beeswax and cinnamon
Coffee and salt
Pineapple and peach
Gin and playing cards

“for the girls I kissed in seventh grade” by Julia in her bed

Sunday June 24, 2018
6:03am
5 minutes
Practicing
Marie Howe

In the food cellar in the basement I turn the light off
pull the chain hanging from a lone bulb and launch myself onto you and the concrete floor
you kiss me back and we are rubbing up down on each other
writhing around like two snakes let loose in a barrel
I dont remember who said we should go upstairs to your room but we go upstairs to your room and I stay on top of you
I stay on top of you and I catch your breath in my mouth
I think your mom was home cutting someone’s hair and there we were growing slowly and opening
Days earlier I am watching you and thinking I must have missed my chance
it didn’t strike me then that you might not want me
perhaps when you know something in your soft bones you really know it

“I have two more weeks to pack” by Julia on her patio

Saturday June 23, 2018
11:36pm
5 minutes
from a text

Get here sooner bring your guitar and your good ideas
We’re going to jam on the patio and light some candles and eat a charcuterie board like last time
Like last time
I like last time and this time will be so different
No more blonde on the top
No more orange hue better in person
You, I think will find a sundress in my closet to love best and please wear it
Great don’t pack anything let me give you everything you need
And feed you I will feed you
Like a humming bird buzzing up
Borrow the tiger balm you gave me for my trip
I use it on the back of my neck when I can’t sleep
You can sleep in or out or on my side of the bed
It caves in sometimes
It caved in today
But we can touch the floor and isn’t that always fun
I can’t hold the clock because it teases
Tick tick and still weeks and weeks
Week week
Week week
Counting down the days until the walks catch our feet and the night worships the salt back into our hair
Don’t bring a blowdryer
Mine is fine and works the way a $3 blowdryer should
Don’t bring anything but you

“I have two more weeks to pack” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday June 23, 2018
9:10pm
5 minutes
From a text

I have two more weeks to pack. I have TWO WEEKS! STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT! fucking hate packing, truth be told, and anyone who says that they enjoy it is a liar. Really! I mean what is there to like? You’re faced with all of your shit that is haunted with all the bad choices that you’ve made, and you always find a photo you wish you didn’t still have or a card or something… Every time I move, I get rid of tons of stuff but then by the time I move again I’ve accumulated an equally hideous amount of shit. I hate it! UGH! Wanna help me do it?! I’ll get boxes from the wine store and I’ll order pizza and I’ll love you forever?!

“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

“Where it pours bean green over blue” by Sasha on the plane

Friday June 22, 2018
10:49am
Daddy
Sylvia Plath

From the sky this place is blue
over green all tumbledried
Yawning fresh mountain peaks touched with the toes

From the ground this place is home
even though that’s hard to say sometimes
Even though my this and that tries to tell me otherwise

From the trees this place is salty
the ocean breathing her seasons into hue
The rainy months giving way to this immeasurable beauty

From where I am
the mantra of thirty two is
Tell the truth
Tell the truth
Tell the truth
Tell the truth

Why choose any other

“your desired starting point”by Julia on her patio

Thursday June 21, 2018
8:55pm
5 minutes
audacity.com

Vision
Board
On
The
Wall
And
Plan
To
Look
At
It
Every
Damn
Day
That’s
A
Good
First
Step
A
Good
First
Thought
And
It
All
Seems
Doable
Then
Step
By
Step
Day
By
Day
Prayer
By
Please
Promise
By
Promise

I look at my wall, blank space and burning a hole where the good ideas are supposed to live

Remember something belongs here. Remember you said you would do something in the shape of this wall space.

Today

I

Made

A

Lot

Of

Grand

Mistakes

And

Now

I

Will

Never

Make

Them

Again

I

Will

Give

Thanks

Instead

Of

Being

A

Martyr

When

The

Bus

Is

Late

When

I

Go

The

Wrong

Way

When

I

Spend

The

Money

Step

One

Is

Acknowledging

It

Step

Two

Is

“your desired starting point” by Sasha at Mitzi’s

Thursday June 21, 2018
12:21pm at Mitzi’s
5 minutes
audacity.com

I’m decent at starting. A blank page – let the fingers dance and trust that they know the steps. A pot of vegetable soup – onions, carrots, celery, chopped fine, cooked until soft in olive oil and spices. Add stock, add salt, add a wish, and it will be good. A choice – feel it in the bones, or don’t, it will let me know when it’s moved to my stomach. It always let’s me know what’s best. A story – the people within it whose beating hearts are always the point. It’s that simple.

“in that beautiful mind” by Sasha in the Kiva

Wednesday June 20, 2018
11:02pm
5 minutes
All Of Me
John Legend

It brews in the guts for months and I wonder why I’m streaming rivers
It raises as a wail on a phone call and I feel sick with the wondering if I am not enough of a friend for this
But that isn’t it
That isn’t it

He’s held a throne since before we met so I don’t even know a world in which things are different
But it’s been in my guts since then since forever ago since before we met
So
Now it almost feels like I’ve missed my chance
But I know I haven’t
The chance is always there

I’m not sure how I’ll tell you
I’m not sure when is the best moment
Haven’t had a weight like this in awhile
Clouds over my eyes dimming the blue
Brick on my chest
Marble in my throat
Tears just almost there
Eyes the lake in the morning

I guess it’s not about what to do
It’s not about what to say or not say
It’s not about leaving
It’s about being with the truth in guts and sharing that with you
That something is off in the painting of the house on the hill on the island and I’ve always felt it I’ve always known
Maybe then I didn’t trust
Or I wished I would
Wished I could

As complicated as telephone wires strung above our heads
A spark
A deep breath
Here goes

“in that beautiful mind” by Julia on her patio

Wednesday June 20, 2018
8:56pm
5 minutes
All Of Me
John Legend

I used to fantasize about making out with you. And kind of fucking you in the bathroom but never telling anyone about it. I have a feeling you would have preferred to be doing it than people thinking you were and I wouldn’t want anyone to know. Our bodies are too similar in size and maybe that’s part of why I like the idea of us and why there never was an us. I think you’d be good for the record, but you come off in groups like you don’t think you’d deserve it and be so afraid to just slap my ass or kiss me like you mean it. Maybe that’s what I told myself so I wouldn’t be tempted to flirt with you. You were an easy target in that way. Innocuous. Bug spray. I have thought about you seldom since because I’m not sure that I’m wrong. I want you to be bad. I guess that’s the fun of fantasies. You get to make a good one into a midnight mystery tour and be as bad as you think you are with someone who you believe would bend over backwards to sleep with you. Maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe you’d say no if I cornered you in the bathroom. I don’t think I’m wrong. But. I guess we’ll never know for sure.

“the sum total of the courage and the integrity” by Julia at the studio

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
5 minutes
10:37am
A quote by Eleanor Roosevelt

We can walk into the mouth of our lover with gratitude
and compassion or wake up on the wrong side of the bed
with a vengeance that travels in heat, and ready.
I remember this when I am late to the day after a long
night of bad decisions and I am too ashamed to greet you
in your half way done morning, specific goals set, etc.
I come out with a new tail tucked between my legs and you
stop your structure and stretch out your arms to me,
welcoming, grateful. You say how lucky you are and you
say it with skin and smile before words leave your lips.
I remember this when you are late to the day and I am
awake before you and running and weaving and juicing
and you come to me with the same openness but my first
instinct is to keep running, make you catch up, make
you feel bad. We can walk into the mouth of our lover
with gratitude and patience if we remember how important
time spent gazing at each other really is. We can choose
this in the morning, at night, and in the afternoon. You
do this and you teach me. I thank whoever is in charge
that you do not dole out grades to match the student.

“the sum total of the courage and the integrity” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
7:20am
5 minutes
A quote by Eleanor Roosevelt

Courage and integrity are the two words that I want to leave you with today. Courage – because you’ll need it. Because the world is a dark and dangerous place. Because the dark and the dangerous need courageous warriors like yourselves to bring something new, something bright, something only you can bring. Dear graduates, integrity has come to mean so much to me over the years. I believe it’s how I’ve gotten where I’ve gotten today, standing here, giving this very speech. Integrity is treating everyone you meet with respect. Not “how you want to be treated” because not everyone wants to be treated like you do. That adage doesn’t apply any longer. Integrity is the only thing that is going to make this world a better place. So go in courage! Go in integrity! Take it from me! I’m almost one hundred!

“everything is ending” by Julia at the studio

Monday June 18, 2018
1:14pm
5 minutes
A Visit from the Goon Squad
Jennifer Egan

Good timing. I was about to flip my shit.
Who do I flip my shit toward, anyway? Is there
someone out there who has the necessary skills to
deal with shit being flipped at them?
Do they specialize in flipping shit back over or something?
It’s a good thing that everything is ending.
because I am not sure how much more beginning I can take.
New life, new friends, new ideas about my eyebrows.
This shit takes time to build and see and I think what is
worse is that it does not take long to flip, just long to
decide to flip it. Flip the shit I mean, If I wasn’t being clear.
Things are ending and the new moon is like, Yo, do your new thing.
We are all new. We are all brand new babies sucking on the nipple of life
hoping there’s enough milk to keep us from crying our heads off.
That’s what the new moon says. I swear to god she is full of shit herself
but like, it’s the moon, and she may be royalty but she’s not an asshole.
She doesn’t think she’s better than us.
I like my moon to have a little bit of attitude anyway.
She’s not pretending to be better than us new babies trying to navigate
this ridiculous existence. She sees it all, so she knows how common
the scrambling around is.
And now that everything is ending I can finally take a shit
instead of piling shit on shit and getting buried in a world
of my own misguided making.
I’m still talking metaphoric shit here, cause I never really let
that whole concept go. I’m working on making some more specific shit.
That’ll be good when it all ends and has to begin again.

“everything is ending” by Sasha on her mother’s couch

Monday, June 18, 2018
10:47am
5 minutes
A Visit from the Goon Squad
Jennifer Egan

Mama cries alligator raindrop tears cuz things are changing
“Why do things always have to change?”
She cries and cries and the house fills with salt water

Papa doesn’t laugh much anymore because he’s got a belly ache
And Mama is real worried
Danny’s going to firefighting school and leaving home
“We’re empty nesters!” She wails
And the tears spill out the windows

“Vivian! You’re going to drown the whole neighbourhood!”
Says Papa and I tell ya, I think he’s right

“spilled cola, coffee, and cigarette ashes.” by Julia on her patio

Sunday June 17, 2018
8:44pm
5 minutes
The Best Lack All Conviction
Jacob Scheier

We have come out here to avoid our inside lives
the ones that get sticky on the couch
or forget to take out the recycling again
(mistakes and impulse decisions piling up on each other)
(A bitter taste from the cruel beach wind on your tongue)
The woman across the alley way is telling everyone the same story
“The government something and now he’s outta there”
Neither of us can catch it
But we watch like she is the movie keeping us silent and side by side
She knows she can be obnoxious and has repeated that too
The air is perfect
The sky is purple and pink and orange on my side and
blue and lime green and red on yours
We light up and pass the joint without words
I’ve got the ukulele and you have your guitar
It’s so nice here outside our inside lives
It feels like the sun is still kissing our shoulders
It feels like my body didn’t just give out on me an hour ago
I crave coffee now and I never used to
You love that about me and I love that you love that
Outside, looking down at the man trading his time for our bottles
the gas fumes wafting up through the patio floor
Inhaling our new air and some of the neighbours’ below

“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

“itching for Presidency” by Sasha in her bed

Saturday June 16, 2018
3:02pm
5 minutes
The Politician
H.L. Mencken

I’ve got nothing to say about presidency or anything right now. I feel like death and I don’t want to be writing and the screen hurts my eyes and I wish I could dictate or something but I don’t know how to do that. Shit. I can’t believe that there’s this now, right before leaving, right before flying, again. Being sick a flying is nasty. I hate it. I hate that I had to do it in the winter and I hate that I have to do it again. I’ve got nothing to say about a presidency besides I can’t bear to read the news.

“My mother, who lost her teeth” by Julia on A and W’s couch

Friday June 15, 2018
9:29pm
5 minutes
What We Lost
Brenda Peynado

I’m praying to anyone who will listen but also to anyone who has the follow through. Not sure if god gets how deeply uncomfortable it is to have a uterus, so I’d rather talk to someone else. I catch myself calling out for my Nonna. She knew how to live with discomfort. With pain. With problems. She was a freaking magician. A soldier. A person with no teeth and the strongest gums you’ve ever seen. Flapping words around her mouth like weapons. Like violin lessons. She kept her dentures in a yellow cup over night. She once moved her entire living room around with a broken arm because “it had to get done.” And no it did not have to get done. Nothing did. Everyone told her to sit down and rest for once. I’m calling on her now because she didn’t have an off switch. She’s probably making god’s bed while god is still laying in it. She did not let anything stop her. Not even a little bit.

“My mother, who lost her teeth” by Sasha in her bed

Friday June 15, 2018
5:20pm
5 minutes
What We Lost
Brenda Peynado

My mother lost her teeth when she was forty. She woke up one morning and they were on her pillow. All of them. Even her molars.

When she went to the dentist Dr. Hendricks said that she’d never seen anything like it.

“Perhaps it’s hormonal, Mary. Have you checked your hormones?”

“My hormones are fine, thanks.” My mother said.

I know becuase I was there. Well, almost. I was in the waiting room. See, my mother’s teeth fell out the same month I got mono. She dragged me around to all her appointments and I read comic books in the waiting rooms.

“What’s up with you, Monika?” Dr. Burns, our family doctor said.

“I have mono, remember?” He’d diagnosed me three weeeks before.

“Of course, of course, my mistake. I see a lot of young people, Monika, and it can be hard to keep everyone straight.”

My mother rolled her eyes as though there was no reason to be discussing anything other than her gummy mouth. Or maybe she was also irritated that Dr. Burns, who delivered both me and my brother, had forgotten about my mono. Sometimes it’s hard to tell with her.

“Rule # 17: Act a little stupid.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday June 14, 2018
11:32pm
5 minutes
The Queen Of Hearts
Kathleen Hawes

I’m not sure when I started playing dumb
started dumbing down
started acting a little stupid
started laughing when things weren’t funny
started seeing how far I could get
on eyelashes and witty words
How many drinks
how many drinks

how many drinkssss

Please

Was it when I needed an excuse for my body
needed to explain the sudden newness
needed a reason for all this extra?

Was it when I realized I could wield it
but it wasn’t power it was giving over
it was giving up
it was giving

Giving

Nostalgia turns the edge of memory up
flips the corners so that I’m just
not so sure about anything
not so sure about everything

“Rule # 17: Act a little stupid.” By Julia at the studio

Thursday June 14, 2018
5:03pm
5 minutes
The Queen Of Hearts
Kathleen Hawes

She is desperate to speak to someone in French. She goes over to Chantal’s desk because Chantal will talk to anyone and she wants to speak French too. Le Sandwich. I understopd that one, Sans Probleme. Whatever. Let them speak in the secret language that I should know after four years of taking it in high school. After getting the French award at my grade 8 graduation.

At first I thought she was a miserable cunt who hated that I shared a cubicle with her. Maybe she thought I typed too loudly. Maybe she resented my youth. I can see now she might not have known how to express herself properly in English. I wish I didn’t spend so much time hating her back.

She smiles at me on her way to Chantal’s desk. She puts a little French in my name as she passes.

“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

“That’s the bottom line.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday June 13, 2018
7:13am
5 minutes
From a quote by James Baldwin

During the meteor showers in August, my family and I would lie on blankets on the small hill beside the cottage in the woods. It would be past my bedtime, and the glee of staying up late would create effervescent excitement in my belly. My sister Layah and I would swap tactics to catching the most shooting stars, “Squint your eyes and then you can see farer!” “There are more over there! Just look over there!” “You take the right side of the sky and I’ll take the left and when we see one, point and say, ‘There!’”

“Get used to me.” by Julia at her desk

Tuesday June 12, 2018
7:31pm
5 minutes
From a quote by Muhammad Ali

Thanks for the epiphany, timer.
I guess I’ll tell you about it?
Got only five minutes.
Better not f u c k i t u p.
Better not waste my time.
I haven’t impressed you.
I know this now, this very now.
I know it like it’s the first time.
I haven’t impressed you because I haven’t broken out of my skin.
You call me baby, call me potential in the same breath.
Hug my heart into beating the speed you believe in.
Lift me all the way over your head.
Step back to see where I will leap.
Watch where I will land.
If I’ll fly all the way there or if I’ll launch.
And then I sit back down on the easy steps.
And you have to get your hopes back down from the shelf you put them on.
I haven’t impressed you because I haven’t said yes to the sky.
Better not f.u.c.k.i.t.u.p.
All this wasted time.
All this almost decade for absolutely nothing.
Nothing new.
Nothing nothing.